You did well getting rid of that RCA home-audio gear. It wasn't very good. None of that all-in-one
console stuff was very good although the consoles do make attractive furniture if they're not
trashed. My opinion of those vintage consumer reel machines is they are not worth anything except
door stops because they are so mechanically awful, especially 40-50 years down the line. Belt-drive
tape machines just don't do it, especially not the flimsy belt drives used in those machines. In
this sweeping statement I also include all the Ampex and other pro- and semi-pro-grade belt-drive
machines (600, PR-10, 400 series, AG-600, AG-500). A modern ear won't tolerate the wow and flutter
levels of belt-driven reel machines, and with really solid direct-driven models going for peanuts
(except for the few where phools covet the tube electronics as "phat toob mic preamps"), it's silly
to use the old boat-anchors. It would be like using those awful early cassette decks when those
machines got so much better before the medium died off.
A very few of those old all-in-one console/furniture stereo rigs has great speakers and amplifiers.
Ampex's top-drawer elite line comes to mind. These were made by hand and sold for thousands of
dollars. One old Ampex guy told me that most of them were sold via Neiman Marcus to Texas oil
barons. I'm talking about the top-line ones that had 30W EL34 amps and 3-way JBL speakers built in.
They had one of those crappy Ampex 900 series reel decks in a pull-out drawer and a record-wrecking
Garard changer under a cover. The Ampex preamp had a decent phono stage and innovative
selector/switching system and the Ampex tuner was pretty much middle of the road for that era. The
look was definitely California-meets-the-oil-patch-mansion. Once in a while, an oil baron's
grandkids will put one on ebay but usually they get parted out.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 2:04 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP pressing question
> As with vinyl,the German pressings of the 30s and 40s were superior,even to their UK
> counterparts.I have a fair amount of both.The Telefunkens are incredible.
> Most classical 78s I have seen have been very well cared for,often never played.
> These films are great.I especially like the "How to listen" one.Of course,my first reaction was
> how sad it is there are no Munchs anymore >le sigh< I have never seen an RCA stand-alone amp,like
> the one seen at 4:01 in this clip.Once in a very rare while,I will see an older RCA amp,made for
> movie theaters.I had one once,circa 1943.I found it in a dumpster in 1988.Unfortunately,someone
> stole it from me when I was moving,a few years later. once.I had an RCA tube tape deck like
> that,and sold it on eBay,in 2005.
> Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote: My friend and mentor Art Shifrin has demonstrated
> very convincingly how awful retail 78's sound
> compared to metal parts and even "maker's mark choice compound" reference copies/test pressings.
> shellac compounds were usually terrible, and most used ones you buy today were played to death
> a rusty nail several decades ago. Definitely true that some companies' retail products had worse
> compounds than others and the compounds improved and devolved over time and based on economics/raw
> materials shortages.
> With LPs, Bob O. pointed out that DJ pressings were usually good. Bob, do you think the same "for
> demonstration only" pressings sent to DJ's were also what was sold at a discount to NARAS members?
> Here's a great film that RCA made showing their dearly departed Camden plant making shellac 78's,
> circa 1942:
> And speaking of RCA, here's their take on Living Stereo:
> This one is a more extended movie about stereo, just before stereo LP's came out, showing briefly
> RCA recording session in Boston:
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Shoshani"
> Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 5:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP pressing question
>> Bob Olhsson wrote:
>>> My experience has been that the very best pressings were the major label DJ
>>> copies. These were often better than test pressings due to an even higher
>>> grade of vinyl. The first manufacturing run was generally comparable to the
>>> test pressing however reorder runs were frequently done as quickly and
>>> cheaply as possible.
>> From the 78 RPM era, I've had record store demonstration copies from Victor, Columbia, and Decca,
>> that were pressed on really nice vinyl as opposed to ordinary shellac (or, in Decca's case,
>> asphalt with sand). I have no idea what sort of equipment dealers used to play these, but it
>> seem to me that the thinking was that dealers needed really good copies to "show off" the record
>> being sold.
>> Michael Shoshani
> Be a better Globetrotter. Get better travel answers from someone who knows.
> Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.