London Orchestral Records from the ’70s and the Problem of Opacity

Decca and London Hot Stamper Pressings Available Now

More Records that Are Good for Testing Transparency

The average copy of this 1976 recording has that dry, multi-miked modern sound that the ’70s ushered in for many of the major labels, notably London and RCA.

How many Solti records are not ridiculously thick and opaque? One out of ten? If that. We’re extremely wary of records produced in the ’70s; we’ve been burned too many times.

And to tell you the truth we are not all that thrilled with most of what passes for good sound on Mehta‘s London output either, especially those recorded in Royce Hall. If you have a high-resolution system, these recordings, like those on Classic Records Heavy Vinyl that we constantly criticize, leave a lot to be desired.

Opacity is a real dealbreaker for us. Most of the classical records we play from later eras simply do not have the transparency essential to transporting us from our listening room into the concerto hall.

One thing you can say about live classical music, it is never opaque. (It can be dry though. Some concert halls have that sound.)

No recording in our experience — our experience being thousands upon thousand of them — can ever be remotely as transparent as live music.

If you have any doubts, next time you come home from the concert hall take a moment to put on a favorite recording of the same music. You may be in for quite a shock.

There are other Deccas and Londons that we’ve cleaned and played recently that were disappointing, and they can be found here.

For more on the subject of opacity on record, click here and here.

Here are some of the other records we’ve discovered that are good for testing string tone and texture.


FURTHER READING

More of the Music Conducted by Georg Solti

Advice – What to Listen For on Classical Records

Classical – Demo Disc Quality Recordings

Well Recorded Classical Albums – The Core Collection

Well Recorded Classical Albums from The Core Collection available on our site

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