The "reprocessed stereo" era was a grim time indeed. There are countless bad examples of this horrid
"idea." The only versions of this that approach half-decent are when they fed sound into a live echo
chamber and make a stereo pickup in there and then combine it with mono original signal in the
center. Very few did that and only early on. As soon as all the bad electronic reprocesses got
invented, that was the way everyone went.
But I don't see this as much worse than the early days of Sonic Solutions when every two-bit
knob-turner felt he needed to remove all that "bad" tape hiss, and thus suck every bit of room tone
and air out of the sound. And right when that fell out of fashion, along came the
By the way, nothing is new under the sun. As soon as stereo LPs came along, people started
perfecting ways to crunch dynamic range and mess with the master tapes' EQ in the disk-cutting room.
By the time the USA vinyl got a little quieter, everyone had moved to automated lathes that by
design crunched dynamic range. In all eras, very few recordings are excellent, and few performances
are excellent. The true hall of famers are where the planets aligned and a great performance
happened in the right place at the right time with the right engineer at the controls. I'd say that
covers less than 5% of all recorded music.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SACD fans -- some discounts
> Oh, the Zorba CD was also MONO. Aaak.
> Dropouts? Swish? Ever hear a strange series of LPs made by Columbia Special Products around 1973
> (also on cassette), all reissues of early Columbia ML 4000 LPs right down to the liner notes? Fake
> stereo to boot, and the masters may also have been played back in stereo. Tape twists, bad splices
> and dropouts, and on at least one disc I heard tone before the music. And London must have been
> playing some of its mono tapes with a dirty head since they got a slight stereo effect on some
> early Ansermet recordings that were definitely mono to begin with.
> Tom Fine wrote:
>> One more example of how time can injur a recording.
>> "William Faulkner Reads" on Caedmon, recorded 1954. By the time HarperCollins re-issued it, first
>> on cassette and later as a multi-CD set, the master tape had become badly damaged, probably due
>> to storage tail out in a loose winding. The end section is full of dropouts. It sounds like the
>> engineer made the mistake of transferring a full-track tape with a 2-track head and not even
>> summing to mono. And he wasn't skilled enough to use a cotton swab or gauze to hold the warped
>> tape against the head to prevent the dropouts. Also went nuts with Sonic Solutions NoNoise and
>> killed all the room echo and ambience.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 6:52 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SACD fans -- some discounts
>>> Even before that..I bought new pressings of all the Lenny Bruce Fantasy LPs in the 70s and a
>>> couple of them had several layers of echo and pre-echo. New transfers from bad tapes.
>>> There were some weird things in the early CD days. I remember the CBC purchasing what appeared
>>> to be an authorized CD reissue of the "Zorba the Greek" soundtrack. It was dubbed from noisy
>>> vinyl and all the tracks ran together.
>>> Tom Fine wrote:
>>>> This is already the case for more than a few jazz albums and spoken word recordings. The tapes
>>>> were either 1.5 feet in the grave when they were transferred in the 80's or were subsequently
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Don Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 8:23 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SACD fans -- some discounts
>>>>> Some important recordings may only survive as poor quality digital
>>>>> transfers made in the 80s or early 90s.
>>>>> Don Cox
>>>>> [log in to unmask]