Jump to: US Contemporary Labels
“Jazz record label founded by Lester Koenig in 1951 in Los Angeles.Koenig maintained extremely high audio standards. He hired Roy DuNann from Capitol Records in 1956, who, out of the label’s shipping room turned studio, turned out some of the best sounding records of the time”
DuNann provided some details of his techniques in a Stereophile article nearly 50 years later. He said Koenig provided him with German (Neumann/Telefunken U-47) and Austrian (AKG C-12) condenser microphones and he immediately noted the very high output of these microphones, especially close-in on jazz musicians’ dynamic playing. DuNann achieved his signature sound—crisp, clear and balanced without distortion or unpleasant “peak presence”—by keeping his microphone setups very simple (generally one per musician) and avoided the use of pre-amplifiers.”
Those Matrix Codes
For stereo discs the matrix engraved in the runout begins with a machine-stamped LKS, Lester Koenig Stereo. Mono are LKL, meaning Lester Koenig … something beginning with L, followed usually by a mother and stamper code e.g. D 3, all machine stamped.
The Contemporary catalogue has been extensively reissued in the last fifteen years, in all probability cloned from digital sources, always the yellow US label. I guess four out of every five Contemporary Records I have seen in shops are modern wafer-thin vinyl with matrix numbers written by hand, in the same manner as the Scorpio-manufactured Blue Notes. Very rarely you see a reissue where someone has accessed an original stamper, pressed with the machine stamp LKS but additional hand written job codes of the copying plant.
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