On 11/14/2012 02:33 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> 4. I like the fact that Magee spanks down Fremer about the Beatles and
> dynamics compression. The Beatles LPs were SUPERLOUD in their day.
> Original Capitol monos will overdrive any lesser preamp, only slightly
> less so with Parlophones because they cut slightly lower peak levels to
> fit more time on the sides. The only cuts I've ever heard that weren't
> dynamics-compressed, stereo or mono, were the Mobile Fidelity reissues.
> Supposedly those are not compressed, cut at half-speed from the master
> tapes with no EQ or compression. These new cuts are supposed to have no
> additonal compression beyond the master tapes. I'll be interested to
> hear when my set arrives next month!
Sean Magee has touched on the subject in a thread on the Beatles vinyl
reissues on the Steve Hoffman forums. You won't be able to read it now
because the forum software is being upgraded and it's been down for
days; however he does say something in the thread that he may also say
in this article (which I haven't clicked on), and that is that the new
vinyl is not intended to replace the originals. The goal he and his team
have with the remastered CDs and now LPs is not to replicate the sound
of the records, but the sound of the actual master tapes.
He also talks about limiting, how limiting is required for the CDs, and
how the vinyl doesn't have that limiting, but then qualifies it by
saying that the 24 bit masters had to be reduced to 16 bit for the CDs.
So really he's talking about *dithering*, not limiting.
So far as MoFi not having additional compression beyond the master
tapes, my understanding of Abbey Road practice - and I know that Peter
Mew is on the list, so hopefully he can clarify - is that they cut their
lacquers directly from the first generation mixdown tapes, applying
compression, limiting, EQ, etc as needed to the signal chain before it
reached the cutting head. Other EMI operations, such as Capitol in the
US and Odeon in (West) Germany, cut their lacquers from duplicate
masters to which all the necessary EQ adjustments had been printed. The
remasters, in all formats, were prepared from these same mixdown tapes
which, given their age, rightly should be retired as accurate digital
raw copies do exist. (In the Hoffman thread, Magee also discusses
digital vs analog, and how even at 24 bit/ 44.1khz the signal is already
pushing what the cutting head can comfortably handle, and that higher
resolutions would be a waste for that purpose.)