Arturo Toscanini Beethoven LPs

I was wondering which of two versions of shaded dog LM-6901 is better sonically. The maroon/purplish-brown or the (presumably newer) orange-red which says "high fidelity" below the hole. I'm looking for a good set of the Beethoven Symphonies and really like Toscanini.

I can't tell you about the differences in the two versions you ask about, but the Toscanini/NBC Symphony Orchestra recordings of the Beethoven symphonies, famous as performances, are also notorious among audiophiles for poor sound. They were recorded in a famously dry, acoustically mediocre studio and they simply never sounded good. It's not a matter of mastering or re-mastering or getting the "right" version; they just don't have good sound. If you want them anyway, for the quality of the performances, you'll just have to live with that fact. It's probably going to be a waste of your time and money to expend a lot of effort in searching for the "right" vinyl version. It's unfortunate but there it is.

Thank you so much for your response. I am finding that the benchmark recordings that I grew up on as a musician are often a disjoint set with the ones that sound the best from an audiophile standpoint.

Thanks again!
Might I suggest that if you admire the Toscanini/NBC Beethoven symphonies, you will probably also admire the Szell/Cleveland set, which offers first-rate performances in stereo sound which, if a long way from state-of-the-art, is at least a great improvement over the old monaural Toscanini/NBC set. Finally, I'd like to recommend a thoroughly modern, recent set that does have truly excellent sound that will warm the heart of any audiophile: the Daniel Barenboim/Berliner Staatskapelle set on Teldec. I'm going to quote the assessment by the Beethoven expert in Third Ear: Classical Music: The Listener's Companion (ed. A. J. Morin, 2002): "Barenboim is one of the newest entrants in the symphonies sweepstakes, and the effort is superb. Using the Berliner Staatskapelle, he has pulled off the near impossible and come as close as anyone to giving us the definitive set. The dark, mahogany burnish of these readings is the ultimate in finely graded, magnificently rich and robust sound. . . . I will boldly say it: this is the best single collection of the nine symphonies on the market today." I agree. I've been an audiophile and record collector for 40 years, and have many Beethoven symphony recordings; if I could keep only one set of the nine, it would be this one. Happy listening.
Hi Marc,

If you've gone around the curve with Texasdave's recommendation of Szell/CSO, a bit further on you'll also find a nice sounding/well-performed set with Solti/LSO, London ffrr. The 9th in this set is stand alone glorious.(Admittedly partial to most Solti/London recordings.)

- Mario
Since I am also a Toscanini fan,may I suggest BBC Beethoven
Pastoral (1937 version) on: Pathe Marconi 322 2 c051-03854