This has nothing to do with my statement about RCA's competitors, and RCA made plenty of marketing 
use of Fantel's shilling.

The NYT as a source of a technology review doesn't impress me the least. They have a long history of 
ignorant shilling for various "latest-greatest" technology interests, especially if those interests 
are big buyers of ad space.

Clark are you saying you prefer Dynagrooves to earlier Living Stereo cuts?

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Clark Johnsen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Details on vinyl to digital re-mastering

"There were probably some moments of fear and loathing among competitors --
until they put the first Dynagroove LPs on their turntables, took a listen
and laughed loudly."

Hmmm... But to quote Hans Fantel, later (although perhaps already) a critic
for the New York Times:

The first few measures of music I heard on RCA Victor Dynagroove left no
doubt that a major technical advance had been achieved…The bass rolled out
with astonishing richness, the highs were clear and crisp, and heavily
scored passages were transparent in every musical detail. .The Dynagroove
record reflects advances on many fronts, correlated by RCA engineers into a
consistent technical process, at the heart of which are new techniques and
equipment. *Computers have been introduced to audio for the first time*…All
this adds up to what is, in my opinion, a remarkable degree of musical
realism. The technique is ingenious and sophisticated, but its validation
is simple: the ear confirms it.

And there you have it.


On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> When the first Dynagroove record came out -- I think it was a Mahler
> symphony by Leinsdorf/BSO --  RCA made a huge splash, including lengthy
> technical essays in the album packaging plus much publicity in trade
> publications and hifi mags. There were probably some moments of fear and
> loathing among competitors -- until they put the first Dynagroove LPs on
> their turntables, took a listen and laughed loudly.
> RCA ruined a major competitive weapon -- their excellent sound quality --
> in one ill-conceived move. Until Dynagroove, RCA was making classical
> records of a sound quality usually on par with the smaller quality-oriented
> labels, but with RCA's superior roster of famous musicians and conductors.
> Their pressing plant in Indiana was the best in the US.  The point is that
> they were already putting out excellent records and didn't need to upset
> the apple cart. There's probably a business school case study in why you'd
> mess so drastically with that formula. And then, they stubbornly stuck with
> Dynagroove even after it was panned. And then, in the late 60's, they came
> out with paper-thin Dynaflex records. It's interesting how a company that
> ushered in many technical innovations over the years, and established a
> very strong quality-oriented culture, went down such a wrong path and then
> stuck on it until the end.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Donald Tait" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 3:47 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Details on vinyl to digital re-mastering
>  I'd like to add my voice to Tom's about Dynagroove LPs. They were a major
> "retro" step around 1963. In addition to the sonic faults cited so far,
> another was the squashing of dynamic range. As we know, Ravel's Bolero is
> among other things a very long crescendo, beginning extremely quietly and
> gradually building to a loud climax. Charles Munch's last (1962) Boston
> Symphony recording of Bolero, released on LM/LSC-2664, begins as loudly as
> it ends. There is no dynamic range to speak of. Speaking metaphorically,
> what happens is that the sound becomes progressively thicker in sonority
> rather than changing dynamically. And some Dynagroove LPs indeed had
> distortion. Morton Gould's circa 1965 recording of his Spirituals with the
> Chicago Symphony (I don't have the catalogue number to hand) is
> extraordinarily sonorous and tonally rich on the Red Seal stereo Dynagroove
> LP, but the climaxes are seriously overloaded. But as has been said, some
> Dynagroove LPs were better than others. Especially later in the series,
> when they seemed to back off a bit from the manipulation.
>  Dynagroove reminds me of what a late friend used to say, paraphrasing
> David Letterman: "another stupid RCA trick." My experience has parallelled
> Tom's: the CD reissues are better.
>  Don Tait
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 5:24 am
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Details on vinyl to digital re-mastering
> Hi Evan:
> Most RCA stuff from the dynagroove era got released on CD. My advice is,
> find
> the CD. Dynagroove was
> a bad idea. Often, it was a badly executed bad idea. Some of those records
> sound
> so bad they are not
> fixable because of the sibilance problem you mentioned. There might be some
> gold-plated,
> made-in-the-moonlight-by-**virgins megabux cartridge that doesn't splash
> that kind
> of high-frequency
> energy, but I doubt it since i think the overload was in the cutterhead,
> so it's
> baked in.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Evan MacBeth" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 12:19 AM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Details on vinyl to digital re-mastering
> Hi all,
> Only moderately off track, does anyone have any particular tips for
> transferring
> Stereo RCA
> Dynagroove discs from the early 60s? The disc i'm trying to copy has such
> an
> over-the-top top end. I
> intend to reduce the top end a bit, but does anyone know if Dynagroove
> used a
> specific top end
> boost?
> In addition, certain sibilant syllables from the vocalist distort terribly
> while
> others in the same
> song do not - but if i sum the two channels to mono the sibilance doesn't
> distort at all. Whether
> this is down to the vocalist's mic technique or not, i wouldn't know - i
> don't
> have any other
> Dynagroove albums to compare this to. Also, this is a brand new disc, it
> was
> still sealed until i
> cracked it open on Tuesday (and yes, it needed a clean!) but i've had the
> same
> problem in the same
> place with other copies too.
> Any tips at all?
> Cheers,
> Evan.