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  • RCA Living Stereo Reissue LPs

    So far there have been at least four reissue programs of RCA's Living Stereo classical titles. Chesky Records, RCA's own VICS series, Classic Records, and the latest Analog Productions reissues. Of these reissues, which sound the best, and what are the problems with the ones that don't sound as good?
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    Short answer - I don't think you can go wrong with Chad's recent reissues (aside from the speed problems of the first two Decca RCA's which they are redoing.)

    Much longer answer - I have just about all of the originals - bought used - some quite expensive, a few of the VICS US, all Cheskys - bought new, all Classic 33's, all Classic 45's all bought new. However the Classic 33's were issued several times with different kinds of vinyl. Not sure about the 45's - I just have the first releases except for Belafonte at Carnegie Hall and Royal Ballet - where I have two different ones. And now I have all of Chad's AP reissues. In addition I have some of the British RCA pressings both LSC and VICS done by Decca (no little nippers on the albums) and even a couple of Canadian pressings. Finally for the Decca engineered RCAs which many feel are among the very best of the RCAs (Witches Brew, Gounod Faust Ballet, etc) RCA only had a 10 year license from Decca for the recordings and then Decca reissued many of them on their mid and bargain labels (Eclipse -ECS, Ace of Diamonds-SDD, World of Music-SPA). These can be great bargains, although some of the albums were split up on several different albums. I have a lot of those I picked up for song in London over the years. They even made it to the US in the form of the bargain London Treasury series.

    As far as the reissues (and the originals, too), one has to be careful about generalizations. Did you get it new or used? For the VICS series and originals, what stampers. And quality varies depending on what album you are talking about.

    So, throwing caution to the wind, here are some generalizations:

    Purple VICS US are generally better than the pink labels, although they all tend to be darker in sound than the originals. Note some great titles were never issued on the LSC series - like the Reiner Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and VICS-1424 Dances which is best in a thick pink label (didn't come in purple).

    I like the Cheskys, but there are only a handful of titles - almost all TAS SuperDisc selections. Not quite as focused as the AP reissues. Exception is the Munch Daphnis et Chloe which I really like, compared to the original.

    Classic 33's are a mixed bag - some very fine and others pretty bad, typically suffering from a tipped up high end - some would call them screetchy. The Solti Venice and the Reiner first Also Sprach are examples. I haven't had any experience with Clarity vinyl, different weight vinyl and other versions of the 33s. One very thing that Hobson did was to reissue several titles that were never issued in the original LSC series - like LSC-1900 Munch Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and LSC-1831 Rubinstein Brahms Piano Concerto 1, and several that were only issued in Gt. Britain as originals.

    Classic 45's have been my favorite reissues until the AP's have come along. There are several Classic 45's which I don't think Chad is going to release, but we have to wait to be sure (also Chad has released some albums that Classic never released). My main complaint is that the sides are short - sometimes very short (8 minutes for example). And sometimes movements are split with extremely poor edit points (Heifetz Violin Concerto first movement is a prime example - they just fade down the music to end one side and fade it up again to start the second side.) There are some disc warp issues also, probably caused by having the pressings on one side only. The tonal balance is much better than on the Classic 33 offenders (like Also Sprach) and the dynamics are exceptional (like in Reiner Pines/Fountains of Rome). I bought all of these new, and usually they were $40 for a four one-sided disc set. I have read that many of them are much more expensive on the used market.

    The AP reissues have been very fine IHMO. You can buy all of them for about the same price as one or two of the rarer used originals (LSC-1806, 1817, 1893, 2225, 2241, 2436 1S. 2449, come to mind).

    Adding more complexity to the mix are reel to reel tapes which I also have - from the '50's and '60's of the originals, including a 2 track original of the fabulous Fiedler Gaite Parisienne. And hopefully Chad will be able to get the R2R license for some of the choice Living Stereos in his upcoming R2R series. And also RCA and Chad have released SACD versions. But that moves us off topic.

    Larry





    Last edited by astrotoy; 05-22-2016, 08:49 PM.
    Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
    Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
    Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
    Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
    Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
    Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
    Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

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    • allenh
      allenh commented
      Editing a comment
      Great feedback, Larry!

    • Tunes
      Tunes commented
      Editing a comment
      Great post Larry.

  • #3
    Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
    Short answer - I don't think you can go wrong with Chad's recent reissues (aside from the speed problems of the first two Decca RCA's which they are redoing.)

    Much longer answer - edited



    Thanks for your detailed post/reply. I have Fiedler Gaite Parisienne on VICS, Chesky, and Classic. I need to dig them out and do a comparison.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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    • #4
      I haven't bought any of the AP reissues. Are those all 45 rpm?
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #5
        All the AP reissues are 33. A potential upgrade issue is after all of them are issued on 33, they will then be issued on 45. That happened with the Classics reissues.

        Larry
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
          All the AP reissues are 33. A potential upgrade issue is after all of them are issued on 33, they will then be issued on 45. That happened with the Classics reissues.

          Larry
          Won't surprise me a bit if that happens. Must keep the money flowing. Good business model for the record pressing biz.
          Christian
          System Gear

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