Help: Bing Crosby lp in 'Simulated Stereo'

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Rivendell61, Dec 12, 2003.

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  1. Rivendell61

    Rivendell61 New Member Thread Starter

    I just got this used album in the mail, bought on-line:
    "The Best of Bing", Decca, 2 lp's.
    AMG gives it 5 stars--and I wanted some Bing on LP to supplement my CD stuff.

    It is in excellent shape but....a white label folded across the top says "Simulated Stereo".

    I know this is not a good thing!
    But is this a priori so bad that I should return it--or is there hope for some worthwhile listening?
    My turntable is out of commission for a day or two and would be interested in any opinions.

    Secondly.... the Decca lp cat. no. on the AMG site is DXS-184.
    Mine is DXSB-7184.
    Does this tell me anything about anything?
    Is there a clue in the Number to alert me to an album being "simulated stereo"?
    And....does the original number tell me if it was first released in mono--so there would be hope of finding a mono version?

  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host


    The "7" in the catalog number always means the stereo version. In this case, they took the original recordings and not only added fake echo to them but added that crappy out of phase re channeled EQ as well.

    Melt this one down for hair spray...Do not let it touch your needle.
  3. Rivendell61

    Rivendell61 New Member Thread Starter

    Just the information I was looking for--

    And from what you say it looks like there is (DXS-184: no "7") a non-stereo version of that 'Best of' Decca--which I can hunt for.

    Appreciate the help!

    Is there any source out there for help interpreting Cat. Numbers coding?

  4. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    Here are a few pointers:

    As Steve said, a "7" added to the start of the catalog number on US Decca, Coral, Brunswick and Vocalion LPs means "stereo."

    Decca may have been the most misleading of all labels when it came to labeling its LPs; I have seen 1960s copies of Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby, the most recent song on which was recorded in 1951, labeled as "STEREO" (no modifier) on the front cover. Later this wording became "enhanced for STEREO" and finally, copies of these albums that already existed had a huge "SIMULATED STEREO" sticker put on them in either the late 1960s or early 1970s. Based on the size of these stickers, it wouldn't surprise me if it was some sort of consent decree or court order forcing Decca to end its deceptive sales practices, passing off records as stereo when they really weren't...

    A few other labels:

    -- The Mercury family (including Smash, Fontana and others) had numbers in the 20000s for mono, 60000s for stereo. The mono prefix is "MG" and the stereo is "SR"; for subsidiary labels, they are the same, except the first initial of the label is added. For example, mono Fontanas are "MGF" and stereos are "SRF."
    -- Capitol's stereo LPs have the letter "S" added to the beginning of its (sometimes inscrutable) letter coding. Fortunately, most of the all-duophonic albums added a "D" instead of the "S."
    -- Columbia's mono 12-inch albums in its pop series start with 500 and continued into the 2800s and have a prefix of "CL"; when the label introduced stereo in 1958, it started with "CS 8000" and continued from there. Originally, there was no correlation between the mono and stereo numbers; it eventually morphed into a system where the stereo number was 6,800 higher than the mono number of the same album. (CL 2000 mono = CS 8800 stereo.) Columbia began to issue rechanneled versions of some of its popular mono albums in 1963; if you see a "stereo" number in the 8600s and the mono equivalent has a three-digit number, the "stereo" is probably rechanneled. For multi-record sets, the number "8" was added to the start of the number for stereo.
    -- United Artists's pop series had mono numbers in the 3000s and stereo in the 6000s. Its soundtrack series had mono numbers in the 4000s and stereo in the 5000s. Mono prefixes are "UAL" and stereo is "UAS."
    -- RCA Victor's mono LPs start with "LPM" and stereo LPs start with "LSP." Otherwise they have the same number. Some rechanneled stereo LPs added a convenient "(e)" to the end of the catalog number. Red Seal releases have an "LM" for mono and "LSC" for stereo -- a very important detail, as for most people who collect that material, the monos have no value and the stereos, well, do.
    -- Imperial's monos were in the 8000s, stereos in the 12000s.
    -- Liberty's monos were in the 3000s, stereos in the 7000s. Mono LPs have an "LRP" prefix and stereos use "LST."
    -- ABC and ABC-Paramount had an "ABC" prefix for mono, "ABCS" for stereo; otherwise the numbers are the same.
    -- Originally there was no correlation between US London's mono and stereo numbers; monos had an "LL" prefix and stereos a "PS." When stereo was introduced, it started with "PS 101," but the label soon realized that its stereos would eventually overlap with mono numbers. In the early 1960s, London changed its mono number to be the same as the stereo except with an added "3" at the beginning.
    -- MGM's albums used the same number for mono and stereo, with the only difference in the prefix, "E" for mono, "SE" for stereo.

    I could go through countless labels, but these are some of the major ones. If you have any requests for labels that aren't mentioned and you want to know, just reply to this message and I'll follow up on it.
  5. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I have a copy of the rechanneled "Merry Christmas" that was only labeled "STEREO" with no modifiers. My Ink Spots and Al Jolson rechanneled LPs use the "Enhanced For STEREO" labeling.
  6. Rivendell61

    Rivendell61 New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks Tim, cb, and Steve!

    Tim, mine has that big white sticker--and I was wondering why as well.
    It was folded over the two halves of the album so the original owner could not have opened it without cutting the sticker. Vinyl itself just says 'Stereophonic'.

    I'll print out your post for reference! I order a lot on-line and the descriptions are often less than full--as in this case. Would not have bought it had I known it was 'simulated'.... But the seller DID have the Cat. Number listed--

    Now that I have the thing--maybe I'll keep it for curiosity value!

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