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Sheffield Labs Direct-to-Disc LPs

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  • #16
    I remember James Boyk dropping me an email a while back expressing his amazement that I hadn't included any Sheffield LPs on my Best of album list. Thing is Jim made a huge thing about his special Magnesaurus tape machine but I remember his Performance Recordings being very dry sounding too.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      wow, I haven't seen James' name mentioned in years. I had some of his records, I don't recall any of them being particularly memorable. I see he has a website and still puts out music.

  • #17
    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
    And don't forget all Sheffield Lab LP's were cut with the Teldec (not RIAA) equalization as Myles wrote once on WBF... If that is true and you don't have a phono stage like Zanden, D'Agostino, Audio Research, FM Acoustics...etc, that have different eq options, you are not playing these LP's properly.
    Perhaps I should add that don't worry too much if you don't have a phono stage with eq options. I tried listening to these LP's with RIAA eq many times and the difference was never night and day. Some of my friends even preferred RIAA to the TELDEC. If I remember correctly, RIAA was generally brighter, seemed to have more air but was also less natural and less coherent than the TELDEC but I can live with both.

    Regarding the dry sounding records: I also like Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances (especially the Chad's version) a lot even though it is also dryer sounding. Those who connect dryer sounding records with lower fidelity should go to concerts of orchestras in smaller halls. I think you will appreciate records like Sheffield Lab much more. They're IMO no less faithful to the actual event (maybe even more) than for instance RR LP's are faithful to "their" actual events.
    Source: Kuzma XL DC, Kuzma 4Point 14 inch, Benz Micro LP-S MR; Phono: Zanden 1200 Mk3; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: conrad-johnson GAT Series 2; Power amp: conrad-johnson ART; Speakers: Avalon Time; Grounding: Tripoint Troy Signature & Thor SE; Cable system: Cardas Clear & Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power conditioner: P.I.Audio: UberBuss with Furutech FI-E30 NCF; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

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    • #18
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor;n61828 ...

      The one I totally never got were the Moscow sessions. Maybe the idea of Americans playing Russian music and vice versa was cute but the end result was awful. Bleh......
      Au contrarie mon ami. It's a great set of three LPs (TLP-1000.) The orchestra was the Moscow Philharmonic, alternately conducted by Russian Dmitri Kitayenko and American Lawrence Leighton Smith. Unless there were American muscians in the MP, there were no Americans muscians other than Smith. A familiar repertory for the Russian band when led by Smith (Shosty, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Glasunov - sp?), while Kitayenko conducted, but for Copland, less well known American music (Ives, Piston, Barber, ?.) The sound is warm, natural and vibrant, occasionally lush with a fine sense of venue context. The recordings, imo, are excellent. I have not heard the CDs. Some critics did not care for Kitayenko's Appalachian Spring but I find it a great reading, quite poignant for a conductor going outside his comfort zone.

      Aside - Both conductors were relatively obscure in 1987(?). Since then Kitayenko has gone on to higher recognition. His 2005 SACD set of 15 Shostakovich Symphonies with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln on the Capricio label is most excellent - disc only, but if you do that format and want to get to know Shosty, I recommend it to you. Try Symphony 12 "The Year 1917". To quote myself: "If you like the bombastic side of Shosty, here is your piece -- after all, it is revolutionary. Step by ponderous step, the inexorable carapace of proletarian praxis rides athwart the imperial walker of historical inevitability."
      Spkr: Wilson Alexias; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 1.5 & 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Ξtron Anaconda PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton II, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class XL plus2 amp stands, Stillpoints 5s under spkrs; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

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      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        Tim I agree the MS set is great and def above average.

      • Marcus
        Marcus commented
        Editing a comment
        +1

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, you are correct.

    • #19
      +1

      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      Is it just me or are these albums the most over rated recordings in the history of high-end audio? Perhaps the definition of audiophile LP? Except the sound ain't so great for the most part either? I've got the lot of them and can't tell you the last time played a Sheffield D2D. Outside of the two (Newman and Track Record) listed in another thread. And even those come with caveats.

      The classical titles are perhaps the worst of the lot sounding like a really bad Burt Whyte recording. Distant and drier than the Sahara Desert.

      Plus the low end in all of them is messed up. Just boomy, wooly and ill defined. Like a bad tube amp. Musically, most are meh at best.

      The one I totally never got were the Moscow sessions. Maybe the idea of Americans playing Russian music and vice versa was cute but the end result was awful. Bleh......

      Comment


      • Greg Beron
        Greg Beron commented
        Editing a comment
        If you want to know how the reissued DCD came about, here is a link to the story told by ex DCD band member Peter Ulrich.

        http://www.unitedhomeproducts.com/de...acdcd_mfsl.htm

        Peter states that most of the DCD library was recorded digitally....
        I have a couple of DCD tapes and they are not that great, Ayon and Into the Labyrinth.
        However from another source I have a DCD tune on a compilation tape.
        Myles heard that tape at Axpona on the MBL Extreme System two years ago, it sounds pretty good.
        Not sure why my two tapes are so so...

      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        Greg when I said "TML" I meant The Mastering Lab aka Sheffield Labs. I think you're referring to MFSL.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Rob - Chad initially thought the Sheffield tapes came with his TML purchase and was even considering releasing one or more (?) of the Sheffield recordings on reel-to-reel tape. Alas something happened after the purchase with tape ownership issues and last I heard who owned the tapes was in limbo.
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