Blue Note Japan and Vinyl Weight

1: King Records (mainly 1977-84) weight in grams LJC collection


King are remarkably on the light side, as low as 110 grams, a maximum of 138, with an average for my 48 titles of 121grams. I find King reissues marginally superior sonically to the later Toshiba EMI pressings. Vinyl weight is not a critical factor. The issue with thin vinyl is more to do with its vulnerability to surface damage. Fortunately, both King and Toshiba date from a time when home hi fi was much kinder to vinyl, and almost all copies I have seen are in Excellent condition.

2. Toshiba EMI mainly 1983 – 94, then increasingly digital processing to present day

Weight in grams (LJC collection)

Toshiba Vinyl Weight

Note the peak years of Blue Note reissue by Toshiba EMI were 1984 and 1990.

Modern day Toshiba:

Toshiba continue reissuing Blue Note titles to the present day, often dressed up as pseudo-audiophile ( 180 gram! RVG remastered!)  trading on the reputation of Japanese vinyl  built on the ’70s and 80’s. Modern day Toshiba (since 1996) are sonically very disappointing, and betray all the signs of digital processing.

Van Gelder was brought in to re-master his original recordings for CD, and I have encountered cases of the RVG CD cynically transferred back onto vinyl, as a claimed RVG vinyl re-master.

I suspect a lot of music industry executives have no idea what this vinyl business is all about. They simply go along by widespread myth of “digital = modern = scientific = progress”, egged on by engineers who have make their living on the false prospectus of “improving sound” by fiddling with EQ and digital enhancements. Both rely on the paying customer to believe he has just bought something better.

In common with its Western counterparts, Japanese modern audiophile, generally  lacks the vitality of original and vintage vinyl quality. You  have only to listen to comparison to know. However that rarely happens since the convenience of download and playlist, mobile listening through a hand-held device have all but eliminated the ability to compare.

However just because they can’t doesn’t mean you have to follow the sheeple.




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