From that comment above Mats, uncanny that isn't it?
David, I've no doubt many of the better prints on the semi pro 16mm gauge WILL offer better reproduction of the true cinema sound than some early 70's Super 8mm digests or cartoons and my 20th Century Fox opening sequence on the 400ft digest I had years ago of the SOM was exactly as you described.. awful for pitch, to the ears!
Also the string section of Edelweiss as it came to its end was equally dreadful and full of wow.
I have the Derann print of this now on a feature release and it sounds completely different by comparison, no real noticeable pitch issues. I remember from screening Speed a few weeks back,another 20th Century Fox film, that that one was recorded well also, no noticeable wow throughout.
On Super 8mm, it very much will depend on the source of the print and master material and recording equipment used. Some was satisfactory, some was excellent on a good day in the best era of the recording equipment, but there was also many that had amateur equipment by comparison to the kit used when manufacturing a full length 16mm print.
Naturally 16mm will gain warmth to its soundtrack by using high end valve equipment.
The technology was perfect for the mono track from the projector and many 16mm machines were, of course, fitted with an internal valve amplifier.
As you say, probably very true to the original sound first heard in the professional cinema arena for 50's and 60's titles or even older films.
The advantage I have always spoken about for anyone wanting to make the effort, is that even some of the older Super 8mm mag features can have their basic tracks "modernized" now if they so wish by using today's better and far cleaner master material to work with should we wish to give any of them a better transfer.
The most noticeable improvements that fit the bill here as an example, are the transfers I have been able to make to quite a few of my Elvis features and musicals such as Hello Dolly and the likes. Then the finished mag track really can compete very well indeed with any analogue soundtrack presentation I've heard on the amateur circuit.
The Elvis Viacom prints didn't have bad sound to begin with by any means, but they sound so much more punchy, crisper and modern when replayed now.
And of course in Stereo now, if you prefer this type of sound for musical numbers within films wherever possible, as I personally do.
I can distinctly remember being truthfully taken aback when first listening to "A Dogs Life" from "Paradise Hawaiian Style" when first replaying. The difference was truly astonishing.
As these prints now are, in the very least, beginning to show signs of fade, the soundtracks do become their stand out and most enjoyable aspect to be honest, but it makes them so much more enjoyable for me when it comes to repeat screening of these films.
I find myself drawn more to wanting to watch them again A/ because I love to watch them on film by preference but B/ because when I do, they really do make an impact on me so far as the tuneful harmonious scores throughout these films are concerned.
You find them stuck in your head the very next morning after watching these films the night before simply because the tunes were that clear and pleasurable to listen to.
The entire opposite effect of what I was speaking of earlier with regard to my once owned digest print of the Sound Of Music. On that one I'd find myself positively clambering for the volume control each and every time Edelweiss was drawing to a close! ...Most definitely in the downward direction.