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  • Recommended Collectors Reference Book

    Now in 7th Edition. (A couple of friends acknowledged here-Cardona, Nemzer, Marks and Corsetti-helped to make this book possible. ) Good discography of different classical audiophile labels (lacking really only Phillips of the major labels, doesn't go over the EMI or Decca codes posted here on AN, lots of basic info about the say EMI postage stamp and pressing, where if any album was reviewed, etc. I also,loved the discussion about the Lyritas and who pressed them. (Decca, Nimbus and an unknown entity.)

    There's also a mono version but haven't seen that.

    I would ignore anything from the Mitchell compendium listed. Has a sordid history and wrong about the sound of many of the RCA releases listed.

    Highly recommended for the money.

    Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/371599838804
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, 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.

  • #2
    So you recommend it and not the others by the same author ?
    Christian
    System Gear

    Comment


    • #3
      I can think of one audiophile friend who is big time into classical music. Though with most of his collection being on cd, this could be a useful guide.
      Front End: Vitus SCD-025 Mk2, Oppo BPD-103 Amp: Vitus SIA-025 Speakers: Magico S5 Mk2 Isolation: Taoc ASR series racks, Taoc SCB-RS-HC50G, Stillpoints Ultra 6's + Bases/Mini's/LPI's AC Power: Furutech GTX-D(G), Gigawatt PC-3 SE Evo, Jorma Prime pc's (re-terminated with cryo'd Oyaide M1/F1’s), Jorma Unity pc (re-terminated with Oyaide P-004/C-004’s) Cables: Jorma Prime xlr's + Statement sc's, Siltech Classic Anniversary rca's + HDMI Tweaks: Acoustic Revive (various), Akiko E-tuning Gold MkII

      Comment


      • #4
        I have several editions of Phil's book, which were quite useful when I was accumulating my collection. I also bought quite a bit from Phil, who was an active dealer before he passed away. I am surprised at the 2012 publication date listed on ebay. I thought he died quite a bit before 2012. My last copy was the 7th Edition from January, 2004. It is blue in color, but has no publisher listed. I was a good customer of his in the late '90's and early 2000's, probably bought several hundred records from him. I just took a look at the book and there are some errors (mostly omissions) of Argos and L'Oiseau Lyres (including the entire DSLO series). My copy has 170 pages, a spiral binding, about 8" x 6" in size.

        Larry

        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mch NADAC, Emotion, HQPlayer, Oppo95
        Electronics-Herron VTSP3APre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-ArtKelmGroundOne IsoTrans,AudioDiskeSystemVinylClea ner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects, Power Supply
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rockitman View Post
          So you recommend it and not the others by the same author ?
          I never saw the earlier ones Christian but according to prologue, each edition has added and corrected things. So this edition is probably the most up to date and last edition.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, 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


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            I had an early ed. copy I couldn't tell you where it went. I ordered this one, thanks for the heads up!

        • #6
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
          I have several editions of Phil's book, which were quite useful when I was accumulating my collection. I also bought quite a bit from Phil, who was an active dealer before he passed away. I am surprised at the 2012 publication date listed on ebay. I thought he died quite a bit before 2012. My last copy was the 7th Edition from January, 2004. It is blue in color, but has no publisher listed. I was a good customer of his in the late '90's and early 2000's, probably bought several hundred records from him. I just took a look at the book and there are some errors (mostly omissions) of Argos and L'Oiseau Lyres (including the entire DSLO series). My copy has 170 pages, a spiral binding, about 8" x 6" in size.

          Larry
          This is a bound version and is 81/2 by 11-inches.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, 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


          • #7
            Nemzer as in David? Say Hi if you talk to him Myles or others. Haven't seen him in years. Good guy.

            Comment


            • #8
              I just bought a copy. Hopefully I will learn some new stuff...
              Christian
              System Gear

              Comment


              • #9
                Is this a worthwhile purchase for someone who has limited knowledge and is trying to build a small classical collection?
                SME 10, twin arms, SME IV with Lyra Kleos, SME 309 with Benz Micro Ace Mono.
                Garrard 401 with Ortofon 12" arm and Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII
                Amp, Luxman 507u
                Speakers, Harbeth SHL5Plus

                Comment


                • Rob
                  Rob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I skimmed through my copy, IMO its usefulness is mostly limited to cross referencing catalog numbers. Most if not all of the same data is in Discogs in one way shape of form, if you know where to find it. Its worth what I paid in saving time printing it off the net, will it teach you much? not really.

              • #10
                Originally posted by kensell21 View Post
                Is this a worthwhile purchase for someone who has limited knowledge and is trying to build a small classical collection?
                My copy dates from January, 2004 (still the 7th Edition). So I am not certain that this is the same book. It is in a smaller format, with fairly small print. So this one may have print that is easier on old eyes. The book is arranged by Label and series, and covers Decca and its Family (Argo and L'Oiseau Lyre), EMI/HMV, RCA, Mercury, Brunswick and Lyrita. There is a small section of Reader's Digest boxes. RCA and Mercury have lsitings of their US labels and many/most of the UK versions. For the others, most of the listings are UK centric (so they have British catalogue numbers, although Decca has a good number of early London catalogue numbers. As I have a very large collection, I found it very useful in determining what I was missing.

                There are nice descriptions of different labels and how they evolved - so you can get a sense of early versus late labels (which make a huge difference in price). No pictures however.

                As far as recommendations, they are scattered through the book. The RCA listing does include Jim Mitchell's rankings, as well as some TAS (Absolute Sound listings). The Mercury, Decca, EMI, and Lyrita have TAS recommendations. Also the Readers Digest boxes included are just ones Phil thought had great sound.

                Phil misses a few records here and there (I've pencilled them into my copy of the book). After earlier editions, I would send him the errata I found and he did make the changes. He also is missing two big series, the L'Oiseau Lyre DSLO series, and the Decca PFS series (I just collect the classical recordings from this mixed pop and classical series).

                It will take a beginner some time to sort things out. It is not a list for someone just looking for the best performances or best sounding recordings. Mostly it is a very extensive catalogue of these great labels. No DGG, Philips, Columbia/CBS.

                Larry
                Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre
                Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2
                Dig Play-mch NADAC, Emotion, HQPlayer, Oppo95
                Electronics-Herron VTSP3APre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                Other-ArtKelmGroundOne IsoTrans,AudioDiskeSystemVinylClea ner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects, Power Supply
                Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                Comment


                • kensell21
                  kensell21 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Larry for your input.. are you able to suggest something for best performances or recordings?
                  I know of Salvatore and TAS lists.. I also read with interest what has been written on this site..

                  Just for example, I do like Mahler and Bruckner. But my collecting has been haphazard over time as my classical collection has also been secondary to my popular pressings. A mixture of recent pressings and older ones. Not to mention what performances are preferred..

                  I have a leaning towards Decca pressings due to my Anglophile heritage and the fact that most of my equipment is of British origin.. But due to many things chasing after ED1s or ED2s will be out of my reach price wise.. It will be ED3s or later for most LPs I think.

                  So I do need to do research and look for that one or maybe two performances on LP that I can appreciate so I can then go on to other Composers.. Except maybe for Mahler and Bruckner.

              • #11
                I bought the book. It is of limited value to me with the advent of google. That said, I look forward to back stories and to figure out the rating system. Our own threads here on Decca, EMI Group et al, and RCA thanks to Larry give more background info on "Golden Age Classical Recordings" than you can ever hope to find on the web. Larry has been instrumental in giving me the knowledge ammunition to unlock and empty my bank account for classical record collecting from the golden era.
                Christian
                System Gear

                Comment


                • astrotoy
                  astrotoy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, Christian. Glad to help you spend your money! Larry

              • #12
                Kensell21,

                I'll start with Mahler.

                Decca in the analogue years really had only one Mahler champion. That was Georg Solti, who did a complete series of Symphonies. He recorded them with a combination of orchestras, Vienna, London and Chicago (before he started there as MD). The first two (4 and 1) have ED1 first pressings, and I don't think either is terribly expensive. The others are all in the SET box series and reasonable. His most famous is a fabulous performance and recording of the 8th, Symphony of a Thousand. He later redid quite a few in digital after he moved to Chicago around 1979.

                Solti's Analogue Mahler's on Decca
                Sym1 SXL6113
                Sym2 SET325-6
                Sym3 SET385-6
                Sym4 SXL2276
                Sym5 SET471-2
                Sym6 SET469-70
                Sym7 SET528-9
                Sym8 SET534-5
                Sym9 SET360-1
                Das Lied SET555

                Mehta has two famous audiophile favorite recordings (TAS Superdiscs) of 2 (SXL6774-5) and 3 (Lon CSA2249 Br Press preferred over Decca D117D2 Dutch press), with the LA Phil. They are from the late '70's as I recall and not too expensive. Watch out for the 3rd. It was only a Holland pressing as a Decca, but available as a British pressing on London (preferred). Acoustic Sounds did a reissue of the 3rd within the past couple of years - nicely done. Mehta also did Sym1, Sym5/10 (the Adagio) in analogue, and Sym4 in early digital.

                Interestingly, Bernstein did a couple of Decca recordings - including Das Lied von der Erde (SET331) (Mahler's attempt to cheat fate on his 9th symphony). It was with the Vienna Philharmonic, a single record, but in the SET series, not SXL.

                Some of the greatest Mahler symphony recordings were on British EMI. Two of my favorites are early Columbia SAX series, both by Klemperer and both pretty pricey. Mahler's 4 SAX2441 and Mahler's 9th SAX5281-2, both pricey in their original pressings. The Mahler 4 is available on a nice Testament reissue. The Mahler 9 is available from HDTT digital download of a 15ips 2track tape. IMHO the finest Mahler 5 is by Barbirolli on EMI ASD2518-19 or SLS785 - fairly inexpensive. His ahler 6 is also very fine ASD2376-7 or SLS778 (a little more pricey in its first ER1 label).

                I like the great Bruno Walter performances on Columbia (Br CBS also) - I have 2,9, and Das Lied.

                The early Bernstein NY Phil series is more controversial, very emotional. It is on Columbia and I have a CBS German box of the complete set.

                More on Bruckner later.

                Larry



                Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre
                Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2
                Dig Play-mch NADAC, Emotion, HQPlayer, Oppo95
                Electronics-Herron VTSP3APre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                Other-ArtKelmGroundOne IsoTrans,AudioDiskeSystemVinylClea ner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects, Power Supply
                Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                Comment


                • #13
                  Hi Larry,

                  I finally have time to reply and thank you for you information and help. And as Christian said, you have been instrumental in emptying his Bank Account. But for me he forgot to mention the word, Wisely! I believe you will have saved me money by purchasing versions of Mahler that you regard as being the preferred versions.

                  The following are what I currently have of Mahler on vinyl.
                  The first titles where purchased in a lot when the one and only music store that was location in my city that had an extensive used catalogue of classical titles closed years ago.

                  Sym 1-4 box 6711 003
                  Sym 5 6700 048
                  Sym 6 839 797/98 LY
                  Sym 7 6700 036

                  Haitink Concertgebouw All on the Phillips Label.

                  Sym 1 Ančerl Česká Filharmonie Supraphon DV6155 Mono

                  Sym 5 Morris Symphonica of London. Bang & Olufsen CD4

                  Sym 10 Rattle Bournemouth SO EMI/Grundig SLS 5206 Digital.

                  Haven't bothered looking at pressings versions but all probably later ones. All noisy despite cleaning.


                  These LPs started my interest in Mahler. So when vinyl started to become back into fashion years ago, I decided to buy some new pressings.


                  Sym 1 Solti SXL 6113 Decca Speaker Corner Recordings
                  Sym 2 Solti SET 325/6 Decca Speaker Corner Recordings
                  Sym 2 Abravanel Utah VCS 10003 Vangard Classic Records 200g
                  Sym 3 Mehta LA Phil APC 117 Analogue Productions
                  Sym 4 Reiner Chicago Sym LSC-2364 classic Records
                  Sym 7 Bernstein New York Phil LP43014 DG ANALOGPHONIC 180g
                  Sym 8 Abravanel Utah SO VSD-71 120/1 Vangard Classic Records

                  All of these recordings sound quite nice to someone who was new to Mahler. But, theres always a but. All have defects on the pressings.
                  All have surface noise that I would not have expected from a new one. So much on some, I rarely play them.
                  Even the AP and my most recent purchase, to try the ANALOGPHONIC label, have some noise that really disappoints.
                  Living where I do it was impractical to return for replacement due to the cost of postage.

                  I actually decided recently to buy first pressings from sellers that I could build up a trust.
                  I managed to buy a Sym 2 Solti first pressing and was impressed with it..

                  And after reading your list, I ordered and it has just arrived a first pressing of Sym 1 Solti.
                  I'm about to clean it and will eagerly play the LP after lunch.

                  I will take up your suggestions starting with the Solti or the others depending on finding them online.
                  Ive enjoyed a Klemperer box of Beethoven Symphonies. So will look forward to chasing up his versions.
                  I already have found an original Mahler 9 on eBay for $300US. I'm not sure if thats an average price it can go for.

                  Once again, thanks for your input, I'll concentrate on Mahler. Rather than have more posts on Bruckner on this thread, I'll start another in a more appropriate area.

                  Rod




                  SME 10, twin arms, SME IV with Lyra Kleos, SME 309 with Benz Micro Ace Mono.
                  Garrard 401 with Ortofon 12" arm and Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII
                  Amp, Luxman 507u
                  Speakers, Harbeth SHL5Plus

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    I invite you to contribute Mahler preferences, choice recordings and your commentary added to my Mahler thread here. All are welcome!
                    Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

                    Comment


                    • kensell21
                      kensell21 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Gee thanks for the invite tima, looks like I’ve have a lot more reading to do.
                      I do have some modern recordings on sacd too.

                    • astrotoy
                      astrotoy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks, Tima. I hadn't seen that forum before.
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