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Mercury Series

* 10000 Series
* 15000 Series (10")
* 20000 Series A
* 20000 Series B
* 25000 Series (10")
* 30000 Series (10")
* 35000/JATP/MGC
* 40000 Golden Lyre
* Living Presence
* 80000 Custom
* 90000 Tono
* PPS Series
* SRM Series
* Demo/Sampler


* EmArcy 26000 (10")
* EmArcy 36000 (12")
* EmArcy MGE/SRE
* EmArcy EMS
* Wing 12000
* Wing 12100/16100
* Wing 14000/18000
* Wing 60000
* Limelight
* Philips U.S.
* Fontana U.S.
* Smash
* Blue Rock
* Cumberland
* ...

(33rpm 7")

* Mercury 200/600
* Limelight 300
* Smash 700
* Fontana 750
* Philips 800/2700

Extended Play
(45rpm 7")

* Mercury EP 3000
* Mercury EP 4000
* Mercury EP 5000
* EmArcy EP 6000
* Wing EP 16000
* Mercury MEP
* Childcraft/Playcraft
* miscellaneous


* Mercury 2000
* Mercury 3000
* Mercury 5000
* Mercury 6000
* Mercury 8000
* Mercury 8900
* Mercury 11000
* Mercury 70000
* Mercury 89000
* EmArcy 16000
* Limelight
* Wing
* Blue Rock
* ...

Index by Artists



[In Association with Amazon.com]

Mercury Matrix Number Variations

A “Matrix Number”, stamped (or inscribed) information placed between the last groove and the label, is always there, to indicate record number, mother stamper, and pressing plant.

With matrix number type, we can surmise the era when each platter is pressed. And Label variations also used for each vinyl also helps a lot to guess the pressed era.

Please note, that the variations on this site does not cover all known to exist: there are so many exceptions. So please understand the variations on this site are basic frameworks to identify famous patterns.

[English] [Japanese]

Press/Sound Quality Variations

- early 1950s

In the earliest era, with rapid transition from 78rpm thru 10-inch LP to 12-inch LP, all LPs were pressed at Mercury's own plant. And the pressing quality varied a lot. Furthermore, inner paper sleeve was not common at that time, and the LP platter was directly inside the outer jacket sleeve. Since the early LPs had flat edges (no raised outer grooves and labels), the platter often had several moderate scuffs even if it was new.

Another note is that most Mercury LPs pressed at that time was equalized using AES curve, not RIAA curve.

middle 1950s - 1960

In most cases, the FR platters pressed during 1958-1960 are great. These were manufactured at RCA Victor's plant. Vinyl itself is very sharp and clean with few defects. The sound is AWESOME in most discs - with no equalization, no compression et al.

Especially, the Classical subsidiary Living Presence Series contains so many audiophile-quality LPs. Superb recordings by superb engineers always guarantee high quality products. So FR platters of Living Presence Classical LPs have been sought after for a long time. On the other hand, Popular series and EmArcy Jazz series sometimes had poor sounds, even if they were FR pressings.

By the way, Mercury's own plant was also used in this era, mainly for Popular and Jazz series.


Mercury LPs from 1960 and on were pressed mainly at Mercury/Philips Richmond plant. The pressing/sound quality varies greatly. Some of them are fine (or even superb), but others have very dull sounds. Some of them even have mottles on the record's surface. And please note that many of the records pressed in the mid-1960s had some “equalization” process as well as the use of “compressor”. That's another reason to lose “pure” sound quality. Such equalization worked nice for Popular/Rock sessions, but some Jazz and Classical LPs losed their freshness.

But around 1970, such uneven quality of pressing was gone: very sharp and clean pressing again. The sound heavily depends on the quality of original recordings and the states of master tapes.

MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <shaolin@rhythmaning.org>
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