Loud - I bet! I had 801s around that time and they could light up a room.

When you get toward a realistic sound level, the tonal balance falls into
place and the sound starts to make more sense. Our perception of the balance
of low to high frequencies is different at different SPLs. Turn it down much
below the live volume of an ensemble, and that balance thins out. Since most
domestic listeners do not play big music anywhere near a realistic volume,
the temptation in mastering is to help them out by goosing the low end. Like
a Loudness button, but usually not so extreme. I struggle with that judgment
on anything that doesn't come out with a musically plausible balance at
comfortable domestic volume. The way most recording venues are around here,
you're much more likely to get thin and bright than deep and rich,
particularly with ruler-flat digital recording. It's one measure of the
purity of the Living Presence approach that they didn't give into that kind
of compromise.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 8:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence

Carl, you are correct that it was B&W 808's with big amps, I think by Mark
Levinson, maybe Cello 
brand? That system got LOUD, like full orchestra in your face loud. The
studio had a nice stereo 
spread and reliable soundstage and frequency response, so the 3-2 mix could
be done with reliability 
and repeatability. I've described the audio chain before, so I'll just say
it was very direct and 
there was no DSP stuff after conversion.

The playback equipment and digital technology used in Germany were
different. I think the SACD's 
sound like the same tapes played back on a different machine, not a huge
difference in sound (so if 
you're hearing one, check your CD player regarding playback of the original
CDs) but more 
"solid-statey" compared to playback on an Ampex 300. The first two issues
have "un-Mercury" 3-2 
mixes (the 2-channel SACD layer), not enough center channel in the mix. The
last two batches sounded 
better (more like the original CDs) in all respects, but I still prefer the
CDs because they are 
real-deal Mercury.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence

> At Edison NJ, they had B&W 808s and, iirc, B&W amps and a Cello Audio
> used as a line amp/switcher - not too shabby.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Clark Johnsen
> Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 1:07 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence
> On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 11:21 PM, DAVID BURNHAM <[log in to unmask]>
>>   Why would they not have heard these differences when they issued the
> CDs?
> Two possible answers: 1) Recording studio audio systems generally s*ck. 2)
> Wishful thinking.
> I recall that back in the late Seventies Victor Campos asserted that he
> found a cartridge that made LPs sound "just like the master tapes" (of
> which he owned numerous good copies). That cartridge? A mid-priced Audio
> Technica. Yes.
> A couple years later he had a Sonus Blue... much better!
> clark
>> Dave b