Your first LP purchase

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smitty1931
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Your first LP purchase

Post by smitty1931 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:44 am

Anyone out there remember when the first LPs were issued with paper sleeves, blue and white with tilted columns? If so, what was it? Anyone remember the sexy covers on London ffrr LPs? I believe the first LPs were selling for about $5.oo, do I remember correctly? I believe the first stereo LP was on Columbia, the pines and fountains/Ormandy and the Philadelphia. Remember the search for the perfect cartridge? Remember when you could inspect the LP before purchasing it? Remember the listening booths? I have been a collector since 1948, that is a lot of musical memories! Aint progress wonderful.

piston
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by piston » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:56 am

1948
Interesting year to start collecting! Isn't that the beginning of the "microgroove" LP? The covers back then weren't too splashy, though.
Image

I've got some old Columbia ML "Masterworks" of the 4,000 series.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Heck148
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Heck148 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:04 am

smitty1931 wrote:Remember when you could inspect the LP before purchasing it? Remember the listening booths? I have been a collector since 1948, that is a lot of musical memories! Aint progress wonderful.
My parents had lots of LPS and 78s. My fist LP, IIRC, was:
Stravinsky - Le Sacre - Benstein/NYPO/1958.
Still a favorite.

jserraglio
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by jserraglio » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:12 am

2 RCA records whose sound blew me away in the listening booth though I had never heard of the composers:

Prokofiev Sy 7 with Martinon/LSO

Shostakovich Sy 1/ Age of Gold Ste with Martinon/PCO

also, the Cliburn-Kondrashin PIT Concerto 1 which was a best seller back then.

They gave me these LPs free with purchase of a stereo. Dont recall the first one I actually bought, probably a Hindemith conducting Hindemith record on Seraphim--couldnt afford to buy LPs, borrowed a lot from the library.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

maestrob
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by maestrob » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:14 am

Good topic!

I grew up with a selection of 78 RPM sets that I still love (Ormandy's Rachmaninov II w/Minneapolis, Budapest Quartet's Debussy, Rubinstein's Chopin I and Rachmaninov II, Barbirolli's Sibelius II, Heifetz in Wieniawski's 2nd Violin Concerto, Ormandy's Mahler II (Minneapolis) etc., etc.,), and listened with great attention to all those blue label Columbia mono LP's (RCA had MUCH better sound on our HI-Fi), but for various reasons, including a divorce, I didn't get my hot little hands on my very own records until I was 13 at Christmas time, with a stereo copy of Faust, with De Los Angeles, Gedda, and Christoff (even then I preferred Siepi). The next year I received Boris Godunov, w/ George London. Both works continue to be favorites.

I had inherited Toscanini's Beethoven set of Symphonies from an older cousin who lived next door (along with some Van Cliburn and other discs) as well.

The next year, I joined the Columbia classical record club, which mailed a sampler disc called "Audition" which featured examples from new releases every quarter, and began collecting like a demon (or as much as my allowance would permit: that, plus mowing lawns in the neighborhood).

THEHORN
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by THEHORN » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:35 am

I'm not sure which LP was my first , but one of them was around 1968 when I bought the Decca recording of the Verdi Requiem with Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic, Sutherland, Horne, Pavarotti and Talvela . I was about fouteen , and in the process of becoming a classical music freak. No one made me this; I discovered classical recordings in my local library, which had an extensive collection of them, and fortunately continued to ,later CDs.
This was my introduction to Pavarotti, when he was just starting to make a great career, and his voice was in pristine shape, and the Verdi Requiem, and though I had only a tiny fraction of the knowledge of singers and singing I possess today , I remember being enormously impressed by the sheer beauty of his voice .
I instantly fell in love with this great work, and still have a lot of affection for the recording .

Beckmesser
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Beckmesser » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:24 pm

My first three acquisitions were (in this order):
  • Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and Capriccio Italien (the famous Antal Dorati recording on Mercury)
  • Piano Favorites with Leonard Pennario on the Capitol label
  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Schubert's Unfinished Symphony performed by Charles Munch and the BSO on RCA Victor
I think the earliest LP release I have is probably a disc of Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream (New York Philharmonic) and Symphony No. 4 (Cleveland Orchestra) both conducted by George Szell on Columbia ML 4498.

johnQpublic
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by johnQpublic » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:56 pm

It was circa 1963:

Image

And I still have it and give a spin every couple of years.
Image

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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by RebLem » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:58 pm

The first classical LP I bought was the Cliburn/Kondrashin Tchaikovsky PC 1; it was Cliburn's victory in Moscow which was the impetus for getting off the dime and moving the project of learning something about classical music to the front burner. I hadn't started, at all, before that. I have since come to regard tha performance as my least favorite of the work, and I don't really think that much of the work itself any more, but that's how I got started. My favorite recordings of it are Richter/Ancerl, Janis/Menges, and Graffman/Szell.

The first three works I really liked would actually make a nice symphony program today. Hadyn's Military Symphony (Scherchen), Wagner's Tannhauser Overture and Venusberg Music (Walter), and Stravinsky's Firebird (Stravinsky, allegedly ghost conducted by Robert Craft).
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Holden Fourth
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Holden Fourth » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:46 pm

This was my first LP, bought for a budding young pianist by his parents as a Xmas present

Image

I then bought Richter-Haaser playing LvB Op2/1, 2/2, Op 77. I loved this record but no longer have it. Nor can I find a copy of it anywhere.

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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by stenka razin » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:47 pm

OMG, who can remeber that far back? :wink:

I think it was Toscanini and the NBC doing Beethoven Symphonies. Once heard, never forgotten. I have remained loyal to the great Arturo throughout my life. Others have not been as loyal, sadly..... :(
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Beckmesser
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Beckmesser » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:43 pm

johnQpublic wrote:It was circa 1963:

Image

And I still have it and give a spin every couple of years.
OMG! I have that one. I haven't heard it in decades.

absinthe
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by absinthe » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:19 pm

Dad had most of the LPs. CDs were making their mark. But I HAD to buy this one, an early recording of my favourite opera, a musical milestone to me. And I loved the presentation, the artwork mounted on the cover. I have several of these - contemporary music of the times.

Image

Wallingford
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Wallingford » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:08 pm

LPs, LPs....gotta love 'em....no matter how many of them I was recently forced to leave behind (or trash)......

Having arrived at the tail end of the 50s (and commercial stereo albums debuted right at the same period I did!), I hafta say that, having been raised in the town I'm presently in, there were pitifully few classical records for sale. But in the local drugstore, our friendly neighborhood rackjobber did put a few cutout classicals in the bins which took me little time in saving the money for:

Rhapsody in Blue & American in Paris, on Mercury (List/Hanson in the former, Dorati latter);
Mozart's 40th & Schubert's "Unfinished" (Steinberg);
Falla's El amor brujo & Retablo de Maese Pedro (Ansermet former, Argenta latter);
Brahms' Second (Monteux 3, on Philips);
Dvorak's Slavonic Dances (Rossi);
......and all those LPs my Aunt Jerri let me have, kindly relinquishing her "free selection" with the Columbia Record Club.

Before all that, there were those "woodwind arrangements" on Golden Records--featuring Mitchell Miller on oboe.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

thisolehouse

Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by thisolehouse » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:32 pm

My first LP was Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite with Fiedler and the Boston Pops on RCA.

Wallingford
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Wallingford » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:41 pm

thisolehouse wrote:My first LP was Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite with Fiedler and the Boston Pops on RCA.
WOWEE!!!!
Thanks for the kick in the head, bro!!

Ma got me that one before all the others.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:11 pm

The Beatles, A Hard Days Night... :wink:
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Donaldopato
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Donaldopato » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:38 pm

Beethoven Piano Concerto # 1 Dorfmann/Toscanini NBC, on the Victrola budget label. I still have a copy of the performance on a later CD iteration, a wonderful performance.

Why I got it, I do not remember. Maybe it was just there on a record store display and I could afford it!
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Harold Tucker
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Harold Tucker » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:40 pm

My first purchase was Beethoven's "Eroica" with Reiner and the Chicago Symphony on RCA. The cover had the head of Michaelangelo's Moses on the cover and notes by Romain Roland on the back. It set me back $4.98.
The next two lps came from a dime store and cost 99 cents:
Arthur Rodzinski conducting Beethoven Five and Schubert Eight and a Dvorak New World conducted by Enrique Jorda.

Lance
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Lance » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:44 pm

Berlioz Overtures with Jean Martinon conducting. A Urania mono LP purchased at The Record Hunter, 507 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY - I still have it! [I think the price was $1.29.] Reason for this: the band in my school was performing the work and I wanted to hear it and have my own record of the work. My mother and father had a huge collection of classical LPs and 45-rpms; collecting records must run in the family! I credit my parents with projecting an interest in classical records on me - and have been paying the price ever since, never regretfully.
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John F
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by John F » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:36 am

smitty1931 wrote:Anyone out there remember when the first LPs were issued with paper sleeves, blue and white with tilted columns?
Those were Columbia records - they issued the first LPs of all, barring some RCA Victor shellacs in the 1930s - and they used the same cover design for all their classical releases for some time, I don't know how long. I still have a few of them.

Don't remember what the first record was that I bought with my own money, but it was on the low-price Remington label. Music I'd just heard recently and that my parents didn't already have, mainly on 78s. Made in Vienna, mostly with no-name musicians - the Emperor Concerto featured pianist Felicitas Karrer, and the conductor was Kurt Wöss.
John Francis

mikealdren
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by mikealdren » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:18 am

The Bruch violin concerto coupled with Saint-Saens Havanaise and Intro and Rondo with Campoli. It was on an Ace of Clubs LP that shows a violin lying in the rain on the cover. A very popular LP but it has never been re-issued on CD although it is now available as a download from Beulah. The MP3 recording certainly shows its age but the performance is excellent as always with Campoli.

Mike

Bro
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Bro » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:34 am

I think my first Lp was a double. Deep Purple's 'Made in Japan'. It was the 70's...

Ahhhh, the first classical. Would've been 1979. One of three possibilities. Chopin Polanaise's by Pollini [which initially I didn't care for due, no doubt, to Pollini's sour interpretation and his brittle piano tone ( but eventually the music had it's way with me)]

Beethoven's 9th. A Vox single lp (it was cheapest so I bought it) About which I do not have fond memories.

Khachaturian's Gayne Ballet suite (on side A) Massenet's Le Cid on side B.. Stanley Black conducting LSO on one of those "London Phase 4" monstrosities...


Bro

Heck148
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Heck148 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:39 am

johnQpublic wrote:It was circa 1963:

Image
Great recording of "Firebird" - still one of the very, very best...I obtained that one very early on also.

Heck148
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Heck148 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:41 am

stenka razin wrote:I have remained loyal to the great Arturo throughout my life. Others have not been as loyal, sadly..... :(
fear not - AT's place is secure. tastes are very cyclical. composers, conductors come in and out of vogue - the true greats persist however, regardless of public whim.

piston
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by piston » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:53 pm

1948-1950 labels, in case you want to know if you've got any in your LP collection:

The original Columbia "Masterwork Long Play" records, in 1948, included the ML-2000 series for 10-inch records and the ML-4000 series for 12-inch records. The corresponding label looked like this and, in 1948-49, it included the word "Microgroove" which was dropped around 1950:
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The first releases on this label are:

Mendelssohn, Felix. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 64 (1844). Nathan Milstein, violin. New York Philharmonic. Bruno Walter, conductor. Columbia Masterworks ML 4001 12" (1948).

Beethoven, Ludwig v. Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93 (1812). New York Philharmonic. Bruno Walter, conductor. Columbia Masterworks ML 2001 10" (1948).
The medium gray colored Columbia label was introduced in 1955 and kept, with several variations, until 1970, when it was replaced by the yellow letter brownish grey label.
Image
Image

Mercury used a lot of different series, each with its own label color and features. But the first, original, Mercury label for Long Play records was this black label introduced in 1949, with MG 10,000 series for 12 inch discs and MG 15,000 series for 10 inch discs:
Image
The first releases in the series are:

MG 10,000 Khachaturian, Aram. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major (1940). David Oistrakh, violin. USSR State Philharmonic Orchestra. Alexander Gauk, conductor. 12" released October 1949. List price $4.85.

MG 15,000 Strauss, Richard. Don Juan, Op. 20 1888. Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich. 1812 Overture. Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. Willem Mengelberg, conductor. 10" released October 1949. List price $3.85.
London LP labels from 1949 look like this:
Image


RCA Red Seal record labels from 1950 look like this:
Image
The first releases on this label are:

Wagner, Richard. Siegfried: Act III, Scene III (1876). Eileen Farrell, soprano. Set Svanholm, tenor. Rochester Philharmonic. Erich Leinsdorf, conductor. RCA Victor Red Seal LM 1000 12" (1950).

Dvôrák, Antonin. Husitská Overture, Op. 67 (1883). Smetana, Bedrich. The Moldau (1879). Boston Pops. Arthur Fiedler, conductor. RCA Victor Red Seal LM 1 10" (1950).
Source: http://ronpenndorf.com/contents.html
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

thisolehouse

Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by thisolehouse » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:09 pm

WOWEE!!!!
Thanks for the kick in the head, bro!!

Ma got me that one before all the others.[/quote]


My pleasure!!

I recently acquired a Musical Heritage Society CD called, “An American Salute” with a few Fiedler and The Boston Pops selections and it included a re-release of that 1964 RCA recording of “The Grand Canyon Suite.”

Bill

nut-job
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by nut-job » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:16 pm

I think it was this one:

Image

(the LP version)

Ken
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Ken » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:36 am

Ah, those were the days...

Oh wait...

I'll have to consult my father to determine if those were in fact the days. 8)
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

maestrob
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:26 am

piston:

Thanks for all those labels. Brings back memories. I still have my LPs, all of them in mint condition, but not many from the early fifties because I started collecting in the stereo era.

Funny thing: I can't play them anymore, because I simply don't have room for a turntable. Listening to LPs was always a chore: hard for me to get past the surface noise which drove me crazy sometimes (pops & ticks at the most inopportune moment). My relationship with LPs was always a love-hate kind of thing: sometimes I returned several copies of an album just to get the best possible pressing, being such a fanatic :mrgreen: .

Truthfully, CDs don't always satisfy me either, but they beat out the LP hands down, IMHO. I truly don't miss all the problems with LPs, that's for sure. I have four times the amount of LPs in my CD collection, and am very, very happy with the sound quality of most of them.

piston
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by piston » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:01 pm

maestro:

Different tolerance levels for sound quality must be indicative of something meaningful. It never bothered me and to this day I listen to audio clips of old 78rpms on the internet. I suspect that people who have low tolerance (or high intolerance) for poor sound quality mainly listen to classical music as a quest for the best performance (and that this notion of best performance has gradually been enhanced, technologically, by better sound quality.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:55 pm

piston wrote:maestro:

Different tolerance levels for sound quality must be indicative of something meaningful. It never bothered me and to this day I listen to audio clips of old 78rpms on the internet. I suspect that people who have low tolerance (or high intolerance) for poor sound quality mainly listen to classical music as a quest for the best performance (and that this notion of best performance has gradually been enhanced, technologically, by better sound quality.
If the quality of the music transcends the sonic limitations of the recording, ones ears adjust to the music, not the background/surface noise..
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by lmpower » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:34 pm

The first LP I bought was Mahler's Lied von der Erde with Reiner and Maureen Forrester. The saleslady lamented losing such beautiful album cover art from the store. That really was a different era. The first record I bought was a 78 RPM album of Jacob Gimpel playing Chopin favorites.

IN278S
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by IN278S » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:50 pm

I can't remember specifically which came first, but these were among my earliest classical LPs. Two were from the Mercury "Wing" reissue label: one LP worth of Nutcracker selections by Dorati (probably from his mono recording, done up in fake stereo) and the canonical fourteen Chopin waltzes played by Werner Haas. The other two were right off the "101 Strings" supermarket racks, on the Somerset label: the Tchaikovsky violin concerto played by György Pauk, with Gunnar Staern conducting, and on the other LP was Scheherazade. I forget how the R-K was credited (maybe just "Nord Deutsches Symphony Orchestra") but apparently the actual performance was conducted by Wilhelm Schüchter, with the Hamburg NDR orchestra.

Istvan
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Istvan » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:26 am

It was in January 1958, the Beethoven 5th, BPO/Böhm on DGG. I went to the shop wanting the Toscanini version (with the 8th on the other side) not having heard of any other conductor. The salesman told me I would get end-of-side distortion (which would hardly have mattered on my Dansette player). I later realized he had simply sold me the most expensive version as DGG cost 41 shillings at the time - eight weeks' pocket money!
Cheers

Istvan

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maestrob
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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by maestrob » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:51 am

Chalkperson wrote:
piston wrote:maestro:

Different tolerance levels for sound quality must be indicative of something meaningful. It never bothered me and to this day I listen to audio clips of old 78rpms on the internet. I suspect that people who have low tolerance (or high intolerance) for poor sound quality mainly listen to classical music as a quest for the best performance (and that this notion of best performance has gradually been enhanced, technologically, by better sound quality.
If the quality of the music transcends the sonic limitations of the recording, ones ears adjust to the music, not the background/surface noise..
Not to the pops and ticks, which intruded horribly on the musical experience. In fact, I love listening to old 78's when they've been properly cleaned up and put on CDs: the surface noise (whatever is left) doesn't distract me because it's at a steady level and I can focus properly on the music.

In the 70's & early 80's, a local firm called Barclay-Crocker used to sell their own product (reel-to-reel) Dolby B tapes in stunning sound, remastered from tapes from MHS, Phillips, DGG, Vanguard, etc. On some of the older originals, their engineer used a great hiss-reducing gadget called a Phase Linear Autocorrelator, which, with a simple adjustment, eliminated background hiss from softer passages while preserving the higher frequencies in the instruments that were playing. I used to listen to their running masters with him to see if I could hear the autocorrelator at work: if so, adjustments were made to lessen the effect.

Those tapes are the gems of my collection: the best sound available before CDs were made. Sadly, when the CD was invented, the company went out of business, making the mistake of trying to compete with CDs by producing DBX-encoded tapes.

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Re: Your first LP purchase

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:23 pm

maestrob wrote:Not to the pops and ticks, which intruded horribly on the musical experience.
Oh, OK, on that we agree... :wink:
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