I have so many old records and love them but the nameless, faceless engineers of the really old days fascinate me. For example, I have a Thomas "Fats" Waller record from 1929 on Scroll Victor (Victor Talking Machine Co.) that was recorded in the Victor Trinity Baptist Church Studio in Camden, NJ. (picture below). It is of Fats playing some jazzy stuff on the pipe organ like "Sugar", etc. Now, having played a pipe organ a few times in my life I can tell you that if you try and play fast stuff on it you CANNOT HEAR what you are playing until the lag time is over. If you are improvising like Fats did you are hearing what you played a while back while making up new stuff. This would be like basically playing without being able to even hear yourself. A talent. At any rate, my Victor of "Sugar" has the lowest bass I've ever heard on a 78. Way down to 28 cycles when Fats his the low bass pedal. A low E on an electric bass is 40 cycles for comparison. I doubt they could hear that when they were recording it but it's right there on the record; we measured it today. Amazing bass for something that was recorded only 4 years after electrical recording began. So, all praise the Western Electric microphone, used on most all electric recording sessions in the 1920s and up to the middle 1930s. And have you ever heard the actual 12" Victor 78 of Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started" from 1937 using the nifty new RCA Ribbon microphone? I don't mean a later dub that was filtered and compressed but the real deal (on a 12" 78 RPM album set called "Symposium Of Swing", a thrift shop favorite; 5 bucks). Bunny is one of my favorite horn players of that era (along with Louis and Bix) but what gets me is the unsung hero on the cutting lathe who managed to get 52 db of dynamic range on a 4 minute song cut into wax with in one live take with no overcut on a fixed groove cutter like in the picture below using a single microphone for a 12 piece swing band. If you've heard this song on a CD or LP or even the 10" "dub" version you are not hearing the real thing. Try and find this non expensive 12" 78 RPM album set (make sure the records are not broken in the sleeves; examine each one) and report back. You'll mainly find them on that ugly 1940's grey and silver label but not to worry; it's the original direct-cut stampers. So, here is to you unsung (and I'm sure long dead) heroes of mastering from way back then. You did your job well, preserving the great sound of some of our musical heroes. Getting off my soapbox now; I realize this thread will be read by about three people but I just felt like writing about the good old days of recording tonight; forgive me.. Below: Pictures from RCA-Victor. Notice that beautiful object that you can see through the glass in the third picture? That is a playback speaker, Art Deco style. Amazing.