Comments for page: RCA Dynagroove

<<first - <previous - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - next> - last>>

Posted by Fred E. January 24, 2013 - 06:40 pm
Thanks for your quick response Steve. RCA's HP series of CD's have released many Dynagroove recordings and without fail, the 1960's recordings in these HP series are excellent, comparing to the best of the "Living Stereo" era due to Pfeiffer's minimal miking techniques and the vacuum tube 30 IPS tape drives that they used.

I play many of my vintage records on a Grace 707 tonearm equipped with a Shure V15 Type IIIG which has a spherical stylus (I've been using this setup since 1975 -- luckily, I bought about 20 extra styluses for this cartridge back in the early 80's).

Unfortunately, the Dynagroove LP's (e.g. Martinon/Chicago Symphony Rhapsodie Espangnole) sound like crap compared with the new HP CD's. The Dynagroove LP features no dynamics, weird pumping of the low end, shrieky highs while the HP CD features a warm rich vacuum tube sound with a life-like 3 dimensional defined stereo image (the recording was made with only 4 mikes).

Thus, since the CD sounds so great (as good as ANY "Living Stereo") it is apparent to me that the offensive parts of the Dynagroove process (the "dynamic equalization" etc) was something applied at the mastering and cutting stages ONLY and that the original 4 track tapes were representitive of the BEST of Pfeiffer/Mohr.

Perhaps Dynagroove "encompassed" things like minimal miking, superb mike placement for a "20th row center" perspective, 30 IPS tape speed to reduce tape noise, but the actual "doctoring" was ONLY done at the mixing and cutting stages.

Is my assessement correct????

Posted by Steve L. January 23, 2013 - 09:14 pm
Hi Fred, I can't answer your question directly. However, as you can see from the article, RCA considered the Dynagroove process to be far more than just the record mastering and pressing steps. I recognize that those aspects of the process are what people emphasize these days but this was a far broader undertaking for RCA at the time. One could well argue that the pre-mastering steps were the most important parts of the process. The fact that the recordings weren't made with the specified studio, microphone, mixing and tape recording performance parameters, might have precluded applying the Dynagroove stamp of excellence.

Not that there was necessarily anything substandard about other processes. But if one is trying to establish the reputation of such a sweeping overhaul of record making practices, it would seem counterproductive to muddy the water by labeling a product with Dynagroove, when in fact it could only benefit from part of the process.

Of course, this is just my opinion and certainly marketing departments as we know them today wouldn't bat an eye at taking such liberties with labeling. On the other hand, the dates you mentioned would have been at the very beginning of the Dynagroove era, so one would expect the sanctimonious zeal to have been maximum then.

Posted by Fred E. January 23, 2013 - 08:12 pm
Did the RCA Red Seal recordings which were recorded by Decca in Europe (e.g. John Culshaw's 1963 recording of "Carmen" which was released on RCA Red Seal's Soria Series in 1964) ever have Dynagroove applied to them? If so, can you give an example of one?

Posted by Robert from NJ December 17, 2012 - 09:48 pm
I am currently chasing down a copy of what I believe to be the most difficult to find of all Dynagroove albums...Questo e' il Dynagroove (RCA DDD 33) which was released in Italy in 1966. It is a mix of the artists on the original " This Is Dynagroove" from 1963 (RCA PRS-140) with some Italian artists that were not featured on the US release (notably Ennio Morricone, Miranda Martino, Ferruccio Tagliavini and the SAT Choir). I will let you know when it arrives from Italy and how it sounds. Stay tuned!!!

Posted by Robert from NJ December 06, 2012 - 09:50 pm
Just got a copy of the 1963 RCA Victor LP "The Best of Al Hirt". Simply unbelievable sound contained in this little vinyl platter from 50 years ago. Play Cotton Candy (Side 2, Track 4) on a really good stereo system and get chills thru your body. Separation, imaging, spatial arrangement of instruments and voices, and the characteristic natural sound of woodwinds and the trumpet are remarkable.

Posted by Steve L. October 19, 2012 - 06:14 pm
No problem, Robert. I enjoyed the 35mm discussion, too. So I'm as guilty of being off-topic as anyone :)

<<first - <previous - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - next> - last>>