In my humble opinion Classic Records and their 200gram recipe for record pressings is the current best in the business. You can do no wrong with any of the above. Keep in mind that they are HUMAN, therefore defects are possible, although rare. I purchase as much of the Classic Records as my budget allows because they may not be around forever.
Quincy, thanks but have you listened to the 45rpm versions of any of these?
No, not the posted vinyl in question....but I have at least 35 Classic 200g versions, one in 45, and they all are splendid! Buy them!! You won't be disappointed!
Rush, I have these two, the LSC-2150-45 Prokofiev Lt. Kije, Reiner and LSC-2150-45 Prokofiev Lt. Kije, Reiner and both are excellent.
The short answer here is to buy the performance and the music that you most favor. Every 45 RPM from Classic is splendid ! I have one entire shelf of these reissues representing both Jazz and Classical artists.
Looks like you'll just have to buy these five and post reviews. Please let us know what you think! ;-)
FWIW, in addition to the Dorati 'Firebird' I have LSC-2374-45, Bartok, Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Reiner, CSO. It too is magnificent, miles ahead of the 33rpm. I chose it for the A/B test of my new cocobolo record clamp vs. my old delrin clamp because of its full range of textures, colors and dynamics and its nice low noise floor. I especially like this piece on 45 because the movements are short enough to accommodate the side breaks.
Sorry, copied and pasted the same title twice (yes it's a multi disc set, but was still an error :^).
here is the second 45 issue I own:
LSC-1900-45 Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, Munch
Thanks very much Albert and Doug - your experience with these 45 rpm issues is exactly the help and encouragement I needed.
Quincy, thank you. The reason for my caution is that I have most of the Classic Records classical releases in 33 rpm and the mastering is variable (some are very good, some are bright and harsh). Most of my pressings are the 180 gram, but as best I can determine, the 200gram pressings have not been remastered - CR is using the same metal parts. The 45 rpm versions would have been separately mastered, so there is no way to anticipate the results (for better or worse) based on experience with the 33 rpm versions.
You're right about some of the CR remasterings. Off the top of my head I remember Solti/'Venice' and the much hyped Gibson/'Witches Brew' being quite glaring. I read somewhere or other that CR was attempting to emulate the classic Mercury sound, but clearly they went too far.
Classic Records has been extremely frustrating to so many of us. As you say, both Solti/'Venice'/LSC 2313 and Gobson/'Witches Brew'/LSC 2225 are examples of hugely disappointing sound quality. And then CR can flip around and create something that is really well done, such as the Reiner Prokofiev/'Lt. Kije'/LSC 2150 or the Heifitz/Rozsa/LSC 2767 to list two out of several. I'm not looking for sound that mimics the original LPs; I'm looking for good sound in its own right with natural timbre and harmonic overtones, and one just cannot trust that Classic Records will deliver it. Perhaps if one knew the sequence in which the CR releases were mastered that could supply a key to the puzzle. Wilma Cozart jerked a knot in their tail over the Mercury reissue project, forcing them to upgrade their mastering chain and to insert tube amps to drive the mastering lathe. But, again, their results were inconsistent.
Speakers Corner has done such a better job overall with the reissues of the Decca catalogue, and now the Mercury catalogue. For that I am very thankful because the Decca's are superb performances with some of the best recording engineering symphonic music has ever received.
I've purchased some of the 45 rpm Classic Records reissues we've listed. If there is interest, I may add my thoughts about them when I've had a chance to listen.
I'm curious to see if you found much difference between the 33s and the 45s of the same title. I own 16 CR reissues in 33 and about 4 or 5 in 45rpm, not of the same titles. On the whole I've found the quality very variable, from dead to just acceptable. My main problem with CR records is that all they all have a sameness to them. There's a particular sheen to every pressing, I hear this across the board even in their jazz and rock reissues. I don't know whether this is the sound of their vinyl or their electronics but they've all been handled in a coockie cutter style. These reissues don't have the same character and individuality of the originals. I find them to be more of a clone of one another than the master.
I don't wish to engage in a long discussion of Classic Records per se. But as to 45 rpm pressings versus 33 rpm pressings, other things being equal (and that is the operative condition here), the 45 rpm pressings always sound superior to me.
To my ear, the 45 rpm pressings consistently have a greater openess to the sound (greater "transparency" if you will), greater dynamics, and more solid imaging. The sound quality also is different overall, and I don't know how to describe this. It's like a certain sonic signature we associate with vinyl is gone or is shifted to a different resonance point. The 45's, for me, get closer to the sound I hear from good quality reel to reel tape.
This is easily observed in the Analogue Productions Fantasy series of reissues cut at 45 rpm. It also is very noticeable in the Classic Records 45 rpm reissue of the Mercury Stravinksy/Firebird. And I just had the pleasure of hearing the Billie Holiday "Songs for Distingue Lovers" from Classic Records today in 45 rpm, and the same can be said for that recording (although the source tape is not of sterling quality).
But, it's that caveat "all things being equal" that caused me to post my question at the beginning of this thread. Mastering at 45 rpm won't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, and any 45 rpm is separately mastered from any 33 rpm so one can't draw any necessary conclusions how well or how poorly the 33 rpm version was done. But, the sound charateristics of 45 versus 33 I described above are, for me, very consistent across the two formats.
Our Man in Jazz - Sonny Rollins on tenor sax and Don Cherry on trumpet sound just like they're in the room with you. A scary record for its realism and dynamics. On 4 sides on Classic Records. While I do like the Analogue productions 45 rpm releases (especially the Miles Davis quintet records with John Coltrane), I think that the single side pressings of Classic records are the best.
Ive been doing some comparative listening to 33 rpm vs. 45 rpm versions recently (classical music reissues from Classic Records) and thought I should add to this thread once again.
There really is no contest sonically between the 45s and the 33s (did anyone suspect otherwise?).
But, my question in doing some comparisons was: "Did the mastering of the 45 rpm versions avoid the hard brittle top end plaguing some of the early 33 rpm issues sufficiently to make it worth the gamble of buying a few more of the 45s to replace other disappointing early release 33s?"
So far, the answer is "YES" for the following LPs (listening to selected tracks on each):
"Clair de Lune" RCA LSC-2326 - the sound of strings on the 33 rpm is brittle in the upper frequencies to the point I don't find it enjoyable to listen to (at least on my system). The 45 rpm does not have this problem: the string tone is smooth and extended. Definitely not polite and rolled off like many of the originals (so don't come here looking for that original "Shaded Dog" sound; this is more like what I expect to hear in an excellent "contemporary" recording. The 45 rpm also has all the other virtues we've come to expect of this media.
"Gonoud: Faust/Bizet: Carmen Suite" LSC-2449 - The 33 rpm version of this is much better, and much more listenable, than I recalled. The top end has some of that brittleness and hard edge to it, but not nearly so much as some others. Just every now and then the massed strings jump out and BITE. Still..., the 45 rpm version is simply soooo muuucch better in so many respects.
"Belioz: Symphony Fantastique" LSC-1900 - MUCH improved string tone on the 45 rpm version. The 33 rpm is not as bad as I recalled, as with LSC-2449; but the 45 rpm is a very distinct improvement in every respect. (And still my favorite performance with a modern orchestra is the Freccia/RPO reissued on Chesky CR 1. (If you can find it and have a choice, get the 180 gram, not the lighter weight first pressing run).
Albert: you are certainly correct on the Berlioz and the Prokofiev, thank you.
And then there are some 45 rpm issues for which the 33 rpm issues were very satisfactory, but for which the 45 rpm version is clearly better still (such as the Rozsa/Hendl/Heifitz, LSC-2767).
Conclusion? For me I will go ahead with some additional 45 rpm Classic Record purchases (such as the Sibelius: Finlandia LSC-2336 which sounds so sad on the 33 rpm version and is such a GREAT performance and recording, and such as the Reiner: Spain LSC- 2230), but cautiously.
Rushton, thank you. Your experience and report are invaluable!!
I completely concur with your assessments of those 33rpm issues, both good and bad. Thank you for the good news about the 45's, even if it means my budget is in for bad news.
Once again I'm inspired to say, "I hate this place"!
How about 'Ry Cooder - Buena Vista Social Club' (ANON 79478-45) ?
I absolutely love this LP. One has to like cuban music of course.
Doug and 4yanx, thanks for your comments; knowing that some people appreciate the input makes the posting worthwhile! And, Doug, its good to know we are hearing the same things.
Styx, thanks for adding. My focus in this thread has been on the CLASSICAL music reissues because Classic's 33 rpm classical reissues have been so variable. Generally, they've been more consistently successful on their non-classical reissues.