Is my CSNY De Ja Vu a bad pressing, or lost cause?


I hadn't listened to this in a while.  Such great music, but my LP sounds like a diffuse, muffled mess.  I'm usually able to listen through poor recordings to enjoy great music, but it was tough in this case.  The CSN debut (couch) LP was never good, but not this bad. I wish these could sound as good as David Crosby's solo, If I can only remember my name. That LP sounds great. 

fjn04
Deja Vu is not a lost cause in my opinion. Two pressings worth seeking out are the R/R mastered by George Piros (fairly common) and the T/T mastered by Sam Feldman (tough to find). Both of these versions are later issues pressed at Specialty and sound excellent.
I think that I went through a dozen US pressings of this one and had the same reaction that you have. I finally settled on the MoFi. Many of their reissues are of variable quality, but this one is stupendous. Worth seeking out.
is there any decent CD version?
I have the Atlantic gold CD. Easy to find on Amazon or eBay.
Thanks guys-I have this one also. Will have to give it a spin. It's the 2nd one listed on discos, for US pressings. I believe SD-7100 cat #
1970/ US Press/ Tex gatefold/ Club edition. 

Matrix / Runout ((Runout Side One (Etched)): ST-A-701829 D
Matrix / Runout (Runout Side Two (Etched)): ST-S-701830-D
Check that cat #, it's actually SD-7200.  I appreciate the comments. Will keep an eye out for the GP or the harder to find Feldman.  The MFSL's  seem to go for for more than I want to spend.  But who know's, let's see what I have with this other one. FWIW the one I played the other night was a later press, SD 19118: 

ST-A-701829-L
ST-A-701830-Li

You might find this thread enlightening:

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/csny-deja-vu-sound-quality.243020/
  For that album you need to see 1841 Broadway New York NY printed on the very bottom of the label in a circle for the original pressings.I have several pressing of Deja vu.That is the first pressing which sounds the best from the originals.I always buy them if I see one in excellent condition at yard sales.
Thanks- The earlier SD-7200 does indeed sound better. Less muffled and congested.  Better than I expected, after what I heard from the first one.  And this was after listening to Love over Gold, and Paul Simon s/t.  Both standard pressings, and very good recordings.  My memory tells me this De Ja Vu is sonically on par from what I hear from the CSN debut album. Not a great recording, but certainly  good enough to enjoy the music.  I'm gonna break CSN out to confirm those thoughts.  I believe my standard pressing is an early one, and I also have the Classic records. playpen- Indeed this better De Ja Vu does have 1841 Broadway, while my inferior copy did not.  johnnyb53- I had seen that but thanks for the heads up.  Very good source for things like this. Cheers -Don
What stampers did your early copy use?
smctique1- My first post on 3/13 @12:16 P.  Sorry was going to copy @ paste but my edit button disappeared. It'd the SD 7200 w/ those matrix #'s. My inferior sounding copy is the later, SD 19118. 
The classic records version is pretty good.
I never play my Classic "Deja vu" for it is a muffled mess in my system.
I have a regular pressing of the "couch" lp that blows away the Classic.
I have heard that.  It seems as though that record is a very vta sensitive lp.  The Crosby stills and Nash is similar.  A little bass heavy.
I just listened to the original press SD 7200.  The classic is better than SD 7200.  Not sure what version you have.
The CD is not bad
1970/ US Press/ Tex gatefold/ Club edition.

SD7200 (second on Discogs list, US pressings, codes below)

Matrix / Runout ((Runout Side One (Etched)): ST-A-701829 D
Matrix / Runout (Runout Side Two (Etched)): ST-S-701830-D
tzh21y, I admit I haven't listened to Deja Vu in a while and not since I've upgraded my TT and other goodies. I just put on the Classic at the normal VTA setting I've found that works best. It sounded somewhat closed in/muffled, the soundstage dramatically lowered from what I normally hear, as if there was a weight on top. I took your advice and raised the VTA. It did improve all of the above. It is very listenable/enjotable now. I still would not say it is a great pressing, especially compared to Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", but there aren't many lps that sound that good as fjn04 stated above.

I'll relisten to my "couch" lps. Thanks!
Oops..I may have either sold my Classic "couch" or misplaced it. My regular pressing sounds very good, with a wide stage, good separation a more open sound in some respects compared to the aforementioned Deja Vu.
SD 8229
Side one...ST.A.691575-C
Side two...ST.A.691575 or 6 -C   the 5 looks like it was made into a six
The Classic Deja vu sounds excellent to me. Better in all respects than my original Atlantic which was probably not in the first few pressings.
fjn04, I just found an extra R/R. If you are interested in hearing it, let me know.

smctigue1- Thanks, shot you a PM on that. I'd like to see if I can improve on the SD-7200 club edition I have.  I just did a little inventory on Crosby: If Only I could remember my name. I have a PR (Presswell), and the 2010 Rhino remaster. I tend to play the original, but honestly I need to do a formal A/B. Coincidentally on my CSN (debut) Couch LP, my early pressing is PR also. I have the Classic as well, and again, need to do a formal A/B. I tend to prefer early pressings over later Re-presses. I have to listen again, and make sure this is the case here though.

I have 2 originals, I just purchased an original on Friday,  excessive groove wear on right channel of grooves.  It is so difficult to find an original in good condition,  listening to 2 originals and the classic, I can hear why people would like the original, However, I still grab for the classic most of time.  

My favorite "couch" is the Monarch F/F. It's seems to be pretty tough to find. The Classic is very nice as well and probably easier to find. The Rhino has no top end. My favorite IOICRMN is the first press Monarch. I'll send you a single sided F (side 1)"couch" as well.

This thread piqued my curiosity.   I have a Deja Vu copy that my wife owned prior to our marriage. 30+ years ago.  Atlantic SD 7200, The label is stamped at the bottom, "Mfg by Atlantic Recording Corp , 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y.  Etched & on the label; ST.A-701829-CC   MO" on side 1, same except for 701830 on side 2.  It sounds really good to me. 
I have to ask, what is the "couch" version? 
-John

jsd52756- I'm just getting my feet wet with all this stuff, but I believe MO stands for Monarch. I have always read positive things about the MO's in general. It was enough just to have time to listen, so normally I would try and listen to MORE music. Now I'm starting to focus on comparing different pressings of the same LP. It only makes sense. (-:  smctigue1- thanks again. I am very curious to hear these. In the mean time, I will try and do my Classic "Couch" versus my Presswell.

John- just read your comment again. Sorry, the "Couch" album is a different LP altogether. It's the Crosby, Stills, Nash debut LP. I call it the COUCH LP cause they are sitting on a couch on the cover. This of course, not to be confused with CSN, which is the 2nd CSN (w/o Young) LP. 
Thanks fjn for the responses.  I really enjoy reading about some of this stuff.  The Couch name makes sense.  Like Peter Gabirle's Scratch album and others.  I remember us teenagers looking all over the Zep 4 album to try an find a name.  Now I'm going to go put on that Deja Vu album and think of simpler times and great harmonies.
-John
I did a shootout of the De Ja Vu that smctigue1 kindly sent, and my earlier 4 digit catalog # . So SD-7200 versus SD-19118. The latter was the same cat. # that had lost in my prior shootout, but of course they have different matrix #'s.  I started with SD-19118- it was quite enjoyable, but was definitely on the laid back side. Sort of a sink in to the chair, and let your imagination hop on the time machine. Surfaces were quiet, nice detail,  but still on the cloudy/thick side, like I had remembered my SD19118. Memory was that this one was a tad less thick and cloudy. Kind of like the difference between having your lava lamp on, or just going to sleep. I stuck with Side 1 only, as smctigue1  had mentioned this side as having the "R" designation. Plus, I admit sometimes I just want to listen to music. Anyway, on went my preferred (at this point) copy. I'm going to use a tube analogy, because it was like somewhere in the chain a mullard was replaced with a Telefunken.
It snapped backed in to focus, considerably more open as well. It also sounded as if my TT speed jumped from 32.3 to 33.3. No Time Machine necessary, you had been transported. Prat was much better, so turn that lava light back on and raise the dimmer. With all this, it did not become thin, whitish or anything like.... So not to be confused in case someone finds Telefunken tubes to be that way.  Very cool indeed. Thanks again to smctigue1. Next up,  the Couch album.