German pressings on vinyl are better than those. The remainder of european pressings seem to be hit or miss. I've only been impressed with the UHQR, which are no bang for the buck. Try music1search for anything on vinyl.
Some of the original pressings from the USA are excellent. Examples would be Columbia 360, Capitol Black label,Geffen, etc. I urge you to try an a-b test with Eric Clapton Slohand Mofi and the original pressing. I was amazed and have not bought the overpriced MoFi again. Best Regards Richard
The only consistently stellar LP audiophile label of recent years is DCC, and they've stopped vinyl production. The early Classic Records classical releases were reportedly subpar, but every other Classic issue that I've bought has been great to my ears. MoFi LPs were really hit or miss, a lot of them having significant 'midrange suckout.' To make a long story even longer, the answer (to me) is 'it depends.' There are a lot of great LPs out there, and unfortunately, a lot of drap. Rely upon your fellow music lovers here on the site, or a good dealer. For example, in contrast to the above comments, I've found German pressings to be a bit bright, and Japanese pressings to be smoother. This difference in opinion may be system-dependent, throwing another variable into the equation. An honest appraiser of LP sound quality is Tom Port of Better Records. He has not steered me wrong, although we do disagree on a few points. But there is quite a bit to choose from out there, from new domestic pressings, imports from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Simply Vinyl, Alto, Three Blind Mice, the indie labels, and so on. Get the low down, spend wisely, and enjoy.
I suppose it all depends on the type of music you like. For classical, the best sounding ones remain US early pressings of RCA Living Stereo and Mercury Living Presence. For classic rock, I'd differ that MOFI's always sound better. In fact, many of them sound (at least on my system) way too bassy and enhanced, although they usually are much quieter. Main reason to buy them is that they're usually (emphasize "usually") clean and in good shape as the people who invested in them tended to take good care of them. Sonically, I prefer the english pressings for the analog-like sound, but japanese pressings can sometimes provide tremendous detail (although they tend to sound a little more analytical). Bottom line, like everything else it all varies. A good place to start for specific recordingds may be may be The Absolute Sound records to die for list (downloadable free from their website www.theabsolutesound.com. Enjoy your listening,...
Telarc digital LP's were good but you won't find any rock recordings of those that I'm aware of. Sheffield's direct to disc were good. Some of the Nautilus super discs and the CBS Master Sound Series are excellent recordings. I think all of these were 1/2 speed recordings except for the Telarc, not sure what they were recorded at, but they sure sounded good to me. The best place that I have found to acquire these recordings are on ebay.com. Hey, Maybe I shouldn't have told you this, you might end up bidding against me. Just kidding, It's a blast bidding on these albums, and sometimes you really get a great price. I try not to bid on anything less than Mint (sealed) or Near Mint. You have to be careful, you could end up with some noisey LP's. I also wouldn't count out the regular LP recordings, some of those sounded super. You can find alot of those still sealed on ebay, and are a great buy. Hope this helps.
Finding a good used record store and finding many on the labels as stated by A2z I also liked alot of the polydor lps and of course the RCA Living Stereo and Mercury lps as also stated by Linamine and all the above mentioned but I do also enjoy my MOFI lps too
Classic Records, Analog Productions a very close second. Both are reissues of older works. To not buy them is to miss out, IMO. No, I have no vested interest...in fact, they owe me for all I've bought at retail, it seems to me.
I've been consistently impressed w/ Classic Records and Analogues Productions also (the Monk box set from the latter is amazing). A bit put off by MoFi in recent purchases (low number pressings of the MJQ records), but most of my MoFi's are pretty good. DCC's are geat also..keep waiting for Music Direct to deliver on their promise to start issuing new pressings on this lable!!. The recent EMI re-issues on Vinyl are quite good (though I do not like most of the music they have chosen to re-issue!). I am lucky enought to travel to Europe often on business, and usually find plenty of London Bluebacks, London ffrs, and original EMI classical pressings. Usually perfect, and seldom more than $5 a pop :-). Best city so far is Brussels, where they practically give the classical albums way (there are about ten good used recod stores there!). Great place for orignal UK pressings of rock/pop, including Decca Rolling Stones and Beatles Parlophones
i try to find japanese, dutch, french, german and english pressings of each of my favorite lp's. it's difficult to generalize among labels or origin of pressings. sometimes mofi's are best (tho, very limited in selection), sometimes jvc's, etc. if you have a passion for certain lp's, you owe it to yourself to try all the pressings of them you can find. there are surprises to be had around every corner. some of my favorite versions of my "set" come from australia, canada and greece!
something left out of my last post: i've bought records throughout the u.s and europe. my current fave "market" for variety and cost is ebay. watch your rear, tho; you gotta know what you're doing. (i buy mostly classic rock, folk and blues, with some specialty classical-e.g., lyrita pressings.)
Oddly enough, some sources of great sounding vinyl is on labels least expected. So many of the OJC jazz re-releases are just a pleasure to listen to. Seldom, if ever are domestic albums, especially late 80s, worthy of listening to. At least I have few. Some European labels, i.e. Orange Blue and Gemini have some good recordings and accessible jazz. One of my favorite albums is "Art Of Attack", by Marty Wilson Piper of The Church. It is on Ryko all analogue. Side one is fantastic. It'll give your system one hell of a ride. Used record shops may carry old Blue Notes, Milestone, etc.. Admittedly, classical is the least satisfying on vinyl. Nearly all the releases, late 60's and beyond are crap. Again, from what I have heard. Happy hunting.
RCA Redseal label since they used virgin vinyl for the pressings and careful selected of master molds for the stamping machine. The result is less surface electrostatic noise, dust induces surface noise, much less wear and tear to your stylus tip. There are very few recordings being released in that label in the early 80's so keep looking. cheers,