Blue Note vinyl: flat, beaded, serrated edges

1. Flat Edge

The very earliest 12″ microgroove Blue Note  LPs (1956/7) were pressed without the slightly raised profile to the edge of the central label area – called a “groove guard” – which is found on all later pressings. The first pressings of BNLP 1500-1557 all have a flat profile, and none after.

The flat edge also refers to the outer rim of the vinyl, where the straight cut edge is later followed by a rounded  “beaded rim”

2. Serrated Edge

Another “anomaly” found on a small number of Blue Note re-issues in the Liberty Years (1966-70) is the serrated edge, which was characteristic “trademark” of one pressing plant, identity not known to me.

Serrated-edge-Liberty-1967-8

The significance of serrated edge is close to zero, however it is not “negative”. This pressing was pressed from an original Van Gelder Stereo master. I have perhaps two serrated edge Blue Notes in around fifty Liberty reissues. Uncommon, but not rare.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Blue Note vinyl: flat, beaded, serrated edges

  1. I was just playing my lou Donaldson blue note 4271 ‘Mr shing a Ling’ and noticed it has a serrated edge. I believe this is my only blue note that has this feature.

      • I have a strong speculation that the serrated edge is an indication it was pressed by ABC as I recently came across a large stash of early ’60s ABC records and every one had the serrated edge.

        In my limited experience with duplicate pressings where one had a serrated edge and one didn’t (two Blue Notes and one Impulse with identical deadwax etchings), the one with serrated edge had a clearer top end and was on quieter vinyl. Obviously this has nothing to do with the edge, more likely than not they were just pressed with a fresher stamper but I did find the consistency interesting.

    • this Baronet Parker record was the first LP I owned. My parents gave it to me on my 14th birthday in 1962. (I still own it) I played it a zillion times, and with 4 boys from the neighbourhood we changed our dixieland band into a modern jazz band. This was the only record we had. We played nearly all the quintet song of this Baronet. Life was good, and as far as i knew, all records had serrated eges. Although, checking it right now, I see that about a quarter of the record is not so very much serrated but more raised edge.

      • That is an awesome story, sorry I just saw it and am replying right now. My introduction to jazz also came through Charlie Parker – I’m a bit younger so it was “Diz n Bird” on a casette tape. Still remembered listening to that one over and over again though. Eventually scored it after getting a record player two years ago on the Royal Roost label. Such a great recording, even if the sound quality has much to be desired.

  2. Thank you for the info on the serrated edge liberty pressings. I have 10 Liberty pressings and 3 of them have the serrated edge. Somethin’ Else, Miles Davis Vol 2 and Mosaic By Art Blakey. Ive noticed that the vinyl on these seem to be of better quality as well, maybe slightly heavier. I actually think it gives the records a nice touch. I just wish i could find more of them.

    • Just received a Div of Liberty Hank Mobley “Hi Voltage” that has a serrated edge to it. Definitely does seem to be a bit heavier than other Div of Liberty pressings I have. Looking forward to comparing sound quality on it, would be nice to someday nail down which plant pressed these, not that it would help w/ finding these LPs online since I don’t think I’ve ever one seen an Ebay seller describe the serrated edge in their listing…..

  3. I think there is some confusion regarding the term “flat edge”, it does not refer to the shape of the actual edge of the record but the lead-in area being perfectly flat, lacking any raised groove-guard. Here is a link to Classic Records webpage which has some excellent photos demonstrating the difference: http://www.classicrecords.com/blog/

    • Well I’ve learned something today. I have read people referring to “Gruve-guard” and “raised lip” and “raised edge”, so I assumed “flat edge” was something else. Haven’t seen “flat edge” photographed before. Power of the picture to communicate much more than the word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s