On 04/12/2013, John Haley wrote:

> Re Tom's dream of the future when all the masters have been
> transferred and nobody needs the commercially produced records any
> more, there's a huge factor in that fantasy that I think is
> overlooked. When transfers are made from original sources, be they
> masters or the commercial records resulting therefrom, and
> particularly so in the realm of 78's, there is human judgment involved
> at every step of the way. Creating the digital transfers is anything
> but a simple mechanical exercise. What is the right speed of the
> record? Were the performers actually performing at the standard pitch?
> What phono EQ is built into the record, if any (a huge factor)?

These apply just as much if you are simply playing the 78 without making
a digital copy.

> Has/should any noise be removed? If so, how, how much and at what
> frequencies? The record needs to be well centered properly. What is
> the stylus that will yield the best result? How good are the analog
> electronics before the signal is digitized? What sampling rate and bit
> depth has been used? Most importantly, does the person doing all this
> have any conception of what the performers would have sounded like
> when they made the recording? There are choices and decisions to be
> made at every step of the way. There really is as much art as science
> involved in this process, and one person's transfer result will
> definitely not be the same as another person's result. We all know
> examples where lots of time, energy, and fancy equipment have been
> used, with all good intentions, to get a lousy result. I don't think
> we can ever really throw out ANY high quality source material that
> will persist, be it the masters, original pressings, whatever.
> Although, yes, I will let you throw out all the digital lossy format
> copies! And while you are at it, any 8-track car tape releases too.

Don Cox
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