SC-03-02 meeting report, New York, 2007-10

Meeting of the SC-03-02 Working Group on Transfer Technologies of the SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio Recording, held in New York, 2007-10-06

The meeting was convened by sub-committee chair Chris Chambers.

The agenda and the report of the previous meeting, held in Vienna, Austria 2006-05-06, were approved as distributed.

Open projects

AES-X064 Test methods and materials for archival mechanical media

It was reported that the AES 78 rpm coarse-groove calibration disc was produced just in time for the Vienna convention and has been available through the AES Web site for a week or so [AES-S001-064]. It was reported that 80 copies have been sold so far without any publicity and it is therefore hoped that once there has been some publicity on the availability of this test disc, it will likely that the total pressing of 500 should be sold. This would provide a strong business case for a further pressing. The question was asked who is storing the masters. It was stated that the pressing plant, Record Industry in the Netherlands, will store the positives and the new gliding tone master, Side A. The EMI master plate, Side B, will be returned their London Archive.

It was reported that continuing efforts to compare the output of the original pressing, either the Abbey Road copy with the new pressing have been frustrated by the difficulty of getting hold of a copy in good condition. It is hoped to get one of the original pressings from either the British Library, or the BBC's archives, to complete this comparison. This will allow for a correction factor document to be published so that accurate comparisons can be made between older measurements and those carried out with the new disc.

It was restated that this disc is a support for the origunal International Standard IEC 60098 edition 1 (IEC 98). This document was superseded by later versions that did not support coarse-groove discs at all. It was hoped that in discussion with the IEC, the details contained in the first version of this standard could be revived and re-published.

Thanks were given to everyone evolved with the production of this disc and especially Record Industry for their help in producing the high specification plates and vinyl.

It was agreed that this project should have its scope to be revised with a target date of October 2008 and the goal date for a draft document to be produced set for May 2008.

Development projects

AES-X106 Styli shape and size for transfer of records

A draft information document has been produced. This was discussed at length along with the issues that arise when guiding a reader to play an unknown disc. One of the key problems is finding a microscope that is capable of looking at the groove of a record with the correct resolution and illumination to establish key groove dimensions, such as the groove width at the top and bottom of the groove. Very few modern laboratory microscopes have the correct illumination around the objective lens.

It was suggested that information about the critical groove dimensions to be measured along with the requirements of the microscope to be used should be included with this draft document. The other issue to be addressed is the supply of a range of stylus size and shapes which is very limited; however, these also need to be made for particular cartridges. It was understood that the AES should not be involved on recommending a particular manufacturer of pick-up cartridges.

It was also noted that a completely different microscope was needed to look and measure styli. Apart from looking for damage or wear and tear, it was agreed that it was more practical to use the manufacturers information for any particular styli.

Some discussion then took place on the most useful format for the final document and it was generally agreed that all the information could be imparted with text and diagrams.

It was hoped that comments will be received and a final draft can be ready in May 2008 for publication by October 2008.


There were no liaison reports.

New Projects

There was an informal discussion over the possibility of providing similar material for test cylinders and test LP discs in the future. However, nothing had been formally proposed currently. This may be raised again at the next meeting.

New business

There was no new business

The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam, 2008-05.

AES - Audio Engineering Society