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Rainbo Records

Profile:

US vinyl record, optical disc and cassette manufacturer and pressing plant located in Southern California, established by Jack Brown. The plant was active from 1939 until 2019.

In April 2002, Rainbo acquired DOCdata California, Inc., a CD and DVD manufacturer located in Canoga Park which was formerly run by DOCdata.

In December 2019, Rainbo sold their entire enterprise to United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tennessee. This included all their manufacturing equipment (including 17 Lened vinyl presses), the rights to the Rainbo trademark name, client list, and a choice selection of company memorabilia. The plant officially closed on January 31, 2020.

Identifying vinyl releases

Pressings from Rainbo almost always have an internal job number etched in the runouts.

• S-1234, S-12345, or L-12345 (switched from four-digit number to five-digit number starting in the early '70s)

Both "S" & "L" indicate an LP, 12", or 10" format, but "S" is the most common prefix for LP's (in some cases the "S" may be etched backwards "Ƨ").

The pressing plant had an-house electroplating departement for the production of metal masters. After the plant closed down these masters were still used for (re)pressing elsewhere, so for post-2019 releases please credit with Mastered At.

Note: Another company, Greg Lee Processing also used a "L-xxxxx" etching to identify their work (plating / processing) in the runouts, so please consult the runouts forum if you're unsure which company the "L" prefix pertains to.

• R-1234, or R-12345. R is the prefix used for all 7" pressings.

Note: Allied Record Company also used an "R-12345" type etching on 7" vinyl pressings, so again, If you're unsure which company the etchings on your release pertain to, then please consult in the runouts forum for help.

These internal codes (i.e. S-12345 or R-12345, etc.) should be entered in the catalogue number field adjacent to the Pressed By field when Rainbo Records is credited in the LCCN. Use a separate field for each side with a unique runout code in series.

L-12345 number is thought to have been used by Rainbo Records during the 1980s. It can be distinguished from Greg Lee in that Rainbo used sequential numbers on sides A and B while Greg Lee used the same number on both sides. Greg Lee generally also has the etched "-X" following the last digit on at least one side. Greg Lee used L-numbers from 1979 until 2000. At this time (2023), Rainbo is only known to have used L-numbers between 1984 and 1989. L-number should generally match with the chronology of either Rainbo or Greg Lee.

Please note that other L-numbers also exists. United Record Pressing used a similar L-number starting from around the year 2000 and forward. United Record Pressing number is more similar to Greg Lee in that it used the same number on sides A and B. But it had an "m-A/B" ending instead of "-X" as Greg Lee.

*Please note that although helpful, the runout data should not be relied on as the sole source of information to substantiate the year of the release in most instances and especially for reissues, represses, and other subsequent pressings. This is because Rainbo Records will often recycle the identification number assigned to the initial pressing on subsequent pressings of the same release.

Identifying CD releases

CDs made and manufactured through Rainbo Records have gone through a number of changes over the years. By all appearances, glass mastering was outsourced to other companies until 2002, resulting in different looking CD matrices that correspond with periods of time during which a particular company was engaged for glass mastering. The outsourcing of glass mastering looks to have ended in approximately 2002 or 2003, after Rainbo's acquisition of DOCdata California, Inc. Therefore, it is safest not to credit Rainbo Records with the Glass Mastered At role on any discs released before 2003.

For the earliest CD pressings, up until some point in time during 1994, discs made through Rainbo Records contained a date in the matrix, and although unconfirmed, appear to have been glass mastered at Technidisc.

Then during 1994, glass mastering appears to have been outsourced instead to Nimbus, resulting in the first noticeable change of how the CD matrix looks. At some point in time during 1995, the Nimbus mastering SID codes of IFPI L12* begin to appear within the matrix band, and in some few instances from approximately 1997, the Nimbus mould SID code of IFPI 24** may be seen on the inner hub of some discs.

By approximately 1998, Rainbo's own mould SID code of IFPI A60*, and often a "RAINBO" or "RAINBO CA" mould begin to appear on disc hubs. This may indicate the introduction of in-house disc presses by Rainbo at around this time, as it is unconfirmed whether the company had pressed the discs in-house before this time, or whether it was done by Technidisc and Nimbus along with the glass mastering work.

IMPORTANT
For CDs made in 1994 or later, the presence or absence of any SID codes, or a Rainbo mould being present, should be recorded in the BAOI field, as a first pressing made between years 1994 to 1997 may not contain any moulds on the hub, however, a later repress may have identical artwork and matrix, yet will contain moulds on the hub, indicating it is a later repress. Mastering SID codes will be absent on 1994 pressings up until some point in 1995. In the absence of SID codes, it is suggested to add them to the appropriate field in the BAOI field as "none".

For example:
Barcode: 782027719720
Matrix / Runout: RBO2270AWR7197 RAINBO ‧
Mastering SID Code: IFPI L125
Mould SID Code: none

In 1998, Nimbus CD International was acquired by Carlton Communications-owned Technicolor, which may explain the next chapter for Rainbo CDs and why the change of outsourcing occurred from Nimbus to Technicolor.

During 1999, glass mastering appears to have been outsourced to Technicolor, Camarillo, CA, resulting in the second noticeable change of how the CD matrix looks.
Discs made between 1999 up until 2002 will likely contain a unique identifier, in combination with the Technicolor mastering SID code IFPI L89*. Some examples of unique identifiers are as follows:
• C1.1 504552-01 5233-DTI6972 <- An example of a 1999 pressing. The unique identifier is 504552.
• C1.1 157444-01 3651-GCR701 <- An example of a 2000 or 2001 pressing. The unique identifier is 157444.
• (186411) 6617-0059 01 <- An example of a 2002 pressing, where the identifier is now in brackets. The identifier is 186411.

The unique identifiers above can be entered with Technicolor, Camarillo, CA when using the "Glass Mastered At" credit.
When RAINBO or RAINBO CA is named in the hub mould on such pressings, it will usually be accompanied by the Rainbo mould SID of IFPI A60*. This indicates that Rainbo replicated discs from the Technicolor master. These discs can be credited as follows:

Glass Mastered At – Technicolor, Camarillo, CA – xxxxxx
Pressed By – Rainbo Records

Technicolor should ONLY be credited on discs with mastering SID code IFPI L89* (see next paragraphs).

In April 2002, Rainbo acquired DOCdata California. In the same year, the mastering SID code of IFPI LT05 is seen and remains from here on in.

At some point in 2003, dates began to appear in the matrix in the form mmddyy.

Examples include:
Various - Soft Sounds For Gentle People 3
Matrix / Runout: 7706 - SOFT3 071604
Date: 16 July 2004

Magic Circle - Magic Circle
Matrix / Runout: 9320 - AS002 112612
Date: 26 November 2012

This date in the matrix can be used to identify later pressings and remove impossible release dates (such as an album originally released in 2001, but with matrix date 010105 = 1 January 2005), but please note that these dates should not be entered as a catalogue# for Rainbo Records in the LCCN section.

Mastering SID codes seen on Rainbo Records CDs (please note that these mastering SID codes do not necessarily belong to Rainbo):
IFPI L12* - from 1995 to 1999
IFPI L89* - from 1999 to 2002
IFPI LT05 - from 2002 onward

Mould SID code seen on Rainbo Records CDs since approximately 1998:
IFPI A60*

Known former employees:
• Jack Brown (b 1914 - †2004) (Founder, President from 1939)
• Bill Piner (Executive Supervisor, circa 1977)
• Jim Doyle (Accountant Executive, circa 1977)
• Bea Laugham (Customer Relations, circa 1977)
Steven Sheldon (Production Supervisor, circa 1977, later General Manager)
• Ron Rankin (Record Production, circa 1977)
Rick Silva (3) (Plant Engineer, circa 1977)
• Jay Fairfax (Mastering Manager, circa 2009)

Sublabels:Rainbo Records & Cassettes
Contact Info:

Rainbo Records
8960 Eton Ave.
Canoga Park, CA 91304
USA
Phone: (818) 280-1100
Fax: (818) 280-1101

Address ca. 1977:
1738 Berkeley St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
USA
(213) 829 3476
(Contact info now obsolete)

Address ca. 1972-3:
Rainbo Recs. Mfg. Corp.
1041 N. Palmas
Hollywood, CA 90038
USA
(213) 466-7516
(Contact info now obsolete)

Address 1950-56 certainly, possibly before and after:
Rainbo Records
Lawndale, California

Links:rainborecords.com , vinylives.com , Facebook , latimes.com

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