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Re: [ARSCLIST] off-topic: guilty pleasure in hi-fi demo records
I have a Philco/Columbia dealer demo set from 1948.This was made to demonstrate the original black bakelite (?) cabinet Columbia "Clamshell" (?) phonos.There is an unnamed announcer,on the first side of the first record ,that demonstrates how little space the music on a 12" 78 would take up on an Lp.There are also,excerpts,and single-sides,from the first Columbia Masterworks Lps.These come in a 12" 78 album,with a Philco logo on it.This is a very rare,and historic set,yet I was once told by a big-time classical dealer,it wasn't worth anything.
"Steven C. Barr(x)" <stevenc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: ----- Original Message -----
> Hi all,
> I'm timidly un-lurking for a moment because I have a question for
> which I'm sure the ARSClist subscribership would have a broad range
> of useful, informed opinions.
> I've recently become reacquainted with an LP I really enjoyed as a
> kid: "An Adventure In High Fidelity", subtitled "A 'New Orthophonic'
> High Fidelity Recording." This is an RCA Victor boxed set, LM-1802. I
> find I still enjoy hearing this old record.
> It purports to present great-sounding (monaural) classical and
> semi-classical music, but also offers some very entertaining pop
> instrumentals. It's an interesting listen, full of ear-catching,
> exotic sounds, highs and lows, softs and louds. It tries to be all
> things to a broad range of listeners, and doesn't fail too badly,
> seems to me.
> I'm sure there must be any number of similar efforts committed to
> vinyl by various companies who sought to interest the public in a
> particular label, or a brand of equipment, or a supposed technical
> breakthrough. Was this record a better-than-average example of a
> genre? Would any of you care to mention any fond recollections on
> this type of recording? Any recommendations?
Well, I can only comment on/in my own area of expertise...that being
"one level earlier" in technical terms (shellac 78rpm discs...!).
And there WERE a number of "demonstration records" issued from the
beginning of that format onward. I have heard, and seen, "demonstration
records" made by Berliner c.1900, to be played for potential machine
buyers (don't own copies, though...!). Columbia issued at least three
different such discs (with a fourth version for Canada only...!)...Victor
issued several different records in their D- series...I have similar discs
on the Perfect, Bell and Gennett labels...and Philco issued two c.1930
discs intended to sell their radio-phonograph sets, along with a set of
several c.1940 "demo discs" of the same sort, which feature Columbia
artists and are on the Columbia label. I also own a Hit-Of-The-Week disc
featuring a "Medley Of Canadian Songs," which may have been used for
promotion here in Canada (and bears a rubber-stamped "Sample" legend
as well). And...Victor DID issue a "promo record" for their first 33-1/3
"Program Transcription" line...with a "DL-" number.
Steven C. Barr
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