Esquire/Prestige stamper match

Prestige stampers match trail-off of Esquire pressing. From the use of Decca/Vogue  inner sleeves,many of these were pressed for Esquire by Decca, though the early series by British Homophone.

32-108 Miles-Davis-Workin-Matrizes-Prestige-vs-Esquire-final--1600

lf the metalwork originates from Abbey Manufacturing N.J., others from a variety of plants use by Prestige, but all Esquires bar one ore two (the Charlie Parker and Lester Young titles) are pressed from US metal derived from original Van Gelder masters.

The same metal-ware distribution system was used for Danish Metronome release of Prestige titles.

The only other examples I have come across of metal-ware sent from the US is an Italian Impulse release (RVG stamp) and some Liberty Blue Notes manufactured in Germany (VAN GELDER stamp)

5 thoughts on “Esquire/Prestige stamper match

  1. To be accurate I think it should read both use identical stampers made from the same mother.

    There are definitely non Jazz records where the original stampers were sent from one country to another, there may well be some examples in Jazz as well.

    I believe that some UK London Atlantic releases also use US metalwork.


    • “There are definitely non Jazz records where the original stampers were sent from one country to another…”

      Surely here you mean either ‘master lacquer’ or ‘metal master’ opposed to ‘stamper’…?


      • No, I mean the actual metal stampers used to press the records, you are thinking first world and major labels, but for small independent artists and producers and non US/Western European acts the metalwork (stampers) could be very portable traveling between countries even being used as part payment in licencing deals., being used in different plants. The original acetate, (laquer), is quite a vulnerable thing, generally they should be used to create a mother within a day or two and if cut elsewhere sent to the pressing plant straight away. The label/artist/producer owns everything, but I’ve never known anyone take the mothers or anything except stampers and most artists/labels don’t bother taking those. Plants will generally scrap them after a period of non use, I think it’s five years, but don’t quote me on that, you can ask for them if you want to keep them or switch pressing to another plant. Major labels might cut several acetate copies, but these were for easy playback rather than manufacturing. I suspect the reason we have US labels sending stampers rather than tapes in the late fifties is cost and compatibility, tape machines were very expensive as was tape, US Ampex machines might not play nice with whatever the UK plant was using, especially as those early machines required very regular maintenance and making an extra set of stampers was pretty cheap, plus they were less likely to get damaged in the mail and as an added bonus the UK or Denmark would get a record that sounded as intended. In the field of Reggae reissues many are pressed using the original stampers which have often been used in two or even three countries, often the tapes are long gone and an original stamper is the best source.


        • Obviously stampers have a finite life, but when it comes to Jazz or Roots Reggae singles come to that the pressing runs were and still are often in the low hundreds and well below the life of a stamper.


  2. Regarding terminology, surely the US and UK pressings wouldn’t use the same stamper, but definitely both use metal masters or mothers derived from the same master lacquer cut by Rudy Van Gelder.

    Just digging into all your Esquire info and I’m finding it extremely useful!


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