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  • Half-Speed Mastering at Abbey Road Studio

    Hardly new. How many years ago did Stan Ricker begin half speed mastering?
    From 78s to CDs and the MP3, popular music has enjoyed countless revolutions. Now acoustic experts claim the path to perfect sonic reproduction is vinyl albums produced at the “half-speed” of 16 2/3 RPM. Six classic albums, including The Rolling Stones’s Exile On Main Street, have been cut for release at Abbey Road Studios in London using half-speed mastering, a process that promises to reveal a new level of depth and clarity to the recordings.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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  • #2
    Half-speed mastering was started to alleviate problems but brought up more problems in return.

    Comment


    • #3
      Obviously the article was written by someone with little knowledge about audio. "Hand-crafted use of a lathe." Mastered by "one of the world's leading exponents of half-speed cutting."

      Also, is it a bad sign when you see a picture of a mastering console with a computer keyboard in an article about cutting vinyl?
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Rather than providing a criticism I'll wait for the product. I'm quite interested in the John Martyn - Solid Air one.
        Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mep View Post
          Obviously the article was written by someone with little knowledge about audio. "Hand-crafted use of a lathe." Mastered by "one of the world's leading exponents of half-speed cutting."

          Also, is it a bad sign when you see a picture of a mastering console with a computer keyboard in an article about cutting vinyl?
          ​But wasn't there some question as to whether these reissued Stone's albums were analog or digital?
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen 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 Lambda, Fuuga, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

            ​But wasn't there some question as to whether these reissued Stone's albums were analog or digital?

            The article says the process uses the original master tape played back at half-speed.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
              Rather than providing a criticism I'll wait for the product. I'm quite interested in the John Martyn - Solid Air one.
              Great album.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mep View Post


                The article says the process uses the original master tape played back at half-speed.
                Miles Showell, who oversees Abbey Road's 1/2 speed mastering responded recently to a series of questions I posed to him. I want to thank him for taking the time to do so. Please read. And please, keep your comments civil and respectful. I think Mr. Showell's comments make clear the seriousness with which he approached this work
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen 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 Lambda, Fuuga, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Eric Boulanger worked under Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab. With Sax's passing and the closing of TML, Eric set up shop on his own. He purchased Stan Ricker's half speed mastering set up and is now running out of Sony Studios in California as The Bakery. Eric cut vinyl for me when he was at TML. Did a wonderful job and I hope to use him on upcoming vinyl releases I have scheduled for this year.
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                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
                    Half-speed mastering was started to alleviate problems but brought up more problems in return.

                    I assume you are referring to halving to half the RIAA curve, not being able to monitor the results and going down now to 10 instead of 20 Hz?
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen 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 Lambda, Fuuga, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


                      I assume you are referring to halving to half the RIAA curve, not being able to monitor the results and going down now to 10 instead of 20 Hz?
                      Not only the RIAA curve, but the NAB/IEC curve as well. You can't monitor in real time and tonality is a crap shoot with lots of trial and error. As you know, tape machines sound completely different at 3.75/7.5/15/30ips.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bruce B View Post

                        Not only the RIAA curve, but the NAB/IEC curve as well. You can't monitor in real time and tonality is a crap shoot with lots of trial and error. As you know, tape machines sound completely different at 3.75/7.5/15/30ips.

                        Yes I see them using NAB at 15 ips and IEC for 30 ips?
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen 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 Lambda, Fuuga, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


                          Yes I see them using NAB at 15 ips and IEC for 30 ips?
                          IEC for 30ips is odd.... usually AES

                          Besides, if they are going through that console that I see, 24/96 is the highest resolution they can attain.
                          Last edited by Bruce B; 02-19-2016, 07:34 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bruce B View Post

                            IEC for 30ips is odd.... usually AES

                            Besides, if they are going through that console that I see, 24/96 is the highest resolution they can attain.
                            Exactly. I found that odd too. But I think for whatever the reason, was done to compensate for the tonality??

                            From what I understood, 1/2 speed was initially developed for Quad-discs. The benefits were supposed to be better upper octave extension and transients. But theory and reality aren't necessarily the same. OTOH, aren't all the MOFIs mastered 1/2 speed too?
                            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                            ________________________________________

                            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen 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 Lambda, Fuuga, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                              Exactly. I found that odd too. But I think for whatever the reason, was done to compensate for the tonality??

                              From what I understood, 1/2 speed was initially developed for Quad-discs. The benefits were supposed to be better upper octave extension and transients. But theory and reality aren't necessarily the same. OTOH, aren't all the MOFIs mastered 1/2 speed too?
                              Yes they are, but I'm not sure about the Silver series.
                              Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

                              Comment

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