The very best sound: Direct to Disc


Since I got a new cartridge (Clear Audio Virtuoso) i’ve rediscovered the Sheffield and RR Direct Disc albums in my collection.  
Wow! they put everything else to shame.  I picked up about twenty Sheffield D2D’s when Tower Records went out of business for a song (no pun intended.) I’m just now listening to them and find there’s nothing that sonically compares.  They’re just more real sounding than anything else.  Not spectacular but realistic.   
7c67ab18 c2ce 4b45 9523 fc4a71684ce0rvpiano
Mike - both Tidal and Qobuzz have 2L content :-) O Death is a reference for me
I have most (but not all) of the Sheffield D2D albums.  I bought them as they were released, back in the mid 1970s and early 1980s.  A couple that haven't been mentioned here, but are exceptional both musically and in the recording, are Dave Grusin, 'Discovered Again' and the James Newton Howard Quintet which featured David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Jeff Porcaro, and Joe Porcaro.  Those guys were mostly from the group Toto and James Newton Howard went on to be quite the Hollywood musical score master.  Here's an interesting story.  Back in my early days of working in the CE industry (which I worked for 40 years and have now recently retired) I had a nice acquaintance with Andrew Teton, the General Manager & Sales Director for Sheffield Labs.  At CES, back in 1983, he was kind enough to get me the Special CES Preview Edition of the James Newton Howard forthcoming D2D release.  This was produced and engineered by Bill Schnee, who did a marvelous job with it and other D2D recordings.  Andrew gave it to me as a gift.  How kind of him.  To this day it is probably my number one, best SQ album in my collection.  Very, very musical with bass that is as real as it gets and the kick drum will hit your chest with authority.  Its absolutely phenomenal!  The music is progressive jazz/fusion and is very appealing to most anyone. Every time I make a change to my system, even just a new "tweak" item, I use this LP to test out any perceptible change to the SQ.  If you can find a clean copy I highly recommend it.  It's a real "WOW" event for your listening experience and pleasure.
Enjoy the music!
I still have a sealed copy of Dave Grusin Discovered Again.  Also have an unsealed copy I have listened to.  I did sell one of two copies of the original Lincoln Mayorga DtoD with the Scully lathe on the cover for over $300.  I can't understand why anyone would have paid that much for it.  As impressive as it was when it first came out, musically it is pretty stiff and that is understandable given what's involved in making a DtoD. Interestingly, when that first one came out, a good friend of mine invited me over to his house to listen to a new recording.  He cued up a 15 ips tape on his ReVox and hit play.  My jaw hit the floor.  I asked when he recorded that and asked if he could make me a copy.  "I'll do better than that" he said.  "I'll give you the master".  That's when he handed me a copy of the record.  That was in the early 1970's in a college town hungry for audio equipment.  More crappy speakers were sold by means of using that DtoD as a demo source than you can imagine.  All the audio stores had a copy and I swear you could hold them up to the sky and see light coming through the grooves, they were played that frequently.
Dear @rvpiano and friends : I own both versions opf the Sheffield " Discovered again " . The D2D and the one from the recorded tape.

With this LP samples you can be perfectly aware of the high degradation that the recording signal suffers when the information goes/pass through the recording R2R machines.
Differences are not small ones but higher that any one of us could think.

Unfortunatelly for LP manufacturers and musicians the D2D alternative is no more an alternative and as a fact never was. To much stress everywhere with no chance of editing or record a take 2 . Everything in D2D is as in a live evnt: we can change nothing and the errors down there stays there for ever but with out doubt is the best way to make LP shines if the D2D recordings were made by truly good engineers.
As I said before there are many D2D recordings that are bad recordings but not because the " media " but something wrong with the engineering down there during the recording process.

Between other things digital has the advantage that the recording machines does not affects the digital signal because the signal are only 0 and 1 and be readed as 0 and 1. No degradation to the signal.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.

I have several of the Sheffield Labs - love them - Lincoln and Amanda on Hollywood Town with The Rose - love her version of it and did not know she wrote that; a Mozart violin concerto; Dave Grusin mentioned by others; Marni Nixon - she had an incredible voice; Harry James. Also one M&K and a RR and a Crystal Clear with Charlie Byrd. 

One of my all time favorites is a D2D pressed on Umbrella label of Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass. If you can find it, then grab it. Sound is incredible on all 4 sides. My go-to discs to show off my system. Its Big Band music and yes, it sounds like you are in the studio with the band.  It sounded great on my SS system and sounds way better with tubes - fuller, wider soundstage, I can hear all the saxes, trumpets, trombones, bass, guitar, drums... Just WOW.

Also have the 45 RPM versions of The Doors and Miles Davis Prestige box set. If you like those two artists, they are well worth the price. Again, its like you are in the studio. Not as good as D2D, but still very very realistic.