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ARSCLIST  February 2019

ARSCLIST February 2019

Subject:

Re: Restored audio. Speakers or headphones

From:

Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 3 Feb 2019 06:07:21 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

I'm of the opinion that average headphones deliver better quality sound
than, say, average (computer) speakers.  Given the lack of sound-absorbing
quality of distance from speakers, what reaches the ear through such phones
brings out more surface noise from acoustically recorded 78s.  Computer
speakers are not all junk, however.  If you are willing to forgo deep bass
the B&W MM-1 delivers remarkable sound.

I'm working with a group of 78s of which there are few known copies and some
are unique.  Condition was highly variable, and there is one side where
there is so preeminent a wall of mid-to-low range noise that RX is panting
from exhaustion.  In no case did I have a choice of pressings.   Some are
10" and, to put  3.5 minute and slightly longer selections on them, they
used a 1.8 or so mil groove.  If a "permanent" stylus was used during
playback at any time the record's existence, it cut a 2.7 to 3 mil groove
into the walls.   They were played back using whatever system was available
to the user at the time and much of the remaining audio is near the groove
bottom.  

They have considerable historical importance and, I assume, will be used in
educational settings.  Hence my concern.  My tentative decision has been to
assume that headphones of mediocre quality will be used but I'm open to
adjusting it.    

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2019 9:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Restored audio. Speakers or headphones

Hi Steve,

With poor, noisy recordings which can just as easily have been  recorded
last week as well as 100 years ago, I think the problem is the same: we do
the best we can.  Our primary "audio restoration" tools for reducing
background noise on discs are the same: obtain the cleanest, least noisy
pressing, and  play it  expertly.

I feel that trying to predict and make adjustments for people's  particular
listening conditions  is like trying to predict the future.  There are too
many variables, and once a recording is "out there" we've lost control of
how people will listen to it.  But we  read it on audio production forums
that a good mastering engineer can make a recording "sound great on all
systems". I'd like to see that...

Regards,

Tim Gillett
Perth,
Western Australia

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2019 7:26 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Restored audio. Speakers or headphones


> I'm wondering as to the criteria used by those restoring old recordings
> regarding the target listener is a speaker or headphone user.  This 
> affects
> the amount of background noise that has to be removed to give the younger
> listener unused to 78s a comfortable listening experience.  My focus here 
> is
> on acoustically recorded laterally cut 78 sides. It seems to me that the
> younger users are either listing through decent earbuds or  terrible
> computer speakers.   Comments?
>
>
>
> Steve Smolian 


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