Early Rock "Tinny" Sound

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by RhodyDave125, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    I think the poster meant they didn't know how to record rock 'n roll.
    ianuaditis and Vinyl Socks like this.
  2. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks Forum Resident

    Niles, Ohio
    Ahhhhh...I see.
    ianuaditis likes this.
  3. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident

    I've read that at the time some (if not MOST) recording studios only allowed guitarists to bring small, portable amps with them

    Perhaps that's a reason why so many records have that thin guitar sound all over, especially surf and rockabilly
    And of course, even worse if it was played with telecasters
    DK Pete likes this.
  4. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Michigan, USA
    @RhodyDave125 :
    are you by any chance listening to mp3 ?
    Your descriptive words "thin", "tinny", and "not very full" are exactly the terms I use to describe the way mp3 sounds to me.

    I concur with the comment posted by our host, fwiw
  5. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Placerville, CA
    As Steve mentioned, a lot of it really depends on what your playing the records through. But some records were, indeed, made to sound trebly. Murray Wilson told his sons to crank up the treble on their guitars on many of The Beach Boys earlier recordings.
  6. rednoise

    rednoise Forum Resident

    Bright and twangy was the name of the game back then. The era of thick, sustaining rock guitar tones had yet to become popular. Distortion was not widely accepted, especially in established recording studios. I'm watching the recent Eric Clapton biopic, and Tom Dowd relayed the story of his horror when Cream brought their phalanx of Marshall amps into Atlantic Studios and insisted on recording them a concert volume. That was just not done!
    ianuaditis and DK Pete like this.
  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Plus many of these recordings were done on low budgets by independent small labels. And filtered to play well on less than good equipment. And not best played on your analytical high end system and on revealing line contact styli.
  8. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    Agreed except for Heartache Hotel. Is there a good sounding version of that? Every copy I have sounds pretty anemic.
  9. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    Heartbreak Hotel
    Elvis 50s Masters
  10. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    Is that a CD box? Anything on vinyl?
  11. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

  12. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    From the OP's perspective, I would love to hear a new recording of Temptation, performed as arranged by Don Everly in 1961, using 21st century contemporary technology.

    Wonder if Norah and Billy could be the singers?
  13. RhodyDave125

    RhodyDave125 Streetwalkin' Cheetah Thread Starter

    A lot of interesting comments here, so thank you. To address a question from a few people, including our host, I listen to a variety of media, on a variety of devices ranging from car speakers, headphones and floor speakers in my living room. For example, no matter what equipment used, the Rolling Stones early albums sound terrible. All treble, no bass and very little in the midrange.

    Also, I'm speaking mainly about rock n' roll records, not MP3s, CDs, 8-tracks, reel-to-reel, mini-disc, cassette, or any other form of media. I do have jazz and classical albums from the same time period and earlier that do sound significantly "fuller". My query is about what seemingly was a production choice for the way rock was recorded. That seems to be backed up by some of the comments here, but of course everything is open to discussion.
    angelo73 likes this.
  14. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    I used to thinks something similar as well. But when I got a better pair of speakers about 7 years ago, I actually began to hear how much bass a lot of these 50s and 60s tracks actually had, especially after hearing the Rhino, Ace, Eric, and Bear Family reissues particularly
  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Small portable amps, are still often favorite for guitar recording. You don't need a big amp to get a giant recorded sound. You know "Layla" and "La Grange" and "Honkin' on Bobo" were all recorded with Fender tweed Champs -- that's a whopping 3 watts of power and a single 8-inch speaker.
    angelo73, hi_watt and ianuaditis like this.
  16. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    I would think to cut through better on AM radio back then, which was all treble.

    I also recall an interesting comment from Charlie Gillett, who wrote "Sound of the City"; he says that the jukeboxes of that era, with a huge speaker inside, actually produced a very deep and full sound , one hard to reproduce hearing the records years later in other formats and with other equipment
    Brian Lux likes this.
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I don't hear anything tinny in the Lee Allen and Alvin Tyler wall of baritone and tenor saxophone on those Little Richard records. That's some fatback, grinding tone and when they start driving home riffs together it sounds deep and throaty like a muscle car engine.
    angelo73 and zphage like this.
  18. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    Benton, Illinois
    This would make an interesting thread. My first transistor looked like this. I was three and the year was 1967.

    ralphb likes this.
  19. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Brooklyn, New York
    Very deep and full sound. Jukeboxes in the 60's and 70's had amazing sound.
    angelo73, Rick Bartlett and troggy like this.
  20. Mr_Vinyl

    Mr_Vinyl Forum Resident

    Too many variables. It could be due to the particular version/mastering of an album. I've heard some digitally remastered records (1980's) of 50's and 60's music that sound as you described, only to later find an earlier press to be way warmer and fuller - to the extent that some might even find them muffled (but perfect for me).
  21. Hamhead

    Hamhead Sinatra promo specialist

    I wouldn't call any of those albums "early rock".
    Play any 60's Byrds, Paul Revere & The Raiders, and other early rock singles of the time and they all sound tinny with no bass.

    Get a copy of the Byrds "Original Singles" and you'll see what the OP is referring to.
  22. Hamhead

    Hamhead Sinatra promo specialist

    That Kingsmen 45 was never intended to come out, that was from a tape the group made to help them get gigs.

    Tommy James's "Hanky Panky" was a needledrop from either a acetate or the original Snap 45.
    you can hear the dirt in the quiet passages and judging from the lackluster production is sounds like another recording to help the band land gigs. Any Frank Guida production sounds like it was recorded on a Wollensak reel to reel at 7.5 with the sound on sound button on. Whether it's Jimmy Soul or Gary U.S. Bonds, it's going to sound terrible. But the tunes are great though.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Jose Jones likes this.
  23. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    CD box

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    Any version of Heartbreak Hotel that was before the original master tape was located and utilized sounds like crap. Unfortunately the SACD of 24 Karat Hits used the tape that was BEFORE the original master tape was found. I THINK the original master tape was found in time for when the 1996 Elvis 56 CD came out. That CD was redone in 2002. And certainly any CD that uses the 2007 Vic Anesini mastering will sound pretty damned good. But I agree all CDs before then, Heartbreak Hotel sounds awful, INCLUDING the Complete 50s box set! In fact most, if not all the material used on the Complete 50s box set has been greatly improved since its release.
    chacha likes this.

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    If you like the sound of cotton balls in your ears while holding your head in a bucket of syrup. Let's face it Rock n Roll and High Fidelity seldom cross paths. But when they do, I LOVE IT.

Share This Page