I can detect the last few years a good tendency among good recordings CD providers. Previously only big mass-producers press CDs. The quality of those CDs mostly was like the quality of beef in McDonald. The big companies DG, EMI, Philips, even Sony sometimes and many others had in their deposal some capable people but it was hard to bring for them good results to mass market. Still, the DG and EML did press sometime good performances as surprisingly high level of quality.
Recently the situation has changed. The better CDs recoding and processing techniques become more available and quite cheap, the copyrights for many releases have expired. The quietly of CD mass producers went down… All of it brought a situation that little guys, investing juts a few thousands or hundreds dollars, set up in their basements the littlie studios for conversion of reel-to-reel tapes, LPs 78s, FMs into the “better sounding” retail CDs. Some of them turn out to be quite successful companies, pressing the CD by 100.000s. Since I for few years tend do buy CD in the regular stores but use mostly from those “small companies” I would like to share some my generalization about them. Generally the Small Companies have better taste for selection of material. Sometimes they unfortunately go for “flashy”, showpieces performances but generally they do not ”press” bad music. Technically the Small Companies at different level. Some of then are very deep into technical aspect of audio, some of them very superficial. Some of them spend a lot of afford to remastered the recordings some of them less. Ironically the actual results that they are getting is not related to the efforts they spent but fully is apron the taste and reference points they have in their minds. Still, all together the result that the Small Companies get from my point of view is much more interesting then what we get from the Big Companies.
Do shop with the Small Companies. Sponsor their efforts with your money. Sometimes this CD is little more expansive but I feel that it well worth it not to met ion that with their narrow targeted efforts you might be able to get some phenomenal performances that would not be available to get anywhere else… And yes, sometimes, if you are lucky, if a Small Companies find a good source and if the Small Company’s engineers have a correct definition of “quality” then you might get very seriously sounding CDs.
I intentionally did name many of the Small CD Companies as I would like do not distinct anyone and because I have some technical disagreement practically with any of them. Still juts for sake of illustration how far the Small Company are from the crap that the Bid Companies “press” I would suggest you listen the fragment below.
This is Victor de Sabata leading the Nazionale di Santa Cecilia perfomes Debussy’s Jeux. It was released on 78 and recently made available on CD by Pristine Audio Direct’s Andrew Rose. Listening it I wonder where this music was for 60 years! If you ever would be able to hear anywhere else THIS quietly of recorded sound of violin sections anywhere else then let me know where it was.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche