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ARSCLIST  August 2012

ARSCLIST August 2012

Subject:

Re: New SONY sets

From:

Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 9 Aug 2012 12:41:11 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (199 lines)

Dear Tom,

I have heard similar hearsay but never followed it up. LIVING STEREO was a
prestige line. Pfeiffer mostly stayed out of it. We can discuss his
influence on another occasion.

Ciao,

DDR

On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi Dennis:
>
> The story I heard [WARNING - 2nd Hand, perhaps hearsay] was that someone
> in the family that controls BMG (Mann? family) is both a classical music
> and RCA Living Stereo fan, so he or they saw Living Stereo as a crown jewel
> in the RCA acquisition. Therefore, the horrid-sounding early CDs quickly
> came out of print under BMG and the 1990s Living Stereo reissue program
> took place, which was often an improvement over earlier reissues
> (definitely the ones supervised by John Pfeiffer were improvements, I think
> the program got dilluted as time went on). Then when SACDs came along, no
> expense was spared in producing the Living Stereo hybrid reissues. Again,
> heard second-hand, but I was told that there was no mathematical way for
> BMG to profit from that series from the number of hybrid discs they pressed
> at the very reasonable retail price point they set, so it was a loss-leader
> labor of love. Now what I don't know is whether they did additional press
> runs, which would have added to any profitability or perhaps attained
> profitability.
>
> When Sony put out the box set of the CD layers a few years ago, I figured
> that meant the SACDs were thus out of print and so I better snap up all
> that I wanted while there was still inventory out there. I succeed but
> everything was bought "new and used" from Amazon-affiliated sellers, many
> of them located outside the US. I don't like opera and that was a good
> thing because the opera titles were sold out and quite pricey in the "new
> and used" world.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dennis Rooney" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 11:46 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>
>
>  Dear Tom,
>>
>> "Perhaps in today's crazy mixed-up world, someone would be ignorant of
>> those digital files and would thus use an earlier inferior source, but
>> it's
>> pretty scary to think about that scenario." Be very scared, given the
>> institutional amnesia I referred to earlier.. As to sourcing, RCA did it
>> and I believe that when RCA and Sony merged, the practice was carried over
>> to the latter but I don't have information on those threads.
>>
>> Ciao,
>>
>> DDR
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 7:49 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>**
>> wrote:
>>
>>  So Dennis, is it possible that Sony sourced for these RCA reissues
>>> mentioned at the start of this thread, something like the early 90's
>>> Living
>>> Stereo CD masters? As I understand it, those were made from
>>> second-generation stereo cutting masters, not original session tapes. As
>>> I
>>> further understand it, the SACD/CD Living Stereo hybrid discs done at
>>> Soundmirror were all made from first-generation session tapes, with new
>>> 3-2
>>> mixes done where appropriate. Plus, the transfers were done with very
>>> high-quality equipment at very high resolution. Perhaps in today's crazy
>>> mixed-up world, someone would be ignorant of those digital files and
>>> would
>>> thus use an earlier inferior source, but it's pretty scary to think about
>>> that scenario.
>>>
>>> Just to be clear, John Pfeiffer did the best he could with the RCA
>>> organization he worked in, but many of the Living Stereo CDs released in
>>> the 1990s are vastly inferior sounding, to my ears, when compared to the
>>> CD
>>> layer (not to mention the SACD layers) of the Soundmirror/BMG hybrid
>>> discs.
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dennis Rooney" <
>>> [log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:38 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>>
>>>
>>>  POLICY as to WHICH digital transfer to use? Not in my experience, unless
>>>
>>>> it
>>>> was the late Jack Pfeiffer's instructions to his reissue supervisors to
>>>> use
>>>> the most recently released source, a policy that survived at RCA after
>>>> his
>>>> demise.  Under Tom Frost's aegis, Sony Classical was very concerned with
>>>> countering the bad press they had received from so many early CBS CDs
>>>> produced from Lp cutting masters. All the reisssue lines in production
>>>> when
>>>> I was there in the 90s used new a/d transfers from the SW master reels.
>>>> (It
>>>> was an embarrassment when we discovered that the initial group of
>>>> classical
>>>> SACDs, ordered up by the hardware division and not run through A&R, were
>>>> all made from 2-track submasters.) However, by the early years of this
>>>> century, everything was in a state of disorder. Recycling is now the
>>>> norm,
>>>> and as institutional amnesia affects the labels, there is often
>>>> ignorance,
>>>> confusion or both over what is the best digital source.
>>>>
>>>> DDR
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>*
>>>> ***
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>  Mike, do you know if there's a policy as to WHICH digital transfer to
>>>>
>>>>> use?
>>>>> In the case of both Columbia (Sony) and RCA (BMG), there were many
>>>>> not-so-good attempts before good remasters were obtained. For Sony, I'd
>>>>> put
>>>>> the ones that Dennis Rooney oversaw in the late 90's as their best. For
>>>>> RCA, the CD layer of the SACDs done by Soundmirror are vastly superior
>>>>> to
>>>>> earlier attempts.
>>>>>
>>>>> For their box set, Decca went back and re-did some material that had
>>>>> been
>>>>> previously remastered, with good results. I think DGG did new transfers
>>>>> for
>>>>> some of the material in their budget-priced boxes, for instance the
>>>>> Kubelik
>>>>> Mahler cycle seemed to have all been remastered in the late 90s as
>>>>> opposed
>>>>> to some of the earlier remasters of some of the symphonies (I don't
>>>>> think
>>>>> all were previously released prior to the box set). I believe
>>>>> everything
>>>>> was brought up to the era and quality of the "DGG Originals" series, so
>>>>> circa late 90's.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Gray, Mike" <
>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>> >
>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 2:47 PM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>  As a rule, no new transfers are made from analog originals save where
>>>>> no
>>>>>
>>>>>  prior digital transfer has already been
>>>>>> made.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Mike Gray
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Dennis D. Rooney
>>>> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
>>>> New York, NY 10023
>>>> 212.874.9626
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>
>> --
>> Dennis D. Rooney
>> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
>> New York, NY 10023
>> 212.874.9626
>>
>>


-- 
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023
212.874.9626

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