Wow and flutter, etc. Tape Speed Issues - Tone Poet / Blue Note 80th anniversary vinyl LP problems.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by StevenTounsand, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks Tim1954 for the above Tone Poet issues. Since the BN 80s are also being cut at same place I’d like to add Herbie Hancock’s “Taking Off” too this list as it was the first time I heard any issues in the pitch stability in the piano (where it is most easily discerned by technical and anecdotal means)...
     
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  2. flatsix-

    flatsix- Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I'm interested to know what issues are supposed to exist in Chant. I can't claim to have heard anything on Cornbread but will have to go back and listen to Ceora more intently.
     
  3. Bryce

    Bryce I drank what?

    Location:
    New York City
    I, for one, don’t hear any tape speed issues or pictographs problems on Chant. That’s not to say that there may not be such issues, just that I cannot perceive any. For what it’s worth, it sounds fabulous. My second favorite in the series so far.

    I could hear some slight issues on my Black Fire, but it didn’t bother me (I found those slight on my copy and also heard some similar bending on my mid-70s UA).
     
  4. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The effect is so subtle, once your ears are attuned to it you wind up hearing it ever so slightly throughout the affected titles. I’ve noticed it happening right after a particularly hard hit chord or note - only ever on piano sounds.
    On the main Tone Poet thread someone named two tracks on Chant.
     
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  5. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    A great post from Gabe over on the other thread. Quoting it here
     
  6. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
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  7. Bryce

    Bryce I drank what?

    Location:
    New York City
    Yeah, I heard those. My 70s UA has a Black B label on side A and the White B on side B. There is some warble/flutter what have you on this pressing, but not as noticeable as on the most recent Tone Poet reissue (which is barely discernible on the second version I received). It was worse on the first LP I received, which I sent back.
     
  8. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I notice a little bit of piano warbling in the audio clip comparisons for Cornbread between the digital and TP pressing in the Tone Poet thread, but it's nowhere near as egregious as Black Fire.
     
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  9. If the tape is flawed, then why in the world would anyone want an LP pressing taken from it?

    Or if the sound of the flaw could be corrected digitally (or even through some analog means), then why hasn't that been done prior to pressing an inferior product?
     
  10. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    listening to black fire right now. It's there. I'm as curious as the rest to figure out what's happening. I would just hope we all refrain from condemning KG and his equipment on a public forum until we get the facts. But I'm hoping if we pool together our collective knowledge and various jazz reissues we can narrow down a hypothesis. I will be following closely.

    Edit: I want to add when I say "it's there" I'm still not sure what "it" is. But there is some warble/melting of the piano, regardless of what is causing it. I still find it odd I do not hear it on any other instrument.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  11. Lucca90

    Lucca90 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SouthAmerica
    OK here is my report.
    Cornbread has two or three spots with pitch issues but nothing major.
    Black Fire definitely has some serious pitch issues. Not recommended, if you are familiar with Andrew Hill's music you will instantly perceive something is wrong.
    Clubhouse: After Black Fire, this is the where pitch issues are more easily noticeable. I can still enjoy the music though
    Contours is like Cornbread, the worst flutter episode is present at the very beginning of Euterpe (first second).
    Dropbox - 03 Euterpe.wav - Simplify your life
     
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  12. Lucca90

    Lucca90 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SouthAmerica
    It has its flaws but I wouldn't call the TP series an "inferior product" IMO However If someone is sensitive to pitch issues I would recommend to stay away of Black Fire and Clubhouse.
     
  13. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I'm pasting this quote from the other TP thread (in dire hopes of getting this discussion over here ;)) because I believe this would be good exercise in digging deeper. @Tim1954 I believe you said you have done this. Any findings of pitch fluctuation on the MMJs? I don't think I've heard any myself, but I haven't listened closely to it and warble is not something that immediately jumps out to me, personally.
     
  14. p.analogowy

    p.analogowy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Warsaw PL
    That little wobble at the beginning of Euterpe is also on Tidal/Spotify - so that particular issue is not related to the TP series.
     
  15. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Very interesting. I'm assuming those streaming versions are not the Tone Poet his res versions? I don't keep up with digital at all, but I know some Tone Poet Hi Res versions exist
     
  16. p.analogowy

    p.analogowy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Warsaw PL
    I don't think they're Tone Poet, on Spotify Contours has a date, 2011-09-12, I think it is the date that particular version was either released or added to their catalog. Euterpe is very very slightly wobbly on Tidal and Spotify in a few other places, but I think it was probably recorded that way - perhaps a problem with the deck on which it was recorded? Just a wild guess though.

    Edit: You can actually hear it also on this YT upload from 2015:

     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  17. Lucca90

    Lucca90 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SouthAmerica
    That is some good news for the Tone Poet series, but one question comes to my mind. Why this defect was not corrected in the digital streaming version? We can assume then that the digital HD versions available for download and for streaming are flat transfers from the analog source without any digital editing, otherwise, the mastering engineer in charge of the digitalization of the Blue Note tapes should have corrected this obvious defect in Contours right?
     
  18. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Now the Contours issue is interesting to me. I wish I still had the NY mono pressing I had to compare these samples to. After getting the 1st TP lp ETC and loving it, I got the TP Contours. I remember distinctly hearing that tape drag as Euterpe started and thinking that maybe it was from the analog tape starting up on the spool right before being cut to the master. At first I was surprised that it got past Joe and Kevin, as if they were just busy and rushed. Good to know that it probably is just stretched tape damage, whatever Kevin meant by that recent description of the old tapes. However, it does call into question about why specifically this particular problem is now so widespread amongst these 60’s BN tapes (older 50’s tapes like the TP Introducting Kenny B having stable piano sounds - as if the impeccable Tommy Flanagan would ever wobble!)
     
  19. flatsix-

    flatsix- Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I just checked the Spotify version and it has two Blue Note copyrights, one for 1967 and the other for 2004. Seems like there was a Blue Note Connoisseur Series version released in 2004 according to Discogs.
     
  20. markp

    markp I am always thinking about Jazz.

    I have an original NY USA pressing of Andrew Hill Black Fire and also the Tone Poet. I played them to compare, and preferred the Tone Poet. The original NY version sound good, but more upfront, and a bit hard. The Tone Poet was smoother, sounded like more depth, and I liked it more. I'll sell the NY version and use the proceeds to buy 3-4 more Tone Poets.

    I have purchased every Tone Poet release except Mr. Shing a Ling. I'm not hearing the tape speed issues, maybe I have not paid close enough attention, or just lucky.
     
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  21. p.analogowy

    p.analogowy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Warsaw PL
    I have just listened third time to Chant - the sound quality is absolutely breathtaking, it is among the top 3 best sounding TPs. The piano is rich and vibrant, and the horns are in the room. Amazing! However, I have to confirm the wobbliness of the piano. For me it was quite audible on A2 and B3. (on the latter it is mostly burried under the baritone sax).
     
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  22. wellers73

    wellers73 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have a 1965 NY Stereo pressing and a mid-70s UA pressing of Contours. The pitch issue at the beginning of Euterpe is definitely NOT present in either of those copies. I also have the 2004 Connoisseur CD of Contours, and the pitch issue IS present on that version.

    Back when the Contours TP was first released, @Joe Harley mentioned the pitch issue in this post:

    'Tone Poet' Jazz Reissue Series*
     
  23. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Wow. I remember that exchange...
    This is important in that Joe can hear warble when it is right at the beginning of a tune coming out of silence and acknowledges tape damage...
     
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  24. Kimiimacman

    Kimiimacman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berkshire UK
    Whoops!
     
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  25. AaronW

    AaronW Formerly Blackie

    Location:
    Los Angeles

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