David Ayers

Classic Blue Notes on SHM-CD

1,276 posts in this topic

Monk... You can check out the mastering of Somethin' Else on CD Japan, if you are interested. The mastering from 2014 is coming back into print in September. I expect some of the current Universal CD reissues will draw from the same mastering pool as the 2014s being released; meaning some will be RVG and others from the JOCJ8xxx. I brought 2 CD last year and both belonged to the latter releases, but I believe some the current titles were RVGs only in Japan. Whilst, others I believe have not been RVGed: e.g.Byrd in Flight. I may be wrong.

Edited by RPF1990

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Monk... You can check out the mastering of Somethin' Else on CD Japan, if you are interested. The mastering from 2014 is coming back into print in September. I expect some of the current Universal CD reissues will draw from the same mastering pool as the 2014s being released; meaning some will be RVG and others from the JOCJ8xxx. I brought 2 CD last year and both belonged to the latter releases, but I believe some the current titles were RVGs only in Japan. Whilst, others I believe have not been RVGed: e.g.Byrd in Flight. I may be wrong.

But what about the audio quality? Do you hear a difference between those that were RVG's and those not?

What is your opinion of them?

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Hi. Yes I could hear a difference between the RVGs and non-RVGs. I would not say one mastering was better than the other, but there was a difference. One of the Japan CDs sounded quieter than the RVG. With both of these the instrument seperation was more pronounced. Whilst, this seperation may have been highlighted due to less (heavy) bass being present. However, I would not say that there was a lack of bass, just that the notes seemed to be presented with more clarity. The presentation ment that I saw the music in a new light. A brought the Sidewinder and Moanin' as they are titles I know very well and was interested to hear what I thought (wrongly) was probably the new SHM remasterings, but sold at a budget price. In regards to the former, the clarity of the bass, really drew my attention to the fact that I was listening to a dance record (not just concidering the title track). Whist with Moanin': Blues March's drums really did remind me of hearing a real marching band, plus I notices piano that had not aroused my interest before. In a way, you could say that the presentstion of the non RVG was less modern rock. Although, I do like the RVG cohesive 'band' sound, also. Sometimes this works well, to my ear.

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Concerning the current BN budget re-issues; I received Duke Pearson's Wahoo! today. In regards to what mastering was issued, it was the non-RVG TOCJ-8582. The issue number is recorded next the CD's centre spindle. I have only listened to a CD burn so far, however, as I'm not too discerning in regards to sound quality - I'm not really the best person to comment. However, if anyone wants to 'try before they buy' the sound samples of the TOCJ-8582 release can be heard on CD Japan still, if a search is undertaken when checking the incl. Out of Print box. I do hear the odd bit of tape damage when listening, I believe, which the sound samples are not likely to highlight, but this does not bother me. This is only slight. I am really enjoying the music. I should have Jack McDuff's Moon Rappin' in a day or two and will notify of which mastering this is, if the information is available, for those this may be of interest to.

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Concerning the current BN budget re-issues; I received Duke Pearson's Wahoo! today. In regards to what mastering was issued, it was the non-RVG TOCJ-8582. The issue number is recorded next the CD's centre spindle. I have only listened to a CD burn so far, however, as I'm not too discerning in regards to sound quality - I'm not really the best person to comment. However, if anyone wants to 'try before they buy' the sound samples of the TOCJ-8582 release can be heard on CD Japan still, if a search is undertaken when checking the incl. Out of Print box. I do hear the odd bit of tape damage when listening, I believe, which the sound samples are not likely to highlight, but this does not bother me. This is only slight. I am really enjoying the music. I should have Jack McDuff's Moon Rappin' in a day or two and will notify of which mastering this is, if the information is available, for those this may be of interest to.

Thanks. I have the earlier CD of Wahoo with the same catalog number and that version was published in Japan in 2009. So is it reasonable to conclude new non-SHM CDs are all non-RVG remastering published in 2009. If so, when where these transfers made and what source material was used? Did they use Japanese analog copies of the masters? Do any of these come from the 1990s Japanese TOCJs (pre-RVG)?

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The following info may be of help (originally posted by a deanswift58 on an old Hoffman thread I once found):

For all Blue Note HQCDs, including TOCJ-8503 "Sonny Clark/Cool Struttin'", we are using old remastering from 2001, and the mastering engineer ids Yoshio Okazaki (EMI Japan engineer).

EMI Music Japan Inc.

Customer Support Center

The Whahoo CD is manufactured by the HQCD producers I believe. The full release ref being TOCJ-8582 MT 861. I have read that MT are the manufacturers of said variety of CD.

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Thanks. I have the earlier CD of Wahoo with the same catalog number and that version was published in Japan in 2009. So is it reasonable to conclude new non-SHM CDs are all non-RVG remastering published in 2009. If so, when where these transfers made and what source material was used? Did they use Japanese analog copies of the masters? Do any of these come from the 1990s Japanese TOCJs (pre-RVG)?

I don't think that's reasonable to conclude as many in this series were not released in 2009.

Your other questions. . . I don't think anyone here can answer these. These are questions for Blue Note Japan. . .you may not even be able to get an answer to these from Don Was!

Edited by jazzbo

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By the way, I picked the Three Sounds' "Out of This World" on vinyl (the new BN 75th vinyl reissue). I think it is sourced from the Grundman transfers. Observations: a very poor, sloppy pressing plant was used. This is a very noisy pressing - pops, ticks that a record cleaning machine couldn't remove. Total garbage. Another observation, the left and right channel are panned closer together, almost like an RVG CD. It's like they are taking a different approach with LPs in this series and narrowing the stereo image for the LP whereas they are not for the SHM-CDs.

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Two different legs of the same body, not necessarily in sync, not coordinating their efforts very well together.

There is a lot of discussion of the LPs on the Hoffman board. Not all are "created equally". . . some pressings are very good, others not at all. Seems European pressings are good if I recall correctly. Details are there to be sifted through.

Edited by jazzbo

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The first one I bought, Larry Young's "Unity," was pressed off-center. That soured me on the series, and I didn't buy any after that.

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lets try again - hopefully I can remember how I worded this (was deleted with the upgrade attempt)

been listening to "Sweet Honey Bee" It sounds soooo good! - much improved on the US RVG

I've been replacing my pre RVG BN CD's (or ones I didn't already have) with their SHM equivalents but generally holding onto my US RVG's (though have got the SHM Monks, Jackson, Davis, Brown, Johnson & releases that contain extra unreleased material)

Any advice or consensus on what SHM's sound significantly better than their RVG (US) counterparts - have gone through the last 39 frames & have some ideas

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I haven't heard it yet, but I imagine Art Blakey's Mosaic must be among those. On the RVG Wayne Shorter sounds like he is playing through a piece of crêpe paper on the title track (compared to the 1989 McMaster). Free For All I have heard, and it is a definite improvement over the pumped up RVG.

It's shit like that that I hate about the RVGs, but most people choose to be deaf to it and get all righteous when Van Gelder's 24bit remastering work is criticized. 

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In relation to romualdo's post; has anyone compared the RVG (which I like) to the SHM-CD: Tina Brooks - True Blue. I don't usually upgrade, but may do at some point, for this one.  [Even for those that hate RVGs, your comments will be welcomed by me, I am just interested in the differences that may be heard.]  As an aside, I received a copy of Moon Rappin' by Jack McDuff, released as part of the low budged re-issue program. The copy now available is the non-RVG TOCJ-6755 mastering, if this info is of use to anyone.

Edited by RPF1990
Dodgy Internet connection

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Can you make a list of , say, your top 5 sonic marvels among these BN SHM-CDs? In your opinion, which ones are the most palpable improvements over the RVGs?

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They sort of have a signature sound, like the Audio Wave XRCDs have theirs, so any of them might do to give you an idea if you wish to purchase more. I think they have a very seductive, addictive sound.

One of the most seductive is Grant Green's Matador, never released as a RVG, of course, but much better then the early nineties McMaster.

My advise would be to get a few of your favourite titles on SHM and either proceed further from there or don't.

(An album like Horace Silver's Song For My Father would not be a good candidate as the source material is compromised, though the SHM is an improvement.)

Edited by erwbol

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Definitely grab "Out To Lunch" and "Empyrean Isles" if those are still around, they may be OOP.

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Definitely grab "Out To Lunch" and "Empyrean Isles" if those are still around, they may be OOP.

 

I don't have Empyrean Isles but Out To Lunch is definitely worth investing in. 

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The thing that really makes the SHM of "Empyrean Isles" the best CD version I've heard is Tony Williams really pops now.  I didn't think the RVG was bad necessarily but there was so much mid range, it had that odd AM radio effect a lot of people talk about.

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Anyone who loves Andrew Hill's Point of Departure: the "Finest 1100" reissue is the 2008 24 bit mastering and it sounds great. The RVG of this title is a mess: super bright and shallow. Richard Davis is barely there, while Tony Williams' cymbals have a very unnatural sheen, as does the piano. This Japanese mastering is just full and natural sounding, with plenty of detail through my Stax headphones. Probably bettered by the 24/192 download (too bad no one felt it was worth putting that transfer out as an SHM-CD) or the Music Matters LPs (though I have an original Blue Notes pressing, and this CD is better). Not far off the SHM Out to Lunch.

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Is the Music Matters 33rpm "point of departure" significantly better sounding then the original?  I have a NM stereo "ear" pressing that sounds  fantastic so I've not bought the MM version yet.  

And speaking of which..I have the SHM CD of "unity" which sounds fantastic so I'm not sure if I'm going to bother buying the MM 33rpm issue.  Plus I have a nice sounding "ear" stereo original LP too...

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What I've heard of these Japanese EMI noughties 24bit remasters there was too much compression applied.

Edited by erwbol

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Mine has the "Van Gelder" stamp but no ear - so not a first pressing then. (Do ear pressings sound better?) Anyway, it's not bad sounding, but a bit dull and lacking presence, detail and space around things. I don't know if some compression was used on the Japanese CD, but it sounds lively and detailed, the timbres are good, hiss sounds right. Too much compression also affects timbres, you know. (And, conversely, if instruments don't sound right, no amount of dynamics is going to compensate.) As for the MM LP, Rob Hutton told me it's far better than the original RVG (not sure if he was referring to the 33 rpm version, but on his blog he writes that the ones they've redone in 33 improve on the 45s).

Edited by tonereef
confused reply!

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"Mine has the "Van Gelder" stamp but no ear - maybe not a first pressing then, but it's stereo. Is your Ear pressing stereo or mono? I have Smokestack in both - the mono has the ear, the stereo doesn't. Anyway, it's not bad sounding, but a bit dull and lacking presence, detail and space around things. I don't know if some compression was used on the Japanese CD but it sounds lively and detailed, the timbres are good, hiss sounds right. Too much compression also affects timbres, you know. (And, conversely, if instruments don't sound right, no amount of dynamics is going to compensate.) As for the MM LP, Rob Hutton told me it's far better than the original RVG (not sure if he was referring to the 33 rpm version, but on his blog he writes that the ones they've redone in 33 improve on the 45s).

I recall there was an odyssey on how the original master tapes considered lost were located for the MM 45s of Lunch. At the other forum.

 

edit: irrelevant to the Hill matters discussed... My bad...

Edited by RiRiIII

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Listened to the Andrew!!! and Compulsion SHM CDs and compared them with the US CD reissues. Of the two sessions Andrew!!! is the easier listen. It's a good recording, and the 2005 McMaster Connoisseur sounds good. The SHM ups the ante in terms of smoothness, refinement and subtle detail. It's also mastered at a higher level but doesn't sound less dynamic. Compulsion is way more avant-garde and thick (2 bass, 2 percussion). The piano sounds very distant relative to the horns, drums and percussion, and Hill plays a lot of clangy, dissonant chords. Van Gelder was of course not known for flattering or even pleasant piano sound. Modern recordings (using stereo micing) sound way better. The SHM is an improvement over the 2007 RVG in ways similar to Andrew!!!, and makes for a more enjoyable listen. These (flat?) 24/192 remasters must be reducing the noise floor to allow more detail and overtones through, and they are noticeably cleaner (lower distortion) as well (at least partly the result I would guess of better a/d and sample-rate converters), but I think you'd need to have an audiophile system to really appreciate the difference, unlike with PoD, where it's like night and day. It must be said though that the Japanese 24 bit remaster of PoD does not have the same palpable clarity and presence as these SHMs, and the higher hiss level is likely the result of the Japanese master being a generation or two away from the US master. So it's really too bad that Hill's masterpiece wasn't given the 24/192 SHM treatment.

Edited by tonereef

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Anyone who loves Andrew Hill's Point of Departure: the "Finest 1100" reissue is the 2008 24 bit mastering and it sounds great. The RVG of this title is a mess: super bright and shallow. Richard Davis is barely there, while Tony Williams' cymbals have a very unnatural sheen, as does the piano. This Japanese mastering is just full and natural sounding, with plenty of detail through my Stax headphones. Probably bettered by the 24/192 download (too bad no one felt it was worth putting that transfer out as an SHM-CD) or the Music Matters LPs (though I have an original Blue Notes pressing, and this CD is better). Not far off the SHM Out to Lunch.

Thanks. Which remaster from the ones included in the following Discogs link, may be the 2008 24 bit included in the Finest 1100 reissue of Point of Departure? I have the 2003 japanese 24 bit RVG (papersleeve;  but it may be the same as the 1999 USA/EU RVG one).

http://www.discogs.com/Andrew-Hill-Point-Of-Departure/master/140559

Thanks

Alex

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