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Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissues

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

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    I was lucky with Empyrean Isles. I had accidentally ordered 2 copies and the first I opened was perfect so I just returned the still sealed copy for a refund. I have though had virtually no returns or even Audible faults with both the Tone Poets where I nearly all of them and the BN80 designated part of the now Classic series where again I have most. I have only bought a few though since they have been designated as Classic’s as I had originals or good copies of nearly all of these. Optimal’s QC does seem to have badly slipped with these again after a period of improvement.

    A SH forum member had been keeping a tally on the pressing faults on both Empyrean Isles and Fuchsia Song Swing reported there and with EI 50% have had faults and FSS had 45% faulty. I had been tempted to get a copy of FSS as IMO it is such an essential record and my EI was so good, but now I’m going to stick with the two reasonable good copies I already have.

    The high priced vinyl reissues I have had most problems with are the Verve AS ones where I returned two from the few I bought of these and another wasn’t quite perfect. Plus a few returns on other recent vinyl including Blue Note’s that are not part of the above series. Usually pressed at Pallas (that used to be one of he best plants) or CZ. I think I will by CD’s for these in future which will also help my storage space problems.
     
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is interesting. I can’t recall ever hearing it until the 180g era. Really searching my brain here and I can’t bring to mind a single example! I can think of a whole raft of pressing issues from the ‘70s and ‘80s, most often down to poor vinyl quality, foreign matter stamped into the surface etc, but I don’t recall that characteristically ‘ripping’ sound until 180g won the marketing war.
     
  3. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    GZ certainly seems to specialise in clicky vinyl. Maybe they add sand to the mix!
     
  4. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Non fill does really seem to be a problem the weightier a pressing is if time and correct pressure in the press is not exactly right. It can be fine if the QC is good enough to maintain this, but frankly 140g records are absolutely fine and much less prone to problems. I even have some Contemporary originals that barely weigh a 100g and they have zero pressing faults. 180g plus has unfortunately become an ‘audiophile’ essential selling point.
     
    gavreid likes this.
  5. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    Yeah I can’t think of any examples in my extensive collection from that era. Also it always seemed amazing to me, and still does, just how good some of those ridiculously thin albums sound. Can only be down to manufacturing expertise?
     
  6. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I think so. Those presses were relatively new at the time and were supported by the various manufacturers I suppose. I don't know what the modern presses are like but the salvaged machines cobbled together from parts must be tricky to keep going.
     
    RickyC6 likes this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Peak vinyl is 1970s Japanese for me. Around 140g, flat and silent. It just doesn’t get any better. 180-200 is just wrong. It makes no sense from a manufacturing, sonic, or environmental sense. 100% marketing over function.
     
  8. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Some of the very old mono pressings were 200 g
     
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    True, but I don’t think they benefit from it. The magic of the good ones is in the cut, not the vinyl mass.
     
  10. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    gavreid likes this.
  11. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I suspect it was more to do with the evolution of pressing machines. In the early days vinyl LPs were pressed on converted 78 rpm machines, this is what the characteristic label ‘deep groove’ signifies (78s have the smaller label area inside the ‘ring’). As vinyl caught on presses that were optimised for the form were brought to market. That said many companies, e.g. Decca, were using ‘deep groove’ presses well into the ‘60s.

    The other change was the move to a ‘groove guard’ contour where the label and run-in groove are higher than the playing surfaces. This was primarily so records didn’t get trashed stacked on autochangers, but has huge advantages in protecting from damage from the printed hard card inners of pop albums. This is something that was sacrificed in the mid-80s when majors were jumping on the CD bandwagon and viewed vinyl as a cost-cut budget product. It is why it is just crazy hard to find a genuinely mint copy of say Peter Gabriel’s So, FGTH’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome etc. The lack of the ‘groove guard’ ensured they got absolutely destroyed by the card inners.

    A lot of modern 180g vinyl similarly lacks a ‘groove guard’, so will become just as rare in mint condition as it requires the owner to very, very carefully remove the vinyl from the card or paper inner and from that point use a proper poly or Nagaoka inner. So much I buy new today is served this way. It is one reason I’m prepared to pay quite a high price for highly limited stuff as I know my copies will very quickly rise to the very top of the condition pile, just as my ‘80s and ‘90s purchases have.
     
    gavreid likes this.
  13. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    Fuchsia Swing Song all good here. I did ask my dealer about issues/returns for Classic and TPs…and 80th Anniv before that. I know it’s a stupidly small sample size but he has 4 customers who basically buy “all the jazz” and he’s not had one return or complaint in 4 years.
     
    gavreid and poco a poco like this.
  14. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Thankfully none of my TPs and the few BN Classics that I've bought have pressing problems. But I am generally skeptical of new pressings having experienced problems with other records. I've bought records all my life and I've not experienced anything near this level of issues until more recently.

    Sure, the pressing plants are running flat out but I believe it all comes down to skill, experience and QC. Pressing records is still a very manual process and lack of skill and experience shows up in the pressing quality. Further, I think a lot of companies don't bother with proper QC post-pressing. I recall Sam Records (the French jazz reissuer) having problems with his regular pressing plant contractor (either Optimal or Pallas). He personally went through every single record to check and had to reject a very high number. I doubt other record companies bother to do that.
     
    norliss likes this.
  15. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    Sods law- having said that I got a copy of the Charles Lloyd Trio of Trios box through yesterday - Blue Note but not in the TP or Classics series . Two of the discs are perfect but Chapel, the best of the three musically, is horribly crackly and glitchy and will have to go back.
     
  16. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    I bought them separately as they came out, but Chapel was the one I had to return for a replacement as well.My second copy was perfect.
     
    kjb likes this.
  17. hermit

    hermit human spam

    At least you got the box!! I needed three copies of Chapel and two of Ocean and Sacred Thread to get a good copy of each. I just fired off the following to the UK blue note store more in hope than expectation.

    When the above box set was announced, it was stated that the box set subscription was only available in the USA which meant that UK residents could only buy the LPs as they came out and not receive a box for the box set.

    As a big fan of Charles Lloyd I went ahead and bought each LP as it was issued paying £75 in total for the three LPs with no box.

    I even wrote to you some months ago to enquire if I could buy the box separately in the UK and received an answer in the negative.

    Imagine my disappointment at seeing the box set including the box for sale at Amazon UK for £55 today.

    Your policy of not making the box initially available to UK buyers has effectively ensured that the most loyal UK Charles Lloyd fans have paid considerably more and received considerably less i.e. no box for the box set at a price £20 higher. Not much of a reward for being a true fan of the great man.

    I'm hoping that you might wish to make good and send me a box for my box set free of charge now that the boxes are finally available in the UK. I look forward to hearing from you.​
     
  18. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    Amazon sent a replacement box set the following day. As I'd not yet returned the first one I managed to put a good set together from the two. Result.

    As @hermit says, the box is currently only £55

    Trio of Trios [VINYL]: Amazon.co.uk: CDs & Vinyl

    Not quite three for the price of 2 but close enough
     
    poco a poco, hermit and gavreid like this.
  19. hermit

    hermit human spam

    Reply received today. No surprise here:

    Hi Paul.

    Thank you for the email.

    I am very sorry you was not able to purchase the product from our UK store.

    This can sometimes be down to territory restriction when first released.

    I`m unable to comment on item sold for Amazon and unfortunately we do not price match.

    We do not hold extra of spare stock so we would not be able to raise any free items to send out ,I am sorry for this.

    Your email has been forward to our time so the feedback can noted.

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out us.

    Have a nice rest of your week.​
     
    gavreid likes this.
  20. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    always worth a try. Bad luck!
     
    hermit likes this.

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