More alternative madness: MM45 vs ’70s United Artists UPDATE: Toshiba added

UPDATE February 3rd: LJC reader from The Netherlands Mattyman has posted in a rip from his Toshiba 1992 reissue of Open Sesame. As a bonus he has included some whizzy waveform pictures. See and hear for yourself at foot of post.

music-matters-vsUnited-Artists-balanceThe last MM post seems to have attracted a lot of comments, highest ever number of page views for a post, obviously something a lot of people are interested in (but still only one comment per hundred viewers. You can do better guys!). So I thought, why not give them both barrels?

Perhaps many of us would like “Blue Note originals” but with perhaps with only a few hundred quality copies in existence for some titles, it is time for compromise, to find the next best alternative. This time, it’s a home match for alternatives, pits US  vintage against modern.

BN 4040 / BNST 84040 Freddie Hubbard Open Sesame goes Head to Head

A familiar problem, actually tougher to afford top condition original than the previous unaffordable, Kenny Drew Undercurrent

Popsike BN 4040 Hubbard Open Sesame top auctions

However help is at hand, all is not lost:

Popsike BN 4040 Hubbard Open Sesame United Artists

In the previous post we pitted the latest MM33 against vintage King, Japan . This time I  bring something new to the table, one of Blue Notes better kept secrets, vintage contender Blue Note Records – Division of United Artists (1971-3) and the heavy weight MM45 (2009). Head to head comparison is limited to where I have two contenders, not necessarily perfect match in this case, but at least the hifi rig is held a constant.

What are we looking for?

Is age an advantage?  Does size really matter? Is two better than one? Judge for yourself. I’m staying out of it – for now.

DIVUA-QUADRANT-500Contestant 1:

Division of United Artists ’70s classic titles reissue project – mono, unlike most issues around this time, re-mastered by UA engineers I guess if not from original or at least 1st generation copy tape.

Hard to find but nor rare, and not expensive, at least before this post is published.

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-Div-UA--coverSelection: ♫ Open Sesame (Brooks) ♫ mono! Division of United Artists

Artists:

Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) Tina Brooks (tenor saxophone) McCoy Tyner (piano) Sam Jones (bass) Clifford Jarvis (drums) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 19, 1960

Music:

This head to head is really an excuse to play one of my favourite Blue Notes, BLP 4040 Open Sesame. Whilst Hubbard is on peak form, his tone burnished gold, McCoy Tyner’s melodic comping serenades in the background, the album is notable for the raw unpolished talent of Tina Brooks on tenor, the vigour of youth rather than the refinement of fully polished players of the old school. His youthful departure left a preciously small legacy of recorded work.

Brook’s solo on the self-titled track, which is his own composition, is a delight. Like an erratically misfiring rocket, he racing helter-skelter through the register, painting himself metaphorically into a corner, then escaping through an unexpected backflip into another figure; a second’s hesitation, then he’s off in a different direction, chasing up a scale and with a twist passing himself on the way back down, but backwards, reaching for a bluesy climax in a strangulated squeal. After a generous length of time to work out his ideas, Tina finds his way back to the convoluted principle melodic line, handing over to Tyner. I’m left exhausted, having ridden pillion over the whole journey.

All of the tracks are a joy, especially Gypsy Blue… but we need to get back to the comparison story.

Vinyl:

Division of United Artists pressing, vinyl weight 130gm – respectable and entirely sufficient for purpose, typical of ’70s pressing.

The Division of United Artists series dates I believe back to between 1971-3.  All bar one or two that I have seen remain faithfully mono, though no doubt some of our resident experts will chip in with whether true mono or two track electronically processed for mono.  The series cherry-picked many of the best of the 1500 series and a few of the early 4000 series Blue Notes, this being one of them.

Unless I’ve missed it somewhere, Blue Note discographers Cuscuna and Ruppli are silent on the existence of this series of records. I have a notion they were intended for the Japanese  collector market but somehow it never happened, and they were quietly dumped within the US market at that time preoccupied with stereo, having halted mono production. Mono issues – right idea guys, wrong time. Anyone with any better theories can speak up.

Cover:

Medium thick card, flat sheen unlaminated, no great beauty. Characteristic dual identity, Liberty Records marketing-only identity, and United Artists Music and Records Group in small print, dating it to 1972/3. Probably, no one knows.
Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-Div-UA--labels-1800-LJCRear Cover:

Facsimile of the original issue, the catalogue number in large font exactly as original Blue Note and quite unlike the reduced font of Liberty and later United Artists years. Paste-up paper rear slick as original Blue Note, vintage printing technology seemingly
not able to be reproduced by modern printing technology. Its over forty years old.

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-Div-UA--back-cover

mm_captain_america_blue-note-shieldMM45x2Contestant 2:

Double Trouble!

Music Matters 2×45 series (2009)

Heavyweight champion, in certain quarters

Stereo

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-MM45-cover

Selection: ♫ Open Sesame ♫ (same title, but stereo) Music Matters 2×45

 

Gatefold:

Usual superb gatefold presentation, the artists in performance, in large fine-art quality black and white print. Francis Wolff, the Van Gelder of the camera, simply beautiful.

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-MM45-gatefold

Vinyl: 183gm and 190gm respectively.

That large empty space on the runout, so tempting to slip in some bonus tracks, no? I hate seeing all that vinyl land going to waste.

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-MM45-labels-s1-s2rFreddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-MM45-labels-s3-s4-1800-LJC

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame-MM45-back-cover

LJC thinks…

LJCsays

I don’t think an original Blue Note pressing of Open Sesame will be coming my way any time soon, too rich for me, so I am content to seek out the best alternative for much-loved music.

Some of the more fly auditioners here might want to compare the previous post MM33 with this MM45 title from five years ago. Though the album is different, it’s still van Gelder recording, early ’60s source tapes and all the relevant hifi parameters are exactly the same, so its a fair comparison in some ways. Have those cabling improvements at MM made a big difference? (I think they have, enormously. But then I’m a cable guy.)

Previous Post: Kenny Drew Undercurrent – Funk-cosity Music Matters 33 rpm

What is an unfair test is the comparison between mono and stereo presentation, but since our friends at MM don’t offer a mono option, you might think that is fair game to weigh into the comparison.

What’s your verdict? Which do you prefer, and what’s more important, why? Don’t fall into the trap of saying which “is better”. That’s OK for sports cars but this is music. Your preference is yours, no one else knows what you hear. There’s no right and wrong.

Reminder: ♫ Open Sesame (Brooks) ♫ mono! Division of United Artists (1972)

.

Reminder: ♫ Open Sesame (Brooks) ♫   Stereo!  Music Matters 2×45 (2009)

.

Poll open for one week, usual rules of Polldaddy, comment floor is open. Take your beef to the LJC Forum if you wanna fight..

My verdict?

The cover, no contest, MM ‘s gatefold is But Beautiful. However the Sound of Music

LJC-Michael-Caine- Professor Jazz fastshow30Well this could make me even more unpopular than I am right now, but I  prefer… prefer… the… ummm, the mono Division of United Artists. There, I’ve said it. For me the stereo of this title breaks up the unity of the ensemble, replacing it with spatial information which doesn’t add anything, for me anyway.  My heart belongs to mono, though my head sometimes strays.

The 2×45 rpm  © 2009 edition  doesn’t have the freshness and vitality of the new MM33 to my ears (ymmv). There is nothing really wrong with it, but my immediate  emotional reaction was that it didn’t excite me and make me want to listen. Addicted as I am to the visceral punch of original Blue Note, it’s too laid back for this listener, something missing.  This was the same reaction I had to my other 2×45, (not that there is any confirmation bias here)

The MM33 are in a different league. I’m ordering some more, there’s a few on my list of originals I’ll never see. Just don’t think I’m converting to modern audiophile. Anyway, a man who knows of such things tells me Meridian MQA is the next big thing . I’ll believe that when I hear it.

The floor is yours.

UPDATE February 3rd – late entry – Toshiba-EMI vintage 1992, courtesy of Mattyman. 320kbps rip from a Technics SL-1200 MK2 turntable with integrated tonearm and Ortofon Concorde cartridge.

Freddie-Hubbard-Open-Sesame

For the technically minded, Matty has included a spectral something or other and a wave form something else, no idea what they tell you, but it looks impressive. Another first at LJC.

06 Waveform_OpenSesame 07 Spectral_OpenSesame
Our friends in Tokyo take on the mighty MM and the vintage UA.
Sounds nice to me. Mattyman welcomes any comments.

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62 thoughts on “More alternative madness: MM45 vs ’70s United Artists UPDATE: Toshiba added

  1. Oh Hell YES!!!! I just nailed a Freddie Hubbard Open Sesame UA Mono from Ebay for 42 buck shipped. I rather have an United Artists Mono pressing over an MM pressing ALL DAY EVERYDAY!!

    • even then it would be a copy of the original and not an original. Part of the lore, or should I say lure, is that they are limited in numbers and come from an era that is long gone.

      not even sure that if you could back in time and buy a mint copy from a record store that it would qualify as an original.

  2. Thanks to LJC to put my Toshiba rip up!

    Of course I should say that I like my own rip the best, but after checking out the mono UA and the stereo MM version and comparing them to my own Toshiba copy, I have to say that the MM sounds the most pleasant to my ears. It’s the crisp sound of the highs that does it, I have to admit. Still I’m very happy to own the 1992 Toshiba, rest assured.

    And about the screenshots of the waveform and the spectral characteristics of the actual audio directly from the record itself: I won’t pretend to know a great deal about it, but I do know that some visitors know how to ‘read’ waveforms or its spectral counterpart and I’m just curious to know what those connoisseurs can see in them and tell us some more about it. The waveform, of course, shows the left channel and the right channel.

    Let’s hear it, gents! 😉

  3. I sometimes question, with all our modern technology, why an engineer can’t come close to duplicating RVG’s excellent sound on high quality vinyl? From reading numerous posts on U.S. jazz blogs, many people don’t like the raw, forward sound on original “Blue Notes.” I suspect that these people never had the opportunity of hearing great jazz in a small club, where one is usually sitting less than 6 feet from the group. That’s the sound the artists wanted. RVG knew this because he practically lived with these great musicians. It’s not supposed to sound like balanced dinner music. As art, it can sometimes be disturbing and intense. The artist’s job isn’t to make people feel comfortable. I would say that it’s to make people feel the depth and intensity of life, which we all know is not always happy. Just thinking about the social turmoil going on in the states during the 60s gives a clue about what jazz artists were feeling. And consider the ugly racism in Manhattan that these artists had to face every day of their lives. They were payed less than whites of lesser talent. They couldn’t stay in certain hotels. They were regularly followed and illegally searched by the police. Guess what, it’s still going on. For those old enough to have seen the movie, “Serpico,” which was based on a true story, perhaps they would like to know that the man still can’t come out of hiding. By God! Serpico is in his 70s and it was determined by the U.S. Feds that he’s still a target of the NYPD. So imagine walking around this city with a black skin. Almost every time you go outside, you risk being illegally searched. You walk into a store and all eyes focus on you with the assumption that you’re a thief. This is the harsh reality of the entrenched racism in American cities.

    Doesn’t it make sense that the music of African Americans would contain elements of rage and grief? It was only in Europe and Japan that they were recognized as possessing talent commensurate with the greatest classical composers. That’s not to say that they aren’t appreciated in the U.S. There are many American jazz afficionados and scholars. One can take a look at the huge jazz database on the audio karma.org site to get an idea about American’s love for jazz. But this is a big country. Jazz fans are spread out all over the place. Not everyone can make regular trips to the Manhattan jazz clubs. Tragically, the old jazz scene is gone. Many jazz clubs went out of business or turned into supper clubs with bands playing watered down dinner music. The jazz scene is now mostly in Europe, as I understand it. The last time I searched for some good live jazz, I found groups playing in Spain and The Netherlands. I am grateful that European jazz artists are carrying on the great jazz tradition.

    Yes, there are still a few Manhattan clubs left. Reggie Workman recently played at The Village Gate with his new group. He is one of the last living jazz artists who played during the peak of the the greatest period in American jazz history.

    • Well put. By the same token, I can’t stand the piano sound that most modern audio engineers seem to aim for. A jazz piano should sound muffled and percussive, and not like a resonant concert grand. I sometimes even get the feeling that the modern recording techniques have a negative impact on the work of quite a few contemporary jazz musicians.

      A resonant and clean (dare I say “European”?) sound is, in my mind at least, connected to jazz music of a lesser, more “atmospheric” or impressionistic kind. (As opposed to the genuine, percussive, blues-based, anguished and/or joyous jazz of the African American originators.)

      RVG has been criticised a lot for his piano sound, but it is probably the single biggest factor that makes his Blue Note (and Prestige etc.) recordings so enjoyable, IMHO.

      (Thanks to felixstrange for his enlightening contributions about RVG’s EQing habits in the Maiden Voyage post here: https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/herbie-hancock-maiden-voyage-1965-blue-note/)

      • I love this–what a bold statement in the fact of all the audiophiles out there who despise Van Gelder’s piano sound! It’s probably the most important component in defining the ‘Van Gelder sound’. However, the more ‘open’ piano sound on Kind of Blue, for example, is undeniably lovely, especially in stereo where it has plenty of room to breathe.

        • Thanks Rich, you have me there re: Kind of Blue. There are always exceptions to the rule… but in general, I much prefer the down and dirty, out of tune, sawdust on the floor kind of sound.

          (I was trying to insert a Lester Young quote or title in that last sentence, something in the vein of Upright Organ Blues, but had to give up.) 🙂

          • Dead on right! I can’t stand the clean, separated sound of modern recordings; nothing at all like being in a jazz club. RVG pressings are so incredibly . . . alive! Don’t understand the criticism; it’s like criticizing someone for having fun or laughing.

            • RVG shines like a beacon in the darkness. However it seems received wisdom that he was unable to record piano. Don’t know where that idea came from but I have been told it many times.

              What I have noticed is that piano is one of the things that marks the difference between an average and a high-end hi-fi system. Elements of the attack and decay of notes, and the harmonic resonances of the piano are small-scale information easily blurred or lost unless the system is fast responding and revealing. The last cartridge upgrade made a huge difference to the sound of my Bud Powel Mosaic records.

              I suspect the problem with piano is less to do with RVG and more with what you play him on.

    • So well stated, thank you for sharing your perspective. At some point I will need to pick up a book regarding the social experiences of jazz musicians during the civil rights movement, as I’m sure there’s something out there.

      PS – I saw Reggie Workman perform two months ago at a Love Supreme 50th anniversary celebration here in New York, what a treat.

  4. I’ll admit to not being a Hubbard fan — at least, not on his own records. I sometimes like him as a sideman on more left field sessions (Andrew Hill, Dolphy, Rivers). These dates hold his hard bop tendencies in check. For my money the best thing he appears on is probably Hutcherson’s Dialogue — the record where he is least like Freddie Hubbard, I suppose.

    • Freddie Hubbard the sideman: Besides the obvious examples (Blues & The Abstract Truth, Out To Lunch…) it makes me think of that wonderful Columbia record, “J.J. Inc.”, on which arranger JJJ manages to make a handful of horns sound like an orchestra.

  5. I bet Van Gelder was running the equivalent of lamp cord when he recorded and cut those originals; those old records that will smoke the pretenders 😀

  6. The stereo sounds a little weird or unnatural through headphones with the instruments seemingly coming in at right angles. I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case through my speakers though which are placed quite closely in a small room.
    But, if I’m being honest, I’m not wowed by either of the samples. The music is astonishingly good but was this an off day for RVG or would an original bring back the texture which is missing?

  7. Awaiting delivery of my first two 33 rpm MM’s. Just received Jazz House Records latest list which shows the projected MM 33 rpm reissues for 2015. Some gems- but no Incredible Jimmy Smith, Big John Patton or Freddie Roach (Unquantified) releases scheduled. Other than Larry Young, no Hammond so far! Even The Three Sounds get a look in first!

  8. Love these posts LJC, keep them coming ! However i find it impossible to compare pressing & masteting when dealing with 2 radically different mixes…generally i find the mono pressing more ׳together׳ & the stereo more ‘lively’ but i suspect that the mix is the major reason for that, not the mastering job. My copy is a stereo King which i find very enjoyable – would be interesting to compare with the MM (not that i ever gonna buy a dbl. 45, too much work to listen to & too limited shelf space !)

  9. The mono sounds significantly punchier to me. It also sounds clean with a quiet background (LJC, why didn’t you sum the channels for this needle drop?). The Music Matters sounds, as per usual, very clear with excellent high frequency reproduction (I don’t always prefer clear-sounding recordings but I will admit that the clarity of the MM pressings continues to impress me). I also admittedly have become a big fan of hearing the blend of the natural reverb of the studio and the EMT reverb plate on the stereo versions of Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs recordings. But what I’m hearing as a tinge of distortion on the trumpet from groove wear in the mono version, particularly on the trumpet, is the deciding factor for me. They both sound nice, and this is somewhat contradictory to how I voted last time this comparison was made, but I would pick the MM copy now if I had to.

  10. I have roughly 90 percent of Classic records reissues. I refused to buy 45 RPM. All that money to flip records like flapjacks. Imagine collecting all the 45 Rpm’s and than the same company comes out with 33.3? ouch!!! I like to sit, relax and listen. I’m not a jukebox.

    • But if you have 45s why worry about 33s. Have you ever considered that MM is making the 33s for chaps like yourself who don’t like 45s?

      I read those lads over at Hoffman all the time whinning about “double dipping” but the truth is if you have any of Music Matters 45rpm you are not obligated to buy the same titles from them in 33rpm.

      Why do you care if you don’t even have the 45rpms?

      • I think mig is just referring to collectors who would have preferred 33 over 45 with the MM issues in the beginning and now they might be a bit frustrated that the 33 is available now or will be soon. I personally wouldn’t go out and buy the 33 of an album if I already had a 45 I was very happy with (especially not just because Kevin Gray changed his cables–nerd alert big time lol), but I’m sure some people will. Then they can sell their 45 and it’s a done deal, right? I don’t think it’s that big of deal. I also don’t get the impression it was some sort of marketing scheme; I think they started out genuinely thinking that 45 was they way to go then found out from customer feedback that a lot of people would have preferred 33, but who knows. I guess that post from Joe Harley on the Hoffman thread would spell it out but I don’t really care enough at this point to go look at it lol.

        • Agree with you. When MM started out 45s were all the rage so naturally they went with that course.

          Much is been made about KG’s cable upgrade but I think that’s half the picture. Hardly anyone talks about the class A front end that replaced his acoustech hardware, that more than the cables are responsible for his improved sound.

        • In the early 1980’s, Toshiba issued a number of Blue Note 12 inch, 45 RPM “maxi singles”. I own BNJ-27002 Bud Powell “Blue Pearl”, sounds pretty punchy, no doubt.
          I am sure if someone picked up this old idea these days, it could open up an entirely new market, with collectors suddenly struggling to buy individual songs on 12 inch records boasting unheard-of dynamic range. Man…

      • Have no idea who or what Hoffman is. Everyone is different and have different opinions and taste. So has anyone compared the 45 to the 33 by Music Matters? IMO, it would suck if the 33 was equal or better but some people like to get up and get the blood going by flipping records after two songs. Not my cup of tea.

  11. Thanks for another interesting comparison, LJC! The difference isn’t huge on my mid-level headphones, apart from the drums (especially the snare) on the UA, which sound a little recessed in comparison. The stereo of the MM helps bring them into the foreground. But both pressings make for a pleasant listen.

    On another note: one thing that bothers me about the “rebuilt” covers from Music Matters is that they don’t get the typography quite right. For instance, take a look at the lowercase “n” in “tina” – it’s much narrower, and the letters are spaced differently, than in the original. It’s especially irritating when the text is bigger, like on the cover of “Back to the Tracks”, for instance. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Of course, the photos look great, but as a graphic designer I can’t understand the reasoning behind this. It should be easy enough to reuse (and touch up) the original typography as well, if the exact cut of the typeface in question isn’t available.

    • While I think Music Matters has probably done a better job than any other reissue label with paying attention to detail with the cover art for their reissues, I agree with you. I don’t have a MM example for you, but a saw a friend’s Analogue Productions reissue of Grant Green’s Green Street recently, which I compared to my second pressing ca. 1966 (NY USA no “P”), which I’m pretty sure has an original jacket, and I did notice that a couple things were off. They used a very similar font but it wasn’t perfect (I imagine scanning an original, bumping up the contrast and creating vector objects for the letters to tweak would work but maybe that’s too tall an order for a major reissue program). Also, the fonts in the company logo (“The finest in jazz since 1939” and the catalog number) were quite different. It’s not a big deal of course but I do take notice of things like that.

      • Good observations, both of you. I also have to wonder why these companies don’t go to greater lengths when reproducing art work, especially with the typography. One observation, though: Music Matters uses high-resolution scans of the original negatives for the photos, instead of using the complete artwork as source. That may or may not be preferable. On the one hand, it does yield better resolution, sharpness and tonal latitude. On the other hand, Reid Miles’ original intention is usually lost, especially when he applied extra contrast to a photo.

      • If you find the AP 45rpm of Green Street, wonder what you think about their jackets. I bought their Kenny Dorham Whistle Stop (45rpm) I’m constantly re-gluing it with Elmer’s school Glue as it keeps falling apart.

      • Thanks guys, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in being fussy about this! But, as you say, scanning and tweaking the original typography would indeed require mucho trabajo …

  12. I also own a classic recordings copy of the record, plus some other bluenote reissues on Classic records. And they are so lovely. They are really close to the original blue note issues both in feeling, design and sound. 200 g, deepgroove, hard thick cardboard. The collors are a little off, but otherwise it’s really impressing! And the sound is so crisp.
    It would be interseting to se You do some reviews and comparisons of originals vs classic records or other bluenote reissues.

    http://www.classicrecords.com/item.cfm?item=BN%204040-MONO-200G

    • I think Classic Records has done the best job of reproducing the labels and the deep groove out of all the other reissue labels I’ve seen, which includes Music Matters and Disk Union.

        • Why do you have to disagree so rudely then offer up nothing in contrast? The answer is a definitive Y.E.S. The color matching of the blue is very accurate, the texture of the paper seems more accurate, the fonts seem closer, I could go on and on. Music Matters did a nice job but I definitely think Classic did an great job of replicating the original labels.

          You seem to get so easily butt-hurt by any comment that doesn’t tout Music Matters as god’s gift to vinyl.

          • Music Matters labels are low quality. They use off color ink and font and the labels are often smeared.

            Classic Records were spot on.

            Not too mention Classic Records quality control was WAY better than Music Matters.

            • I can’t imagine why Classic records left out the last track Dorham’s Epitah on their reissue of Whistle Stop. A most egregious omission.

          • Why shouldn’t they put their copyright on the records they reissue? Suppose a collector comes across an MM reissue $50 years down the road I think they have a right to know which version of the record they have.

    • Part of the problem with classic records BN reissues is that they made almost every title mono, and they put deep groove every title even the ones that didn’t originally have deep groove.

      Sadly, not many BN fan realize that not Blue Note Originals have deep groove

      • The fact that they did them all in mono is a problem for you, not the entire world, so there’s no need to state your opinion as if it’s some ‘fact-on-high’.

        That being said, for the sake of argument, give me an example of a title they released that they gave a deep groove that was never made with one.

        I’m sure there’s a lot of jazz fans who don’t know or care what a deep groove is, but I can’t help but guess that the majority of collectors have a general understanding that the deep groove thing gradually phased out in the early ’60s.

  13. I own a Classic Records 200 gram reissued mono copy. The Classic Record’s art work and jacket are first class (pun) as any of you know who own copies. I can’t say how I rate this copy’s sound to an original issue or a stereo MM45 because I don’t own a copy of either. Suffice it to say I typically prefer the high quality mono reissues over the MM45s. Two reasons are they are more convenient, the other being the enhanced stereo copies tend to have a tad bit of grain in my system. I still buy 45MM though, because when they get them right, there is no reissue that can compete with them in my opinion.

    Oh Yeah, and Open Sesame! Early Hubbard, what’s not like. He’s fresh and killing on this set.

  14. Listening to my MM45 of this title as I type.
    those spatial info that you are quick to dismiss are to recorded music what perspective became for western art. The stacked sound of mono records is seductive but it is not in the least convincing.

    RVGs unconventional stereo positioning of the musicians is so real

    • You are right, the position of musicians give a sort of life to music so if stereo pressing are good i enjoy it .

      • I grapple with this business of soundstage constantly.

        In a domestic room setting it seems entirely logical for the musicians to be positioned in a spectrum from left to right, an imaginary stage, 12 feet wide, three feet apart.

        Whenever I go to a live jazz group club or pub date, the music comes straight at me from the rostrum, moving air all mixed up, with a few visual clues as to who is standing where, but basically, mono.

        Maybe our brains like the “front seat of the club” idea, and the logical overwhelms the experiential.

        I may be in a minority here, not for the first time, but the stereo planned in 1960 recording was the 12″ between left and right speaker in a portable record player or radiogram.

        Where am I going wrong?

        • I don’t know this for a fact but I always assumed that the more modern home stereo setup with two speakers several feet apart was common with audiophiles as early as the late fifties…anybody have any more info on this?

          • Interesting indeed. I set my speakers up using instructions recommended by George Cardas. They are 5 feet apart in a room 12 feet wide and maybe 16 or 17 feet deep. BN stereo provides a really wide and deep sound stage to my ears. It’s almost unnatural to my head, notwithstanding, I still enjoy it. I guess it’s the spacing RVG achieved with his mixes. That said, I agree with LJC, all sound is mono…at least that is what I believe. I have had lively discussions with my IT friends who argue otherwise. Oh well, whatever gets you through the day.

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