I received the vinyl version yesterday as a gift. I don't have the same complaints as you but feel it is congested on several cuts. EC isn't my favorite solo artist although I respect his early, drug induced work as a contributing band member. It's not a stellar example of the best an engineer can do. Agree, save your money.
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Did you try a VTA adjustment for the 200 gram vinyl? I have a Gyro to, but I can't adjust VTA because of the stock Rega RB300, but I HAVE noticed that all of the heavier vinyl (read: thicker) does seem to be a little muddied in the upper registers, which suggests that the rear of the arm could be raised a notch or two.
BUT, having said all of that, another member of this forum has pointed out that there is an indication of the use of a lot of digital editing on this album, so the music on this album, ironically, seems to be highly processed. I have to think that EC himself had a lot to do with this; he's a notorious perfectionist in the studio. It's a little unfortunate because I believe that EC is more than capable of top-notch improvization. He should just let 'er rip!
Go to the AMG listing for Robert Johnson & Me and go down to the credits. It lists 2 or 3 digital engineers. Also if you look at the resumes of the engineers they have extensive credits in modern pop styles (N'Sync, Christiana Aguilera etc.) They're very impressive credits, but it's not clear they their talents are well suited for acoustic blues.
Crazyforblues4- Haven't adjusted it. I had a dealer install the cartridge and have never adjusted anything. What's upsetting is that this received a fabulous review online somewhere so I was expecting a sonic treat. His DVD Unplugged is one of my favorites. I think he is touring so maybe I can see and hear him in person.
Also just spent a small fortune on brand new DCC CD Queen's Day at the Races. Totally unlistenable. Going to send it back. I then put on For Duke on my turntable for some good music!
BTW, Tower Records is having a good sale on 300 CD. Millenium Collection. $7.99 and there are many good ones. I bought five today.
Aloha from Hawaii. For those of you interested in the album but who don't want to drop $30 or so, there is a 140 gram version pressed by Classic Records as well. Found it in my local shop for $18.00. Nice and flatpressing. The music is pretty good too.
Norah Jones 120/140 gram LP on BLue Note by comparison is poorer. The pressing isnt that flat and the glue has come undone on both top and bottom of the record jacket.
Haven't listened enough to the EC to comment on the highs, but for sure there was digital work done on this. Enjoy the music first though!
I wonder if the album jacket's glue isn't more suseptible to the Hawaiian humidity?
BTW, I just ordered a stack of 140 grams from Mosaic's website (actually it's Trueblue.com, which is linked to Mosaic, which is itself linked to the Blue Note site). ANYWAY, these pressings are usually $10.95, which I think is a heckuva deal for some brand-new vinyl. We'll see how it goes.
I like my acoustic blues on the raw side and although I respect ECs ability, guitar more than vocal, he has a tendency to be smooooth. This tendency has the effect, at least for me, of homogenizing what should be a gritty experience. The devils music, down at the crossroads, meets champagne bubbly music out dere in Nort Dakota! I agree with Tomryan above, Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos. It's been a search since then.