I can recommend a pair of Direct to Disc LPs, both on Crystal Clear Records and both widely 
available on the used vinyl market - "The Fox Touch" volumes 1 and 2 by Virgil Fox. Recorded by Bert 
Whyte in what is now the Crystal Cathedral in California, and cut to disk by Stan Ricker. You will 
rarely hear this much detail and frequency spectrum in a pipe organ recording. Because the cathedral 
had movie-theater style seats carpeting, it wasn't a massive echo chamber with 10+ second decay 
time. So Whyte was able to move the mics out far enough to get really nice balance on the pipes but 
also get the dynamics and details of Fox's playing without the sound being swallowed up in a muddy 

There was also digital recording made at these sessions, using Soundstream equipment. The takes not 
used for the direct-to-disc records (ie those not approved as master takes) were released as "The 
Digital Fox" both on LP and early-era poor-sounding CD.

Except for the fact that Stan Ricker did such a good job cutting those Crystal Clear records, I 
wouldn't recommend pipe organ music on vinyl. The instrument runs against all the limitations of the 
medium. The European way to do it back in the LP heyday was to cut at very low average levels, roll 
off the deep bass and press on very quiet vinyl. The American was usually to push the limits of 
cutting and playability and end up with groove distortion, especially at the end of sides. Of my old 
LPs, the most consistently un-distorted were the Columbia E. Power Biggs recordings, but they also 
sounded somewhat muffled.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Schroth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:22 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Quality pipe organ recordings

> Can anyone recommend a couple of well recorded and produced pipe organ CD's. I have a couple of 
> older ones that I picked up from a friend, but I'm not sure if I like the quality of the 
> recordings. They sound a tad flat and muffled to me.
> Thanks for any recommendations.
> John Schroth
> ---
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