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ARSCLIST  March 2011

ARSCLIST March 2011

Subject:

Re: Mercury Madness

From:

Ken Fritz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 20:53:38 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (128 lines)

   Hi all,

> I've also seen several of the more popular jazz recordings such as  
> "Waltz for Debby" and  "Kind of Blue" sell for well over $500.


   Being a TTP subscriber,  I waited with baited breath, for the  
"Waltz for Debbie" issue  to hit my doorstep. I put it on and  
listened , and listened, and listened. It didn't move me and I took  
it off . The cost was $300 for the issue from the master tape.

    The next day I drove to Deep Groove Records  in downtown  
Richmond, Va.  where I bought a half dozen LPs  by Bill Evans,  along  
with "Waltz for Debbie."  The LPs weren't cheap but they were in  
great shape. None of the recordings moved me. I guess I just don't  
groove  with the genre.

   As a subscriber to TTP I will buy everything they release. Having  
said that, I take what I can get but won't pay inflated prices for a  
50 year old tape; it's a crap shoot. I'll let my tape machines   
regurgitate known quantities rather  than pay for a crap shoot.

   Perpetuating  the quality of the music  recorded on the master  
tape may be a moot point in today's MP3 mentality.  However, those of  
you out there that have access to the real thing, need to think about  
how we  can perpetuate the master tapes that might be outside the   
copywright laws or how we can reproduce them within the current laws.  
Time seems to be getting short as those  that care about  MUSIC  and  
how it sounds and is reproduced, seem to be dying off. I'm 69, and my  
kids won't know  what to do with my ATR machines and my RTR tapes If  
I croak tomorrow. Maybe I'll just put Mike Spits in my will as he  
will appreciate the gift my kids won't.

   As Nietzsche said,-paraphrased- "Without music, life is  
meaningless."--------- Can  we think about keeping the tapes alive?

   Please reply  with your thought  on this topi as great music  
reproduced in a pristine format  is what music lovers live for.

   Ken




On Mar 10, 2011, at 5:28 PM, carlstephen koto wrote:

> On Mar 9, 2011, at 7:47 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>
>>
>>  It's hard to put a value on artifacts when it comes to  
>> collectors, so that could explain part of it.
>> -- Tom Fine
>
> For the most part, I think Tom put his finger on it with the  
> statement above. IMHO, what we're seeing with the most insane  
> prices are the activities of completest collectors.
>
> The craziest prices I've seen for commercial reel to reels have  
> been rock in general and Pink Floyd releases in particular. A while  
> back a 1/4 track 7.5ips tape of "Meddle" (said to be a Japanese  
> issue) was sold for a BIN price of,.. hold onto your hats ladies  
> and gents,.. $4299!
> Another PF tape, "Atom Heart Mother", went through a heated bidding  
> war and ended up selling for over $2k!
>
>
> After checking the eBay histories of many of the "winning bidders"  
> I saw no other reel to reel tape purchases and doubt that many of  
> these folks even own machines to listen to these tapes.
>
> Regarding these classical releases, I do have a number of them  
> myself but refuse to pay these kind of prices for them. The last  
> couple of years has seen a steady increase in the starting and  
> selling prices of these old 1/2 tracks. Most of these old tapes I  
> have were purchased for under $20 and many for less than $10. Those  
> same releases now regularly sell for $70-$150.
> And while I do enjoy listening to the ones I have once or twice a  
> year, the prices they now sell for will keep me from buying any more.
>
> As to why these folks are paying such prices for these 1/2 track  
> Mercuries and RCAs, my guess is that they expect far more than  
> these tapes can deliver. A couple of years ago there were several  
> bidders on these items who seemed to be competing with each other.  
> They also seemed to have endless funds to do so (I followed the  
> activities of a couple who regularly spent $2k a week on tape  
> purchases). This drove up the prices and after these bidders  
> stopped, the high prices remained.
> If these high prices add to the interest and expectations of these  
> tapes I can only guess.
>
> On the other hand, I do have nearly all the Barclay-Crocker tapes  
> (I paid an average of $12-$13 for each) and I do listen to them  
> regularly. I realize that if I wish to complete my collection of  
> these tapes, I'll have to bit the bullet and pay much higher prices  
> now.
> Fortunately, with these tapes, the prices rise for a few months  
> then go back down to more reasonable levels for a bit.
>
> Carl Stephen Koto
>
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Roderic G Stephens"  
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:08 PM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Madness
>>
>>
>> Hello All,
>> This is something that Tom should be able to address. It is a  
>> really a tribute to Tom's mom and dad's historic recordings, but  
>> this resurgence of recognition and value truly shows that they did  
>> something special. I've found that Amazon is offering excellent re- 
>> masterings of the Mercury Living Presence series including some  
>> even in SACD, although those are, of course, 3-track. The prices  
>> are in the $6-12 range depending if used or new. My first question  
>> is, who is doing the re-mastering, and Tom, are you involved? The  
>> personal reviews on Amazon are mostly all five stars by those who  
>> have purchased them. My second query has to do with the original  
>> two track reel to reel tapes that are currently being sold on  
>> eBay. Can you believe that today, the Antal Dorati recording of  
>> Brahm's Variations on a Theme of Haydn, MVS5-25 sold for  
>> $202.50?!! Not only does the CD remaster have that tune, but it  
>> also includes the Enesco: Romanian Rhapsody No.
>> 2. In addition, tape MDS5-3, Bizet: Carmen Suite and L'Arlesienne  
>> Suite No. 1 sold for $305! So, what is the reason for this  
>> madness? Pondering, Rod Stephens

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