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Which Blue Note CDs did you generally prefer before the SHM reissues?


J.A.W.
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I went for RVGs for overall sound and availability/ cost. Japanese issues have almost always been harder to find at a reasonable cost.

I've always found RVG's to be a mixed bag. On one end you have excellent stuff like Rollins' Vanguard date and Dolphy's OTL, on the other you have Hill's Point Of Departure which is incredibly thin and brittle, IMO.

That said, since I never had the pleasure of hearing the original analog LP's I would have to concur that the RVG's are the best of the bunch. The McMasters stuff was less than impressive.

Edited by Scott Dolan
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I went for RVGs for overall sound and availability/ cost. Japanese issues have almost always been harder to find at a reasonable cost.

I've always found RVG's to be a mixed bag. On one end you have excellent stuff like Rollins' Vanguard date and Dolphy's OTL, on the other you have Hill's Point Of Departure which is incredibly thin and brittle, IMO.

That said, since I never had the pleasure of hearing the original analog LP's I would have to concur that the RVG's are the best of the bunch. The McMasters stuff was less than impressive.

I had many original Blue Note LPs and later a lot of Japanese King LPs, which generally sounded great. Unlike most people here (it seems) I didn't like the RVGs that I had at all (and I had almost all of them at one point, used to buy this stuff in bulk - I know, not the wisest thing to do when you don't know if you'll like it or not) and prefer the XRCDs, the CD-layers of the SACDs, early McMasters (to my ears many of them sound excellent), BN Works (too much high-end roll-off) and early Connoisseurs, in that order.

Edited by J.A.W.
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I've been pretty harsh on RVG's in the past, but like I said, some of them are actually quite good. So, I can understand where you're coming from since I think it's safe to assume you have a hell of a lot more of them than I do.

At this point I refuse to get any of the SMH issues, but mostly because I'm content with the issues I already have. Not to mention the seeming land mine you have to wade through to figure out which ones are remastered as opposed to simple re-issues of previous masters on "higher" quality material.

The obvious problem being that the material they are printed on changes nothing about the ones and zeroes involved. Unfortunately, with digital material there are no "constants and variables" involved. They remain constant no matter how "clear" plastic coating, or how "reflective" the surface.

And no matter how contentious I seemed on the Coltrane thread, I'm always intrigued by actual remastered material from him. My son's middle name isn't Coltrane for nothing. ;)

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At this point I refuse to get any of the SMH issues, but mostly because I'm content with the issues I already have. Not to mention the seeming land mine you have to wade through to figure out which ones are remastered as opposed to simple re-issues of previous masters on "higher" quality material.

As far as I know all SHM Blue Notes have been remastered. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I've been pretty harsh on RVG's in the past, but like I said, some of them are actually quite good. So, I can understand where you're coming from since I think it's safe to assume you have a hell of a lot more of them than I do.

Not anymore, sold most of them a long time ago.

Edited by J.A.W.
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At this point I refuse to get any of the SMH issues, but mostly because I'm content with the issues I already have. Not to mention the seeming land mine you have to wade through to figure out which ones are remastered as opposed to simple re-issues of previous masters on "higher" quality material.

As far as I know all SHM Blue Notes have been remastered. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I've been pretty harsh on RVG's in the past, but like I said, some of them are actually quite good. So, I can understand where you're coming from since I think it's safe to assume you have a hell of a lot more of them than I do.

Not anymore, sold most of them a long time ago. The Blue Notes may be, but erwbol was saying yesterday that some of the Coltrane Impulse! dates were pressed using previous masters.

Sorry for the confusion. I shouldn't have lumped them in with this conversation.

Edited by Scott Dolan
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You're not wrong as far as I know Hans, all the SHM-CD that have been reported on online and that I have heard personally (about a dozen now) are remastered. And the best I've heard those dates.

A little off-topic here, but do the inserts/booklets say who mastered these SHM discs? Couldn't find it in the other thread.

The Blue Notes may be, but erwbol was saying yesterday that some of the Coltrane Impulse! dates were pressed using previous masters.

Sorry for the confusion. I shouldn't have lumped them in with this conversation.

Erwbol is right, Universal Japan are often using older masterings for their impulse! CDs, which they keep reissuing over and over again.

Edited by J.A.W.
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I recently off loaded some BN CDs where I either had the sessions in better sound on other BN CDs or LPs. I needed the space and was surprised that i had as many as 20 duplicate sessions.

I found preferred a patch work of discs across JRVG, McMaster , Larry Walsh, RVG and EMI France ( didn't know who mastered these). I'd not done a back to back comparison before but found it briefly interesting to compare. The clear looser was Larry's Conns. I'd say vey few were bad sounding. Many of my decisions regarding which one to keep we're marginal.

Kept McMasters of Demon Dance , Let freedom Ring and Black Fire

Kept RVG of Idle Moments,

Kept EMI France of The Connection ( ditching the JRVG)

Make of that what you will

Edited by Clunky
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You're not wrong as far as I know Hans, all the SHM-CD that have been reported on online and that I have heard personally (about a dozen now) are remastered. And the best I've heard those dates.

A little off-topic here, but do the inserts/booklets say who mastered these SHM discs? Couldn't find it in the other thread.

The Blue Notes may be, but erwbol was saying yesterday that some of the Coltrane Impulse! dates were pressed using previous masters.Sorry for the confusion. I shouldn't have lumped them in with this conversation.

Erwbol is right, Universal Japan are often using older masterings for their impulse! CDs, which they keep reissuing over and over again.

And that really irritates the hell out of me.

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Not sure what irritates the hell out of you this time. It's not clear.

Hans, I thought I had the answer to that and remembered seeing it printed in booklets but I just looked at three and there's no credit. What I was remembering was the engineering credit on the excellent new CTI Supreme series of Blu-spec cds.

I was leary of the SHM-CD series at first but the more I listen the more I think these are the best I've heard these dates. Haven't yet bought any that I can compare to the SACDs or XRCDs. I do like RVGs when played on my systems (liked them less on my former system(s)) and I still really like the mono RVG sessions, especially those he did not record originally, but the SHM-CDs I can compare of stereo sessions better the RVGs. I'm not getting rid of those though, I love the presentation of that series and still enjoy listening to them.

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No idea, but I still prefer some as I don't have any SHMs quite yet ... seems to me with reissues drying up, there's an almost ridiculous amount of discussions ®evolving about sound ... and less and less on the music itself. But then that might be org growing into its teens, too ... what do I know.

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I bought a crapload of RVGs simply because they were cheap and easily available...I have/had a few TOCJs too but to be honest they did not sound much better then the RVGs to be honest....and the few McMasters I had didn't really knock me out either. The only digital Blue Notes that have actually impressed me in the same way as clean vinyl have been the XRCDs and this new SHM series.

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Similar here. Also remember, ten or fifteen years ago, you'd take what you could get. Very often you could either get a McMaster (still in print) OR Conn OR an RVG. It was only after all regular reissues were halted that RVGs of more albums (including some previously in the Conn series) would turn up.

There's such an incredible amout of music around, I do replace things very rarely and only when something really grates me AND is near and dear to me (I've never bothered to find a bitter-sounding edition of "Capuchin Swing", life's too short ... but I did get the RVG ov "Demon's Dance" since the old version sounded awful ... I kept the Addey "Money Jungle" even though the later McMaster added more music - I prefer the warmer, fuller sound of the Addey version).

Anyway, which editions do you buy of your Bunk Johnson and Luis Russell and Barney Wilen and Thomas Chapin? ;)

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but I did get the RVG ov "Demon's Dance" since the old version sounded awful ... I kept the Addey "Money Jungle" even though the later McMaster added more music - I prefer the warmer, fuller sound of the Addey version).

Anyway, which editions do you buy of your Bunk Johnson and Luis Russell and Barney Wilen and Thomas Chapin? ;)

Flurin you are quite correct. I suppose I hold some BN sessions quite dearly and it's those I'd replace if what I have is subpar. Interestingly regarding Demon Dance I let the RVG go and kept the McMaster. As I recall on my system the RVG sounded bloated in the mid band area where as the McMaster was cleaner. Neither has anything like a decent bass presence. Just goes to show beauty being in the eye of the beholder.....

Regarding Luis Russell I've upgraded a handful of sides that I've found on 78. The sonic benefits of playing a 78 master pressing over a CD mastering make the gains fiddling around with these BN sessions seem really puny!

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seems to me with reissues drying up, there's an almost ridiculous amount of discussions ®evolving about sound ... and less and less on the music itself. But then that might be org growing into its teens, too ... what do I know.

The discussion in the SHM Blue Notes thread about their sonic qualities made me post this thread, which is merely meant as a question about the sonic preferences of people here before the SHM discs appeared, not about the merits (or lack thereof) of that discussion itself. If you think it's ridiculous and/or if you're not interested - and some people who posted here are clearly not - why not ignore this thread instead of posting negative comments?

Edited by J.A.W.
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