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Jim Tavegia
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Used classical lp bargains

Just picked up some used classical bargains yesterday. Both are from Murray Hill of NY. 5 discs of Alfred Brendel Plays Liszt's Greatest Piano Works, S43636. The box is near mint with the 4 page liner notes in perfect condition. Once cleaned the records are near mint.

Also another 5 record set S-4358 Legendary Piano Immortals: Paderewski, Hoffmann, Ravel, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Camille Saint-Saens, Wanda Landowska, and Ferruccio Busconi. This stereo recording appears to be from the mid '60s. These recordings were made from player piano rolls from the Duo-Art system that was added to Steinway pianos.

The box notes states that almost every major artist from 1916 to 1925 made record rolls for Dual Art. It also adds; "The pricipal feature of the Duo-Art system is its reproducing action, which it possesses in addition to the actions of both regular and player pianos". It goes on to add; "It must be emphasized that the Duo-Art not only produced the notes as the great virtuosi played them, but by incorporating all the previous advances in player-piano technology, was able to accurately reproduce dynamics, pedal-effects, methods of attack, and many other subtleties of expression."

The reality is that this was probably not achieved in total until the creation of the Bosendorfer piano that Robert Silverman played and recorded on for the Stereophile boxed set of 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, recorded by JA.

The sound is very good for the time. For only a few dollars some treasures can be found. I have always admired Alfred Brendel's playing.
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I will add now that I have enjoyed the "player" discs that they sound wonderful in stereo for being 40+ years old. Whether or not the playback action of the player piano is "accurate" is open for debate for sure. To hear George Gershwin play Rhapsody In Blue is remarkable for his interpretation of his own work. Well worth the measly few dollars I paid.

Jim Tavegia

Reptiles00
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

Hi Jim,
Reading about your finds got me thinking about some of the old LPs I have boxed away from when my parents had a console phonograph.
I pulled them out and there are many Longines Symphonette LPs that seem in great shape. "The Singing Stradivarius" and "George Gershwin/Rhapsody in Blue" are two that comes to mind as I write this.

I attempted to clean them (although they look almost new) and can't seem to get the pops out. I only have a Discwasher so I'm sure I can clean them up better once I have the right products.

What do you use to clean your bargin finds?

Don

ohfourohnine
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

I've had great success cleaning up old LP's with a little manual Nitty Gritty vacuum cleaning machine I bought from Audio Advisor for about $200 back in the dark ages. I don't know if they even sell them anymore - they're big in the "home theater" stuff now, but I'm sure you can find a comparable product from someplace like Acoustic Sounds. The Record Research Lab's solvents and a Big Mobile Fidelity cleaning brush complete the tool set. Thorough vacuum cleaning not only makes the old guys listenable, its effective on bringing out the best in new vinyl too.

For a much more complete answer, check out your back issues for Mike Fremer's exhaustive review of the current roster of available cleaning stuff.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

Hi Jim,

The Rhapsody in Blue with the 1925 Gershwin piano roll which I have is a Columbia LP with accompaniment by Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the Columbia Jazz Band. Gershwin's treatment had wonderful pace, full of energy and no hint whatever of pretension. I love it. Is that the one you found in your bargain bin?

Wanda Landowska on piano? Did someone break her harpsichord?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

Don't tell Michael Fremer, but...

I quickly run luke-warm tap water after putting a clean bath towel on the table and wet both sides of the disc quickly. I use clean T-shirt material and gently spiral wipe the disc's sides. This gets most of the big grit off the disc. I have bought much used vinyl and some have left the shirt material pretty funky. Do not get the water too hot.

I too have used a Discwasher as a minimal cleaner (the first step after the water rinse above) on the TT. After these steps you can try playing the disc and see where the sound quality falls. I am not sure of the DiscWashers effectiveness, but I have used one for, what, 20+ years, and feel like it was certainly better than doing nothing.

Vacuum cleaning is the only way to go. I would invest in at least a $229 Nitty Gritty machine and you will not be disappointed. AudioAdvisor Needle Doctor

I also still have a ZeroStat for getting rid of "some" of the static that resides on the discs. It seems to work fairly well.

I was intrigued by MF's mention of the new "facial peel" vinyl cleaning product Michael has come across. This might hold some promise.

You should go to Mickey's web site Michael Fremer where he has the ultimate record cleaning article ever.

Good Luck and Happy Spinning. You will be amazed at what you can find for nearly no money. This will give you new life to stop at more garage sales and estate sales.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

The one I have is from Murray Hill, but it would not surprise me if it was a re-issue by Murray Hill from Columbia. The booklet, if there ever was one, is missing and the box notes are pretty sketchy. The Piano used for this issue was a 1929 Stienway from the collection of Harold L. Powell, North Hollywood, CA. The recordings were made in three-track stereo using 3 calibrated AKG omni mics. The recording equipment was newly designed using the "focus gap" process developed by Gauss Electrophysics, Inc and Fairchild Corp. The notes continue to ref "The Journal Of The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, August, 1965, Vol., 74. SMPTE

I really love finding old stuff like this. Where I found these discs, the shop has many more, if I could just find the time to spend shifting through it all. One day....

Here is Georgia it easier to find quality used "Classical" music than just about anything else. Just the way it is where I live these days.

Reptiles00
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Re: Used classical lp bargains


Quote:
You should go to Mickey's web site <a href="www.musicangle.com" target="_blank">Michael Fremer</a> where he has the ultimate record cleaning article ever.

Good Luck and Happy Spinning. You will be amazed at what you can find for nearly no money. This will give you new life to stop at more garage sales and estate sales.

Oh, I definately know about Garage sales... many of my treasured finds have been someones elses gain of 50 cents.

Thanks for the tip on Michael Fremer's article. It should be some interesting reading.

Don

ohfourohnine
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Re: Used classical lp bargains

The best Murray Hill issue I ever found is a four record set entitled "Collector's History of American Blues". Great stuff. Bix, Big Bill Broonsy, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Ma Rainy, Bessie Smith, Otis Spann, and on and on. Cost me $2 at a yard sale. I swear the original owner had never played the records. No booklet, only the liner notes on the back of the box which offer no clue to the original recordings. Good mono sound though. I don't know who the Murray Hill folks were, and never have been curious enough to go Googling to find out, but, like you, I'm glad to have one of their offerings.

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