"Thriller": A great demo disc!


I know I'm behind on this one. It's just for this reason that I make this post. I purchased a well played copy of "Thriller" over ten years ago. I've cleaned it and until today, played it maybe 3 times. So, what changed?...

My system. I have thousands of $ in vibration control, thousands of $ in equipment... and one meager little Acutex 420 STR that I've just remounted after having Axel re-tip it over one year ago.

This lp sounds absolutely fantastic! Maybe the best sound I've heard through my system ever... yes, ever!

What I find fascinating is just that.... on a good system, a low cost cartridge that gels in one's system, can be magic!
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128slaw
Thriller is one of the best sounding pop genre recordings of all time.  It should sound really good!
Chicago 16 and toto 4 are really good sounding too. George Benson give the night. All good sounding records from that era.
Quincy Jones is an awesome producer.
Quincy jones the dude is a good one too.
The Acutex 420 STR in the right headshell and tonearm is simply a 'killer' cartridge.
Enjoy....

halcro, since I had it re-tipped with a shibata diamond, it is so much more quiet than when original and seems to extract more info. Nice, very nice!
+1 on Toto 4
Going to pull out my copy of Toto IV after decades, to listen. Thanks.
While I find Toto to be an excellent recording, in my system, I hear these differences: FWIW:

Toto: somewhat warmer overall presentation, doesn't have the "enveloping soundstage of "Thriller", therefore, lacks the expressiveness that captures and holds my attention by comparison.

10cc "Deceptive Bends": Has all of the warmth and adds the enveloping soundstage, but lacks the overall magic of "Thriller".

XTC "Wasp Star... Apple, Venus Vol II": Other than the somewhat muddy bass, this lp is VERY expressive, has a good amount of warmth. Soundstage to die for. Just slightly "in your face".

Just comparing these 4, I'd rank them in this order:

Thriller
XTC
10cc

Toto

While I intended this post to be more about the virtues of the Acutex cartridge, I'm happy to give some impressions on these lps.

Cheers!

Slaw...sounds like you're having a good time there! ;^)

Good to hear your suspension/support updates are having the desired effect!

Agreed, the MJ albums are sublimely produced. Great sound balance, pulsating bass rhythms, with very sharp and precise HF effects.

Whenever I want to give the system a good workout I'll grab one of these : "Dangerous...Thriller....Bad...etc...I'm not fussy  :)  :)

I was lucky enough to recently find a sealed, CBS Master Sound Japanese pressing of Toto IV.  This LP is by far the very best sounding record I now have.  Sound quality is off the charts.
Hmm, I've never heard of a CBS Master Sound Japanese lp pressing? I have several CBS Master Sound pressings and several Japanese pressings. Doesn't mean they don't exist, just never seen one. Happy listening!
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It sure does exist. Here you go. And I found it sealed for $30 at a record show.

http://www.popsike.com/TOTO-IV-JAPAN-CBS-MASTER-SOUND-DELUXE-EDITION-LPOBI/250651525125.html

Thanks for the info, can you tell what year it was released?
I'd be interested in reading a comparison from you relating to any of the other lps I mentioned? Cheers!

The record label says 1982 slaw.  Everything else inside is in Japanese except for liner notes, and I can't read it.

Regarding your list, I only have Thriller and it is a pristine copy of a first pressing.  There is no comparison. Again, I have about 20 Japanese pressings and another 30 or so MoFi/Nautilus/CBS 1/2 Speeds of titles that I really like, and this Toto record is by far the best sounding LP I now own.   

It is my new reference copy to demo my system to someone who wants to hear vinyl. Providing the like Roseanna or Africa.

Another thought... All of my lp pressings on CBS Master Sound are from decades ago. Could it be that this (trademarked name) has been sold and now used to market (later Japanese lp pressings)?

FYI: Of the ones I own, from the original sourced CBS Master Sound series, the only one I find enjoyable is Billy Joel "The Stranger".
Another thought... All of my lp pressings on CBS Master Sound are from decades ago. Could it be that this (trademarked name) has been sold and now used to market (later Japanese lp pressings)?

I have no idea and I guess I really haven't thought about it that deeply.  Besides, where would one go for current Japanese pressings?  I am not aware of any being sold anywhere.  I am sure that I just got lucky and got an original unopened copy.

FYI: Of the ones I own, from the original sourced CBS Master Sound series, the only one I find enjoyable is Billy Joel "The Stranger".

Funny, but I prefer CBS 1/2 speed masters over most MoFi and Nautilus audiophile records that I come across.  Have a good one man!



What I've found through the years of system enhancement and how at one moment, a record can sound great... then after a while, the same system upgraded, the same record isn't quite as enjoyable...
I read a while back, MF's lp journey. He stated how at one time he thought the Japanese lp's were the bomb. He then sold all of his original pressings. Later, when he realized, otherwise, he then had to re-buy all of his original pressings that he sold because of his earlier mistake.
We all hear things differently and are in various phases of out audio journey. I can only comment of where I'm at now.
After I posted the Billy Joel lp, I was re-listening and find it to be not as enjoyable as I once remembered.
IMO, early MOFI's are mostly great. Current ones are hit & miss. I have a Nautilus pressing of Van Morrison's "Moondance" that is my favorite of VM.
My current thinking is Japanese pressings aren't the one's we should be looking for, for optimum sound quality, IMO.
Thanks for your info and good luck in all things audio.
Sorry, I mis-spoke...The Van Morrison lp I like is on the Direct Disk Labs audiophile label.
Another enthusiastic thumbs up for Toto IV!  That album is so dynamic!
Hi Slaw, can you tell me what version/pressing do you have?

Thanks, Tom
This is funny, I've been saying thriller and Michael Jackson's greatest hits volume 1 is excellent recording's for high end audio for years here on audiogon! 
Thriller on SACD is a killer as well.
ninetynine: Epic QE 38112. Here are the matrix #s,
side one: PAL 38112-2D
side two: PAL 38112-2AA
slaw, you have the first pressing from the US. Other Thrillers may not be as good.
"After I posted the Billy Joel lp, I was re-listening and find it to be not as enjoyable as I once remembered....."
Isn't it funny how often that happens with something we haven't heard for a while? I think my tastes change, and may change back.
I would have never thought that about this record. Thanks for the post.
Two questions: first, what is the best sounding vinyl version of Thriller ever released, and second, what is the best sounding vinyl of Thriller that is currently available new?

Audiolabyrinth :

"This is funny, I’ve been saying thriller and Michael Jackson’s greatest hits volume 1 is excellent recording’s for high end audio for years here on audiogon!"


Don’t see how a compilation album could get a recommendation for SQ since these are comprised of secondary masters i.e. a copy of a copy.

Yes, compilations can sound good but the originals are even better ;^)