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Stockfisch Records Finds Analog Pearls

11-30-2014 | By Brian Moura | Issue 76

Analog Pearls, Volume 1 Cover Stockfisch Enters the Remastered SACD/DSD Market

Some of our readers are familiar with Stockfisch Records. It's a small independent record label based in Germany that was initially known for their recordings of folk music starting in the mid 1970's. More recently, they have gained attention for their Super Audio CD releases of recording artists from Europe and the United States.

Stockfisch's newest venture is to enter the SACD reissue market with a series titled "Analog Pearls." For their first release, label owner Gunter Pauler ventured into the vaults and found a series of early recordings by Country Star Waylon Jennings.

RCA/AEA Ribbon Microphones from Analog Pearls Sessions Classic Analog Gear & Ribbon Microphones

These tracks featured vocals by Jennings backed by a trio named the Waylors and a choir performing a host of pop and country standards recorded to analog tape with RCA ribbon microphones selected by recording engineer Floyd Ramsey at Audio Recorders Studios in Phoenix, Arizona. These classic RCA ribbon microphones were later brought back to market by Wes Dooley with his excellent AEA ribbon mics (see photo above).

Commenting on the Analog Pearls album, Pauler says "From today's perspective, the sound equipment is very rudimentary, but the result is extremely convincing and clean tube sound. The quality of these recordings is exemplary."

Waylon Jennings (Left) and Herb Alpert (Right)

Early Recordings

If you don't remember these recordings, well it turns out they were done in 1964. The producer of these sessions:  Herb Alpert. Yes, it turns out that before Jennings signed with RCA Victor where he had many Country Music hits, he actually started his recording career at A&M Records.

On'ry – Even Then…

One humorous note about this album. Fans of Waylon Jennings know that he is famous for his "On'ry" attitude. So much so that one of his best-selling albums on the RCA Victor label was titled "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean". That persona is alive and well on this album.

Among the 12 classic songs performed here is a track titled "The Real House of the Rising Sun". After buying the album I wondered—is this a different song than the "House of the Rising Sun" performed by Eric Burdon & the Animals? Or more recently released as a Jazzy performance of the song by Cyndee Peters on the excellent DSD Showcase 3 album from Opus 3 Records' DSD File download site?  

No, it's the same song—just done with a traditional country flavor by Jennings and his trio. Which one is the "real" House of the Rising Sun? I'll let our readers ponder that question as they listen to this well recorded and musical reissue.

Waylon Jennings and the Waylors in 1964

Getting a Copy of Analog Pearls

You have several ways to get a copy of Analog Pearls, Volume 1. You can buy the Hybrid Stereo SACD edition on the Stockfisch web site or from several web sites that carry SACD discs, including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc and Music Direct.

The other option—and the one I recommend—is to drop by the HiResAudio music downloads site on the web and pick up the Stereo DSD64 download of the album. While Analog Pearls sounds excellent both ways (SACD and Download), the DSD download wins in the sound quality category hands down. This is a new DSD release worthy of a place in your music collection.

My only question is when will Gunter Pauler go on his next trip to the record label vaults in search of more "Analog Pearls"? I'm certainly anxious to see what he has in store for us next on SACD disc and DSD download.

Analog Pearls, Volume 1 (DSD Download, HiResAudio.Com)


Analog Pearls, Volume 1 (SACD, Stockfisch Web Store)


DSD Showcase, Volume 3


[Photographs courtesy of Stockfisch Records]