Neil Young – Neil-Owned 2 DMM Reference Discs for ‘Harvest Moon’ LP / Metal Acetates

Neil Young’s personal DMM (direct metal mastering) copper Album Reference Discs for his 1992 album Harvest Moon.

As explained below, DMM was a record mastering technology whereby a copper disc was cut instead of a lacquer acetate, allowing two steps to be eliminated from the record pressing process.

These two single-sided copper plated metal discs measure nearly 1/2″ wider than a conventional album, and weight a few pounds each.  They were cut at Masterdisk in New York City on September 10, 1992 (Harvest Moon was released November 2 1992.) Numerous record stampers were made directly from these copper discs, which were then sent to Neil Young.  The original box from Masterdisk is included.

While not intended to be played on a turntable, the discs function like a record, and can be played.

The provenance is best explained by the included letter of authenticity from longtime Neil associate Joel Bernstein:

This letter is to authenticate two single-sided DMM Album Reference Disks (the equivalent of DMM metal acetates) of Neil Young’s album Harvest Moon, with Masterdisk labels, dated 9/10/92.  These discs belonged to Neil Young, who gave them to me.

I photographed Neil Young for the first time at his first East Coast show with Crazy Horse, at the Bitter End in New York City, in February 1969. I went on to work with Neil extensively, as both his and CSNY’s tour photographer, and shooting him for eighteen of his album covers (including After The Gold Rush, Harvest, Time Fades Away, Tonight’s The Night, Decade and Rust Never Sleeps) plus numerous other official projects including publicity, advertising, songbooks, posters, et al. On various tours from 1973-1993, I also worked with Neil as his guitar technician; and served as his archivist for 20 years, researching and presenting him with every source for audio, artwork and text used in his massive box set Archives Vol. 1  1963-1972.

During the course of working for Neil, he gave me various acetates, test pressings, set lists and other memorabilia. Neil knew I was a collector and he wasn’t, so once he was done with things like this, instead of throwing it away, he often gave it to me. Sincerely, Joel Bernstein

Music website Classic Rock Review named Harvest Moon its album of the year for 1992. It earned the 1994 Juno Award [the Canadian Grammy] for Album of the Year.

Discs in excellent condition, with some tarnishing to the copper surface.  The edges of the original box were long ago flattened from the weight of the discs.

With Joel Bernstein’s letter of authenticity, and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.

From Wikipedia: The cutting lathe for DMM [mastering] engraves the audio signal directly onto a copper-plated master disc, instead of engraving the groove into a lacquer-coated aluminum disc…The DMM copper master disc can be plated to produce the required number of stampers using the one-step plating process. Rather than having to electroform a master (or “father”), mother and then stampers (the traditional “three-step process”), the DMM copper disc serves as the ‘mother”. Bypassing the silvering process and two electroforming stages reduces the risk of introducing noise that can be generated in the electroforming (galvanic) process. In cases where hundreds of stampers may be required, the DMM disc is often used as a mandrel to electroform a master and mother, from which many stampers are then made.


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