On 08/08/08, Tom Fine wrote:
> Most of the Naxos stuff I've heard is junk (it's technically not for
> sale in the US yet a lot of it seems to be floating around in the CD
> shops of major US cities). People who think this is any good obviously
> haven't heard anything close to the master tapes. LPs and 78s, and for
> that matter mass-duped quarter-track reels, are simply inferior to the
> masters, for a whole variety of obvious technical reasons. To suggest
> that an over-processed dub of an LP is anything close to the quality
> of the master is, I am afraid, an indication of poor hearing or
> misunderstanding of the technical limits of the media.
All the Naxos historicals I have (a whole shelf full) are derived from
78s. The ones transferred by Mark Obert-Thorn and Ward Marston sound
very good. A few transferred by others are less good, and 3 or 4 CDs are
bad (all treble removed).
> Now, it's another matter whether the major copyright-owners have a
> spotty record of quality regarding remasters (and for that matter
> original issues and in many cases, original recordings themselves).
> Recording quality and end-result production and manufacturing quality
> have always been spotty when the industry is taken as a whole. That's
> why certain recordings stand out -- they are better. Where a
> mass-production approach has been taken to remastering, the results
> have generally not been good. In some cases, companies went back later
> in the CD era and did a much better job. In other cases, bad old
> remasters have simply been repackaged at a lower price point.
> The fact that the Naxos and even worse-quality gray-market stuff is
> out there SHOULD be a huge impetus to the copyright-owners to put
> everything in print in superior quality for similar discount prices,
> which can be accomplished with direct-download models. Inferior
> 3rd-party trash diminishes their brands and devalues their entire
> catalog (not to mention that every sale of a Naxos dub of an LP is
> money not made by the owner of the master tape). If they can't make
> money by directly issuing their vaults, they should aggressively
> license full-quality transfers to people who can make money with that
> business model. They seem more intent on losing market value than
> fighting back, sadly.
EMI and others have indeed licensed many recordings to Testament,
Brilliant Classics, Regis, etc.
These are almost all from tape rather than 78s.
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