The dedication of electric recording co. (ERC) in producing exact facsimile reproductions is fanatical, but to me at these prices it seems an excercise in futility. Nostalgia for the rich.
The owner started with reissueing a handful of classical titles from the golden age that have become trophies for the rich, like the Martzy Bach set, Kogan violin concertos or Mozart à Paris. The originals all cost thousands in (near) mint condition. He has gone to great lengths to recreate these records like they are ’objects of desire’. The records apparently sell out quickly, so there clearly is a market. But in the end they are just stop gaps for the serious collector. Why? Because they’re beautiful and expensive reproductions and not the real thing. Collectors buying them will continue to lust after the originals. Why? Well, that’s how collectors are wired. Believe me, I know.
The sonics are not the prime concern either, because some of these trophies did not sound outstanding to begin with. Let’s take Kogan’s recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto. Last time I checked the market value for a blue/silver label original is on the wrong side of 5k, so the ERC reproduction at say $350 would seem like a bargain, right? Wrong. For that money you can still find an original semi-circle 2nd label pressing, which will sound identical to the 1st blue/silver label. Great performance to be sure, but sonically it’s just an average late ’50’s early stereo EMI recording, nothing special.
The ERC reproduction may look exactly like a blue/silver original, same paper stock, same lamination, the works. But will it also sound the same? Very unlikely. Even with the use of the exact same hardware of the 50’s (meticulously restored and/or ’upgraded’ with ’mined silver wiring’ and what not), those tapes are now over 60 years old. It’s no mystery that magnetic tape slowly looses some of its magnetism, no matter how well they were stored. This translates to a loss of dynamics. There’s no way to make up for this loss, which may be the one reason why most reissues - even the best audiophile ones - sound less dynamic than the originals.
I personally would never pay this sort of money for a reproduction, but apparently there are plenty of folks that do. So the effort is not wasted and it accomodates a demand. Nothing wrong with that I guess.