James Taylors new double album - 45 rpm - does that make it sound better?

Thought someone might be interested in this new 45 rpm pressing by James Taylor - American Standards.

"Recorded in James’s home studio, TheBarn, and produced by Dave O’Donnell, John Pizzarelli and James, American Standard includes James re-imagining some of the 20th century’s most beloved songs and making them his own.

**This Limited Edition audiophile 45-RPM double LP is pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a numbered, gatefold sleeve. Download card included."


Does 45 rpm make it sound better?

Here is a writeup that goes into 45 rpm. https://classic45s.com/why45s/45sound.html

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No guarantee, though most of his stuff is really high quality sonically. A lot of his stuff in Redbook or on vinyl is fab.

Thanks michaelhifi! That is very interesting to read.

Yesterday went to the local record store and got various fun stuff, but out of the audiophile-ish vinyl discs I got, one is JT’s Hourglass, which - believe it or not, I’ve Never Actually owned in any form - or for that matter, listened to, though I’ve read about it a lot over the years.

I am familiar with most of the songs on this album, however, from the “Live at the Beacon Theater” DVD I’ve had since around that time. My very young kids (15-20 years ago) developed an appreciation for JT via watching that disc in surround on the Home Theater in the basement back in IL. Still an amazing document/beautifully performed and recorded show, with fab video/audio/lighting.

At the time I went to a seminar at Gand Music and Sound in Northbrook, IL (place I used to buy my pro gear) featuring Frank Fillipetti. I knew of him, and knew that he had recorded this album and demos for it with the then-brand-spankin’-new Yamaha O2R Digital mixer. Crazy-Ass New Tech at the time, in the midst of the transition from Analog to Digital.

He had gotten a loan of this Really Super New Thing from Yamaha, and had gone to James’s Barn on Martha’s Vineyard to record some rehearsal sessions for the record. It was one of those Things that Engineers at his Level were party to. He didn’t expect much, and didn’t expect to use any of it for anything other than demos for the album.

Most of what they recorded ended up on the album.

He was as surprised as anyone.

As a side tech note, in his introductory talk, he mentioned that you shouldn’t get too literal about the Digital Meters on the 02R. “Go into the Red”. That struck me, as the Thing at this point was that this new Digital Zero Ceiling Thing was thought of as an absolute.

You go Over Digital Zero, and SPLAT! Nasty Crap Digital Distortion! Unlike analog which goes over 0dB softly and smoothly, creating 2nd and 3rd order harmonics - and All of those in attendance were used to a Lifetime of being able to push various pieces of gear above 0dB with Generally Happy Sonic Results.

So, when the “Questions from the Audience” part arrived, being near the front, and being rapt throughout his talk, I ended up being the first called on*.

I asked Frank, “How Can That Be? Isn’t Digital Zero an absolute?” And he sort of shrugged and said something along the lines of, “Use your Ears”.

That stuck with me. I’m guessing in retrospect that Yamaha, knowing they were introducing a Very New Thing to Lifelong Analog People, built in some headroom to the meters on this board. Most digital devices and boards that followed went SPLAT when you went over Digital 0dB.

*Gary Gand thanked me afterwards for starting things off on a good/gear-related foot, as apparently most seminars with Frank F. And his ilk were typically followed by questions such as, “What was it Like to work with Barbara Striesand? OMG, you’ve MET HER!! What’s she LIKE in Person!!!??”


One thing I will say about 45’s vs. 33.3’s is that - for example with the Dire Straits record, there are either one or two tracks per side, vs. 4 or 5 on the 33’s. Lotta flipping for MAYBE better fidelity. Varies from disc to disc.


My non-audiophile reasoning, distilled for the simple minded ( me ) : Like the three speeds of VHS tape, the faster it went, the better it looked. Now I understand.

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I’ve converted most of my favorite 33 1/3’s to 45’s wherever possible so I bought the same recording at a higher price twice. 3 or 4 times if you count cd’s and SACD’s. 5 times if you count files also. Not all my records, but many. I find that 45’s is so much better than the rest that it’s my favorite way of enjoying music when I am listening seriously. You have to get up and change sides and records more often, but that the price you paid for superior fidelity.
I find that comparing 33 1/3’s with 45’s is similar to 16bits 44k to 24bits 192k. Because of the higher resolution, you hear denser textures and more dimensional and spacious images. The difference is more apparent with vinyl than digital. It’s hard to beat a superior recording in 45rpm. If you have equipment that can take advantage of it, believe me, you are in heaven.

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I’ve got a few 45rpm LP’s from Reference Recordings which sound pretty nice. Unfortunately they’re not in rotation very often. -I’m lazy.

I love 45 RPM quality when the recording is worth it, and I have many.

In my experience there are just way too many bad to medium sound quality recordings issued on 45RPM for whatever reason.