A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 26, 2023 04:23PM
I was at a wee record store a few weeks back and was thumbing through the used albums and noticed several had notes attached to them specifying that they were a "Terre Haute Pressing." My assumption is that means they were Columbia House versions, given that Columbia House was based in Terre Haute, Indiana and that referring to something as a "Terre Haute Pressing" feels much more in line with the language of vinyl snobs than "this is an old music club copy." It definitely sounds like an attempt to boost the perceived value of something people paid a penny for.

Vinyl Collector One "Ahem. My copy of Disraeli Gears is a vintage Terre Haute pressing. In fact, I have eleven other Terre Haute pressings, and five additional ones I was fortunate enough to acquire over the following two years!"

Vinyl Collector Two, thinking 'I'm not totally sure what a Terre Haute pressing is, but it must be a big deal if he's calling it out!' "I'll take the lot for $1500!!!!"

I could've asked the store owner if my suspicion was correct, but he looked like he was itching to have a long conversation and I didn't feel up to it that year.

This was the only record store that I've ever seen specifying Terre Haute pressings, and it's in Effingham, Illinois, which is close enough to Terre Haute that regional pride would be a factor. But I see a few people selling used albums on Etsy specifying that they're Terre Haute pressings, also. Can anyone confirm that "Terre Haute Pressing" is just Vinyl Snobbese for "Columbia House Record Club," but trying to make it sound like it's coming from a deeper knowledge base?
Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 26, 2023 04:50PM
Looking at Discogs, it confirms that it refers to pressings from the Terre Haute plant. It also mentions Columbia's record-pressing plants in Santa Maria, CA (which closed around the same time that the Terre Haute plant did) and Pitman, NJ (which absorbed Columbia's business from those other two facilities). Further, it mentions the big C's plants in Bridgeport, CT (which shut down in the early '60s), Kings Mills, OH (which shut down even earlier) and Carrollton, GA (which specialized in CDs, videodiscs, and eventually DVDs).

So yeah, it's just a reference to where the record was manufactured. But I've seen a lot of record listings on Discogs refer to "Terre Haute pressing" or "Pitman pressing." I don't recall seeing those others, but I bet they're listed. And there may be other plants listed, for other record companies, that I just haven't noticed yet.

I dunno ... maybe one of those plants developed a reputation, over the years, of more reliable, higher-fidelity output than its sister facilities. More likely, though, you're right: it's probably little more than another Vinyl Snob® idiosyncracy. If the plants are all more or less the same, though, I don't see why one would be higher perceived collector's value than the others.

And even as I typed that last sentence, the word "perceived" jumped out at me. It amazes me how often a question answers itself, if you just ask it with the right choice of words.
Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 27, 2023 11:33AM
Maybe Terre Haute was where all of the "hot stampers" hailed from!!! Just more granular BS to distract from the music and potentially separate marks from their cash, I suspect! About 15 years ago bad New Wave records made primarily with synths on self-released discs became retroactively classified as "Minimal Synth" genre records and shot up in price once people put a name on amateurish proto-synthpop records that might have appealed to me as curios at $3.00 but definitely not $55.00! One out af a dozen might have worked for me but now I can't afford them in any case.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2023 11:34AM by Post-Punk Monk.
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Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 27, 2023 02:58PM
I used to do that: go to record stores and look for weirdo New Wave nuggets that sometimes would only cost a dollar. Trouser Press of course aided me in this, alerting me to such fascinating curios as Crash Course in Science, Polyrock, and Landscape. Others were low-budget private-press affairs too obscure even for TP. those were the ones that were strictly for the bargain bins.

In recent years I sold those “minimal-synth masterpieces” for so damn much $$ I was rolling around in a bed of bills, throwing them in the air, saying: thank you, autistic collector of “vinyls”!
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Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 27, 2023 12:18PM
What I've noticed on discogs is that people (new viny collectors?) get obsessed with things like that which have absolutely no impact for those of us who bought LP records in the old days when it was the only format available. What pressing you got depended largely on which part of the U.S. you were living in and no one went out of his way to get a particular pressing plant's version of an album.

Fast forward to the 2020s and people have devoted far too much time to cataloguing the minor differences between versions of LPs. Since, if you care to decipher the runout on an old vinyl LP, you can usually determine where it was pressed, this now became imperative information to add when entering a record in the database. And it begat its own cult of cultists who insist that particular pressings are notably superior to others. This is true in some instances, but in the case of a Pitman vs. Terre Haute pressing, I'm sure that 99% or more of listeners could not tell the difference in a blind hearing test (and never mind that a lot of new collectors are playing these records on notoriously poor turntables). There is a similar premium attached to a "first pressing", as if it made any difference to the quality of the music. This truly reaches the height of absurdity when someone starts asking about a "first pressing" of a cd.

Anyway, I like discogs for its thoroughness and how it allows me to identify records I may be looking for, but I'm steering clear of all the snobbishness, as much as possible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2023 12:19PM by Philippe.
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Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 27, 2023 12:46PM
Boom! Yummy! You hit the nail one the head where Discogs crossed the line into OCD. It was, in theory, a useful place to obtain musical knowledge but the granularity of it does far beyond my interest. If you want to "properly" add a new recording to the database, it now takes an hour or more. A huge buzzkill for me as a contributor. As far as I'm concerned, just knowing the nationality and year of a pressing, and for which label is as much as I need or care about. That's how I sort out my records.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: A "Terre Haute Pressing"
January 27, 2023 12:58PM
I truly love Discogs. Apart from its usefulness as a record-hunting tool, it also enables me to find a lot of birthdays for tribute on my show. (Wikipedia is a good starting point, but only for the more high-profile names.) But I couldn't care less about the minute trivial details, such as where the album was pressed.

> In the case of a Pitman vs. Terre Haute pressing, I'm sure that 99%
> or more of listeners could not tell the difference in a blind hearing test.

And the remaining 1 percent or less probably are bullshit artists who are trying to impress someone.
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