History/Lacquer Masters

One of the reasons Vinyl Mastering at Lucky is of the highest quality in the world, is because of our Neumann SAL74B cutting amplifiers. Currently, all of the fancy gear and knowledge in the world can still not replace the sweet and vibrant combination of our SAL74B’s, with our Neumann SX74 Cutterheads. There are only a handful of engineers in the world who can still boast this combination. Lucky is the proud owner of two identical Neumann SAL74B mastering systems, keeping us in business at the highest level of quality, year-round.

Our primary system was purchased from the original owner, Randy Kling in 2008, which he used to master thousands of classics from Elvis to Diana Ross. A few more noteworthy albums that were mastered on this system include The Supremes, Alice Cooper, Heart, Tangerine Dream, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, The Jackson 5, Madonna, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Moody Blues, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield. BB King, Lou Reed, Slayer, Maroon 5, Korn, to name a few…

This particular system was also one of the last few SAL74B’s ever built by Neumann, as only the last few were signed by the original Neumann engineer who designed it. Signed and dated, Oturas Kern, Berlin 28.9.83 (See Pic). From what I am told, this is the last signed system in existence.

Neumann’s similar to these, once filled entire floors at places like Sony, all cutting identical master sides and controlled from one central mastering engineer. When they were done, they would send those lacquers all over the world for plating and pressing. To pressing plants as remote as Columbia or South Korea. Almost all of these Neumann systems wound up in the dumpster in the late 80’s and most that survived are in far from decent shape.

However, we are lucky to have Randy Kling’s personal system. One of the few complete systems that wasn’t cobbled together from multiple high stress, major label production environments. Often referred to as “un-obtainium” in the audio gear industry, and although these systems cost $450,000 at the time, Randy bought this system himself, brand new from Gotham Sound in NY and drove it back to Nashville. Taking excellent care of it and mastering hundreds of gold and platinum albums for the years to follow. And in 2008, I drove it back from Nashville, to Bainbridge Island, Washington and began Lucky Mastering and have cared for it ever since. Continuing the tradition of mastering hundreds of gold and platinum albums, along side thousands of indy titles and classics for over a decade.