Recording technology improved gradually from the commencement of electronic recording in 1926 until the end of the shellac age, after 1950. This involved among other things better cutting tecniques, increasing the frequency response of the records. At the same time gradual improvements in microphone technology also increased the range of the records. To demonstrate this we focus on two examples of the Edad de oro, D’Arienzo’s 1935 Hotel Victoria and Pugliese’s 1944 Recuerdo. As before we will be using the TangoTunes’ versions as definitive copies, seeing how we can equalize other versions to approximate them.
1. D’Arienzo’s Hotel Victoria from 1935,
We will be comparing two versions of Hotel Victoria with the TangoTunes edition, the first from Audio Park and the second from El BAndoneón – Blue Moon. Both are reasonably good transfers that require different methods of equalisation.
1.a TangoTunes vs Audio Park
1.b TAngoTunes vs El Bandoneón – Blue Moon
2. Pugliese’s Recuerdo from 1944
As we’ve seen before, most standard versions of the popular Recuerdo by Pugliese from 1944 seem to stem from the same ill-balanced transfer. We will be comparing the TangoTunes version of the song to the EMI version, where the disparities are the most obvious. Following that we will also examine a more balanced version, from CTA. Note that by now the frequency range has expanded, especially in the upper levels, where there is by now usable information in the lower part of the treble range, up to about 8 kHz.
Above is a sample from the TangoTunes version, for comparison.
Here we have the EMI version. Notice the imbalance of the sound, it’s lacking in strength with the highs sounding muddy.
In the third example, we have the EMI version with equalisation applied. Now the music sounds much sharper and clearer, even though the original is quite faulty. Of course the sound quality of the TangoTunes version is superior, because although we are able to repair some of the faults a lot of information has been lost in the original transfer process, something we cannot possibly heal.
Above is the unequalised version of the CTA Recuerdo.
And here it is with the above equalisation curve applied. Notice a slightly more open sound in the upper registries.