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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: AMR PH-77: just another phonostage or more?
Post Subject: Taking a Few for the TeamPosted by Paul S on: 7/19/2009
Too hot to expect the best sound today, and besides I have gotten my morbid curiousity worked up about the recording/playback curves, so I fished out a few LPs mostly to hear/see how they sound with respect to the "shape" of their sound, aspects of which I now relate to and target as the result of their native curves being "subjected" to RIAA.

Gray 6-eye Columbia mono, ML5164; Rudolf Serkin, Beethoven: "Hinge" on this record is ~ 2nd C; wonderful tone otherwise, but it is pitched too high.

Decca Gold Label (from original DGG tapes), mono, DL9401; Brahms, Magelone Songs, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with Jorge Demus, piano: Pitched a little low; spikey part of HF is greatly attenuated; shape is not too bad; not germane here, but excellent surfaces and "traction", both (so rare to find together!).

Everest mono, SDBR 3377; Rachmaninoff plays Chopin and Rachmaninoff (with a rather lumbering, eliptical cadence!):  I have no info on this LP, but based on other Everest I have I suspect that the "canned" quality of the sound owes to original recordings. Although Everest is generally pretty scrupulous, it's hard to know about how curves shape sound here.

Vanguard Stereolab, SRV-117 SD; Moussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain; Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Vladimir Golshman: With perfect VTA I finally "get" Mussorgsky!!!  I will certainly re-visit this LP with good electricity!  Maybe because of the "Opera Orchestra", but Mussorgsky's "patterns of speech" are so intelligible!  A GREAT recording/shape/sound, so I suppose it is dead-center RIAA all the way.  Bass fades out just as it "should" based on my system limits.  Everythng is so "clear", with no tonal or textural penalties for it.

Westmisnster (mono) XWN 18380 (1957); The Art of Clara Haskel; Mozart PC 19 & 20: Winterthur Orch., Henry Swoboda:  Great "Bloom", but then this proves to be largely due to tonal "hinge" just below MF.  "Coffee can" sound. Haskel plays with a "woman's touch" (too soft) and Swoboda accomodates her.

Supraphon DV 6106 (mono), 1964; Beethoven 9:  I can't decipher the Czech, but the sound is decidedly "tubular", to the point where Ii put off listening more at this time.

Supraphon SV 8047 (stereo!!!); Dvorak, 9th; CPO/Ancerl:  Never sounded better, with perfect VTA and obvious center of RIAA.  I wish everything I owned sounded this good!

RCA LM-1893 (early mono/New Orthophonic Shaded Dog); Ravel, Daphnes  & Chloe; BSO/Munch: Tubular sound shape.

Now I'd love to try the same records (and others, like Vox, etc., etc, etc.) using their correct playback curves, to hear/see if/how that affects  the shape  of the sound, as I predict it would/will.

AMR, how about a "review sample"???

Paul S

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