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<br>Hall and Oates <p>Tubes Vs. Transistors</p>




Hall and Oates

Tubes Vs. Transistors


Hot Stamper pressings of this album have the sound of TUBES. I’m sure it was recorded with transistors, judging by the fact that it was made after most recording studios had abandoned that old technology, so how did they accomplish such a feat?
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Excerpted from Our Previous Hot Stamper Commentary

If you're looking for a big production pop record that jumps out of your speakers, look no further. This record is ALIVE! Until I picked up one of these nice originals, I had no idea how good this record could sound. For an early '70s multi-track popular recording, this is about as good as it gets. It's rich, sweet, open, natural, smooth -- most of the time (although the multi-tracked vocals might be a little much on some songs, depending on your front end) -- in short, it's got all the stuff we audiophiles LOVE.

This record has the sound of TUBES. I'm sure it was recorded with transistors, judging by the fact that it was made after most recording studios had abandoned that "old" technology, but there may be a reason why they were able to accomplish so much with transistor equipment.

In other words, I have a theory.

The engineers remember what things sounded like when they had tubes.

Most modern engineers have never learned that sound. They have no reference for Tubey Magic. There's a similar syndrome operating with the stereo equipment manufacturers. Early transistor gear, by the likes of Marantz, McIntosh and Sherwood, just to name three I happen to be familiar with, still retains much of the sweet, grain-free, natural sound of the best tube equipment of the day. I have a wonderful Sherwood receiver that you would swear has tubes in it. I assure you it's simply an unusually well-designed transistor unit. Anyone listening to it would never know that it's solid state. It has none of the "sound" we associate with solid state. And thank God for that. It makes this record sound WONDERFUL.

Having read the above, my friend Robert Pincus recently commented:

A lot of the early-'70s consoles were warm and tube-like. Sunset Sound's API made "Sweet Baby James." "One Man Dog" was made on an API too. Wait 'till you see Sound City. [I've already seen it of course. What self-respecting audiophile music lover wouldn't have by now?] The same Neve board that made "Fleetwood Mac" also made "After The Gold Rush" and "Nevermind". The equipment that made the sound we like is disappearing fast.

Not exactly disappearing. Disappeared, forever.

What About the Music?

And, of course, when you can hear a record that sounds this good, it makes you appreciate the music even more. I've always liked this album, but now I consider it a classic. I could listen to it every week for a year and not get tired of it. Don't write these guys off as some Top 40 blue-eyed soul popsters from the '70s that time has forgotten. They are all of the above, but they don't deserve to be forgotten, if only on the strength of this album, which is without question their masterpiece.

As I previously noted, the original domestic copies of this album have the best sound, in my experience. Sadly, none of the reissues have the kind of magic that's found on these early pressings with Hot Stampers.


Further Reading

Other recordings that we have found to be especially Tubey Magical can be found here.

Transparency, the other side of the Tubey Magical coin, is also key to the better pressings of this album as well as many of our other favorite demo discs.

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