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  #1  
Old 10-08-2017, 05:39 PM
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The longest playing LP, ever (so far)

In the seventies there was a French label, Trimicron, which tried to build its reputation by issuing a series of classical LPs that offered extremely long playing times - each side of each disc was over fifty minutes long. They claimed to have done this by eliminating all the space between the grooves, and every inner sleeve had a drawing that showed grooves packed together like sardines, and, well, you don't have to think too hard to realize why that wouldn't work.

In fact, they did it by making the grooves really shallow and not modulating them too much, which allows you to really put the "micro" into microgrooves - but also means the sound will be really soft and the pressing extra noisy if you turn it up to a normal listening level.

So this experiment never really caught on. But these records exist, and a YouTuber has graciously posted a video of what may be the longest single LP ever produced, all of Bach's Brandenburg output plus an organ fugue squeezed onto two sides of one disc that plays for one hour 54 minutes and 46 seconds (I timed it). That should stand as an all-time record, at least until Jack White decides to put out a longer one. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO52ROAWrMs





Last edited by Vashbul; 10-08-2017 at 05:50 PM.
  #2  
Old 10-08-2017, 06:51 PM
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I'm perfectly fine with record sides limited to 10 to 15 minutes, using only the first two-thirds of a side. Ultra-long record sides don't interest me (unless I'm using crap K-Tel and Ronco LPs on a changer)
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2017, 08:31 PM
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Well, they interest me. So there.
  #4  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:21 PM
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I never thought it was possible to have a length like this.
30 years ago I thought that Meatloafs Greatest Hits would be the longest as the whole record did not fit on one side of a c90. ;-)
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2017, 11:10 PM
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In order to get more than 22 minutes on a record, the disc cutting person has to comprimize (degrade) the sound quality of the music before it is cut. They do this by reducing overall volume, reducing bass level, reducing bass separation, reducing dynamics with a compressor. So any time up to 22 minutes the sound quality will be close or identical to the "tape master" quality. So more than 22, things will suffer. It will get more and more "low-fi" the more time you have on the disc.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2017, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Thornton View Post
I'm perfectly fine with record sides limited to 10 to 15 minutes, using only the first two-thirds of a side. Ultra-long record sides don't interest me (unless I'm using crap K-Tel and Ronco LPs on a changer)
Er thanks for that, why bother replying if you're not interested?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashbul View Post
Well, they interest me. So there.
It probably interests many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoganic View Post
I never thought it was possible to have a length like this.
30 years ago I thought that Meatloafs Greatest Hits would be the longest as the whole record did not fit on one side of a c90. ;-)
Not a Meat Loaf fan? Me neither although the wife's copy of 'hits out of hell' runs for nearly 60 minutes.

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Last edited by Big Kelv; 10-09-2017 at 01:09 AM. Reason: Typo
  #7  
Old 10-09-2017, 12:30 AM
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I have several LP copies of the "Lemon Popsicle" OST, and being the total length over 60 minutes for a single LP, the quality really suffers, and wear/durability too. It's one of the few times where the cassette version of an album is superior. Pity this never received a CD release...
  #8  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:06 AM
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I think the longest playing record I have is Jazz Moods, not sure how long it is but it’s the worst sounding record I have and the pre-recorded cassette version sounded better.
If you want quality, you need to stay under 18 minutes per side.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2017, 03:12 AM
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If anything, such LPs are a big, gaping hole in the armor of the "LPs sound better" argument.

They can sound just as good or just as bad as any other analog medium, where quality was a design goal or, on the contrary, it took a back seat to convenience or price for whatever reason. Of course, if one starts moving the goalposts ("Ah, but I only meant audiophile 180gr releases under 18 minutes per side lol")...

OTOH, a few LPs I have do exceed the nominal 23 minutes per side but without "tightening" the spiral: they simply have the last track cut closer to the center of the record, without altering the groove density. This is also problematic, because inner groove distortion is even more pronounced, and, what's worse, many turntables with an automatic tonearm return will trigger before they are done playing the track to the end, since the track goes well past the activation point

Last edited by Velktron; 10-09-2017 at 03:17 AM.
  #10  
Old 10-09-2017, 03:44 AM
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Uh Big Kelv and Vashbul:

You're not the TapeHeads Police. So enough with the "if you're not interested than why did you post here." stuff. I'm just as allowed to express disdain for something as you are interest.

To quote Vashbul, "So There"

Others chimed in as to just why I look down on long LPs, Fidelity and S/N ratio are atrocious. That's worth noting. Besides, I did say there was an application for them in my original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooCool4 View Post
I think the longest playing record I have is Jazz Moods, not sure how long it is but itís the worst sounding record I have and the pre-recorded cassette version sounded better.
If you want quality, you need to stay under 18 minutes per side.
Thank you !!
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Last edited by Big Kelv; 10-09-2017 at 08:38 AM. Reason: 2 posts in quick succession. Try the edit function - The Tapeheads police.
  #11  
Old 10-09-2017, 03:50 AM
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I don't like vinyl records that are longer than 23 minutes per side. The sound quality is poor and the bass frequency volume is too low. I like recordings with high bass volume. I like to feel the bass. These records have high sounding treble frequencies and compressed bass frequencies.
I like vinyl records cut at 45 rpm and have 15 minutes or less per side. I find they have true to the master tape reproduction.
On my reel to reel tapes I record at 7.5 ips to get good bass response.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:18 AM
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This makes an interesting read Deciding How Long To Make Each Side Of Your Vinyl Record
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:33 AM
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Technically interesting but not always great sounding.

I remember as a kid having a few "Golden Hour" records, some music and some children's stories...which were 30 minutes per side of course. They didn't pretend to be the zenith of hi-fi.

generally I find, as most do, that anything much over 20 minutes per side and the sound is affected. Genesis had several LPs which were 48-53 minutes long, Duke suffers a bit from this being over 53 minutes total. "Live The Way We Walk Vol 2, The Longs" is well over 65 minutes in total and does suffer.

Todd Rundgren's Utopia runs just under an hour with side 2 taken up with a single song, The Ikon, clocking in at over 30 minutes. It doesn't suffer too badly but Todd isn't one for heavy bass and manages to get away with it with some processing trickery. He did similar with Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell too.

One that I can single out as sounding very good is David Bowie's Heathen on a single LP...52 minutes and actually sounds really good.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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And here I thought this was going to be a thread about a K-TEL record!



It's times like these when 16 RPM would have been convenient as a music format. There do exist 16 RPM albums, but they're extremely rare. They would have been good for double LP sets, or long albums such as this one. I'm sure companies would have figured out some mastering techniques to bring the sound quality up a bit too.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absinthe_boy View Post
Technically interesting but not always great sounding.

Genesis had several LPs which were 48-53 minutes long, Duke suffers a bit from this being over 53 minutes total. "Live The Way We Walk Vol 2, The Longs" is well over 65 minutes in total and does suffer.

One that I can single out as sounding very good is David Bowie's Heathen on a single LP...52 minutes and actually sounds really good.
I own the UK import of The Way We Walk Vol 2, The Longs on LP and CD. That is one poorly mastered LP, it all should have been spread over 4 LP sides, then let the cutter head run wide open. The material is extremely dynamic, and it's on of the best good old fashioned CD's I own, same with TWWW Vol 1, The Shorts. Now Invisible Touch and similar era Genesis or Phil Collins Lp's, even Peter Gabriel sounded really really good, I'm not a fan of Duke so much, I have it and the the sound isn't all that, same with Three Sides Live. Decent material, lousy mastering, at least the Green & Red US Atlantic Records versions are, which is unusual for Atlantic.

One Lp my wife bought , a Barry Manilow Greatest Hits LP, with like 12 songs on each side, you can barely hear them, they have no dynamics, no gain, no impact, totally flat, lifeless & weak. There is almost 28 minutes cut per side, according to the times on the jacket, and the grooves are microscopically thin, as are the lead in's. The guy that mastered/engineered that POS LP should have had his union card pulled. It's likely he was trying to fit a whole GH CD on to one LP, and the result was shite squared...the worst LP cut I EVER heard.
  #16  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:28 PM
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To be fair, the only imperative when cutting an extra-long side is to lower the overall volume. Any other engineering compromises, such as cutting bass or adding compression, are optional.

Listening to the Youtube video posted above, it doesn't sound bad though the noise floor is, as you might expect, higher than what I'm happy with, but still a lot better than, say, a shellac 78. Of course this sort of music doesn't call for a lot of booming bass, so there's that.

In posting this thread, I wasn't suggesting that all LPs should be almost two hours long. Just pointing out one that is, which at one time you could buy in a record store, and for anyone interested in knowing "how long is long?", here's the answer.
  #17  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
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Wow, thanks for posting about this. Makes me wonder what DBX Disc might have sounded in this Long-Long Playing format... although perhaps that couldn't have been achieved at such low volume levels.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:59 AM
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Macman...yep TWWW vol 2 sounds like you're in the back row of a stadium gig. A shame as the material is dynamic and the live concert video on VHS-Hifi and DVD showed that when properly mastered it can sound great.

I think at that point in time the vinyl was pretty much an afterthought. We Can't Dance came out as a 2LP but the accompanying live albums were a single LP each and really needed to be stretched over three or four sides each.

There's more to be done than simply recording less hot. Because the bass is responsible for more groove motion than the rest of the signal they can do a lot to squeeze a few extra minutes onto a side by lowering the volume of the bass or placing it dead centre mono rather than having any sort of stereo effects in the bass. It all leads to a rather un-dynamic and flat sound.

I have the UK and US editions of Three Sides Live and tend to listen to the UK more. To be fair I haven't listened to either for some years so I don't recall if one is much better than the other. The early Genesis records which were distributed by Buddha Records in the USA were dreadful compared to the British Charisma editions. Nth generation masters tapes used and poor vinyl mastering too. Totally different to the original UK editions. The later Atlantic ones sound fine.

The best sounding "long" long playing record that I have is Mike Oldfield's Amarok. I am sure it clocks in at 60 minutes and sounds very loud, very clean and has little noise. That is one well mastered record.
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Last edited by Big Kelv; 10-10-2017 at 02:36 AM.
  #19  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absinthe_boy View Post
The best sounding "long" long playing record that I have is Mike Oldfield's Amarok. I am sure it clocks in at 60 minutes and sounds very loud, very clean and has little noise. That is one well mastered record.
That's what I hate about the 90s. It was hard to source new vinyl releases at that time. In 1990, LPs were being yanked from the shelves. So I never even knew this Oldfield release could be found on LP. Most stores wouldn't order anything on LP either, because of one way sales.
:(
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  #20  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:46 AM
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Ghitulescu had once posted a picture from an article with a woman holding -presumably- a prototype of a hour-long LP at regular fidelity. It covered her entire upper body
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