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.

  1. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

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    Long Island, NY
    It was odd, because all 12 were from the same lot. So many pristine ones and one, which was probably used as a subject of the Durium "hammer test" :laugh:

    I'll give one of those Historic Masters discs the proper video treatment one of these days. Here are a couple of tracks, from my existing needledrop that were already in my dropbox account from having sent them to a friend. I think it's a good indicator of what to expect from a modern vinyl repressing of a 107 year old recording. They are from the Nellie Melba and Tamagno 12" sets.

    Note the repetitive clicks at the end of the first track. These are caused when the stylus passed over an X that was scratched into the master. On the original issue, the master had the part marked with the X covered with plaster of paris, and smoothed over, with a new lead out carved in, so the recording would end early, and we would not hear the true ending of the recording. The new pressing has made that part audible for the first time, since it is an exact repressing of the original master as it exists today. Could that be the first instance of audio editing? :winkgrin:

    Nellie Melba - Ah, fors e lui from La Traviata (1904)

    Unknown Baritone (possibly Giovanni Tamagno) O casto fior from Le Roi di Lahore
     
  2. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    They 'edited' the 1904 Melba Gramophone Co. Ah, fors e' lui... too. In that case, the inner portion of the master had a metal plate put over it, so that only a section of the recording would actually be pressed. Yours probably has it restored (minus plate.)
     
  3. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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  4. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    That is the recording I was referring to. I have never seen an original but I have heard it was a plaster of paris coating, not a metal plate. It seems possible to me that both methods were used if other stampers were made, perhaps one got the plate treatment and one got the coating treatment.
     
  5. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    Thanks.

    I see what you mean about those particular pressings being noisier than you would expect. The Francesco Tamagno recordings are very good for their time. Also evident in the recording you posted (if it's his brother or or what.) They're relatively forward and dynamic, and not constricted as other turn of the century records can be.

    Yes I got mixed up, there.

    Plaster of paris sounds messy and I'm surprised they could get it out of the grooves. The metal plate is put forth by Ward Marston in his Naxos CD of the '04 Melba recordings.

    A metal plate seems more plausible to me, as plaster of paris might neither get through the process of making stampers, or surely not withstand the heat and pressure of a record press, if it was applied directly to the stampers.
     
  6. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY


    Perhaps it wasnt plaster of paris, but a coating of some sort seems more likely to me, now that I think of it, it seems difficult to have a perfectly sized metal plate that they could have fit over the intended area, but it's not impossible. But also, wouldnt a raised surface like that cause an indentation in the stamper and leave a weird un-leveled playing surface?
     
  7. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    Here's Francesco Tamagno singing the Esultate! from Otello on a special Victor pressing, already deemed a 'historic' recording not 30 years after the fact....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTWPnsOe_B8

    I have this same record on a later (post 1914) Victor batwing, which they were charging FIVE dollars for (according to the label.) Same price as it was when they were issued by the Gramophone Co. in deluxe picture sleeves originally. The Tamagno records, and those of Adelina Patti and Nellie Melba were all five bucks. A lot of money in those days.
     
  8. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    Possible. I don't know what means they could have used to correct that, if any. Be worthwhile to be able to view an original pressing of that record.



    It's occurred to me that this thread has gone far astray.:laugh: Perhaps we should steer back a little more to the OP's subject matter.
     
  9. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Haha yes definitely :shh: In any case, I have a contact who does have an original 1904 issue of that disc. I'll contact him and see what he comes up with, photograph-wise, although it was from this contact that I have heard the "plaster of paris" story.

    In any case, we now return you to your originally scheduled program. :shtiphat:
     
  10. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    One more little note on that Melba disc. In the HMV box set of Melba's complete London recordings, it claims that the 'editing' on that disc was performed because the recording was too long and ran into the label space. Oh, well, maybe we'll get to the bottom of this some other time.
     
  11. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    This seems to be true. The label on that one side in the set is especially smaller than the rest of the sides, and it plays riiiiight up to the edge of that label
     
  12. The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France 78 rpm Decca F.41010 with a steel needle, EMG Wilson horn and Cascade gramophone.

    A side: Belleville
    B side: Liza

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    That was neat.

    Those EMG gramophones are very highly regarded among collectors. They were still making external horn machines into the 1930's, maybe 40's.

    Playback could have still used a little more bass.:)
     
  14. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Here's a blog on HOTW records: http://hitoftheweek.blogspot.com/
     
  15. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
  16. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Wait, so the ones with the s/8 are the dubs? I just checked and mine has it, but i also noticed it has the original catalog number and the take number as well. So how would one determine the presence of an original? just by the lack of the s/8?

    Edit: in regards to E Lucevan Le Stelle
     
  17. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Yes.
     
  18. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    I dug my copy to actually look at it again.;) It's a double face pressing.

    I was mistaken, the flip side, Recondita Armonia is a dub without the S/8 mark. E Lucevan on the other side is also a dub, with the S/8 mark Catalog # is 511-a / b. on the label and deadwax. New number assigned this double face pressing.

    Yours is the single face issue, dubbing, with the old single face catalog number.

    And I don't know why they did dubs, except in the case of something like his Di quella pira where the master was damaged and had to be dubbed from a 78 copy. There's a number of Caruso dubbings, though, they can't have all been damaged masters.
     
  19. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    That's what I was getting at when I started confusing all this. You should able to tell an original by the lack of S/8, but that Recondita Armonia dubbing I have gives lie to that. IMO, those dubs are all more or less crap, barely worth discussing at length.

    A bit depending in what town you live, there can still be plenty of good Victor Caruso pressings just sitting unwanted for little money, in the flea markets and what have you. Probably good to avoid the ones that were electrically re-dubbed with a new orchestra, too. Unless they appeal to you for some reason.
     
  20. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    As for those electric overdubbed ones, I found one that had a nice chunk taken out of it. However, I hid the missing part behind a cover of an old RCA Caruso LP, on which the cover is just a portrait, so only half the label/disc is visible, and I hung it on the wall. It looks pretty nice! :thumbsup: I wouldn't have done anything else with it tho, given the nature of the recording.
    And now, I know how to look out for those terrible dubbings as well, thanks to you! I'm surprised the one I have sounds anywhere near as well as it does.
    I looked at one more of my Caruso discs (O Sole Mio, 1916), and while there is no s/8, it seems as if it is a dub as well :( It is the double-faced reissue that is paired with the 1919 recording of A Vucchella. No s/8 on O Sole Mio, but it does have the new catalog number in the deadwax, which frightens me.

    The pickings are DEAD on long island. I'm sure the city has a much better selection, with any antique shops and record shows and whatnot. It makes sense, this place wasn't heavily inhabited outside of the east coast till after WWII, most of it was still large fields. so the occasional post-war discs are around at garage sales when you do find them. But never really many 78s at all in the first place. I did get lucky and find one old 12" Caruso, once. And condition-wise, it wasn't anything to write home about.
    The one record shop that regularly stocks 78s did recently get in a whole bunch from the early acoustic era, which does offer a glimmer of hope :winkgrin:
     
  21. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    You're right MrRom92, that's # 501 a / b. Both sides are dubs with no S/8 marking. I had copy of that record that I hadn't gotten around to playing.

    Oh, well. Stick to single face pressings if you're really concerned about it. Caruso's recording career ended in 1920, still in the single face era (for red seal records.) Or don't spend too much on suspect double face pressings. Early 1920's Victor shellac can be very nice, quieter and smoother than some of the original issues. If you get an actual double coupling of original undubbed plates, you may have something nice.
     
  22. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

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    For the electrical re-dubbings of the Caruso material for the purpose of adding new orchestral accompaniment. When a backlog of those were completed over about a five year period in the late 20's to early 30's, all the original Caruso records were deleted from the catalog for about 15 years, in the U.S.A.

    RCA Victor did getting around to re-pressing some of them again on shellac in the late 40's. Those are pressed from undubbed plates. But at least partly as a result of the electrical re-dubs being the only available for so long, the electrical dubs are frightfully common. I don't think most people regard those anymore, except for novelty value. I haven't heard any (save for one) that'd I'd want to be stuck listening to.
     

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