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  • Witches Brew

    I have recently got hold of a 1958 Decca pressing of RCA's Red Seal SB2020 Witches Brew.The record label,numbering and inner sleeve match the ones i see for sale.But the outer cover is slightly different.Their is no Living Stereo logo on the front,just a white space and on the back no fed text and no scalloped edges.How can i tell if it's a first pressing or not.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paul View Post
    I have recently got hold of a 1958 Decca pressing of RCA's Red Seal SB2020 Witches Brew.The record label,numbering and inner sleeve match the ones i see for sale.But the outer cover is slightly different.Their is no Living Stereo logo on the front,just a white space and on the back no fed text and no scalloped edges.How can i tell if it's a first pressing or not.
    Paul, is the label really red or slightly orange. Also what is written in the deadwax? The British RCA's do not have Living Stereo Little Nipper, since that is copyrighted by EMI in the UK. If it is an early Decca pressing (IIRC that should be an early Br RCA pressing) then it should be an orangish label with a RCA in a black dot above the center. There probably is also be a groove around the outer part of the label. Later on, RCA did their own pressing of records, while Decca still did some of the producing and engineering. Those records have a label that looks like a later red labelled US pressed RCA - no little nippers.

    If you can post a shot of the label and copy the deadwax information, I can probably tell you how early the pressing it is. I checked through my collection and only have one early British pressed RCA, SB-2023 (LSC-2234) very close to your Witches Brew numbers. It is red-orange with RCA in a small black dot. The deadwax is the format of Decca pressings with a printed code across the bottom of the Deadwax (as seen with the label upright). The codes should be something like this J2RY-3595-1K, with some letters or numbers at the 9 O'Clock and 3 O'Clock positions in the deadwax. Those who collect Decca/London records will recognize this pattern. The bottom is the matrix number of the album side (one number higher on side 2, while the left code is the mother and the right code is the stamper.

    Larry
    Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
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    • #3
      Larry I appreciate your helpfulness.
      Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

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      • astrotoy
        astrotoy commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Tim

    • #4
      Thanks Larry for all of your info. The number on the deadwax is J2RY-4460-D-1K.I have put some photos with this post,although the label looks more red in real life. cheers Paul

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      • rockitman
        rockitman commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably 1st press but is a UK pressing. I have a good few of the UK counterparts to the US versions. In general, the US variants sound better and command much higher $$$'s at auction....in particular this title.

    • #5
      Paul, with that info, to me it looks like you have an early British pressing. I don't have the very earliest Decca pressed RCA's, but I think this is one of them. The RCA is not in a black dot, like mine, but I checked in Peter Furops Labelography, and the early Decca pressed RCA's labels look like those. In addition it is grooved. Further, the 1K means the cutting engineer was Tony Hawkins who started work at Decca around 1960. Not sure what the D means in the matrix number. It may mean engineered by Decca. The early one I have was a US engineered album and doesn't have the D. It may also have not been released or pressed in the UK as early as Witches Brew, hence the later label. Not sure. Finally, the back cover has the cellophane band on the right, another indication of an early pressing. - One has to be careful with using covers as a sole dating mechanism, since it is not unknown for people to move records around to covers in better condition or older, depending on what they want to accomplish.

      Hope the record sounds great. You should have a sonic spectacular, engineered by Kenneth "Wilkie" Wilkinson, the best, and produced by Erik Smith, one of Decca's top producers, all recorded in Kingway Hall, again the best. You may even hear the famous subway train which often appears on the Kingsway Hall recordings.

      Larry
      Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
      Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
      Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiGG, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
      Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
      Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
      Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
      Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

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