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  »  New  A CD off tune? The Big CD Conspiracy theory?..  Low cost re-issues...  Didital Things  Forum     9  47049  08-25-2009
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 10661
Reply to: 10661
Audiophile Re-issues: What's Lost and What's Gained?
fiogf49gjkf0d
This has been talked about before in general terms, so maybe this post should be moved to an older thread I don't know about.  I just wanted to re-visit the "audiophile re-issue" LP in the cold, pure light of a hard tracing stylus set at correct VTA (SRA).

Can anyone rightly recall a single instance where an audiophile re-issue was better than the original issue?  On the home front, better tracing and tracking only serve to underscore how great the let-down is from the originals to their high-dollar copies.

There seem to be three predominant types of "audiophile" copies: 1) Those that subtly highlight and/or "enhance" parts of the original.  2) Those that  do a heavy handed job of highlighting and/or "enhancing" the parts of the original.  3) Those that are simply poor, late generation copies, with no actual improvements at all, in practical point of fact, despite any advertising claims or reviewer buzz to the contrary.

Perhaps it's due to fuzzy thinking and implementation of VTA in the past, but there were up to now a few re-issues I enjoyed just for audiio reasons, and I had thought that the originals were no great shakes, to begin with.  But so far it has turned out that I was wrong even in these cases with respect to the relative worth of originals versus their copies, in every case I have tried since my (fairly recent) nailing down of the record thickness/VTA equation.

So, what is lost in copies?  Unfortunately, it's the best of the Music that is typically lost.  And I would be remiss if I did not mention that the originals actually Sound better, as well, meaning there is also more to the Sound itself with the originals.

This fact disappointed me somewhat, that my old, beat-up, noisy, college and pre-college LPs have turned out to otherwise sound better than the cleaner copies I spent lots of money on because I do like quiet surfaces.  Also, there are more instances than I would ever have guessed where even the surfaces of an original issue are better than a copy, even when the copy is "quieter" than the original.

Similarly (but not the same), there seems to be something about the way the Sound is "embedded" in the vinyl that makes this a more complex issue that I ever realized.  While it has  come to my attention before that better Sound can trump surface noise, this is the first time I have been aware of the fact that noise really has nothing to do with the Sound, whatsoever.  And this means that just as a totally quiet LP can simply sound bad, a noisier one can sound better.  Iin some cases it seems like this is actually because the noisier old vinyl was/is yet "better" than the new, ultra-quiet vinyl in terms of their respective to store and render up Sound/Music to a hard-tracing cartridge.

Paul S

05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 10662
Reply to: 10661
The Sound, Record Stamper Numbers, and the 9th Dimension
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, it's true.

The original pressing is always the best.  There has never been an audiophile version that is an improvement to the Sound. They may have a quieter surface, fewer scratches, pops, and less overall noise, in fact the sounds may be better, but the Sound is always diminished.

And those audiophile versions have impressive stats: 200 g pure virgin JVC-formula black vinyl, half-speed remastered by the best in the business as a labor of love from the original master tapes on all-tube equipment.  You would think it would be awesome. So, it is not just poor physical quality discs, like in the 1970's.

And by the way the NEW music recorded on this equipment is super awesome. Have you heard some of those Cardas records? Wow! So, it doesn't seem to be the people doing the remastering; they do not appear tone deaf. The new stuff is great.

But not the old audiophile re-do's. Why? So, could it be old master tapes they used have deteriorated and are no longer capable of making good sound?  But, wait a minute.  My old records and my old reel-to-reel-tapes still sound great. Damn, I guess it is not that either.

So, if it is not the people doing it, the discs themselves, or the source material, what else is there? Well, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said "whatever remains, must be the truth..." So, to start with, I think we can all agree that modern String Theory demands that all points in space and time are connected. Let us then say that some of the impact of the Sound we experience is though these connections with the original musical event and the original composition.  Now, let us suppose, that the further we are from this original event in spacetime, the less effect we feel (in the same way that the further we are from a rock being dropped into a lake, the less we feel the ripples).

Thus, the nearer in spacetime the vinyl pressing is to the original musical performance, the greater the transmission of the Sound.

Does this sound bizarre to you? It might, many of the conclusions from Quantum Physics often do. But these ideas are perfectly consistent with the laws of physics as we understand them.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what the reason is. We still know the original pressings sound better.
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 10663
Reply to: 10662
Which Would Certainly Explain
fiogf49gjkf0d
why the old directly-cut lacquers sound so immediate and alive, with unrivaled Sound, as far as it goes, despite the obvious "problems" with range and the "shaping".

OTOH, what happened to the more modern direct-to-disc recordings?  I guess for the Sound to really pay off, there must be some There there, to begin with...

Also, if "all "points in space and time are connected", then would a temporal "gap" and/or its effects be unpredictable, or would there not as likely be a random(izing) effect?

Maybe I should try buying some contemporary recordings of contemporary performances?

Any suggestions?

Best regards,
Paul S
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 10664
Reply to: 10663
Rules of good Sound
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
If "all "points in space and time are connected", then would a temporal "gap" and/or its effects be unpredictable, or would there not as likely be a random(izing) effect?
Sorry for the generalization and skipping steps. Of course physical rules govern all things.  In this case, as Isaac Newton did, we need only observe the world to deduce the rules of the game.  In human history, fetishes and totems have great import, amulets with a splinter of the True Cross, etc. are held in reverence.  But why should this be so?  Possibly because a direct physical connection to something reinforces the more subtle space-time connections.  Although the rules may be arcane, I suggest one simply pay attention to how things happen in the world.  The apple falls to the ground; thus gravity attracts rather than repels. The first pressing sounds better, thus the linkages connect rather than randomize. 

 Paul S wrote:
Maybe I should try buying some contemporary recordings of contemporary performances? Any suggestions?
I gravitate toward relatively unknown artists that press and distribute their own  CD's. Most of this is jazz and microtonal work though. For classical, I highly recommend all the vinyl from Cardas, Wilson, and Mark Levinson Records. These pressings really connect like some of the first pressings I have.
Adrian
05-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,302
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 10667
Reply to: 10661
They are just criminalians.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, the contemporary reassures are not good but I would like to look at this from a different perspective – why is it so? It is very easy to blame the people who do the reassures – they are ignorant and uninformed, despite of all awards and medals the industry grant them. However, I do not blame then. They are like anyone else try to pay their mortgagees by selling good for public. Who I blame is the idiotic array of the industry advisers and reviewers that created a storm of positive publicity around those horrible reassures. They has to be first who had to strike the crap that was reassured and it would be never was a subjects. It was never done and the reassured crap we have today is a direct result of their sightlessness or I would better say - a criminal intend. Pharmaceutical companies for years practice a secretive publishing of magical journals that looks like a scientific overview of the specific narrow fields of medicine. In reality those publication are specifically found juts to promote a specific drag or a family of drags and the whole content of the journals is very accurately structured to attack very narrow marketing intentions. It is not that Pharmaceutical juts buy off the writers but they do actually a fraud but impersonation those 2-3 issues journals as some kind of independent long-lasting publication. The very same is in audio. The bad today reassures were not made by chance but were requested by the industry distribution chain and the stories about the “master taped” and “quality” were completely artificilay contrived.

The Cat



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
montepilot


Boston, MA.
Posts 42
Joined on 12-13-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 10684
Reply to: 10661
What is the alternative?
fiogf49gjkf0d
While there is much complaint about contemporary reissues  of classical music on vinyl, what is the alternative if you don't currently own original pressings?  While visiting a friend here in Boston he went through 3 different DG pressings of Listz Piano concerto no.1 with Richter as pianist.  Mind you this is 3 different pressings including the original of the same performance and same label but issued at different times.  Of the three one was slightly better than the other two.  Clearly there were terrible pressings of noteworthy music in the past and audiophiles put up with them and were still able to discuss the musical merits they contained. Now we have "some" contemporary pressings with problems, but for some audiophile/music lovers why are there no musical merits to speak of?  This is not a rhetorical question.  I invite your comments.

My point is that the contemporary pressings allows one to own performances that have long been out of print. I remember many years ago (1970's) reading Sid Marks excellent survey of original Mercury Living Presence and RCA shaded dog pressings.  He not only discussed the audiophile attributes but he gave some history abouth the orchestra, the conductors, the concert halls and microphones used.  He compared the performances and sound with other orchestra's and labels issuing the same works. This gave me a good introduction to classical music and performances as my main interest was jazz.  Even then I had a hard time finding these records due to his reviews causing a run on these pressings and forcing the prices to skyrocket. I scoured every used record store that I could find in the Sanfranciso/Oakland bay area at the time. The only thing that was plentiful was Mercury Golden Imports and RCA Dynagrooves.

For those of you who find contemporary pressings to objectionable to own, if you don't have an original pressing and the music was also reissued on cd, would you purchase the less expensive cd rather than paying the high price for the contemporay pressing?  In other words do you find cd the next best alternative to owning a original pressing?

Regards, montepilot

 



"It's like an act of murder; you play with the intent to commit something"--Duke Ellington
06-01-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 10685
Reply to: 10684
Shooting Craps
fiogf49gjkf0d
When you just have to hear a given performance, you do the best you can with its iteration.  Of course I am talking about getting the best available version of a specific performance rather than suggesting that any old performance of a given great work would be acceptable, ever.

The trouble with the bad records is that they literally do not contain as much Music as the good ones.  However, some performances are so "loaded" (as Romy would say) that they seem to survive almost any affront by vinyl or electricity.  FWIW, I have plenty of re-recordings of great older works that I would not think of parting with, superficial problems notwithstanding.

The great thing is getting to hear a great iteration of a great performance.  Go ahead and buy a 2nd or 3rd rate iteration to hear the performance, but do yourself a favor and keep your eyes peeled.

Remember that this thread is also about really tuning into the records.  If all you do is try one record after another without optimizing VTA, then it's anybody's guess which version will sound "best" at that VTA setting, since it then goes from an aural comparison to a mechanical crap shoot.

Regarding the paucity of great recordings (of great performances), most of us have noticed that the good stuff has gotten expensive, and this is more because of venal speculation than it is due to artistic merit.

Best regards,
Paul S
06-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 10688
Reply to: 10684
The Music is the important thing
fiogf49gjkf0d
Agreed Paul,

I do not collect and have no desire to collect old Shaded Dogs, etc. just because they are original pressings. I have a few mint 1S pressings, but I never listen to them, because I have no interest in the content. My approach is to go out and find the music that speaks to me, whether it is through a modern repressing, a CD, or an MP3. If I find it something worthwhile but its deficiencies keep me from connecting to the Sound, then I keep a patient look out for an original pressing at a reasonable price.  This doesn't happen overnight; it takes years, and I my collection is far from complete.

For example, I had the Classic Records "audiophile" pressing of Dave Brubeck's Time Out, which I enjoy quite a bit. But when I finally found a 1A/1A original pressing, it was transcendent in allowing me access to the times I have heard Brubeck perform the piece live in concert.

Lucky for me I mostly prefer less mainstream stuff. It is a lot easier to find a nice old grey six-eye Columbia of Schoenberg or an original Hungaratron of Lutoslowski, and the prices are good.

Adrian


06-03-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 222
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 9
Post ID: 10701
Reply to: 10688
The good times are gone
fiogf49gjkf0d

From view positive, with those Reissues you can get some records which are extremely expensive as Originals (LSC‘s, Deccas...) and you can "go" back into a time where some things are made different, are to listen to some artists which were never surpassed (Heifetz, Oistrakh and others...)


The other Point of view can be, how good are they?

I have a lot of them and after all those years I can say, most are NOT worth the money.

The only exception is the 1. Batch of 180gr LSC‘s from Classic Records and their 4 Mercuries.

Superb Mastering, top vinyl, very close to the Originals (but not better).

Since a few years the Quality of the vinyl decreased, it is VERY sensitive to scratches and produce a lot of ticks/pops etc. Even when cleaning with a Keith Monks it does not change it.

But the Mastering from Grundmann is still top.

Same of Acoustic Sounds, in my opinion the best you can buy.

But then it gets worse dramtically, the Speakers Corner Deccas are foggy and really bad compared to original Deccas. But their vinyl is silent.


Today the analog "revival" makes the money go round and there are really awful examples available (Simply Vinyl...).

I think, when Hobson started in the 90‘s he really wanted to offer the best. Of course he saw a way to make money, but he really tried some expensive ways with Wilkinson and the Hardware; more and more offer Reissues now, for very high pricings, but I am afraid, the Know How is gone and buried. There are some Mastering guys out there who know what to do (Hoffman, Gray, Grundmann..) but most out there you can forget.

Getting good, silent vinyl, which can survive a cleaning fluid from Record Cleaning Machines  isn‘t that easy. Some can do it but not all.


Even when you get the Masters (and not all of them get them), a loss in the high frequencies is not so rare, sometimes it can be compensated, but overall, it is not successful.

I stopped buying Reissues and when I compare Cartridges, the differences from Orignals-Reissues is much bigger.

I would say, when I have the choice between a super expensive modern cartridge and listening to modern Reissues and on the other side I have a 900$ Pick up with originals I wouldn‘t hesitate 1s to go for the last.




Kind Regards
Stitch
06-03-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,302
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 10704
Reply to: 10701
Greasy vs. better
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Stitch wrote:
But then it gets worse dramtically, the Speakers Corner Deccas are foggy and really bad compared to original Deccas. But their vinyl is silent.
Wll, I have my theory about the silent play of contemporary vinyl. Did anyhow pay attention that the contemporary is more oily then the vintage vinyl. Sure the contemporary is might be better in quality but it also it feels like has less traction with vinyl by virtue of being more slippery. If you take some fat or oil – starting from the anchovies grease and ending with LAST and use it on the vintage records then you will have similar silence but anything else will be much worse. So, is the contemporary vinyl just “better” or juts more greasy?
 Stitch wrote:
I would say, when I have the choice between a super expensive modern cartridge and listening to modern Reissues and on the other side I have a 900$ Pick up with originals I wouldn‘t hesitate 1s to go for the last.
Excellent observation!


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-03-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 10708
Reply to: 10704
Traction
fiogf49gjkf0d

Romy, that's pretty much what I had in mind when I griped about the "premium" silent vinyl vs the old, scratchier stuff; no traction.

Stitch, of course the idea is to get to as much great music as possible, and a hard-tracing stylus is only one angle (sorry...).  And as you know, most of the modern stylus profiles found on the expensive audiophile cartridges are set-up for their audiophile counterparts, the audiophile re-issues; they drive me out of the room on older vinyl or styrene.

I wound up painting myself into a corner with just one arm and one cartridge, but I really think it would be better to have two or three cartridges that are optimized for the variety of originals  and re-issues I have.

Like I said, I have more than a few re-issues, and I keep on the lookout for certain originals.

If I were limited to your choice of choices, I think I might also go with original LPs and a $900.00 cartridge.

Since I paid $800.00 for the MC 3000 II, I guess I should blow the difference on originals immediately...

Too bad so many of the best originals now cost as much as a decent cartridge...

Best regards,
Paul S

11-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,302
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 14838
Reply to: 10661
The Mahler’s MTT and SF on vinyl.
fiogf49gjkf0d
A site reader sent me email that Elusive Dicks announced a new 22 records box-set with MTT doing 9 Mahler Symphonies.  The recordings are all live in Davies Symphony Hall from '01-'09. They claim that it will be only 1000 individually numbered sets pressed, 180g, at 45rpm  and $750 for the whole set.
I am sure the people who will be selling it will assure that it was recorded not only on SACD but in parallel analog. I think it is BS and the LPs will be made from idiotic SACD masters. Regardless what it is I do not anticipate that it will be at respectable quality. None of the 45rpm were and none of the contemporary pressing were. I am not buying it…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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