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Yes, that would be a smart use of half-speed mastering. That would be for CD4 records only (mostly 
RCA and Elektra titles). SQ and QS did not have a high-frequency carrier, rather they were matrixed 
systems.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randy A. Riddle" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Decca FFRR "backwards" disk-cutting -- likely a MYTH


> Wasn't there "super-sonic" frequencies on Quadradiscs?  I was thinking
> those had to be cut at half speed because they included a 30 kHz carrier -
> if you put one on a turntable and slow it down, the carrier tone is clearly
> audible.
>
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 3:10 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> I don't think very many LPs contained "super-sonic" frequencies, because
>> everyone rolled off at some point to avoid blowing out the cutterhead. You
>> are very correct, though, that it's easier to cut 10kHz than 20kHz at a
>> high level, but what music has high levels of 20kHz in the first place? I
>> just don't see any big advantage to half-speed cutting, but I should call
>> up my friend Stan Ricker and discuss this in-depth before saying more.
>>
>> For what it's worth, among the major classical LP labels cutting records
>> in NY in the first decade of stereophony, it was typical to low-pass around
>> 15K, meaning there was a decrease in level down to about 10K. No one tended
>> to complain that there's not enough treble on Mercury, RCA and Columbia
>> albums of the time. If you didn't low-pass, you used something like a
>> Fairchild Conax, which was a relatively fast limiter for high-frequency
>> (above 10K) signals. The reason was, it was expensive to blow out Westrex
>> cutterheads and they were easily blown out with intense high-frequency
>> information. One thing that mystifies me about half-speed cutting is that
>> it came into vogue later on, when most people were using Neumann lathes and
>> cutterheads. I thought one of the big advantages of Neumann cutterheads was
>> that they pretty much solved the problem of blowing up with intense
>> high-frequency information. I know that George Piros, who could cut a LOT
>> of HF into an LP using a Scully/Westrex system in the early 60's, said he
>> could cut even more HF and level "if I turn off the computer" using his
>> Neumann lathe at Atlantic Records.
>>
>> A major test of how much HF you could cut with a circa 1958 Westrex
>> cutterhead came with "Persuasive Percussion" by Terry Snyder and Enoch
>> Light, the all-time best seller among "Stereo Spectacular" pop records. My
>> father told Enoch Light's biographer that he and George blew out "about a
>> dozen" cutterheads trying to get acceptable fidelity with the Chinese
>> bells. They finally arrived on a compromise that kept the cutterhead from
>> blowing up and ended up with a close approximation of Chinese Bells when
>> played back with a good cartridge on a light-tracking turntable of the era
>> (2g was very light tracking in those days). It was during that time that my
>> father got Westrex to customize his cutterheads, making them mechanically
>> stiffer (less compliant), so he could use much less electrical feedback and
>> more net power from his 200W McIntosh amplifiers. George perfected cutting
>> right on the edge of coming out with a trackable record and not blowing up
>> too many cutters.
>>
>> Ironically, now that I wrote that, I think half-speed cutting would have
>> been really beneficial in the early stereo days. But not when it was en
>> vogue.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dave Burnham" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 2:46 PM
>>
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Decca FFRR "backwards" disk-cutting -- likely a
>> MYTH
>>
>>
>>  I always thought the advantages of half-speed mastering were in the high
>>> frequencies, not the lows; super-sonic frequencies were brought down to
>>> sonic frequencies and recorded more easily, but very low frequencies were
>>> pushed down into a subsonic range and frequencies in the low teens can be
>>> troublesome for tape heads. Also consider that direct to disc recordings
>>> are better sounding than any half speed mastered disc and, of course, they
>>> can only be recorded at normal speed.
>>>
>>> db
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>>  On Mar 12, 2015, at 8:49 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I do think they pioneered this, going back to SONAR training equipment
>>>> in WWII.
>>>>
>>>> Speaking of half-speed cutting, I have never understood how this is
>>>> pulled off in a modern context, especially with Dolby-encoded master tapes.
>>>> I guess it's possible to make the NAB or CCIR tape EQ de-emphasis work at
>>>> half-speed, and the RIAA emphasis at the lathe, but doesn't Dolby get
>>>> screwed up when frequency bands are lowered?
>>>>
>>>> Today, I think one can listen to recent LP cuts by Bernie Grundman or
>>>> Ryan Smith or Sean Magee and hear that there's no need for half-speed if
>>>> the cutting engineer and his cutting chain are top-notch. I've heard
>>>> arguments about fitting more bass energy on a disk at half-speed, but again
>>>> I can't understand how that's true since the disk will be played back at
>>>> full-speed and hence won't track on normal-priced systems if the grooves
>>>> are too wide and deep.
>>>>
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 8:18 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Decca FFRR "backwards" disk-cutting -- likely a
>>>> MYTH
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>  Decca did do some half-speed cutting - am I remembering that right?
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 7:57 AM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Decca FFRR "backwards" disk-cutting -- likely a MYTH
>>>>>
>>>>> I asked the folks at Decca Classics, including the guys who just put
>>>>> together the excellent new "Mono Years 1944-1956" box set. All of them
>>>>> said,
>>>>> in essence, no way. The technical guys said it's not possible to cut
>>>>> 20-minute LP sides this way and there was no reason to do it, given
>>>>> Decca's
>>>>> advanced cutting techniques developed during WWII, many of which were
>>>>> ported
>>>>> over to microgrooves.
>>>>> For 78's, they said again there was no reason to cut a disk backwards
>>>>> since
>>>>> they could easily accomodate FFRR cutting forward like everyone else.
>>>>> Unless
>>>>> someone can come up with some documentation saying otherwise, I would
>>>>> say
>>>>> this is a MYTH and should be nipped in the bud here.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>
>
>