Some audiophiles buy albums based on their labels. For example, this Shaded Dog pressing from the Golden Age of RCA Living Stereo might appeal to a certain kind of audiophile who treasures LSC’s on the original label.
More than that, he might limit himself to 1S Indianapolis pressings.
Hooray! What could be better?
However, many records from this era simply do not sound good, and this is one of them. We have never heard a good sounding copy of LSC 2112, and we’ve played plenty of them over the decades we’ve been in the business of selling Golden Age Classical records.
A copy came in just last week and I figured it was time to give it a spin and see if there was any reason to change my opinion. Hey, maybe this one had Hot Stampers! Can’t say it wouldn’t be possible. Unlikely, yes, impossible, no.
So here’s what I heard: A wide stage. A bit dry.
But then the trouble started: Shrill strings?! That’s all she wrote. A Johann Strauss record with shrill strings is a non-starter.
Have You Noticed…
If you are a fan of Living Stereo pressings, have you noticed that many of them – this one for example – don’t sound very good?
If you’re an audiophile with good equipment, you should have. But did you? Or did you buy into the hype surrounding these rare LSC pressings and just ignore the problems with the sound?
There is plenty of hype surrounding the hundreds of Heavy Vinyl pressings currently in print. I read a lot about how wonderful their sound is, but when I actually play them, I rarely find them to be any better than mediocre, and most of them are downright awful.
Music Matters made this garbage remaster. Did anyone notice how awful it sounded? I could list a hundred more that range from bad to worse — and I have! Take your pick: there are more than 150 entries in our Heavy Vinyl Disasters section, each one worse sounding than the next.
It seems as if the audiophile public has bought completely into the hype for these modern Heavy Vinyl pressings. Audiophiles have made the mistake of approaching these records without the slightest trace of skepticism. How could so many be fooled so badly? Surely some of these people have good enough equipment to allow them to hear how bad these records sound.
Maybe not this guy, or this guy, but there has to be at least some group of audiophiles, however small their number, with decent equipment and two working ears out there, right? (Excluding our customers of course, they have to know what is going on to spend the kind of money they spend on our records. And then write us all those letters.)
I would say RCA’s track record during the ’50s and ’60s is a pretty good one, offering (potentially) excellent sound for roughly one out of every three titles or so.
But that means that odds are there would be a lot of dogs in their catalog. This is definitely one of them.
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