Sinatra / Capitol Sound Quality: "A Swingin' Affair" - 1957

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. stevelucille

    stevelucille Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY USA
    I don't think it's a test pressing. The matrix numbers are the same as many UK and Australian pressings I have.
     
  2. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Location:
    Dayton Ohio
    Steve, what is your impression of the UK & Austrian pressings you have heard with this number?
     
  3. stevelucille

    stevelucille Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY USA
    In general, they don't have quite the "pop" that the best US pressings have. However the difference is minor and most noticable when doing A/B comparisons. It seems easier to find the UK and Australian LPs in better shape than the US LPs. They often had lined inner sleeves which helps. The vinyl used on import pressings is usually a little more quiet than their US counterparts so that helps make up for the difference in SQ.

    I enjoy the copies I have. I think they sound pretty good. The LPs with the matrix numbers you mentioned are made from dupe tapes rather than US metal parts. Having said that, the dupe tapes are of a pretty high quality, so you don't lose much.
     
  4. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Location:
    Dayton Ohio
    You just answered my next question (about the dupe tapes).

    I agree it is difficult to find original pressings in nice shape. I have tried many times on ebay and I just have to send them back for a refund.
     
  5. stevelucille

    stevelucille Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY USA
    I have pretty much given up on eBay for LPs. Unless you find a seller you can trust or it's cheap and you get lucky, it's usually not worth it.

    But there are exceptions!
     
  6. keoki82

    keoki82 Active Member

    Location:
    Edmonton
    D5/D1 grey label Sinatra "Swingin' Affair" W-803 pressing

    Just spun this. It's been a while. A noisy copy, but the sonics are great. Question about "I Wish I Were In Love Again" and "At Long Last Love" - the takes on the original LP sound different to me from those found on the 2007 compilation Romance: Songs From The Heart. Is it me, or is Frank's delivery and the instrumentation slightly different between these two releases for these tracks?

    Were alternate takes used on the compilation by accident? The set features a labelled alternate of "Nice 'n Easy," but there's no mention of these two selections being alternate takes.
     
  7. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    ROMANCE: SONGS FROM THE HEART was remastered by Dave McEowen. At least one other track on that CD has been identified as missing an intercut: "As Time Goes By" from the 1962 LP, POINT OF NO RETURN.

    I wasn't aware of anything similar on the two songs you mention from A SWINGIN' AFFAIR!, but I'll have to give it another listen. Exactly where do you notice the differences?
     
  8. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    No differences. Same takes.
     
  9. keoki82

    keoki82 Active Member

    Location:
    Edmonton
    Hmm. Must be the vastly different sonics then. These two tracks sound infinitely better on the original vinyl compared to these 2007 compilation sources.
     
  10. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    I agree with Sean. As far as the TAKES go, the versions on the ROMANCE CD are the original releases. The SOURCES may be different, though. This is one of those albums which had extra reverb added by Capitol in the early 1960s, with the new tapes incorrectly labeled as masters. You should try to compare the vinyl to the 1991 Larry Walsh remaster (which used the correct tapes). Matt (whose professional ears are better than mine) may want to add these tracks to his private website review of A SWINGIN' AFFAIR!.

    What I can tell you for certain is that the remastering is much different than earlier CD versions. They may be sourced from the wrong tapes, but these tracks on ROMANCE are PURE MONO, with no difference between left and right channels. Compare the following waveforms of "At Long Last Love," which were created after inverting one channel and summing to mono:

    Larry Walsh, 1991: A Swingin' Affair! (Capitol CDP 7 94518 2)
    At-Long-Last-Love-[Walsh].jpg

    Bob Norberg, 1998: A Swingin' Affair! (Capitol 72434 96088 2 5)
    At-Long-Last-Love-[Norberg].jpg

    Dave McEowen, 2007: Romance: Songs from the Heart (Capitol 09463 63377 2 2)
    At-Long-Last-Love-[Romance].jpg

    The Norberg version is a blatant example of pseudo-stereo processing. The small amount of channel mismatch on the Walsh version may be due to transferring the mono sources on a stereo machine?
     
  11. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    On second thought, Larry probably added a small amount of stereo reverb. Waveforms from mono transfers on stereo machines are not so pronounced as the above; usually just a few wiggles off a flat line in the mono fold-down.
     
  12. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    On the Walsh CD from 1991, there is some quite-subtle stereo processing* going on, plus a channel imbalance, with left being louder by about half a decibel. (The difference in level varies a bit due to the stereo processing. I spot-checked a few places, and it varied from about .3dB to .6dB, and there may be passages where it's more pronounced. Bob, I'd bet that if you re-did your cancellation process from scratch, but normalized each left/right track individually, you'd find far less "residue" in the Walsh recording, but there would still be some.)

    Matt

    *This may merely be some sort of odd artifact from playing the mono tapes on a stereo machine, but I think it goes beyond that. Regardless, it's hard to detect with the naked ear in a typical listening environment, and should not keep one from purchasing the Walsh CD, which is quite good.

    PS - some stuff from the old site:
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Larry added some electric guitar to all the songs as well. They talked him out of that.


    Actually it was the late Pete Welding that wanted reverb added to the mono tracks in the late 1980's. Larry was only doing what he wuz told..
     
  14. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    I'm not a wave-form junkie, but that one Bob posted of the 1991 A Swingin' Affair confirms what I've felt about that CD - Thinsville. A UK label called Avid did a couple of really good Sinatra releases a few years ago and A Swingin' Affair sounds way better on this 2 CD three album set. This compilation also contains the original artwork of all three LPs.

    A few members here have told me that Close To You from this Avid disc is perhaps the best digital version. I don't know the sources Avid used, but it might be that they used the original British Tapes.

    Romance is noise reduced. Listen to the orchestral crash at the end of a few songs to tell - that sound on this seems to swim in a circle within a confined area before it ends, instead of dissipating into the air.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    "Digitally remasterd for PROBABLY the finest sound ever!"

    Probably????? Weren't they confident enough to eliminate any guessing?:confused:
     
  16. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Unless Avid is now a division of EMI, they didn't use original tapes.

    I bought an EU release -- forget the name of it [Edit: This one]-- that contained tracks from IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS in a jumbled order on the advice of "a few members here" who told me how awesome it was, and in comparison to the actual UK official release....I thought it paled in comparison.

    I haven't heard the disc at hand, though, so I have no basis for judgment.

    Matt
     
  17. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    That's probably the Disky CD which I started a thread about how great it was. I now agree that it was EQd with too much bass, but there is a clarity about it that I don't believe is the result of EQ. Even Steve suggested that they may have used a good British copy of the original tape.
     
  18. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    A note regarding the UK pressed copy of the LP with USA labels. In 1959-1962, there were some UK pressed copies imported by Capitol with export labels and sold in US jackets. My old Songs For Swingin' Lovers was that variant. And I have seen the Carousel soundtrack in that variant. Legit. Unusual version.
     
  19. Bob F

    Bob F Senior Member

    You're misunderstanding what THOSE waveforms represent, Sean. They're the cancellation of the two channels. In this case, thinner is better, and the flat line at the bottom is the ideal. If I displayed the original left/right waveforms, you'd see that the Walsh version is the most dynamic of the three.
     
  20. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    Thanks, Bob, but I still think that '91 disc is way pale and thin.
     
  21. andy75

    andy75 Forum Resident

    A Swingin' Affair is my favourite swing album from Franks Capitol years! Think it's flawless. I have enjoyed the 91 remaster for many years now! Haven't bothered with the BN remaster.
     
  22. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Sean, have you compared these versions to those on the EMI 21 CD box set? Just curious whether there is any improvement.
     
  23. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    Not on Wee Small. That's not great, but the other two seem to be a bit better, not quite as grainy. It was recommended to me by a member who liked it better for that reason. I trust this guy's opinion and he was right as far as I can see.
     
  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Can you post a WAV sample?
     
  25. Sean, the source for those Avid remasters was the Japanese pressed MoFi vinyl - the mastering engineer - name escapes me now - Dave Bennett? - told me in an email. So I guess one's taste for the MoFi vinyls (including the 'wrong' Wee Small Hours)would dictate one's response to these Avid discs.
     

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