Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
cody78

Guitar tones on 1950's - 80's records

Recommended Posts

...Had a nice collection of Nakamichi cassette decks...

Always wanted one. My mate whom I mentioned in my earlier post had a fondness for Nak stuff and owned a 1000ZXL (which was priced WAAYYY out of my league).

He also bought one of the first Dragon CD players available in Scotland but that's another story...

 

...Another point not often made is the change in the way we listen to our music, and it's quite an important one. Digital allows one to audition and skip tracks at whim, so it becomes a ' listen to my favourite song' scenario. Consequently, unlike the good 'ol days when it was too laborious to do that and one listened to a whole side of an LP and often found that the 'lesser' songs were the best song, we no longer do this . Albums were painstakingly arranged artistically around this premise. Who of us now doesn't just listen to an Ipod playlist, usually iin a lossy format to save space. The art of albums has all but vanished. Woe to us all.

Oddly enough this topic came up during a conversation with some friends over the summer hols and I agree; it IS an important one.

 

These friends have four children aged between 12 and 22. We (the parents) still playback stuff in the 'old-fashioned way'; i.e. put on an album and play it all the way through.

The new generation - albeit they have what most of us here would consider a 'good and broad' taste in music - are very much of the 'see what Spotify brings up' generation and those 'lesser' songs which sometimes turn out to be unheralded gems are almost always overlooked/sidelined in the process to the point where I wonder how long it will be before these tracks drop from our collective cognisance.

 

As far as cassette tapes go; I always loved TDK's MA-R range. Pricey but very good (and, with their solid metal housings, very VERY pretty!).

I still have several hundred cassettes which I play through an old Technics RS-B405 DBX. Long in the tooth, maybe, but then......so am I....lol!

 

Pip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... of course, their ears may be still functioning at something near optimal level, which may well trump all of the above mate. [laugh]

Please don't remind me how old I am. I get enough feedback from my body on a daily level! [biggrin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always wanted one. My mate whom I mentioned in my earlier post had a fondness for Nak stuff and owned a 1000ZXL (which was priced WAAYYY out of my league).

He also bought one of the first Dragon CD players available in Scotland but that's another story...

 

 

Oddly enough this topic came up during a conversation with some friends over the summer hols and I agree; it IS an important one.

 

These friends have four children aged between 12 and 22. We (the parents) still playback stuff in the 'old-fashioned way'; i.e. put on an album and play it all the way through.

The new generation - albeit they have what most of us here would consider a 'good and broad' taste in music - are very much of the 'see what Spotify brings up' generation and those 'lesser' songs which sometimes turn out to be unheralded gems are almost always overlooked/sidelined in the process to the point where I wonder how long it will be before these tracks drop from our collective cognisance.

 

As far as cassette tapes go; I always loved TDK's MA-R range. Pricey but very good (and, with their solid metal housings, very VERY pretty!).

I still have several hundred cassettes which I play through an old Technics RS-B405 DBX. Long in the tooth, maybe, but then......so am I....lol!

 

Pip.

Yep, I was a big fan of those TDK's, very good and veerry pretty as you say.. Ampeg had a few good ones as well. I've still got quite a few old tapes that were car mixes, mainly, and I only just realised that the micro stereo on my back verandah has a tape player , so I've been having fun out there! These tapes have been played 100's of times, and they still sound pretty good. I actually used to record an LP as soon as I bought it, then archive the vinyl and play the tape . Had a collection of 100's of taped albums, untold hours of work. Some lowlife relieved me of all of them( and most of the rest of my belongings) one night while I was working night shift.Totally broke my heart. BTW I also craved those Nak, also out of my price range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have several hundred cassettes which I play through an old Technics RS-B405 DBX.

 

Me too....I have boxes and boxes of them....remember "home taping is killing music?" [biggrin] [biggrin]

 

I used cassettes to record live concerts off the radio. Still have 2 good quality cassette players (Sony and Yamaha, both beginning to need attention now) - and there's one in my car too!!

 

During the 80s and 90s I also ran a home studio based around a Tascam 38 1/2" 8-track and the quality was just fabulous. Eventually I mastered to DAT then CD; still got the DAT recorder as well.

 

What CD has got over LPs is a far greater dynamic range, including "sub" bass frequencies which could not have ever been recorded onto an LP. This is undeniable.

So compression and limiting in the mastering process is (or should be) less necessary. And with DSD or SACD, reproduction is pretty good....IMO.

 

With LPs there is a mother, master and a stamper and the latter degrades in due course when stamping out thousands of copies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minutia kills. Nobody ever sold only 4 million copies instead of 12 million copies because of dithering. If its a good song recorded reasonably well that's all you need. My iPod carries my entire life of music in my shirt pocket. Who has time to quibble over some perceived sound quality? Made In Japan still thumps my bucket.

 

rct

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....remember "home taping is killing music?" [biggrin] [biggrin]......

You mean like his?.........

 

Home%20Taping..._zpsjzcm0qsb.jpg

 

I did much the same as Starpeeve but, genius that I am, I got it the wrong way around!

I copied all my new albums onto tape but then played the albums and kept the tapes in good condition.....DOH!!!.....](*,)...........

Bottom line is that all my vinyl has clicks and pops whilst my CCs - with their 'perfect' copies of the vinyl - are slowly going the way of all tapes...

"Dust to Dust." as it were.

 

Ah well.

 

FWIW that is one of the MA-R metal-bodied compact cassettes as mentioned in an earlier post.

From the spiel inside the original liner (yes, I still have those!) because I know you are all enthralled;

 

"TDK METAL TAPE fully realises the dramatic advantages of metal alloy over conventional tape. Its far superior MOL and freedom from high frequency saturation deliver more vibrant recordings of wider dynamic range than were previously possible on cassettes. The long term stability of TDK FINAVINX metal particles is assured through a unique polymer coating which permanently seals each one."

 

I've just played both sides of the tape (Dire Straits' "Dire Straits" is on side A) and it still sounds bloody good to me.

 

Pip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

These friends have four children aged between 12 and 22. We (the parents) still playback stuff in the 'old-fashioned way'; i.e. put on an album and play it all the way through.

The new generation - albeit they have what most of us here would consider a 'good and broad' taste in music - are very much of the 'see what Spotify brings up' generation and those 'lesser' songs which sometimes turn out to be unheralded gems are almost always overlooked/sidelined in the process to the point where I wonder how long it will be before these tracks drop from our collective cognisance.

 

 

You make some good points here about Spotify vs. the old fashioned way of listening to music. Being 31 I'm from the young-ish generation, but when I was young all the albums I bought were on cassette and some were vinyl. My parents had a lot of vinyl so I did get a liking for that sound & format and ended up collecting a fair few myself which I still have in a big record box. I never really got into Spotify or iTunes, but I do think it's great for discovering new music and to have a vast library like that to hand, but I still listen to full albums on CD and Vinyl the most. I love packaging - so with Spotify I really miss reading the liner notes and looking at all the artwork that made the album as a whole.

 

I guess my original points in my first post were more to do with listening to a 70's record vs a 90's or later one and how much the sound improved. I have vinyl records, CD's and cassette's from both era's, but the newer ones just sound better produced a lot of the time IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stein and starpeve, I've been enjoying reading your posts about tape decks. My old tape decks were relatively inexpensive, but had a good sound - though sometimes suffered from background hiss. They sure weren't in the league of any of yours and I imagine your decks are like the ones you find in some studios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Steve Albini does not now, nor did he ever, record digitally, so the analog versus digital argument doesn't even apply to Walking into Clarksdale in the first place. That his recording of Jimmy Page's guitar sounds more like the live instrumentation boils down to a difference in philosophy: Steve sees the engineer's job as one of producing the most accurate reproduction of the actual sound as is possible, whereas a lot of your 'producers' of yore wanted to impress people with their ability to have their own 'sound' imposed on whatever band they were recording. I'll take Steve, thanks!

 

Good point about Walking into Clarksdale. My original post was questioning production techniques and how studio sound has improved over the years and not really to do with formats. My question was really this - take an album from the 50's-80's on vinyl, cassette, cd or even MP3 and compare it with recordings from the 90's onwards and WHY is the sound so much better? How much of the actual sound did we get back in the 50's-80's and before (pre-war)? I think most people have answered this now(!), but I was just interested how Page's (or whoever) guitar really sounded back then? How much of the pure sound was really captured? If they had the technology back then to make it sound almost perfect, why was it only in the 90's onwards recordings (even new analog ones like Albini's) seemed to improve greatly? For instance, Steve Albini sure is a great producer - Nirvana's In Utero springs to mind where the sound just explodes out of the speakers when you listen to it on any format on any half decent playback device. The sound IS more live and punchy than on some older recordings by other bands IMO. This is the case with a lot of groups and genres though. Listen to some old bluegrass records then compare them to todays artists and the sound is SO CLEAR in comparison. I was listening to an album by a newgrass group called Railroad Earth the other day (think it was recorded around 2005) and put that next to any old recordings by artists like the J.D. Crowe, Osborne Brothers, Stanley Brothers and the newer recordings just sound phenomenal in comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I never really got into Spotify or iTunes, but I do think it's great for discovering new music...

That, equally, is a very good point, Cody.

 

Those same youngsters with their 'let's see what Spotify brings up' approach could pretty much call it honours-even because they, in turn, could show us wrinklies that their "If you liked that track that then you might like this" approach would always - but always - bring up 'like-minded' bands which, in the old days, might have been overlooked altogether; so in one way the Spotify methodology could actually introduce us to new groups which, otherwise, would have remained undiscovered.

 

And it did work. Every time. We oldies discovered 'new talent' (to us, that is) because the new system works in that way.

 

Pip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minutia kills. Nobody ever sold only 4 million copies instead of 12 million copies because of dithering. If its a good song recorded reasonably well that's all you need. My iPod carries my entire life of music in my shirt pocket. Who has time to quibble over some perceived sound quality? Made In Japan still thumps my bucket.

 

Sorry, but I've always been into the minutae- thst's what hi-fi was all about. Got bloody obsessive, too, as most hi-fi geeks do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point about Walking into Clarksdale. My original post was questioning production techniques and how studio sound has improved over the years and not really to do with formats. My question was really this - take an album from the 50's-80's on vinyl, cassette, cd or even MP3 and compare it with recordings from the 90's onwards and WHY is the sound so much better? How much of the actual sound did we get back in the 50's-80's and before (pre-war)? I think most people have answered this now(!), but I was just interested how Page's (or whoever) guitar really sounded back then? How much of the pure sound was really captured? If they had the technology back then to make it sound almost perfect, why was it only in the 90's onwards recordings (even new analog ones like Albini's) seemed to improve greatly? For instance, Steve Albini sure is a great producer - Nirvana's In Utero springs to mind where the sound just explodes out of the speakers when you listen to it on any format on any half decent playback device. The sound IS more live and punchy than on some older recordings by other bands IMO. This is the case with a lot of groups and genres though. Listen to some old bluegrass records then compare them to todays artists and the sound is SO CLEAR in comparison. I was listening to an album by a newgrass group called Railroad Earth the other day (think it was recorded around 2005) and put that next to any old recordings by artists like the J.D. Crowe, Osborne Brothers, Stanley Brothers and the newer recordings just sound phenomenal in comparison.

I get what you are saying, but I don't entirely agree.

 

I do think that quality between recordings varies, and by a lot. But I don't think it has anything to do with WHEN they were recorded.

 

As a recovering audiophile, there are some recordings that are classics because of how good they were recorded, but more are classics because of the music and performance itself.

 

And, it doesn't always follow that the best bands get the best recordings, although, there is usually a lot or money available.

 

Another point, is that can not just look at the fidelity of the equipment as the only factor. Mic placement plays a big part. Also, the room sound it was recorded in. And also, who mixes and how they do it. So, then, the SKILL or the producers, audio engineers, that has a lot to do with the end product. Better production requires planning.

 

Complicated recordings. like Zep stuff, requires a LOT of work. Even though the music may be simple, the recording is not. Lots of tracks and lots of mixing. And lots of mic placement techniques (so I understand, I hear, rather).

 

But also, some of the BEST recordings made, are very old, and made very "primitive", with only microphones capturing musicians playing at the same time in the same room, no dubbing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...