On 22/09/06, Tom Fine wrote:
You obviously misunderstood what I was saying. Of course a reissue CD
from the master tape will generally sound better than one made from an
It should. I have seen it argued that all old tapes will have
degenerated so much that a transfer from LP is bound to be better.
I'm talking about my own home-brew CD's made from my LPs. In a lot
of cases, the material never made it to CD. In other cases, the
reissue CD sounds like garbage due to bad remastering.
Yes, of course bad mastering can happen. Probably more often in the rock
and popular fields than in classical and jazz. I have some Bowie CDs
which sound very strange.
Why would that Jo Stafford CD be made from vinyl? Is it a bootleg or
was the original tape lost?
It is one of a budget series from British EMI. Each CD holds two LPs.
Possibly the tape is mislaid and there was not enough of a budget to look for it.
Others in the same series do not have the same note about being sourced
from vinyl. They all give credit to certain record shops, but this may
be for supplying the LP covers for scanning.
Sinatra reissues from the same year (1955) do seem to be made from master
tapes and are OK.
I agree that in many cases on commercial CD's where they've had to go
to someone's collection and play a record -- especially a 45 single or
78 -- the sound quality is awful compared to surviving tapes of the
same time or session. And like I said, I just don't mess with lousy
LPs (originally-bad surfaces, originally-bad manufacturing,
originally-distorted cutting). I like vinyl and all but I am the first
to say that a digital transfer of the original tape SHOULD sound much,
much better. When it doesn't, it's not because vinyl is some mythical
wonderful thing, it's because the remastering was lousy.
OK. We are in total agreement, then. I misunderstood you.
One of the pleasures of modern life is to listen to a new, well made
reissue from the original tapes of an LP that you have known well for
decades. This can also happen with an SACD issue that you know well as a
CD - for example, the Janos Starker Bach suites.