CBS, Nautilus 1/2 speed DIGITALLY mastered LPs

I am wondering whether these are any good. I understand that they were made a while ago and mastered digitally - which is a scary thing going back a few years.

I am considering buying some and wanted to hear opinions.

Most of the Nautilus recordings are not digitally mastered, some even being direct-to-disc and most sound marvelous.

CBS got it wrong and their chief mastering engineer Vlado Meller, missed on most of these. They sound thin and bleached, some, but not all, being digitally mastered. The Japanese Mastersounds are quite a bit better sounding.
I don't know about the CBS stuff but Vlado Meller has a reputation for squashing music with compressors/limiters. I have a fairly good Tower of Power album done by him (still squashed but not totally destroyed) whilst I have some Red Hot Chilli Peppers stuff where he got heavy handed and KILLED the sound.

Sadly there are many people who like what he does - the squashed sound comes out clearer on a crap boombox or crap car stereo or on on open earphones with an iPod or in a pub (all environments where background noise is likely to be higher and where the dynamics of the playback system is lousy to begin with).

The major labels like it too - the harsh sound catches consumers attention with increased chance of sales - better still consumers tire of the awful sound quite quickly and move on... (just what the labels want...more sales)

I am sure Vlado's style could do a lot for classical - you know - give it a lot more zip - even it all out by getting rid of all those annoying quiet passages and squash those all too nasty crescendos - give the sound some consistency - consistently tonally monotonous of course!

The worst of it now is that most sound engineers follow the likes of Vlado. Today it is not a question of whether it should be mastered HOT (compressed) - that is no longer open debate as it is a GIVEN - of course it shlud be hotter then HOT - what mastering boils down to today is how hot and punchy to make it and still not sound too obviously harsh. You know - can the genius at the console get the dynamic range down to less than 6 db without it sounding awful - that is what the best of the best do today!!! Go figure....

I have Born to Run, Billy Joel's-The Stranger and 52nd street and Journey-Departure all on CBS half-speed masters and they all sound great.
I have a few digital mastered Japanese Mastersound LP's

Roger Waters: The Pros and Cons of Hitchiking
Pink Floyd: The Final Cut
Pink Floyd: A collection of Great Dance Songs
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (as a Nautilus Import)

The Pros and Cons, and The Final Cut LP's are really spectacular. The vinyl is dead quiet and the bass is very good.
I have the CBS 1/2 speed master lp's of Oldfield/Tubular Bells, Santana/Abraxas, Pink Floyd/Wish You Were Here & Willie Nelson/Stardust. They are spectacular, and very natural sounding, not all pumped up on steroids like the MFSL's can sound.
One of the best Nautilus recordings I ever heard is John Klemmer-Straight From the Heart. The version of Arabesque will give ya chills.
I own Michael Jackson's Thriller and ELO's Time on CBS half-speed master vinyl and they sound excellent even on my modest Technics SL-5 table with Grado cart. I cleaned them at an audio shop (DB Audio, Berkeley) years ago on their commercial-duty machine (VPI?) using LAST cleaner/preservative so they are dead quiet. Would love to spin them on a high-end analog system some time! -jz