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What Makes the Golden Era of Stereo Recording Golden?

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  • What Makes the Golden Era of Stereo Recording Golden?

    Vacuum tubes?
    Microphones?
    Analog?
    Acoustics and halls?
    Performers?
    Spontaneity and lack of or minimal editing and takes?
    The producer (s)/recording engineers cared about the sound of their releases? (Did they really know what they had?)


    Or wasn't it a Golden Age?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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  • #2
    Interesting question Myles. And what are the approximate dates of that golden era? And is it golden not just for the recordings but the conductors, orchestras, and performers as well? Think of the treasure trove. Bjorling, Warren, Merrill, Milanov, De Los Angeles, Beecham, Walter, Klemperer, Reiner, monteux, Solti, Vienna, Berlin, NYP, Boston, RCA, London, Angel, Columbia, Hefitz, Horowitz, Rubinstein, DGG, Miles, Coltrane, Goodman, Armstrong, 33 1/3, etc etc etc. should we say 1950 to 1970? Is that the period?
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    Comment


    • #3
      Myles. all of the above.

      Comment


      • mep
        mep commented
        Editing a comment
        +100.

      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed, all of the above.

      • kensell21
        kensell21 commented
        Editing a comment
        Ditto

    • #4
      Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
      Interesting question Myles. And what are the approximate dates of that golden era? And is it golden not just for the recordings but the conductors, orchestras, and performers as well? Think of the treasure trove. Bjorling, Warren, Merrill, Milanov, De Los Angeles, Beecham, Walter, Klemperer, Reiner, monteux, Solti, Vienna, Berlin, NYP, Boston, RCA, London, Angel, Columbia, Hefitz, Horowitz, Rubinstein, DGG, Miles, Coltrane, Goodman, Armstrong, 33 1/3, etc etc etc. should we say 1950 to 1970? Is that the period?
      Perhaps a little later since we are talking stereo era of LPs that began (releasing anyway) in 1957. So for me was really '57 to say '70. Others consider it '57 to '63. I don't agree but then these people are really talking about the vacuum tube era and consider it a step down when we went to solid-state. Bob Ohlsson on here a while back talked about when Dolby was introduced.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #5
        Like Rob said, all the above. I'd also add the recording engineers being a little more professional/systematic... Kenneth Wilkinson with his Decca Tree for example...
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        Comment


      • #6
        Skill, Time and Money

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          You should add talent and a good set ears. take a small outfit like Water Lily. basically one guy with scant resources (works out of his apartment) with even more modest training and he was able to beat the majors on SQ (that supposedly had the 'best' resources at their disposal). Kavi's records were spectacular for their realism. Same can be said of many small audiophile oriented labels operating with modest resources (financial and otherwise).

      • #7
        From an American perspective, at least regarding popular music, the golden age of the "studio" was a period when tubes were gone, tracks multiplied like rabbits, outboard processing was a selling point and the engineer was elevated to auteur. It was a golden age in the economics of the studio business, but not necessarily a golden age for sonics. As to live recording, I don't know how much mobile recording set ups (weren't all the great 'in the hall' classical records done by impermanent set ups) followed studio norms, but would think they'd take advantage of solid state for size, heat and weight. Obviously, those precious Neumann tube mics continued to be used even after the switch to solid state.

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          good point. when i see the words "golden era" my mind goes straight to early stereo classical/jazz records and of course, the great many instrumental and vocal records from the mid-late 50s to the mid-late 60s

      • #8
        The people, the time period, tubes/analog.
        Christian
        System Gear

        Comment


        • #9
          Golden Ears?

          Comment


          • #10
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
            Vacuum tubes?
            Microphones?
            Analog?
            Acoustics and halls?
            Performers?
            Spontaneity and lack of or minimal editing and takes?
            The producer (s)/recording engineers cared about the sound of their releases? (Did they really know what they had?)
            ?
            The above choices contributed, but are all secondary. As far as rock, pop and jazz recordings, I believe the primary reason for better SQ then was "distant miking" techniques. Today the rule is to get the mic as close as possible to an instrument or singer or not use a mic at all (plug instrument directly into mixer).

            -Tim Leinbaugh
            -Professional RTR restoration and modification for 47 years.
            [email protected]
            www.MusicTechnology.com

            Comment


            • #11
              Define golden era better is it the music or purely based on sound quality ?
              If it's purely sound quality I think there are many examples of today's music being done right like Gary's direct to disk project. Or cookie s label. And others.
              To further define I think it is more about a combo of quality and musical content. Less processing overall is part of the golden era based on quality.
              Having said that SHM takes golden era stuff that for me in digital just stinks and makes it golden
              an example is the stones. Only the SHM is golden for me all other formats I own are subpar
              if what I posted above is true to others then it's what was done wrong at the time.
              Music today if done right is very good but to be honest digital is not analog period.
              analog stuff.
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              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
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              Comment


              • #12
                The Golden Age!

                david
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                • #13
                  tubes, all analog equipment. purist miking techniques.
                  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, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
                    tubes, all analog equipment. purist miking techniques.
                    What do you consider purist making techniques? I don't think the old recordings were quite as simply miked as some people suggested. Sadly, lot of that stuff is a myth like I wrote about for TAS in 1987. Like the RCAs for instance. Only simply miked early stereo RCAs were the early experimental recordings done in '53 and '54. Of which interestingly, the Reiner and CSO was actually the third and was done on a 30 ips machine. Kind of amazing though to think of since Ampex tape machines were only seven years old and the stereo ones even younger.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                      What do you consider purist making techniques? I don't think the old recordings were quite as simply miked as some people suggested. Like the RCAs for instance. Only simply miked RCAs were the early experimental ones in '53 and '54. Lot of that stuff is a myth.
                      by purist, I guess I meant minimal miking techniques. They weren't like the later multitrack recordings of the 70's where they put a mike on nearly every instrument.
                      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, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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