[78-L] Reissues

Kristjan Saag saag at telia.com.invalid
Tue Nov 14 14:35:51 PST 2017

I ought to know this by now, but don't:
What sources do record companies, these days, use for their reissues of 
pre-digital recordings? And how was it done in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s 
and 1970s?

There seems to be a clear shift in sound quality for (reissues of) 
1950's recordings and onwards: minimal surface noise, good frequency 
response etc, and some of this goes for many post-WW II 1940's 
recordings too. Early CD issues of 1950's recordings sometimes are 
pretty poor, but the shift is still there: early CD issues of pre WWII 
78's and even worse, as are some issues of post WW II recordings. All 
this goes for both US and European reissues.
So my questions are:
How much is this shift in sound quality due to the advent of tape 
recording? And how often were/ are master tapes (or copies thereof) used 
for reissues?
How much did the advent of microgroove recording influence sound quality?
If tape masters aren't/ weren't available for reissues, how frequent 
is/was the use of metal masters? Is it correct to assume that the 
majority of yesterday's/ today's reissues have been made from transfers 
of old pressings?
And what role do digital cleaning-tools today play in all this?

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