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02-01-2004, 09:15 PM
Do 45 RPM records sound better than 33RPM.

02-02-2004, 04:23 AM
Do 45 RPM records sound better than 33RPM.

In the war to develop long playing microgroove records in the late 1940s and early 1950s, two standards emerged. One by Columbia records, the 33 1/3 12 inch LP we have come to know as the universal standard for most long playing records and the 45 RPM system developed by RCA. Because of its shorter playing time, the RCA system was marketed as a small 7 inch doughnut suitable for "singles" played on pop radio stations. It wasn't sufficiently long playing for albums or longer compositions which required one or both sides of at least one 33 1/3 12 inch disc. Of course there were some 45 RPM 12 inch "audiophile" discs and some smaller 7" and 10" 33 1/3 discs produced but these were the rare exceptions.

The 45 speed is inherently superior to 33 1/3 in its capability for extended frequency response. However, 33 1/3 records proved adequate for the most demanding recordings and the response was actually extended out to 40 Khz in the 1970s to produce the discrete 4 channel cd 4 system. Of course you needed a special cd4 cartridge capable of tracking and reproducing the extended response. So the inherent technical advantages were insufficient to convince the recording companies to forgo the advantage of longer playing time of the 33 1/3 speed.

02-03-2004, 07:44 AM
Do 45 RPM records sound better than 33RPM.

The Bill Evans "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" and Wes Montgomery's "Full House" are the only two I own so I can only speak to those two. They are without a doubt the best sounding recordings I own. The former has been mastered and remastered and remastered again on various CD's and SACD's and none of them sound as good as the 45 RPM vinyl. Period. Even the original Riverside LP doesn't sound as good - I'd compare the SACD favorably with the original vinyl. But the 45 is even better. The main problem is they cost friggin' FIFTY BUCKS! I support new vinyl and these are truly worth the money but I just can't afford to shell out that kind of money because I have a budget for new music (ok, yes, it's very large but it's not infinite) and I'd miss out on music that doesn't have sonics that are as good but the music is every bit as essential. You might check at least one of those LP's at www.amusicdirect.com. You should hear one. Those two are good choices because they've been redone on all formats, sometimes several times, so there is a basis for comparison. High rez digital hasn't hit the pinnacle of sound that these two LP's have.

02-03-2004, 08:45 PM
Thanks for the info.
Are there really noticable differences between 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records. I still don't really see how 45's could sound better. I can imagine that very high quality 45's could sound really good, but what about lower quality 45's. I would imaine many original 45's are too worn out I am not really a vinyl nut, but I enjoy buying used vinyl for cheap. Not to mention vinyl records sound better/(more real, better bass, tighter bass) than their RBCD counterparts, in my opinion.

02-04-2004, 03:20 AM
In my case I buy records because I like the music that is on them. Some time ago I used to buy audiophile recordings that would demonstrate just how well my system played but thankfully those days are passed.

With the above in mind the biggest advantage of 33 over 45 is that for albums it is that much more common. You are, I guess, 10,000 times more likely to find a recording you want on 33 as opposed to 45 rpm, and that, ultimately, is the decider in which format I choose.

I do own a number of singles bought in my youth. these are all 45 rpm, but I do not think that any play better than the 33 rpm albums I own.

It is probable that any company producing an audiophile 45 rpm recording puts that much more effort into the mastering and this is the real improvement heard, not the higher speed.

FWIW my best recordings are a Direct to Disk 33 rpm recording of Wild Child Butler (Blues) and a Tacet first edition, all tube production of Franz Schubert's String Quintet in C, which, ultimately is probably the better. The music is from the Gods too - so it was a win win buy.

02-04-2004, 11:01 AM
FWIW my best recordings are a Direct to Disk 33 rpm recording of .....a Tacet first edition, all tube production of Franz Schubert's String Quintet in C"

If you are talking about "The Trout", you should hear the DG re-release of the Amadeus string quartet and Emil Gilels playing it on CD. Stunning.

02-05-2004, 03:07 AM
No it is not the Trout - I have that too but it is not such a fine recording. Knowing you are a fan of CD's - The String quartet in C major can be found on Naxos recording 8.555921 SCHUBERT: String Quartets Nos. 1, 4 and 8. My version on vinyl is played by christain Polera and The Auryn Quartet - the Naxos one I am not sure about, but the playing is no match for sure...

It is rather different from the Trout which, as I am sure you know is a Quintet rather than a quartet having that piano in addiiton. Strangely I cant find it on the Naxos site but it is on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000029N0/ref=pm_dp_ln_m_2/002-5905629-7805608?v=glance&s=music&vi=samples