It is also apparently an exaggeration to call nice-sounding top end,  
Contemporary Pop.  (;        ("Nyuck-nyuck)

Attenuation of the source material is easily done.  Whereas recording  
a loud (as in "competitively loud") sound disc of program which  
contains high levels of treble - hi hats. tambourine cymbals, claves,  
not to mention (deliberate) white noise and bleeps from samplers,  
necessitates the use of the compatibility- and cutter head-protection  
electronics which you and I describe - none of which leaves the  
signal intact.   I'll not complain that the sound doesn't distort  
funkily. but distort, it does.   Fast-acting treble limiters were  
made in the '70's which feed a voltage derived from the cutter head  
drive coil to inform the limiter of where to move the corner  
frequency of the low pass filter (on the fly).  To this day,  
filtering is the solution.  This forcibly means added distortion,  
even if in its most benign sense.

Unless you are recording program from sessions where the band members  
who play loud treble are put in the back of the room, away from the  
hopefully single pair, if not single mic, again, according to direct- 
to-disc recordist and all-around lathe guru, Al Grundy, the RIAA pre- 
emphasis is actually working against one.   (Although the reason is  
different, it reminds me of the complaint from Jay McKnight about the  
NAB emphasis being counter-productives in recordings done on formulae  
made after Scotch 111).


On Dec 15, 2011, at 3:18 PM, Tom Fine wrote:

> This is an exaggeration. There were plenty of good pop and rock  
> records cut over the years, with nice-sounding top end. It's  
> possible to do and was possible to do from the earliest days of  
> close-mic recording. Also, as some subsequent CD reissues have  
> clearly demonstrated, some of the distortion heard on some  
> recordings came from either overloaded microphones (sticking a high- 
> sensitivity European condenser mic real close to a loud sound  
> source is not a good idea) or overloaded electronics (typical  
> American mic preamps of the "golden era" were not designed for high- 
> output condenser mics placed close to loud sources, they were  
> designed for lower-output ribbon mics) or poor mixing decisions  
> leading to saturated tape. One example on how to do all of this  
> right are the best sounding Contemporary Records albums done by Roy  
> DuNann. He used a passive mixer, knowing the level coming in from  
> his AKG and Neumann mics was too much for mic preamp modules at the  
> time. He then used a line amp on each output buss. By the mid-60's,  
> it was well understood how to record loud treble-laden sources to  
> end up with a successful LP cut. Plus there were numerous  
> electronics made specifically to deal with this issue in the LP  
> cutting chain, such things as Fairchild's HF-only limiters, Pultec  
> equalizers, etc.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton"  
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:28 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Straight Line Tracking was Stanton  
> Turntable reviews....anyone?
> The popular floor model lathes (Neumann and Scully) all have straight
> pivoting pickup arms for checking the test grooves while being cut  
> in spite
> of having tangentially-advancing carriages for the cutter head.
> There are so many tt's out there which pivot, even though it's a  
> compromise,
> that it might be best just to let disc playback be inherently flawed,
> however enjoyable.
> The fidelity decreases as a disc is played back on either straight,
> S-shaped, or tangential pickup arms - even optically scanned  
> grooves, since
> the cutting was done with a constant angular velocity, resulting in
> self-erasure.
> The surface noises of galvanizing and pressing are quite pronounced  
> and only
> tolerable because of not being correlated to the audio.
> As Al Grundy explains, the RIAA eq curve and Pop music don't shake  
> hands
> well - even if the curve is perfectly de-emphasized, since the  
> practice of
> close-miking and loud treble is incongruous with the motivation to  
> boost the
> high end (75 µs) by so much, merely to diminish surface noise.  It
> necessitates compatibility processing such as low corner  
> frequencies on Low
> Pass filters, acceleration limiting, and peak limiting.
> If you want good sound, attend a symphony performance in a suitable  
> hall.
> (*\*   On the other hand, Caruso thought the gramophone was excellent.
> Cheers,
>     Andrew
> On 12/15/11 1:24 PM, "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> As Ted Kendall finally was able to explain, the tone arm Stanton  
>> offered
>> as an option was not a "straight LINE" tracking device, it was a  
>> straight arm without an S-bend.  Haven't any of you seen a modern DJ
>> turntable with a straight unbent arm? This is what one looks like:
>> Read ALL of what I wrote in my original posting without the clipping:
>> From: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Why would the straight arm be skip proof? joe salerno
>>> It helps in the back-cueing that DJs do. The force is pushing
>> straight
>>> back on the arm, and is less likely to jump grooves during back
>> cueing
>>> than an S-shaped arm. Unless you back-cue, you are better off with
>> the
>>> S-shaped arm.
>> It is a "straight" arm, not a "straight line" device.
>> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Straight Line Tracking was Stanton Turntable
>> reviews....anyone?
>> From: Ted Kendall <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Thu, December 15, 2011 12:09 pm
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> On 15/12/2011 16:23, Aaron Levinson wrote:
>>> Goran-
>>> Based on this reasoning isn't that why the linear tracking  
>>> tonearm was
>>> arguably the truest playback system of all?
>>> AA
>>> On 12/15/11 9:10 AM, Goran Finnberg wrote:
>>>> Mike Biel:
>>>>> Unless you back-cue, you are better off with the
>>>>> S-shaped arm.
>>>> The straight arm gives less wow and flutter.
>>>> Also it gives less distortion as the S-shaped arm cannot be  
>>>> adjusted
>>>> to have
>>>> more than two points of distortion minima and all other places  
>>>> are the
>>>> tracking distortion much higher.
>>>> Furthermore a bent arm creates the need for anti skate adjustment.
>>>> Without
>>>> it the right channel will distort much earlier than the left  
>>>> channel.
>>>> Also the cartridge stereo channel separation will become  
>>>> nonsymmetrical
>>>> without anti-skate adjustment.
>>>> So on.
>>>> Straight line is always better in all respects as it mimics the way
>>>> the disk
>>>> was cut.
>> Of course a linear track arm is the nearest approach to the path  
>> of the
>> cutter, but this is not present in the Stanton turntables under
>> discussion. The point at issue is the difference between a straight
>> pivoted tonearm without offset, which is a geometrical abomination  
>> only
>> of use to scratchers, and a pivoted arm with the necessary offset for
>> minimum tracking error, obtained in the Stanton case by use of an S
>> shaped arm.
> -- 
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