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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

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> 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
>>