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Discussion: Beethoven: String Quartets Opp. 18 No. 4, 130 & 133 - Fry Street Quartet

Posts: 31
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Post by Beagle November 14, 2008 (1 of 31)
"...barbed javelins"?!

Post by Geohominid November 14, 2008 (2 of 31)
Beagle said:

"...barbed javelins"?!

Why not? It's Beethoven! Plain old javelins are just not good enough.

Post by akiralx November 18, 2008 (3 of 31)
This is an excellent SACD, whatever the choice of weapon... superbly played and recorded.

I guess the only slight quibble anyone could have is the absence of the alternative finale to op.130.

Post by rkimber November 23, 2008 (4 of 31)
From Geohominid's review:

>>"For stereo only users, the engineer's mix-down looses some of the ambience, none of the FSQ's tonal allure and retains most of the realism of the FSQ itself."

There is no mix-down. In fact the stereo tracks, both Red Book and SA-CD, are simply the front channels of the MC tracks. This is true of all the IsoMike releases.

Geohominid, more than that..., THANK YOU! for taking the time to listen and then write a review. It is wonderfully gratifying to be involved with the immense enthusiasm and talent of the FSQ. String Quartet music has historically not been a musical top favorite of mine; so reviews like yours increase my appreciation and enjoyment of the genre. Along with motiviating me to keep going and to keep trying to make it better.

Best regards,

Ray Kimber

Post by Geohominid November 23, 2008 (5 of 31)
Hi Ray,
Thanks for the info about the stereo layer. I just wasn't absolutely certain about how the stereo layer was comprised, knowing that it would be done in a purist way. So I opted for the loose term "stereo mix" just in case some touches of rear ambience had been added.
It has been most interesting to follow the development of your recording system via the test discs, and I really hope to see the day when some major companies will begin using it!

Regards,
John

Post by rkimber December 2, 2008 (6 of 31)
N.B. This question from Beagle was originally posted in the IsoMike Sale thread.

"Post by Beagle November 28, 2008 (9 of 10) reply
Ray,
As usual I am on my knees in gratitude -- not for the sale but for the quality of music, created and recorded. --But as one who dwells in the details, I have one tiny question: when was the Beethoven Opp. 18 & 130 recorded? I don't see it in the notes."


Hi Beagle,

I am posting the answer to your question in this thread so it will stay with the discussion.

The recording sessions were over several days in August of 2007.

All of us involved in the recordings are grateful beyond words for your enthusiastic support and comments. Thank you!

Ray

Post by Beagle December 2, 2008 (7 of 31)
rkimber said: Thank you!
Sorry Ray, I'm going to arm-wrestle you here for the privilege of saying "No, no -- Thank YOU!":

Firstly, for making the smartest use of insulation foam, upholstery cloth and duck-tape that the world has ever seen, or is likely to see. Like Einstein, your genius is in simplicity.

Secondly, for connecting the above contraption to amazingly sophisticated musicians -- okay, I am not a marching-band boffo so I don't really know whether the Blue Knights are merely good or super-good -- but honestly, until I ordered the discs I had no idea that talent like the FSQ could exist, in Utah or anywhere. And I am a real fan of the janitor with the walk-on part.

Thirdly, the combination of the above brings me joy. My autographed copy of FSQCD5 is almost too beautiful; I listen to it by inches. Tonight I am putting on suit and tie and listening to Op. 130.

Thank you and all your people, Ray.

[The above statements are hyperbole-free, all claims are actual-size and no small mammals were injured (my father's cat listens in rapture)]

Post by hanser December 9, 2008 (8 of 31)
I have now this disc, but I am a bit puzzled. The first violin sound almost as if it sits to the right, but generelle it is very difficult to pinpoint the location of the instruments. After some listening I concluded that there is a lot of reflexions, sound from the first violin ricocheing from the right wall, making it sound as if it sits on the right. The direct sound is very weak in comparison.

Maybe this recording correctly represents the sound perspective in the recording hall, but I find it very irritating.

On the plus side, I like the playing of the Fry Street Quartet, especially the energetic take on the op 18/4.

I also have the Haydn disc and the Clarinet trio disc, where in both the "echo effect" is not present.

Another sound anomaly I found in all 3 discs is a very prominent cello sound, that is almost overpowering the others, especially in the Haydn. All my other chamber music SACDs have a leaner sound in the upper bass register.

Post by Peter December 9, 2008 (9 of 31)
hanser said:

I have now this disc, but I am a bit puzzled. The first violin sound almost as if it sits to the right, but generelle it is very difficult to pinpoint the location of the instruments. After some listening I concluded that there is a lot of reflexions, sound from the first violin ricocheing from the right wall, making it sound as if it sits on the right. The direct sound is very weak in comparison.

Maybe this recording correctly represents the sound perspective in the recording hall, but I find it very irritating.

Very interesting - I've been puzzling, too, and wondered whether it was my equipment down on the left channel, or a hearing problem, or a faulty disc.

I've experimented with speaker placing and tweaking the balance to the left. In desperation I got my headphones out and discovered a balance of 2 or 3 (out of 10) to the left shifts the 1st violin across the stage.

I know exactly what you mean about instruments not seeming to come from where you expect them. Terrific playing, though!

Post by Arthur December 9, 2008 (10 of 31)
Peter said:

Very interesting - I've been puzzling, too, and wondered whether it was my equipment down on the left channel, or a hearing problem, or a faulty disc.

I've experimented with speaker placing and tweaking the balance to the left. In desperation I got my headphones out and discovered a balance of 2 or 3 (out of 10) to the left shifts the 1st violin across the stage.

I know exactly what you mean about instruments not seeming to come from where you expect them. Terrific playing, though!

I love the performances, especially the Op. 18, but I too wondered about the balance. We just set up our Christmas tree and my wife moved my right speaker about a foot (I think she thinks I won't notice!), and I thought that might have something to do with it, but the problem doesn't seem to plague other discs. Maybe Ray can give us some insight!

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