Ok, I should have posted this on the "music" thread but some records are so important for us to reveal the full potential of our analog gear that we can call them "reference records" for testing a new cartridge or phonopreamp.
The music section of HiFi + gives a rating for sonics and this is how I discovered Pure Pleasure records a few years back, I listened to Stevie Ray Vaughan "Couldnt Stand The Weather" and was totaly blown away. My whole audiophile journey started there...
Five out of the 6 new LP's I have purchased were warped. Seems high to me.
Mudcrutch sounds excellent.
Here are a few good-excellent sounding purchases of new music over the past year:
Shins "Wincing The Night Away"
Mudcrutch (Tom Petty with his original band) "Eponymous"
White Stripes "Icky Thump"
Raconteurs "Consolers of the Lonely"
Elvis Costello "Momufoko" (?sp?)
Shelby Lynne "Just A Little Lovin"
New music with less than stellar sonics:
Gutter Twins "Saturnalia"
Menomena "Friend of Foe"
The National "Boxer" (fabulous album)
A sampling of new old stock recordings of merit:
Grace Jones "Slave To The Rythym"
Robert Palmer "Clues"
The Bangles "Everything"
Phil Woods "More Live"
A/C D/C "Back in Black"
Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life" (Speakers Corner Reissue)
Flip Phillips "A Real Swinger"
Duke Ellington w/Ray Brown "This One's For Blanton"
I happened to buy SRV Texas Flood on Pure Pleasure just a couple of months ago.
While the LP doesn't have any major anomalies, or defects, and of course doesn't possess grounds for return, or stating it is bad, I did seem to notice a couple of cuts on the LP, one being "Mary had a little Lamb", that seemed to not similarly match other cuts on the LP, and sounded to me like something wrong was done with re-matering, volume levels, etc. Like I was playing an entirely different LP.
Sadly, it seems, one can pick apart so many of these modern re-issues, and it also seems that for every re-issue there is, it never fails that somebody will note that an original of one flavor, or another always surpasses it.
I know re-issue Vinyl is a godsend for many, but I admit, my purchase of new vinyl has curtailed over recent years, and prefer to hunt down clean originals in almost every case. With that being said though, I may be blind to know that there are probably some very good new vinyl to be had. Unfortunately, my pockets haven't been deep enough lately to take the chance. Mark
Just few from the past couple of months...
The Music Matters and Analogue Production 45 rpm Blue Note Jazz reissues (any of them: Horace Parlon, Kenny Drew, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Tina Brooks, Art Blakey, John Coltrane)
James Taylor, Sweet Baby James (Warner Brothers BS 2561, Rhino reissue)
James Taylor, Mud Slide Slim (Warner Brothers 274300, Rhino reissue)
Blues Jam at Chess, Blue Horizon 7-66227, Pure Pleasure reissue
Beethoven, Symphony No 7, Kajski/PolishChmPO, Tacet L 149
Rossini, 6 Sonate a Quartro, Philips 4769648, limited edition reissue
Stravinsky Ballets box set, Dorati, Speakers Corner Mercury reissues
I'm recently back into vinyl and have had mixed results with new vinyl from a quality standpoint(i.e. minimal snap, crackle or pops). By far the best of the handful of new vinyl I have purchased so far is Miles Davis' "Relaxin" on the Analogue Productions label. It's quiet as a CD and sounds fantastic. I have read that Analogue Productions issues are generally good, so I have ordered a few more from that label for comparison. As an FYI, my copy of Shelby Lynne's Just a Little Lovin that some mentioned earlier sounds good, but has a bit of surface noise.
Here are two that you should avoid on vinyl:
both domestic pressings, both horrible with noise and defects (took one back because it skipped). Also, both domestic...hmmm.
I firmly believe some pressings are better than others. I bought the "Once" soundtrack LP and it is full of surface noise. In contrast my new Miles Davis Kind of Blue is excellent. I have a number of Ryan Adams LPs which are good but not as great as they could be. That said I'd love to hear some other people's reviews of other good new recordings.
This is the way it was in vinyl's heyday, prior to CD. More LPs sucked than sounded great. That's why CDs were so successful, despite their glare and other shortcomings, they were better. I love good LPs, but this behaviour will probably lead to a second failure of LP format. If you have to pay $50 to be assured a good pressing and master, most people will not support the format.
This is the way it was in vinyl's heyday, prior to CD. More LPs sucked than sounded great.
I didn't buy too many LPs in the '80s, but these days, I've bought *lots* of used LPs from the '80s, and I find the opposite to be true. Whether I buy LPs of blues, classic rock, new wave, country, or especially jazz from the '80s, they sound superb nearly without exception. This includes everything from The Police, The Cars, Huey Lewis and the News, Men at Work, Dwight Yoakam, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, the Eurhythmics, Stevie Winwood, or Steely Dan's one '80s album, Gaucho. Only the Stray Cats strike me as hashy and compressed with a fast bass rolloff.
The jazz pressed in the '80s is astounding, but then, I gravitate to Pablo, Concord Jazz, ECM, and Geffen. Concord Jazz from the '70s and '80s is unbelievably good.
As for good latter-day pressings, I love the 150g red vinyl pressing of Diana Krall's Christmas album, I've been happy with the $10 Original Jazz Classics reissues, my 200g Classic Records reissue of Kind of Blue is actually crackle-free, the 180g Speakers Corner reissue of Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 couldn't be better. The pinnacle of my collection is the 45 rpm 2x180g EP issue of Ry Cooder & VM Bhatt's "A Meeting By the River" recorded in analog with a Blumlein mic array by Water Lily Music.
Let's try to share some stellar experiences with music. I'd like to discover more titles with you in a positive way. Every title I post here is listened just before to be sure I am not biased. So it will take time, little by little, but everytime I listen to those vinyls I am transported...to heaven !
1/ Janos Starker/ J.S. Bach : Suites for unaccompanied cello/ Speaker's Corner
The most relaxing after a hard day work. Very revealing lower midrange of your system. Emotionaly beautiful.
2/ Janis Ian: Breaking silence / Analogue Productions ( A.P.)
Female voice so well recorded, a must.
3/ Archie Shepp & Horace Parlan : Trouble in mind / SteepleChase Audiophile
This is one of my favourite jazz recordings.
4/ Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt : A Meeting by the river / 45 RPM A.P.
A pure analog recording vacuum tube Tim de Paravicini of EAR, Kevin Gray
This one is a gem, So well recorded, fells like you are with the musicians...
5/ Johnny Griffin : The Kerry Dancers / 45 RPM A.P.
If you like sax try this one, he was a genious. Gorgeous recording.
6/ Studio One Classics: the original / Soul jazz Records
If you like reggae, ragga,ska and jamaican souds of the 60's,70's,
Soul Jazz is a UK company that reissues the best with damn' good sound.
That's all for today. I will give more inputs as time allows...
Happy listening !
"Stravinsky Ballets box set, Dorati, Speakers Corner Mercury reissues", as Rushton mentioned. Its a good thing Speakers Corner picked up the licenses for these. Petrouchka and the Rite of Spring are sonically very good, and Firebird is one of those 'pinnacle of the vinyl medium' offerings. SC has done a wonderful job with the slipcase, booklet, and covers.
Its taken me a while to realize what everyone else probably knows: Stravinsky was a genius - a rhythmic devil who stretched and broke the bounds of his musical context in fantastical ways. Pricey, yes, but you may not want to let these lapse.
7/ -Bill Evans : Waltz for Debby / AP - Top live recording in the club
8/ -LA 4 : Just Friends / 45 RPM Groove Note
9/ -Jacyntha : Here's to Ben / 45 RPM Groove note- sensual voice- sax
10/-Serge Gaingbourg: Melody Nelson / Philips a masterpiece concept album
11/-Jazz @ the Pawnshop / Prophone Sweden- a classic live jazz sound A+
>>This is the way it was in vinyl's heyday, prior to CD. More LPs sucked than sounded great.<<
In vinyl's "heyday" there were far more great recordings than poor recordings.
My extensive 50 year+ collection is proof positive.
You are obviously speaking from limited experience.
Bill, you're so full of crap that I can smell you from here.
Through the 1970s DG, RCA and, to a lesser extent, Columbia, all issued mostly poor pressings from compressed masters. Some labels, like Lyrita, HM, Mercury and Nonesuch bucked the trend, but at much lower volumes.
I'll bet that Mr. Feil, like the rest of us 50+ audiophiles, hand picked his LPs back in the day. My old LP mostly sound great today, but I wasn't buying the average records of the day. Pop and rock was really horrible, in general.
Good newer ones I have personal experience with:
Classic Records:CSN(1st), Norah Jones:Come Away With Me, David Crosby:If Only I Could Remember My Name, Led Zeppelin:1 and 4, Miles Davis:Kind of Blue
Speakers Corner:Supertramp:Crime of the Century, Miles Davis:Round About Midnight, Bob Marley:Natty Dread, Joe Cocker:A Little Help From My Friends
Simply Vinyl:Roxy Music:Avalon, Eagles:Hell Freezes Over
Sundazed:Bob Dylan monos:Freewheelin Bob Dylan, Times They Are A Changin
MoFi:Not many but I like the Alison Krauss LPs:Others diagree
Eric Clapton Unplugged:German Import
Can't remember labels of these but:Beck:Sea Change(noisy but with great sonics), Son Volt:Straightaways, Paul McCartney:Unplugged, Green Day:American Idiot, Nirvana:Nevermind Import with Biem on label
There are many more that I've heard are good but don't have personal experience with. Hopefully this will help some of you find enjoyable pressings of some great music without wasting money on bad ones.
You seem to have both olfactory and auditory deficiencies.
Work on both of those ok?
My post is correct as written.
the universal japan releases are uniformly excellent. quiet as they come. very pricey, but if you find some of your favorites in this line, its worth it. the steely dan- aja is as close to the original abc as they come.
Strange how everyone's list (except Jazdoc's) spans the dawn of recorded sound until, oh, around 1987. Recommendations thin out in a hurry thereafter...hey, isn't that around the time digital became the ascendant recording AND playback medium??
Funny how that works...
I'll make a modern-era recommendation: M. Ward - his Merge Records releases have been exemplary (sonically and (for me) musically), with special merit to "Transistor Radio". "Post War", and the recent rereleases of "Duet for Guitars #2" and "Transfiguration of Vincent" are also excellent. Although not easy to peg, I like to classify his music as 'contemporary old-timey' - lots of processed guitar sounds, harmonica, theremin, crickets... Clear as a mudpuddle, right?? Good listening,
For good vinyl recommendations, don't forget the long lived thread begun by Slipknot1:Whats on your turntable tonight?
I'm regularly finding excellent recommendations being posted there.
Some recent vinyl that hits high by any measure is:
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky
Ray Davies: Workingman's Cafe
Elvis Costello: Momofuku
Gutter Twins: Saturnalia
Stephen Malkmus: Real Emotional Trash
Alejandro Escovedo: Real Animal
Zooey Deschanel/M. Ward: She & Him
Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer
Plant & Kraus: Raising Sand
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Mathew Sweet: Sunshine Lies
John Haitt: Same Old Man
You are right, that was a great thread, hope this one will be as long...
Some more recent great sounding releases to please Palasr:
12/ -Eleanor Mc Evoy : Out There / diverse Records- HiFi + favourite, sound++
13/ -Robert Wyatt : Comicopera / Domino - Hypnotising voice celestial arrangements. The 4th side has a poem engraved in the vinyl. Amazing!
14/ -Bob Dylan : Modern Times / Columbia : proof that they can make a good sounding records when they want to. Nice job Bob !
15/ -Michael Cashmore : the Snow Abides / Southern Records - Immaculate white album transcends lyrical new poets of England. Beautiful.
16 / -Donald Fagen : Morph the Cat / Reprise Records - Perpetuates his tradition of great sounding albums, this one is more cerebral...
17 / -Jill Scott : Who Is Jill Scott ? / Hidden Beach Records.- Intelligent, Groovin' we LOVE this great american singer here in Europe ! Sounding +++
That's all for today, great session , good night !
I have the Alejandro Escovedo album as well. The music is great, but I did not include it on my list because the pressing is iffy. Could you let me know if you found a good pressing? If so I will definitely look for another copy.
I was lucky enough to catch him live last month...not to be missed! It's also worth finding the Youtube video of him and Springsteen dueting on "Always a Friend".
The Escovedo Blue Note pressing is flat and quiet. This album is well-produced by Tony Visconti. Fairly good sense of sonic realism and excellent separation of instruments within a dense rock mix, probably from a digital source.
IMO the sleeper is Malkmus on Matador. This is by far his best & most mature solo album(also supassing Pavement.) Well-crafted tight angular arrangements surrounded by swirling, psychedelic guitar suites evocative of Doors. Sounds like an analog source.
I just wanted to thank everyone for contributing to this thread. As someone who got into vinyl fairly recently and discovered there's a lot of hit and miss, it's been very helpful to read this... albeit rather expensive since I just ordered a bunch of these.... :-)
I am interested to hear if anyone likes the soon to be available Famous Blue Raincoat on Cisco 45 RPM vinyl. This is a great recording but the Cisco would have to be something special compared to my Cypress pressings to justify the $80 price. Apparently the 45 RPM of Classic's If Only I Could Remember My Name is amazing if you can find it(out of print) but I've heard it already sells on EBAY for hundreds.
>I am interested to hear if anyone likes the soon to be available Famous Blue Raincoat on Cisco 45 RPM vinyl.<
How could anybody like something that's "soon to be available"?
>How could anybody like something that's "soon to be available"?
Send me a copy and charge it to your card.
I just made your money disappear.
That's real magic.
Making money disappear isn't magic. The @ssholes in Washington and NY are doing that at an alarming rate, and I would call it criminal, not magic.
But anyway, there are some test pressing of the new 45rpm FBR out in circulation, so it is possible that someone has heard it already.
I know someone that actually has a copy.
My copy has been shipped (and I didn't preorder it) so I imagine many must have theirs already.
Like I said, I'm interested to hear if this release cuts the mustard(audiofeil, you can quote that too if you want). I knew it would be out soon and was interested to see what the early buzz on it is.
famousblueraincoat / Jennifer Warnes Cisco 3 x 45 RPM arrived . I can tell you that this is a great sounding album, no surface noise, very well mastered absolutely no defect on any of the 3 LP's. Awesome packaging. Price justified.
Another one: John Heard & Co / The Jazz Composer's Songbook / Classic records
Thanks for the info. Do you have any other pressings to compare it with?
Dear Sonofjim, the Cypress and Classic pressings beeing out of print, they are not "new vinyl" releases anymore and price is out of reach now.
Thanks for inspiring me starting this thread, but I am quite surprised that so few of our vinylphiles friends here want to share their musical treasures...
The recently released Pretenders "Break up the Concrete" is among the year's best rock albums(two 10" 33RPM LPs with CD.) Wide ranging original material feels at turns like Dylan's Highway 61, Lucinda, Janis, Grateful Dead, and british blues like some of Clapton's better material. Some songs are multitracked; others have a great live-in-the-studio sound. Chrissie Hynde has grown considerably as a song writer but her voice is untouched by time. Sonically excellent, though one side had excessive surface noise.
The included CD allows close comparison of RBCD to vinyl. With good front ends, it's remarkable how close the two mediums sound-- with the edge going to the vinyl, of course.
It's easy for people to become jaded toward new vinyl issues after being bitten a few times. It doesn't help that magazine reviewers gush about almost everything they hear. That's why I would steer you toward the Better Records site for recs on new vinyl. The "Hot Stampers" are high priced and probably overhyped but Tom is not afraid to stand up and call a spade a spade. If it doesn't sound good, he'll trash it. Conversely, if he recommends it, you can bet there's something behind it. I buy most of my new releases from him just because I appreciate his honesty.
Also meant to say that, although the Classic is getting out of reach for FBR, keep your eyes open for the Cypress. My last two NM copies were $11 and $6, both quite good.
Here's some great new and available vinyl that I've been listening to over the past two weeks:
"Percussion Direct" from Groove Note (AGRN 1041) is very good.
"Little Johnny C" - Johnny Coles - Music Matters Blue Note reissue
The ongoing Beethoven symphony cycle by Kajski and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Ordestra on the Tacet label continues to be very good. They now have out symphonies 1 & 2, 7, and 5.
The new ZZ Top reissue of "Tres Hombres" from Rhino via the mastering team of Hoffman and Gray.
Have you heard any of Vanska's Beethoven? These are not available on Vinyl, but the SACD's are very good...and the performances are even better. ..just my thoughts
No, I haven't heard the Vanska recordings. I'll have to see if someone in our local audio group has any of them. Thanks for the recommendation. I don't think the Rajski performances replace any of my long time favorites, but they are refreshing, clean performances in good sound (and on vinyl!).
Where on Better Records' site do you find new vinyl? It seems Tom poo poos every new release and only promotes the old stuff.
Click on the first section, "All Vinyl". Scroll down and you'll find links to Recommended classical, rock, pop, and blues on heavy vinyl and even Audiophile recordings of special merit. You're right, he tends to hate most new vinyl but I find when he has anything at all good to say about a new release it proves to be one that's worth the trouble.
I purchased two new Blue Note LPs last week (the cheap $10, not the 45 RPM heavy vinyl) and had to return both. One (Hank Mobley Roll Call) was so warp I didn't even try and play it (I think the shrink was way too tight...as it is on all domestic pressings). The other (Cliff Jordan Cliff Craft) had two visible/audible scratches (brand new!!!) and so much surface noise that it was a distraction. Conversely I bought two 180 gram LPs, Mingus Pithecantropus and Willie Nelson's Reggae album, both of which sounded fine. Moral of the story, I will probably only buy new vinyl that is an audiophile pressing or from Sub Pop.
One record I did pick up an LP recently called Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens. It is an amazing pressing of an already amazing unique album (blows my CD copy away sonically). I highly recommend this LP. I wish all new non-audiophile pressings sounded this good.
any one try better records hot stampers?
The new Music Matters and Analog Productions 45 Blue Notes sound great.
The new 200 gram Japanese imports also sound very good.
Originals may or may not sound best but paying $200.00 plus for hot pressings especially for used records that are in an abundant is nuts in my opinion. Most systems sound different from one another. One system could have great midrange and treble but no bass. One could have great bass and midrange but bad treble. Buying an item because someone said they are hot stampers on their system is asking for trouble.
I have the most fun going into record store and purchasing used records between $1.00 & $8.00. Then finding my own hot stampers. It may take me weeks to play what I purchase but for the same $200.00 I can have 50 albums instead of one.
sounds like you have the right plan hot stampers sound like just a nother way to say a good recording