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The Scope of The 2008 Universal Music Group Fire Finally Revealed

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  • The Scope of The 2008 Universal Music Group Fire Finally Revealed

    Devastating!
    A New York Times investigation has revealed that decades of Universal Music Group treasures burned in 2008.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, 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.

  • #2
    A must-read.

    "Virtually all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost in the fire. Most of John Coltrane’s Impulse masters were lost, as were masters for treasured Impulse releases by Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and other jazz greats."


    "The list of destroyed single and album masters takes in titles by dozens of legendary artists, a genre-spanning who’s who of 20th- and 21st-century popular music. It includes recordings by Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, the Andrews Sisters, the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward, Sammy Davis Jr., Les Paul, Fats Domino, Big Mama Thornton, Burl Ives, the Weavers, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby (Blue) Bland, B.B. King, Ike Turner, the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Don Henley, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Iggy Pop, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, George Strait, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Eric B. and Rakim, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Guns N’ Roses, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Sonic Youth, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hole, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots."
    It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew. This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, 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


    • #3
      Makes me feel a bit ill.

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        #metoo

      • Letsmakeadeal
        Letsmakeadeal commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep - Sickening

      • adeep42
        adeep42 commented
        Editing a comment
        I could cry.

    • #4
      IMO very irresponsible behavior on the part of Universal for not taking greater care and disaster precautions for the remarkable treasures they were entrusted with. But when you read about some of the other travesties regarding master tapes, it doesn't seem to be a new phenomenon. Scoundrels.
      Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
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      Vinyl Care: Audio Desk Pro Ultrasonic & VPI 16.5 RCM
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      Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
      Tape Stage: Doshi V.3
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      Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra 5S's & SS's sprinkled about - SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

      Comment


      • #5
        they didn't state whether they at least have safety copies stored off site of all the tapes lost?
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sony MDR-F1 Phones, Headroom Max balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

        Comment


        • #6
          Maybe I’m missing something in this but why the vast time delay for coming clean on this? They should have GIVEN all of those tapes to Chad. He would have taken care of them and had some astounding reissues too.
          TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Transfiguration Proteus Cart; Arcam R Phono Preamp; Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer; VTL 6.5 preamp, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp; Piega C711 Loudspeakers; Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls; Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Atmosphere Excite Level 2X AC Cords, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables; Schiitt Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD700 Headphones; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

          Comment


          • #7
            deleted
            Last edited by chrisfromri; 06-24-2019, 01:57 PM.

            Comment


            • #8
              I guess our record collections just went up in value....
              PROGRESSIVE SOUNDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
              www.lasercd.com
              www.lasersedgegroup.com

              Rockport Aquila, Boulder 2010, Boulder 2008, Boulder 2060, Transparent Audio Reference XL, Nordost Quantum QBase8, TW Acustic AC Anniversary, TW Acustic Raven 10.5 arm, Lyra Atlas, Bricasti M1 Special Edition, SRA Scuttle3 rack + various SRA/Symposium stands

              Comment


              • #9
                Many films and TV shows were lost too. I think Universal was exercising internal damage control, and possibly didn't even know the whole story.

                But you know, films from several decades starting with the 1960s have faded out of existence, literally, even without the help of a fire. Kodak's color release print stock of the era is highly unstable, fading to magenta within just a few years. The color negative stock was somewhat more stable, but still didn't make it 10 years without fade. Anything but an Academy Award winner or blockbuster was ignored until many are unrecoverable. The only stable prints were the imbibition Technicolor ones, which are rock solid, and of course the 3-strip monochrome Technicolor negatives. And those went out of favor because the Kodak negative and release print stock was cheaper and easier to manage, emphasis on cheaper.

                So...irresponsibility isn't something new in the film and audio industry. The entertainment industry has been run by bean counters for half a century or more. No surprise they've undervalued their archives.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I had heard rumors of this sort of disaster over the years at the Steve Hoffman forums, but there was always the assumption that high-quality safety copies or high-res digital backups had been made of all this material, when it appears only a fraction of this material had been so archived.

                  It's a disaster for popular music of the past seventy or eighty years, but it also raises a major question for ethics in the audiophile community. There have been many reissues in recent years of material touted to be "from the original analog master tapes," which we now know to have been destroyed many years before these reissues. I'm thinking, in particular, of the 2017 reissue of Buddy Holly ("...this reissue sourced from the original analog tapes still in superb condition and cut by Kevin Gray is by far the best sounding edition ever." -- Michael Fremer), but there have been a number of other "audiophile" reissues, particularly of material from Impulse and Chess, long after the fire. I'd be really curious to find out the provenance of these sources -- were they from "master" safety copies, did the UMG vault contain backups in these cases, or what? (I will note that there have been unsubstantiated rumors, over the years, of certain reissue engineers who would make a point of creating a safety copy before beginning work on cutting or transfer, and who might then be "careless" and "accidentally" ship the safety back to the vault instead of the master; I have no idea if this is true but, if so, it may now be considered an inadvertent work of public service by any such engineers, especially if they had reason to suspect Universal's care of these tapes.)

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Typical. Corporate bean counters only interested in short term profits rather than protecting decades of art and culture. Which is why (obviously) these materials were warehoused without the bothering with the expense of a suitable fire suppression system that worked. A CO2 flood system would have prevented the near total loss. And yes, I've worked with a fair number of fire suppression systems. Even a good sprinkler system would have worked.

                    At any rate, if it had some sort of fire suppression system it either didn't work at all or was pretty much insufficient.

                    And the question remains, if those were in fact the true masters, what have they been palming off with the reissues?

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      The major labels mostly contract with Iron Mountain Entertain for the preservation of their tape. Iron Mountain has a couple of different locations, the main one in PA, at the Iron Mountain Caves. This is a former mine that has miles of roads and storage underground and security that is tighter than any TSA security check you have ever been through.

                      When I visited them about 10 years ago, they could transfer any audio or video format to digital that was ever created. No film that I remember in my tour.

                      When I was there they had an entire pallet of Diane Ross 2" tapes that were being transferred to DTL digital tape. I asked what would happen to the masters and they told me the would be shipped back along with the digital transfers to the vault they came from. So you can take it from there.

                      On the video side, I know of people in LA who knew people at the networks, who would just back their trucks up to the loading docks and pick up tons of video tape from the archives that they didn't want to store any more. All of those tape were lost, because they were erased and re-sold as 1 pass tape. Such a same for a few dollars in profit.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Man I wish those tapes were in my house and not in ashes!!
                        TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
                        VINYL: Pioneer PL-50LII/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Denon DP59-L/Dynavector 20xH
                        DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, MacMini > Oppo Sonica/Pioneer N-50
                        SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9
                        AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by regnaD kciN View Post
                          there have been a number of other "audiophile" reissues, particularly of material from Impulse and Chess, long after the fire. I'd be really curious to find out the provenance of these sources -- were they from "master" safety copies?
                          The "dirty little industry secret" is that most reissues are not only made from copies of the master, but very old copies. Ask anyone who does this professionally. Only on rare occasion do they get the real master tape. That is why, sometimes, the reissue or the re-mastering or the transfer to digital doesn't sound that great.

                          -Tim Leinbaugh
                          -Professional RTR restoration and modification for 45 years.
                          [email protected]
                          www.MusicTechnology.com

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Mikey was on this. One master lost.

                            BTW the Doxy reissue truly stinks. Stay away from it. Whole album on one LP at 45 rpm. Compressed and bright. From a CD? WTF?
                            Last winter an old audio biz friend of mine visited bearing a gift: a new Italian 45rpm pressing of Gil Evans' dark, brooding and oh so slinky 1960 recording of Out of the Cool originally issued in 1961 by the then new Impulse! label created by producer Creed Taylor for parent company ABC-Paramount. The album was Impulse! A-4, the label's fourth release.
                            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                            ________________________________________

                            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                            -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
                            -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
                            -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
                            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                            -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
                            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, 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


                            • lasercd
                              lasercd commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I have the Alto Analogue and its very good. An OG Impulse is marginally better but the early titles tend to have a bit of surface noise.
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