Didn't RCA go to hell when they adopted that "dynagroove" system? It's not just them with 70's
reissues. Everyone got lazy. Listen to MCA reissues of Command and Kapp records. They're horrible.
Capitol umpteenth pressing of Beatles records, which is what I grew up with in the 70's and 80's,
weren't so hot either.
I really think there was a different emphasis from the early 70s onward. Vinyl was thinner but
quieter. Pressing cycles were shorter. Mastering was more automated and the equipment in use did NOT
sound good when you pushed it out to the edge. Plus records were being recorded and mastered with
Dolby A and more compression than ye olde days. The then-new generation of mastering guys were more
likely to strictly collar levels and often squashed dynamic range too compared to the olden days. On
the other hand, as we've said, the records were quieter and, as long as they weren't warped out of
the sleeve from day 1 and the hole was punched well-centered, they played just fine on anything that
was out there.
Club records -- I experienced a mixed bag. I did one membership to the RCA club and it was awful.
Everything from that was not worth the discount. On the other hand, I had pretty good experiences
with Columbia. They pressed their own stuff and Polygram stuff and Warner gave them finished goods
in most cases, and when not they did a decent job with it. I've also heard opposite stories, so
maybe I just got lucky. In retrospect, I wish I had bought every single one of the Japan Polygram
reissues of Verve and Mercury jazz records. Every one I have sounds as good or better than originals
I have and much of that material is not currently in print on CD. Some of it is available only in
iTunes MP4 format, which is worse than mass-duped cassettes in my opinion.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 5:27 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record tracking,and ageing, was De-static question
> This leads me to another question..why were RCA's 70s reissues of early 50s mono
> masters so gawdawful? Dull sound in particular, as on "Amahl" and Piatigorsky
> playing the Dvorak Concerto on Victrola and "Call Me Madam" on CBM1-2032 (which
> also suffers from cutter hum and horrible pitch control.."They Like Ike" is
> about 5% slow). I just transferred this set from vinyl DJ 78s, by the
> way..fabulous sound on those.
> Club issues....yikes. These often turned up in the dollar bins....I picked up
> two of the Tchaikovsky Suites for Orchestra (Dorati) on Canadian Mercury in what
> I realized later was a "club" pressing. 3 of the 4 sides were original Quality
> stampers and the 4th was a re-cut done over at RCA at about half the level.
> Steven Smolian wrote:
>> I think we're all forgetting what underlies many of the issues that we now
>> see as problems.
>> As the cost of shipping kept escalating, the weight of the record package
>> was reduced. The European take on this was to fabricate a thinner jacket,
>> ours a thinner record. What I call the RCA taco was the belimic restult of
>> too much thinning down.
>> The other factor in making lighter weight records was the record club, which
>> accounted for a large proportion of the LP market. At one time, I believe I
>> read but can't find the referece, it was one side or the other of 40%.
>> It has always been my feeling that the average quality of playback equipment
>> by those buying through the clubs was somewhat below that of the store
>> purchaser. The ability of the changers and cheaper players to track bass
>> and inside grooves resulted in that most expensive of overhead items,
>> returns. My empirical observation leads me to believe that identifiably
>> record club pressings have less bass than records sold through the stores,
>> though this is not true for Reader's Digest issues, for example. Try the
>> early commercial relase of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" with it's club
>> counterpart. Eventually, the K-Mart type small all-in-one York, Lloyd,
>> etc., units, were also having problems with inner grooves and bass.
>> And, of course, EMI took a more active role in their American outfit-
>> Captiol, Angel, etc., and got their revenge for the American Revolution by
>> milking the U.S. market with terrible pressings at normal retail prices
>> while a far superior product was available in the U.K.
>> And I could go on...
>> Steve Smolian