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View Poll Results: To you, when it comes to vintage recordings, which is most important?

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  • The sound quality

    1 16.67%
  • The quality of the overall performance

    4 66.67%
  • Depends on the performance or conductor

    1 16.67%
  • Don't know

    0 0%
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Thread: The "Quality" of Vintage recordings

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2007
    Northern VA
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    Question The "Quality" of Vintage recordings

    I know there may be several factors that come into play when choosing a CD, at least for some. I, for one- I'm not sure whether I'm alone in this matter- prefer to hear at least a sample of the music on a particular CD before I make the purchase- even if it's a song I already know performed under a conductor I admire and by a well-known orchestra I have always enjoyed hearing.

    Most of the time, assuming the CD hasn't been digitally re-mastered, and the performance is old (such as a Bruno Walter/Columbia recording from the 50's) the sound quality is a bit low. However, it can be said that the performance itself more than makes up for that-- especially if we're talking about an all-time classic or renowned performance. So, I ask, which "quality" takes precedence in your selection: the quality of the performance or the quality of the recording?
    Last edited by Rondo; Oct-11-2007 at 04:25.

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Southwestern USA
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    I rate the quality of the overall performance higher than sound quality. Even the best mastered recording cannot improve the overall performance, imho.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    West Yorkshire
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    I'll only get a vintage recording if I know it's a good performer or conducter like Elgar or Fritz Kreisler.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric683 View Post
    Most of the time, assuming the CD hasn't been digitally re-mastered....
    Mastering a CD without digitising would be very difficult!

    With historic singers I'll go with what's available except Pearl reissues with which I can't cope. Otherwise I'll go for a particular performer or performance. Recordings of all ages suffer technological defects but you have the choice: listen through the flaws or forget it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Prague, CZ
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    The market is saturated with "great recordings" by "great conductors" with "great orchestras", which to some degree all sound pretty much the same. I therefore seek out precisely these "vintage" recordings, overlooking their potentially inferior engineering so that I may hear a performance that is unique, defined, and strong in its individualistic character.

  6. #6
    Senior Member misterjones's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    I'm probably the only person in the universe that prefers scratchy old recordings (sometimes regardless of the quality of the performance). I suppose it can be likened to (say) prefering an antique piece of furniture to a new one even though they otherwise are essentially the same piece. Whether it's Blind Lemon Jefferson or Enrico Caruso or Louis Armstrong's Hot Five, I like the feel of the old stuff. By the way, I wouldn't mind some recommendations of old string quartet or piano recordings (the scratchier the better) or classic chamber ensembles or pianists that recorded pre-war (WW II) 78s and might have their/his/her stuff on CD.

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