What vinyl are you into right now?

Speaking of Bass players, if ya’ll have not heard of or listened to Chris Wood then I would highly recommend it. Chris is the longtime ‘Wood’ of Medeski, Martin & Wood, but more recently has been playing with his brother Oliver under the band name ‘The Wood Brothers’ (3 piece), plays mostly Upright and is an unbelievably talented musician, all of them for that matter,… Chris though can really lay down the lines that just make ya want to shake your ass! To see them in concert is an experience to say the least!

In regards to Donald Fagan, Kamakiriad has always been a favorite and reference for years, I’m constantly looking for it on vinyl at a decent price (ie. <$100US),. Now that Fagan just released a box set of all of his stuff for Christmas, I’m hoping an individual reprint of Kamakiriad will make it to the shelves, or at the very least someone will get the boxset, not like that album and put it up for sale! I have used that CD as a reference for a long time as the studio work on it is second to none,… which is certainly true for all of his stuff, but Kamakiriad as an album speaks to me more,…

I’m also a Steely Dan and Donald Fagen junkey and I have the initial vinyl version as well as the digital 24/96 album of that new Kamakiriad release you mentioned, which also comes as vinyl.

In my setup the initial LP sounds a little better (less flat, little more lively and expressive with slightly more colorful harmonics) than the 24/96 file of the new mastering, but generally with the same tonality, the difference is small. I can’t say which part of this perception is caused by the mastering or vinyl sound. These differences from pure vinyl sound got smaller since Redcloud. The recording is not that good, that differences in ambiance and sound staging would be obvious.

I’m also keen to try the LP version of the new one, especially (usually only) in case it has a different vinyl mastering. But I don’t need the whole box, that’s the problem, let’s see :wink:

(Apologies - non-vinyl post): So here’s one that’s kinda boggling my mind - your mention of Kamikiriad caused me to notice the CD in looking through stuff, so I threw it on the DMP. I have always enjoyed the music on this record, but generally found it sorta “painfully HiFi-ish” until now.

A lot of things have changed since I last listened to it, but my guesstimation is that the major thing is Redcloud. It’s like I’m hearing it as intended for the first time.dancing-009_gif “On a night like this, Story is Told…”

Still a tad bass-and-trebly, but who cares?

(why is it there are almost no “non-silly” emoticons here? Somebody get on coding that shit ASAP 65_gif

Yes it has the typical meaty sound of Fagen recordings…imo it sounds pleasant and more than rich enough tonality-wise on any setup, also pre-Redcloud. I don’t hear a too exaggerated treble, but it’s in a way a little too perfect and clinically produced as i.e. Dire Straights/Brothers in arms. That’s how digital was defined for a long time…that digital can also sound emotionally attracting came later.

I love all the Fagen recordings anyway.

Ella and Louis say:

”Let the rain pitter-patter

but it really doesn’t matter

When the skies are grey

As long as I can be with you, it’s a Lovely Day”

And Ry Cooder sez:

”Married Man’s a Fool

Think that his Wife

Love Nobody Else but Him”

(I don’t subscribe to the message, but to the music)

Got this 10” on a lark at HPBooks, and it turns out to be great : )



Whoever is interested…today I got the Donald Fagen / Nightfly MFSL 45RPM One step records and started a comparison to:

the US Quiex vinyl pressing (original Bob Ludwig mastering)
the Warner 180g audiophile version mastered by Chris Bellman and Bernie Grundman
the old MFSL vinyl (Stan Ricker Mastering)
the Japanese SHM SACD
the new Ceap Xmas hires version

The SACD and the new Cheap Xmas hires version sound quite identical and the worst, together with the Quiex vinyl, which is only slightly better. All seem to have the same mastering, somehow clinical/digital sounding just as the recording is was done and quite bass shy, flat in mids.
The old MFSL and the WB 180g both sound much better with richer bass, more spakle and ambience all around with. more extended and refined highs, which seem just a little exaggerated on the old MFSL. The WB has a slightly different tonality also in mids, maybe more a matter of taste in relation to the old MFSL. I’d prefer the WB due to the more natural top end.

The new One step MFSL combines the better top end openness of those two with the most natural sounding top end and has a different, better EQ in the upper bass region, which is the best of all, combining a more harmonic mid/bass sound with more accuracy in bass and all around quite a bit better than both.

This One step vinyl clearly doesnt have most. of the virtues the One step of analog recordings like the Bill Evans/Village Vanguard has, but anyway it is noticeably better sounding than all previous versions on digital or vinyl.

Although being a digital recording, this is definitely an album to play on vinyl. If you’re a Fagen junkey like I am, get the One step MFSL.

The mastering of Nightfly out of the new Cheap Xmas vinyl set is also the Bellman/Grundman mastering, so it should also sound better than the differently mastered Cheap Xmas digital version.

@Johhny: Kamakiriad vinyl out of the Cheap Xmas boxset is told to be also Glenn Meadows Mastering as my original Vinyl of this one. So weather same stampers were used or he newly mastered is unknown, but good chance they should sound similar.

Jazz - I haven’t heard the other masterings of The Nightfly (except the Tidal stream), but I think you hit the nail on the head with the description of the sound of the record. For me, it’s at least as good as Abraxas and Sunday Night in sound quality. I think the sound quality of these alone is enough to make we want to keep purchasing the next wave of Ultradiscs. I have orders for Bridge Over Troubled Water and Evan’s Portrait in Jazz (I, personally, would have gone for “Explorations”) but have yet to pony up for the SRV releases or Dylan. Honestly, it might take an Ultradisc to make me really like to listen to Dylan on vinyl. I like him, but not in an audiophile way. He’s one of the only artists I like where a revealing system makes the listening experience worse! Maybe the ultradisc will change that!

Bill Evans Portrait in Jazz One step?? Wow, where could you order it? Didn’t know it’s announced…

Edit: ah…I just found it, it’s for preorder already…

Regarding the Cheap Xmas vinyl I can soon tell more…I just ordered it for about 80$ with a coupon I had…it’s much cheaper than a Kamakiriad alone, so let’s see how the different masterings sound to the vinyl versions I already have and to their hires versions :wink:

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” will be getting the MoFi 1-step treatment too. Not my thing, but it’s a classic.

And I think you’re right with Explorations…would be the much better choice as Portrait in Jazz is not great soundwise and probably doesn’t benefit as much as Vanguard…

I just got turned on to this obscure record which is apparently a cult classic; “Yakhal’ Inkomo” by Mankunku Quartet. This is a re-issue of a release by South African artists lead by Winston Mankunku Ngozi on tenor sax. Here’s a blurb from the Jazzman Records listing:

“Saxophonist Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi’s 1968 masterpiece Yakhal’ Inkomo stands in the front rank of global jazz recordings. A certified jazz classic in South Africa, it has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and has never been out of print. But like so many other crucial South African jazz LPs, it was never released outside the country, and went unheard at the time by the wider world. This reissue is the first time that this truly essential jazz recording has been properly available outside South Africa.”

This is well miked and recorded, IMO. The musicianship is generally excellent and Ngozi is a great player. Pretty much in step with post-bop era stuff with a few little bluesy riffs thrown in by the bass. Good stuff!



I now bought the Cheap Xmas Vinyl box, too. There’s a good and a soso message.


The good is, you’ll get the same Kamakiriad mastering as the original german pressing has, no difference and in this case even the new vinyl is a little thicker (but far from the announced 180g).

The soso is, Kamakiriad vinyl sounds practically the same as the 24/96 digital file, just the characteristic of your vinyl setup is added if existent. In my case only a very small difference.

The other albums:

The good message is, with all the other Fagen albums of this set you get partly just a bit, partly much better masterings (Hoffman/Grey/Masterdisk SH/AD/Grundman) than the same 24/96 files have. The usual limitation…digital media just offer the standard masterings.

The soso message is…all albums are much lighter than 180g, have a worse pressing and most have clearly worse cover quality than their true 180g equivalents which were available as single albums with the same masterings. So for me the 80$ for the box just gave me a nice unworn new copy of Kamakiriad.

But remember the whole box costs about 1/5th of the separate issues, so when you don’t have the separate albums you get (except for Kamakiriad) mostly better masterings than from the Cheap Xmas digital set.

Regarding Nightfly: the Grundman/Calbi Mastering of the former Warner 180g reissue and the one in this box sound really immediately better and richer than the 24/96 and even more the One Step MFSL does…while the original vinyl pressing/mastering of Nightfly sounds just quite exactly like the 24\96 file.

Regarding my comment that it’s the usual limitation that digital releases just offer the standard masterings versus the many often much better vinyl remasterings available I want to make the addition that there are rare exceptions of existing quite high quality digital remasterings of original first releases, too. The ones I know are Esoteric, 2xHD, Audio Fidelity, DCC, FIM, Analogue Productions, ORG Music. Half of them just has a much smaller number of releases than on vinyl … and as Grundmann mentioned in his interview with Paul, even in case of the same effort of mastering applied to both, it seems the involved digital processes do more harm to the sound than the vinyl mastering processes.

But especially Esoteric, 2xHD and Audio Fidelity offer great quality remasterings, which are mostly not available as Vinyl remasterings. So there’s hope for more to come…

jazznut said

… and as Grundmann mentioned in his interview with Paul, even in case of the same effort of mastering applied to both, it seems the involved digital processes do more harm to the sound than the vinyl mastering processes.

But especially Esoteric, 2xHD and Audio Fidelity offer great quality remasterings, which are mostly not available as Vinyl remasterings. So there’s hope for more to come…

I think that explains a lot of what I hear on vinyl versus digital mastering. This backs up my observation in that it is unusual that I prefer the digital mastering. Thanks!

I will also agree that 2xHD and Analog Productions make excellent digital recordings. Unfamiliar with the others.

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When you listen to the interview which I linked at the beginning of the mastering thread (http://www.psaudio.com/forum/analog-forum/masterings-and-mastering-processes-analogvinyldigital/), you will get quite some explanations for what a vinyl listener hears.

If you are into classical music, too, I can really recommend the Esoteric SACD remasters. I usually don’t like the recordings of the 70’s to 90’s era too much, but these are really fitted with great interpretations and also sound, if you don’t expect the sound quality of the latest and best digital recordings which currently exist.

But back to the thread topic…the last vinyl I was into was SFS Mahler 8th and I gave it up and switched to the DSD version, as my cartridge now definitely is too worn and distorted at the “Gloria” inner grooves …have to get the new one now ;-(

My main Christmas gift from my wife was an amazing one. I had heard about Newvelle Records and their limited production run vinyl subscription model and was intrigued. Michael Fremer endorsed the records quality and I was aware of a few of the artists on the series, so I went ahead and suggested to my wife that she get me this series. I have got to tell you what an amazing series this is!! The sound quality is fantastic, first of all. Whoever the recording engineer(s) are have done an immaculate job of miking and mixing, that’s for sure. Every record is top notch. The styles run from post bop (Don Friedman) to new age solo piano (Jack DeJohnette) to Argentinian influenced, post bop-free form of Leo Genovese. The standouts for me are Don Friedman in his re-interpretations of some Booker Little compositions that Friedman actually played on the original recordings, amazingly. Friedman died shortly after recording this and it is an incredible eulogy to his career. Ben Alison Trio also plays some classic Jim Hall standards and they are fantastic. Then there’s Leo Genovese. That record has Jack DeJohnette playing drums with an occasional wild abandon like I’ve never heard him. Throw in Esperanza Spalding’s scalding standup bass and crazy vocals and you have a brilliant jazz record that surprises at every turn. I can’t recommend this series highly enough. If you like jazz and vinyl, do yourself a favor and get this series. It’s pricey at $400 a season, but it’s entirely worth it. The model ensures the artists get paid, first of all. And they have unfettered creative license to do what they like. And after two years, the artists obtain the rights to their own recordings and can do with them what they like, with the vinyl distribution going through Newvelle. Here a NY Times blurb about the series:

NY Times on Newvelle Records

Newvelle Records

Anybody tried the $125 MoFi Super Vinyl?