Speakers Corner / Columbia PC 33576 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas in Germany
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner vinyl re-mastering of Amigos is exceptional. The stereo separation is flawless and the subtle counterpoint interplay between rhythm and melodic instruments is balanced with deft precision. Santana’s guitar is prominent and never buried by the denser layers of sound. Both the piercing and fluid tonalities are captured with vibrant results. The mind-blowing artwork by Tadanori Yokoo represented on full-sized double front-back and inside panels glows radiantly with glossy luxuriance.- Sound 5/5 Audiophile Audition
Santana’s music is like the game of Mikado – a tight bundle of pieces in various styles that is difficult to handle, even for experienced musicians. No whether the sticks are labelled funk, jazz, rock, R & B, or folk: when you try to pick out just one of these, the whole lot vibrates alongside.
It seems relatively simple (and is often attempted) to try and sort out track lists according to more or less commercially oriented compilations. And having fastidiously set up the ranking and astutely discussed it in your circle of friends, you can sit back and enjoy the brilliant guitar sound of such blockbusters as "Caravanserai" or "Welcome" – quality rules the day!
In his seventh album the guitar guru is once again surrounded by numerous freshly recruited supporting musicians and the star producer David Rubinson. The latter watches carefully over the development of this project, which is highly reminiscent of the early Santana sound. A perceptible infatuation with the vocals, or the wealth of buzzing, pulsating, clattering, clicking rhythms, or yet again the inimitable bubbling, frothy guitar solos: a Santana LP is simply unthinkable without all this. Why then should one try to pick out the various styles, genres or consumer groups when this record belongs to his best and most important six, seven – or maybe even eight?
At the end of the day, we all remain amigos with Santana.
- Devadip Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals, percussion, conga)
- Tom Coster (keyboards)
- Ndugu Leon Chandler (drums, percussion, conga)
- Armanda Peraza (conga, percussion, vocals)
- David Brown (bass)
- Greg Walker (vocals)
Recording: 1976 at Wally Heider Recording Studios, San Francisco, by Fred Catero and David Rubinson
Production: David Rubinson & Friends, Inc.
1. Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermana)
2. Take Me with You
3. Let Me
5. Tell Me Are You Tired
6. Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)
7. Let It Shine
20 Years pure Analogue
Are your records completely analogue?
Yes! This we guarantee!
As a matter of principle, only analogue masters are used, and the necessary cutting delay is also analogue. All our cutting engineers use only Neumann cutting consoles, and these too are analogue. The only exception is where a recording has been made – either partly or entirely – using digital technology, but we do not have such items in our catalogue at the present time
Are your records cut from the original masters?
In our re-releases it is our aim to faithfully reproduce the original intentions of the musicians and recording engineers which, however, could not be realised at the time due to technical limitations. Faithfulness to the original is our top priority, not the interpretation of the original: there is no such thing as a “Speakers Corner Sound”. Naturally, the best results are obtained when the original master is used. Therefore we always try to locate these and use them for cutting. Should this not be possible, – because the original tape is defective or has disappeared, for example – we do accept a first-generation copy. But this remains an absolute exception for us.
Who cuts the records?
In order to obtain the most faithful reproduction of the original, we have the lacquers cut on the spot, by engineers who, on the whole, have been dealing with such tapes for many years. Some are even cut by the very same engineer who cut the original lacquers of the first release. Over the years the following engineers have been and still are working for us: Tony Hawkins, Willem Makkee, Kevin Gray, Maarten de Boer, Scott Hull, and Ray Staff, to name but a few.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and others, including of course Speakers Corner, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes.
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s.
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive.
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source!
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer. The only exceptions are when existing metal parts are superior to new ones that might be cut, which includes our release of “Elvis is Back”, which was cut by Stan Ricker or several titles from our Philips Classics series, where were cut in the 1990s using original master tapes by Willem Makkee at the Emil Berliner Studios. In those cases we used only the original “mother” to produce new stampers.
In addition, we admit to having one digital recording in our catalogue: Alan Parsons’ “Eye in the Sky”, which was recorded digitally but mixed to analogue tape that we used to cut lacquers.
In closing, we want to insure our loyal customers that, with but a few exceptions as noted, our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers.
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!