vinyl tunefulness

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Post by Tony Tune-age »

Charlie1 wrote:Picked up a load of LPs at the weekend 50p each :) Some I already had but not in such good condition. I also picked up a copy of Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years'. My existing copy is from the Columbia 'Half Speed Mastered' Audiophile series from around 1980. The one I got for 50p must have been from around the time of UK release cos it has a sticker on the cover stating the singles from the album. Anyway, the 50p one is obviously more tuneful so pleased with that and another nail in the coffin of audiophile LPs.
I have an original copy of "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon. And in spite of it's age, still sounds great 8) :) . But I don't have an audiophile copy of the same album for comparison :wink: .
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Post by Tony Tune-age »

Tony Tune-age wrote:Just placed an order for the new Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street deluxe album box set. Apparently the deluxe set will have two 180 gr. albums, two CD's and two DVD's, along with a book. Not sure if the book is a hard cover or soft cover.

Accoring to preliminary reports, the 180 gr. albums sound better than the original album set. However, I'll compare both sets after the new box set arrives, to see if the claim is true.
Here's a copy of the Rolling Stones "Exile on Main Street" album cover, signed by three of the band members 8) . I picked it up at one of their concerts, already professionally framed.

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Post by Tony Tune-age »

The "Exile On Main Street" album came with four pictures taken during the production process, and I had them framed.

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Now the pictures are hanging in my music room, on the "Rolling Stone's" wall.
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Picture of "Rolling Stone's" wall in music room.

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Arjen »

Interesting question about pressings. Playing the new Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Sweeney Superwolves on coloured Vinyl (Domino) sounds to me less enjoyable than Bonnie’s Singers’ Grave album. Kinda dusty at first play. But with a wetcleaned stylus next time might be better, I hope so.
Old Blue Notes (specially Mono) and new ECM mostly are very enjoyable, same as my yesterday bought 50 years old EMI Stateside Surfs Up Beach Boys album.
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tony Tune-age »

These two music links are an example of how the same album and song, being played on the same turntable...can have a different tunefulness. The first link is "Slave," from the Rolling Stones Tattoo You album, Atlantic Recording Group 1981. And the second link is the same song, only this time from the 2018 release of the same album (half speed mastered audio, 180 gram black vinyl).

Link one: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4l2809vyphpi6e9/1.mp4?dl=0

Link two: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uf93tpqn9s2dwvk/2.mp4?dl=0
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Robert Lake »

The two Stones albums illustrate the problems with 1/2 speed mastering and audiophile pressings. Clarity -yes. But the joy of listening to music is gone. I started with the original pressing. Then the second pressing. It didn't sound bad. Not a big difference I thought. Then a second listening - not so bad. Finally, back to the original again and difference is clear. More fun, a band is playing and my feet start to move with the music.

I have one halv-speed pressing (Born to Run). I will never buy another one. I have one dedicated audiophile pressing (Sinatra). The most expensive LP I ever bought. I will never buy another audiophile LP again. It doesn't sound god.
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by ThomasOK »

They sure took the life out on the remaster, didn't they?
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tendaberry »

That's how you transform Charlie Watts from a great drummer into a mediocre one. I have sold all but one of my "audiophile" pressings. I don't buy any remasters, if I can avoid it (originals > € 500,-).
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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I didn't know Born to Run had been released on half speed!!
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tony Tune-age »

In addition to an original copy of the "Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here" album, I have a half speed mastered copy as well. And needless to say, it's simply hideous. In fact it's the worst sounding half speed mastered album I've ever heard. I was going to give it away or sell it, but decided to keep it just to let people here how bad it sounds.

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Arjen »

Just cleaned to Rolling Stones Mono, Out of our Heads and Aftermath, English Decca pressings from the published years. Still bad delivering of the music. First two albums of the Doors zum beispiel are on the contrary so much better. Don’t have new re-issues of this records. So talking about the half-speed, isn’t it a question of the quality of the source, how the record is compressed en the quality of the vinyl too? The two Stones have a lot of music en songs at each side, very compressed. Other FFRR Decca’s (classical music) offer far more better sound than those two Stones.
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Discodave wrote: 2021-12-01 12:30 I didn't know Born to Run had been released on half speed!!
Same here, but I won't be buying it in any case...
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Catweazle »

Tony Tune-age wrote: 2010-01-23 01:45 As a result of this thread, I've been listening to a few older original albums and the newer audiphile versions for comparison. Although I'm still conducting comparisons, I have noticed some differneces. Not all of the audiophile records sound better, or even as good as the older original records. It will be awhile before I know if this applies to just a few of the newer albums, or most of them.

In any case, it was my understanding that audiophile albums were created from the original master recordings. If this is true, I'm not sure why there's a problem.
Just came across this thread, and interestingly, so far nobody pointed at the issue of magnetic tapes wearing out over time. How can I know? Two sources:
1. personal experience: As a student I did data processing at my research institute as a part time job. I processed tapes of the GATE experiment, which had been lying around since, not in a climatized tape archive, as the university did not own such a luxury. The S/N was abyssally bad, and a lot of data was just lost.
On a side note: We introduced the new penalty of "tape spooling" in my department, once we understood this ;-)
2. from personal communication with Speakers Corner I have it, that they ditched some of their projects, because the quality of the old masters was too poor.

Resume: We have a balance of various factors here. Worsening masters, hard to find refurbished mastering equipment, and lack of experienced technicians on one side, better mixing technology on the other side.

And then there are those original records, which just weren't made with care, leaving room for improvements today.

Vinyl proved to be the most stable storage medium for music of the pre-digital era. That's my take why carefully produced original issues can only be better than re-masterings.

I also gathered from reliable sources, that the Led Zeppelin re-issues are better than the originals. The LPs are reportedly even a tad better, than the digital files.

It's good, that companies stand to their "L", and invest in improving the technology to assist our LP enthusiasm ;-)
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Thanks for the information Catweazle, you make some very good points for sure.
Catweazle wrote: 2021-12-04 09:38
Tony Tune-age wrote: 2010-01-23 01:45 As a result of this thread, I've been listening to a few older original albums and the newer audiphile versions for comparison. Although I'm still conducting comparisons, I have noticed some differneces. Not all of the audiophile records sound better, or even as good as the older original records. It will be awhile before I know if this applies to just a few of the newer albums, or most of them.

In any case, it was my understanding that audiophile albums were created from the original master recordings. If this is true, I'm not sure why there's a problem.
Just came across this thread, and interestingly, so far nobody pointed at the issue of magnetic tapes wearing out over time. How can I know? Two sources:
1. personal experience: As a student I did data processing at my research institute as a part time job. I processed tapes of the GATE experiment, which had been lying around since, not in a climatized tape archive, as the university did not own such a luxury. The S/N was abyssally bad, and a lot of data was just lost.
On a side note: We introduced the new penalty of "tape spooling" in my department, once we understood this ;-)
2. from personal communication with Speakers Corner I have it, that they ditched some of their projects, because the quality of the old masters was too poor.

Resume: We have a balance of various factors here. Worsening masters, hard to find refurbished mastering equipment, and lack of experienced technicians on one side, better mixing technology on the other side.

And then there are those original records, which just weren't made with care, leaving room for improvements today.

Vinyl proved to be the most stable storage medium for music of the pre-digital era. That's my take why carefully produced original issues can only be better than re-masterings.

I also gathered from reliable sources, that the Led Zeppelin re-issues are better than the originals. The LPs are reportedly even a tad better, than the digital files.

It's good, that companies stand to their "L", and invest in improving the technology to assist our LP enthusiasm ;-)
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

Post by Tony Tune-age »

This is one of the best sounding live albums in my collection, Carlos Santana Moonflower(double LP set, released in October 1977).

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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This is another Grateful Dead vinyl album that is very musical and tuneful recording: "The Grateful Dead," debut album released on March 17th, 1967. Warner Brother record label.

https://www.target.com/p/grateful-dead- ... lsrc=3p.ds#
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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This particular "Grateful Dead album recorded live at Cornell in 1977" (five LP set), is considered by many to be their most musical album ever.

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81R ... SX425_.jpg

However, to my ears this "Grateful Dead album recorded live at Fox Theatre in Saint Louis, 1971" (five LP set), is at least as musical - if not more musical. But in any case both albums are excellent recordings and extremely musical. I'm very happy with both.

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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I was fortunate to find this album used but in mint condition, except for the cover which is a little worn. "Grace Slick & The Great Society - Collectors Item from the San Francisco Scene." Not only is this album musical, but it might be the best recording of her voice than any of the Jefferson Starship albums in my collection.

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Last edited by Tony Tune-age on 2022-01-28 16:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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In spite of being a blue and red piece of vinyl, this particular Jimi Hendrix album is very musical. Apparently it's a first ever release on vinyl from a 1967 Olympia Theater live performance in Paris France. The album does weigh 150 grams, and is mastered by George Marino (Sony Music Entertainment).

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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This might be the best sounding Moody Blues album (or one of their best) that I've heard. However, I haven't heard them all either.

"Days of Future Passed Moody Blues" with the London Festival Orchestra, conducted by Peter Knight.

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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I picked-up an original release of "Emerson Lake & Palmer Works" album - Volume 2, in mint condition and at a very good price as well (1977 Atlantic Recording Corporation). It is very musical, although not considered to be their most popular album. However, the song "I Believe In Father Christmas" is very stunning and an all time favorite, we play that song every year.

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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Although not an original copy, it's still very musical and very enjoyable. "Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Bill Vitt, Live at Keystone" (Fantasy Records label, July 1973).

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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-12-01 14:39 In addition to an original copy of the "Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here" album, I have a half speed mastered copy as well. And needless to say, it's simply hideous. In fact it's the worst sounding half speed mastered album I've ever heard. I was going to give it away or sell it, but decided to keep it just to let people here how bad it sounds.

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51+Jbvhv8LL.jpg
In spite of this half mastered copy not sounding good at all, the original copy (Harvest record label 1975) is very musical and well recorded.
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Re: vinyl tunefulness

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Received an original copy of the "Grand Funk We're an American Band" vinyl album as a gift, and it's in pristine condition (Capitol record label, 1973 and Todd Rundgren was the producer). Plus the cover is still in good condition, although not perfect. It's been even more enjoyable to play, since upgrading my LP12.

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