The RCA two tracks are heavily pursued and collected, *especially* the paper
leader versions that didn't have the album art on the box. The sonics are
wonderful on the tapes if you can get past the hiss. I must be lucky though,
as my tapes are in quite good condition. Only a few are brittle. The four
tracks aren't as good but are still passable. Perhaps I have tin ears; for
recordings issued during the Dynagroove era I find the four tracks to sound
substantially better.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of phillip holmes
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2007 4:07 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] RCA tapes...Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] Living
Stereo? Don't make me laugh

The 2 track tapes were (still are) amazingly good.  The only problem is
the tape stock (don't look at it, it might break) and the fairly high
levels of hiss.  From what I've been told (and this may be total BS),
ECS-1, Reiner's first stereo version of Also Sprach Zarathustra, was
dubbed directly from the 15ips master tape (it was a 2 microphone
recording).  I wondered why the reissues sounded so bad, and supposedly,
the tape is worn out from all the dubbing.  Is this true?  Anyway, ECS-1
was preceded by an even earlier version of the tape with a different
catalog number, but both were the same performance.  I can't seem to get
my hands on one.  I even bid $200 three different times and was outbid
by someone at the last moment.  Oh well.  Maybe I'll luck out and find
one at an estate sale (would have to be a dead doctor or lawyer or drug
dealer since these were VERY EXPENSIVE when new).

Don Tait wrote:
>   Since I have trouble with such things, I hope that David Lennick's
> about the Gilels/Reiner Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 will be forwarded with
this. I
> agree with David about the sonic problems of the stereo versions of this
> recording and perhaps I can shed some light upon it.
>   The recording was made on October 29, 1955 in Orchestra Hall. As was
> customary then, it was recorded in stereo; the mono version was edited
down from the
> stereo master. (The last Victor CSO recording to be made with separate
> mono/stereo setups was the Heifetz/Reiner Brahms Concerto on February 21
and 22,
> 1955.) As David wrote, the mono LP, LM-1969, had excellent sound -- clean
> well-focused. There was never a stereo Red Seal equivalent of LM-1969, but
> was a two-track stereo tape (ECS-8). I own one, and the sound is
>   The first stereo disc version was Victrola VICS-1039 around 1963/4.
> might also have been a later Victor LP version in the late seventies. The
> was dreadful; David described it well. It was so muffled that it sounded
> if it had been recorded with the microphones under the floor of the hall.
> came the "Living Stereo" CD (09026-68530-2), and I must say that I
> with David a little -- it sounds pretty good to me, at least as good as my

> stereo tape. So...
>   I was told by a good and trustworthy friend who worked at BMG for years,

> and was involved in reissues, that the stereo master tape of the recording
> been lost for decades and that the "Living Stereo" CD was mastered from
> two-track tape, ECS-8. Anyway, as I recall the CD does sound fairly close
to the
> tape, which might now be the best (only?) stereo source we have for this
> recording.
>   Don Tait