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Tone Poet Blue Notes

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

  1. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy Ausculta fili

    I wouldn’t say I hate the effect, but it is unnatural and can be a bit jarring. I’m definitely a fan of how Rudy did things.
    poco a poco likes this.
  2. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    It hasn’t stopped me buying some recordings for instance the otherwise generally excellent ECM ones mentioned. It seems a really strange choice for Manfred Eicher and his engineers to make especially those where he has chosen a recording space because of the particular characteristics it imparts to the sound stage and ambience of the final recording.
  3. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    I guess it's a pre p.a. / post p.a. thing. From an audience's point of view with live music nearly always heard through a p.a. it must now seem natural for drums - or any lead instrument, to take up the whole space whereas pre p.a. especially with pre amplified music, each sat in a space reflecting the room. I personally still dislike a drum kit that's bigger than the band and aesthetically find it better when things are in proportion.

    I mentioned in the "what are you been listening to" thread that I recently played Quicksilver's Happy Trails for the first time in ages and was really surprised to hear the drums stage left, just like Tony Williams in the recordings of the Miles Davis 64-67 quartet. I was struggling to think of any other rock record in the stereo period where that is the case - unless they have more than one drummer when they are nearly always separated right and left.

  4. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    re-evaluation time. The other day I refitted the original Technics arm to my SL1200G.I'd been using my SME IV and thought it would be interesting to go back to the original. Cartridge is a Hana Umami. Today I decided that I preferred the SME IV so replaced the Technics arm (which is not easy :eek:). Anyhow, replayed Blue Train (Stereo) and the sound was less bright, much more pleasing & enjoyable - although the soundstage still has a big hole in the centre. Moral of this story - stop faffing around and enjoy the music!
    poco a poco likes this.
  5. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Well the Complete Masters has just dropped through the door. Absolutely terrible. I can’t live with this!!! On the back cover Locomotion is listed in position as track 3 side one instead of position as track 1 side two. Worst on alternate takes Lazy Bird alternative take one is listed as 1st track side 4 and it is not even on the LP!!! t will have to go back. I can’t possibly be expected to enjoy the music with this error. ;););)
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m amazed they screwed-up that up, that is hysterical!
  7. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Very odd, there's been ages to QC while they've been pressing them all.
  8. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I don't mind that kind of thing either. I think anyone who has tried recording live jazz soon learns that pretty much every mic is a drum mic : )
    Tony L likes this.
  9. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    The cd is £51.32 from the link seems waaaay too much for a cd
  10. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    UK Amazon don’t seem to know what they are doing with pre orders a lot of the time now. Either wrongly identified as when I posted this or over priced on the pre orders and then drops after release as with Blue Train. The US Blue Note store has been the 3 LP version at $54.98 and the 2 CD version at $29.98. So I would expect around this in £’s in the UK. They also still have the release date as 18th November.
    Swann36 likes this.
  11. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    KG made a mistake here, apparently. The MM33 Blue Train (all versions) were cut at Cohearant, and the APs at Acoustech. I doubt whether there are significant differences worth worrying about between MM and TP mono versions, the only variation possibly being different mastering decisions on a different day.

    Now - if anyone from the TP team ever reads this, could we please have Larry Young’s Mothership as a TP. A real gem.
    mikechadwick and Nagraboy like this.
  12. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    OK for what it is worth and for those who may be interested here is the results, at least for today of my John Coltrane - Blue Train ‘shootout’. Apologies to all those who perhaps quiet sensibly find all this a bit boring, especially as it is pretty much system and taste dependant.

    The Contenders. All on vinyl:
    1. Tone Poet. John Coltrane - Complete Masters - Stereo.
    2. Tone Poet. Mono.
    3. A 2012 Mono reissue.
    4. A 2012 / 13 Stereo Reissue
    5. DeAgostini Stereo Reissue 2016 (Optimal Pressing) from 2008 Ron McMaster mastering.

    System used:
    Turntable: Trio L-07D
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Bronze in SME V arm. Cadenza Mono in L-07D arm.
    Burmester 808 Pre Amp. MC module loaded at 200 ohms - for Bronze. Music First TX103 Transformer into 808 MM module for Mono cartridge.
    Speakers: Dutch & Dutch 8c’s. Active speakers with room correction enabled.
    I wasn’t sure about listing all this, but probably this long shootout told me more about the system than the pressings and really indicates you can’t be absolutist about this. It probably won’t be the same for others. You can only make the comparison for your own system.

    First: A comparison of the two new Tone Poets Mono and Stereo. Both are excellent. Top rate flat and quiet pressings.
    They beat my other versions listed above, but in one case not by that much. They all sound slightly different. The Stereo Tone Poet does not have as much left to right spread as most Stereo Tone Poets in my system. Normally the sound stage extends well to the outside of my speakers that are about 7 feet apart centre to centre. With musicians often located outside the speakers as well. Here the room ambience and reverb extends beyond the speakers to some extent, but the musicians do not. There are clear differences on this stereo of musician positioning between tracks. Track 1. Blue Train and Side 2 Track 3 having the widest separation. The musicians are also not as far forward into my room as most Tone Poets, but the front to back depth seems greater than usual. Coltrane is inside my left speaker and slightly forward from it. Joe Jones drums are inside the right speaker, but most of the way, way back, but with no loss of detail. Chambers Bass is clearly just to the right of Jones and forward of him. Gelder’s Hackensack small home studio sounds remarkably large with good separation between all the musicians and I’m not really sensing any lack of centre fill. The ambience and particularly the reverb as well as some drum mike bleed is well filling the space between and it all sounds quiet natural. I thought at first play through that Lee Morgan’s Trumpet sounded a little bright, but further play throughs mitigated this so as it was the on the first track played I assumed my system was not fully warmed up.

    The great thing about this stereo pressing is the amount of detail that comes through telling you so much about how each musician is playing even in the ensemble parts and yet keeping everything well separate, but still having an overall coherence. You can hear for instance how Morgan treats every Note, in particular in the very fast runs in his Locomotion solo, and the subtle also the interplay between Jones and Chambers even while the horns are going full tilt. The air and detail on Jones brush on cymbal playing extending upwards is beautiful as is his swirling brush’s on snares over some of Kenny Drew’s Piano playing. Kevin Gray seems have done an excellent job with the Piano as well I can’t really hear any of Van Gelder’s usual boxiness here. The detail in the Stereo also tells you what Van Gelder was doing during the recording. You hear more clearly than ever how (in most cases quite subtlety) he brings up the mikes for the solos especially how the drums and bass come forward and have more impact. Plenty of dynamics and drive in all this. The tracks other than Blue Train and Lazy Bird Do have a greater inner spread of musicians with Coltrane and Morgan pretty much towards the centre for most of the time, but there is slightly different positioning and depth in the sound stage. All very apparent on this version and something I have never heard so clearly before.

    So does this wipe out the Tone Poet Mono? Well not quite for me what I am hearing with the Mono is less detail to the cymbals and less overall air and ambience, but a little added richness to the tonality on Coltrane, Morgan and Drew’s instruments on the mono. Also a little deeper bass and a little further front to back depth. Although I think I have both stereo and mono cartridges well set up I am beginning to think that the higher mass of the L-07D’s arm is contributing to the improvement here. I may at some point try lowering the stereo arm VTA a bit or slightly increasing the VTF. I did say it told me more about my system.

    So what about 3, 4 and 5 pressings above?
    Well I think I can pretty much dismiss 4 the Stereo Reissue that sounds a bit compressed, lacks detail, sounds flatter and ‘greyer’. The 5 the DeAgostini is better and may on its own sound OK. It has more detail and separation than 4 and a bit more front to back depth, but fails in fairly easily in direct comparison to the Tone Poet Stereo.

    I don’t totally dismiss 3 my 2012 Mono as it has some of the qualities of the Tone Poet Mono with a little richness to some of the tonality and while not as extended in the bass it does sound quite ‘tight’ there. It is also as quiet a pressing as the TP Mono with the sounds coming from an inky blackness. I think without the direct comparison I could live with this (as I have till now) and I think it cost less the £10?

    So the winner of the shootout in my system, at least for today. A bit of a total reverse for me as I have always preferred the Mono before. Today the Complete Masters Stereo wins because of the greater detail, better air, sound staging without any real sense of a hole in the middle that I was hearing on the Stereo before. I would have been happy just to have bought the Mono TP, but I’m glad I now went with both versions. Dam the expense. Your findings may of course be different.

    I hope in view of that you will also probably find differently that this overly long post has been of at least a little use and not a total bore. :oops: ;)

    Now for a listen to the Alternate Takes. :)

    Edit: A few corrections because of the nonsense auto complete on the IPad did in some places. How it changed Coherence to Cholera I’ve no idea.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
    AndyCC72, Nagraboy, kjb and 8 others like this.
  13. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    45rpm Audiophiles TP Blue Train Mono, Complete Masters, MM and AP45 comparison:
  14. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Nagraboy and hermit like this.
  15. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy Ausculta fili

    Still not played the stereo yet, as I had a package of AP Prestige LPs from Acoustic Sounds arrive from the US which I’ve been going through since then. Really need to catch up on a few recent releases - I’m getting snowed under.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  16. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I wasn’t going to bother with the stereo version as I’ve just bought a secondhand 1993 pressing (Direct Metal Mastering, so there!) but at that price...

    FWIW Sean’s link has expired, but I bought mine from the same guy at the same price here...
    Seanm likes this.
  17. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Apart from 20% VAT what other charges did you get hit with? Been looking at the repressing of the Complete Riverside Albums by Bill Evans and trying to work out if it’s worth importing directly. Mind you with the current £ vs $ exchange rate I’m starting to reconsider!
  18. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy Ausculta fili

    Didn’t get charged any VAT, just postage ($58 approx). Total inc postage was about $300 for 6 LPs.

    It’s possible I’ll receive an invoice in the next few days but I don’t know.
  19. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    thanks Greg. Do let me know if you get VAT added. Did you use FedEx?
  20. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy Ausculta fili

    Will do. Yes, FedEx

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