Sorry about that. I would imagine it was 2 track if it went that high
(no 4 tracks sell for that much in my experience). I haven't seen a 4
track of that version of Also Sprach. ECS-1 had a purple and green
cover with no photos and was $14.95 (isn't that about $149 in today's
money?). The other copy had a chick on the cover, if I remember
correctly. The first and second have different catalog numbers. Even
if you had a mint 2 track, this isn't the best early RCA. The strings
are a little too hot and it sounds like the tape saturates in places.
Also, there's a bass suck-out because of the microphone placement, so
the organ doesn't pick up too well. AND, the off axis response of the
microphones suck. Sound wise, the later recording is better. But the
first performance is really great.
Roger and Allison Kulp wrote:
> Geez,you make me feel awful.I sold my copy of the tape on eBone in 2002,and only got like $120.00 for it.Can't recall what track version it was.Was it only issued in 2-track ? How do you tell first and second issues ?
> I just pulled out the 1964 Victrola 1st press stereo Lp of this,and it does suck.Too bad they ruined it so.
> phillip holmes <[log in to unmask]> wrote: The 2 track tapes were (still are) amazingly good. The only problem is
> the tape stock (don't look at it, it might break) and the fairly high
> levels of hiss. From what I've been told (and this may be total BS),
> ECS-1, Reiner's first stereo version of Also Sprach Zarathustra, was
> dubbed directly from the 15ips master tape (it was a 2 microphone
> recording). I wondered why the reissues sounded so bad, and supposedly,
> the tape is worn out from all the dubbing. Is this true? Anyway, ECS-1
> was preceded by an even earlier version of the tape with a different
> catalog number, but both were the same performance. I can't seem to get
> my hands on one. I even bid $200 three different times and was outbid
> by someone at the last moment. Oh well. Maybe I'll luck out and find
> one at an estate sale (would have to be a dead doctor or lawyer or drug
> dealer since these were VERY EXPENSIVE when new).
> Don Tait wrote:
>> Since I have trouble with such things, I hope that David Lennick's message
>> about the Gilels/Reiner Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 will be forwarded with this. I
>> agree with David about the sonic problems of the stereo versions of this
>> recording and perhaps I can shed some light upon it.
>> The recording was made on October 29, 1955 in Orchestra Hall. As was
>> customary then, it was recorded in stereo; the mono version was edited down from the
>> stereo master. (The last Victor CSO recording to be made with separate
>> mono/stereo setups was the Heifetz/Reiner Brahms Concerto on February 21 and 22,
>> 1955.) As David wrote, the mono LP, LM-1969, had excellent sound -- clean and
>> well-focused. There was never a stereo Red Seal equivalent of LM-1969, but there
>> was a two-track stereo tape (ECS-8). I own one, and the sound is excellent.
>> The first stereo disc version was Victrola VICS-1039 around 1963/4. There
>> might also have been a later Victor LP version in the late seventies. The sound
>> was dreadful; David described it well. It was so muffled that it sounded as
>> if it had been recorded with the microphones under the floor of the hall. Then
>> came the "Living Stereo" CD (09026-68530-2), and I must say that I disagree
>> with David a little -- it sounds pretty good to me, at least as good as my
>> stereo tape. So...
>> I was told by a good and trustworthy friend who worked at BMG for years,
>> and was involved in reissues, that the stereo master tape of the recording had
>> been lost for decades and that the "Living Stereo" CD was mastered from the
>> two-track tape, ECS-8. Anyway, as I recall the CD does sound fairly close to the
>> tape, which might now be the best (only?) stereo source we have for this
>> Don Tait
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