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  • #16
    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
    Speakers Corner has at least two 45 rpm records:

    - Herold - Lanchberry, La Fille Mal Gardee, SXL 2313-45 (I have this LP) and
    - Mendelssohn, Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave), SXL 2246-45
    Forgot to mention this excellent reissue from Speakers Corner - Moussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition (orginal and orchestral version), SR90217. Orchestral version is 33 rpm but the original piano version is 45rpm LP and is one of the best piano recordings I know.

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    • bonzo75
      bonzo75 commented
      Editing a comment
      That Byron Janis performance is incredible. I used to use the CD for audition. I bought this LP

    • astrotoy
      astrotoy commented
      Editing a comment
      The album states the original piano version was never previously released. Not sure why. It is stunning. I heard him play Pictures 50+ years ago at a concert in Chicago. He had already recorded many great albums for Mercury by then, when he was in his 30's. Janis had to stop performing in his '40's because of arthritis problems affecting his hands.

      Larry

  • #17
    I don’t think you can make any generalizations about either label:
    • Provenance of tape (not everybody gets masters)
    • Who mastered the album eg. BG does the ORGs while SC uses a variety of engineers including Kevin Gray. (I think the aforementioned Crossings was cut by Kevin.)
    • Tubes vs transistors
    • Tape machines and studio paths
    • Pressing plants
    I think both labels have for some reason been more successful with their jazz than classical releases. Know the Speakers Corner Mercuries received praise in the press but they were really lacking particularly when it came to information, harmonics and space. SC Deccas always sounded solid-statish and dry. Strings on the 45 rpm ORG Deccas sound a little hard. But again comes down to price, record condition
    and wanting to have the music.

    The SC pop seems all over the place sonically (though Lou Reed’s Transformer is very good) while ORG seems more consistent. The aforementioned BST is great but haven’t compared it to the recent AS reissue. I really like many of the ORG 45 rpm jazz reissues.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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    • #18
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      I don’t think you can make any generalizations about either label:
      • Provenance of tape (not everybody gets masters)
      • Who mastered the album eg. BG does the ORGs while SC uses a variety of engineers including Kevin Gray. (I think the aforementioned Crossings was cut by Kevin.)
      • Tubes vs transistors
      • Tape machines and studio paths
      • Pressing plants
      I think both labels have for some reason been more successful with their jazz than classical releases. Know the Speakers Corner Mercuries received praise in the press but they were really lacking particularly when it came to information, harmonics and space. SC Deccas always sounded solid-statish and dry. Strings on the 45 rpm ORG Deccas sound a little hard. But again comes down to price, record condition
      and wanting to have the music.

      The SC pop seems all over the place sonically (though Lou Reed’s Transformer is very good) while ORG seems more consistent. The aforementioned BST is great but haven’t compared it to the recent AS reissue. I really like many of the ORG 45 rpm jazz reissues.

      A bit surprised to read yr comments although I don't think I have a non-Classical Speaker's Corner record so I cannot compare with those. However I have quite a few SC Classical LPs. We have different experiences wrt SC Mercuries and Decca sonics. Overall, I've found SC Classical quite consistent - maybe I've been lucky.

      You can find Speakers Corner created a nice Web site to address exactly the type of issues you identify: pure-analogue.com . Worth a visit to learn more. Though their motto offers a hint: 20 Years Pure Analogue.

      A small snippet: "So we limit ourselves to titles that were recorded between the mid-50s and the late 70s and were released on vinyl LP, that means no shellacs or 10″ EPs. Accordingly, the tapes used are between 40 and 60 years old. In the early 80s, digital recording technology started to prevail. Titles with digital recordings are not available in our catalogue, there is only one exception." They also claim to reject any digitally repaired tape.
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      • #19
        Originally posted by tima View Post


        A bit surprised to read yr comments although I don't think I have a non-Classical Speaker's Corner record so I cannot compare with those. However I have quite a few SC Classical LPs. We have different experiences wrt SC Mercuries and Decca sonics. Overall, I've found SC Classical quite consistent - maybe I've been lucky.

        You can find Speakers Corner created a nice Web site to address exactly the type of issues you identify: pure-analogue.com . Worth a visit to learn more. Though their motto offers a hint: 20 Years Pure Analogue.

        A small snippet: "So we limit ourselves to titles that were recorded between the mid-50s and the late 70s and were released on vinyl LP, that means no shellacs or 10″ EPs. Accordingly, the tapes used are between 40 and 60 years old. In the early 80s, digital recording technology started to prevail. Titles with digital recordings are not available in our catalogue, there is only one exception." They also claim to reject any digitally repaired tape.
        Thanks for the link Tim! I’ve seen it and was going to include but thought it was posted elsewhere. Kai finally after all these year provided some info on the mastering but doesn’t talk Tape provenance. SCs are reportedly all AAA releases but what exactly were they cut from especially knowing that many labels don’t give out master tapes any more. The work tape? The master. A safety? A new remix? A new mixdown? Sometimes these safeties are beat to hell plus we might be able to make a better new mixdown with today’s better playback heads. That is what counters much of this “freshness” argument.

        Remember my comments about the reissues are in comparison to the original record. It can often be the case of the album sounds great until hear something better. Just like with equipment. It’s the tonal information and density and sense of space that many reissues lose. Especially say for instance with the classical and especially jazz releases from Classic Records. Bass? Not sure what to make of that. Sometimes sounds jacked up but not sure if that is what tape really sounds like or was played with. Take the RCA Living Stereo and Classic. The original RCAs are somewhat light in the bass and hear that even on the tapes or compared to Mercury releases. Classics like Witches Brew sound boosted to make up for that. Other labels not so much.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 and Thoress Mk. 2 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • tima
          tima commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, the perfect is the enemy of the good, but finding a quiet original is no longer worth the time unless You Simply Must Have It. I am genuinely thankful to Hobson, Seaman, Chassem, Impex, ORG, etc. otherwise my listening enjoyment would be an aural shadow of what it is. God Bless the Reissue. :-)

      • #20
        Tim, thanks for the link. For the early Decca Speakers Corner reissues, I bought a few for which I didn't have the original Decca or London versions. Since then I have been able to buy almost all of the originals for which I have SC reissues. For someone who can't get or afford an original, the Speaker's Corner reissues are a more than acceptable alternative at a very reasonable price. Another option is the SDD series on Decca which were reissues of the original SXL2000 and early 6000 series done in the late '60's and early '70's, a decade or so after the originals were released. Many of them, particularly the grooved large label ones are very fine and used the same stampers as the originals.

        In my interviews with Decca recording engineer John Dunkerley, I asked him about the Speakers Corner Decca reissues. He said that he had heard a few of them, but wasn't terribly impressed, compared with the original Deccas.

        It is a common practice as indicated in the link (see the section on Equalizer) for mastering engineers to judiciously (or injudiciously) use equalizers in either copying the tapes or cutting to the lacquer. Those are sometimes to repair problems in the original tapes or effects of age of tapes, etc. However, they are often judgement calls where the mastering engineer is "sweetening" the sound of the original master tapes for the reissue. Often these are tapes which are of sufficient age that the original recording engineers are no longer around and can't either praise or criticize what was done to their original works. John Dunkerley is a exception, one of the few remaining Decca engineers still around from the "golden era."

        Speakers Corner's comments are clear that they don't do compression, which has been the great bane of many pop reissues over the years.

        As far as other Speakers Corner reissues, for the Mercuries for which I have all of the originals, I have been very happy with the SC reissues. Two of the major issues with the original Mercuries are that many were pressed with noisy vinyl, and most of the originals were cut extremely close to the label, essentially only a 1cm or so of dead wax, meaning inner groove distortion. So for those, the SC reissues are a godsend.

        I also like the Testament reissues of the extremely rare and pricey EMI Columbia SAX series. For all practical purposes they are the only way one can get these rare recordings except by mortgaging your home, or in a few cases buying the Electric Recording Company's reissue, which not priced for the hoi polloi. For many of these, the SXLP or CfP reissues done by EMI in the '70's is a good alternative choice, if you can't get the Testaments.

        Larry
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        • #21
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
          The aforementioned BST is great but haven’t compared it to the recent AS reissue.
          Hey Myles, which reissue is that? I can't seem to locate anything. Thanks!

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          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            The Analogue Productions boxset that has the ORG reissue as one the the four albums.

          • timztunz
            timztunz commented
            Editing a comment
            Ah-ha, thank you.
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