This leads me to another question..why were RCA's 70s reissues of early 50s mono
masters so gawdawful? Dull sound in particular, as on "Amahl" and Piatigorsky
playing the Dvorak Concerto on Victrola and "Call Me Madam" on CBM1-2032 (which
also suffers from cutter hum and horrible pitch control.."They Like Ike" is
about 5% slow). I just transferred this set from vinyl DJ 78s, by the
way..fabulous sound on those.

Club issues....yikes. These often turned up in the dollar bins....I picked up
two of the Tchaikovsky Suites for Orchestra (Dorati) on Canadian Mercury in what
I realized later was a "club" pressing. 3 of the 4 sides were original Quality
stampers and the 4th was a re-cut done over at RCA at about half the level.


Steven Smolian wrote:

> I think we're all forgetting what underlies many of the issues that we now
> see as problems.
> As the cost of shipping kept escalating, the weight of the record package
> was reduced.   The European take on this was to fabricate a thinner jacket,
> ours a thinner record.   What I call the RCA taco was the belimic restult of
> too much thinning down.
> The other factor in making lighter weight records was the record club, which
> accounted for a large proportion of the LP market.  At one time, I believe I
> read but can't find the referece, it was one side or the other of 40%.
> It has always been my feeling that the average quality of playback equipment
> by those buying through the clubs was somewhat below that of the store
> purchaser.  The ability of the changers and cheaper players to track bass
> and inside grooves resulted in that most expensive of overhead items,
> returns.  My empirical observation leads me to believe that identifiably
> record club pressings have less bass than records sold through the stores,
> though this is not true for Reader's Digest issues, for example.  Try the
> early commercial relase of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" with it's club
> counterpart.  Eventually, the K-Mart type small all-in-one York, Lloyd,
> etc., units, were also having problems with inner grooves and bass.
> And, of course, EMI took a more active role in their American outfit-
> Captiol, Angel, etc., and got their revenge for the American Revolution by
> milking the U.S. market with terrible pressings at normal retail prices
> while a far superior product was available in the U.K.
> And I could go on...
> Steve Smolian