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Tone Poet Blue Notes

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    And yet RVG CDs do sound poor. What happened there then?
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I suspect a stone-deaf old man being used as a marketing tool. I’d be amazed if he did any/many himself. They really were awful and sound nothing whatsoever like original RVG vinyl.
    Graham H likes this.
  3. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    The Fairchild article is good, but it does make clear its intended purpose at the time it produced and what those that mastered records used it for and I would expect that to be how it was promoted and why Van Gelder and other engineers bought one.

    “All of the design characteristics of the Fairchild were conceived for maximum level control and minimum artifacts — its development took place in an era when pretty much all engineers tried their best to record sources as naturally and pristine-sounding as was possible. Compressors and equalisers were almost universally viewed as tools to help an engineer achieve the clearest, most natural-sounding results, rather than as the ‘colour’ processors or ‘groove tools’ that are in vogue today. They were typically deployed for fairly mundane tasks: radio transmitter valves and cutting styli could be damaged by unwanted high levels, and dynamic tools like the Fairchild were used to keep those dangerous peaks in check, thus helping to maintain a healthy programme level for the following devices in the signal chain.

    Furthermore, the Fairchild was designed at a time when stereophonic recording techniques and the stereo vinyl record were becoming established. Virtually twice the amount of information as on a mono LP needed to be stored on the same size surface for a stereo record. To maintain parameters like programme length and level, dynamic shaping of the audio material was essential. The Mid-Sides (M-S) process helped to save lacquer real estate during the cutting process, and (an equally important benefit at the time) it retained mono compatibility. It was for this very reason the two-channel Fairchild 670 was designed for use either as a dual-mono unit (with unlinked stereo channels) or in M-S mode. (The mono 660 version and the dual-channel 670 were released almost at the same time.)

    Yet the Fairchild was not only conceived as a protective device in front of a cutting lathe. It was also advertised — and used — as a broadcast limiter.”

    It was only later that that mastering engineers used compressors as a ‘creative tool”. I don’t dispute that Van Gelder liked to produce a punchy Sound by pushing the levels, especially from the brass and you often hear this as brief overload of the mikes that perhaps the Fairchild helped with to some extent when he obtained one. I don’t think Joe Harley’s and Kevin Gray’s approach to the mater tapes is invalidated by this. Harley has most of the original RVG Blue Note Records in top condition and usually makes the comparison on the test pressings.

    My view is the RVG pressings are important historical documents of what he was doing at the time. It valid to prefer either, but for most of us the originals, especially in mint condition, are financially out of the question. The nearest sounding are probably the early Japanese pressings. I note though that that arch supporter of originals LJC who hasn’t really liked any other reissues rates the Tone Poets highly.
  4. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I was thinking something similar Jim. So much of this is subjective and will come down to a preference of presentation. I don't think there is any one 'right answer'.
  5. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Maybe at nearly 76 I am approaching old age ‘stone deafness’ as well that Tony notes about late RVG so perhaps my preference is for a bit of extra top end brightness. While not as old as me Joe Harley is getting on a bit as well. ;)
  6. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Not all musicians liked what Van Gelder did to there sound either. This is what Charles Mingus said when taking Leonard Feather’s Downbeat magazine blindfold test in April 1960.

    “Van Gelder "tries to change people's tones. I've seen him do it; I've seen him do it; I've seen him take Thad Jones and the way he sets him up at the mike, he can change the whole sound. That's why I never go to him; he ruined my bass sound".

    Even Blue Note president and producer Alfred Lion criticized Van Gelder for what Lion felt was his occasional overuse of reverb, and would jokingly refer to this trait as a "Rudy special" on tape boxes.
  7. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Finding these big price rises helpful, personally: they put an end to the frog-boiling. I’ll be going back to spending most of my money on reasonably-priced new music. EBay for older titles.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The Blue Train 2xLP has just gone up on pre-order at Rough Trade… £74.99! The single LP mono is £49.99! Surely that isn’t the standard TP price going forward?
  9. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Who knows. US BN Store has them for the equivalent of £32 and £45.

    UK prices are a 50%+ mark up.

    I know I've already been banging on about this in the thread but it does feel like a bit of a piss take.
  10. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Just been told that the Dealer Price on Blue Train (Mono 1LP) has increased by 28% over previous Tone Poet releases. Looks like that may be the new norm.
  11. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    You have to pay VAT and shipping costs to the UK over and above the US list price of course. US sales tax is added at the point of sale for in-State residents. Doesn't account for a 50% mark up though. I think they're trying to temper demand a little because they can't press enough for everyone in one go, even with the stock build up they've been going for...
  12. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Diverse Vinyl now has a pre order price for the 2xLP at £65 that is a reasonable bit cheaper.
    The single Mono is £46, but that wouldn’t save much if you get free prime shipping from Amazon at full price (they don’t have. Preorder up yet only a place marker)

    Diverse Shipping is £3.50 1 LP and 50p for each additional one. Doubles count as 2 LP’s.
  13. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I ordered both copies from the U.S Blue Note store which with postage and taxes came in at between £109 and £114 so not very much cheaper than Diverse but when I Pre Ordered only Blue Note UK had them up and because no pressing numbers where published I wanted to make sure I got my copies on order early.
  14. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I still think they's have done better to release the mono in the Classic series, where Optimal could have shared the numbers and maybe the stereo set as a TP for the anniversary instead of holding up the whole TP schedule.
  15. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    Blimey, I remember a few years ago buying the Blue Train two LP set (mono and stereo) from a link on here for £5.
  16. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    They certainly must have pressed fairly high numbers of of both Blue Train versions given the amount of time it has held up the Tone Poet release schedule. I’m now wondering if they will sell out on release? There seem to be as many people who by these ‘Audiophile releases’ in the US complaining about the increase to $39 & $55 prices there and saying they will pass or just get one version.
    gavreid likes this.
  17. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    £46.75 and £65.99 on Juno - now available to pre-order. I'm in for the mono only...
    poco a poco likes this.
  18. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    It looks like there is still a of room for dealers to give a bit of a discount over the Blue Note shop prices. Still no preorder price on Amazon, but their preorder prices seem to above the BN store of late although they sometimes drop after release. I will still probably pass, but I might see what Honest Jon’s price is as usually a little lower than Juno. Plus I occasionally visit the store so no postage (free anyway if you spend over £50)and if I buy a few records he often gives me a little further discount.

    I have seen some exporters prices as low as £40 for the single and £55 the double including shipping and tax, but it’s too much hassle or expensive if you need to return for any reason. Not that I have had any problems with any Tone Poet pressings.
    gavreid likes this.
  19. kingston12

    kingston12 pfm Member

    BN Store doen to £38 and £55 now.
    gavreid and poco a poco like this.
  20. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Yes just seen this. That’s a big drop, perhaps they have been listening in here? ;) Unless they messed up with their original pricing?

    Much more realistic. I expect / hope other dealers will follow?

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