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Tone Poet Blue Notes

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    I might just pick up the UHQCD version - we’ll see
     
  2. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I'm now listening to the 1985 Manhattan Blue Train CD which is generally thought to be the best Red Book available, I believe. I've had this for over 30 years but rather ignored it for 20 or so. It sounds very good to me now; full, dynamic, tonally neutral, detailed enough to show the reverb around the trumpet and trombone. I think Coltrane sounds right on this, in the way he does on the Music Matters release. I don't know why I didn't consider having the Mono and Vinyl and the Stereo on CD. My shift to streaming has blinded me to some gems I already own, I think.

    What the 1985 Manhattan lacks compared to the TP Stereo is that clean space in between the instruments that some people (Fremer?) like. It's organic but a little inflated, so that the edges of the instruments tend to blur a little - in comparison to the ultra-situated wide-pan visual clarity of the TP Stereo.

    I still suspect it's more tonally correct.
     
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  3. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I don't own a CD or High Res version only a few vinyl versions but both these TP releases have blown me away I and I can't envisage me ever shelling out on an original or a Music Matters to compare so I'm very happy to stick with these.

    For what it's worth as he isn't going to admit the reverse publicly Kevin Gray when discussing the Tone Poet releases on the 45rpm Audiophile's Youtube channel said that there are improvements over the Music Matters Blue Train which he put down to improvements he made when he went from his old Acoustech studio where the MM's where mastered to his current Cohearant studio where he did the TP's.
     
    gavreid likes this.
  4. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I wonder if Kevin Gray thinks the same about other BN releases he's done twice recently, for example, the Music Matters Speak No Evil vs the BN Classic? In this case the more recent pressing is an improvement, since my MM copy is noisy on the quietest sections, but the mastering is not. The MM is pretty much a perfect tonal balance for me. The BN80 is also excellent - just a bit brighter, but not pushing it. But the MM is as good as it gets for me.

    I'm going to stick with the Blue Train though. I've changed speakers (and cables, if the C word is allowed in the Music forum) to see how much system issues might be affecting my judgement.

    Have to admit it's sounding damn good with my Tannoy Eaton Legacy and smoother cables. I have read that there was a lot of reverb around the horns in the original tapes. I'm certainly hearing that even more around Lee Morgan with this speaker switch, but I'm also finding Coltrane has a more rounded tone.

    EDIT: Yes, I'm increasingly appreciating this now. It's sounding quite a bit more relaxed through my Eaton Legacy. Could be a U-Turn... I'll go back to the MM Mono tomorrow.

    All this over bloody Blue Train though! It's not like its a masterpiece like Meditations or Live at the Village Vanguard Again. But I'm glad to be rediscovering it's charms.
     
  5. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    I'm debating between the mono and stereo versions of the TP Blue Train. I've little interest in the alternate takes but would pay the extra for the stereo version if it images well. Could someone please advise if the stereo version offers a decent stereo image or does it suffer from a big hole in the middle of the image with the music coming only from the left and the right? I found this to be a problem with the recent A Love Supreme - Live in Seattle lp and it does hamper my enjoyment. Thanks in advance.
     
  6. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Blue Train must be one of the most 'reissued' Blue Notes. The music and playing are good but it's not even one of the best or most important or path-breaking Coltrane album. It illustrates the absurdity of audiophile reissues - each successive one proclaiming to be the 'best one ever' and the last one to be done from the 'original analog master tapes' and never again, etc. In this case, the latest Tone Poet is done by the same team as the one who remastered the Music Matters version not so long ago.

    Most of the reissues sound pretty damned good to me - the DMM 1980s US reissue, the numerous japanese pressings, the MM Mono and, I'd expect, the recent Tone Poets. A friend recently showed me even a Back to Black reissue that he thought sounded great (didn't know of this version before). I've not done a head-to-head comparison even though I own several versions. The whole debate in audiophile circles on the various pressings perfectly epitomizes 'navel-gazing'. Or a discussion over the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. We should just return to enjoying the music...but then we wouldn't be audiophiles, would we?
     
  7. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    Still waiting for my stereo TP to arrive. Don’t agree with those folk saying it’s no Trane classic. Those opening notes send shivers down my spine each time (well they do on my mono Classic Records anyway!).
     
  8. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Pretty much Left & Right (on my system anyway!).
     
    hermit likes this.
  9. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I have the manhattan too. It is good for an eary CD that's true but pretty ordinary in its dynamics as I said up thread. The TP (mono) is a big improvement, especially side 1.
     
  10. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I was being a bit sniffy, I agree. Joe Harley makes a great case for it's importance on the interview on Youtube, talking about it being his first album after he cleaned up from heroin and saying something very similar about his feelings on those opening notes.

     
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The other thing is it is the only album Coltrane recorded for Blue Note, so there wasn’t a lot of choice for the Tone Poet crew. They spotted their lone Coltrane cash cow and milked it good!
     
    paulfromcamden and Nagraboy like this.
  12. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    On a different point Harley prefers the stereo, Gray the mono, Ludwigs the Stereo (in his review yesterday) he also preferred the Music Matters. I think the choice will come down to personal preference...
     
    poco a poco likes this.
  13. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    Thanks for that. I think I will order the mono version.
     
  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve got the Classic Records 200g stereo and it is more than good enough not to bother with anything here. The soundstage is typically wide (which I like) though it is not entirely stable. There is a point somewhere where the drum kit actually moves a bit when Rudy fades up either the sax or piano channel (can’t remember which). I don’t care about this sort of thing, its all part of the charm of the vintage tech and bleed from live recording.
     
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  15. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Gavin, I think you are right, but it applies to both cases. Mono V Stereo and best sound quality. Plus the latter also being system dependant with regard to preference. If you can be bothered to plow through them there are about 15 pages of posts now on the Hoffman Tone Poet thread as to the best version of Blue Train with the main contenders for comparison against the latest Tone Poets being the Classic version, Music Matters Mono & Stereo and 2x45rpm a 33rpm SRX and non SRX and AP 2x45rpm. There are supporters of each, most saying they do all sound different, but all are good but finally coming down to a preference. I think overall the winner so far based on numbers, if there is such a thing, is the Stereo Tone Poet, but perhaps that is because it is the latest version to the ears? Perhaps the most interesting post is by Kilimacman on page 1455 ( https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/tone-poet-jazz-reissue-series.795822/page-1455 ) a 3 way shoot out where he thinks it is partly due to replay volume (again sometimes also system dependant) that gives a preference.

    So really any good version means that there is no need stress over this, but just enjoy the music. BUT I suppose we all have some Audiophile DNA here :oops: so will continue to do so. With that in mind I have now bought the Complete Masters Stereo (arriving tomorrow) as well as the Mono that arrived Friday and will compare with the 3 (lesser?) vinyl versions I already have to come up with my own Personal system / ears preference . :rolleyes: ;)

    There also seems to be quite a few posts on Hoffman that indicate some of the printed track order on the Complete Masters has a couple of errors.
     
    gavreid likes this.
  16. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    It's worth stressing that a key aspect of this personal preference is going to be down to system (as my switch from one set of speakers and cables partially demonstrates). Some systems will make the hole in the middle of the hard pan seem more glaring, whereas on some systems the channel bleed that Joe Harley talks about will fill that in a bit. On some systems the reverb around the horns might be distracting, on others part of an impressive holographic effect, etc... Few of us can claim to have an absolutely neutral basis for these judgements, no matter how hard we may try. Equally with digital vs vinyl comparisons.
     
    mikechadwick and gavreid like this.
  17. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Tone Controls ;)
     
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I really like the wide early stereo thing, but I have very large Tannoys in a mid-field setup so I have no loss of scale/heft if the bass and drums are well over on one side of the stage - I just don’t need two speakers to carry the load. As I’ve said many times I find this far more ‘real’ and true to life than modern recordings, even great ones like ECM, which do the ‘rock thing’ of giving you a wide panned view of the kit from the drum stool with different drums spread over the soundstage. I much prefer say Blakey pounding away in a coherent acoustic space somewhere behind the right speaker, the piano in the middle, horns left or whatever. Totally believable for me. Exactly what I’d hear if they were playing acoustically in front of me.
     
  19. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Absolutely agree about drum kit on the right Tony and your general point about the soundstage, though I still think the hard pan was a bit naive in '57 and improved when they have an instrument in the middle, e.g. piano.

    Joe Harley makes a similar point quite convincingly on the video I linked above, saying that a lot of time, when you would hear these bands live, the horns would have all been grouped together on one side of the stage for the harmonizing sections. I don't know how historically accurate that is, though I've no reason to doubt him. I'm so used to horn players having their separate space on stage in the live jazz I go to that it's a slightly surprising concept.
     
  20. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    That is one of my pet hates as well. Totally unrealistic from a audience point of view.
     

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