Comments for page: RCA Dynagroove

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Posted by Robert (NJ) October 01, 2016 - 09:36 am
Hi Steve, I am impressed at your diligence in studying the different record grooves. I played the Italian pressing for an audiophile friend (MIT grad, former VP for the old TechHiFi chain, then VP at Technics/Panasonic until he retired 2 yrs. ago). We compared a few Command 35mm pressings, 2 RCA Victor Living Stereo pressings, an RCA promo album titled, "Sounds Fantastic", and a London Phase 4 Ronnie Aldrich Pianos Today album. Referring specifically to the Italian Dynagroove album, my friend said it sounded less dynamic, and having less "presence" compared to the other Dynagroove LP's. He also felt the Command records had less bottom compared to the US Dynagrooves. But we both agreed that the Italian LP was overall fair-to-good in sound, and a step below the others. As far as my groove comparisons, I compared no mono pressings, only stereo. Thank you for all of your time and effort in this interesting research. You are truly knowledgeable and motivated...a really good combination!

Posted by Steve L. August 13, 2016 - 03:56 pm
Hello again, Robert. My copy of Questo e' il Dynagroove arrived from Italy and I listened to both sides, very intently. You had described it, saying " the sound quality is fair at best. No dynamics and spaciousness that are the norm on American pressings." My impression was good but unexceptional overall quality, which, given the subjectivity involved, is generally consistent with your comment. I found the dynamics pretty compressed but most vinyl albums are, since doing otherwise would leave much of the music mired in surface noise and blemishes. So we don't disagree there, either.

I think I see what you mean about the lack of spaciousness: There seemed to be less reverberance in the studios, giving the impression of a smaller space. I took that to be an artistic choice, which could be viewed by some as giving a cleaner, tighter sound. I prefer more reverberance for classical music. However, in the classic rock category, I love the low-reverb, tight, studio sound of Chicago VI, (1973) as evidenced by the "Feeling Stronger Every Day" hit from that album. It just seems SO clean to me. Producer James William Guercio had just built the Caribou Ranch studios in the Colorado Rockies, where the album was recorded.

I guess the bottom line is that we probably heard the same things but the subjective effect depends on one's personal taste. It's hard to say how much of what we heard from this record is related to the Dynagroove process and how much is due to artistic choices. One thing I did notice was that the surface noise level was exceedingly low. At one point between tracks I could discern a master tape transition from the change in white noise level. That was something which Dynagroove did try to address. Also, distortion seemed quite low. In any case, I appreciate your bringing up this interesting, international dimension to the Dynagroove story. It's been fun to explore it.

Posted by Steve L. July 24, 2016 - 04:17 pm
Hi Robert, I've ordered a copy of Questo e' il Dynagroove. Like yours, it's coming from Italy and shipping is the killer: EUR 6.00 for the LP and EUR 16.00 for shipping ($25 total). Regarding the appearance of the grooves, I did a careful comparison of two Dynagroove LPs with two vintage stereo LPs. I used a single, controlled light source, keeping it the same distance and orientation, and keeping my viewing angle the same. I did see something like 3D effects but saw that for all of the LPs. I ascribe the effect to the fact that the appearance of the light reflected from the grooves is different for each eye. This is due to the difference in angle and the fact that the appearance is sensitive to angle. I took photos to document what I saw, which you can see here:
http://www.tronola.com/misc/A-Command_normal_DSC_2897_low.JPG
http://www.tronola.com/misc/B-RCA_Dynagroove_DSC_2898_low.JPG
http://www.tronola.com/misc/C-Harvest_normal_DSC_2899_low.JPG
http://www.tronola.com/misc/D-RCA-RD_Dynagroove_DSC_2900_low.JPG

Of course, these can't show the 3D effect and the recorded audio varies but they generally illustrate what I saw. One question: Could it be that you were comparing a monophonic LP to a Dynagroove stereo LP? It's easy to imagine that one could see some difference between mono and stereo, though I haven't actually tried it. That issue came to mind as I searched for early-sixties LPs to compare with the Dynagroove LPs, trying to keep them similar vintage. Trouble is, stereo LPs weren't as common then (at least in our family) so I had to settle for 70s LPs for comparison.

Posted by Robert (NJ) July 24, 2016 - 10:13 am
I anxiously await your findings, Steve!

Posted by Steve L. July 22, 2016 - 06:13 am
Hi Robert, Thank you for the kind offer but I'll try to find a copy of the LP. I realize that might take some trolling. Your observation on the appearance of the grooves is interesting. I'll have to check into that.

Posted by Robert (NJ) July 22, 2016 - 05:56 am
Steve, if you'd like, I can run off a nice copy of the Italian LP on my Sony ES 3-head cassette deck using CrO2 tape and mail it to you. If that sounds OK, you can email me at fanwoodchiropractic(AT)verizon(DOT)net with your mailing address.


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