[78-L] Recording Quality - a relative term

Mike Harkin xxm.harkin at yahoo.com.invalid
Sun Jul 6 22:16:11 PDT 2014

.>CYLINDERS< sound better than today's pop music
productions!  Never mind the garbage 'lyrics.'

Mike in Plovdiv

 From: Rodger Holtin <rjh334578 at gmail.com.invalid>
To: '78-L Mail List' <78-l at klickitat.78online.com> 
Sent: Monday, July 7, 2014 5:50 AM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Recording Quality - a relative term

Not sure which story is right here, but I've lived less than 100 miles away
for twelve years, drove by it countless times over the last 40+ years and
finally took the tour a couple months ago.  They flatly stated that after he
sold Elvis and the operation expanded beyond what that venue would hold, Sam
moved his operation down the street and left the original building as
storage.  Never touched anything, so it is all original.  It looks it.  I
went with a  life-long Memphis resident who said he remembered it looking
like a vacant building for years. The sign was still there first time I saw
it in 1970 and Sam was working from somewhere else by then, and it looks a
little weathered.

It was only part of the building, so there may have been other stuff
attached, but they averred the place was 100% original.  The studio and
office are indeed shabby.  The control room is not available to the tour,
but peering in the glass it looks like what they showed on the tv news,
vintage stuff in working condition.

When they were strolling around the studio with the camera, they showed a
batch of 10" 78s on the wall behind glass mounted on round frames.  As the
cameraman zoomed in on one of them the picture suddenly switched to the
image of the 45 issue of # 209 - That's All Right Mama.  The cameraman was
zooming in on the 78 of # 209.  My guess is the NBC editors thought their
viewers would have no idea what the little label with the little center hole
was - or some other ignorance-driven decision preferring the 45 label to the

They sell original 45s in the gift shop.  They appear to be used records,
and all I saw were Jerry Lee or Orbison records, multiple copies of just a
few titles.  Marked prices were $75.00.  (I gave a quarter for my copy of #
209 on 78 in a junk store in Sam's home neighborhood in Florence, AL in
1973.  Looks like I missed another chance to sell it on e8ay for a premium
buck.  C'est la vie.)

The museum stuff is mostly upstairs.  They never told what that space was
originally, could have been office or even an apartment, but the stuff on
display is mostly Sam's original mixers, mics, Prestos and Ampexes.  It
really is a must-see for any record enthusiast if you're in the area.

Back on the topic, those Sun records sound pretty good even today, and as
they said in the story, sound more natural than today's output.


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