Sound Masters from -now- The Past …
This morning I noticed that Stan Ricker passed away. Stan was the man who did a lot of Half Speed Mastering for MFSL. And that was only a part of all his work.
I remember the glorious MFSL time we enjoyed so much. The first “unbelief” when I saw an ad for MFSL with Supertramp’s Crime of the Century. Could not belief it. Durob Audio, our company, was kind of monopoly player in the market of “special discs”. Sheffield, Telarc, Century and many other labels. And always we met the comment “nice music, nice quality, but why you don’t have discs with known artists”. Then Mobile’s Supertramp arrived and we got it! Thousands, ten thousands. Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Sinatra and many more were following What a nice time.
While reading about Stan Ricker, I noticed also that Doug Sax of Sheffield Lab passed away a few months ago. Didn’t know about that. Sheffield was the first audiophile label we represented in the BeNeLux. Remember … Sheffield’s The Missing Linc … referring to Lincoln Mayorga. I am honest … I hesitated while writing to check if he was still alive … and he is. Around 77 years old now. Thelma Houston’s fantastic I’ve got the music in me …
Great memories. Time goes on, things get better, things get worse. Thanks to people like Stan Ricker, Doug Sax and many others we had good audiophile experiences at that time. Rest in peace.
Acoustic Sounds, famous for their involvement in audiophile recordings wrote:
Sad news for vinyl fans — pioneering mastering engineer Stan Ricker has died. Stan built a name and reputation in the music industry for his work on numerous highly-regarded album releases and reissues, including many albums for Analogue Productions. His loss at age 79, within months of the death of Doug Sax of The Mastering Lab, is a blow to the music world.
Beyond his noteworthy contributions to many historic album releases, Stan was a devoted and strong advocate of the half-speed mastering technique, in which the cutting lathe turns at precisely half the desired playback speed. This gives the cutting head twice the time to cut complex analog grooves into the lacquer — affording greater sonic accuracy.
Stan received a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!) and for more than 40 years followed a career path that involved teaching, performing, conducting, recording, producing, engineering and mastering. Stan Ricker Mastering’s website proclaims proudly: “North America’s Only Dedicated Half-Speed Lacquer Mastering Facility.”
The half-speed mastering process refined by Stan gave rise to high-quality labels such as Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Reference Recordings and Windham Hill. Stan was a technical consultant and mastering engineer for record labels such as Analogue Productions, Columbia Records, Delos, JVC, Mobile Fidelity, MCA, Phillips, Pure Audiophile, RCA, Reference Recordings, Telarc, Telefunken, Warner Brothers and Windham Hill, to name but a few.
Here’s an interview with Stan that EnjoyTheMusic.com published that speaks to his love of music, and career influences: