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About Decca UK EMI Matrix and Mother Stampers

On this page we will explain how to decode the stampers on a UK early Decca vinyl.,Typically an original 1964 UK Rolling Stones (Debut) record for our example.

The Matrix and The Mother Stampers:

There are three different markings on the run off grooves directly linked to the manufacturing process:

The Matrix:
The Mother:
The Stamper:

 Rolling Stones Decca Matrix

The Matrix:

This can be found at six oclock

In our example the Matrix on side one is typically 'XARL-6271-2A'
The XARL prefix =mono The XZAL prefix=stereo

'6271' is a Decca file number for the master tape used for this side on the record. Usually side 2 has one number higher. which has '6272' on side 2.

'2' This is the running number of the Master Lacquer made in the lathe machine from the Master Tape. The higher number, the later Master Lacquer is used.

'A' This is the letter identifying the engineer who created the Master Lacquer and supervised the whole process up to the stampers.  

Below are the names behind all letters used by Decca. 

A = Guy Fletcher
B = Ron Mason
C = Trevor Fletcher
D = Jack Law
E = Stan Goodall
F = Cyril Windebank
G = Ted Burkett
K = Tony Hawkins
L = George Bettyes
W = Harry Fisher 

The Mother

This can be found at 9 oclock to the matrix:
In our example the mother is "1" which would be the first mother used to make the stamper.

The Stamper

This can be identified at 3 oclock to the matrix in our example the stampers are 'U I'

Understanding the stamper codes:

Decca used the word 'BUCKINGHAM' for numbering of the Stamper. The first Stamper to be made from the Mother has the letter B, the next one has U etc.

Example:

1=B 2=U 3=C 4=K 5=I 6=N 7=G 8=H 9=A M=0

So our stampers 'U I' would be 2=U and 5=I would make ours the #25th Stamper.

See our related article about UK EMI Stampers here.


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How a vinyl record is made
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