Sinatra's I've Got the World on a String - Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ShockControl, May 24, 2010.

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  1. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    My Dad had a Capitol purple label 78 of this tune, I believe Frank's first single for Capitol. Hearing it on my Dad's tube hi-fi was amazing. The band jumped out of the speaker, and Frank sounded like he was in the room.

    Imagine my surprise when I heard the CD version from the 3-disc Frank "Capitol Years" retrospective. In comparison, it sounds like they're trying to suffocate the performance with a pillow.

    But what's interesting is I recently listened to the version on the mid-50s mono Capitol collection "This is Sinatra," and it doesn't sound all that great on there, either. It almost sounds like there are some phasing/azimuth issues with the tape, which I don't remember hearing on that 78. Did something transpire with the master tapes? Is it simply that a well-recorded, hi-fi 78 sounds better because of the higher RPMs? Is my memory playing tricks on me?

    Would that I had my Dad's tube system today. :(

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
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    Can't say it sounds suffocated to me on that set. It's pretty similar on the Capitol Collector's Series CD too.

    I know what you mean by that, I've always noticed it.

    I have a bunch of Sinatra Capitol 78's, but, alas, not that one. So I'm going to guess your memory is playing tricks on you.
    Or so enthrall to the groovy 78 rpm tube sound, when you were younger, you just didn't notice what you do now.:)
     
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  3. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    Location:
    NYC
    What you heard on that old 78 was lots of Midrange, which is where (and the only place) that 78s excelled. Thats why you remember the voice jumping out of the speaker.....there wasnt much high or low signal there.

    This particular song has been remastered many times, i'd say ask around here on SH for the best sounding version and youre sure to find it.
     
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  4. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    Location:
    NYC
    And just to add......my personal preference is to listen to Frank on Capitol vinyl. I just feel thats the only place he sounds "right". By "right" I dont mean EQ highs or lows. I mean that when I listen to Frank on Vinyl on tube equipment, thats when the magic happens. Frank and Cds just dont do it for me.
     
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  5. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
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    A 1950's 78 rpm cutting doesn't have to be all midrange. Some of those Capitols, in particular, have a fair amount of frequency extension.

    I think it likely that shellac surface noise could have obfuscated some of the 'phasey' sound that the OP mentioned.

    And with Dad's old tube system, who knows what we're talking about.
    Maybe, like some of them did back in the day, there was an EQ phono setting on it that made it sound really good with that record.
    Was this 50 years ago or what.
     
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  6. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    Most 1950s 78s were recorded on hi-fi equipment, and the vinyl was modern, lightweight vinyl, not shellac. When you played it with a 78 rpm needle with a lightweight tonearm, it sounded great.

    By Dad was in the biz and had lots of modern 1950s 78s such as I describe. Capitol was at the top of the list in terms of sound quality. IMHO.
     
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  7. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
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    Some 78's (after 1949) were shellac some were vinyl.

    A ca. 1953 Capitol 78 most likely ought to be shellac, they were still using it at that time. There are some vinyl Capitol 78's out there, but I think they were from toward the end of 78 production (later 50's.)

    I have a Capitol 78 single of the Sinatra/Crosby (1956) Well, Did You Evah duet from High Society, and that's a shellac pressing.
     
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  8. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    Thanks. Is it possible that the promos were pressed on something different? I may be confusing the 78 in question with some promotional Captiol 78s, which IIRC were more lightweight modern vinyl. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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  9. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    I think the version on the COLLECTOR'S SERIES and THE CAPITOL YEARS sound very good. It would have sounded better if transferred thru vintage Ampex tube playback (which Capitol didn't have anymore when this mastering was done) and possibly different choices on the other electronics in the chain, but otherwise I really can't fault the sound. It's pretty honest, to my ear.
     
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  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Promos were pressed on plastic, correct.
     
  11. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    Thanks. Maybe the 78 I'm thinking about was a promo. My Dad had zillions, and it's been ages.
     
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  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Could be. I've seen the old mastering "card" on STRING from 1953. It was cut 15 times that year, all from the "B" take, all with +5 at 3k, optical compression on stun. Bet it sounded just right on the old Zenith Cobra-Matic..
     
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  13. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
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    Try think if it had a white label. As a Capitol promo 78 should have.
     
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  14. Davidmk5

    Davidmk5 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Marlboro , ma. usa
    Was just spinning I've Got the World on a String last night , My Copy is pressed on a 45 with two songs per side , it sounds pretty good , but has some crackle due to age , very cool you had heard this original on a 78 .
     
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  15. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    Location:
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    Would those same parameters have been applied to both 45 and 78 rpm cuttings?
     
  16. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey

    Yeah, +5db @ 3k isn't enough "stun"! ;)
     
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Very good question. I see you liked my album cover. You may continue to use it.

    The mastering card was only for the 78 cuttings. The 45 cuttings were very different in nature. Dull and basically useless as most Capitol 45's cut that year were. The 78 kills it.
     
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  18. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    He had a bunch of Capitol white label promo 78s.

    And he had a bunch of Capitol purple label 78s.

    It's been years.
     
  19. stevelucille

    stevelucille Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY USA
    I have a promo copy of this. It has a yellow label, not white.
     
  20. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Looks like UK 78 pressings used US stampers on shellac, at least on some titles. Were all UK Capitol/EMI 78s on shellac?
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    What is that glitch only two seconds into the Capitol Years disk? the horns "wobble" a bit, and its on the three disc set and the single disc compilation....
     
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  22. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    i assumed it's an edit, one take for the downbeat, another take for the rest.
     
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  23. Ere

    Ere Senior Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    Do we know if it is present on the 78?
     
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  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    From SFF, March 26, 2008:


    *To that bit, I'll now add this: We now know (thanks to Steve) that Capitol did not start saving their "B Reels" until mid-1956, so once the session tape for "I've Got the World on a String" was successfully put into a phonoreel (reel used to compile singles and other non-LP tracks), the B reel would have been destroyed (or whatever they did to their "extra" B-reel material at the time).


    So....anybody out there have the 45 or 78? Care to post or send along a sample?

    Matt
     
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  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    I will have your answer for you shortly.
     
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