Blue Note Sound Quality

107 posts in this topic

Posted

I own most of Blue Note titles on cds, Mosaic included, and I own some late seventie's european Lp pressings.

I would like to collect some of them on vinyl, but where to start?

Original deep grooves or first pressing are usually too expensive for my pocket.

I noted japan pressings are cheaper, or Conn's, or Direct Metal Mastering, or some BN regular reissues, but american or european pressing, are they so differents? I followed also the Classic reissues forum.

There is some BN's lucky owner, or expert, that can give me some good and moderatly cheap suggestions?

I will appreciate.

porcy62

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Posted

Well you usually don't have to pay the big bucks to get the sonic experience a 1st pressing deep groove ear rvg 47w.. address and all, to experience the bn sound, I find 2nd pressing, which usually run way less then originals, to give me the same sound representation an original does. Anyway the easiest to find and worth while are the japanese reissues, if you can get your hands on the KING issue, which were done in the 70's then you got yourself a treat, don't hang around ePay they go pretty expensive. Go directlly to the source, Japan many websites sell them for 1500Yen to 3000Yen which is from 12-27 dollars, but expect shipping to be in the 10-18 dollars :( to me well worth it they have a prefix of GXF i belive?!?! Have to pull one out to find out. Now on the 70's reissue, solid blue label, people tend to reccomend them, I find them a hit and miss, some sound marvelous, and some just plain bad. Dolphy's solid blue label sounds extremelly well, but 1500 series rechannel for stereo is just plain bad!!! STAY AWAY from DMM France Issues, BAD!!! That is all I need to say, lastly Classic issues I find them to be extrelly well done or just average, grab the 1500 series from Classic, which 1st pressing and repressing go for an arm and a leg; 4000,4100,4200 series you can usually find 1st or 2nd pressing for not toooo bad price, keep your eyes open deals are all out there!

Ciao

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Posted

If you can get some of the King issues from Japan, these are the ones to get.

From the various versions of the BN sound I have heard, those King vinyls are the next best thing!

Most Kings have a GFX, GXK or K18P (and probably other) numbers depending on when they were released. The later BN Japanese LP reissues from Toshiba are also excellent.

Mind you I have not tried the Classics releases which I understand are pretty good too...

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Posted

French DMM pressings are poop. Utter crap. Avoid at all costs. You are better off searching for Liberty pressings or 70's blue and black label pressings.

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Posted

Moderately cheap? In dollars, please. I do not like the DMM EU pressings.

Since you are in Italy, try Vivante.com for the reissues.

Blue label pressings are ok and fairly common.

New reissues:

Classic's are good.

Rhino/Scorpio has a series out, 20-30 titles at $10US each. (never tried)

Do not know if Vivante carries these.

There is a Japanese BN series that just came out, containing these titles: $40US

TOJJ-6501

Somethin' Else

Cannonball Adderley

81595

TOJJ-6502

Cool Struttin'

Sonny Clark

81588

TOJJ-6503

Moanin' Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

84003

TOJJ-6504

The Scene Changes - The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol.5

Bud Powell

84009

TOJJ-6505

Blue Train

John Coltrane

81577

TOJJ-6506

A Night At The Village Vanguard

Sonny Rollins

1581

TOJJ-6507

Candy

Lee Morgan

1590

TOJJ-6508

Clifford Brown Memorial Album

Clifford Brown

1526

TOJJ-6509

Maiden Voyage

Herbie Hancock

84195

TOJJ-6510

Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia

Kenny Dorham

1524

TOJJ-6511

Jutta Hip With Zoot Sims

Jutta Hip

1530

TOJJ-6512

Swing Swang Swingin'

Jackie McLean

84024

TOJJ-6513

Workout

Hank Mobley

84080

TOJJ-6514

Fuego

Donald Byrd

84026

TOJJ-6515

Flight To Jordan

Duke Jordan

84046

TOJJ-6516

True Blue

Tina Brooks

84041

TOJJ-6517

Undercurrent

Kenny Drew

84059

TOJJ-6517

True Blue

Tina Brooks

84041

TOJJ-6518

Midnight Blue

Kenny Burrell

84123

TOJJ-6519

The Congregation

Johnny Griffin

1580

TOJJ-6520

A Night In Tunisia

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

84049

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Posted (edited)

Thinking about your situation some more, I would go for Japanese pressings first. They are a quality product. Many can be found new from HERE. They sound good and vinyl is quiet.

Then I'd get a Classic or two to see how I like them. Cheaper than the Japanese pressings and the quality is quite good , also.

Edited by wolff

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Posted

buy anything with RVg in the dead wax. then you know you are getting a real blue note. Way better off with a liberty pressing than a Japanese one.

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Posted

buy anything with RVg in the dead wax. then you know you are getting a real blue note. Way better off with a liberty pressing than a Japanese one.

I think I would probably agree with that - although the 'King' GFX pressings are usually very good, often superb, and are well worth seeking out.

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Posted

French DMM pressings are poop. Utter crap. Avoid at all costs. You are better off searching for Liberty pressings or 70's blue and black label pressings.

I bought loads of these during the 1980s and they provided an excellent introduction to Blue Note. Over more recent years though I've attempted to replace with original or first-reissue vinyl and the difference is striking. The Japanese King and Toshiba pressings are also way superior to these DMMs, which have a very thin sound, too much top end and poor soundstage. As an introduction to this fantastic catalogue however, they did their stuff ! B)

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Posted

buy anything with RVg in the dead wax. then you know you are getting a real blue note.  Way better off with a liberty pressing than a Japanese one.

I think I would probably agree with that - although the 'King' GFX pressings are usually very good, often superb, and are well worth seeking out.

I would choose the Japanese pressings for availability of titles and condition. It's not that easy to get many titles in nice condition of 35 year old Liberty's. Also, many of the older titles, re-issued by Liberty are rechannelled stereo, something you want to avoid if you are into sound quality.

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Posted (edited)

That is true - the level of surface noise on the Kings especially is very low. They are a real pleasure to listen to. Also agree that those 'rechannelled stereo' LPs are to be avoided in the Liberty imprint. The two Monk 'Genius' albums and the Bud Powells come to mind.

Edited by sidewinder

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Posted (edited)

Another way to do it would be to figure out what title you want first and from there search out what's available and at what price,condition and sound quality.

For example, what are the current choices for Brooks: True Blue or Griffin: The Congregation on vinyl.

Edited by wolff

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to all!!

What I got from your replies is very useful.

From my point of view the Classic and Japan reissues are easier (new and used), because I have to buy them on internet, e-shop or ebay, in Italy BN Lp disappear from used record store ten years ago and never reappear!!

As someone as pointed out a 35 years old Liberty is hard to find in good condition, (and you find them on Ebay and it will be costly anyway, because of shipping, between 10 and 15 dollars for a single Lp), I bought on Ebay several Lps, mostly classic rock, and "near mint" has a very broad meaning!! There is no point buying a Liberty on Ebay for $ 20 risking $ 30 for shipping it back!

From this point of view a $ 300 deep groove first pressing etc... would make more sense.

On the other hand e-shops usually graded their Lps correctly and you can spare shipping cost buying more Lps but they have mostly so called "audiophile" Lp.

In my experience used audiophile Lps are in better condition.

What I will probably do after the summer holydays is trying to change my Mosaic cd sets with the same Lp set.

porcy62

Edited by porcy62

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Posted

buy anything with RVg in the dead wax. then you know you are getting a real blue note.  Way better off with a liberty pressing than a Japanese one.

I think I would probably agree with that - although the 'King' GFX pressings are usually very good, often superb, and are well worth seeking out.

I would choose the Japanese pressings for availability of titles and condition. It's not that easy to get many titles in nice condition of 35 year old Liberty's. Also, many of the older titles, re-issued by Liberty are rechannelled stereo, something you want to avoid if you are into sound quality.

Many Liberty pressings were labeled rechannel for stereo but were real stereo, aside from the 1500 series stuff.

King pressings are good, but they do not give you the Blue Note sound in its totality.

I hope to get around to listing some Blue Notes for sale here and you can be assured my near mint is near mint.

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Posted

I hope to get around to listing some Blue Notes for sale here and you can be assured my near mint is near mint.

I hope you will do it after the summer holydays, because I will out for a while.

BTW what I looking for are titles of 60's of Andrew Hill, Ornette, McLean, Rivers, Taylor, etc, that kind of stuff , anyway I will appreciate any BN Lp

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Posted

howzabout the 2LP re-releases of way back when. I hear they are supposed to be quite okay. Any comments?

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Posted

howzabout the 2LP re-releases of way back when. I hear they are supposed to be quite okay. Any comments?

The BN double LP's have good to just ok sound, but not the 'classic' BN sound by any stretch. They can be found cheap and in great shape and the vinyl was pretty good.

I do not buy them anymore. For whatever reason, I much prefer, to have and to listen to, the Prestige/Riverside/etc. twofers by Fantasy. Some really good mastering engineers did a lot of these--RVG and David Turner for example.

YMMV

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Posted

howzabout the 2LP re-releases of way back when. I hear they are supposed to be quite okay. Any comments?

Good to OK sound, as Wolff noted BUT I remember buying the Herbie Nichols twofer because when this came out it included material that had been unavailable for a long time. The sound on that twofer was bad.

I had to wait for the Mosaic Herbie Nichols LP box to get a real listen to those tracks!

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Posted

I was listening to the Rollins BN two fer and I thought it was pretty good. No fake stereo on the early cuts.

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Posted (edited)

Have been giving a listen to the 47 W 63rd deep groove of 'Byrd In Flight' over the past few days and I'm stunned at the big sound and presence. Probably the finest sounding BN original that I have heard. Lex Humphries' drum sound is just spectacular on 'Ghana'.

Edited by sidewinder

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Posted (edited)

No need to create a new thread for this. As mentioned a few weeks ago I have just bought myself a Rega P3 and I am discovering the world of vinyl. I am intending to buy all types of reissues and compare them. I have just bought the following ones on ebay. What should I expect from these?

Lou Donaldson Toshiba EMI BN 010 mono(Blue Note 5021)

Lou Donaldson Toshiba EMI BN 011 mono (Blue Note 5055)

Horace Silver Blowin' the blues away King GXK 8036

Art Blakey at Birdland... vol.1 Toshiba EMI GSD-67 (Blue Note 1521)

I have spent less than $20 per LP as I wasn't quite sure of the quality of this stuff. Anything I should have avoided at all cost? :mellow: Thanks

Edited by ASNL77

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, but I haven't any experience with these particular reissues.

Edited by porcy62

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Posted

what are the best/worst sounding ORIGINAL blue note lps?

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Posted (edited)

what are the best/worst sounding ORIGINAL blue note lps?

In my opinion, the late 50's - early 60's titles have the best sound. For instance, titles such as Cool Struttin' (1579), Blues Walk (LD - 1593), Soul Stirrin' (Bennie Green - 1599) and Moanin' (Blakey - 4003).

Less sounding titles are Bone en Bari by Curtis Fuller (1572) and Here Comes Louis Smith (1584). I think the Louis Smith titles were originally recorded for Transition (not by RVG).

Edited by Peter A

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Posted

Some superb sounding BN vinyl originals (I prefer the mono ones)!

- Cannonball Adderley 'Somethin' Else'

- Sonny Rollins 'A Night at the Village Vanguard'

- Lee Morgan 'Candy'

- Dexter Gordon 'Go' and 'Swingin' Affair'

- Eric Dolphy 'Out to Lunch' (stereo of that one is excellent too)

and another vote for Bennie Green's 'Soul Stirrin'' :tup

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