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SH Spotlight Do you want to hear two amazing RCA-Victor 78s from 1932? Ted Weems, Isham Jones..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 9, 2010.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    In 1929 the Radio Corporation Of America bought the Victor Talking Machine Company and became RCA-Victor. Even though the crash had killed record sales almost 85%, they still released records during the first years of the dark depression. Who was going to spend a dollar on a phonograph record when that same dollar could feed your family for a week? Nonetheless, people (in much reduced numbers) still bought records. These two have great quality, as do most Victors recorded in Camden, NJ at that time.

    If you're in to Max Fleischer's BETTY BOOP you'll know the song:

    Victor product from this period was the best in the world.

    If you like the Marx Bros. you'll know this song:


    Of course, it ain't Duke Ellington but the sound quality kills me.

    Jukebox operators complained that the ambient sound was too metallic (for their crappy sounding machines of the time) so the studios "damped" it right at the start of the Swing era in 1935. No more nice room echo, just a dry, curtained boxy room. Oh, well. That sound has a charm as well (the sound of the pre-war swing era records). Not hi-fi but still full and rich. That being said: These pre Swing records are just true Hi-Fi, complete with audiophile "room" and tons of dynamics. Note that these were fixed groove recordings, on beeswax.

    These are not metal part transfers, they are from the consumer 78's pictured. It's a shame that just as Victor perfected that great sound, the depression was killing the music business.

    These are both ONE MICROPHONE RECORDINGS recorded in the deconsecrated church in Camden, NJ. I have both of these records and they sound just like this on my vintage playback system.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    Beech, norman_frappe and Curveboy like this.
  2. Zanth

    Zanth Active Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    Truly awesome. It really is too bad that the clarinet was ditched shortly after. I love me some solid clarinet and orchestra.
  3. -Alan

    -Alan Forum Resident

    Connecticut, USA
    Surprisingly great sound. Sound quality has certainly had its ups and downs through the years!
  4. CaptainOzone

    CaptainOzone On Air Cowbell

    Beaumont, CA, USA
    Absolutely amazing in every way.
  5. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
  6. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    Anyone who says 78s are have inferior sonics should hear THESE puppies!
  7. il pleut

    il pleut New Member

    yeah, the trinity church sound. i wonder if they had the mike closer to the band than previously. some of the earlier trinity things sound a little too cave-like, but these really do sound nice. was it one mike including the vocalist's, or did he get his own?

    victor product of the time generally did have the best recorded sound, though the pressings could be a bit noisy compared to columbias.
  8. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Portland, Oregon
    Not to hijack this thread, but since we're discussing 78RPM sound quality, here goes... I just posted this info in a thread in the Hardware section:

    Some nice sounds of the 30s and 40s can be found here...:


    My favorite is Lionel Hampton's "Altitude":

    Followed by Fats Waller's "Swinga-Dilla Street"

    Even with YouTube's awful compression, you can hear how good these recordings are... and what amazing things Adrian accomplishes with his work. I recommend a stop by his blog site.

    - Kevin
  9. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Thanks! One o' my "pet peeves" is the 78s often are "mastered" on modern media. Hearing a nice transfer - on YouTube, yet - is always... nice. If you ever get to transfer/master a buncha 78s from the late '20s-'30s I'll start with some early Ellington and a Glenn Gray comp. :angel:
  10. Baron Von Talbot

    Baron Von Talbot Well-Known Member

    and not a pop or a tick, nor any surface noise - only music in ggoos quality. how many years has this record been played now - 70 , 80 ?
  11. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue In Memoriam

    Las Vegas, NV, USA
  12. Emerlist Davjack

    Emerlist Davjack New Member

    Albuquerque.NM USA
    Scroll Victors are incredible.As classical,I have quite a lot of them,and am always out for more.Good sets like Mengelberg,Clemens Krauss,or "Master" Yehudi Menhuin can easily go $75 and up on eBay.
  13. mischling

    mischling Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    Wonderful! This is the stuff I'd love you to transfer to CD -- maybe a 70 minute compilation of your favourite hot jazz. How about it?
  14. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Senior Member

    brooklyn, ny
    I have some classical RCA Victor's, of the Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, which have the same stunning sound. I have read that Stokowski with Philadelphia was the best American orchestra... ever. I'm inclined to believe it.
  15. salleno

    salleno Forum Resident

    So. Cal.
    I too have some vintage 78's that sound amazing. With a low-pass at 12,000 CPS they just sound phenomenal.
  16. VinylNutz

    VinylNutz Active Member

    Wow! Amazing sound. I didn't think it was possible then. It once again proves that hitech recording its all some claim it is.
  17. dale 88

    dale 88 Errand Boy for Rhythm

    west of sun valley
    Loved hearing those. Wasn't the Isham Jones band where Gordon Jenkins practiced his craft in his early years?
  18. THANK YOU for bringing this to our attention!

    Lovin' it! :righton:

    If there's CD' of any of this material (or LP's maybe?) in the works then I think you should find whoever posted these and work with him/her! As for me, I'm gonna be spending quite a while at that YouTube channel

  19. WPLJ

    WPLJ Forum Resident

    Absolutely jaw-dropping sound, even with compression on youtube on my freakin' laptop! My brain probably couldn't take this played back on a vintage player! Geez ... :righton:
  20. Mister Charlie

    Mister Charlie "Music Is The Doctor Of My Soul " - Doobie Bros.

    Aromas, CA USA
    Incredible. I NEVER heard nor expected this kind of fidelity from a 78 record. Absolutely amazing.
  21. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    Gah, these sound great. The Adrien Gregg blog is quite a treasure trove. Thanks for posting this stuff.
  22. Ear candy with the sound, brain candy with the history and eye candy with the labels.

    Loving it all! :righton:
  23. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Silver Spring MD
    what is signified by "scroll" Victors?
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The scroll on the label. The 1925 and older Victors have a different type of design, often called the "Batwing" label.

    The scroll lasted a long time, until 1938-39.

    Phrases like "Scroll Victor", "Buff Bluebird", "Columbia Potato Head Whiteman", etc. really turn collectors on.
  25. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting this, Steve. 78's are such a treasure. It's nice that members have this opportunity to hear how wonderful this vintage music sounds.
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