pl | en


Meeting #120:
ADAM CZERWIŃSKI and AC RECORDS – tape, test pressing, LP

“The most expensive music format (in the world)” as exemplified by records produced by the AC Records label



A lot has already been said ABOUT ANALOGUE TAPES – by us as well. However, it was the first time we had had the opportunity to compare an analogue “master” tape with the “lacquer” cut from it and then with the LP test pressing. It was all carried out in the presence of the albums’ producer, Adam Czerwiński, the owner of the AC RECORDS record label, in a unique room and with the use of a special system.

he most expensive music format (in the world) video published by a person with the nickname Techmoan has 1,437,204 views on YouTube (as for May 13th 2019). It is a lot when it comes to audiophile standards. There is a short introduction below the video:

Is Reel to Reel the new Vinyl? Short answer: No. Long answer: It's complicated - Press Play. In this video I'll be playing pre-recorded tapes from 1957 & 2017. The first half concentrates on the history & background, and the second moves onto the current day and the most expensive pre-recorded music format available for the home.

Of course, this is about the most advanced form of analogue tapes – those recorded at the speed of 38 cm/s, on reels of 27 cm (10.5”) diameter, with the use of stereophonic two-track recording on the whole ¼” surface of magnetic tape. The phrase “the most expensive format” is no exaggeration – recorded tapes, second- or third-generation master tape copies, cost between 300 to even 1000 American dollars, depending on whether the given album fits into one, two or three reels.

What is this all about and why is there so much ado about it? The answer is simple: it is all about sound. The sound of a well-recorded analogue tape of this type is gorgeous. It does not resemble a vinyl recording at all. An LP is an analogue copy of tape, but it requires specific sound processing and undergoes various changes in the production process itself, which changes sound in a way that, on the one hand, takes us further from the master copy and, on the other hand, adds something to sound – something that makes vinyl the most beautiful format in the world.


Comparing analogue tapes, vinyl records and their digital copies is one of the most interesting and exciting things to do. The Krakow Sonic Society has had such an opportunity twice – first using Master Tape Sound Lab tapes with music recorded by Kostas Metaxas and then using records released by the Sommelier Du Son label, recorded by Dirk Sommer.

This time, for the first time in history, we managed to meet and compare all the stages of the analogue path leading from a master tape to an LP. We were able to do it thanks to our cooperation with the AC Records club and friendship with Adam Czerwiński who plays on both albums that we listened to, is their producer and the owner of the record label. Let us add that once the records are ready and available, you will find the anniversary “High Fidelity” logo on their covers, as they are being released under our patronage.

The records are not ready yet, since their release has been planned for the months to come. On the day we met, the first record with our logo – the Hollywood Trio was available, having an exceptionally beautiful cover.

The albums that I am talking about are |1| Piano Sketches with piano music, featuring such musicians as Artur Dutkiewicz, Wojciech Niedziela, Piotr Orzechowski, Kuba Stankiewicz, Michał Tokaj and Piotr Wylężoł, as well as |2| Groovoberek recorded by the MAP band, featuring Krzesimir Dębski.

The tapes that I am talking about were recorded at Custom34 studio using the 24-track analogue Studer A 827 tape recorder and the Neve Custom Series console. The material was mixed and mastered there by Piotr Łukaszewski, and then was transferred onto ¼” tape recorded on the Telefunken M15 tape machine (15 ips). The tape was taken by Adam to London, to the Abbey Road studios, where it was taken good care of by Sean Magee, using Shadow Hills Valve Compression, among others. Sean Magee, a Grammy winner, is an exceptional person. He was responsible for, for example, mastering and cutting the monophonic versions of The Beatles albums in 2014.

Let me repeat that we compared “master” tapes with “lacquer” cut from them and then with test pressings. When it comes to the Groovoberek album, we also listened to its Compact Disc version.


It was possible thanks to a unique system set up by an amazing person with the help of other people. The result of their work is really impressive: the listening session was conducted in a specially adapted room, where there is nothing else but music. Julian, the owner of the room, is an analogue lover and that is why he has three such source in his system – a reel-to-reel tape recorder, a cassette recorder and a turntable. However, he is not solely limited to the analogue, as he also listens to CDs.

Host of the meeting

I have been listening to music ever since I remember, i.e. since my early primary school years. I started with the radio Trójka (especially night broadcasts) and recording music onto cassettes. Then there was a turntable and, later, a CD player. I remember the times when one had to go to a rental store to get a CD, in order to copy it onto a cassette at home, while in order to get garage cassette copies with a new Jean-Michel Jarre’s album, one had to queue for a long time in front of a music store at the market in Cracow. History is repeating itself and Jean Michel Jarre is releasing music on cassette tapes again today (Planet Jarre). I like jazz (especially with a good vocal) and classic rock from the period between late 1970s and mid 1990s the most – it is the music I was raised on.

I have been building up the system for several years now – the process never ends :) I started by listening in an 18 m2 living room, in an old tenement house in the centre of Cracow. I used an extension cord to supply power from the only plug in the flat that did not transfer the noise of all the washing machines, dryers and fridges from the whole building.

My first serious sound source was the Nottingham Analog turntable with two arms (including the SME 3009 with replaceable “headshells”, which made it possible for me to test numerous cartridges easily) and a CD SONY player modified by Swoboda. What is interesting, I also bought a fantastic power amplifier then, from the anniversary Electrocompanieta edition limited to 300 units (I still have it today) and a 4-box Mark Levinson preamplifier (I do not remember what model it was, but these were generally two monophonic preamplifiers + an external power supply unit for each).

For these several years, I have tested dozens of different devices, but the greatest change occurred when we decided to build a house. It was perfectly clear that there must be some space for a listening room there. However, when we moved in, it appeared that things were not that simple, as the system which had been tuned and adjusted in different acoustic conditions did not sound as I had expected in the new house. Fortunately, we then met Tomasz Kursa leading his own AUDIOFORM company which produces excellent loudspeakers, but also carries out acoustic adaptations.

The adaptation was conducted in a few steps. It was, in my opinion, the only right way to do it, as some phenomena in acoustics often mask other phenomena and it frequently happens that only after removing some identified problem it is possible to identify another one. The first design was prepared and implemented solely by AUDIOFORM, while in the subsequent phases we used the support, measurements and advice from Bartłomiej Chojnacki from AGH University of Science and Technology. All diffusers and bass traps have been supplied by AUDIOFORM, while a few sponge absorbers come from the MEGA ACOUSTIC company. JS

We will move on to Tomek Kursa in a moment, but let me tell you a few things about the system itself first. It consists of the following elements:

  • reel-to-reel tape recorder: Technics RS-1500 (modified by dc-components)
  • turntable: VPI HRX with the JMW MEMORIAL arm (12”) and the ZYX Omega Premium X (Cu) cartridge, placed on a dedicated platform produced by AUDIOFORM with J.Sikora record clamp,
  • step-up transformer: Lyra Erodion,
  • phono stage: ART AUDIO VINYL ONE REFRENCE SILVER, a puristic version made by ART AUDIO commissioned by the Polish distributor (Hi-End Studio Pełne Brzmienie) without the MC stage and without any switches or regulators, but in silver internal wiring,
  • line preamplifier: VAC (Valve Amplification Company), the Vintage Line Amplifier model (modified by dc-components),
  • power amplifier: VAC (Valve Amplification Company), the PA 80/80 model (modified by Audio Azyl),
  • CD player: Marantz CD-16 (modified by Z.U.E. Skorpion),
  • cassette recorder: Technics RS-B965 (modified by NOMOS),
  • loudspeaker columns: Wilson Benesch, the A.C.T. model,
  • AC power cables: Acoustic Zen Gargantua II, Cardas Clear Power, Audio Note ISIS, DIY,
  • signal cables: Ortofon 905 Silver, Audio Note AN-V, Stage III Concepts Analord Prime, Audio Tonalium RCA Line AR-H/15CSm, DIY,
  • speaker cables: SOYATON.

The key element of the system, at least from the perspective of our meeting, was the reel-to-reel Technics RS-1500 tape recorder. As Tomek Kursa, a connoisseur and lover of reel-to-reel tape recorders says, the Technics RS-1500 and 1506 tape recorders belong to the group of the best (and in his opinion – they are actually the best) design solutions in the world – what he has in mind is mainly the engineering thought behind them.

The front of the tape recorder is a metal (mainly zinc) cast that is both a decorative front panel and a chassis to mount the elements of the construction supporting the electronics and elements of the drive (it is a unique solution). Other elements of the tape recorder are: brushless motors, direct drive controlled using quartz, the diameter of the flywheel – ca. 16 cm, the roll ca. 3 cm, two pressure rollers, tape transport system with the Omega Drive (like in, e.g. the Pioneer RT 909 and Tascam 52, but using a more advanced design consisting of four heads – the Technics recorder operates both on 2T and 4T in different RS 1500 / 1506 circuits).

Tomek adds that this is one of the most stable drives with the most advanced (and best) regulation and tape tension control system, which is absolutely essential for the quality of playback. The same drive was used to design the Technics RS-1700 (a 4-track tape recorder with auto-reverse) and the RS-1800 with two external monophonic modules with electronics – it is a unique solution on a global scale and this is one of the most expensive reel-to-reel tape recorders that one can buy (the price can be as high as €40,000 for one that is in good condition).


A listening room is as important as other elements of the audio system – when you listen to music through loudspeakers, ca. 50% of the end result depends on it. With such an advanced audio system and a free room, it was natural that it had to become a unique place. As Julian said, Mr Tomasz Kursa and Mr Bartłomiej Chojnacki are responsible for the final effect, although “final” is a temporary situation, as new corrections are still being made.

In this case, acoustic adaptation consisted in preparing the room for being used to listen to music. As Tomek says, it is an important issue, as the adaptation of a room designed for listening to music is considerably different from adapting a room for sound recording. In this case, the aim was to shorten reverberation time, while maintaining low losses in acoustic pressure, as well as to reduce modes in order to ensure line characteristics of the room to the extent that it is possible.

First, a geometric analysis of the room was performed. Next, an adaptation design was prepared, including first- and second-order reflections, and resonators. 1D N11.2, N17.4 and Skyline N23 diffusers, covering dispersion frequencies from 660 to 8004 Hz, as well as resonators (commonly called bass traps) covering modes from 23 to 213 Hz were used to perform the adaptation.

The next step was to conduct measurement (inventory) which demonstrated the effects of the work and yielded guidelines for making corrections. As it appeared, the following were successfully obtained: balanced reverberation time for the frequency band of 100 Hz and above, at the level of 0.32 ms, and line characteristics, except for 31 and 54 Hz frequencies that were not revealed in the geometrical analysis (the effect is connected with other elements of the interior). Unfortunately, reverberation time for frequencies below 100 Hz increases exponentially from 0.32 to 2 ms. In connection with that, plans were made to make special low frequency absorbers that do not have an effect on the rest of the bandwidth and have a minimal effect on pressure, as well as additional resonators tuned to 31 and 54 Hz (during the meeting of the KSS, two 54 Hz “beta” version resonators were already placed in the room and they brought about an evidently audible effect).


The listening session took place on a Saturday afternoon, on a quite cold April day. The following people participated: ADAM CZERWIŃSKI, who told us interesting things connected with recording and mastering the material, JULIAN SOJA – the host of the meeting, WIKTOR KRZAK and JAREK ŁUKASZEWICZ – people from the Haiku Audio company, TOMEK KURSA – the author of the adaptation design, as well as RYSIEK B., WICIU, TOMEK and MARCIN, i.e. the members of the Krakow Sonic Society – and me.

The session was divided into two parts, as we listened to material from two albums. We played the tape first and then the lacquer cut from it. When it comes to the Groovoberek album, we also listened to its test pressing and a Compact Disc.

Before I let my friends speak, let me tell you a short anecdote. Adam Czerwiński brought the “master” tapes straight from the Custom34 studio where they had been copied from a multi-track tape recorder. The recording director had mentioned that they needed to be rewound, but forgot to say how. Tapes are stored in a way that makes it impossible for them to copy. In order to do it, one needs to rewind them onto the second reel.

Remembering that, we “turned” the tape with Piano Sketches and sat down to listen. The sound was excellent – dark, dense and warm. It was beautiful and we really liked what we heard, until we asked what piano it was and why its sound differed so much from what we heard from the lacquer. It was as if a Bösendorfer piano (hidden under a quilt) had been recorded on the tape and a Steinway piano had been recorded on the lacquer. You have probably already guessed what happened – we were playing the tape on the other side and not on the side where the ferromagnetic layer is. It is a miracle that it sounded so well!

1PIANO SKETCHES | “master” tape vs lacquer

Tomek | I really liked both versions, although I felt the first of them (tape) was better. It was more pleasant, better when it came to the dynamics of the recording – its scale and range. The tone was also nicer and more natural. The lacquer was also great, however.

Jarek Łukaszewicz | Frankly speaking, I did not have time to listen to it carefully, but the tape may have sounded more delicate. The decay of the piano keys and sound suppressions are better. Lacquer is prepared to make further copies and that is why it is not reliable to me as a recording, i.e. I don’t know what a vinyl recording would sound like.

Adam Czerwiński | I get the impression that the lacquer produces more spacious and stereophonic sound.

Wojciech Pacuła | That would be right – I don’t know if you remember, but during our both meetings with tape we came to the same conclusion – tape doesn’t show “instruments”, but the whole musical message and it is vinyl that brings space out and enlarges it.

Adam | I will tell you why – during mastering, i.e. cutting, signal is transferred through mastering devices. Stereophony in bass is cut, monophony is introduced below 100 Hz, but at the same time space is added to the treble.

Jarek | So, in fact, a vinyl recording is not an exact copy of the tape. I think this can be heard – it seems to me that the sound from the lacquer is more aggressive and therefore less credible. Sitting at the piano, I am closer to what is recorded on the tape.

Marcin | The lacquer sounded very nice and I liked its sound, mainly because of its transparency and crystalline quality. The tape gave one more thing – the sound was dense, tangible and filled. That is why music from the tape was better and stronger.

Wojciech Pacuła | Are these disqualifying differences?

Jarek | Perhaps not disqualifying, but if I were to listen to the lacquer at home, that would not be my favourite recording. When it comes to the tape, it would be one of those recordings that I would listen to with pleasure, as it is great.

Marcin | These differences are not disqualifying to me. They are strong and clear, but I would not say that either of the recordings is impossible to listen to. The tape is excellent, but the lacquer also sounds fabulous..

Wiktor Krzak | I have the impression that we have already noticed it a few times – what you said about space, i.e. that this is not “made” in any way but incredibly natural. Music from the tape is fantastic. If it is chamber music, I get the impression of being in a real room. It is not always ideal, but even when I sit in a corner, I get the impression that I am sitting in the corner of a room where someone is playing music and the impression is incredible.

Adam | The room where we were recording is 8.5 meter high and there was a percussion standing in the middle, so there is plenty to record…

Marcin | I get the impression that this is a difference similar to what we heard while comparing SHM-CD Platinum and DSD files – DSD made sound filled. SHM-CD Platinum sounded very good, but DSD files gave us yet something more, some meat and fill. The tape sounds like a DSD file, i.e. there are such differences.

Wiktor | I liked the tape much more, although its sound is less spectacular. It is sound that needs to be savoured. The sound of the lacquer was technical – really correct, but technical. It could be heard that this was sound that had been processed by a device.

Wojciech Pacuła | So, these problems with hard attack and raised treble probably disappear with subsequent copies and the result – an LP is soft and warm thanks to that. A conscious engineer needs to take this into account and predict these changes.

Adam | This is exactly what Sean Magee, the engineer who cut this for me while I was standing next to him, told me. He was comforting me by saying that the material would soften and gain shape on the LP. By the way, the vinyl record will be released in June. The material will also be available on tape.

Wiciu | I am not going to add anything. At the very beginning I was wondering which version I would prefer and I pointed to the tape. I also thought what you said – the tape sounds fuller, the sound is richer and saturated, while there are more overtones and there is more treble on the lacquer. However, the differences were not big to me.

Rysiek B. | We usually quarrel, while here we fully agree. I am concerned about the unanimity… I’ve been trying to find some counter-arguments and there is one: I don’t have a tape recorder :) It is the only thing that I have against the tape. It worries me, but I think that the idea of releasing tapes is great.

That is why I definitely preferred the tape recorder. The first thing is the wealth of colours – I always pay attention to colours and there are many more of them on the tape than on the lacquer. Another thing is the acoustic surroundings. While listening to the tape, we heard the studio and acoustic surroundings, which I did not notice in the case of the lacquer.

Tomasz Kursa | Tape and just the tape – because of the “presence of the artist”. Simply because there is tape at the beginning of the path, while then there are five thousand things that happen before we get the music. With the tape, we are the closest to the source.

Wiktor | During listening sessions and while commenting on them we have a tendency to exaggerate differences, which is understandable. In this case, I get the impression that the differences are really that big and that we are actually diminishing them. The difference between the tape and the lacquer is enormous.

Rysiek B. | No, I would not say it is enormous, as the lacquer is clearer and more transparent, for example.

Jarek | No, I don’t think so – the transparency and clarity are rather falsification of what was recorded on the tape, not an advantage. It is not transparency but an exaggeration.

Tomasz Kursa | A lot of records are made in a way that produces the “wow!” effect. An inexperienced listener may then prefer such a record. However, we already know what is really recorded on the tape and that tapes are rarely effective – but they are true.

Wiciu | But this is OK for me. Most sounds from the records where instruments are not of acoustic origin are artificial sounds that are to fascinate the listener. That is why I would not give the lacquer up, as it has its role to play.

Wojciech Pacuła | It is probably so – people are not necessarily looking for the absolute truth, but for something they will like. From this point of view, lacquer, as well as vinyl are the answer to their needs.

Adam | Additionally, we are living in times that have changed our way of listening – now we are used to headphones and the omnipresence of bass. We are learning a different kind of aesthetics. We come from the times when we listened to real recordings, whereas young people may not understand at all what they are listening to.

2GROOVOBEREK | “master” tape vs lacquer vs test pressing

In this part of the listening session we changed the order and first we listened to the test pressing, then to the lacquer and finally to the tape.

Tomasz Kursa | To me, it is like sitting in different rows – with the tape it was like listening to an event taking place in front of me, with the lacquer I was sitting in the fifth row, while with the LP – in the 27th. That’s it.

Adam | Let me tell you straight away that the album pressed on vinyl sounds better than the test pressing – a test pressing is made using special vinyl that cools down in a different way than classic vinyl.

Rysiek B. | These were three different sound versions. Let me put it straight: I was disappointed with the lacquer, though one aspect, i.e. certain musicality, constituted its advantage. However, it lost some of its clarity and distinctiveness, and the colour spectrum was smaller. When it comes to the tape, it was too aggressive in the rock part of the title track (i.e. the opening track of the album – Editor’s note). I didn’t like it. The “folk” part, on the other hand, was wonderfully clear and rich in sounds. The test pressing was somewhere in between these two versions. I would find something good for me in each of the three.

Wiciu | To me, the lacquer sounded tragic. I do not know what they do to it to make it become a fantastic record. I had a good impression of the test pressing, however. It was because the violin and Dębski’s vocal sounded really natural and vivid, as if he was standing here. I can say the same thing about the tape. When it comes to the lacquer, sound was flattened and less dynamic. The bass in the rock part sounded tragic with the lacquer version. It simply rumbled. I was impressed with the first part, but I liked the whole track a lot. Bass sounded correct on the tape – it was dynamic, vivid and it did not muffle. I would say that what we get is closer to the master tape and not to lacquer. And thank God!

Wiktor | For me, the differences were not as dramatic as in the case of the Piano Sketches album. The lacquer sounded more aggressive, but I would not say that this was a disadvantage. The sound was more distinctive with it and stronger. However, something strange was happening to bass – it was too monotonous. The difference between tape and a test pressing is that tape throws us into a room. It’s not about the sharpness of the location, but the reality of the event. The second track that we listened to, Godzinki, is excellent. However, in my opinion, the vinyl path is not equal to the tape recorder here – it is worse, as if distorted.

Wojciech Pacuła | I will say something opposite – for me, when it comes to Godzinki, both the tape and the test pressing sounded equally interesting. And, to tell you the truth, I did not hear any distortions with the test pressing. The violin sounds more aggressive with it, but not to the extent that would make it all unpleasant. I will say more: I liked the vividness on the tape much more, in the sense of creating 3D images, which we, audiophiles, like. The tape lacks it. The test pressing has advantages that are not audible with the tape.

And did you not get the impression that everything was deeper with the lacquer and that the musicians were simply standing further away? The tape and test pressing showed it closer.

Rysiek B. | Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. Wojtek, you seem to really hear things :) It worries me that I agree with you… However, going back to Godzinki – I was very impressed with the test vinyl record. If I am to reject my audiophile expectations and focus on emotions and impressions, then definitely, for the first time, I liked the vinyl record. It had one weakness that we have already mentioned – bass. It was not so well-defined. The tape was soft, pleasant, and suitable for a long listening session. For the first time, my emotions voted for the vinyl disc. In my opinion, the material was enhanced somewhere on the way – the processing was perfect.

Wiciu | When it comes to Godzinki, it was hard for me to choose which version I liked more – the test pressing or the tape. But I thought it would be so nice if other record labels released such vinyl records! The consumer gets the product in the form that was conceived by the record creators – and this is what we get with this record. And it is worth paying more for such a version. Maintaining such high quality on the vinyl record gives the listener a lot of satisfaction.

Marcin | The test pressing sounded really nice – both the folk and the rock part in Groovoberek were amazing. When it comes to the lacquer, it did not sound that impressive. When it comes to the tape, it literally blew my mind – the way it started “happening”, the way it all appeared – it was ingenious. It was a real performance. That is why the difference between the test pressing and the tape was very large – it was exactly what I had expected. As regards the lacquer version, I remained indifferent to it.

I remember from our first Krakow Sonic Society meeting with tape that it crushed everything that we compared it to. It is not because the LP sounds bad – the one today sounded fantastic, but because the tape showed such things that I got the impression of participating in the recording, as if vapours from the wedding reception that they took Dębski from were still somewhere in the air here.

Jarek | Strings on the tape sounded excellent. Not only were all the notes and overtones juicy and excellently reflected, but they also had suitable space. The test pressing was less rich, but it was quite a good presentation and I listen to such records (this relates to the folk part). For me, the rock part is densely packed and compressed. But if I were to listen to it, I would prefer to do it from the tape. With the lacquer it was dry and bright, while the test pressing sounded like the Exodus band used to do – it was boring and flat.

Marcin | On the tape, even though there was a lot of sound in the rock part, it was characterized by high resolution and clear. When I heard the first half of Godzinki, a track that was excellently played, from the test pressing, I was thinking: ‘What elements that are missing here could possibly be added by the tape recorder?’ – it is because the test pressing is amazing. Its sound was unique and one would like every vinyl record to sound like this. It was possible, however, to notice a difference with the tape – we could hear what processing robs us of. The direction of changes is the same – there is more fill on the tape, the sound is more “alive” and there is mass that cannot be found on the otherwise excellent vinyl record.

Tomek Kursa | | We often have conversations about music with my brother and we talk about whether sound and music are “present” in a recording. When it comes to the tape here – they are.

Jarek | As regards the Groovoberek track, both when it comes to the test pressing and tape, they are “present” in the acoustic part, but as far as the rock part is concerned – they are “present” only with the tape.

Julian Soja | I am a tape fan and it has not disappointed me again. I think it is pure truth when you listen to it. However, I am pleasantly surprised with the fact that, generally speaking, the difference between these versions is not that big. I have a lot of tapes and production copies, and, in general, when one is compared to a vinyl record, the difference is striking – as if half of the sounds are not included in the vinyl record – but this is absolutely not the case here.

But I think that I could listen to the tape all the time, anyway – the physical presence, planes, everything was excellent and I am impressed. However, if I only listened to the vinyl record, I would also do it with pleasure.

Adam | As a vinyl record producer, I can say in good conscience that I liked the tape the most :) But this is natural – it was all recorded onto the tape, while each subsequent copy means losses.


While preparing meetings of the Krakow Sonic Society, I first ask myself the fundamental question: What would I like to get to know? In other words: What would I like to learn? I think of myself, but not only – I want to share the effects of these meetings both with the Krakow Sonic Society members and their guests, but also with my readers. We are all at the same level – we are learning. If I do not come up with an idea or topic, I do not organize anything.

Meeting No. 120 was supposed to teach us how the individual stages of preparing LP records differ from one another. I also wanted to show that the “analogue” does not always mean the same and that a vinyl record is significantly different from the master tape, that it constitutes a certain creation. I have been writing about this for years. For a long time, I used to feel that we do not understand each other and that my interlocutors think I exaggerate when I say that “analogue” does not mean “vinyl” and that it may only mean the analogue “master” tape.

This could be heard exceptionally well during the meeting. The new thing for me was how different the lacquer used to make stampers for pressing LPs is from the master tape and the final record. Let me remind you that there are the following individual stages of an LP record production:

“MASTER” TAPE (digital or analogue)

LACQUER (or DMM master)



Lacquer is so different from the preceding and the subsequent final stage that the fact we get such good LP records is kind of a miracle. Apparently, cutting the vinyl master copy (i.e. the lacquer) is a form of art and requires incredible experience.

However, this is not the only thing that struck me. At the very end, right before a snack and saying goodbye to our Hosts, we listened to one more medium – the CD in the form of an ordinary edition of the Groovoberek album whose LP version will be on sale in June. When it came to basic observations and impressions, we had all agreed before, but now…

Adam Czerwiński | Everything is OK, but the Earth is flat and the CD is flat.

Tomasz Kursa | No, when it comes to the characteristics, the CD is incredibly close to the vinyl version. I am not talking about space and presence, because these are better with the vinyl record, but there is a striking similarity when it comes to colours. The treble is softer.

Rysiek B. | Exactly – the treble is darker and better on the CD, and bass is better controlled than on the vinyl record. I liked the CD a lot. It only does not have so many colours.

Wiktor Krzak | I liked the CD a lot, really! It is really OK. In many respects, it sounded like the tape. It is a very good digital recording.

Marcin | It is strange that it sounds so good and that it is so close to the tape. The CD is very well-made.

Jarek | I only heard the ending, but I must say that the CD is really OK, even though we confronted it with the master tape. Perhaps I missed the inner echo in the drum, but when it comes to the representation of colours and their quality, then I must say that Godzinki sounded beautiful, really beautiful with the CD.

Rysiek B. | OK, it was fine until I heard the tape… The CD is matt, as if someone had taken a sepia photograph.

Wiktor Krzak | No, no – after making such a comparison, one can hear how much is lost in the process of LP production and what is left when we make a CD out of it.


| Post scriptum

I already have my tapes – they will soon be available on sale. ■