AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Reprise RS 6402 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition - Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas
Speakers Corner 30 Years Pure Analogue This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production
Speakers Corner Records has done an excellent job in re-mastering Ry Cooder to 180-gram vinyl. The overall mix is balanced with good stereo separation. Both acoustic and slide guitars sound natural with little distortion.Sound 4.5/5 Audiophileaudition
The best news about this reissue is how much better it sounds compared to the Tidal MQA and Qobuz streams I auditioned. Kevin Gray’s remastering and the dead-quiet Pallas pressing convey more of the chest and throat of Cooder’s vocals, whereas the digital streams render his voice even reedier than it already is. Fortunately, this all-analog Speakers Corner release takes the digital edge off Cooder’s steely slide-guitar licks. Drums on the remaster also have additional weight, but the real payoff comes on Cooder’s original compositions. The richness and depth of his acoustic-guitar tones can be better appreciated, as individual notes hang in the air, resonating throughout the room much like they would during a live performance. The sense of presence on these cuts is off the charts. While I didn’t have access to an original LP to compare, the Speakers Corner version is a good bet for fans who want a clean and ruler-flat pressing of this fine Americana recording - The audio beat
By the time he was aged 22, Ry Cooder was already a veteran of the music business and in great demand as a studio musician and sideman. Shortly after signing a contract with Warner Music in 1969, he released his first album under his own name, placing his confidence in the musical talent he had developed since being a child and on the rare value of his favourite instrument, the steel guitar.
The present LP that carries his name is a fascinating blend of blues, folk, rock ’n’ roll and pop – a unique mixture, which combines superb songs, virtuosic playing and somewhat bizarre yet imaginative arrangements. For material, Cooder, the son of folklorist parents, dug out ten gems coming from over six decades, right back to the 1920s – by legends such as Woody Guthrie, Blind Blake, Sleepy John Estes and Leadbelly, as well as a more up-to-date Randy Newman composition. As magnificent as his choice might be, it is the exuberant charm of his own instrumental composition "Available Space" that almost steals the show here. Expansive and unbiased, Cooder plays an ironic game made up of wordless irregular phrases, which promise the listener something new and ultimately circle in an infinite loop.
Cooder’s need to prove himself, moderated by his veneration for the past, helps to create a completely original work that will prove rewarding for the adventurous listener.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: 1970 at various studios by Bob Kovacs, Doug Botnick, Rudy Hill and Jim Lowe
Production: Lenny Waronker and Van Dyke Parks
Ry Cooder vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass
Van Dyke Parks piano
Bobby Bruce violin
Chris Ethridge bass
Roy Estrada bass
Max Bennett bass
John Barbata drums
Richie Hayward drums
Milt Holland drums, percussion
Gloria Jones backing vocals
One Meat Ball
Do Re Mi
My Old Kentucky Home
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?
Police Dog Blues
Goin' To Brownsville
Dark Is The Night
AAA 100% Analogue This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 25 Years pure Analogue
MADE FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
AAA 100% ANALOGUE - PURE ANALOGUE AUDIOPHILE MASTERING
We use the Original Tapes and work with only the Best Mastering Studios Worldwide
180 GRAM VIRGIN VINYL PLATED & PRESSED AT PALLAS GERMANY
Faithful Reproduction of the Original Artwork and Labels
LIMITED EDITION Released in Limited Quantities
All Licences and Mechanical Rights Paid
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.
60 Years Pallas
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!