Comments for page: RCA Dynagroove

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Posted by Robert from NJ October 03, 2015 - 08:56 pm
There is a lot of hoopla today concerning the "resurgence" of vinyl. The Barnes & Noble near me now has a double-sided display(how appropriate!) of 12" vinyl record albums. Funny, I don't remember my Rumours album costing $36. in 1978. There were many reissues of classic albums, but also many new releases. Am I wrong to conclude that new vinyl releases are simply analog storage of digital files? I doubt Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett were recorded on 30ips 2" tape using analog recorders.

Posted by Steve L. November 16, 2014 - 07:32 am
Hi John, As my copy of Supercussion has a fair amount of surface noise, I went looking for a CD version. It appears it was never released on CD. However, an earlier (1958) recording by Dick Schory's new percussion ensemble, Music for Bang, Baa-Room and Harp, was released on remastered CD by Blue Moon. I picked up a copy of that title and was very pleased with it. Before Dynagroove, per se, it was also recorded on a three-track tape at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.

By the way, the distortion that some expect to hear in the vinyl pressings is attributed to the pre-distortion introduced by the DSC system of Dynagroove. That is intended to cancel the distortion caused when a 0.7-mil conical stylus attempts to trace the narrow grooves in the inner tracks of an LP. If there is no distortion from the stylus, then the pre-distortion would be present and would sound exactly like the original conical tracing distortion. Today, the matter is complicated by the fact that the elliptical stylus still has some tracing distortion. While the conical pre-distortion might be over compensation for elliptical playback, it's not clear whether the result would be better or worse than elliptical playback with no DSC.

Anyway, I find that both Supercussion on vinyl and Music for Bang, Baa-Room and Harp on CD are great recordings and I'm really glad that you introduced Dick Schory's work here!

Posted by John Land November 16, 2014 - 02:00 am
   Hi Steve - Glad you liked it as well as I did...
My CK pre-amp is broken and in the shop so I'm missing the ability to play it again. I didn't hear with my elliptical stylus any distortion either. Maybe those effects that others were noticing were eliminated by the time they got to record this fine album.
And I loved the vibes as well. Always one of my fave instruments. That's how i got interested in jazz in my teens by listening to the Modern Jazz Quartet.
So without the record player i'm stuck with digital (sigh). To amuse myself I'm listening to some Binaural recordings. Pretty impressive localization of sound in space. Meant to be played thru headphones but the recordings sound pretty good on 5.1 surround equipment. The only thing digital that can come close to what I experienced with the Supercussion album. But still no jaw-
dropping..... dang!

Posted by Steve L. October 21, 2014 - 07:35 am
Hi John, The Supercussion album just arrived and I was very pleased that it was delivered in excellent physical condition. Looked almost new! After cleaning with my trusty Discwasher D4 pad (which it hardly needed), I auditioned it critically. I must say that I was quite impressed with the album. It struck me as very dynamic and uncompressed. I listened carefully for any distortion that might be induced by playing with the elliptical stylus in this Shure V15 IV cartridge but didn't hear any. That was as true for the inner grooves as it was for the outer ones. There was some surface noise, which one would expect from an LP over half a century old. One poster said that playing with the elliptical stylus brings out surface noise. If so, one would expect that to be true playing all LPs, not just Dynagroove. It's easy to imagine that the lower spatial resolution of a conical stylus might hide some surface disturbances.

I see what you mean by "stunning, airy, detailed." The percussion orchestra (with woodwinds and brass too) playing this kind of jazz seems perfect for demonstrating the dynamic range of the Dynagroove system. The realism of the overall stereo image was indeed breathtaking. All of the attention to miking techniques and venue acoustics [Orchestra Hall in Chicago] seems to have paid off here.

I guess my relatively dry comments fail to convey the fact that I heartily second your ebullient appraisal of the Supercussion LP. I found it exciting and stirring. The "space-age" sixties modern jazz is a joy to listen to. What a delight to hear a xylophone featured again! :) I really appreciate your mentioning the album.

PS: For folks who would like to hear a sample of the album, here is a link to a page which discusses it and offers a playback of "Shimboo," a very nice song to pick, transcribed from a very clean copy of the album. Love some of the reader comments there: "FABULOUS, smooth bachelor pad music! Bring me a hi-ball, please!" :)

Posted by John Land October 13, 2014 - 04:15 pm
Hi Steve. You're probably right about the recording setup having a big impact on the whole sound. I'll be curious to hear of your experience with the Supercussion album and how it compares to other Dyna recordings. warm regards

Posted by Steve L. October 10, 2014 - 08:29 pm
Hi John, Thank you for your exuberant posting! From your emphatic endorsement, I was moved to order a copy of Supercussion via eBay. It's hard to say whether the most commonly cited characteristics of the Dynagroove methodology were determining factors in what you heard. There were so many aspects to the effort, many of which could have more prominent. For example, microphone placement was carefully researched, with formal evaluations of the results. Dr. Olsen, who led the effort, was an expert in acoustics and new studios were designed with controlled reverberance characteristics. While we techies often like to focus on the electronic or electromechanical related craft, the scientific effort which was put into the other aspects of the recording process could well have been the most important. And that was a key point in the article. Thank you for your supportive testimony!


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