1. The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available for preorder! Use this link to preorder, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

My review of the vinyl box set!

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Kristopher, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member Thread Starter

    Ok well I got it!

    Everything is perfect. There’s nothing wrong with them at all. I’ve played each one from start to finish.

    I like how glossy the covers are. A bit off color a wee bit but I’m used to it with other reissues so it doesn’t phase me.

    Edges are sharp but not like knives. I’m wondering if these reviews are over the top finicky collectors. I’m used to modern vinyl being a bit sharp so this is nothing new.

    The holes look smaller like your typical modern occasional 180 gram LP. My “Owl City” albums have a bit smaller hole. Along with a Taylor Swift Record and many others. My Rumours reissue has a smaller hole then these. They fit just perfectly on both my turntables. The holes are centered normally like any album.

    The albums sound amazing, like a Brand new 8Track out of the box kept away from any type of magnitization. Doesn’t match the original albums in terms of analogue. These are clearly taken from digital masters which I expected anyway. They are a step above the Remastered Classics CDs.

    My ONLY complaint is that Offering wasn’t issued and we got the Ticket To Ride cover. In “gold” Richard refers the song Ticket To Ride “from the album offering.” We all know what the first album was, it was changed at the time to Boost sales and ease Karen’s paranoia of thinking she looked fat. We couldn’t been given an empty Jacket at least? Many prefer the earthy organic 60s vibe as it matches the listening experience. I stuck one of my four offerings in there with enough space.

    But other then that the set is fine.

    Maybe I got lucky. Maybe people are over the top finicky. Who knows. Worth more then $85!
  2. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Considering the 8-track was the lowest-fidelity of all the consumer formats, I sure hope they sound better than that!
  3. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    People were not over the top. Early pressings were bad and it was hit or miss. I have 5 bad albums. They were replaced and were perfect.
    @Mike Blakesley I’m with you. 8-tracks were hissy.
  4. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member Thread Starter

    An 8Track has hissing with excessive wear. When you don’t manage proper care for your player and have parts replaced your tapes will wear out faster and have cross-fade. CDs Rot over time as the aluminum starts to deteriorate like my first Ticket To Ride (1998) is now. That’s why I don’t care about Carpenters CDs other then for collector purposes. They sit on my shelf unplayed.

    Many audiophiles use 8Tracks because they have higher fidelity then a cassette playing at a faster speed. I opened a sealed “No Secrets” 8 Track by Carly Simon and it sounded better then the CD release. No hissing, no crossfade, a step below vinyl. Another example is Fleetwood Mac “Then Play On.” As you play it more over time yes you will get some hissing. That’s why I mentioned NEW 8 track. Not a well used 8Track.

    So I stand by these albums sound as amazing as a new 8Tracks. Not to sound rude but if people manage their players efficiently and store their tapes like nuclear war you wouldn’t be saying that. A lot of effort and an air controlled room 24/7 but it’s worth it. I leave the AC on when I’m not home for a week for work.

    Back to the record set, AsongforUman
    Thanks for informing me I didn’t know that there was a reissue I had heard there wasn’t going to be one so that’s why I assumed what I said. What were your bad copies like?
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Who knew? :eek:
    Song4uman likes this.
  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Everybody has their passion, and I hate to be contradictory, but there is just no way 8-tracks sound better than cassettes did at their peak. And there's NO way they sound better than CDs because they aren't capable of the same dynamic range. When cassettes first came out, they were crap due to the lower tape speed. This was improved upon in short order with Dolby noise reduction, then high-oxide tape, and then eventually (for recording use) metal tape. 8-tracks started out with mediocre sound and never had the improvement effort that cassettes did.

    I've been around the music business since about 1972 and I have never heard of an audiophile using 8-track. In fact most audiophiles don't even consider it a "valid" music format. But like I say, everyone has their own passion. If 8-tracks do it for you, then more power to ya.

    As for CD-rot....I've become convinced over the years that it's a regional thing. I still have almost every CD I've ever owned, including the first two (Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Genesis' Genesis) and quite a few that are at least that old, plus I still have a bunch of CD-Rs that I made using cheap blanks. All of them still play just like new. I've literally never had a CD refuse to play unless it was scratched. I think areas with high humidity year round, like Florida and Hawaii, might be more susceptible to CD-rot. (Harry? any of your CDs rotted away?)

    Back again to the Carpenters set -- to answer your question about the reasons for the reissue...a lot of people experienced poor pressings, dirt on the records, off-center holes, and similar. Some sets were perfect out of the box, but more than half (I'd guess) were defective in some way or other.

    I also wish they would have offered the Offering cover. I would have bought the "Remastered Classics" version if it had come with an Offering cover, even as the back-cover of the Ticket To Ride booklet. Maybe there could have been a coupon in the set making it available for a couple of bucks. But on the other hand, Richard is well-known to have hated that cover so maybe he'd just as soon it fades into memory. (But that's unlikely!)
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I remember riding in my brothers Mustang to school and he had an 8 track tape in his car and he would wad up paper literally folding it in half and then half again and sticking it between the 8 track and the deck to get the sound correct, if you took the paper out or it fell out (like it normally would) the song would go from nice song to what the heck is it distorting like that. It was hit or miss I remember my brother fixing the folded paper over and over to get the music to play right. Some 8 tracks would play fine and others needed assistance of a fix. :laugh: I told my parents I don't want 8 track, give me cassettes or LP's. :laugh:
  8. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Nope. I've never run into a CD with "rot". I've had a couple of LaserDiscs show signs of rot, but that was common with that format. In DVDs, only one of mine has ever failed - Stephen King's LANGOLIERS. I replaced it with a better copy anyway.

    When I got my first CD-R recorder, I made a number of discs that weren't quite right as I learned how to do it correctly. One of those was a Herb Alpert album, YOU SMILE-THE SONG BEGINS. As a test, I left that disc in my car for at least ten years, in all kinds of weather up north in Philly. Since moving south, the disc somehow got into the house where it still resides, and still plays just fine. The recorder I recorded it on is long gone - it died - but the discs recorded on it are still playing perfectly.

    One thing I *have* noticed is that certain CD-R discs that had a white-silver face have begun turning a yellowish color, particularly on the outer edges. I've checked them and they still play fine.

    As for the humidity down here, yeah, it's pretty humid particularly in the summer weather from about May through October. But our house is air conditioned, kept at around 75° with about 49% humidity.

    I never owned an 8-track, but think about the nature of the format:


    It used standard 1/4" tape so it squeezed four different programs onto the width of the tape. If any tape formats ever sounded decent it would be reel-to-reel at the higher speed of 7 1/2 ips. But even that format produced a bit of tape hiss - added to what was already there on the master. Still there are some audiophiles that love the reel-to-reel format.

    Cassettes, because they were so popular and easy to transport, got better and better in the noise-reduction department as time went on. As Mike said, by the early 90s, they were almost the de-facto format and sounded really pretty good, but CDs came along and took the crown.

    Clean, well manufactured LPs always beat them all.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I still have a bunch of cassettes that I just won't ever get rid of and some are rare collectables. I have 1 cassette of Amy Grant that contains a bonus track called "Let The Season Take Wing" that was attached as a bonus gift from Target. The song has never appeared on any other format but this single cassette, never released on any of her CD's even to this day. It was an exclusive track from Target for the Christmas holiday. So stuff like this is priceless to me.
    Harry likes this.
  10. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    Horrible surface noice. Extremely sharp edges. Skipping. Noticeable rushes and marks that caused scratchy sounds.
  11. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    Ridges. Not rushes. Ha
  12. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member Thread Starter

    Wow where the heck was the quality control? How does even happen?
  13. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member Thread Starter

    I’m part of an 8Track community filled with dedicated audiophiles who use the format regularly. If something sounded like crap I wouldn’t use it. Hence why I don’t use CDs. I have chronic pain to where sometimes I can’t flip an album. Cassettes don’t sound good with 70s albums, and an 8Track is perfect as a secondary format because I can lay down and it will keep replaying. I would agree that cassettes got better, but I’m talking about the Carpenters releases because look at where we are. The carpenters 8Tracks sound far better then their cassette counterparts. The only 3 8Tracks in the 80s were Made in America, Voice of The Heart, and Yesterday once more (SUPER RARE.)

    Despite being in my 20s, I discovered 8Tracks when I needed an alternative analogue format I didn’t have to flip or change a side. At first I rolled my eyes when somebody recommended Stereo-8 tapes if I mostly listen to 70s music.

    I had a bad impression because my mother’s tapes sounded like crap on her old player I got after she passed. She didn’t know what she was doing to have all that noise. My first 8Track was a sealed “A Song For You” and I was blown away at how more natural it sounded tho not to the extent of a record. I did research and purchased a sealed player for $1200 before even buying a tapes.

    Remastered classics on CD sound digitally processed. The organic warm sound isn’t there. The 8Track is a transfer of the original analogue source to another. Heck Close to You was recorded on an 8-Track!!! Offering was partially recorded on 4-Track and the rest on 8-Track. The transfer from 4 to 8 Track is why Someday has that murky part we all cringe over. The Remastered classics disc for Close To You has hissing from worn master tapes. Hence why my mint Cartridge sounds better at least with that album.

    If I’m not mistaken, their albums were recorded on 8Track as master tapes up until Now & Then then switched to something called a 16-Track.

    Listen to a sealed Close To You Stereo-8 on a well calibrated player and you will hear no hiss. Play a sealed Remastered classics close to you on compact disc, the hiss is unbearable because it came from a worn 8Track tape. Listen to Crescent Noon.
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    They were not using 8-tracks in the studio. The tapes being used were reel-to-reel format with a width of between 1/2 inch and 2 inches depending on manufacturer and format.

    Even in radio and TV, there used to be a format called CART (Fidelipac - Wikipedia ) that was used and looked like an 8-track but offered better sound quality than 8-track. It moved at a faster speed than 8-track which gave it the better sound quality, but with a lot less playback time. It’s like in video Betamax and Betacam look similar in terms of cassettes (the small Betacam cassettes) but they operate very differently and on offers a vastly superior picture.
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  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I was just wondering, could An Old-Fashioned Christmas have been released on 8-track. Now then we know that the 1985 Yesterday Once More, a compilation album, was apparently released through a mail-order club, while there was apparently no brick-and-mortar retail release. So could AOFC be out there or even Lovelines on 8-track from a mail order club?
  16. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    I can’t imagine Loveliness would be in 8-track. By 1989 I would think nothing would be released on that.
  17. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    No, that format was justifiably left to yesterday but that point.

  18. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    8 track in a Studio was 1" wide open reel based and 15 or 30 IPS. Big difference in quality from that and a 1/4" 3 3/4 IPS 8 track cartridge. And "Offering/Ticket To Ride" is the only LP I know of recorded by them possibly on 8 track, 1". 16 track on 2" tape at 15 IPS was what most Carpenters sessions were tracked on. The late sessions were tracked on 2" 24 track machines at the same speed. Tape machines of that nature cost many, many Thousands of $$$$$.

    A 1/2 track, 1/4" open reel top end 2 channel mastering deck in 1975 was over $8,000 or more itself from 3M, Ampex, Studer, MCI or Scully. A broadcast grade machine in that era of the same format in 3 3/4-7 1/2 IPS or 7 1/2 - 15 IPS was around $2,000 the same year. I own a tape machine of this grade myself, mine in 1997 was $3600 new. This machine has 10 times better wow/flutter numbers, 10 times better signal to noise ratio or better, a full octave higher or lower frequency response, and it's flat frequency response, not to mention designed for 18 hour a day workhorse use. Working for a living. And tape is some $40 for 45 minutes of recording.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  19. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    According to Wikipedia (based on what people have posted at 8 Track Heaven), the last known major label release on 8-track was Fleetwood Mac’s “Greatest Hits” album in November 1988. But there have been groups, like Cheap Trick, that have released limited edition 8 tracks as recently as 2009, and Independent artists are still releasing 8 tracks.


    (Check out #8, 8 track only release in 2011 —-of course #1 on that list is just insane, an ICE record!)
  20. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Bizarre. Truly bizarre. Nostalgia knows absolutely no bounds...LOL!

    Harry likes this.

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