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Below is a posting I put on a Usenet group last year and the responses.
Do you think there is any truth to the statement "Some of them are
transferred from tape, by the way"?
A working link to the Redisovery site is:

 Randy Lane wrote:
> On Nov 9, 10:45 am, catman <sjhall...<>> wrote:
>> On Nov 9, 1:30 pm, Randy Lane <randy.l...<>> wrote:

>>> I put in a suggestion with Australian Eloquence to put together a
>>> collection of *Dorati's **Haydn* Symphony recordings that were made for
>>> *Mercury* (i.e., prior to the masssive complete symphony set).
>>> I found 7 symphonies on 5 LPS:

>>> SR 90208 - Philharmonia Hungarica - # 93 , # 104
>>> SR 90280 - London Symphony Orchestra - # 45 (with Mozart # 40)
>>> SR 90415 - London Symphony Orchestra - # 100 (with Beethoven # 6)
>>> SR 90436 - Festical Chamber Orchestra - # 59, # 81
>>> WC 18064 - London Symphony Orchestra - # 101 (with Mozart # 36)

>>> Does anyone know of others?

>> don't know why you couldn't just buy the whole set

> Because I'd prefer to have a legal ( i.e., not pirated ) copy made
> from original sources, not LPs. Even if it costs more.

Not sure if you meant to say the Rediscovery transfers are illegal, but I
don't believe they are.  Some of them are transferred from tape, by the


On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 3:49 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> There's a lot of old Mercury mono stuff floating around on pirate labels
> and gray-market stuff. If the copyright laws change, it may be very much in
> the big companies' interest to get everything of any value back in print so
> they can assert their ownership again. As long as it's available in a
> good-sounding format (almost anything will beat many of the total-crap LP
> dubs I've heard), readily available and sold at a reasonable price, I see
> that as a Great Thing. As I understood Tim Brooks' presentation, that's the
> goal of ARSC -- make it all available in a good-sounding format at a fair
> price, companies use it or lose it.
> Bottom line on Mercury is, if it wasn't released on CD by
> Polygram/Vivendi/Universal in the 90's or on SACD by Universal/Vivendi in
> the early 2000's or in the new CD and LP box sets by UMG/Decca now, or the
> handful of LP reissues by Classic Records in the 90's or the few-dozen LP
> reissues by Speakers Corner in recent years, it's not an official
> re-release and it's made from some mass-media source and it doesn't sound
> remotely as good as it could if it were made from the master tapes. As I
> said, all of the LP dubs I've heard do not sound good, most of them suffer
> from lopped off top end and also terrible tin-eared overuse of "cleanup"
> software. One would-be "golden ear" gray-market troll decided he needed to
> "re-equalize" the LP and ended up with shrill junk full of digital
> artifacts. You'd think an allegedly commercial enterprise, even a pirate,
> would find a good-condition copy of the LP to dub, and maybe clean the
> record before they start! In any case, I've made it clear in private and in
> public that these products degrade the brand and should be chased by
> lawyers when they are pirate products (such as those produced in the US)
> and ultimately, the best solution is to reissue everything with good
> transfers from the master tapes, and keep it in print (probably unrealistic
> given today's business environment).
> To collectors I say, when you purchase this pirate and gray-market
> garbage, you are creating a disincentive for good reissues to be produced
> by the legitimate owners of the master tapes. This is true of ALL content,
> not just Mercury by any means. These pirate and gray-market companies are
> in existence because there are willing buyers for their inferior products.
> If something is out of print, contact the legitimate owner and say, loudly
> and repeatedly, that you'd like to see it back in print. Tell your friends
> to do the same. You'd be surprised how little the big companies know about
> pent-up demand for things, especially classical things. MANY classical
> reissues from the "golden age" were driven by consumer pressure.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Randy Lane" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 11:50 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence
>  I recall some of Dorati's mono Haydn showing up on an obscure label a few
>> years ago, but a friend who acquired the CDs said they sounded like
>> LP-derive bootlegs. Well restored releases of those would be of great
>> interest, as well as some of the Dorati Beethoven from that era.
>> I wonder if there could be enough interest in some of the artists to
>> generate some Japanese funded projects. Problem with most of the
>> Asian markets is an excessive focus on very standard repertory; they never
>> seem to tire of hearing the same works over and over and over; not much
>> variety, and opera is almost a bygone comparatively. Just when you thought
>> the North American and European markets were drowning in complete sets of
>> the Beethoven Symphonies, the Japanese come along take it to even greater
>> lengths. Hardly a month goes by with at least 3-4 complete sets being
>> released, or rereleased, there.
>> Interest there in Paray, Kubelik, and Dorati could generate some projects.
>> Probably not much for the likes of Fennell and anson though.
>> On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>**
>> wrote:
>>  Hi Randy:
>>> There were definitely some CDs yet to be made when Vivendi/Universal
>>> terminated the project by not renewing my mother's contract at the end of
>>> 1999. The classical music business was in a bad slump at that point, so
>>> this wasn't some malicious thing or disagreement, it was "just business,"
>>> in Godfather terms. In any case, there were definitely a few remaining
>>> stereo items for which master tapes were accounted for. No more 35mm,
>>> anything else that was originally released in 35mm and not so on CD, the
>>> films were lost sometime between the early 60's and 1990. In a few cases
>>> (most notably the Byron Janis Prokofiev/Rachmaninoff from Moscow),
>>> 3-channel masters were never found but 2-tracks made at the time of the
>>> LP
>>> cutting were found and used. Keep in mind that the Mercury tapes were
>>> stored for a time in NY, then warehoused in Chicago, then shipped to
>>> Holland, where they shufled around, and then many were shipped back here
>>> to
>>> Iron Mountain's storage facility, some by way of Japan. Some were
>>> mis-labelled, some got wet along the way, all kinds of things, typical of
>>> megaglomeration of a bunch of companies. A good portion of the budget for
>>> the project was spent researching and tracking down first-generation
>>> tapes.
>>> In several cases, edited 3-track masters weren't found, but Harold
>>> Lawrence
>>> had kept his edit notes so he could re-edit the "B" machine's reels,
>>> which
>>> had survived all the moving around.
>>> More interesting to me is the mono catalog. I would love to see a bunch
>>> of
>>> that material reissued. There are modern techniques that can clean up
>>> problems on some early tapes and I think if a dedicated program of
>>> high-quality transfers of the full-tracks were begun, it just as soon
>>> encompass all the good stuff. I'd like to see all the mono Hanson back in
>>> print, plus items like Dorati's mono "Rite of Spring" and Copland 3rd,
>>> and
>>> the Respighi "Church Windows." I'd also like to see the mono "1812" back
>>> in
>>> print, for historical purposes, because it was the best-selling classical
>>> record from the beginning of the LP era into the 1960's. There are a few
>>> Kubelik albums that didn't get released because they have very
>>> problematic
>>> tapes but I think modern technology could solve the problems if the
>>> budget
>>> were there. And even though only Dolby-ized dub tapes from the Golden
>>> Imports exist for the Fennell Gabrieli album, I'd like to see that back
>>> in
>>> print. Also, just because it was a neat album, "The Music of the Bells,"
>>> recorded at the same time the Riverside Cathedral bells were used for the
>>> stereo "1812." That album is more a sonic document of bells above busy
>>> Manhattan circa 1959 than a classical-music album, but the bells are
>>> played
>>> very well. I think there was talk at the time the "1812"/"Wellington's"
>>> CD
>>> was being made of doing a 2CD set that also included the mono "1812" and
>>> "Music of the Bells," but the budget was used up re-synchronizing and
>>> re-mixing the weapons and SFX, this time with Wellington's Victory
>>> perfectly in beat with the score.
>>> There are also a few interesting late 60's Mercury albums made after
>>> Harold Lawrence departed. The last sessions with the San Antonio Symphony
>>> netted interesting material, plus Hilde Somer made two interesting
>>> Scriabin
>>> solo-piano records, which I think should be packaged with some sort of
>>> DVD
>>> production similar to the light show she used to put on, per Scriabin's
>>> own
>>> notes and sketches. Evelyn Crochet also made at least one interesting
>>> solo-piano record, it was released on Philips.
>>> I doubt any of this material will get a proper reissue because there's
>>> just not a business model for it anymore. Again, it's "just business," no
>>> underlying malice.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Randy Lane" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 9:01 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence
>>>  How much classical material (expressed as a persentage) would you
>>> estimate
>>>>  (Tom) was NOT digitized under the direction of WCF? Is that material,
>>>> due
>>>> the required equipment, like "lost" forever now?
>>>> On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>*
>>>> ***
>>>> wrote:
>>>>  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
>>>>>  Pallet
>>>>>> used as a line amp/switcher - not too shabby.
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]******GOV <[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]>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>  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
>>>>>> had
>>>>>> 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