Matthew, please fix the reply-to parameter in your e-mail, so when one replies to your posts they 
default to the ARSCList and not to you!

About your points ...

I think Jamie was talking about archiving valuable, high-fidelity music masters, not stuff like oral 
histories or amateur recordings from a folk club (although those kinds of recordings can sometimes 
sparkle more than ever thought if put through the kind of playback and time-alignment that Jamie 
described). Jamie's point was, I think, these tapes are getting older and more fragile by the day. 
They shouldn't be played just to come out with some new version of a quicky, inaccurate remaster. 
Because they are valuable and fragile, and because budgets are tight, the money should be found for 
an expert playback and Plangent's time-alignment treatment, and then keep that highly accurate, 
high-resolution transfer in the vault. Having read Gary Galo's excellent article about RIAA 
de-emphasis, analog vs. digital, I happen to favor doing the NAB or CCIR de-emphasis in the analog 
domain, but otherwise I agree with Jamie about the value of a highly-accurate (both EQ and speed) 
playback. A mastering guy can then take the high-resolution digital file and color/process to his 

If you want to hear what the method Jamie described can yield, check out the new Grateful Dead 
Studio Albums package at HDTracks. If you have some extra cash, also download the stand-alone 
version of "American Beauty," which I think is from the mid-2000's Rhino remaster. There are 
differences, great and small, and more differences show up the more carefully you listen. Dave 
Glasser wrote a detailed description of how he did this new remastering:

Here's the page for the stand-alone "American Beauty":

The differences I described are also very clear in the new remaster vs. the stand-alone 
"Workingman's Dead":

One final note. As you've probably noticed over the years, I'm a huge advocate of the trusty old 
CardDeluxe PCI interface, and I still have two of them installed in my older DAW. However, I 
upgraded to a Lynx Hilo for my newer DAW, and it's a whole different level of quality. I still 
almost always work in 96/24, so I can do 1:1 comparisons right off the DAWs. There is a big audible 
difference, the Lynx has more detail. I also compared by playing back the SPDIF out of the 
CardDeluxe through the Lynx, and the Lynx still comes out slightly ahead. I had to listen very 
carefully on headphones to hear the differences, I'll admit, which indicates just how good 
CardDeluxe's late 90s technology was. It may be a mute point anyway since the PCI buss is gone and 
CardDeluxe doesn't make the 2-channel cards anymore. My larger point is that there is a new 
generation of ADC's and DAW's that are another step forward in resolution and transparency.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matthew Sohn" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a prime case of why subjective reviews of audio gear are USELESS

> "John Chester worked out a deemph circuit that coupled with the Pp/flux heads is flatter than an 
> ATR or Studer, or any other aftermarket piece we could get a look at. That was the gig. I don't 
> want to deliver a piece that colors the archival copy. Wanna master? Have fun, use tools and 
> taste. Otherwise, do nothing but deliver, accurately."
> So happy to hear that you have made such progress in capturing the original intent of the 
> recordist.
> I feel severely inadequate operating as I do with a mere Studer A-80 and a Card Deluxe..
> But....
> * The clients I have are happy
> * I can't afford to acquire the technology you have
> * 90% of the material I work with doesn't matter
> * The 10% that does matter, I will happily refer to you