AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Decca - SXL 6000 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years pure Analogue
Khachaturian: “Spartacus”, “Gayaneh” - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Aram Khachaturian
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
For music, Speakers Corner's Decca LPs were an easy choice. Speakers Corner not only used the true master tapes in the creation of its reissues, but also the actual equipment with which so many of the original pressings were created. Along with this, Decca engineer Tony Hawkins cut the lacquers. The results speak for themselves. - The Audio Beat
Over the years I have amassed multiple versions and extracts of Khachaturian's ballets but none that comes close to this version directed by the composer himself. . This re-edition in addition to be sonically splendid gives a completely different view of K's music - those are not showcase pieces for orchestras in need of thrill, they are deeply thought and masterfully orchestrated jewels. Forget Kunzel - this is the only version you'll ever need.LPReview
I can honestly say some of the Decca SXL series are truly the best recordings ever made. Try SXL6000 Khachaturian Sparticus/Gayanah which is very dynamic, sonically almost perfect, the CD is cheap performance peerless, being conducted by the composer. I think if you listen to it you might forget it was recorded in 1962. Gramophone Magazine
Aram Khachaturian, the most well-known of all Armenian composers, believed that art should be closely bound to the people and indeed it was a pre-requisite for his own creative inspiration. Largely uninfluenced by the manifold trends of the 20th century, Khachaturian’s works reflect the folk heritage of his native country.
In the two richly orchestrated ballets, which he himself later arranged into suites, we find the musical spirit and customs of an ancient culture. In particular the unrestrained exuberance of the Sabre Dance from Gayaneh has contributed to the immense popularity of this suite.
The ballet Spartacus could be described as a monumental historical drama and made Khachaturian one of the Soviet Union’s most highly honored composers.
That a slave uprising can not only be expressed in music but can also take place on an international dimension is admirably demonstrated by the maestro personally in this recording where Khachaturian takes on the role of leader of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Aram Khachaturian, conductor
VIenna Philharmonic Orchestra
25 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head
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.
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