RCA Living Stereo, along with Mercury Living Presence and the Decca classical catalogue, have been and will always be some of the best vinyl ever produced. Vinyl is special: you never quite hear the sizzle of the drum cymbals and other frequencies the same way on most digital, especially the horrendous sound of early digital, which Neil Young once compared to nails being driven into his brain. During the mid-1980s, when engineers started remastering and reissuing lp’s on cd to sell catalogue all over again, the top end harmonics were actually chopped off to get rid of tape hiss. What’s wrong with tape hiss anyway?
Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, and Impex Records have been producing top-quality reissues for some time. They’re not in it for the money. You pay more for the high quality pressings and quality remastering, but it’s worth it. It’s also great that turntable sales are up, and curiosity about vinyl continues to rise. It’s a pleasure to visit a good record store like Amoeba and pore through the vinyl. For one thing, you get the visual gestalt of cover art and liner notes, something missing from most cd’s (too small, no graphic impact) or itunes files.
I thought I’d share this classic old RCA Living Stereo video, talking about the advent of early stereo in the late 1950s and the manufacturing process. Dig the hardware!