If all Pathe discs stampers transferred from big size master cylinder, why the differences are so large in record quality. May be part of small commercial cylinders were transferred later to the Pathe disks?
I don't know when they started the master cylinder system, and I agree that maybe some of the first discs probably came from commercial cylinders. I have the feeling that moulded cylinders were being sold in various sizes before the first discs in 1905, and I imagine the master cylinder system was in use by then.
To me, this is not too bad for a Pathe, especially of 1903. Some of the distortion is 'tracing distortion', from playing with a very wide diameter stylus. Pathes are very variable in quality and similar sounds can be heard on much later Pathes. Other lower-frequency distortion might be more common on earlier recordings but I don't know what the cause is.
У Южина было много записей для цилиндров Пате - около 30. Из них на дисках потом продублированы только 9 или 10 самых популярных, включая дуэты с Южиной-Ермоленко. Переписи с цилиндров на диски, более типичны для Беттини. Известно, что обе пластинки Папы Римского - именно трансферы с цилиндров.