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RE: Mercury Living Presence Pressing Questions

FR pressings were done by RCA. FR stood for "Fine Recording"
JazzDude's info about the numbers is correct.

When Mercury bought the pressing plant in Richmond, Indiana, and started pressing their own records, the pressings became RFR. The extra R indicates it was made in Richmond. A lot of US Philips issues have RFR stampers. Everything that has an RFR pressing was made by Mercury.

The "Vendor" issue is a little misunderstood. All it means if it says Vendor, Mercury Records, is that it was produced after Philips bought the company. At first it was in small text at the bottom of the label, later on it became more prominent at the top of the label. This is what is usually referred to as a "Vendor Label". Later numbered issues only came with vendor labels. I don't think the presence of the word Vendor on the label has any direct impact on predicting the sound quality of a disc. It's the stamper numbers, and the color of the label. Early ones are dark maroon, they became progressively lighter as they went on.

M pressings were mastered by Philips, but still pressed in the US. They're not terrible, but generally not as good as original pressings. There are a handful of very late issues all over 90500, for which the M pressing is the first pressing. Everything else originally had an FR or RFR stamper.

Pressings that begin with a C were made by Columbia for sale through the Columbia Record Club. Once again, not terrible, but not as good as original pressings.


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  • RE: Mercury Living Presence Pressing Questions - vinyl phanatic 14:45:04 07/07/17 (0)

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