Comments for page: RCA Dynagroove

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Posted by Robert July 21, 2016 - 12:43 pm
As a late addendum, I did locate a pristine copy of the Italian release, "Questo e' il Dynagroove". It was listed on eBay italia and cost a mere $10., but $30 to ship!!! Sadly, it is not a true Dynagroove LP, and while the vinyl is in excellent condition, the sound quality is fair at best. No dynamics and spaciousness that are the norm on American pressings. Anyone else have any experience with this LP?

Posted by Robert July 21, 2016 - 12:31 pm
After much personal experience, and reading many articles referencing Dynagroove, my own opinion is that the criticisms have been very overstated, much akin to political opponents' attempts to caricature their competition. Seriously, if half of the condemnations were accurate, these records should have been a colossal failure for RCA Victor and the system would have been abandoned in short order. As I said in an earlier post, I have an Al Hirt Dynagroove LP that never fails to impress my fellow audiophile friends with its spaciousness of instruments and vocals, powerful dynamics, and crystal clarity of the trumpet high notes. I just don't hear the flaws that are thrown about. I like the comment about Dinah Shore!!!

Posted by Steve L. April 05, 2016 - 08:02 am
Hi Jeff, Thank you for your reasonable and thoughtful comments. While it's somewhat disturbing that there are so many unsubstantiated or erroneous comments posted in audio forums, I guess that's the price we have to pay for such a free marketplace of ideas. I sometimes have to remind myself of the the cornucopia of truly useful knowledge that the free Web also provides. It is perhaps the eighth Wonder of the World, if you will.

Posted by Jeff M. April 05, 2016 - 01:07 am
I appreciate your balanced discussion of the merits and faults of Dynagroove. Go to some of the high-end hi-fi web forums and you'll still find the old dinosaurs (Dynasaurs?) from the 60's vilifying RCA for developing the process. Some have even gone so far afield as to claim that Dynagroove was invented to create records with a sound that would appeal more to women, who have no ear for music! (THEIR OPINION - NOT MINE!!)

They also kvetch about RCA's lightweight Dynaflex discs of the 1970's; this despite the fact that the original RCA itself hasn't existed for 30 years, and it's been years more since they made any records with Dynagroove, Dynaflex, or for that matter Dinah Shore...

On my medium-level system, and played at the moderate volume I prefer, RCA's Dynagroove records sound fine, though maybe not noticeably better than other labels. (My experience is with "pop" recordings; I'm not much of a classical buff.) RCA's vinyl surfaces do seem to me very high in quality, clean sounding and durable. Unless they have been really abused, older RCA albums (and singles) usually sound quite good 40 or 50 years later.

By the way, I have some of the Dynagroove LPS mentioned here, including "The Best of Al Hirt" and "Supercussion," and think they sound great.

Posted by Steve L. December 15, 2015 - 08:33 am
Hi again, Bob, My copy of RCA Victor LSC-2947 arrived and I listened to both sides intently, trying to identify any low frequency (LF) rumble which might be there. I must report that I didn't hear anything unusual and certainly, there was nothing which could remotely be called, "horrible." As always with vinyl, there was the LF whir one expects from a good quality pressing. The second side of the performance has some quieter passages, so I focused closely on those. At one point, I heard LF, decaying reverberation from the orchestra that might be mistaken for rumble. This and other listening suggests to me that the hall itself has a modest (and typical) LF resonance. Could that be what you are referring to? There were at least two points when, at high volume, I might have heard a brief, low frequency environmental noise. At worst, it was barely detectable and perfectly acceptable. [It must be a nightmare to record a large symphony in a busy city like Boston, if that is where it was performed.]

Since I haven't heard from you about pin-pointing your finding, I can only conclude that the recording is okay and there is no evidence here of issues with the Dynagroove process. Again, I entreat you to point out the particular times at which you found flaws and I will be happy to listen for that.

By the way, I might say that the performance by Artur Rubinstein at the piano and the Boston Symphony, led by Erich Leinsdorf, was simply enchanting and I thank you for introducing me to this recording! I thought the RCA recording engineers did an excellent job of balancing piano and orchestra. Naturally, the compression required to reproduce classical music in the vinyl medium is there. It tends to emphasize LF reverberation. That always irks me, having been thoroughly spoiled by the huge dynamic range of modern media. One can hardly blame Dynagroove for that though!

Posted by Steve L. December 10, 2015 - 08:19 am
Hi Bob, I appreciate the report of your issue with the Dynagroove recording and would like to understand that better. To investigate, I've ordered a copy of LSC-2947 and will listen carefully for the low frequency rumble you mentioned. In the mean time, would it be possible for you to make an MP3 file of a short interval demonstrating what you heard? If so, you can email that to me and I can post it here.

The only problem with respect to Dynagroove is that the electronic processing involved would not be expected to cause low frequency rumble unless it was present at the recording venue. It's true though, that the process did include some low frequency boost at low levels. One would think that the RCA recording engineers would have been all over rumble in the studio, since venue acoustics were a key focus of the process. Nevertheless, it appears that you've heard something and I would like to get to the bottom of it.

I haven't noticed such rumble. On the other hand, LPs generally have a significant amount of low frequency noise. That's due in part to the ~20dB of low frequency boost needed for the RIAA equalization. It's often exacerbated by the typical ~10Hz resonance found in the cartridge/tonearm system. Moreover, certain ground loop problems can lead to low frequency boost (even oscillation!) as discussed in our Switching and Grounding article here (p.4). We look forward to hearing from you and getting to the bottom of this. Thank you for your comments.

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