Sony Music/ Record Industry

Haarlem, Holland

The plant was founded in 1958 as Artone. CBS purchased the plant in 1969, after owning 50% since 1966. Sony took over when they purchased Columbia Records from CBS in 1988, and ran the plant until 1998 when it was taken over by Record Industry which still operates the plant. [1]

The plant pressed the European mainlaind singles for Geffen when they moved vinyl production from Sonopress in Germany to Holland in 1992, as seen in the change in matrix codes on Nirvana singles. It seems they only pressed black vinyl at the time, because the red Heart-Shaded Box 7" singles (GES19191) were pressed in Germany. They also pressed the second pressings of the Simply Vinyl album reissues from 2000 [2].

The plant has in-house cutting studios catering for both lacquer and direct metal mastering [1]. According to Simply Vinyl, their post 2000 Nirvana pressings were cut by Harry Stoker, who had been Sony's main cutting engineer since 1968 [2]. Looking past the detail that Sony was not the owner at that time, this should mean that the plant had an in-house cutting department already from at least 1968. The matrix codes then identify both the mastering studio and the pressing plant. They also handled the plating since the early 1960's, though initially in a different building.

Their pressings are easily identified by matrix codes starting with "08" followed by an internal reference number, side A/B information, and the catalog number, all stamped as shown in image 1. "00" seems to be written on 7" cuts, while "20" is written on 12" cuts. "08" identifies the lathe used to cut the master.

In Bloom 7" (GES19087) side B matrix code
1. In Bloom 7" (GES19087) side B matrix code

Mastering signature