• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Some recordings come to life on full range gear vs limited range?!

Cbdb2

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
846
Likes
783
Location
Vancouver
Listen to this recording from 1959 and tell me what you hear was recorded with equipment "in its adolescence."


If you read the history of audio-recording you will know that by 1955 the recording systems had reached the zenith that we call Hi-Fi. There were even 8-track recorders in use by 1955. Hi-Fi followed a decade later when it became cheaper to produce that technology not to improve it.
You think recording tech hasn't advanced since 1959? That Belefonte recording is not great. The vocal is the only thing that has any detail and its distorted and sibilant in places.

From 1994.


Hear a difference?
 
OP
Robbo99999

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,991
Likes
4,691
Location
UK
You think recording tech hasn't advanced since 1959? That Belefonte recording is not great. The vocal is the only thing that has any detail and its distorted and sibilant in places.

From 1994.


Hear a difference?
What audio format is that YouTube vid outputting? I might try it in Virtual 7.1 or 5.1 on my Soundblaster card if it's ouputting that format? Or has the surround been baked into the 2-channel of that youtube vid? I just don't know what sound format that youtube vid is outputting - that's my question?

EDIT: is it outputting 5.1?

EDIT #2: after googling it, it seems that Youtube vids are only 2 channel, whereas Youtube TV can be 5.1. But that's a Youtube vid you're linking so it can't be anything more than 2 channel right?
 
Last edited:

sarumbear

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
5,916
Likes
5,338
You think recording tech hasn't advanced since 1959? That Belefonte recording is not great. The vocal is the only thing that has any detail and its distorted and sibilant in places.

From 1994.


Hear a difference?
I respect disagree nor I can comment on compressed to the hilt YouTube quality.
 

dfuller

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
2,440
Likes
3,514
There were no mastering during the 60s.
Um, sure there was. It was just called something else, it was the cutting engineer. Still a QC job primarily.
 

Cbdb2

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
846
Likes
783
Location
Vancouver
I respect disagree nor I can comment on compressed to the hilt YouTube quality.
You can't tell the difference? Even off of youtube its a night and day difference. Do you also think the apex of television and automobile tech was in the 50s? So recording tech is the only thing that hasn't advanced?
 

pablolie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
759
Likes
1,213
Location
bay area, ca
There were entire labels that simply mixed stuff to sound good on cheap radios. I love classic R&B when I am in the mood, and Motown - oh man, the music and performances are brilliant, but the recordings are total crap (and newer remasters don't eliminate the fundamental weakness of the original, ever - you can't add resolution when it never existed).

On the other hand, I adore Karl Munchinger's rendition of the Canon, and despite the despite the underlying analog hiss, it is beautiful to listen to.

I don't know who still listens to music from a horrible source other than people that blast their smartphones to full volume (hurl). There's just no excuse these days. Nothing will ever sound *better* on a terribly flawed system, and a better system simply let's you establish if you like the music even though the recording engineer -and the artists approving the release- should be flogged. :)
 

MRC01

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
2,794
Likes
3,136
Location
Pacific Northwest
Two systems (limited range vs. full range) and two qualities (bad vs. good) gives 4 groups. I've recordings in all 4 groups.
Some sound good on cheap earbuds or car stereo, but sound bad on a high quality system.
Some sound bad on cheap earbuds or car stereo, but sound good on a high quality system.
Some sound bad on both.
Some sound good on both.
 
D

Deleted member 19122

Guest
Cool, but you need a surround system for that though. I mean I could emulate it in my headphones using Creative Soundblaster virtual 7.1 or 5.1, but I'm not comfortable with that for audiophile music use, but it's great for gaming.
Ah ok,I mistakenly assumed you had a surround system.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,202
Likes
14,973
That's interesting, I've not had much exposure to that era since I've had my "full range equipment". Searching my playlist I think it's limited to Jefferson Airplane: "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit". Ah, I've also got Daryl Hall & John Oates, the albumn Anbandoned Luncheonette: the tracks When the Morning Comes / Lady Rain / Laughing Boy. Those Daryl Hall tracks from the 70's sound pretty good (bought from iTunes) as long as you turn them up, low recording levels. The Jefferson Airplane stuff sounds a bit more muted. (both of those bought on iTunes)
Abandoned Luncheonette sounded good enough to get the Mobile Fidelity Stan Riker half-speed mastereing treatment back in the day. When the Morning Comes is a very fine song, too.

Give a listen to a song like the ahem hella famous Righteous Brothers You've Lost that Loving Feeling pretty sure that was mastered mixed engineered to sound. I believe this track at least at one time was the single song most played on the radio [in the US].
Per Wiki-P:
In 1999 the performing-rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) ranked the song as the most-played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, having accumulated more than 8 million airplays by 1999, and nearly 15 million by 2011.


PS Pretty sure that stuff in the sixties was mastered by someone -- y'know: lacquer, master, mother, stamper. They didn't cut the disks that were sold in the record stores one at a time... pretty sure about that. ... at least for the million-sellers. :cool:
 

beagleman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
802
Likes
1,005
You think recording tech hasn't advanced since 1959? That Belefonte recording is not great. The vocal is the only thing that has any detail and its distorted and sibilant in places.

From 1994.


Hear a difference?


I hate to say, but the 1950s Harry Belafonte probably sounds better overall.
More ambiance, detail, clarity, and not all compressed sounding.

The Eagles one has some nice stereo effects and decent clarity also, but sounds lacking in ambiance and dynamic range.

Totally different types of recording and genres of music, but I agree by the 50s things were pretty much as good as they got.
I have some Living Stereo Classical CDs from that Era that rival anything from any time.
 

posvibes

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
272
Likes
354
One that always knocked out is a Russian Melodya recording of Schedrin's arrangement of Bizet's Carmen. It is like sitting in the orchestra pit in a vast empty hall. The strings are Kina shrill, but the castanets ahh yes the castanets (stroking chin with a dreamy look in his eyes).
 
OP
Robbo99999

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,991
Likes
4,691
Location
UK
Abandoned Luncheonette sounded good enough to get the Mobile Fidelity Stan Riker half-speed mastereing treatment back in the day. When the Morning Comes is a very fine song, too.

Give a listen to a song like the ahem hella famous Righteous Brothers You've Lost that Loving Feeling pretty sure that was mastered mixed engineered to sound. I believe this track at least at one time was the single song most played on the radio [in the US].
Per Wiki-P:
In 1999 the performing-rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) ranked the song as the most-played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, having accumulated more than 8 million airplays by 1999, and nearly 15 million by 2011.


PS Pretty sure that stuff in the sixties was mastered by someone -- y'know: lacquer, master, mother, stamper. They didn't cut the disks that were sold in the record stores one at a time... pretty sure about that. ... at least for the million-sellers. :cool:
For that Righteous Brothers track you linked, I didn't particularly like the way that was recorded - they'd hard panned the majority of the instruments and choir to the left channel, and there was slight background crackle that you could notice on the quieter parts of the track. For me that's not a great example of a good recording in my opinion. I mean I know it's an old track - maybe it's an example of a track that could sound better on lesser systems, I don't know?
 
OP
Robbo99999

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,991
Likes
4,691
Location
UK
You think recording tech hasn't advanced since 1959? That Belefonte recording is not great. The vocal is the only thing that has any detail and its distorted and sibilant in places.

From 1994.


Hear a difference?
That sounds alright, seems like a decent recording, seems like it's recorded with more "sophistication" than the Righteous Brother track I just mentioned in my previous post for example.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,202
Likes
14,973
... I mean I know it's an old track - maybe it's an example of a track that could sound better on lesser systems, I don't know?
Feel free to speculate about that. ;)

(It is a Phil Spector recording -- which does kind of explain everything, by the way)
 
OP
Robbo99999

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,991
Likes
4,691
Location
UK
Feel free to speculate about that. ;)

(It is a Phil Spector recording -- which does kind of explain everything, by the way)
I looked up Phil Spector and came across his "Wall of Sound" technique, which on wiki states: "The intention was to exploit the possibilities of studio recording to create an unusually dense orchestral aesthetic that came across well through radios and jukeboxes of the era". So maybe that's why is not optimal on full range balanced systems in comparison to more modern recordings.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,202
Likes
14,973
I looked up Phil Spector and came across his "Wall of Sound" technique, which on wiki states: "The intention was to exploit the possibilities of studio recording to create an unusually dense orchestral aesthetic that came across well through radios and jukeboxes of the era". So maybe that's why is not optimal on full range balanced systems in comparison to more modern recordings.
YES, that was the point. :) Re: the thread title.
Some recordings DO NOT "come to life" on full-range gear vs. limited-range gear.

Robert Johnson's legendary (and legendarily limited) recorded output falls into the same category, albeit for somewhat different reasons, even after meticulous restoration in the modern era.
 

OldHvyMec

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
128
Likes
57
Country Western music had some of the best studios from the beginning for recording. The "Opry" was where you "sang in the can"
with the "Opry" as a backup if you managed to catch the eye of a "Chet Atkins' or two on the road. The "Outlaws" did it their own
way.

There was the odd ball too. James Brown.. vs Motown.

The Beachboys had some of the best Reel to Reel or vinyl you could get. I've never found a good recording of Janis Joplin, I have to settle
with some things. :)

I do have 250-300 78s that were my FIL from pre WWII through 1959. They are in books. Sound good on the Victrola too.

Regards
 
Top Bottom