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It's not surprising that cylinders sound so good - they are written at high speed, although I don't know how 160 rpm on a 2 inch diameter compares to 78 rpm on a 10 inch diameter, but thinking about it, the beginning of a 10 inch record should sound better, and also there's no tracking error. 

Cylinders are the one format I never got into - don't own a machine or any records. 

db

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> On Sep 4, 2014, at 4:40 PM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Some other things to note.  The excellent clarity of that Hallelujah Chorus
> recording is also due to the musical arrangement and the singers, a group
> of stalwart choristers, but very few of them.  There are places ("For he
> shall reign for ever and ever..") where you are hearing a solo quartet, and
> only a few times does it sound like more than 2 voices on a part.  I am
> guessing that the "lead horses" with strong voices (of good quality) were
> right in front of the big horn, or multiple horns, with maybe one or two
> choristers per part standing right behind them, so the "lead horses" don't
> come off totally as solos.  They could also be doubling each other in spots
> (singing another part besides your own when your part is silent, a common
> enough practice in many choral groups).  If I am remembering correctly, the
> Hallelujah Chorus is in only 4 parts, being regular SATB.  A certain amount
> of room resonance adds to the illusion of more voices, but this couldn't be
> more than about 12 people, and possibly as few as 8.  Whatever they did, it
> works well here, thanks in large part to the quality of the singers.
> 
> Re sound quality of cylinders generally, if you have heard Marston's set of
> "Edison Tests," being largely unplayed test records recorded on cylinders,
> some of them sound startlingly real.  Similarly, the Edison disc test
> pressings released by Marston sound amazing.  These formats were obviously
> capable of great things.  That promise remained largely unrealized because
> Edison was virtually deaf, he was musically uneducated with pedestrian
> taste in music, and he was his own limiting factor because he would not
> delegate responsibility to others who did not have his limitations.
> 
> Best,
> John Haley
> 
> 
> 
>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 4:05 PM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Only through the start of 1915. From there on, the DDs were the "master
>> records." I don't have my reference for such things handy, but once in hand
>> I may be able
>> to find the actual cutoff. Homer Rodeheaver was among the last of the
>> artists to make "original" BAs.
>> 
>> UD
>> 
>> 
>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I thought I read in "A Phonograph In Every Home" that many of the DD's
>>> were actually dubs of Blue Amberols. I might be remembering this wrong.
>>> 
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> 
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 12:34 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] That Allelujah chorus cylinder
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Mal,
>>>> 
>>>> Not necessarily. The early Edison DDs were made out of material that
>> IMHO
>>>> were pretty bad for making records. If the disc was in the catalog a
>> long
>>>> time,
>>>> then you may have a chance of finding one on a better pressing. Or if
>> you
>>>> find a DD that has hardly been played. But the BAs, despite presenting
>>>> their own
>>>> bag of issues, have slightly friendlier surfaces in a lot of cases.
>>>> 
>>>> UD
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM, Malcolm Rockwell <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Yeah, but... isn't this cylinder a dub of a take of Edison DD 80292-R?
>>>>> And wouldn't the fidelity be even better on the "original"??
>>>>> Malcolm
>>>>> 
>>>>> *******
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> On 9/4/2014 12:35 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Agree that is remarkably good sound for a cylinder!
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I'm guessing quite a large horn was used and a lot of care was used
>>>>>> arranging and balancing the singers.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Even so, there's still typical acoustic recording issues with dynamics
>>>>>> (over-modulates anything loud, fails to capture anything soft). But
>> the
>>>>>> usable dynamic range of this recording system is much greater than
>> early
>>>>>> cylinder systems. Again, I'm guessing a large horn and more compliant
>>>>>> cutting aparatus.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 1:18 AM
>>>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] That Allelujah chorus cylinder
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Hi folks:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I was right -- finding Paul Fucito's page required going to the
>> Wayback
>>>>>>> Machine for Dec 16, 2007:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> http://web.archive.org/web/20071216110008/http://
>>>>>>> paulfucito.blogspot.com/2007/12/vintage-christmas-wax-revisited.html
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Scroll down to the list of recordings; it's the fourth one down. The
>>>>>>> notes suggest it *was* an Edison recording, presumably a Blue
>> Amberol.
>>>>>>> Given that it's an acoustical cylinder, delivered as an .mp3, I think
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> sound is remarkable.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Peace,
>>>>>>> Paul
>>