Comments for page: RCA Dynagroove

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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.

Posted by Bob December 09, 2015 - 09:47 pm
My system is nothing to get excited about, but I can hear the induced deficiencies in those Dynagroove pressings.
Case in point, LSC-2947, Beethoven's third piano concerto with Arthur Rubinstein, Erich Leinsdorf W/ the B.S.O.
There is a horrible low-frequency rumble, most notably in the quiet passages. (There are many, as I'm sure you know well.)
A fantastic performance, all but ruined by the horrible sound.
I would love to find an LP of it that doesn't suffer from the audio cancer that was Dynagroove.

Posted by Steve L. October 05, 2015 - 01:50 pm
Hi Robert, Your kind words are truly appreciated. It's nice to hear that vintage audio is getting some mainstream exposure. Your comments about why some musicians dislike streaming media are very interesting. Years ago, popular music services were running at just 128kb/s, which really isn't adequate. These days, I see that 256kb/s is common, which helps. However, at least one major streaming provider defaults to (gasp) 96kb/s. Of course, the codec used matters too...

Posted by Robert from NJ October 05, 2015 - 01:05 pm
PS- Thanks for operating this great site!

Posted by Robert from NJ October 05, 2015 - 01:02 pm
Hi Steve, Thanks for the fast reply. I appreciate the links provided. Fascinating that even a digital recording sounds better on vinyl do to more careful mastering and less compression. Also, just today (10/05/15) on NBC there was a segment on the resurgence of cassette tapes, largely fueled by modern artists that dislike the streaming that accounts for how most people get their music today. They see it as a waste of their hard work due to the low quality sound, and a short-lived event since people don't actually buy a physical, tangible item that they will keep for any length of time, such as my old LP's from the 50's and 60's!!!


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