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Sonopress

Profile:

German label, pressing plant and vinyl, cassette, laserdisc, CD, DVD, SACD and Blu-ray manufacturer, operating under this name from 1958 until 2004, and again since January 2016.
Sonopress is a division of Bertelsmann Marketing Services since 2023, which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.

Note: not to be confused with the unrelated French company Sonopresse.
For releases made in Mexico please use Sonopress Mexico.
For releases made in U.S.A. please use Sonopress USA.

Label Codes: LC 4241 / LC 04241.

Additional services: printing, warehousing, distribution.

IDENTIFICATION

VINYL
Sonopress vinyl pressings can usually be identified by the following alpha-numerical patterns in the runout areas (note: A-n/B-n: n describes the number of the master/cut):

1957–1963: ##### X-1 / Y-1 (e.g. 45450 X-1 // 45450 Y-1).

1963–1964: 1 B (/) #### A-1 // B-1 (e.g. 1 B 1016 A-1 // 1 B 1016 B-1). The four digits are sequential but their meaning remains unclear (and should not be added as Sonopress LCCN numbers).

1964–1973: N ##### A-1 // B-1. N is a letter (mostly B, C, G, K) - but could also be two or more letters (e.g. B C, G L/C, G C, G FU or PU), and ##### is the cat# of the release. Examples: B 19174 A-1 // B 19174 B-1 (7") or G C 75562/63 A-1 // G C 75562/63 A-1 (LP). Usually 'G' indicates 'Mono' while 'C' indicates 'Stereo'.
This matrix should not be added as Sonopress LCCN number.

1973–1975: S ##### A-1 // B-1 or M ##### A-1 // B-1. The S stands for Stereo, the M for Mono, regardless the format; ##### is the cat#. This matrix should not be added as Sonopress LCCN number.

1975–1978: S ##### A-1 / B-1 75 or ##### A-1 // B-1 / 76 S (the last 2 numbers stand for the cutting year). As usual, ##### is the cat#. This matrix should not be added as Sonopress LCCN number.

1978: The catalogue numbers are adjusted to 6 digits in the runouts, e.g. ###### A-1/79 S.

1981: 'DS' is introduced for 7" records and etched in leading position, e.g. DS 106400 A-1/84S.
In autumn, injection molding is introduced for 7" records.

1983: 'DM' is introduced for 12" / LP records and etched in leading position, e.g. DM 107183 A - 1/83 S (DM is often found in addition to DS).
DMM is introduced for LPs.

1984: DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) is introduced for 7" and 12" singles.
The 'Made in Germany' stamp is abandoned.
DMM matrix numbers and/ or roman numerals are no longer stamped but etched into the copper plate.

March 1990 – November 1992: Use of a 3-digit number preceding the DS or DM and the cat# (e.g. 005 DM ###### A-2 or 105 DM ###### A-1).
The 3 digits stand for the cutting date in the format YMM, e.g. 005 = May 1990; 102 = February 1991, 211 = November 1992.
The stereo indicator S disappears.

A "bass clef" (𝄢), usually embossed on the B-side center label, starts to appear on pressings from 1981 onwards.
This can be added to the BaOI section as a 'Pressing Plant ID' Example
Note: Do not enter the 𝄢 but use Bass clef.

Pressings from this plant often have the text "Made in Germany" stamped (irregularly placed) in the runouts, indicating a mastering in Gütersloh (as opposed to Made in Austria or Made in Switzerland). Example: G 19080 A-3 Made in Germany // G 19080 B-3 Made in Germany (7"). Note: A "Made in Germany" runout stamp is by itself not an indicator of a Sonopress vinyl pressing, because other plants (e.g. Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft Pressing Plant) used it as well, at least until the mid-1960s. "Manufactured in Germany" indicates a contract pressing by Teldec-Press GmbH (until 1980).

Please note: The numbers are not work numbers specific to Sonopress. Generally, for all Ariola and BMG related pressings, ###### stands for the cat#, provided by the record company, and is used throughout the labels they distributed (e.g. Jupiter, Pye, Ariola, Hansa, A&M, Virgin etc.). If the runout number matches the cat#, don't add it to the Sonopress credit in LCCN!

Between 1973 and ~1982, 2- or 3-digit numbers were etched during galvanization for metals destined to be used at other pressing plants (usually found in front of the main matrix):
01: Unknown
02 or 002: Teldec-Press GmbH
05 or 005: Taunus Ton Technik (until March 1976), then Interpress
008: Rhein-Main Schallplatten-Produktion GmbH
09 or 009: Phonodisc GmbH (until February 1978), then PRS Hannover
10 or 010: Turicaphon AG
11 or 011: CBS, Haarlem
12 or 012: Phonodisc GesmbH
014: Dureco
015: Pathé Marconi EMI, Chatou
033: Unknown
045: Turicaphon AG
047: EMI Electrola GmbH
049: Record Service Alsdorf
058: Schallplattenfabrik Pallas GmbH
062: Unknown (likely a Scandinavian plant)
063: CBS, Haarlem - for the Scandinavian market
092: Unknown
094: ATG
095: Carlton Productions
098: Unknown

Other numbers:
020: indicates that the lacquers had been cut somewhere else for a pressing by Sonopress.
030: used between 1989 and 1992 to indicate that DMM coppers were made by other mastering studios (e.g. Sterling Sound, Townhouse, Masterdisk).
810 (may appear as 8/0): used in the late 1950s and early 1960s to indicate contract pressings.

Contractual pressings
The Sonopress specific pattern for contractual vinyl masterings and pressings for outside labels begins in the 1950s.
Early contractual manufacturings can be identified by the following format codes preceding or following the sequence ####:
1 B / #### (7" Mono)
C 1 B / #### or S 1 B / #### (7" Stereo)

2 A (10" Mono)
S 2 A (10" Stereo)
(cuts/galvanization only; 10" records were generally not pressed by Sonopress but externally, even though stated on some covers).

3 A (12" Mono)
C 3 A or S 3 A (12" Stereo)

Until the 1970s, these format codes can still be found frequently on contract pressings for BASF, Intercord/Spiegelei and United Artists GmbH.

Since 1970 the stamped pattern starts with a letter and four digits, e.g. A-#### or E-####, etc., usually embedded between the typical side identifiers, format, and mastering codes.
Examples: A-#### B1/ C3A or A-#### A-3/83 S I or DM B-#### A-1/9-86 or B-#### A-1/83S I or 209 DMG-3990 A-2, etc.
Please note that often the DM and the following letter are combined to DMB-1234 or DMG-5678, etc., but only B-1234 would be the LCCN number.
The series:
A-0001 to A-9999 ran from late 1970 until September 1990.
B-0001 to B-9999 ran from 1984 until October 1987.
C-0001 to C-9999 ran from October 1987 until September 1989.
D-0001 to D-9999 ran from September 1989 until November 1992.
E-0001 to E-1400 ran from June 1983 until July 1986 and was exclusively used for RCA pressings.
F-0001 to F-9999 ran from October 1990 until March 1992.
G-0001 to G-9999 ran from March 1992 until November 1992.
P-0001 to P-2999 ran from December 1989 until November 1992 and was exclusively used for PolyGram contract pressings.

The pattern was also used on CD releases, and continued until Z-9999 was reached in 1999. Then it changed to A-##### (e.g. A-10950).
Note: Only these specific Sonopress patterns like B-1234, G-3990 or A-12345 should be entered as Sonopress company numbers into the LCCN field. Do not add DM or DS.

With some exceptions in the 1950s and 1960s, where Sonopress was only responsible for cutting and galvanization, 12"s and 7"s were in most of the cases also pressed at Sonopress. Please inspect records thoroughly for other identifiers before making a 'Pressed By' entry. 'Manufactured By' can be considered as a less specific alternative if both, number and format code appear (e.g. on releases stating "A Sonopress controlled quality").

CASSETTE
Just like with vinyl records, cassettes manufactured by Sonopress can be recognized by the "bass clef" (𝄢) on the shell.
Note: Do not enter the 𝄢 but use Bass clef.

COMPACT DISC
Glass Masters were first produced in Fall 1984 and pressed by Sanyo Japan.
CD mass production in Guetersloh only started in the second half of 1985.

Older contractual CDs carry the same job number pattern (X-####[#]) as vinyl records:
A-10001 to A-73000 (1999 - 2002)
B-0188 to B-9999 (1985 - 1987)
C-0001 to C-9999 (1987 - 1989)
D-0001 to D-9999 (1989 - 1992)
F-0001 to F-9999 (1990 - 1992)
G-0001 to G-9999 (1992)
H-0001 to H9999 (1993 - 1996)
I-0001 to I-9999 (1994 - 1995)
K-0001 to 9999 (1994 - 1995)
L-0001 to L-9999 (1993 - 2001)
M-0001 to M-9999 (1995 - 1996)
Q-0001 to Q-9999 (1996)
R-0001 to R-9999 (1996 - 1997)
S-0001 to S-9999 (1996 - 1997)
T-0001 to T-9999 (1997 - 1998)
V-0001 to V-9999 (1998)
X-0001 to X-9999 (1998 - 1999)
Z-0001 to Z-9999 (1999 - 2001)
Note: all dates are indicative only but can at least be used to exclude earlier release dates, e.g. D-0100 cannot have been released before 1989.

Letters J, N, O, U, W were not used to avoid misinterpretations with e.g. I, 0, V.

Since 2002, Sonopress CD numbers occur in an 8-digit format of 5#######. This number is usually followed by the release catalog number, often separated by a slash.
This numbering sequence was continued by Sonopress Arvato, Arvato Digital Services, Arvato, and again by the Sonopress brand since 2020.

The Sonopress logo in the matrix was introduced around early 1998. Before that, "SONOPRESS" was typed in the matrix.

Typical CD matrix pattern after 2002 (for releases manufactured in Europe):
[Sonopress logo] 5#######/YYY ZZ
where
- 5####### is a number assigned by Sonopress for internal cataloging.
- YYY is the catalog number of the release.
- ZZ is a two digit number, often 21 or 22, 25 and 26 are also known.

Known SID codes are (do not add the plant based on SID codes alone)
Mould SID:
IFPI 07xx
IFPI 07xxx
IFPI RVxx

Mastering SID:
IFPI LB 30
IFPI LB 43
IFPI LB44
IFPI LB45 or IFPI LB 45
IFPI LB 46
IFPI LB47 or IFPI LB 47
IFPI LB 50
IFPI LP73 or IFPI LP 73
IFPI L021 or IFPI L0 21
IFPI L022
IFPI L023
IFPI L024
IFPI L030 or IFPI L0 30
IFPI L045
(spaces as shown on known releases)

Certain clients such as Sony Music or Warner may have replaced the 'Sonopress' logo with their own, or there may be no logo present at all. Sonopress may still be identified on such discs by the matrix format and SID codes with matrix number 5744#### and higher (manufactured 2020 or later). If the number is lower, please see Sonopress Arvato, Arvato Digital Services or Arvato profiles, who also used the 5####### codes between 2004 and 2020. A timeline of plant logos/5####### numbers can be found here.

Please credit Sonopress as follows:
Glass Mastered At – Sonopress – X-####[#], or
Glass Mastered At – Sonopress – 5#######

Note: Please do not confuse a Sonopress matrix logo with the Sonopress Arvato matrix logo which usually appears with matrix numbers 5119#### or higher. When that logo is present in matrix, please credit Sonopress Arvato instead.

DVD
Earliest matrices from 1997-2002 contain the prefix DVD and a 4-digit job number in "DVD-####" format. These codes can also be credited to Sonopress in LCCN.

SACD
Earliest matrices from 2000-2002 contain the prefix SACD and one or two consecutive 3-digit job numbers in "SACD-###" format. These codes can also be credited to Sonopress in LCCN.

Bertelsmann rarely outsourced their production chain (cutting, pressing, printing, distribution). So, a "Printed by Mohndruck Graphische Betriebe GmbH", "Printed by TOPAC", "Ariola-Eurodisc GmbH" München or Gütersloh (found on the outer centre label ring), all Bertelsmann companies, would surely appear on releases pressed by Sonopress. However, occasional exceptions exist (e.g. for Switzerland or TELDEC represses).

HISTORY
1957: Reinhard Mohn decided to produce vinyl records for the Bertelsmann Schallplattenring and established Sonopress Schallplatten GmbH (April). A few years later, Sonopress was servicing customers outside the Bertelsmann group as well.
1962: Ariola-Sonopress GmbH is established in August and Sonopress Schallplatten GmbH is dissolved (November).
1966: Sonopress GmbH is established in June.
1969: Start with the production of compact cassettes.
1978: Acquisition of a production facility in Mexico City. Start of the internationalization. Sonopress Gesellschaft für Tonträgerherstellung mbH is established (October).
1981: Start of the production of video cassettes.
1981: Injection molding is introduced in autumn.
1982: Start of the production of LaserVision LaserDiscs.
1984: Start of CD Mastering (end of 1984).
1985: Start of the production of Compact Discs.
1986: After the takeover of RCA by BMG (June), Sonopress takes over the RCA pressing plants in the US, Italy, Mexico and Brazil.
1991: A plant in Hong Kong is opened as joint-venture with Pan Asia Music Group. Sonopress Gesellschaft für Tonträgerherstellung mbH is renamed to Sonopress Produktionsgesellschaft für Ton- und Informationsträger mbH (February).
1992: Sonopress stops mass manufacturing vinyl records (last record pressed on 02 December 1992: Sanne Salomonsen - Where Blue Begins).
1993: Sonopress Ibermemory, S.A. is created after a joint venture with Iberofon, S.A..
1994: Establishment of digital storage media production in Dublin, Ireland.
1997: Started production of DVDs.
2000: Started production of SACDs.
2002: Two plants are opened in France and Singapore.
2004: Acquisition of Audio Services Ltd. (ASL), the largest UK vinyl pressing plant (April).
2004: Renamed to Sonopress Arvato.
2008: Renamed to Arvato Digital Services.
2012: Merged into Arvato Entertainment Europe (as Arvato).
2016: Renamed to Sonopress GmbH again.
2023: Restart of vinyl manufacturing on February 22nd at the manufacturing and pressing plant of partner company Media Industry in Sainte Marguerite, France. EcoRecord launched, a revolutionary new form of vinyl LP using recyclable PET as its base material (29 September).

Parent Label:Sonopress GmbH
Sublabels:Sonopress Brasil, Sonopress France SAS, Sonopress Ibermemory, S.A., Sonopress Ireland Ltd., Sonopress Italia, Sonopress Mexico, Sonopress Rimo Da Amazônia Indústria E Comércio Fonográfica S/A, Sonopress Singapore, Sonopress South Africa (Pty) Ltd., Sonopress Studios, ...
Contact Info:

Sonopress GmbH
Carl-Bertelsmann-Str. 161 F
D - 33332 Gütersloh
Germany

Phone: +49 5241 80-3287
E-Mail: [email protected]

Links:sonopress.de

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