it may just be a case of lousy mastering. i have several discs by charles earland, yes, brian auger,etc where its comparison to lp is very very close. on the other hand, most of my jimmy smith cd's suck(sonically) and the original lp's have much better sonic character
The organ has an abundance of harmonics. Organs can all sound different depending on the pipe designs. Perhaps there is something about the harmonic content from vinyl that improves the organ sound in the direction of your taste(usually greater than CD because Vinyl uses a mechanical vibrating system to read the music).
More harmonics sounds richer or fuller....tubes do this too and many speakers add harmonics too, harmonics are pretty much a fact of life.
Another possibility is distortion; all distortion is ugly and organ music requires oodles of power so it is a candidate for distortion...could you be overdriving your system with a CD compared to Vinyl? Just a thought....
Interesting observation. While CDs can, in theory, get the bass notes better than all but the best-cut records, I believe that you're right. Maybe the reason is in part that the recorded space for most organs is a big part of their sound and is usually quite reverberant. This can lead to some overtones becoming a bit strident and bright in the frequency range where digital has its weaknesses, perhaps? Also, I find that redbook digital's inability to capture the last "tail" of a note's decay realistically often makes CD organ recordings sound a bit unnatural. I will say that I have heard a lot of very good recordings of organs on CD, most of them being more recent recordings. And the SACD recordings I have of organs sound very close to analog recordings, with better bass reproduction to boot.
Get yourself a copy of Felix Hell's "Organ Sensation" Reference Recordings RR-101CD.
This is one of the best performed, recorded and mastered organ CDs ever. If this doesn't sound good on your system, you may need to look at your source player.
Thank you all for your well-considered responses. I am definitely not overdriving the system which is 400 watt per and being played at moderate volume. I could be that my CD's of organ are fairly lousy. They are mostly from the very first years CD came out and I particularly dont like the Telarc ones. I will get a copy of Felix Hell's and try that. If anyone else has great CD's of Bach etc to recommend I love to recieve them.
joe, "Pomp and Pipes" Reference Recordings also has real good Organ music. Of course Felix Hells is good too. But I agree 100%.Organ music sounds (so everythings else, even electronic music) exceptional on Vinyl. Although with RR you will come close.
Early Telarc digital organ recordings sound quite bright to me as well, I don't think you're alone there. For Bach, I like the Christopher Herrick cycle on Hyperion, which is pretty well-recorded. The Hell recording is quite good, and the kid is a terrific organist, full of excitement. Be aware, though, that the recording is in a comparatively dry venue, won't sound like a recording in a great cathedral by any means. Much of the program for RR was also recorded on Felix's own label from a concert I attended at the Sacred Heart Basillica in Newark a few years ago, when Felix was 17--that's a pretty good facsimile of the Sacred Heart acoustic, worth picking up online.
It's kind of strange to say - because I think I know what you mean and I agree with you to an extent -but I've found that organ music reveals the weakness in lp more than other genres. Sustained notes in the deep bass are the easiest way for me to hear the speed variabiliy in a turntable. Good 'tables are stable enough to sound mostly "spot on" speedwise to me...except on the deepest sustained organ tones. Anyone else notice this?
Has anyone looked at the pictures of his room? It looks like a wonderful living space, but nearly the entire front wall is glass, the walls appear to be wood and there's a piano. The above comments about the high number of harmonics, both odd and even, present in organ music are a partial explanation, but I think it's more a room problem that has little to do with digital vs. analog or organ vs. non-organ music. As a test play a close miked solo violin recording. I suspect it too will sound bright and hard.
Onhwy61 Great idea that I had not considered. I can play the offending CD's on my other system which is in a 21x25 basement room no glass, fully carpeted and lots of books etc and see what I get. In fact that is where the LP system is and perhaps the room is making it more pleasant down there as much as the LP.
It seems hard to conduct a meaningful comparison of different sources in two different systems!
Definitely see what you get while listening to both cd and LP in the same system.
Try a 3-5lb. sandbag on top of the transport. I fill a gallon freezer bag one third with sand, then roll up the excess, seal and packing tape the sealed end. you should have a "sausage" shaped sandbag which you can try in different directions on top of the player. While your at it make bags for your preamp and amps too. If you want more isolation try 12" tire innertubes under the weighted components. One note: Cones and spikes are for coupling speakers to the floor, not for isolating front-end components or amps.(End sermon) I have found weight to be a great vibration damping solution. Expect better detail, smoother presentaion, more space(air)around instruments, less noise, tightening and more inner detail at the extensions.
If you like Jimmy Smith get hold of Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery Jimmy & Wes The Dynamic Duo on Verve, it's playing as I write and it's a great recording! Enjoy!
L2T - Isn't Jimmy Smith "the man." I have never heard the B3 talk the way he makes it talk. I have 4 recordings so far, and I plan on amassing his entire recording collection. Truly amazing!
I got the Hell organ CD and it sounded wonderful on my main system! What a kick to be 14 and playing the biggest and best pipe organs in the world. At that age I played in a small Church on a Hammond B and still remember the sense of power that gave me. So part of my problem was with poorly recorded early CD's of organ. Also I listened to my basement system with both organ CD and LP and they are much closer on this less resolving system in a less lively room. Yet the LP's have a certain je'ne se pas quality that is very appealing even on a $400 TT