Comparing different vinyl masterings or releases of the same album

Might be interesting for some…
If you want you can surely also write about a comparison with a digital version or original first pressing LP”s. Or if you want you can ask for a comparison someone might have made.

Steely Dan, Everything must go
RSD 2021 180g vs. German release 2003 180g

The 2003 release sounds a little better with nicer/deeper colored bass and slam as well as less flat in voices. Those are small differences.

Quincy Jones, The Dude
Nautilus LP vs. UMG 2021 180g release

The old Nautilus Grundman mastering sounds clearly better, more 3D, deeper colored bass and slam, more open with a very tiny hint of sibliance the UMG doesn’t have.

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Steely Dan, Two against nature
Unauthorized year 2000 vs. RSD 2021 vinyl

The unauthorized release has a little more open top end, but the noticeably better dynamics, slam and energy of the new RSD release make it the overall better one.

This recording generally is gorgeous, made to play loud.


New AP reissue vs. original first pressing:

Same positioning of instruments, nearly identical sounding, but the new reissue is clearly better. Extension both ends, dynamics, articulation and definition better overall as well as air and imaging. A perfect reissue.


I’ll add this for posterity.

The AP 45rpm vinyl version of Willie Nelson’s Stardust album is by far the best version when compared to SACD, CD or Qobuz. There’s more air, more space, microdetails and grit in the instruments and his voice.

The digitized versions have some kind of noise reduction applied to remove some HF noise in the vinyl and ends up removing a lot of detail as well. The worst version is on Qobuz.

Yes, differences are strong enough, even if it was the same mastering. But when the good (re)masterings are not even available on the SACD, it’s night and day. The broad availability of better masterings on vinyl is alone a reason it won’t die. But there will be a time when they start offering commercial vinyl rips from those masterings, god beware. Ahmad Jamal / Alhambra from AP as a rip of the rare Alto analog version of the burned tapes possibly was the first.

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… and a great set to boot! Gary Peacock, Paul Motian, and Bill Evans.

Just very short, as I named this thread to compare among vinyl masterings. If we compared vinyl and digital releases from analog recordings, things would get boring with always the same result strongly pro vinyl.

I just recently compared the Esoteric SACD of the famous Kleiber‘s Beethoven 5. with the Speakers Corner LP. One doesn’t even get an idea from the (without having a comparison nice sounding) Esoteric, how much better the Speakers Corner sounds. And I really like the Esoteric releases usually (admittedly without having a vinyl comparison like here in most cases). I have no idea when analog recording quality will be surpassed by anything digital incl. DSD…I personally haven’t heard anything pointing in this direction yet.

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Yes, great music, cover and sound, simply perfect.

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