?'s about quality of audiophile recordings

I have a fairly "hi-end" resolving system comprised of Maggie 1.6, McCormack amp, etc., and I often do NOT hear the benefits of Mo-Fi, AcousTech, and such remastered reissued recordings. I am talking both LP and CD. My source components are Jolida Cd player and Well Tempered turntable. Preamps are EAR 834p and a hot rodded passive.

I recently purchased some of these audiophile remasters and compared them to my stock recordings. Call me crazy, but the stock recording sounds better. Typically the audiophile remasters sound thin, recessed, and veiled.

Any thoughts to the why? Have I fallen victim to marketing hype, the always "New and improved"?

Consider this a blessing in disguise for you. However, I beg to differ because unlike you hear an improvement at least in the MoFi remasters.
Many of the MoFi LPs from the first go round that were produced under the supervision of Gary Giorgi have unbelievabley boosted treble and bass. Steely Dan's Aja is a great example; they really sound steely. Almost a fun house mirror effect. The very first batch, mastered by Doug Sax are really great and are head and shoulders above the major label LP releases. Try the Klemmer disc or the Poco, if you can tolerate the music. One problem with most remasters is that they tend to bring forth a lot of the artifacts of sloppy studio processing and early analog tape along with the "enhanced" resolution. Many of these releases are rock and the labels just did not care too much about sound quality. Newly recorded audiophile discs and older direct-to-disc recordings sound much better. Try the Analog Productions blues discs. If you have to have reissues, my favorites are the Steve Hoffman mastered efforts on DCC, LP or CD. All are excellent; the Doors albums are a revelation.
I don't know what to tell you...I did an A/B/C on my old system of the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil"...this was done with a neighbor that I borrowed the original disc (Hot Rocks I think). He is definitely NOT an audiophile and thinks what I have into my system is crazy...he usually uses a 20 y/o Pioneer el cheapo receiver and mismatched speakers. Anyhow...from the original disc to the Best of the Rolling Stones (not sure of the title...but the one that was remastered and all) there was a definite audible difference. Going from the remastered disc to the SACD "Sympathy for the Devil" single (the one with the original version + remixes by other bands) and once again, there was about the same level of improvement.

We went from worst to best, best to worst and it was obvious to both of us. Now I have to admit that this is just one song, but being able to listen to it in 3 different formats (hence the A/B/C instead of just A/B) showed the capabilities of technology as far as I'm concerned.

Will this hold true for all remasters? Well...I would have to say that it would be hard for me to give any semblance of an educated answer on that as I have no experience on them, but perhaps other people here can state their experiences with a specific disc...I wouldn't doubt that there are some that people prefer the original to...this will be an interesting thread if it catches on...good post.

Even with cheap cartridge the differences are not to be neglected. In most cases these recordings do sound superior but in some cases not worth extra investment.
Viridian has this exactly correct, imo. The best of the reissues I've heard have been well recorded and simply miked acoustic LPs: jazz, blues, folk or classical. Many of the rock reissues (from all sources) have been problematical because the poor quality of source material or the boom/sizzle equilization that was applied in the remastering. On the other hand, the work of Hoffman and Gray from AcousTech (e.g., the Fantasy reissue series by Analogue Productions, the Cisco reissues of Doc Watson and Joan Baez) is superb, particularly the 45 rpm series. So is the work of Stan Ricker on the reissues from Pure Audiophile. And the work Willem Makkee is doing on the reissues of the Mercury classical catalog, and Tony Hawkins on the Decca catalog, from Speakers Corner.

Are these reissues better than the originals? Hmmm, I don't know that there is an across the board answer, and for many individual LPs the answer will depend on one's listening priorities. But one answer I AM sure of is that they are readily available, in superbly quiet pressings and, at least with respect ot the ones I've mentioned, are in incredibly excellent sound quality.
I've listened to the Rhino remasters of Elvis Costello and the Rounder remasters of Bruce Cockburn on CD and they blow away the original CD issues. I've not noticed much improvement with Mo-fi CDs, but some of their old LPs are amazing. The Beatles series, for starters, is phenomenal. They still represent the best you can get of the fab four in any format.
They still represent the best you can get of the fab four in any format.

You will not get universal agreement on your statement regarding the superiority of MoFi Beatles LPs.

Red2 with no disrespect you would need to mention specific recordings for your post to hold up.

You could well be comparing older Mofi stuff with newer remasters.

I buy a lot of new remastered material on CD,there are very few cases where they are not better than Mofi stuff.
I have Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' "A Night in Tunisia" as a Mofi and also the same recordings on a 6 CD set from Mosaic: "The complete Blue Note recordings of Art Blakey's 1960 Jazz Messengers". The Mofi is far superior to the Mosaic release. You'd swear it was a different recording, it's so different and better sounding. I highly recommend it.
Specific recordings I have experienced this with are Steely Dan "Aja" (Mo-Fi LP and CD), Creedence Clearwater Revival "Cosmos Factory" (AcousTech LP), Steely Dan "Guacho" (Mo-Fi CD). I tried these first before spending more money, and based on the results thus far, I am thinking about just saving the money.

I can tell you that my stock LP of CCR "Willie and the Poor Boys" smokes the AcousTech LP remaster of CCR "Cosmos Factory". Yes, NOT THE SAME ALBUM, but I would assume that the constructed sound by the remastering process would be similar to the other Fantasy Reissues by AcousTech. I may be all wrong on this. Maybe "Cosmos Factory was a bum recording to begin with? (By the way, AcousTech did a great job on Jimmy D. Lane's lastest album on LP, but this is not a remaster, and instead an original recording.) I intend to buy a used stock copy of "Cosmos Factory" this weekend for $5 in Kansas City to find out if my assumption is true.

The Steely Dan reissues are all thin and bright as another AGon member above pointed out.

My concern about all of this is whether other AGoners are truly finding the extra money spent worth the investment? Or is it hype with an occasional success story?

You go to the used record store or look on EBay etc, and see these Nautilus remasters, Japenese pressings, etc. The question is "Are they worth it?" Sounds like it largely depends on the quality of the original recording and the guy who remastered it and whatever his tastes are in how he thinks it should sound thru his remastering process.

I would like to buy Eva Cassidy "Songbird" on LP, but it has been remastered by the same guy who did the "Cosmos Factory" remaster, and I wasn't thrilled with it. I thought it sounded recessed and veiled.

By the way, the cartidge on the table is a Denon 103R. May not be a Shelter 501, but many say it is a "poor man's Shelter 501", and I will say that of the $500 cartridges I have had from Benz, Clearaudio, and Dynavector, the Denon 103R is the best sounding and half the price. I really do not feel this is a cartridge issue. No matter the cartidge, as long as compared equally on audiophile and non-audiophile cartridges, the change in sound should be evident if the recording is clearly superior.

Thanks for your input and add to the thread if you have further thoughts or see things I have not considered.

One last thought, are Japenese pressings the same original recording but just higher quality pressings than the stock stuff that was sold in the average record store?


Red2 I haven't heard the Mofi version of Gaucho however what I can say is the last set of Steely Dan remasters were an improvement over the previous set(Citizen Box set era-93?).
These were done around '99 and onwards if my memory seves me well...................

The easy way to tell is that the new Dan remasters have extensive sleeve notes by Becker and Fagan.

What one has to realise with the original Mofi remasters is that they are old now and in many cases have been bypassed by newer more up todate remasters.
Which is probably the case with Gaucho.

Of course there will be the odd case where that is not true for various reasons not least of all the odd example of messing about with the mix itself.
I have not bought "audiophile" LPs, but in the case of digital discs, the ones that I have from certain European "audiophile" labels, and costing almost $30, are clearly superior to run-of-the-mill discs.
Majority of reissues by Classic Records, Analog Productions, CISCO, Speakers Corners, etc.. are absolutely better than the originals! There are a few exceptions, but that's exactly what they are: "exceptions"! We should all be glad and thankful these people are taking the risk, the time and money to revive these analog treasures for our listening pleasure. Let's give them our full support instead of whining and nitpicking trivial stuff! BTW, S&P's Songbird reissue is exceptional in everyway! A definite "Must-have"!
Aisip, yes I am a devoted vinyl supporter. I guess I was just expecting more of the remastering process and wanted to know whether others are really happy with the investment they have made in these type of recordings versus just purchasing original recordings in LP format. I support Acoustic Sounds and other labels every chance I get.

Thanks for hearing me out.


Check out Arturo Salvatore's website: www.high-endaudio.com. Go to the Supreme Recordings section. Mr. Salvatore compiled a very comprehensive list of some of the world's finest analog recordings with their detailed description. Most of his Top 25 Finest Records of All Time are surprisingly "reissues"! He also specified a lot of reissues that he thinks did not make the cut. Very interesting reading! I don't know this gentleman and I'm not promoting his website. I just want to do my part to promote analog and hopefully postpone its extinction.