Two varieties of 134.4?

By David Baron; posted February 15, 2021

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Hi folks, I have a question or two about one of my favorite CDs, the 134.4. I am asking this due to the recent posting of a piece for sale on ICON. The piece is gorgeous looking, and I may be interested in acquiring it to replace my current 134.4 that has a bit more damage. However, the more I looked at the piece for sale, and compared it to the piece I have, the more puzzled I became. From what I can tell *visually* by reviewing numerous posts on ICON over the years, and my looking at my own piece, there seems to be two varieties of the 134.4. Before laying out my 'case', here is my own cheat-sheet for how to tell a piece is a 134.4, versus an unembossed 134:

1. The dome transitions to the upper wire guard via a very brief, but noticeable 'vertical' profile. By that I mean that following the 'curve' of the dome from the top down approaches 100% vertical for just a moment, before 'flaring out'. 2. The bottom of the piece has a 'shorter' skirt than generally found on more pieces, proportionately speaking, and it's profile is 100% vertical. 3. The wire groove is both taller than usual, from a proportional viewpoint, and, most importantly, the profile of the groove is somewhat 'rectangular', versus 'round'. In other words, the 'channel' looks more like this: [ than it does this: C. That is not to say that the 'rectangular' channel is truly rectangular… the 'corners' are still rounded. However their radius is fairly small, and the 'vertical' channel wall is practically 'flat' and 100% vertical. The 'other variety' seems to have 'full height' radii, leading to a full 'semi-circular' groove profile.

One final thing: On the piece I own, there is a very small 'bevel', maybe 3/32 between the base's vertical edge and the indentation of the groove. The 'other variety' does not seem to have this bevel.

The enclosed photo points out the similarities and the differences between the two 'varieties'.

I know we have all read posts in the past that ask if some piece that somebody found is really a 134.4, only to be told that no, it's an unembossed 134. But this seems a little different. I'd really enjoy hearing from those who absolutely know…