Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Roy Orbison
Presenting another entry in our series of Big Picture observations concerning records and audio.
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I’m going out of my frigging mind on this White Hot stamper of Roy Orbison Greatest Hits. What a piece of shit is my DCC test pressing.
I used to like the DCC vinyl too.
Then my stereo got a lot better, which I write about under the heading Progress in Audio.
Eventually it became obvious to me what was wrong with practically all of the Heavy Vinyl pressings that were put out by that label.
The good ones can be found in this group, along with other Heavy Vinyl pressings we liked or used to like.
The bad ones can be found in this group.
And those in the middle end up in this group.
Audio and record collecting (they go hand in hand) are hard. If you think either one is easy you are very likely not doing it right,, but what makes our twin hobbies compelling enough to keep us involved over the course of a lifetime is one simple fact, which is this: Although we know so little at the start, and we have so much to learn, the journey itself into the world of music and sound turns out to be both addictive and a great deal of fun.
Every listing in this section is about knowing now what I didn’t know then, and there is enough of that material to fill its own blog if I would simply take the time to write it all down.
Every album shootout we do is a chance to learn something new about records. When you do them all day, every day, you learn things that no one else could possibly know who hasn’t done the work of comparing thousands of pressings with thousands of other pressings.
The Law of large numbers tells us that in the world of records, more is better. We’ve taken that law and turned it into a business.
It’s the only way to find Better Records.
Not the records that you think are better.
No, truly better records are the records that proved themselves to be better empirically, by employing rigorous scientific methodologies that we have laid in detail for anyone to read and follow.
Being willing to make lots of mistakes is part of our secret, and we admit to making a lot of them
Knowing what I know now, and having the system currently that I’ve put together over the course of the last twenty years or so, I guarantee you the DCC Gold CD is dramatically better sounding than their vinyl release. They almost always are.
Steve Hoffmann brilliantly mastered many classic albums for DCC. I much prefer the DCC’s CDs to their records.
DCC’s CDs did not have to fight their way through Kevin Gray’s opaque, airless, low-resolution cutting system, a subject we have discussed on the blog in some depth here.
 Wikipedia on the Law of large numbers:
In probability theory, the law of large numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times. According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value and tends to become closer to the expected value as more trials are performed.
The LLN is important because it guarantees stable long-term results for the averages of some random events. For example, while a casino may lose money in a single spin of the roulette wheel, its earnings will tend towards a predictable percentage over a large number of spins. Any winning streak by a player will eventually be overcome by the parameters of the game. Importantly, the law only applies (as the name indicates) when a large number of observations is considered. There is no principle that a small number of observations will coincide with the expected value or that a streak of one value will immediately be “balanced” by the others (see the gambler’s fallacy).
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