CDs with JVC "Tetris blocks" + other JVC discs (my collection only)
updated 27 days ago
Some CDs made by JVC (Japan) or JVC Disc America (USA) have a text string laser-etched in a 3-by-3 "Tetris block" code in the matrix area. It is believed that this code indicates a JVC-made CD even if JVC is not credited, and that it debuted in 1987.
You cannot really infer LCCN data from this code yet. Forum discussion: https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/739580
On all the discs I've seen, the content of the code is the human-readable matrix number followed by an optional space (usually missing) and then two seemingly random letters. The optional "stamped" two-digit code which appears to be closer to the surface of the disc is not included, nor is the optional MFD BY JVC.
Here is a guide I made for interpreting the code: https://skew.org/jvc/
Discs made in Japan look exactly the same as those made in USA, as far as I know. However, Victor discs from 1984 are said to have a unique matrix font which looks more stencil-like.
Prior to the introduction of the blocks, JVC CDs (Japan and USA) used a laser-etched OCR-B-style vector font with a widely-kerned matrix number (cat#-X#, typeset with half the letters pointing one way and half pointing the other way, rather than always pointing toward the center), and then a normally-kerned code (X##). I only have one of these (the Brenda K Starr album).
I think (but have no proof) when there is a 2-digit code stamped at the end, it is mother & stamper numbers, e.g. you see a lot of "11"s meaning mother #1, stamper #1. The -1S, -1T, -1T suffixes on the laser-etched part might be cut # and LBR ID.
• how to get a good photo or scan of the blocks
• when did the blocks really first appear?
• are there releases with the same laser-etched lettering but no Tetris blocks? Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 perhaps?