Worked for me when I was 14. But, let me ask: did Dynagroove persist because
it led to success in the market, or because an executive, not in technical
or A&R, but maybe in marketing, sold this to the honcho, who couldn't and
wouldn't cry uncle once the bad reviews came in? Without actual info, I'd
bet the continuance of Red Seal was as much momentum as anything. By the
late 60s, the high-priced artists were gone. RCA did continue important work
in the classics, but not, I assume, at Heifetz money. Correct me if I'm
wrong. It took them years to earn back some trust in the market, if they
ever did, and RCA never held classical high-ground again.

One unfortunate result is that these mid-60s RCAs mostly get passed over for
premium reissues, because of their bad rep. The few I've heard that have
been rehabbed suffer from spotlighting, but that's a catalog that musically
shouldn't languish.

BTW, JGH penned a famous denunciation of Dynagroove, published in The
Stereophile. I think it was Pfeiffer who maintained always that there was no
big eq deal to Dynagroove. But that he did fight a tendency for them to use
too many mics, something that the heavy dynamic compression makes sound too
garish. As to the thin discs, some of them sounded good if they weren't
warped - quiet surfaces, good dynamics, even some bass, but you had to crank
them up. As with all things vinyl, it is a case by case thing, hard to make
blanket judgments on sound quality.

A quick fact check proves interesting. The Ives is not bad regarding
distortion. I guess my record player has made some progress in 35 years.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Randy A. Riddle
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 9:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Details on vinyl to digital re-mastering

I think all of you are being far too hard on RCA for Dynagroove and

The introduction of Dynagroove marked the transition in the mass
market from dad's show-off hi-fi in the basement to stereo consoles
for the masses.  Dynagroove was designed to "wow" the average person
who didn't care about all the technical gobbley-gook - they just
wanted a bright sounding, loud record to show off that big piece of
furniture in the den that happened to contain a record changer.  And
they stuck with it to make records sound more dynamic on the smaller
record players that came later.

The goal wasn't accurate reproduction of sound - the goal was
tailoring the sound of their releases to a particular technology they
were also selling at the time.

Dynaflex was introduced to save on shipping costs and returns of
broken records mishandled by shippers.

If you think about the large volume of recordings that RCA had to move
to pay those great artists, you can begin to understand why they had
to pinch pennies and think of ways to market to the masses.

RCA was simply following the market and survived many years because of
it.  Just remember that those crappy sounding Dynagroove discs paid
for those beautiful masters you're listening to now on SACD and 180
gram remastered vinyl.


On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> "There's probably a business school case study in why you'd mess so
> drastically with that formula."
> If not, as any resident of Rochester can tell you, Eastman Kodak is
> providing an over the top example of total corporate suicide. Spectacular
> witness.
> My first experience of hifi stereo was as a kid who just got his second
> speaker. (Could only afford one for Christmas, so had to wait till the
> year to get the other.) I put them at the foot of my bed, cued up
> Leinsdorf's Mahler 1, laid back and discovered the Soundstage. But that's
> what Dynagroove was for - to play low so your parents won't be annoyed.
> FM radio.
> Was it Mahler 5 that was first? My older brother brought back to the US
> his 1967 Air Force duty in Spain a German pressing of that album, and a
> other RCAs like that. On the cover, they trumpeted, "Das ist DYNAGROOVE!"
> I always say it with a Hollywood Prussian voice when a great album like
> Gould's Ives Sym 1 gets all frantic at the end, despite "Verzerrungen und
> Übersteuerungserscheinungen entfallen!". There is no cure, even on a
> tricked-out record player.