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Re: [ARSCLIST] Wire recorders
I agree with your definition of a professional, as someone who works with wires daily, or at least with regularity, on mechanically reliable/well-tuned equipment. However, it is important to understand that we are in a profession where cost is not regulated. I was recently reviewing a video preservation grant, and found very large differences in the cost that vendors were charging.
On one hand, it can be argued that a "well-known" company can stand on its reputation and should charge whatever they choose, but on the other hand lets recognize that their are many brilliant engineers working out of their home and are willing to charge a lower fee. I believe that we need to fight the urge to just believe a company's own PR and to really give these "cottage-type" engineers an opportunity to prove that they can do the work.
I am not saying that we should trust everyone that says they can do a preservation service, but we should at least give these engineers the opportunity to prove it by either a demonstration or even better, asking who they have performed the service for and then contacting those folks to find out how the transfer really turned out.
"These opinions are only my own, and do not necessarilly reflects any one elses."
Preservation & Media Specialist
The Georgia Archives
5800 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, GA 30260
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Eric Jacobs
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Wire recorders
The use of amateur services is not so much about the
quality of the sound, but whether the entire asset
(the wire) might be lost in an unfortunate "tangle".
I know that no one can guarantee that a wire won't
accidentally be destroyed, but the probability of
success is probably higher (even if marginally so) when
done by a professional. In this case, I'll define
"professional" as someone who works with wires
daily, or at least with regularity, on mechanically
But I wholeheartedly agree that budget issues frequently
get in the way of preserving historically valuable
audio assets, and even more so when it comes to making
them accessible. This is sadly a truism across the entire
spectrum of historical preservation, not just audio.
And certainly a challenge to everyone in this forum.
The Audio Archive
---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 18:30:27 EDT
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Wire recorders
> In a message dated 7/15/2004 3:36:50 PM Eastern
> Standard Time, alex.hartov@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> I acknowledge all the recommendations to go with a
> pro for doing the
> transfer. I am quite sure it's worth the
> expenditure and would not
> quibble about that. Unfortunately, I do not have
> a budget for that &
> so will table the project for now.
> I see this a lot nowadays. I have several
> mechanically functioning wire recorders and in the
> past have made transfers without restoring the
> amplifiers simply connecting the head directly to an
> amplifier's phono input. People have beeh quite
> happy with the result. Some of these have been of
> local interest and, with the permission of the
> originators, copies have been donated to local
> museum archives. In some cases I have retained the
> original wires so professional restorations could be
> done if desired.
> However, since the Internet has made it possible, I
> have felt it ethical to inform a person asking, that
> professional services are available and I provide
> references, perhaps to some of those on this list.
> Now, when I ask, perhaps months later, about the
> wires (or discs or tapes) I get a response like the
> one above.
> Not that it applies in this case, but if a person
> has 50+ year old recordings that he has made
> himself, it is quite unlikely that he is really
> going to get around to funding professional
> processing of the work and equally unlikely that the
> executor of his estate will have any idea of what
> they are.
> Whenever I see the advice that, if it is worth
> doing; it is worth doing "right" I wonder how much
> is being lost just because there isn't the funding
> for proper professional restoration work. Perhaps
> it might be worth suggesting that an improvised,
> amateur transfer be made, if only as a proof or work
> print, to preserve and evaluate the material, if
> nothing better is immediately practical.
> Mike Csontos