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Mercury Living Presence SACDs - why so expensive?


Norton

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Over the winter, I've bought loads of individual RCA Living Stereo SACD transfers, plus the MLP boxed sets of CD transfers from Amazon all at very good prices.

 

But all bar a couple of the MPL SACD transfers have (in my view) crazy asking prices on Amazon UK.

 

Anyone know why this is, maybe out of production and rare? If so I can't understand why they just don't reissue them?

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Over the winter, I've bought loads of individual RCA Living Stereo SACD transfers, plus the MLP boxed sets of CD transfers from Amazon all at very good prices.

 

But all bar a couple of the MPL SACD transfers have (in my view) crazy asking prices on Amazon UK.

 

Anyone know why this is, maybe out of production and rare? If so I can't understand why they just don't reissue them?

 

Is a matter of supply and demand. Low offer and high demand give you a crazy price, it's easy to understand from an marketing point of view. The same happens with the NOS electronic valves (Tubes). But, at least, you know that is impossible to get a just produced new NOS tube. With some 'famous' SACDs some times you get, in the near future, available as download. IF the original analogue master tapes are in listenable condition.

 

Please double check with a friend if this exotic price SACD worth the asking price by his SQ merit.

 

Good luck!

 

Roch

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IIRC that although Wilma Cozart, who was the original producer of these albums in the 1950's and 60's supervised the CD remastering in the '90's, she did not do the SACD issues. I think I remember that she did not feel the sound quality of the SACD's was acceptable to her. Anyone verify this? I bought the CD's when they first came out and now Universal is reissuing boxes of them (50 in a box) for a small fraction of the original CD price. I have a few of the SACD's but haven't compared them with the CD's. They are in multichannel as well as steree.

 

Larry

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The Mercury Living Presence SACDs are particular in that the use a new DSD transfer from the tapes for the SACD layer(s) and the old 1990's Wilma Cozart transfer/mastering on the CD layer.

 

Another technical detail is that the SACDs made from 35mm film tape were transferred via 24/192 PCM instead of DSD.

Claude

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The Mercury Living Presence SACDs are particular in that the use a new DSD transfer from the tapes for the SACD layer(s) and the old 1990's Wilma Cozart transfer/mastering on the CD layer.

 

Another technical detail is that the SACDs made from 35mm film tape were transferred via 24/192 PCM instead of DSD.

 

Thanks for the information. Do you know who did the SACD remasters? Thanks, Larry

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I checked the Stravinsky Firebird (Dorati) SACD, it says "DSD transfer & 2-channel conversion: Andrew Wedman, assisted by Andreas Brüning & Claudia Pohl, at Emil Berliner Studios"

 

About the involvement of Wilma Cozart, the booklet says "We would like to thank Wilma Cozart Fine and Bob Eberenz for their advice in the preparation of these SACD transfers".

 

Here's some info about her work on the CD transfers: MERCURY RECORDS Living Presence - Wilma Cozart Fine and 50 Years Mercury Recordings

Claude

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Thanks, I take a listen to the Mercury SACD's I have (maybe a dozen or so?), especially comparing to the CD's. I also have most of the original vinyl. They are often noisy and have signficant inner groove distortion, since Mercury usually ran the music very close to the labels. The Philips remastered Golden Import Series vinyl has much better surfaces, but usually has rolled off bass and highs. The Decca engineers I talked to for my book said they were shocked at the first pressings of the Decca recordings that came back from Holland in 1980-1. Things did improve, but not to the level that the Decca engineers were really happy.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp  Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Pacific, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105  Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.7KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50TBripped files

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  • 2 months later...
Thanks, I take a listen to the Mercury SACD's I have (maybe a dozen or so?), especially comparing to the CD's. I also have most of the original vinyl. They are often noisy and have signficant inner groove distortion, since Mercury usually ran the music very close to the labels. The Philips remastered Golden Import Series vinyl has much better surfaces, but usually has rolled off bass and highs. The Decca engineers I talked to for my book said they were shocked at the first pressings of the Decca recordings that came back from Holland in 1980-1. Things did improve, but not to the level that the Decca engineers were really happy.

 

Larry

 

Hi,

 

what was the result of your listening sessions??

 

Thanks

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Hi,

 

what was the result of your listening sessions??

 

Thanks

 

Thanks for the reminder. It turns out that I have three Mercury SACD's that overlap with my Mercury CD's. I thought I had more overlap, but maybe I haven't ripped all my Mercury CD's yet.

 

Anyway, I compared stereo to stereo (since I did the SACD rips in both stereo and mch). I did some cuts from two albums = the Balalaika Favorites and the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez. In both cases I liked the SACD better. There were two main differences - the SACDs seem to have more depth or ambience and the SACD's had a bit more high frequency extension (as least as detected by my almost 70 year old ears). After reading about Wilma Cozart's opinion about the SACD's, my prejudice was in favor of the CDs before actually listening to them. I also used my stereo set up, so I heard both with my Berkeley DAC2, which means the ripped SACD files were converted on the fly by A+ to 176/24. Again, if anything, that should be a negative.

 

I think I have around 10 Mercury SACD's, most of which I got from some mail order CD club I joined a a few years ago. Most of their offerings were CD's, but they sold SACD's, too. (I think they were very cheap - maybe $5 each, but they went out of business, IIRC).

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp  Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Pacific, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105  Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.7KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50TBripped files

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