Nimbus

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Nimbus is a UK-based Classical recording label that built a sideline manufacturing CDs during the mid-to-late 1980s. Their technologists developed proprietary techniques for creating glass CD masters, which they began licensing to other manufacturers in the 1990s. This expertise led to a significant role in the development of the DVD standard.

Many CDs have the text "MASTERED BY NIMBUS" in the matrix area of the disc's hub. In this context, "mastered" refers only to the creation of the physical glass master used to press the final CDs. The recordings themselves were likely prepared for physical mastering at other locations. It also does not imply a manufacturing location, as Nimbus's glass masters were sometimes sent to other plants for final pressing.

The last vestiges of Nimbus's pressing operations were absorbed by Thomson Multimedia in 2001.

Nimbus CD Pressing Plants

Key Dates

  • 1957: Nimbus Records Ltd. founded as high-quality specialist Classical label by Count Alexander Numa Labinsky in partnership with Michael and Gerald Reynolds. They headquarter at Wyastone Leys Estate in Wales.
  • 1977: Begins manufacturing their own LPs at Wyastone Leys.
  • 1982: Licensed by Philips to manufacture CDs, but choose to design their own mastering hardware rather than buy Philips' design.
  • 1984 (August): Begins CD production at Wyastone Leys.
  • 1986 (March): Ends LP production.
  • 1987: Sold to Maxwell Communications in wake of label's drain on manufacturing profits.
  • 1992: Manufacturing/distribution arm sold to NY investment firm DLJ. Record label and mastering technology interests returned to Labinsky and continue to operate as separate companies. (Remaining references to "Nimbus" in this timeline refer to the manufacturing company.)
  • 1994: Adopts name Nimbus CD International.
  • 1994 (April): Buys UK record/CD manufacturer Damont Audio.
  • 1995 (March): Purchased by California venture capital firm McCown De Leeuw & Co.
  • 1995: Opens Provo, Utah, USA plant to service software/CD-ROM partner R.R. Donnelly; announces Sunnyvale, California USA plant; begins mastering and production of enhanced CDs.
  • 1998 (September): Nimbus CD Int'l merges with Carlton Communications-owned Technicolor, becomes part of their Optical Disc division.
  • 2001: Technicolor purchased by Thomson Multimedia.

See Also

  • Nimbus Records Ltd. continues to operate as a label, headquartered at the old Wyastone Leys estate.
  • Nimbus Disc and Print Services is the second CD manufacturer to grow out of Nimbus Records. They specialize in short-run CD production. They aren't affiliated with the old Nimbus manufacturing division.
  • ODC Nimbus is the result of a merger between Nimbus Technology & Engineering (the mastering techology company) and Optical Disc Corporation.
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