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SH Spotlight Benny Goodman on RCA-Victor, 1937, recorded in Hollywood, wonderful sounding records. Give a listen

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    No not really. You can use a box like mine that have presets (if you’re lazy like me) or you can get a graphic eq as he suggests and fiddle with the buttons to your heart’s content. I would have preferred a graphic eq but couldn’t find one I liked with presets.
     
  2. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    T
    There are fancier (and more expensive) ones than mine, but here is the link. Preamps, Preamplifier, Equalizer, switchbox, phono switchbox, record equalization
    I got the Rek-o-kut Ultra pre-amp. It is a brand new build (not vintage) and has no hum when connected with a ground.

    He has a sheet included that tells you the best settings for your date and label. If you’re like me and have a 78 turntable AND a vinyl turntable, this box is great as it gives you the ability to connect both and choose the eq pre-settings with no plugging and unplugging. I only wish it had a power switch. There are more expensive ones on that page if you really want to get into multiple presets. If you have many discs pre 1934, it might be worth it.
     
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  3. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    Interesting. It would seem like the MKII might be best for me (the occasional 78 RPM listener). It’s not clear to me, though it probably should be, but when in use for standard LP play, does this act as the TT’s pre-amp?

    Also, why did you go with the one you got as opposed to the MKII? It seems to be more “accurate”, but why?
     
  4. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I went with the Ultra because I run two turntables and wanted to be able to use the treble setting for 78s on my very clean LPs as well. (I really like the highs on anything I'm listening). I also wanted a flat bass response for LPs when I am ripping to Mp3. The MKII is good, but you can't choose anything except those two presets. It does act as the TT's preamp, whether in 78 or Lp play. The accuracy corresponds to how close to the relevant curve the unit is able to get you. I chatted with the guy who makes them and he gets the output quite accurate.
     
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  5. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    So for just listening to 78s, you use 78 + 300 Hz? It’s not clear to me if this essentially is what you get with the MKII.

    Would you use flat bass for listening?

    Also, what settings would be appropriate for modern LP listening?

    Frankly, I cannot tell the difference between the MKII samples, though my listening environment is not that good right now, but I do hear a positive difference in the second ULTRA sample.

    EDIT - I see the manual link. That might clarify things for me. I’m leaning towards the ULTRA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 1:57 PM
  6. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Is there any chance of an @Steve Hoffman remastered Benny Goodman set in the future?

    I, for one, would definitely have an interest. I doubt I'm alone in that.

    Bill
     
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  7. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    That certainly would be welcome, but I don’t think there is any chance of any remastered Goodman set ever again . . . by anyone.
     
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  8. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Why so?

    Bill
     
  9. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    The Goodman Estate does not seem inclined to release any “new” material. They seem to be effectively sitting on two remastered versions of the Carnegie Hall concert and apparently were not willing to agree to the inclusion of any Goodman cuts in the recent Mosaic Savory collection. There are others here who seem to have better inside knowledge than I. But the failure to release the superb (I hear) Carnegie Hall remasters is enough proof of disinterest and ennui for me.
     
  10. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It is.

    Not personally. Just for ripping.

    Most people will go with the RIAA settings, which are marked. I like the highs so use “78” for treble and “RIAA” for bass when playing an LP.

    I couldn’t hear the difference from the samples either. It’s very noticeable on the first listen.
     
  11. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Does the estate control material such as Steve is talking about there from 1937?

    Bill
     
  12. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    It’s been a long time since I had a copyright law course, but I suspect they do.
     
  13. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    I think I understand the concept. From the description, it sounds as though the ULTRA provides a better pre-amp than the MKII. Is that your understanding?

    I'm not sure I would use the ULTRA differently that the MKII, but weighing in the former's favor are: (1) better pre-amp (if that's the case); and (2) more convenient plug-in capability (no "wart", as they call it). Anything else you can think of? I doubt I'd use either of the non-RIAA settings for LPs (though I have a couple of 180g Frank Zappa records that sound like they could use a treble "boost" and maybe even a flat bass).

    I have many circa 1950 10" LPs and 45 RPM records. I guess the curve was in its wild west stages then. I'm not sure if there is any "compensation" benefit for those. I assume it would be limited to 78s (except, as you note, when no treble reduction is desired as a matter of preference).
     
  14. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes. My understanding is the sound that is output is more accurate on the Ultra, although it may be very difficult to determine if you played the same record on each.

    The deal breaker for me is that with the Ultra I have a selector switch between my two turntables. When I rip vinyl I often have terrible bass distortion on the Mp3. With the Ultra, it is literally two switch flips and problem solved.

    The RIAA curve was set as a standard in 1954. You'd have to look up each label to see when they adopted the RIAA curve and if their curves differ much. My guess is that they would not vary nearly as much as say 78s from the teens and 20s. I've learned that was truly the wild west where curves could be different between different manufacturing plants of the same company. I think even Victor had slightly different curves on its early 78s but forget where I read that to verify.

    And whilst we're talking sound, I'm not much for Apple's digital media players and equipment, but I discovered the "spatial audio" setting on my iPhone and iPad and it has a neat effect on these old mono Goodman tracks. It gives the track a depth without the reverb effect RCA layered on in the 1950s. Not bad for digital reproductions of remastered tapes. If you use the "head tracked" setting, it almost sounds like stereo and Helen is smack in the middle. It feels like the sound is coming from my field of vision about a foot in front of my face. Neat effect.

    Edit: I want to re-emphasize, these boxes are just equalizer presets. You could very easily put a graphic equalizer between your turntable and amp. I chose these boxes because they are convenient and I am lazy! True audiophiles, of which I am not, would likely scoff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022 at 9:03 AM
  15. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    I’m not interested in a complicated procedure either. I’m more interested in getting noticeably better sound when I play 78s, which is not that often. And I certainly don’t want to compromise the sound when I play regular LPs with the RIAA settings. Also, someday I might get a second TT. I feel it’s better to pay a bit more for a little more when it comes to audio hardware. All indications lead to the ULTRA.

    Do you use it with an Audio Technica TT? That’s what I have. I would switch to using the preamp by-pass. I had concluded the built-in preamp sounded better than my receiver preamp, but I could not take the Pepsi challenge on it.
     
  16. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes, two Audio Technica TTs. One with a 78 stylus and one channel out split to power both L and R speakers, the other with a 331/3 stylus and stereo out.
     
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  17. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    I’m sold. The manual indicates there are some LPs that might benefit . . . LPs I might have. Also, it indicates a benefit for at least some 78 RPM reissues on LP. That might include some of the Goodman reissues. Do you find that to be the case?
     
  18. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    Another question: How do you handle grounding? The manual says the TT is grounded to the ULTRA, but I’ve read the AT TT is grounded via the RCA plugs. Does the ULTRA need its own grounding? I see you noted above it needs it. How do you handle the grounding?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022 at 2:30 PM
  19. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I grounded the Audio Technicas to the Ultra and then to the amp. My ATs have a separate ground post, not through the RCA outputs. I only get a hum if the Ultra is ungrounded.

    Edit: My models are the AT-LP120XUSB. In this photo, the ground post is between the left (white)RCA jack and the USB-B port, second from the right. I'm not sure all ATs have the ground post.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022 at 2:43 AM
  20. ella_swings

    ella_swings Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Over the last year, I've stopped listening to Goodman on LP if the track first came out on 78. I'm using the hell out of my 78 needle. When I get back to my collection, I'll check. But if they remastered the high end out when they transferred it to LP, there is no getting it back. This is especially bad on the Sunbeams, where they literally lopped off the top end to get rid of popping and cracking in their needle drops. It is really bad on those.

    Its a revelation to listen to the Trio/Quartet sides on a very clean 78 with the Ultra pre-amp. I readily admit to not hearing things on recordings other people claim to hear (especially on LPs), but in this case, I hear it very well and was shocked.
     

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