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  • Originals or Reissues?

    There is no doubt that with some of the fine pressings/masterings put out by various reissue labels that I've been seduced on many an occasion. However, I have learned from a variety of various discussions, doing some comparisons myself and learning what to listen for, that originals trump reissues in many cases. The "learning what to listen for" aspect has been an eye-opener during the process of reacquainting myself with many old recordings and I've discovered (my opinion only) they are going to be difficult to beat. I say that using an apples-to-apples comparison, so no 33rpm to 45rpm comparisons allowed.

    I'm not committed to either camp, but I am a lot more hesitant about jumping on-board the reissue train, if I already own the original. If word on the street from users who's opinion I trust and value says the reissue is better, then I don't mind making a purchase. It doesn't always work out though.

    What's your criteria for staying with an original or buying a minty-fresh reissue?
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    Interesting topic. My response would be an unequivocal "it depends". Some reissues are terrific, others so so, some have been disasters.

    For example, the Music Matters Blue Note reissues have been uniformly stellar. In my comparisons to the few originals I own, I think they sound better; oft times significantly better. Now I know that this is near heresy for aficionados of the originals, but that's what my ears tell me. The AP Blue Note reissues are also soncially very good (and indeed superior to the originals IMO); but I prefer the sound of the Music Matters and quite frankly the packaging of the Music Matters make the AP reissues look rather shabby by comparison.

    Many reissues are not up to the quality of the original pressings; provided you can find originals in NM/Mint condition. And thus the conundrum; well-preserved originals are often quite costly and much more expensive than reissues. Personally, I am typically willing to pay up for originals; in no small part because I enjoy the thrill of the chase. I have slowly acquired quality originals of most of the Rolling Stones' early catalog and you know what...they are not audiophile quality, but it has increased my enjoyment and appreciation to hear the music as the good Lord (or at least as Andrew Loog Oldham) intended it.

    Unfortunately, some reissues have not been worth the cost. One example, a $65 reissue of Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life" was to my ears...awful when compared to my well played original. And since originals can be purchased in good condition for far less than the reissue....


    I would love to see a thread where members provided input on reissues, especailly if they had originals to compare. We could keep a master list as a resource for the membership.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Doc right down the line. A dealer-friend who along with his partner mentored my BN collecting going back almost 30 years has the same opinion of the MM re-issues. He has over 700 original Blue Notes and this is the first series that has tempted him to sell off his collection.

      As my want list shrinks I'm pretty much only interested in original 1st pressing of rock/pop/folk/blues and jazz. I'm quite satisfied with the Decca/Merc/LSC reissues of classical music, the EMI reissues were spotty and other classical and OST is going to be original first press.
      Last edited by Rob; 02-24-2016, 03:09 PM.
      Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

      "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

      Comment


      • #4
        Think of it as tool rather than a A to B comparison .

        Example Some records are so rare that few if any of us will ever get a chance to buy them if we could afford them in that case a reissue is the best plan.

        Some records were so popular and have cult status and will be bought just to complete collections if Led Zepplin recorded there first three albums backwards they would sell.

        First pressings like early British are great most of the time but not cheap and not easy to find. Reissues are easy to find and a hundred bucks or a lot less is not going to kill you.

        The price people were paying on Ebay for records went a long way to the marketing of new records and tubes for that matter.

        Hauling a new record into the house has a lot higher WAF than and old record smelling of cat piss . If it is rare enough you know you will haul it home no matter how bad the cover is.

        I for one am very glad records are for sale new and used again when I was buying or being given whole collections with people looking at me like does he have a hoarding problem.

        What i pay for a reissue is a lot smaller percentage of my pay check than a new record was 40 to 50 years ago.

        We have it good sit down put a new record on and be happy.

        My only concern is do records really have less background noise or did we just go deaf

        Comment


        • #5
          The Classic Records and now the Quality(Analogue Production) reissues of the RCA Shaded Dog Classical sound better than the originals I have. Classic Jazz also sounds great on many reissues. I seem to like classic rock originals better than the rock reissues in most cases.
          Last edited by rockitman; 02-24-2016, 04:00 PM.
          Christian
          System Gear

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Garth View Post
            Think of it as tool rather than a A to B comparison .

            Example Some records are so rare that few if any of us will ever get a chance to buy them if we could afford them in that case a reissue is the best plan.

            Some records were so popular and have cult status and will be bought just to complete collections if Led Zepplin recorded there first three albums backwards they would sell.

            First pressings like early British are great most of the time but not cheap and not easy to find. Reissues are easy to find and a hundred bucks or a lot less is not going to kill you.

            The price people were paying on Ebay for records went a long way to the marketing of new records and tubes for that matter.

            Hauling a new record into the house has a lot higher WAF than and old record smelling of cat piss . If it is rare enough you know you will haul it home no matter how bad the cover is.

            I for one am very glad records are for sale new and used again when I was buying or being given whole collections with people looking at me like does he have a hoarding problem.

            What i pay for a reissue is a lot smaller percentage of my pay check than a new record was 40 to 50 years ago.

            We have it good sit down put a new record on and be happy.

            My only concern is do records really have less background noise or did we just go deaf

            Shouldn't be a concern at all. Put on an old record you never played much because it was noisy. If it no longer sounds noisy, your hearing went south. If it still sounds like crap, your hearing is fine. There is no doubt in my mind or ears that today's better LPs are much more quiet than the average LPs from yesteryear. I think QRP is leading the pack in that regard.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • Garth
              Garth commented
              Editing a comment
              The old records that sounded like crap still do I am fine then . My Wife says I am deaf I never hear any thing she says .

          • #7
            Originally posted by mep View Post


            Shouldn't be a concern at all. Put on an old record you never played much because it was noisy. If it no longer sounds noisy, your hearing went south. If it still sounds like crap, your hearing is fine. There is no doubt in my mind or ears that today's better LPs are much more quiet than the average LPs from yesteryear. I think QRP is leading the pack in that regard.
            If that's only parameter used, then yes. However, today's masterings don't always measure up, so you need to make a choice.
            Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post

              If that's only parameter used, then yes. However, today's masterings don't always measure up, so you need to make a choice.


              John-I was specifically referring to this statement in Garth's post: My only concern is do records really have less background noise or did we just go deaf
              Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

              Comment


              • Johnny Vinyl
                Johnny Vinyl commented
                Editing a comment
                Oops...missed that part.

            • #9
              Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post

              If that's only parameter used, then yes. However, today's masterings don't always measure up, so you need to make a choice.
              or the provenance of the tape used for the reissue, the topic has been beat to death everywhere like the Hoffman forums. When it comes to rock music there's a far greater chance of hearing the master on a 1st pressing and a greater likelihood of a safety a 3rd generation copy of the tape used for the reissue.
              Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

              "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

              Comment


              • #10
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by jazdoc View Post
                  Interesting topic. My response would be an unequivocal "it depends". Some reissues are terrific, others so so, some have been disasters.

                  For example, the Music Matters Blue Note reissues have been uniformly stellar. In my comparisons to the few originals I own, I think they sound better; oft times significantly better. Now I know that this is near heresy for aficionados of the originals, but that's what my ears tell me. The AP Blue Note reissues are also soncially very good (and indeed superior to the originals IMO); but I prefer the sound of the Music Matters and quite frankly the packaging of the Music Matters make the AP reissues look rather shabby by comparison.

                  Many reissues are not up to the quality of the original pressings; provided you can find originals in NM/Mint condition. And thus the conundrum; well-preserved originals are often quite costly and much more expensive than reissues. Personally, I am typically willing to pay up for originals; in no small part because I enjoy the thrill of the chase. I have slowly acquired quality originals of most of the Rolling Stones' early catalog and you know what...they are not audiophile quality, but it has increased my enjoyment and appreciation to hear the music as the good Lord (or at least as Andrew Loog Oldham) intended it.

                  Unfortunately, some reissues have not been worth the cost. One example, a $65 reissue of Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life" was to my ears...awful when compared to my well played original. And since originals can be purchased in good condition for far less than the reissue....


                  I would love to see a thread where members provided input on reissues, especailly if they had originals to compare. We could keep a master list as a resource for the membership.

                  Agreed, I feel just about the same on this..

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Really enjoyed reading this thread and don't have a lot to add. I think say since 1980, I've become a lot more pragmatic regarding the reissue vs. original LPs debate. I do regret a little bit, some because of pressure from friends, not buying more of the Classic 45 rpm issues. But so be it. I've been able to buy a few from different sources albeit at higher prices. That will show teach me to listen to my audiobuddies.

                    (1) We wouldn't have the boon in new turntable companies, maybe even have turntables being made altogether today, if it weren't for analog reissues. And BTW, there's also a commensurate increase in the sale of record cleaning machines.

                    (2) The condition of used LPs is always a crap shoot. Jazz and rock collectors played their albums to death; classical music lovers seemed to take a little more care or alternatively played the record once and placed it carefully back on the shelf. So you almost have a better chance of hitting the Lotto than finding an original jazz or rock album in mint, even mint- shape. And anything collectable or rare forget it. Not to mention, today's vinyl is much better and you can hear it. I can listen to

                    (3) Prices. Collectable Jazz albums start at $200-300 and go up to $3000. Collectable rock is roughly the same. Luckily for classical, the highest at least stereo prices are for the original Deccas and an occasional RCA or Mercury LP. Would you rather pay $30-65 or $500-600? There's going to be a bigger audience for the former than latter.

                    (4) Sound. Comparing reissues vs. original is fraught with issues. More issues than you can shake a stick at. We rarely know the chain of custody espcially as many masters have been lost, damaged etc. Many releases are from the best tape available or a safey. As I pointed out in the Mercury collectors thread, original Mercs and Deccas were the only (?) labels cutting the LP from the working master, not a copy. RCA, EMI and others were working off a mixdown tape. Ergo the LPs are a generation earlier (and especially then, generation number is paramount) and the LPs should sound better. Same goes for today. What tapes are they using? I doubt say Speakers Corner is using the working masters for their releases; more likely the mixdown tape.

                    Or take the Art Pepper Plus 11 recording on Contemporary. Only Chad's 45 rpm reissue, not the original, not the SACD, not the CD or any other reissue was actually cut from the master tape.

                    The only labels you can take the bank are using the analog master (with rare exception say the latest Beach Boy releases from Chad) are ORG Music, Analogue Productions and Music Matters Jazz. [We] collectors are a spoiled and snotty bunch and like to look down on the reissues but for the new generation of audiophiles or those returning to analog and turntables, the new releases are the best thing they've heard! So what if they are only 90% of the original?

                    On the original vs reissue matter. As my system continues to improve, I hear good points in both. The originals may have a little more spaciousness, tonality, etc. But the reissues are quieter, may have better dynamics and transparency. Don't forget either the original RCA Living Stereos releases didn't have the greatest bass either. (and the UK RCA release of same, even less.) Of course, some of the differences between the originals and reissues may be lost to tape degradation though I know Steve Hoffman disagrees. Others like Keith Johnson would take issue with that and believe the tape degrades within a couple of weeks. And of course, the type of tape used for the recording will have an impact too.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by jazdoc View Post
                      Interesting topic. My response would be an unequivocal "it depends". Some reissues are terrific, others so so, some have been disasters.

                      For example, the Music Matters Blue Note reissues have been uniformly stellar. In my comparisons to the few originals I own, I think they sound better; oft times significantly better. Now I know that this is near heresy for aficionados of the originals, but that's what my ears tell me. The AP Blue Note reissues are also soncially very good (and indeed superior to the originals IMO); but I prefer the sound of the Music Matters and quite frankly the packaging of the Music Matters make the AP reissues look rather shabby by comparison.

                      Many reissues are not up to the quality of the original pressings; provided you can find originals in NM/Mint condition. And thus the conundrum; well-preserved originals are often quite costly and much more expensive than reissues. Personally, I am typically willing to pay up for originals; in no small part because I enjoy the thrill of the chase. I have slowly acquired quality originals of most of the Rolling Stones' early catalog and you know what...they are not audiophile quality, but it has increased my enjoyment and appreciation to hear the music as the good Lord (or at least as Andrew Loog Oldham) intended it.

                      Unfortunately, some reissues have not been worth the cost. One example, a $65 reissue of Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life" was to my ears...awful when compared to my well played original. And since originals can be purchased in good condition for far less than the reissue....


                      I would love to see a thread where members provided input on reissues, especailly if they had originals to compare. We could keep a master list as a resource for the membership.
                      Totally agree with many of your good points, Mark.



                      Originally posted by rockitman View Post
                      The Classic Records and now the Quality(Analogue Production) reissues of the RCA Shaded Dog Classical sound better than the originals I have. Classic Jazz also sounds great on many reissues. I seem to like classic rock originals better than the rock reissues in most cases.
                      I've chased after some prized SD's just to have, but often play the CR and AP reissues more. The reissues are just quieter and more dynamic to listen to, especially the CR reissues.

                      And as Mark says above, it depends. Not only on quality of reissue, but also what musical mood I'm in which I prefer. The string tone on the original SDs are nicer, fuller, warmer than the CRs, which can sound a bit steely at times. But the dynamics are to die for on the CRs. So depending what experience I want (warm bath or thrill ride), I'll prefer one over the other.
                      Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by allenh View Post

                        Totally agree with many of your good points, Mark.





                        I've chased after some prized SD's just to have, but often play the CR and AP reissues more. The reissues are just quieter and more dynamic to listen to, especially the CR reissues.

                        And as Mark says above, it depends. Not only on quality of reissue, but also what musical mood I'm in which I prefer. The string tone on the original SDs are nicer, fuller, warmer than the CRs, which can sound a bit steely at times. But the dynamics are to die for on the CRs. So depending what experience I want (warm bath or thrill ride), I'll prefer one over the other.
                        ( warm bath or thrill ride ) that is a new way to put it .

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          When they first came out I bought all the Classics reissues of the RCA LS on 33 and all of their classical 45 releases, with the 45's handily winning over the 33's - the latter often having an unpleasant high frequency edge (e.g. LSC1806 and Venice). IMHO, the AP 33 reissues so far have beaten both and I would recommend those interested in these great recordings to buy the AP versions, cheaper and easier to find than the Classic 45's. My fear is that after he finishes releasing the 33 versions of the RCA's, Chad will redo them in 45! The only problem with the Classic 45's is that they can have very short sides (7 or 8 minutes sometimes) and some have horrible side changes (first movement of the Heifetz Beethoven Violin Concerto is particularly egregious).

                          I do have almost all of the RCA originals, bought sometimes at pretty high prices. Certainly, for the price of a couple of the priciest originals (like the Pines 1S and Faust, or just a fraction of an original Royal Ballet album)), you can buy all of the AP reissues.

                          The few Mercuries that Classics did on 45 are also very fine.

                          Larry

                          PS. I don't have any of the jazz or pop 45 reissues - don't collect those, except for some of the great Columbia albums that were TAS Superdiscs - Sketches of Spain, KOB, Time Out, Stardust, Ah-Um (IIRC) and the two at Carnegie Hall albums- Weavers Reunion and Belafonte.
                          Last edited by astrotoy; 02-27-2016, 03:44 PM.
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