From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad


Steven Smolian wrote:

> This approach is the shearest nonsense!  Horns introduced distortion at the
> recording end and also at the playback end. This distortion varied from one
> horn desingn to another.

----- I am sorry, Steven, but I do think that there is room and even a need 
for this kind of re-recording. It is a part of sound recording and 
reproduction history. I do not think we can teach our ears to forget, but we 
can at least be conscious of our ears and try to go back to the times when 
this type of sound was amazing. Edison is not a good example for the 
variability of the playback end, because he was the only recording company 
that sold a complete system, i.e. controlled everything. He may have been 
idiosyncratic, and obviously we also learn about his preconceived views when 
listening to his products.

> It may sound 'beetter" to the rerecording engineer but is a purely 
> subjective opinion.

----- I do not think it sounds "better" to anybody, but certainly more 
representative of the sound heard in the parlor than a good interpretative 
transfer that optimises the access to the sound as it was in the recording 
studio. A preservation transfer sounds horrible, but it is extremely useful, 
because it may be used for any purpose. 

> It amazes me that so much is made of presumed audio purity based on the 
> dictatorial opinions of a deaf listener.

----- I do not hope that it is the purity in an absolute sense that these 
transfers aim for. But it is rather amazing how good these "primitive" 
machines were. And the secret is, they were not primitive at all, but finely 
honed to the criteria they set.

Bill Storm, formerly of the Belfer Laboratory, which was essentially founded 
by Walter Welch, was also a proponent of the audio history approach. I 
violently opposed it as a preservation format, you may see my discussion by 
downloading ARSCJv20n2p156-161 from the ARSC website.

Kind regards,


> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "John Eberle" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2009 11:20 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Polk Miller
> > We are collectors of Edison Phonograph antiquities here at Americana CD
> > Mastering . In our collection ,
> > we have Blue Amberol cylinder records of two Polk Miller songs  recorded
> > in November 1909 for Edison's clientele:
> >
> > Blue Amberol  #2176 "The Laughing Song "  and
> > #2175 " The Bonnie Blue Flag "
> >
> > We currently have an mp3 of the Bonnie  Blue Flag as played on our
> Edison
> > Concert Amberola Model A1 and recorded to  Ampex GrandMaster 456 then
> > transferred to aif file on a Masterlink at 48khz/24  bit resolution . This
> > way you
> > get to hear the true sound quality of the cylinder  as the Edison 
> > recording
> > staff intended it to be ; and as it was heard and  enjoyed by the 
> > thousands
> > of Edison customers who purchased it 90 years ago  !
> >

P.S. from time to time my mails to the list are not "taken". I wonder if 
there is some online filtering going on. Just to test the system I recently 
repeated my message with some variations more than 20 times over a couple of 
days, but no luck at all. And the loss is definitely with that particular 
reader who may suddenly read a piece of information he or she did not know 
about.  George