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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Audiophile Re-issues: What's Lost and What's Gained?
Post Subject: Audiophile Re-issues: What's Lost and What's Gained?Posted by Paul S on: 5/31/2009
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

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