You are definitely correct that the later reissues were better. I'd also add that people got less
enamored with going CEDAR-crazy in the late 90s, although way too much Sonic NoNoise was used.
Unfortunately, for many of the best reissues of Columbia/ARC and RCA/Victor material from the 78
era, you still need to seek out the Mosaic sets, which strove to go back to original production
parts, laquers and minty collector-owned shellacs. After finding good or excellent source material,
the Mosaic stuff is generally well transferred and processed by folks like Doug Pomeroy. I'm not as
happy with recent Andreas Meyer work -- too much DSP in some cases! Still, almost always much better
than earlier major-label reissues and any shellacs that I've ever owned.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Shoshani" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"
> On 03/25/2014 10:40 AM, Jon Samuels wrote:
>> Early CD transfers had another problem. At RCA (and, from what I understand, to differeing
>> degrees at other record companies), edited reels from the recording sessions were never used in
>> the early CD days. The main reason had to do with bookkeeping (and Jack Pfeiffer's belief that
>> no one could hear the difference, and therefore was not worth the trouble to track down, find and
>> physically restore the edited masters). From it's earliest LP days, RCA maintained a system
>> where every LP side (and later every CD) had to have its' own tape. That meant that if an LP was
>> re-issued with a different number, the later LP master would at best be a first-generation dub of
>> the previous LP. Unfortunately, they took this a couple of steps further. Three-track (and
>> higher) masters were always mixed down to 2-track for the LP. (One of the reasons this was done
>> was to deliberately reduce the dynamic range in the LP master before the cutting stage.) Each
>> re-issue's tape master was a dub of the most recently released LP tape master, not the original
>> one. They continued this practice with early CDs. Also, in later LP years, they often dubbed
>> early 30 ips tape masters to 15 ips, and used those for later LPs with the same issue numbers.
>> The consequences of these factors was that early CD masters were sometimes as much as seven or
>> eight generations down from the original session tapes. (It also explains why collectors often
>> prefer earlier LP issues.)
> This makes a heck of a lot of sense if you look at RCA reissues of big band era material on CD.
> Most issues from the 1980s are from album masters, probably dubs of them; in at least one instance
> (a Glenn Miller compilation called "Chattanooga Choo-Choo: The Number One Hits") the matrix number
> of the album master from which the track derives is cited. More often than not, these 80s reissues
> also contain added reverb, and in a few instances stereo reprocessing.
> It wasn't until about 1993 or so that BMG started issuing CDs of material from this era
> transferred from metal parts. when people like Orrin Keepnews and Bill Lacey started getting
> involved. The difference in quality is phenomenal.
> Michael Shoshani