erwbol

Impulse Coltrane on SHM-CD (Universal Japan)

119 posts in this topic

With the recent rise in interest in Japanese SHM releases from the Blue Note catalogue by Universal Japan, I've returned to an earlier idea to start a thread dedicated to Japanese John Coltrane Impulse SHMs. When I posted earlier about these discs I never got the impression that anyone else here had added but one of these to their collection.

As far as I'm aware there have been three waves of Coltrane Impulse SHMs. The second is redundant for people in the US & EU, while the third is of most interest. (In 2013 there was also a Coltrane release on Platinum SHM-CD which I will keep out of consideration in this first post.)

UCCU_9613.jpg

The first wave consisted of a few titles including Crescent (UCCU-9613, release date 2008-06-25). This disc features the same mastering as UCCU-5153, an earlier (non-SHM) 24bit remaster from 2003. The number UCCU-5153 is actually printed inside the matrix ring of UCCU-9613, while the label for the disc gives the code UCCU-9613. I like the sound of this one because it is not as hard on the ears as the Impulse Orginals Crescent in terms of annoying peaks.

UCCU_6133.jpg

What I call the second the second wave have catalogue numbers starting with UCCU. The four discs I've heard feature the exact same mastering by Kevin Reeves as the US/EU Impulse Originals series. See my post So, there are two different SHMs of Crescent, the second being UCCU-6133 released in 2011. The other titles I've imported are Live at the Village Vanguard, Impressions, Live at Birdland. All have the same 'Jazz The Best' OBI strip as the Crescent disc in the image above.

UCCI_9206_7.jpg

The third wave was released in late 2011 and feature catalogue numbers starting with UCCI. The OBIs I've seen look like the one in the image of Live in Seattle above, except for Live In Japan Deluxe Edition.

According to CDJapan it was a series consisting of 17 titles (including the Temple University set that was in the end never released). (Coltrane, Ballads and A Love Supreme from this wave are the 2 disc Deluxe Editions from a decade ago. I have no idea if they have the same mastering.)

The 11 albums I have from this third wave are imo sonically excellent/superior and worth the effort of importing with perhaps one exception.

  • UCCI-9191/5, Live in Japan Deluxe Edition, 5 discs. The exception. Sonically the same as(?) or very close to the 4 disc US GRP release. Features a fifth disc with the well known two interviews and press conference (see for instance Chris DeVito's Coltrane on Coltrane).
  • UCCI-9202, Transition.
  • UCCI-9203, Living Space (including bonus track The Last Blues from 20bit US/EU digipak).
  • UCCI-9204, Sun Ship.
  • UCCI-9205, First Meditations. 1 bonus track, Joy (second version).
  • UCCI-9206/7, Live in Seattle. 2 discs, complete concert, but different mastering from the early nineties GRP set.
  • UCCI-9209, Meditations.
  • UCCI-9210, Cosmic Music.
  • UCCI-9211, Jupiter Variation. Different tracks from three different sessions translates to sonic differences per track (especially Peace on Earth).
  • UCCI-9212, Stellar Regions. All tracks from the US/EU digipak in improved sound.
  • UCCI-9213, Interstellar Space. The two bonus tracks from the US/EU digipak are now included in UCCI-9211, Jupiter Variation.

Albums like Meditations now have a beautiful spacious & dynamic sound superior to the 20bit digipak and Originals issue. More about the sound later, perhaps.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update:

The whole point of mentioning what I called above 'the second wave' is to warn people about those discs.

The late 2011 titles from the 'third wave' might possibly be of interest to others. Different people sharing actual experiences with these discs might create some clarity about them.

Some of the 20bit K2 remasters (by Shigeo Miyata & supervised by Tamaki Beck at JVC) are still in print as regular CDs. Titles include: UCCI-9142, The Coltrane Quartet Plays, UCCI-9143, Kulu Sé Mama; UCCI-9144, Live at the Village Vanguard Again; UCCI-9145, Expression.

These sound compressed. The 'third wave' of SHMs do not reproduce this sound.

The sound of the 'third wave' is also different from the 24bit remasters like Crescent (UCCU-5153, SHM UCCU-9613) from a decade ago. That discs sounds more closed, compressed. I primarily like it because it is not as hard on the ears as the Impulse Orginals Crescent in terms of annoying peaks.

My conclusion is that the 'third wave' must feature different mastering from what came before (both in Japan and the US/EU).

Edited by erwbol

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excellent post. you're quickly becoming the poster boy for shm-cd, which is a good thing, imho.

i picked up 'impressions' and 'live at ithe village vanguard' when i was in japan recently, but i've not opened them yet...

here's what's in print on shm-cd per hmv; http://snipurl.com/28iocr .

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If the codes are UCCU-6069 & UCCU-6154, these are the exact same discs as the recent Originals which are probably already in your collection.

The four 'duplicates' I imported are:

  • UCCU-6069, Live at the Village Vanguard
  • UCCU-6133, Crescent
  • UCCU-6154, Impressions
  • UCCU-6163, Live at Birdland

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I'm not saying that this is the case here, but some people seem to think that SHM does have something to do with mastering. It doesn't; SHM, like XRCD, is a manufacturing process, nothing else.

With the recent rise in interest in Japanese SHM releases from the Blue Note catalogue by Universal Japan, I've returned to an earlier idea to start a thread dedicated to Japanese John Coltrane Impulse SHMs. When I posted earlier about these discs I never got the impression that anyone else here had added but one of these to their collection.

As far as I'm aware there have been three waves of Coltrane Impulse SHMs. The second is redundant for people in the US & EU, while the third is of most interest. (In 2013 there was also a Coltrane release on Platinum SHM-CD which I will keep out of consideration in this first post.)

The first wave consisted of a few titles including Crescent (UCCU-9613, release date 2008-06-25). This disc features the same mastering as UCCU-5153, an earlier (non-SHM) 24bit remaster from 2003. The number UCCU-5153 is actually printed inside the matrix ring of UCCU-9613, while the label for the disc gives the code UCCU-9613. I like the sound of this one.

What I call the second the second wave have catalogue numbers starting with UCCU. The four discs I've heard feature the exact same mastering by Kevin Reeves as the US/EU Impulse Originals series. See my post So, there are two different SHMs of Crescent, the second being UCCU-6133 released in 2011. The other titles I've imported are Live at the Village Vanguard, Impressions, Live at Birdland. All have the same 'Jazz The Best' OBI strip as the Crescent disc in the image above.

The third wave was released in late 2011 and feature catalogue numbers starting with UCCI. The OBIs I've seen look like the one in the image of Live in Seattle above, except for Live In Japan Deluxe Edition.

According to CDJapan it was a series consisting of 17 titles (including the Temple University set that was in the end never released). (Coltrane, Ballads and A Love Supreme from this wave are the 2 disc Deluxe Editions from a decade ago. I have no idea if they have the same mastering.)

The 11 albums I have from this third wave are imo sonically excellent/superior and worth the effort of importing with perhaps one exception.

Albums like Meditations now have a beautiful spacious & dynamic sound superior to the 20bit digipak and Originals issue. More about the sound later, perhaps.

I had quite a few 24-bit UCCI CDs and hated them; to my ears they sounded pumped-up and harsh, with boosted highs/lows. Got rid of the ones I could get other versions of.

Edited by J.A.W.

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the only other copies of these i had were the 20-bit K2 mini-lp's...

and i imagine one would pick up shm-cd pressings of current masterings if they didn't do their research on the state of the mastering or if they believe that the shm material would bring a smoother sound to things.after all, that's its primary marketing edge.

keep in mind that these are japanese releases primarily intended for that market. they replace all other versions available and by default become, generally, the only version of that title currently available (unless you happen into a prior issue that either hasn't sold or hasn't been pulled from the racks yet).

Edited by etherbored

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I'm not saying that this is the case here, but some people seem to think that SHM does have something to do with mastering. It doesn't; SHM, like XRCD, is a manufacturing process, nothing else.

right - and a superficial one at that.

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J.A.W.

But from I'm hearing in the other thread, some titles are remastered for SMH release. Now, that's fine. But why would someone buy a SMH reissue of a title they already have of that particular master on CD already?

The fact that some titles were remastered for SHM release doesn't mean that SHM (not SMH) is a mastering tool; it isn't, as I said it's a manufacturing process.

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Why would you pick up a SMH title with the same mastering that had already been released on CD?

If I had known the mastering was the same I would obviously never have picked up these four titles. This seems to me obvious from my initial post. I'm not a believer in SHM as a manufacturing process that brings benefits. See the I pasted into my initial post.

Learn to read and interpret without projecting.

Edited by erwbol

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But why would someone buy a SMH reissue of a title they already have of that particular master on CD already?

Because they think it'll sound better and that's exactly why record labels are reissuing titles time and time again on discs made of "new" material or manufactured in a different way.

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I just think it's really sad when companies pull this kind of garbage. This SMH nonsense is almost as bad as high priced digital interconnects.

Scott,

It's SHM, not SMH; it stands for "Super High Material".

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I NEVER by sonic upgrades.

My hearing isn't good enough to warrant that.

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erwbol,

Crescent was released in June 2013 on SHMCD. To your knowledge is this a new mastering as in those 11 you list above? Thanks.

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erwbol,

Crescent was released in June 2013 on SHMCD. To your knowledge is this a new mastering as in those 11 you list above? Thanks.

do you have the catalog number? i don't see it in the june or july jazz japan...

Edited by etherbored

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Epic fail on my part, I wanted to see "2013" but it says "2011." Too bad. I wanted Crescent, and Living Space, seems the latter has already disappeared.

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Epic fail on my part, I wanted to see "2013" but it says "2011." Too bad. I wanted Crescent, and Living Space, seems the latter has already disappeared.

it's available here ( http://snipurl.com/28ioxfb ) for 1,547 yen from an amazon seller...

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Thanks. For some reason I'm not having success with ordering that one. I'll look about.

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Why would you pick up a SMH title with the same mastering that had already been released on CD?

If I had known the mastering was the same I would obviously never have picked up these four titles. This seems to me obvious from my initial post. I'm not a believer in SHM as a manufacturing process that brings benefits. See the I pasted into my initial post.

Learn to read and interpret without projecting.

Ah, so I ask an honest question, and you respond by being a dick.

I'd be pretty pissy too, if I had been suckered into such nonsense.

You often seem to enter discussions simply to derail them. It seems you've succeeded in derailing this trane.

Edited by erwbol

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The whole point of mentioning what I called above 'the second wave' is to warn people about those discs.

The late 2011 titles from the 'third wave' might possibly be of interest to others. Different people sharing actual experiences with these discs might create some clarity about them.

Some of the 20bit K2 remasters (by Shigeo Miyata & supervised by Tamaki Beck at JVC) are still in print as regular CDs. Titles include: UCCI-9142, The Coltrane Quartet Plays, UCCI-9143, Kulu Sé Mama; UCCI-9144, Live at the Village Vanguard Again; UCCI-9145, Expression.

These sound compressed. The 'third wave' of SHMs do not reproduce this sound.

The sound of the 'third wave' is also different from the 24bit remasters like Crescent (UCCU-5153, SHM UCCU-9613) from a decade ago. That discs sounds more closed, compressed. I primarily like it because it is not as hard on the ears as the Impulse Orginals Crescent in terms of annoying peaks.

My conclusion is that the 'third wave' must feature different mastering from what came before (both in Japan and the US/EU).

Edited by erwbol

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@erwbol - thanks for your post(s) - you are trying to tell us where there are masterings we haven't heard on US/EU versions, and saving us money on purchasing SHMs of masterings we already have. That is useful so thanks for taking the trouble.

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Indeed, thanks. The information you have provided in this thread and others is very useful.

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You often seem to enter discussions simply to derail them. It seems you've succeeded in derailing this trane.

No, I was actually asking an honest question, and you decided to get snappy. Do not try to lay this at my doorstep.

And the claims you say you made in the initial post weren't really clear at all, hence the questions. But, now that I know I'm not allowed to ask you such question, I will refrain from doing so.

Previous posts have been deleted as to not disrupt the conversation, and I respectfully exit this conversation.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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The whole point of mentioning what I called above 'the second wave' is to warn people about those discs.

The late 2011 titles from the 'third wave' might possibly be of interest to others. Different people sharing actual experiences with these discs might create some clarity about them.

Some of the 20bit K2 remasters (by Shigeo Miyata & supervised by Tamaki Beck at JVC) are still in print as regular CDs. Titles include: UCCI-9142, The Coltrane Quartet Plays, UCCI-9143, Kulu Sé Mama; UCCI-9144, Live at the Village Vanguard Again; UCCI-9145, Expression.

These sound compressed. The 'third wave' of SHMs do not reproduce this sound.

The sound of the 'third wave' is also different from the 24bit remasters like Crescent (UCCU-5153, SHM UCCU-9613) from a decade ago. That discs sounds more closed, compressed. I primarily like it because it is not as hard on the ears as the Impulse Orginals Crescent in terms of annoying peaks.

My conclusion is that the 'third wave' must feature different mastering from what came before (both in Japan and the US/EU).

i agree. the 20 bit versions (the ones i replaced) do sound compressed, but to me, only by comparison. it sure would be nice to have an original pressing to compare to...

when you say 'third wave', are you' referring to those released in 2012 or 2013? 'ballads' and 'a love supreme' were released in november 2013, but 'deeper' titles were issued in march 2012.

which brings me to: it would be nice if the shm reissue of the coltrane catalog were handled a little more carefully. the titles issued have been all over the map and hardly in any kind of order.

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Has anyone here been able to compare UCCI-9204, Sun Ship, to the new "complete" U.S. edition?

I agree with ether — hard to follow the maze of this series. But erwbol's posts help considerably to clarify.

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The whole point of mentioning what I called above 'the second wave' is to warn people about those discs.

The late 2011 titles from the 'third wave' might possibly be of interest to others. Different people sharing actual experiences with these discs might create some clarity about them.

Some of the 20bit K2 remasters (by Shigeo Miyata & supervised by Tamaki Beck at JVC) are still in print as regular CDs. Titles include: UCCI-9142, The Coltrane Quartet Plays, UCCI-9143, Kulu Sé Mama; UCCI-9144, Live at the Village Vanguard Again; UCCI-9145, Expression.

These sound compressed. The 'third wave' of SHMs do not reproduce this sound.

The sound of the 'third wave' is also different from the 24bit remasters like Crescent (UCCU-5153, SHM UCCU-9613) from a decade ago. That discs sounds more closed, compressed. I primarily like it because it is not as hard on the ears as the Impulse Orginals Crescent in terms of annoying peaks.

My conclusion is that the 'third wave' must feature different mastering from what came before (both in Japan and the US/EU).

i agree. the 20 bit versions (the ones i replaced) do sound compressed, but to me, only by comparison. it sure would be nice to have an original pressing to compare to...

when you say 'third wave', are you' referring to those released in 2012 or 2013? 'ballads' and 'a love supreme' were released in november 2013, but 'deeper' titles were issued in march 2012.

which brings me to: it would be nice if the shm reissue of the coltrane catalog were handled a little more carefully. the titles issued have been all over the map and hardly in any kind of order.

10 of the 11 discs I listed under third wave have a 2011-08-24 release date (Live In Japan Deluxe is from 2011-10-26). Those 10 discs I find sonically pleasing.

The 2013 releases of Ballads and Love Supreme are Platinum SHM-CDs. Both titles have been issued on SHM several times now with different masterings. Ballads was also released in what I called the second wave or series, see here.

The first of those second wave discs were released on 22 June 2011. Others were released in March 2012.

So basically, it's a mess, but there are some worthwhile upgrades in the 1965-67 Coltrane material imo. Especially since the US/EU CDs of the Coltrane catalogue have been all over the map sonically.

Has anyone here been able to compare UCCI-9204, Sun Ship, to the new "complete" U.S. edition?

I agree with ether — hard to follow the maze of this series. But erwbol's posts help considerably to clarify.

I prefer the SHM over all other editions of the original album. I believe it compares favourably to the complete edition. That 2 disc set has a somewhat different saxophone sound. I could make another quick comparison and give you some more thoughts on this.

So far, whenever I feel like listening to Sun Ship I still grab the SHM.

Edited by erwbol

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Thanks for all this useful information. I found a decent deal on ebay for Living Space, and I ordered from a few sites Live in Seattle, Interstellar Space, and Stellar Regions. Looking forward to them. I think I have nearly every other session in a great-sounding digital version, I really wanted these as well.

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