Dvorak Symphony No. 2 Classic records excellent

I am listening to Classic Records reissue of Dvorak 2nd symphony Monteux/ London Symphony Orch. It is excellent. It is the 200 grams issue and it is very quiet and dynamic. The best one I have heard so far! Classic is getting better. Highly recommended!! I am excited! This is the best lp I have heard in a while from Classic. This one and the Carmen/Faust. If they keep doing this, I will be very happy and so will many other analog lovers. Has anyone else heard this one and if so, how is the quality of yours? Any quality control stuff, bad pressings? Mine is excellent! The quietest and best sounding reissue! As I said, I am excited for anyone who loves vinyl if this is a preview of things to come.
Using the old numbering is kind of silly of them. This is the Dvorak Symphony No. 7 in the new numbering, which is the numbering that record companies have been using for almost 50 years.

But, yes, it's a great recording of the work. I have it on a Universal Japan CD.
Do you have the record number? So I might go to the store and look for it.
I bought one because of the this thread. THe quality is very good and well worth the money.
The reason this is still listed as No 2 is the record was issued originally issued in 1961 and the Classic is preprinting the original jacket. I am a bit surprised that they are reissuing this as it is a fairly common record. This is probably my favorite Dvorak orchestral piece – the influence of Brahms is strong.

Another new issue on LP of Dvorak is Tacet’s release of the String Sextet. A friend brought this over and it’s extremely well recorded and a lovely piece of music.
yes, it's very nice...at first when you said sym #2, I thought Istvan Kertesz, on London...that's the real #2...last movement, always a doozey...Your #7 is also a great piece, a little moody, then with #8 you get lots of orchestral fun, and then of course with #9 (old #5) one of the most popular pieces in orchestral history...
The lp number is LSC-2489
I cannot believe it. A couple of weeks ago when I bought this record from Elusive Disc it was $34.00. Now it is $50.00. I would hate to think a thread could influence this type of thing.
I just $1 for another copy of the original last week. I'll cherry pick the copy I want to keep and throw the others in my give away pile.
I have an orange label (British pressing) London STS copy. Can anyone comment on how this compares to other pressings.
This particular reissue sounds amazing. The record plays very quiet as well. I do not know how the original compares. I wish I could find the originals in decent condition. They are almost always fairly worn locally which is disappointing, but for a dollar, well worth taking the chance. It is a great recording and a great performance.
Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of the original issue on eBay. Compare this to your Classic reissue before you buy any more Classic RCA reissues. In particular listen for string tone and tonal colors.

I just compared my 180g Classic to my original pressing. That will be the last time I listen to the Classic. The Classic had quieter surfaces and was more dynamic, but the tonal colors were not nearly as rich and natural.

Many of the Living Stereo titles are available in the RCA VICS series. These are reasonably priced and sound quite good. Snag as many of these as you can.
Just to add to Kennyb's point, this Dvorak is also available as a UK Treasury too. Excellent in itself.
I have tried to find the early pressings of the Living Stereos and about 75% of the time, they are not in very good condition. I wish they were because they do sound great. My comment was more about the fact that for a Classic reissue, this one is one of the best they have done so far, that I have heard at least. I just wish I could come across some originals in great condition.
I initially thought highly of many Classic reissues.  Now they just sit on my shelf taking up space.  As my system's ability to reproduce tone colors has improved, these sound worse and worse, which is odd, because most of my other records I appreciate more and more.  A large reason for this is due to the way that the Classics destroy string tone.  A good example is the reissue of LSC-1934. There is no acoustic instrument on this planet that can make as dreadful a sound as the massed strings on this.  That reissue is an abomination.

Before you spent much more on more Classics, I thought you should hear how the Classics compare to originals so you can hear what's missing.

I even prefer the CD layer on the hybrid SACDs to the Classics RCAs.  These are a great way to hear these wonderful recordings.  
I agree with you about Classic. I have wrote many threads regarding what you have said, especially their quality control has been lacking. I was suprised to hear such a quiet classic reissue. I have been very disappointed with many of their reissues. I am not sure why the strings sound the way they do. How they got that so right in the fifties, I was not born yet. On the classic 180 gram reissues, the strings sound better than on the 200 gram. I still have not heard a cd sound like a record, even the classic 200 gram sound better than the cd, to my ears at least.

The Dvorak does sound great and is very quiet. I was suprised. The fact that you prefer the original release tells me that they still have issues. I like my copy better than the original. I can hear more of what is going on and the strings sound pretty good as well, maybe not the same as the original, but very good IMO.

I have the Bartok on SACD. That is an amazing work. I have never seen that original record locally. This is the case with many of the older living stereos, most of which are in terrible condition. I have tried ebay, not much better. So the reissues are the only way to go in some cases.
Gentle Reader,
take note of Kennyb's statement above...I disagree with his assessment, compared to what I've heard. Perhaps in his room, with his gear, it sounds like that, and if we all zoomed into his room right now we would find him correct and that would be that...however, I have played that LP on a few systems I've liked, and did not hear the horrors he describes, nor would I choose the cd version over it.
just an observation....tzh21y...listen for yourself, then judge..
This was from back in the day when RCA licensed many Decca recordings, so there are various Decca pressings as well.

Here's another pressing of this recording on Decca Ace of Diamonds (which I have no experience with):


If you encounter the London STS pressing (STS 15157), make sure it does not have a yellow label (though it's possible it never appeared with a yellow label.)

Here's an example with an orange label:


These shouldn't cost more than a few bucks in a big market like L.A.

(The yellow ones are the greatly inferior US domestic pressings (poor and thin vinyl). The orange label pressings were made in the UK and generally seem to be as good as regular London/Decca pressings.)
I just compared the CD layer of the hybrid SACD of LSC-1934 to the 180g Classic. The Classic sounds decent until the treble gets pushed. The massed strings that appear about 3 minutes in are absolute ear bleeders. And so are the trumpets that blare a bit later.

I hear a better sense of the hall with the CD rip. The stage doesn't have as much depth on the LP. There's more air around the drum in the 2nd movement with the CD rip.

The Classic sounds fuller and makes the CD sound thin. I can see some folks preferring the Classic because of this. But, the sound of those massed strings and those trumpets are an absolute deal kiler for me.

Chashas1 makes a good point about my room and my gear. I have changed every component except my speakers since buying that Classic. I've changed rooms too. The strings on the Classic sounds as dreadful to me now as they did when I first played that LP.
OK, now I've looked up what LSC-1934 is (Reiner's Concerto for Orchestra). Am I supposed to have these catalog numbers memorized?

I have the Classics reissue as well as the BMG hybrid SACD. I remember the Classics Lp and the BMG CD layer sounding remarkably similar (I was not that impressed with the sound in either case; I think RCA engineers were still learning to record in stereo at this point). I'll have to try both with my current equipment.
Had a chance to compare the Classic Lp reissue of the Reiner Concerto for Orchestra with the CD layer of the BMG hybrid SACD issue. Please disregard my earlier comment about deficiencies of the recording. It's not "modern" sounding, but I have no complaints.

Now, is the Classic too bright? Maybe a little. With all tubes (except the SS phono board) and Vandies nothing here offends me, though I can hear that it is mastered for "brilliance".

The CD layer sounds cleaner and so more hall ambiance comes through. The Classic has plumper bass. But both seem quite satisfying to me. I would consider the Classic a very successful Lp mastering.
I have to admit that I am not hearing that hardness or pushed highs. The horns sound like they have body, and so do the strings. The clarinet sounds wonderful on this reissue. I like the way it sounds. I was actually very suprised upon first hearing it. What is your tracking force set at? Could they be better? Yes, definitely, Do I prefer it to CD? Absolutely. They were better on 180 gram, not sure why, but to my ears they are. The record has depth and better mids a hundred times over than my Cds. Some of the older records sound much more compressed and have more surface noise than this record.
If you mean me: VTF is 1.74g for my AT33PTG (AT specifies 1.6-2.0g with 1.8g "standard".) Why I arrived at that particular number is lost in the mists of time.

My VTA is set to be neutral on a typical Lp. I didn't bother adjusting VTA for the 180g thickness. Too much of a pain with the SME309.

I have to admit that after listening to side 2 the brightness is much more apparent. I prefer the smoother sounding CD layer of the SACD (or rather the rip to FLAC played via Squeezebox and my Neko DAC).

To get back to the original topic, I also played my London STS copy of Monteux's Dvorak 7 this morning, and it's an excellent sounding Lp, though I don't have the original RCA to compare it to. This pressing should go for a few bucks at most at Amoeba or Record Surplus.
Tzh21y - to which reissue are you referring when you say you hear no hardness?  I may have confused things by referencing LSC-1934 in your post about the Dvorak.

In terms of my tracking force, I don't recall the number exactly, but it's within the range specified by Lyra.  But my setup isn't the problem.  The original LSC-1934, which I'm now playing, sounds delightful, with no hardness problem.  And the horns show no sign of hardness either with the original (and they sound spectacular!)

I should also point out that that the hardness was also evident with other cartridges I've owned (Clearaudio Sigma, Clearaudio Victory, Lyra Helikon).

In an earlier post I mentioned that I was originally impressed with the Classics, but their flaws became more apparent as my system improved.  Also, the originals showed me how far the Classics strayed. Once you hear how the strings are supposed to sound on these - especially on a system that does a great job of reproducing tone colors, it's really tough to tolerate the Classics.
I love the old originals but still like what I hear on this reissue. Most of the originals sound compressed and although the tone can be very nice on many of the originals, I find myself listening to more reissues than the older records lately. The Classic reissues are very good for the most part, there quality control is often lacking IME.

The newer Mobile Fidelity reissues are a different story. They sound very digital and forward. I prefer many of the originals to them.

The Chesky reissues are nice. They sound closer to the original and are more dynamic and quiet. Better quality vinyl as well. I like the Cheskys very much. I like the Cheskys much better than the Classics for the most part.

I do not like all of the Classics but many of them are pretty good and this one in particular is very quiet and dynamic. It sounds great. I am going to listen to it again and see if I hear what you are talking about.

As far as tone goes, I have never heard violins sound like they do on the old RCA's and Londons. I used to have season tickets to the orchestra. If I had to say what records actually sound closest to what I hear at the music hall, I would say the Living Presence Mercurys come the closest. Of course, I am not up on stage either, I was 12 rows from the pit in the center. The violins always sounded kind of dull and rolled off. They never sounded like they do on record or CD. They always sound overdone on record to my ears, but I don't mind it.
I agree with you on Mercury Living Presence. If you want to hear what really good reissues sound like, check out the Speakers Corner Mercurys. These are absolutely stunning.
I have been leery of speakers corners reissues. I got the Clemencic Conosrt reissue and it is not even close to the Harmonia Mundi original. I never bought another one after that. It is encouraging to hear this as I will try one. Which one do you like the best? How is the Respighi?
I was referring to the Dvorak when I was speaking about the lack of hardness. I am comparing other Classic reissues like the Reiner Sound and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Heifetz. I like the Chesky Reiner Sound a lot better than the Classic. Scheherazade on Chesky is also better to my ears than the Classic. I have the 200 gram of Scheherazade. Maybe the 180 gram is better.

I wrote this thread because I have been quite critical of Classic in the past but this one just sounded better than any of the other 200 gram reissues I have heard.

As far as the older Living Stereo's I have purchased at the Flea Market, Ebay and the like are concerned about 95% of them sit on the shelves because they are not in good condition even though they can look like they have never been played. I have only found a handful good enough to listen to on a regular basis. I have had very bad luck with them. I have had better luck with the Londons. The Mercurys are always shot. I have one that I listen to and it is great, no doubt about it. I also had about fifty that I threw out or sit in the rack, they are just beat.

The Classics, although they sound different, for the most part are not terrible. I do get frustrated when I get records that skip the first time I play them and are noisier than they should be for $34.00. They need to get better at that. I guess the thing that frustrates most of us is that we know they could have been better. The potential is definitely there, we know it, we just cannot figure out why the engineers cannot figure it out. It will probably never happen unfortunately.
I'm going to pull out a few mentioned and have a listen...

to Kennyb...would you compare the Classic's LSC 1934 Reiner to the same's LSC 2374 RCA Bartok--Music for Strings,Percussion and Celesta/ Reiner?

and to all, yes, the London orange labels can be found cheap and sound lovely...yes, the yellow ones are bad

and to Tzh21y, EVERY Speakers Corner I've heard has
been fabulous....wonderful label...

and yes, the Mercury's are great, the originals, that is...their cheap series were pretty bad...you can tell an original if the color front wraps around partly to the back.

and yes, Tzh21y, many many many of those RCA's you mention are just trashed or sound horrible and not always the best buys when buying used...
...you can tell an original if the color front wraps around partly to the back....

Not always so. The Merc's are the most pressing dependent label I know and early tends to be better but is not always. You have to learn to look at stampers if you want to find the best pressings of these. One example is the Birds SR90153. The RFR1 is the later pressing but looks like a nice early issue with it's deep maroon label. It's not. The eary issue is the FR1 and is much better sounding.

An example where the early edition is not prefered is the SR90300 - Prokofiev's PC #3. They sold a bunch of these and there are many stampers out there. The prefered stamper is the RFR8. The other odd thing with this disc is the RFR8 cover is a bit different on the back than other stampers. On the RFR8, there are three small pictures near the bottom of the cover. On other stampers, there are only two pictures. There isn't a color back edition of this either.

A couple of other generalizations on the Merc's. The Columbia record club editions stink. These have CBRFR or CTRFR stampers. The vendor labeled disc also tend to be substandard when compared to the non-vendor label. Just to make things more difficult, some disc's are extremely hard to find in a non-vendor issue.
good to know...thanks..
SBrown, very thorough, I appreciate that. Thanks and I will keep that in mind regarding the Mercurys
I really would like to see someone redo the Mercurys and get the most from them. For the most part, they are truly excellent recordings.
The Speakers Corner Mercurys are among my best sounding classical LPs.
Chashas1 asked about LSC 2374.  I just compared the 180g Classic to the CD layer on the hybrid SACD.  To my ears, the Classic is horrendous.  The CD isn't perfect, but its sins are sins of omission.  The CD should have a fuller sound, and richer colors, but nothing it does is too offensive, and violins are easily recognized as of violins, and cellos as cellos.  The same can't be said of the Classic.  The Classic just doesn't do as convincing of a job giving the impression that a bow is being drawn across strings.  The tone and texture of this just sounds off to me - and at times the sound is just too hard or too shrill.  I think this is where I get tripped up with the Classics.  So while the Classic is better than the CD in some areas, since it can't get the string sound right I am turned off.

It sounds to me like this Classic was cut with a solid state driven cutting head, and that the EQ is off.  I believe the former was confirmed by Classic.  I don't know if they went back and recut these once they brought in a tube cutting head.

This sure is a wonderful performance.  I need to track down an original.
I have not heard that one. I listened to the Dvorak again and it sounds great, not hard sounding to me. Maybe it is the amp I am using. I am currently using a tube amp. Maybe that is impacting the sound. Not sure. Does anyone know when the Dvorak was released by Classic? Is it a more recent or older release?
I will try a speakers corner reissue.
Tzh21y - It's difficult to comment on what impact your tube amp might be having without knowing the rest of your gear. You should add your system.

Having said that, I would look to the cartridge and phono stage before I'd look to the amp. A tube amp would probably be the last thing I'd suspect.

Also, it could be that the problems aren't present on your 200g pressing. My Classic LSC pressings are all 180g, and are supposedly from a different vinyl formulation. I'm sure there are differences.
I looked at what's available from Speakers Corner and selected a few safe choices with comments.

SR 90253 Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor
A lovely disc that I have had a near impossible time getting a clean copy of. Another one those where the early stamper is not the best. In this case it’s the RFR6a that is primo.

SR 90281 Debussy: 3 Nocturnes/ Ravel: Daphnes & Chloe
One of the rarest of all of the Mercury’s with absolutely some of the best string sound captured on record.

SR 90199 Respighi: Ancient Dances and Airs for Lute
Charming music. This was one of the first Merc’s I was exposed to and have liked ever since.

SR 90303 Dvorak: Concerto for Cello & Orchestra in B Minor
My favorite performance comes from the mono period but still a very well regarded disc.

Mercury Living Presence: Russian Recordings
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3; Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.1
Byron Janis: Encore
Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos. 4 & 8
Balalaika Favorites
Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

I like all of these except the Balalaika disc. This set is pricey but finding the originals in good condition will set you far more than this set.

SR90235 Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies 2 & 3/ Enesco: Roumanian Rhapsodies 1 & 2
Another personal favorite.

SR 90347 Schumann & Lalo: Concerto For Cello and Orchestra
Another favorite. Not all that rare but nice.

SR 90153 Respighi: Birds & Brazilian Impressions
Mentioned above – particularly like the Brazilian Impressions.
I will try a couple. I was originally turned off by the Clemencic Consort reissue but it may be an isolated occurance. I also have Supertramp Crime of the Century on Spekers Corners and that one is pretty decent. I like Respighi so I will probably try those for sure.
My system is Merlin Loudspeakers, MC275, Pass Labs Xono and X1.
and Benz Micro Glider. I am looking at the Lyra Delos.
My comments are based on my familiarity with the original issues. I spent many years pursuing these and have most of what I want from the Mercury catalogue. So to the point, I haven’t heard the reissues. But I do know what the recordings are like and think I can make fair recommendations based on that. I am trying to be completely up front. If I think a recording is bad I am completely upfront with that also.

There are many of the discs that have been reissued I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. The original recordings were crap & I don’t understand why anyone would take the time to bring a reissue to market. Case in point is SR90260 Rachmaninoff PC #2.

I have several of the Speakers Corner Decca reissues and these have been very good it that helps.
My favorite Mercury reissues from Speakers Corner are two that Sbrown listed: SR90253 and SR90153. The Rachmaninoff PC 3 is a stunning performance.

Other favorites include the Stravinsky box (the Petruchka is stunning), the Staker box, and SR90246 (Copland Apalachian Spring).
Great system Tzh21y!! I owned the Glider many years ago and presently use the Xono.

The Delos will be HUGE upgrade from the Glider, I think. Among the biggest upgrades I've done is swapping a Clearaudio Sigma for the Glider. I felt this change pushed my system into the high end for the first time. Compared to the Sigma, the Glider was mechanical sounding. Once that mechanical coloration was stripped away, music took a huge leap in realism. The Glider just wasn't at all in the same league in terms of reproducing natural timbre. Instruments sounded much more real with the Sigma.

I later moved to a Lyra Helikon. This was another nice step forward, but not as large as moving from the Glider to the Sigma. I mention the Helikon because the Delos is said to be superior to the Helikon. I think you will be blown away by the Delos. And with the Delos, you will have no problem recognizging what's missing in the Classic reissues.
I understand what you mean about the Glider. I plan to use it as a backup once I get the Lyra
I ordered some of the records listed above. The Respighi, The Debussey and the Copland
I just received the Mercury Living Presence Reissue and I am listening to Respighi The Birds Braziliam Impressions SR90153. Sounds good. A little heavy sounding to me so far
hi Tzh21y...
then something is wrong with your setup, or interaction with room...it's a delightful recording.
I took it to my friends house, there is definitely nothing wrong with his setup and it sounds the same. The last Speakers Corners I purchased sounded the same, heavy. It is a great recording just heavy sounding.
I just put on the other Respighi Ancient Airs, heavy sounding as well. It was also scratched right out of the packing for the first 3 minutes or so. otherwise it is very quiet.