the newer columbia budget vinyl isn't the greatest. like most vinyl..old vs new...original vs re-issue...its all a title by title opinion. on highway 61 revisited, i literally have 9 total copies on lp (all are various cbs releases from the uk(2), japan(2), france(1), germany(1), and the u.s.(2 originals) and a simply vinyl re-issue(1). i have 'one' origial us stereo sealed but i'm not going to open it. the two different japanese mini discs still best the vinyl. the sundazed stuff is good, but as far as dylan its mono, and it sounds good, but the original stereo mix of 61 still rules. the only rule that applies to buying vinyl is you most be insane. anyone looking for a sealed copy of the sopwith camel?
Vertigo, this is a complicated subject and it varies a lot by specific record. The key factor is the mastering and pressing quality of the two records you're comparing.
One certainty in all of this is that you can tell nothing based on the record being sealed. The original releasing company made many many re-pressings of popular records and the quality from pressing to pressing can be all over the map. What matters is the matrix information inscribed in the deadwax of the record, and you can't get to that if the record is sealed. The matrix and other deadwax information will allow a knowledgeable person to tell something about the provenance of that record: who did the mastering, was it from an early stamper, is it a later reissue, etc. Even then, pressings vary by plant doing the pressing and from what stage in the life of a given stamper the particular LP came (was it within the first thousand LPs stamped, or the last five thousand). And for popular music recordings, very usually the earlier the stamper and mastering, the better the sound quality.
Many of the recent reissues have been simply superb and I've found myself preferring many of these more recent reissues to early originals (based on my listening priorities and what is important to me sonically, of course). The reissues will always sound at least *different* from an original. I can tell you that the Sundazed mono reissue of Dylan's "Highway 61" sounds great on my system. It's also virtually noise-free, something that will be hard to find looking for an original.
Sorry to be so general and non-specific, but I don't believe there is any simple general answer to your question. The answer is very much record-by-record specific.
New. They're quiet, they're unplayed.
Thanks Rushton, I may have to buy that Dylan based on your comments.
My opinion - vintage vinyl, I haven't met a remaster that tops the orignal pressing yet...
The Sundazed "Times They Are A'Changin'" (Mono) by Bob Dylan is absolutely stellar. I don't have an original release to compare to it, but it's all I could want. If the original vinyl issue was better, it couldn't have been by much.
Still, I think the case for originals vs. re-issues takes a heavy back seat to the most basic principle: How much care was taken when recording the music? Well recorded music usually comes across well on the re-issues, too.
The second most important re-issue issue, to me, is whether the re-issue was made from analog master tapes, or from digital masters. This one is frustrating because you can't usually find this out, before you buy.
I bet but would not spend the bucks to find out that the expensive 45rpm sets beat the crap out of the originals.
The Fantasy 45 Series
of reissues from Analogue Productions (all 45 rpm) is about as close to hearing the original master tapes as I ever expect to get in my lifetime.
Enjoy it, Albert! I think the "Times They Are A'Changin'" mono reissue from Sundazed is even better. Choose for the music you like. I've enjoyed all of them.
I'm with Pops. Very few, including the 45RPM reissues, are as nice as the originals.
I have about 3 dozen reissues and for the most part it was money I could have spent more wisely.
jazz is even worse
those original blue note deep groove lps are now all the collectors rage going for $300-$500 for mint copies
collectors are taking music lovers out of the equation on rarer jazz lps
the reissues are good but some high end dynamics have been lost on those old mastertapes over all the years
for rock - buy original first edition pressings from the country of orgin (generally U.S. or U.K.)
some Japanese copies are quite good
usually you can go to an artist discussion board website and ask on vinyl details
I agree with Pops completely. Hardly any reissues IME sound as good as the originals. True, the reissues are often quieter and they don't have the mistracking damage that the originals have often suffered. And you can buy them without having to leave the comfort of your home. But if we're talking only about sound quality, a clean original is nearly always better. There is a natural, effortless flow that so many recordings from the 50's and 60's possess, and it doesn't come through to the same degree in a reissue.
I know these are blanket statements but this has been my experience.
I second the notion that the 45s add a whole other element into the equation. All the ones I own are astounding if not always mastered to me liking.
I've had the opposite impression regarding the recent sundazed reissues. My Blond on Blond is absolutely terrible. I dont know if I just got a bad copy or what.
One thing to bear in mind is that "good" and "bad" are not very descriptive. Different people like different things and different systems will show up different things. Not everyone likes "cleaner", or "warmer'" or "brighter" or whatever.
Ive got all the fantasy 45's released to date and many of the originals in excellent condition to compare them with playing back on a high quality system. In almost every case the 45's improve on the originals, more so on riversides and fantasy than say blue note and also with some classic record reissues at 33. even some of the ojc's hold thier own next to many originals. the point is that the really prime titles in mint condition on say bluenote are going to be impossible to find and prohibitively expensive and many of the reissues are as good or better.
Several of us would surely like you to elaborate on the "more so" comparisons if you have the time to do so.
Congratulations on your considerable investment into the
45's working out.
Many of my reissue purchases have never been unsealed due to out of service turntables for a period of years. Now,
just like rare originals, many of them may be too valuable to open and play.
In particular almost all the riverside Wes Montgomerys sound better on the reissue (45) except Bags meets Wes which is a tie between the original and the 45. All the Bill Evans sound much better on the reissue (45) except Cannonball with Bill which is also a draw and in fact I may prefer the 33 reissue overall. The Vince Guaraldi Black Orpheus is a poor recording on both my original and the 45 so theres an example of something that couldnt be improved in mastering. Most of the 45's improve on or equal the originals that I own and then give me an opportunity to have great copys of titles Ill probably never aquire. As far as the fantasy 45's are concerned the down side is the sides are to short for really relaxing listening and they arent neccessarily the titles I would have chosen but I felt that it was a good opportunity to pick up a nice colletion at what I think is a fair price considering what some of the originals would cost if you could find them. Ill be paying it off for a while but Im happy to have them in my collection. I think if your a new collector or someone replacing worn copys in your collection many of the reissues including the classics and ojc can get you close to the originals if not just as good. Of course this is only what my ears hear on my system.
Interesting thread. As audiophiles the sound quality as opposed to performance quality is often a main concern and sometimes our primary concern. As I see it, the reissue market is a very healthy and positive development in that it frees us from the clutches of the mercenary collectors and E-bay pirates who prey on those individuals who beleive that anything new cannot be good and that old and original (and therefore exclusive) is the way to go.
Sometimes these mouldy figs are correct and sometimes they are not. I for one do a little research and try to CHOOSE WISELY.
I really enjoy my repressing of Hendrix Axis Bold as Love (mono) pressed by Classic at RTI. Sounds positevely psychedelic and it cost me 30 bucks. Of couse I could pay 500 or more for a suspect original. The Dylan mono on Sundazed are generally excellent with the possible exception of Blond on Blond which seems to have had some pressing issues (noisy vinyl). Of course we could look around for some early originals ($$$) or mediocre mid eighties flexi discs that sound like bad cassette recordings !!
The OJC jazz re-issues were without a doubt the bargain of the decade but now seem to be disappearing as Concord Music take control of the Fantasy / Riverside catalog.
What does it all mean? Simple. Choose wisely. And if possible try and borrow a friends shiny new re-issue to see if it makes the sonic grade. Oh yeah, one last thing. For those of you hoarding and saving those limited edition re-releases as a possible investment? Sad, very very sad........
*As audiophiles the sound quality as opposed to performance quality is often a main concern and sometimes our primary concern*
I'd rather listen to bob dylan on a transistor radio than britney spears on a good sounding system if it came down to artistry, but if i was listening for tone, timbre and naturalness at that particular moment than it would be britney spears but if it came down to the two artists being heard through the musical system , I'd always choose to listen to bob dylan over britney, one, because of his artistry and two, because of the fidelity. Somedays i couldnt care less if the tone and timbre and all the hifi stuff we look for isnt there, i can enjoy a great artist on any playback system but its fun, enjoyable and interesting to also hear it "in hi fidelity" but if the only way you can enjoy it if its perfect than your going to be frustrated and unhappy often. So, I'm grateful that we have a chance to build systems that can sound good, its a blessing, we would still enjoy bob on transistor radios but we're lucky we have the means and the technology to take it to a kind of higher level.
Nicely said and Thanks.
I agree with Vinylrowe here. It's a really mixed bag. I don't like paying more for a reissue than an original, unless the reissue is outstanding. Some original pressings can be vastly overrated by collectors who insist that only originals will do (perhaps because they have many valuable records). In my collection I have cheap reissues, expensive reissues, standard later era pressings and stuff everyone talks about like mono parlophone beatles and w. 67 blue notes. Evereything sounds different, and often often not "better" just "different". Reissues(which used to be just called "records") are clean and easily available. Lables like fania or strata east are good bets as the proignal pressings were pretty cheaply done anyway. There are some real bargain 8.99 repressings.
Do some listening and I'm sure you'll find your way.
the only time i buy reissues is when the original is impossible to find or insanely expensive. i remember searching for an original mono pressing of Pet Sounds for almost 2 years before i found one. in that time i had purchased a reissue just so i could enjoy the music while on the hunt for the more "collectable" version.
*This thread is not about price but about which, if executed properly, will deliver the best SONIC results.*
Welcome back Verigo. Sure hope you have received an answer to your question. You have quoted my statement regarding sound quality as opposed to performance quality and that sound quality is *sometimes our primary concern*. My comment should not be taken out of context since it may be misconstrued that I am only concerned with sound quality. My comment reflect the general consensus that most of us prefer the best sounding pressing of a particular artists performance and that repressings can if chosen wisely, give us that choice. Of course I would choose to listen to Bob Dylan on a lesser system rather than Britney Spears on a higher end stereo system. In fact if given the choice I would see Bob Dylan live (which I did last week).
My point is that lets compare Bob to Bob. Not Britney to Bob. Or transistor radios to turntables. Music lover first, audiophile equipment hound second.
The quote above is from your original post that started this thread.
my last comment may have been too focused on availability, so let me clarify why i always choose the original pressing.
when a band goes into the studio with a producer and an engineer they all work together to create the final recording that we listen to. they give it a specific sound, a specific mastering, and it's all very intentional. i find a lot of reissues are also re-mastered, and that it takes away from what the artists intended in the first place.
now, there are a few exceptions where the original artist or producer does the re-master and it's just as good or better, but i don't think this applies to most reissues today.
i'd rather listen to the music as it was intended to be heard, rather than a version that might sound clearer, or crisper, but in the end doesn't live up to the artistic vision of the original producer.
just IMHO ..
You simply cannot generalize and say that original pressings sound better than later pressings or vice-versa.
Most collectors weould prefer and original, but sometimes it is a non-issue anyway because the original is too hard too find or the reissue does not exist. "pet sounds" is an interesting one as the recording is pretty bounced into oblivion as it is. Also, that UA console had (i think) 3 and 10K shlef buttons which didn't leave a lot of room for subtle eq. I have many versions of pet sounds, but all the new mono ones are digitally sourced and the stereo ones actually lack a few tracks Wilson did direct to the mono machine during three track mixdown.
Beyond that, record companies had street dates to meet fro popular music. This meant that , for instance, RCA could get a lot of records out quickly, quicker than say, motown, so Motown pressed a lot of records out of house.
In spite of the fine quality of engineers back in the 50's and 60's and the general better understanding of vinyl as "the" medium then, many companies had the policy of boosting 5K for rock and sending it through the fairchild limiter and boosting 10K for classical and jazz and sending it through the fairchild limiter. This fact does not make bad sounding pressings, but it is kind of amusing to think of when many people think of people salving away to get every detail just right. It was a job, records were the medium and, there were lots of them.
Now, it seems like you either get someone really taking their time, or just someone trying to get out a vinyl version at as little cost and trouble as possible to fill a market need. not much in between.
You make a very good point. The remastering of an original masterpiece can often lead to creative interpretation regarding the mastering and can change the "sonic character" of a great performance. I don't want to open up another can of worms but George Martin's remastering of the new Beatles album "Love" is an example of creative interpration taken to the limit. I am not talking about the overdubbing and fade ins and outs but the actual mastering of the actual songs which sound different from the originals (which of couse he mastered in the first place.)
This is a risk that must be weighed when making a purchasing decision. I try to stick with known commodities such as Steve Hoffman who has been responsible for a large number of recent (great) repressings or solid labels such as Pure Pleasure and Speakers Corner. Some folks may argue that any deviation from the original is blasphemy. I can't argue against that logic. I am however, grateful to at least have the choice between purchasing a repressing or waiting for a pristine original to come my way.
1. There was a thread on this question last December called 'Re-issue vinyl vs. the original pressings' which is well worth checking. My comment on that thread was
I fully agree with the consensus that most original vinyl pressings are better than the reissues and also that there are some exceptions. I have had not had a chance to check myself, but I did hear recently from a source who should know that the Classic reissues from the Everest catalog are as good as or better than the originals.
2. I would add that the above applies as a general rule only to originals pressed in the country where the recording was made and before about 1970 in the US and about 1973 in the UK and Europe. Otherwise, I think you have to compare originals and reissues on an individual basis, although some generalizations also can be made about specific labels, both original and reissue.