Vinyl source provenance or what was the source of this pressing

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings (vinyl , 8-track, etc.)' started by colorsquid, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. colorsquid

    colorsquid Friend

    Oct 13, 2015
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    I was at a great critical listening event at The Audio Salon last evening, big shout out to Maier Shadi for sponsoring a great evening. Michael Fremer of Analog Planet presented a dozen different titles in multiple pressings for us to listen to. Critical review forms were supplied to note differences in everything from dynamic range, imaging, soundstage, tonal balance, etc.
    Playback was through a TechDas Air Force One TT, Devialet amplification, and Wilson speakers. During the break, I asked Michael about the source material for a disc we auditioned, and there was some ambiguity about the actual tape generation or digital file used in mastering. Which got me to thinking, as a computer audiophile who enjoys vinyl rips, I know everything about the way a disc is ripped;, from turntable, tonearm, cartridge, preamps, sample rates,and clean up software.

    With the advent of Discogs, Music Brainz, et al, shouldn't we have a better understanding and identification of the source material used for a given pressing? Most of the information I have found is buried deep in a titles review from an outside enthusiast. Generally more here-say that actual fact.

    I can think of a few contemporary labels who disclose the source element. But we are in a time of aging tapes, library fires, poorly documented vaults, and outright fraud. Where does one turn for the definitive answer to 'what the hell did I just buy?".
  2. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Jun 21, 2016
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    Good question but I don't have a good answer. Usually it will remain a complete mystery or somewhat of a mystery.

    Sometimes I get the info (or as much as I can) at or

    Lots of the time, you will only come up with an educated guess. It is frustrating. I think the record companies feel it is in their best interest to not disclose such info most of the time.
  3. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

    Sep 16, 2016
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    Well, for a start, unless the record label specifically spells out the recording chain, in excruciating detail, I always assume that there's a digital aspect involved. Doesn't mean the LP can't sound good, or even excellent, but I'm pretty sure that if the company isn't bragging about an all-analog chain, master tape to pressed vinyl, and laying the process out in a no-bullshit, no wiggle room, no place for assumption or lawyer-ese way, there is digital involved somewhere. Just having the word 'analog', exclamation point!, somewhere in a reissue's ad copy doesn't mean shit.

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