Dead wax inscriptions

Cutting Engineer dead wax symbols…

Ever wonder how to tell the difference between different vinyl pressings of your favorite record or what to look for as an indicator of good sound quality in your vinyl. There’s a lot you can learn by looking at the deadwax, that blank area between the last grooves and the label. Here are pictures of some inscribed initials and symbols from several of the better mastering engineers. Scroll to the end for a text list of initials and who they belong to.

Collected from a thread at on deadwax inscriptions at the Steve Hoffman forums and elsewhere.
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Robert Ludwig’s “RL” signature will appear following the Sterling or Masterdisc stamped names. The symbol to the right of the RL indicates a pressing by Allied Record Corp. in Los Angeles in the years after WEA Manufacturing bought the plant.

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“AZ” is the handwritten code for the Allen Zent mastering house. The inscribed flower and bird motifs to the right of AZ are of mastering engineer Brian Gardner who worked at Allen Zent.

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“Wally” is the incomparable Wally Traugott of Capitol: If it’s “Wly,” it’s pre-1977, and if it’s the full “Wally,” it’s post-’77.

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“Pogo” with the heart belongs to Keith Olsen of Pogologo Productions. In an email, Keith explained where the “Pogo” name comes from: “it was a tribute to my dog Pogologo (pogo for short) who slept under the old Neve desk at Sound City for 13 years, and was the way I knew which “version” of the master was being pressed— back then I would attend all the disc cutting, and always use the master — later EQ’d one or more generation(s) down copies were used to cut.” [quoted with permission]

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“Porky’s Prime Cut” and “Pecko Duck” and “Pecko” belong to George Peckham, a British cutting engineer whose cuttings on popular and rock music are often legendary..

Deadwax George Peckham - Porky Prime Cut 2

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Who is “JG” at kdisc? I think the K-Disc mastering engineer in question is John Golden.

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Barry?

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GF is Greg Fulginiti of Artisan. From a contributor at stevehoffman.com: “I like his work a lot, I think his version of SO is better than the UK Townhouse (and more so when the GF copy is Quiex vinyl). I see a few MCAs from the 80’s with his marks. …i also think Greg Fulginiti’s etching is a stamp of excellence. he worked with Steve a lot in the ’80s, IIRC.”


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Pressing Plant dead wax symbols…

This is one of two ‘letter codes’ used by the ex-Decca (US) plants – Gloversville, and Pickneyville. The latter is <>-P-<> or thereabouts. (info from a W.B. post of yore)… Indeed, this was from MCA’s Gloversville, NY plant; both that and the Pickneyville insignia were started in early 1973. Before that Gloversville pressings were designated by a “1” and Pickneyville by a “2.”

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PRC was indeed a pressing plant. Initially based out of Richmond, IN, they later opened another plant in Compton, CA.


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The insignia next to Robert Ludwig’s signature indicates a pressing by Allied Record Corp. in Los Angeles in the years after WEA Manufacturing bought the plant.

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Indicates a pressing from Capitol Records’ Winchester, VA plant. It’s supposed to look like a Winchester rifle, but it looks more like a wineglass on its side.

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Deadwax mastering info, text listing…

(Originally posted by Cactusboy at AudioKarma with additions here.)

G.S.V.) -> Greg Vaughn
(spiral sign) @ D+M -> Robert Henke ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
*-J.T.S.-* -> JTS Studio, London
@cul -> Moritz von Oswald
@t GP -> George Piros
“Soundmaster” Lionel @ Translab, Paris -> Lionel Nicod
7AP -> Augustus Pablo
A 1ST FOR KEV – TOWNHOUSE -> Kevin Metcalfe ( Townhouse Studios, London )
A Porky ‘Oh yes’ Prime cut -> George Peckham
A Porky Prime Cut -> George Peckham
A PORKY PRIME CUT -> George Peckham
A Porky Prime Er-Er-Er Goldfish I Think -> George Peckham
A Porky Prime sniff sniff cut -> George Peckham
A PORKY PRIME TANGO -> George Peckham
Allen Zentz -> Allen Zentz
AM -> Andy Mellwig ( The “A” looks like triangle; Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
an “A with M” sign -> Andy Mellwig ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
andreas at schnittstelle -> Andreas Kauffelt
andreas@schnittstelle -> Andreas Kauffelt
ARUN -> Arun Chakraverty
AT-GP -> George Piros
Audiodisc YYMMDD -> Pressed at Audiodisc AB
Az -> Allen Zentz ( note the lower case Z )
AZ -> Allen Zentz Mastering Company
AZ (with birds/flower) -> Brian Gardner ( Allen Zentz Mastering Company )
AZ CB -> Chris Bellman ( Allen Zentz Mastering Company )
B.E C.R -> Björn Engelmann ( Cutting Room, Stockholm )
B.E-C.R -> Björn Engelmann ( Cutting Room, Stockholm )
B.G. -> Bernie Grundman
BA -> Björn Almstedt
BA•CR -> Björn Almstedt ( Cutting Room, Stockholm )
BA-CR -> Björn Almstedt ( Cutting Room, Stockholm )
BA-EF -> Björn Almstedt
BA-GP -> Björn Almstedt
BA-T∞ -> Björn Almstedt
Beau -> Beau Thomas
BEAU -> Beau Thomas
beau -> Beau Thomas
Bell Sound -> Bell Sound Studios
Bell Sound sf -> Sam Feldman ( Bell Sound Studios )
BH -> Bobby Hata
BilBo -> Denis Blackham ( which looks like BiBo )
Bilbo master room -> Denis Blackham
BK -> Bill Kipper
BKG -> Brian Gardner
C.R -> Cutting Room, Stockholm
C.T.S. Wembley -> C.T.S. Studios, Wembley.
CGB -> Christoph Grote-Beverborg
CGB / D+M -> Christoph Grote-Beverborg ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
CGB @ D&M -> Christoph Grote-Beverborg ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
CGB@D&M -> Christoph Grote-Beverborg ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
CHRIS P @ UNITY -> Chris Parmenidis
COPYMASTERS – Miles -> Miles Showell
CR -> Cutting Room, Stockholm
CSB ♪♪ -> Carlton Batts ( followed by two musical notes )
CURVE PUSHER. -> Curve Pusher Mastering, London
D Jay @ Masterpiece -> Danny King ( Masterpiece Mastering, London )
D&m -> Dubplates-mastering, Berlin
D. SWABY -> Dudley Swaby
D.A.S. Disc Mastering -> Digital Audio Solutions
D+M -> Moritz Von Oswald ( (note; M has a hook on the end); Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
DAMONT -> Pressed at Damont Audio Limited
DAS Disc Mastering -> Digital Audio Solutions
DB -> Denis Blackham
DCHARLES -> Dick Charles ( Handwritten signature )
DFI -> Pressed at DFI
Djay@ Masterpiece -> Danny King ( Masterpiece Mastering, London )
DK -> Dennis King
DMM -> Direct Metal Mastering
DMS C -> The Hit Factory, DMS, NYC
DMS cg -> Chris Gehringer ( The Hit Factory, DMS, NYC )
DMS cg [peace sign] -> Chris Gehringer
DMS Coin -> The Hit Factory, DMS, NYC
Doug -> Doug Sax
DUDLEY SWABY -> Dudley “Manzie” Swaby
EURODISC -> Eurodisk Manufacturing
EUROPADISK -> Pressed at Europadisk, NYC.
EXCHANGE 2000 – SIMON. -> Simon Davey
F.A. -> Frank Arkwright
F.A. Metropolis -> Frank Arkwright ( Metropolis Studios, London )
F/W -> Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, NYC.
F/W J -> Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, NYC.
Finnvox MJ -> Mika Jussila
FOON MASTERING -> Foon Mastering Center
Frankford/Wayne -> Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, NYC.
Frankford/Wayne Mastering by Michael -> Michael Sarsfield ( Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, NYC. )
FST @ D+M -> Frederic Stader ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
FST D+M -> Frederic Stader ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
FST>D+M -> Frederic Stader ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
FTS -> Federal Recording Studios, Kingston / Total Sounds
G.K. -> Gilbert Kong
GC -> Greg Calbi ( Sterling )
Gene -> Gene Thompson
GEORGE – COPYMASTERS -> George Peckham
GK -> Gilbert Kong
Gordon at the Townhouse -> Gordon Vickary
GP -> Grammoplast, Sweden
Graeme -> Graeme Durham
GRAEME – SOUND CLINIC -> Graeme Durham
GRAZ – The Exchange -> Graeme Durham
Graz@The Exchange -> Graeme Durham
greyham the exchange -> Graeme Durham
GSV -> Greg Vaughn ( or “G5V“ )
GUY’S – THE EXCHANGE -> Guy Davie
HEM cg -> Chris Gehringer
Herb :^) -> Herb Powers Jr.
Herbie :^) -> Herb Powers Jr.
Herbie Jr :^) -> Herb Powers Jr.
Herve @ Translab -> Hervé Bordes
HFM ´[number] -> The Hit Factory, DMS, NYC
HFM cg -> Chris Gehringer ( The Hit Factory, DMS, NYC )
HP -> Herb Powers Jr.
HTM -> Harry Moss
HuB -> Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, NYC. ( ? )
HW -> Howie Weinberg
J.Y. -> Joe Yannece
JA Tape One -> Jack Adams
Jacko – Tape One -> Jack Adams
JC Masterroom -> Jeremy Cooper
JD -> John Dent
JD-ASH -> John Dent and Ashley Burchett ( ? )
John D -> John Davis
JON2 -> John Dent
Jonz -> John Dent
Jonz @ Loud Mastering -> John Dent ( Loud Mastering )
K -> Andreas Kauffelt
KG -> Kevin Gray
K.P. -> Ken Perry
KDISC -> K Disc Mastering
Kendun -> Kent Duncan
LAWRIE @ CURVE PUSHER -> Lawrie Immersion
LB -> Larry Boden
LH -> Lee Hulko
Lionel & Hervé @ Translab -> Lionel Nicod & Hervé Bordes
Loop-0 at D&M -> Loop-o ( Dubplates-mastering, Berlin )
Lupo -> Loop-o
M.M.M.J.R. -> Mark Richardson (3) ( Metropolis Mastering, Chicago )
MANDY @ THE EXCHANGE -> Mandy Parnell
MARTIN @ C.T.S. -> Martin Giles
MASTERDED BY CAPITOL -> Capitol Studio & Mastering , Hollywood
MASTERDISK -> Masterdisk, NYC
MASTERDISK G.K. -> Gilbert Kong
MASTERDISK TD -> Tony Dawsey ( Masterdisk, NYC )
Mastered at Abbey Rd -> Abbey Road Studios, London
mastered at ‘Abbey Road’ -> Abbey Road Studios, London
MASTERED AT ALLEN ZENTZ L.A., CALIF. -> Allen Zentz Mastering Company
MASTERED BY CAPITOL Wally -> Wally Traugott ( Capitol Studio & Mastering , Hollywood )
Mastered by NIMBUS, England -> Nimbus
Mastered MIAMI TAPE -> Miami Tape, Hialeah ( (“MIAMI TAPE” is stamped) )
MATT OPTIMUM -> Matt Colton
MCR -> Master Cutting Room, NYC.
Metropolis Mastering Chicago M.J.R. -> Mark Richardson (3)
MIKE @ THE EXCHANGE -> Mike Marsh
Mike @ The Exchange -> Mike Marsh
Mike’s™ -> Mike Marsh
MILES -> Miles Showell
MJFX -> Mika Jussila
MMMJR -> Mark Richardson (3) ( Metropolis Mastering, Chicago )
MPO -> Moulages et Plastiques de l’Ouest, Averton.
MR -> Mark Regan
Neil – Masterpiece -> Neil Devine
Neil Masterpiece -> Neil Devine
Nick -> Nick Webb Abbey Road Studios, London )[/i]
Nick’s cut! -> Nick Webb Abbey Road Studios, London )[/i]
NILZ – THE EXCHANGE -> Nilesh Patel
NIX MIX TOWNHOUSE -> Larry Nix
Noel @ Transfermation -> Noel Summerville
NOMIS -> Simon Davey ( “Simon” backwards )
NSC -> National Sound Corporation, Detroit ( used to be solely Ron Murphy (except some very early stuff), now also Heath Brunner )
Ø(Phase) -> Ashley Burchett
Ø(Phase) @ Whitfield London -> Ashley Burchett
ø@CURVE PUSHER -> Ashley Burchett
Ø[Phase] -> Ashley Burchett
Øphase -> Ashley Burchett
øPHASE -> Ashley Burchett
øPHASE @ WHITFIELD ST -> Ashley Burchett
Øphase@ Curve Pusher -> Ashley Burchett ( Curve Pusher Mastering, London )
ORLAKE -> Orlake Records, Dagenham
P.A. -> Phil Austin ( Trutone )
P.O.R.K.Y. -> George Peckham
PAUL S @ PORKY’S -> Paul Solomons
Paul S @ Porky’s -> Paul Solomons
PAUL’S @ PORKYS -> Paul Solomons
Paul’s @ Porkys -> Paul Solomons
PAUL’S THE EXCHANGE -> Paul Solomons
Pauls’ The Exchange -> Paul Solomons
PCMJR -> Mark Richardson (3) ( Prairie Cat Mastering, Belvidere )
PD -> Peter Dahl
PD-CR -> Peter Dahl ( Cutting Room, Stockholm )
PECKO -> George Peckham
PECKO DUCK -> George Peckham
Pete @ Tape To Tape -> Pete Norman
PIPO NYC -> Alberto Roges
POLAR -> Polar Mastering, Stockholm (defunct, now Masters of Audio, Stockholm)
Pole -> Pole
POM TR -> Pompon Finkelstein ( Translab, Paris )
porkeys prime cut -> George Peckham
Porky -> George Peckham
Porky Prime Cut -> George Peckham
Porky Primed -> George Peckham
Porkys -> George Peckham
Primed -> George Peckham
R @ D&M -> Rashad Becker ( Squiggly lower case ‘r’; Dubplates & Mastering ,Berlin )
Rashad -> Rashad Becker
Ray at The Exchange -> Ray Staff
RCE -> Rick Essig ( F/W )
RJ -> Ray Janos ( Sterling )
RL -> Bob Ludwig
RV -> Hervé Bordes
S.D -> Simon Davey
S.M. M.J.R. -> Mark Richardson (3) ( Session Masters, Carol Stream )
SD -> Simon Davey
Sean Abbey rd i…i -> Sean Magee ( Abbey Road Studios, London )
sf -> Sam Feldman
SH -> Steve Hall
SH | KG -> Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray
SHANE -> Shane McEnhill
Shane – the cutteR -> Shane McEnhill ( Graffiti Style; The “h” looks more like a “t” )
Shane @ Heathman’s -> Shane McEnhill ( Graffiti Style; The “h” looks more like a “t” )
SI MASTERPIECE -> Simon Francis
SI Masterpiece -> Simon Francis
SIMON – THE EXCHANGE -> Simon Davey
SIMON „HOOVER POWER“ DAVEY -> Simon Davey
SIMON „NEW SHOOS“ DAVEY -> Simon Davey
SIMON „NIGHT NURSE“ DAVEY -> Simon Davey
simon the exchange -> Simon Davey
SIMON. -> Simon Davey
SNB -> Sabin Brunet
Sound Clinic -> The Sound Clinic, London
Sound Clinic, Graeme -> Graeme Durham ( The Sound Clinic, London )
Sound Clinic/Jonz -> John Dent ( The Sound Clinic, London )
SR -> Stan Ricker
SR/2 -> Stan Ricker
SR2 -> Stan Ricker
SRC signature -> Specialty Records Corporation ( (Stamped, Large S with the R and C in the loops) )
SST -> Schallplatten Schneid Technik, Frankfurt
STERLING -> Sterling Sound, NYC
STRAWBERRY U.K. -> Strawberry Mastering, London
STREAKY @ SOUNDMASTERS -> Streaky
Stu -> Stuart Hawkes
Stu. @ Masterpiece -> Stuart Hawkes
Tape One JA -> Jack Adams
TC -> Tom Coyne
THE EXCHANGE -> The Exchange, London
The Exchange – GD -> Guy Davie
THE EXCHANGE – NILZ -> Nilesh Patel
Tim D. -> Tim Dennen
Tim D. Masterpiece -> Tim Dennen
tim dixon masterpiece -> Tony Dixon
TIMTOM -> Tim Young
Timtom -> Tim Young
TJ -> Ted Jensen ( Sterling )
TLC -> The Lacquer Channel Mastering, Toronto
TML -> The Mastering Lab , Hollowood
TML-M -> The Mastering Lab , Hollowood ( M=Master )
TML-S -> The Mastering Lab , Hollowood ( S=Slave )
TML-X -> The Mastering Lab , Hollowood ( X=Extra )
TOWN HOUSE -> Town House Studios, London
TOWNHOUSE -> Town House Studios, London
Townhouse -> Town House Studios, London
Townhouse Max -> Max Dingel
tph@schnittstelle -> Thomas P. Heckmann
TR -> Translab Mastering, Paris
Transfermation -> Transfermation Mastering, London
TRANSITION -> Transition Mastering Studios, London
Transition -> Transition Mastering Studios, London
Truetone Mastering NYC Carl -> Carl Rowatti ( “Truetone” or “Trutone”? )
Trutone -> Trutone Inc, NYC
Trutone NY – PA -> Phil Austin
Trutone NYC Carl -> Carl Rowatti
ty -> Tim Young.

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6 thoughts on “Dead wax inscriptions

  1. Hi Rush, I have a T-Neck label record, distributed by COlumbia, with MCRJM in the deadwax. Assuming MCR = Master Cutting Room, JM would be the cutter? Any idea who JM would be? Thanks.

    Alfred

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