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 Post subject: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 00:52 
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I am again interested in how to tell the difference between PDO UK and Sonopress West Germany pressings.

I asked about this during my last period of interest in LaserDiscs, and came to what I thought was a satisfactory conclusion. My takeaway based on the discs I had examined was that PDO UK discs were rounder on the edge and Sonopress ones much more sharp/tapered. PDO discs also had their outer ring of dashed markings substantially further from the edge than Sonopress ones, such that with Sonopress ones you can actually see the outer dashed markings through the edge of the disc itself.

However, with more than a bit of annoyance I've just noticed my copy of 4064-70 The Onion Field (both discs of it) exhibits all the hallmarks of a Sonopress disc as mentioned above, and yet has "Made in England" featured prominently on both the outer cover and the inner sleeves.

Is this actually a Sonopress disc despite claiming to be "made in England"? If not, what exactly is going on here? Is it simply impossible to reliably identify Sonopress vs PDO UK discs? Surely there must be some way of telling!
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 02:19 
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Sleeves can say one thing and the disc could be another.

The real way are the mint markings on the inner ring outside of the sticker.
I don't have any PAL discs and hope someone else can show pictures.

But you need to look at that ring, if you are looking for sonopress by asking people selling LDs then it may be harder for a non
LD person to figure it out.

I know there was a film I was on the hunt for years ago NTSC and it had to be the one make not the other.
Hope that helps a little
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 10:10 
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Sadly both PDO and Sonopress lack mint marks besides the two rings of dashes. Unless they're under the label, that is. I'll post some photos this evening.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 22:07 
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"Made in England" (likely PDO) Image
"Made in England" (likely PDO) Image
"Made in West Germany" (likely Sonopress) Image
All three in the above order, from top to bottom Image


Based on this I really don't see any reasonable way of telling the difference between these two factories...
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 22:58 
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Wow, no not really.

I only ever had this Steel and Lace (1991) [ID8195FR]
It says unknown but I swear the copy I had was made by PDO or I though it was marked. Had the block inner is all I remember.

From your pictures I was going to say the sticker as one is closer to the edge of bars than the other but that won't work
as the one on top and bottom are the same with the one in the center being different.

Did you ask before on the forum or was it on facebook or somewhere else??? I have no interest in PAL but would love to read about it.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 23:39 
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I did ask on the forum before but it was in a thread that was kind of half-related, and I didn't really receive a response. I must have been confident at the time that I'd found a way of telling but reading it back now it really doesn't seem to work based on the discs I've looked at, so I think I must have just managed to kid myself into believing it did work at the time...

Even more intriguingly I've just found multiple clear pictures of a Sonopress disc online https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/records ... c-781-012/ , and not only does it have a mint mark (albeit one that would be hidden under the label on my Princess Bride disc), I have noticed that the dash pattern is slightly different (mine, and all the PDO ones, have one part where it goes .-., whereas this one I've found goes -..-). Maybe this doesn't mean anything, but I'm not going to discount the possibility that my "Sonopress" disc is in fact a PDO one with incorrect labels applied!
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 02:01 
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Not 100% sure but were Sonopress & PDO LDs not pressed/manufactured in exactly the same way using the same system types & processes? Pretty sure they were though & on the video of the Sonopress manufacturing plant they are pressing LDs with Philips on some labels.

Were Sonopress not involved in LDs for only a few short years? Started pressing LDs in 1982 but unsure of when they stopped.

Still huge in many things, a bit below from their site.

60 Years of Sonopress
Press Release04/18/2018
International provider of media services celebrates anniversary
From LP to UHD – 60 Years of Sonopress
The international media service provider Sonopress celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. On April 22, 1958 in Gütersloh, a company was founded that has since developed into one of the most innovative and successful replication service providers. What began in the late 1950s with six record presses in a small workshop is now one of the globally leading providers for digital storage media production, and the preferred service provider of all music majors, numerous games manufacturers, and world-famous Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures International. Over the past six decades, more than one billion vinyl records and as many as seven billion storage media have left its production halls. Along the way, some important innovations were developed, most recently the Ultra HD Blu-ray 100.

Milestones in the company's history:
1958 Record production begins in Gütersloh
1969 Start of music cassette production
1977 Establishment of the Mexpress record plant in Mexico City
1982 Start of laser disc/optical disc/video disc production
1984 Foundation of Topac - Gesellschaft für Tonträgerpackung [a company specializing in the manufacturing of packaging for recorded media]
1985 Start of CD production
1986 Acquisition of RCA’s music division by Bertelsmann in the U.S.
1991 Foundation of Sonopress Pan Asia in Hong Kong
1992 Discontinuation of record production in Gütersloh
1994 Establishment of digital storage media production in Dublin, Ireland
1997 Entry into DVD production
2001 Start of production of the first Xbox console games for Microsoft
2004 Presentation of the first storage medium with HDTV content
2006 Opening of the Sonopress site in Yaroslavl, Russia
2008 Celebration of the 50th anniversary in Bielefeld
2011 Takeover of Universal Music Group International’s archiving
2016 Market launch of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 21:00 
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I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 21:35 
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blam1 wrote:
I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.

Interesting. Did PDO have any facilities besides Blackburn (in England)? Perhaps The Princess Bride does indeed come from PDO and the "Made in West Germany" markings on the sticker, sleeve, and cover are from a previous pressing which they never bothered to change?

If your Sonopress titles had a label as large as The Princess Bride's would they cover up the mint marks? Would there be any other way of telling the difference?

If you could perhaps post some photos, especially of the centres of the discs, perhaps we can come up with some surefire way of telling the difference even in the event of labels covering the mint marks...
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 23:38 
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blam1 wrote:
I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.


Really helpful info - thanks blam :thumbup: .

Were PDO pressing in plants other than Blackburn?

.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 21:48 
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That is a very interesting thread.

Sonopress uses clearly readable mint marks whereas PDO UK does not. That is the main difference.

I just went to check two of my discs that I remember were pressed by Sonopress in the 80s, these two to be precise:

https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/36510/A-3301/Django ( early 1982 pressing ! )
https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/53356/---/Meteo-Disc ( pressing from the 2nd half of the 80s )

If you open both links you can see that both entries clearly specify mint marks on them. I have just checked both discs myself and the mint marks are clearly legible.

I have just read somewhere that PDO UK discs contain mint marks, too, however these are to be found underneath the labels. If I had a spare disc I would try removing one of these labels myself to
see whether that is the case however I do not want to damage any of my labels. It would be cool if someone did that and posted a photo.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 22:56 
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confederate wrote:
That is a very interesting thread.

Sonopress uses clearly readable mint marks whereas PDO UK does not. That is the main difference.

I just went to check two of my discs that I remember were pressed by Sonopress in the 80s, these two to be precise:

https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/36510/A-3301/Django ( early 1982 pressing ! )
https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/53356/---/Meteo-Disc ( pressing from the 2nd half of the 80s )

If you open both links you can see that both entries clearly specify mint marks on them. I have just checked both discs myself and the mint marks are clearly legible.

I have just read somewhere that PDO UK discs contain mint marks, too, however these are to be found underneath the labels. If I had a spare disc I would try removing one of these labels myself to
see whether that is the case however I do not want to damage any of my labels. It would be cool if someone did that and posted a photo.

Interesting. Can you clarify if you would be able to tell the difference between your Sonopress and my Princess Bride discs were your labels as large as the one on my Princess Bride disc? If you could post photos that would be very helpful!
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 23:16 
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Going by the search on here there are 212 titles listed as pressed by Sonopress.

Pretty sure there are more to be found but given the investment, size of the manufacturing facilities, processes involved etcetera there cannot have been much of a return if so few LDs were being pressed.

In the past I was told that Sonopress pressed LDs for a few years only but via the search here it looks like they pressed until 1996 though again going by the dates here a few were pressed up till 1993 but none in '94 & '95 & only the one in 1996 - can anyone confirm the details?

It appears that I don't have any LDs pressed by Sonopress so can't check for their mint marks or any differences in style to PDO LDs.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 12:35 
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muzer wrote:
Interesting. Can you clarify if you would be able to tell the difference between your Sonopress and my Princess Bride discs were your labels as large as the one on my Princess Bride disc? If you could post photos that would be very helpful!


Hi there, well in my view it is a bit difficult to distinguish the two but Sonopress also always used their own sleeves. It even says "MADE IN GERMANY BY TELEMEDIA/SONOPRESS" on them.

I have found some useful info here with some great photos:

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/records ... c-781-012/

This particular disc was pressed by Sonopress. You can see the sleeves as well as the stamped mint marks on these pictures. But the dotted line on the rim itself
makes it very difficult for me to see a difference between this pressing plant and PDO UK because I haven't seen this with any other pressing plant so far !
I have seen a couple of Taiwan and Indonesian discs that look exactly like PDO UK discs ( dotted line ) without any mint marks on them but I am sure they were
pressed somewhere else by some obscure pressing plant somewhere in the Far East that tried to imitate the look of PDO UK manufactured discs.
All other pressing plants ( Pioneer, etc. ) produced discs that looked quite different.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 14:07 
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confederate wrote:
muzer wrote:
Interesting. Can you clarify if you would be able to tell the difference between your Sonopress and my Princess Bride discs were your labels as large as the one on my Princess Bride disc? If you could post photos that would be very helpful!


Hi there, well in my view it is a bit difficult to distinguish the two but Sonopress also always used their own sleeves. It even says "MADE IN GERMANY BY TELEMEDIA/SONOPRESS" on them.


So does my Princess Bride sleeve :)

Quote:
I have found some useful info here with some great photos:

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/records ... c-781-012/

This particular disc was pressed by Sonopress. You can see the sleeves as well as the stamped mint marks on these pictures. But the dotted line on the rim itself
makes it very difficult for me to see a difference between this pressing plant and PDO UK because I haven't seen this with any other pressing plant so far !
I have seen a couple of Taiwan and Indonesian discs that look exactly like PDO UK discs ( dotted line ) without any mint marks on them but I am sure they were
pressed somewhere else by some obscure pressing plant somewhere in the Far East that tried to imitate the look of PDO UK manufactured discs.
All other pressing plants ( Pioneer, etc. ) produced discs that looked quite different.


I actually linked that above! The thing I found most interesting about it was that the inner ring of dashes has one section where it has a "----..----" pattern. All my discs (mostly PDO, Princess Bride likely Sonopress but maybe not) instead have a "---.-.----" pattern. I was wondering if this might be a difference between the two plants, or if this is just a meaningless coincidence...
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 16:24 
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muzer wrote:

I actually linked that above! The thing I found most interesting about it was that the inner ring of dashes has one section where it has a "----..----" pattern. All my discs (mostly PDO, Princess Bride likely Sonopress but maybe not) instead have a "---.-.----" pattern. I was wondering if this might be a difference between the two plants, or if this is just a meaningless coincidence...


Oh sorry. I did not see that link. However I can tell you that my other Sonopress disc looks exactly the same!


Last edited by confederate on 10 Jan 2020, 08:57, edited 1 time in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 23:57 
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je280 wrote:
blam1 wrote:
I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.


Really helpful info - thanks blam :thumbup: .

Were PDO pressing in plants other than Blackburn?

.


PDO also had a plant in Eindhoven Netherlands. I don't think PDO Germany ever pressed LDs. As far as German LD plants, I think it was all WEA and Sonopress.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2020, 02:47 
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blam1 wrote:
je280 wrote:
blam1 wrote:
I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.


Really helpful info - thanks blam :thumbup: .

Were PDO pressing in plants other than Blackburn?

.


PDO also had a plant in Eindhoven Netherlands. I don't think PDO Germany ever pressed LDs. As far as German LD plants, I think it was all WEA and Sonopress.


Thanks again blam for the input, really helpful.

So was the plant in Eindhoven pressing LDs for the commercial market or for testing/research purposes only?
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2020, 00:55 
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confederate wrote:

I have just read somewhere that PDO UK discs contain mint marks, too, however these are to be found underneath the labels. If I had a spare disc I would try removing one of these labels myself to
see whether that is the case however I do not want to damage any of my labels. It would be cool if someone did that and posted a photo.


Hi confederate,

I used to have quite a few rotted/badly pressed/crappy PDO LDs but passed them on years ago but kept one - Great Railways. It is pretty bad & I don't see the point in holding onto it as I won't be spinning it again so when I can get it dug out I will try removing the LD label.

Will get back when I get round to it as I would like to see PDO mint marks if they are there also.

Don't hold your breath but I will get back when I get to it.

Cheers for now.
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 Post subject: Re: Sonopress vs PDO identification, again...
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2020, 07:48 
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je280 wrote:
confederate wrote:

I have just read somewhere that PDO UK discs contain mint marks, too, however these are to be found underneath the labels. If I had a spare disc I would try removing one of these labels myself to
see whether that is the case however I do not want to damage any of my labels. It would be cool if someone did that and posted a photo.


Hi confederate,

I used to have quite a few rotted/badly pressed/crappy PDO LDs but passed them on years ago but kept one - Great Railways. It is pretty bad & I don't see the point in holding onto it as I won't be spinning it again so when I can get it dug out I will try removing the LD label.

Will get back when I get round to it as I would like to see PDO mint marks if they are there also.

Don't hold your breath but I will get back when I get to it.

Cheers for now.


That would be highly appreciated. Thank you!
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