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Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissues

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Grant Green arrived today from Wax & Beans. Once again, it's absolutely flawless in every respect. Flat, clean, dead silent. Not a solitary click, pop or crackle to be heard. No zipping, distortion, non-fill, whatever. To date, every title in the series has been the same (bar a very faint click on Joe Henderson), even the early ones in the ridiculous paper inners.
    gavreid likes this.
  2. jagdesign

    jagdesign pfm Member

    Got my copies of Midnight Blue and Idle Moments from Honest Jons last week, sounding sublime - so pleased to finally have copies that do the music justice!
    gavreid likes this.
  3. jack8000

    jack8000 pfm Member

    My Midnight Blue has gone back today, notwithstanding the non-fill I just didn't think it sounded great certainly not as good as some of the other releases. Anyway another ordered, fingers crossed.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Ken Micallef on Midnight Blue & Idle Moments. Sounds like he got some stitching/infill on his copies, he’s interesting on the mastering too and thinks vintage RVG cuts blow all the reissues out the water (as do I, though I clearly have less experience/access to originals).
    gavreid likes this.
  5. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    He's just done a good rant too on the theme of 'there's more to jazz than BN and audiophile releases'. My view is that he has quite a parochial east coast outlook, but he's clearly extremely knowledgable and passionate, I do like his channel very much.
  6. Chas B

    Chas B pfm Member

    I received my replacement copy of Midnight Blue yesterday. Unfortunately it's not much better than the previous copy and will be going back. I think I'm done with Blue Note vinyl.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is disappointing. I’ve had great luck with Tone Poets and the two Classics I have (Speak No Evil, Song For My Father) are both fine, as is Ethiopian Knights, which is an 80 I think. The inners were awful, but I’m good at extracting vinyl and everything goes on the cleaner before playing. My only issue was the packaging/Hermes shipping from the BN UK store which damaged multiple copies, but their support is good.
  8. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    I must be lucky as have had zero issues with any of the Tone Poets and 80th anniversary (both of which I have almost all of) and a couple of Classics, barring one creased sleeve (Amazon packaging to blame).
  9. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    I've obviously been lucky with my 'Midnight Blue': I seem to have a perfect copy (it's definitely a BN Classic, with KG in the dead wax). It came from Amazon as well, so there must be a rogue batch.
  10. jack8000

    jack8000 pfm Member

    Replacement copy of Midnight Blue received, no non-fill sounds much better. It seems to be luck of the draw
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Bit late to ask but are there any different matrix numbers in play here? I have no idea how many Classics they are pressing, whether all are pressed at once on the same machine or not. There may be clues in the matrixes. I know some TPs have been recut and repressed, there are matrixes ending in -2.
  12. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    For what it's worth, mine is A1/B1.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Only one for Midnight Blue listed on Discogs:

    Matrix / Runout (Side A runout): BL35264-01 A1 3579908 3579908-A 602435799087 KPG@CA

    Matrix / Runout (Side B runout): BL35264-01 B1 3579908 3579908-B 602435799087 KPG@CA

    I’ll be curious to see if any others appear.
  14. jack8000

    jack8000 pfm Member

    That's the same as my good copy, not sure about the one I sent back
  15. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Some Tone Poets have been repressed and others are awaiting repressing, but the first two Wayne Shorter - Etcetera & Chick Corea first pressings, that were reportedly runs of only 500 each, because they under estimated the demand at first, only ever had A2, B2 ending matrices. I have these from the first runs. Even the test pressings that can be seen on Discogs have this ending. Presumably they recut both for some reason.

    Joe Harley has said some indivual Tone Poets now have sold 10,000 copies.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s interesting, I was a tad late on TPs, so I just assumed my Corea and Shorter were second pressings.
  17. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    I have not checked all of mine, but it seems after those first two releases the matrix number sides are all just marked A and B with no numbers. An exception is the double of Glamoured where the first LP is marked A & B, but the second is marked C2 / D2. 'Passing Ships' is A/B/C.

    I think the Wayne Shorter - Etcetera may have had two represses, but I doubt the later repress of this or any of the others that have been repressed have anything other than the original Matrix number. They would have just used the same metal work, not cut another acetate unless the 'mother' was damaged. A 'mother' should produce up to 10 'stampers' at reasonably high quality. A stamper should produce 1,000 pressings at high quality, although 500 is thought to be a better maximum for the highest quality. With popular high selling commercial releases, at least in the past, many more were pressed from the same mother and stamper.

    Therefore interesting that AP are eventually pressing 25,000 of the UHQR oh Miles Davis Kind of Blue from the same metal work from the acetate that Bernie Grundman cut for Classic in 1995. That would suggest 2,500 pressings at least from each stamper unless they cut more than one acetate to produce more than one mother at that time. (Nb. The acetates deteriorate quickly). Perhaps that's why quite a few who already have a copy are complaining it's much noiser than any Tone Poet despite the 'Clarity Vinyl'?
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That doesn’t sound unreasonable, I thought the figure was far more for a typical ‘60s-80s pop album per stamper (>4k). Classical far less, but it was a far smaller market too.

    The thing I was trying to figure out is whether these comparatively high pressing number Blue Notes were all coming off one machine at the pressing plant, or whether they were kitting out more than one machine to get the order complete in half the time. If the latter it may help explain the differences in quality being reported.

    As an example back in the heyday of vinyl it was commonplace for multiple pressing plants to work on a given title to get it into the shops on the arranged release date. Things are obviously far smaller now, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of machines at the plant were producing these, and maybe one isn’t as well setup as the other.
  19. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    I expect that in many cases more than 4K were pressed from each stamper (I have some poor quality examples to prove it) and they also probably used the 3 step process rather than the 2 step: :
    • The 2-step electroplating process involves the father being peeled
      off the acetate and then itself being elctroplated again to create
      the “mother”, which is in effect, the negative of the father plate.
      Typically, the mother plates are shelved for future use, and the
      father is used for stamping.
    • 3-step electroplating is just like 2-step electroplating, only the
      “mother” — instead of being shelved — is electroplated to make more
      stampers. 3-step electroplating is simply just another step to make
      more parts. This is a good idea if you’re planning on making many
      copies of your vinyl. One father can produce 10 mothers, and one
      mother can produce 10 stampers. A single stamper can produce about
      1000 records. If you do the math, you’ll figure out that the 2-step
      process will yield about 11,000 records before a new lacquer needs to
      be cut. The three step process can produce up to about 100,000 vinyl
      records before you have to cut a new lacquer. 3-step electroplating
      is in essence a better way to avoid having to cut a new lacquer and
      assume that cost if you anticipate wearing out the original father
      stamper by making many records.
    Possibly AP are using the 3 step process for UHQR KOB, but they do seem to be doing it in short runs as many are still waiting on their preordered copies. Chad Kassem has said that QRP are snowed under for record pressing. They press for others as well as for their own releases. They have one press dedicated to just pressing the Beatles 'Abbey Road' and that can't keep up. That would make me guess they are only using one press for UHQR KOB, but 2 would account for varying quality or possibly batch to batch.

    My guess on the others and it is only a guess is Tone Poet at RTI is two step that would allow up 11,000 copies. One press and they don't seem have exceeded that on any. They are probably producing in much longer runs than the 500 each they started with, but are being cautious enough not to go for the maximum in one run. Joe Harley was with Music Matters and when they started around 2009 they only pressed runs of 500, most going to subscribers and numbered on the sleeve. Many releases took years to sell all of those before repressing. It seems their licences with Universal were for a maximum of 2,500, but only in recent years have they sold out.

    I would guess Blue Note Classics pressed at Optimal with stampers made at at RTI are pressed on more than one press as they are the 'classic titles' and bigger sellers and so they will have more than one stamper and longer runs. Quite likely the reason for variations in quality as well demand and poorer quality control. I just got a couple of new records pressed at Pallas and these are beautiful pressings, but short runs and high quality control as is normal with that plant.
  20. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I'm astonished they initially only pressed up 500 copies. I guess it goes some way to explaining why releases of this nature are that much more expensive.

    It perhaps also explains why the big labels aren't bothered about reissuing much of their back catalogue. Why bother when the most you're going to see from it is ~£5k before manufacturing costs?

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