Getting hooked on 12" 45 rpm reissues

For a long time I was ambivalent about whether the 45 rpm audiophile pressings, particularly the ones from Analogue Productions, were worth the extra money and time spent flipping sides.

A couple nights ago I put on the Analogue Productions 2x45 rpm pressing of the Leibowitz/Royal Philharmonic 1962 RCA Living Stereo album called "The Power of the Orchestra," which features Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and "Night on Bare Mountain."

Three days later I'm still basking in the warmth of that experience as though I'd just heard a live 100-piece orchestra play the performance of a lifetime. It's not that the record played on my limited rig sounded just like being in the 3rd row of a concert hall, but it was the closest I've heard in my house, and the additional resolution in clarity, musicality, and dynamics afforded by the 45 rpm mastering easily pushed the playback into the realm of readily suspended disbelief.

I also have a couple of 45 rpm classical pressings done by EMI/Angel in the late '70s--the first half of Holst's "The Planets" and Pepe Romero playing Rodrigo's guitar concerto. I trotted out the Rodrigo and also played a 45 rpm side of Cooder/Bhatt's "A Meeting By the River."

In short, I can still listen to and enjoy 33-1/3 RPM, but the 45s are in another category altogether. I think the reason the difference is so much more noticeable than before is because I upgraded my electronics and cabling considerably since the last time I'd played a 45.

I have a tweaked/modded Technics SL1210 M5G, Audio Technical AT150MLX cart, Jolida phono stage and line stage, and an up-to-spec 1981 Heathkit SS AA-1600 driving a pair of Mirage OMD-15s through Zu cabling. My rig is probably in the bottom 20% of what's represented by A-goners, but the resolution is plenty good to show up the differences between 33-1/3 and 45 rpm. When I was using an Onkyo A-9555 integrated prior to the Jolida->Heathkit chain, the differences weren't so noticeable.

So anyway, if you estimate that your rig is at least as resolving as mine (which shouldn't be much of a challenge), you can probably count on enjoying the sonic differences of AP's 45 rpm pressings. Yeah, they're expensive and you have to flip sides about every 12 minutes, but at least for that special recording, perhaps delivered on your birthday, Christmas, or Father's/Mother's day, it's easily worth it.
I totally agree. What took you so long :)
I have had the same experience and obviously recording dependant
I love 45 LP but I find them very inconvenient to use.
I also find 12" 45RPM LPs to be quite wonderful.
I agree totaly with you. I listen mainly to rock and have found 45 Lp's sound much better. Especially the Led Zep & the Jethro Tull releases, I would not want to buy them at todays prices though. A lot of the jazz & blues 45 releases sound very good also. You also may want to try the Beach Boys Good Vibrations from Smile release it is a 78 but sound very good.
A 45 RPM Record is what this hobby is all about.
That "Power of The Orchestra" will pin your ears back for you, it's a wowser! I play the 45's when I'm really in the mood for some good vinyl listening (in other words, when I'm not too lazy!)They really are special, though, no doubt about it.

I just got the Quality Recording pressing at 45RPM of Muddy Waters Folk Singer. There is the tape his from the old analog master, but it is better than my 33 1/3 MoFi release. The sonics are really outstanding.

I do bring out the 45's on special occasions. They do sound better, but the reissues are expensive with short sides. My 45's are of jazz as I don't mind listening to a couple of complete songs and then switching sides, but I think the format is more problematic for the longer movements of classical music.
I didn't notice the difference between audiphile 45s over audiophile 33-1/3's so much until I got my turntable properly platformed (on a 35-lb. butcher block) and upgraded my Cambridge 640p-into-integrated amp signal chain to my current Jolida/Heathkit all-separates rig.

I always yearned for a great LP-based "Night on Bare Mountain" and a better "Pix @ an Exhibition." This Leibowitz/Royal Phil rendition delivers the goods.

Here's something to ponder: Can you imagine how much fun high end LP playback could have been if the standard (or high standard) had become 45 rpm cut to 14" or 16" discs? The inner diameter would have been so large that inner groove distortion would be a non-issue and the 12" tonearm would have reduced angle tracking error as well. And of course the larger platter would have provided at least 20 mins. per side.
14" perhaps, but 16"? Imagine the size of the platters and resulting turntables. They would be even heavier and larger than todays large turntables. I agree, such a standard would have resulted in better sonics, but the cost and size sure would be inconvenient making the switch to CD in the early 90's even more swift. Look at what happened to the laser disk for video.

Format dominance is an interesting subject.
11-02-11: Peterayer
14" perhaps, but 16"? Imagine the size of the platters and resulting turntables. They would be even heavier and larger than todays large turntables.
The thing is, they *did* exist, and they were 16" in diameter. They were known as transcription discs and were widely used in the broadcast industry from about 1930 to 1960. Today's 12" tonearms are a leftover from the 16" transcription era. They were used in the broadcast industry because it was cheaper and faster to stamp 100+ 16" transcription discs than to duplicate the same number of tapes to send out to radio stations. Combine a 16" disc with 45rpm and you should have state-of-the-art sound in a format that would easily hold 20 minutes per side, maybe more.

It's also why the Garrard 301 and 401 turntables were so overbuilt--they had the big high-torque motors and long tonearms to handle transcription discs.

The technology has been around for over 50 years. The tough thing today would probably be to find 16" stampers.
One the negative side, the 16" dia will wear out those $$$ cartridges much faster. Remember it's 45rpm, and the grooves will be 16% longer the 14".