A final word on the Sundazed Dylan mono vinyl releases?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by adhoc, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. adhoc

    adhoc Gentlemen Prefer Stereo Thread Starter

    Hello all, I've recently become interested in picking up some mono Dylan albums, and so did a forum search for "mono Dylan Sundazed".

    The forum opinion seems - at best - very divided on these LPs. Some have complained of a treble lift, yet others have maintained that they sound pretty darned close to the original CBS monos. For example, Michael Fremer has a glowing review of Blonde On Blonde, but there have been some pretty massive brickbats around here for that album. Pressing quality also seems to have varied quite a bit, with some people noticing noise, while others didn't. :confused:

    I was hoping to get opinions on this topic now in 2007, 4 years or so since the reissues started coming out. The "novelty factor" of these reissues should have worn off by now, and if they truly are above-average releases, they should still be in rotation for some members here. :agree:

    Let's make this a good thread for the archives!
    - PLEASE post if you have heard and COMPARED Sundazed monos to original CBS monos
    - Please do NOT post if you have NOT heard any of the MONO LPs
    - Please, NO mono mix vs stereo mix posts
    - Please TRY to AVOID using ACRONYMS - e.g. Blonde On Blonde = BOB; this is for the sake of the search engines
  2. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    I'll start by breaking rule #1 (haven't heard originals). For the price, I like them. I have the original run from the old pressing plant that Sundazed used. Those were good records. I haven't liked the quality of their recent releases (warped, off-center, thinner). Freshly pressed Dylan in mono for $15 a pop is a good deal. Try one and judge for yourself. I recommend John Wesley Harding first.
  3. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    I have Sundazed mono Blonde on Blonde, US mono Blonde on Blonde, and Canadian mono Blonde on Blonde.

    The Sundazed sounds OK but in my view lacks something in comparison to the early pressings. I feel it sounds a little flat in comparison. Not very technical I know.

    The US and Canadian sound different and I don't have a strong preference; it's a little tricky because both are somewhat beaten up, the Canadian more than the US. They still sound good though, even with a bit of crackle.

  4. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    There's no such thing as "final word" in these forums....

    I find the mono Sundazed "Blonde on Blonde" to be a bit on the harsh side as compared to the original mono LP.

    I also have both an original and the Sundazed "Highway 61 Revisited" but have not really compared them.

    Neither one of my original LP's are in very good shape so they do not get much play.

    Overall, despite being a bit on the harsh side, the Sundazed LP's are a nice and convenient way to hear these unique mixes if you do not want to spend the time and money tracking down clean originals. This goes for any artist, not just Dylan.
  5. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    I've only heard mono originals of Blonde On Blonde and Highway 61 and they sound wonderful. Unfortunately they weren't mine and it would be a long, long time before I could find and afford similar originals.
    I have all the Sundazed Dylans and am very pleased with them. Do they sound as good as a near-mint original mono LP? Probably not, but to me they sound very strong, are quiet pressings, are amazingly "open" sounding recordings (don't know how else to describe it), and don't have the harshness others have mentioned (maybe it's my setup? maybe it's my 47-yera-old ears?).
    Then check the price tag and compare it to an original. To me, if you can find and afford good copies of original monos, by all means get 'em. But for the rest of us, the Sundazed issues are very hard to beat.
  6. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident

    rochester ny
    The Sundazed mono "John Wesley Harding" is the only way to get the real mono mix, as the original columbia mono was a fold down.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

  8. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach

    Lafayette, Co
    Get the original. while Highway 61 and BOB can be a bit pricey, you get what you pay for. The others can be found in very listenable shape for 20 bucks or less at most shops.

    If you want the best: buy the MONO UK CBS 60's pressings, with the textured orange labels. They sound amazing. A bit more pricey with the exchange rate but arguably the best presentation of this material that exists. I have 'em all except for BOB, although I do have a Stereo UK copy, which I thoroughly enjoy as well.

    I sold/liquidated all of my Sundazed BD lps, as the originals spanked them.
    For not much effort you can own the real deals for not much more than these reissues.

  9. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach

    Lafayette, Co
    That is inaccurate. I highly reccomend the UK press it beat my Stock 360 1a/1a California pressed Mono copy

  10. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident

    rochester ny
    Bob Irwin, according to the thread started by tim_neely on 10-06 2003, with the last entry being mae 12-12-03, titled "Mono Dylan John Wesley Harding Vinyl November 25" Included in this thread is a quote from Tim Livingston, of Sundazed, who say's " I checked with our producer, Bob Irwin, who has worked on all the Dylan tapes, and John Wesley Harding was most definitely not a true mono mix" ( sorry, my msn-web tv will not let me provide links). Latter on in the thread, which had participation from several highly respected members, it was revealed that for the sudazed lp, the true mono mixes were found, and would be used for the 1st time. Steve, are you disputing the information in this thread?
  11. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    I have two of these. The Sundazed John Wesley Harding sounds great to me; I found the Sundazed Highway 61 to be a bit of a disappointment.
  12. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Here is said thread:

    It's official: Mono Dylan John Wesley Harding vinyl November 25
  13. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident

    rochester ny
    I just found this thread, started 8-14-2006,started by Steve,titled "I just pulled my old Columbia CD of Dylan's JOHN WESLEY HARDING Just to be sure....."
    In post 101, steve say's" Columbia was a unon shop, they did not do fold downs in those days" Steve, should that be the final word on this question?
  14. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach

    Lafayette, Co
    That was my understanding too

  15. JJ75

    JJ75 Active Member

    London UK
    I have Bringing it all Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding.

    They all sound fine to me, the mixes are likely not amazing in fidelity terms anyway (havent heard any originals), but these issues get the music accross very well to my ears.

    A few notes, specific to my copies only, but may be useful:

    Bringing it All Back Home has a few static type noises on the acoustic side.
    Highway 61 is noticeably lower in volume than the others.
    Blonde on Blonde has had a loud click in Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 since new, plus disc 1 has developed a slight warp at the edge due to the tightness of the double-gatefold sleeve.
    Finally they all have a light background crackle, despite only ever having been played using a Shure VxMR cart. Its not very intrusive, but is definitely louder than any Classic records re-issues I have.

    I hope that is the sort of info the original poster will find useful.

  16. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I have heard originals of Freewheelin’, The Times, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61, and Blonde on Blonde plus I have heard a UK mono of Another Side (all of which I still own). I have heard the Sundazed monos of S/T, Freewheelin’, Another Side, Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding.

    IMO, all the Sundazed LP’s sound the same. If you compare them to the originals (or even better look at the wave spectrum) they have the same tonality as the originals from 5Hz to 5K, and they all have a boost from 5K to 14K+.
  17. Jay F

    Jay F New Member

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Last year at this time, I bought the Sundazed versions of:

    The Freewheeling Bob Dylan
    The Times They Are A-Changin'
    Another Side of Bob Dylan
    Bringing It All Back Home
    Highway 61 Revisited
    Blonde on Blonde
    John Wesley Harding

    I returned Blonde, Bringing, Another, and Freewheeling because they were so static-y. Sundazed told me they were going to get them pressed somewhere else, but they didn't have them at the time I returned them, so I took a refund.

    I haven't bothered re-buying them. New vinyl seems like such a crapshoot.

    The recording quality on the ones I kept is okay. I usually opt for the Sundazed record rather than the SACD, where applicable.
  18. SCOTT1234

    SCOTT1234 Forum Resident

    I can only offer my opinion on Blonde On Blonde. It's the only Sundazed Dylan mono I have. Comparing it with the US original mono, it sounds ok, not as good, but the difference is not instantly obvious. If you never heard the original you would be happy with the Sundazed but I always play the original, even with its few annoying pops and ticks. The Sundazed is a back up for me.

    I would still consider buying another Sundazed though - I was thinking of buying Freewheelin, because my original copy has a touch of groove-wear and I can't face risking the ebay lottery to locate a better Columbia 360.
  19. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    I agree with this observation. Could this be due to this album's length?
  20. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Christiansburg, VA
    This thread is interesting.

    A few years ago I started a thread devoted to my disenchantment with the Sundazed Dylans. Much of this (disenchantment) was due to the rave reviews by Fremer, but for each of my Sundazed LPs I felt there was something missing and not right. And yes they did sound the same as someone posted in this thread. Basically I got flamed, with comments like "well you just don't like the mono mix". BS - I have since bought many Dylan originals (some mono and some stereo) and they stomp all over the Sundazed LPs. IMO, take your time and track down decent originals, or close to original, pressings. They will sound better and in most cases only cost you marginally more. They have the tubey magic that the Sundzed records lack.
  21. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Boise, ID.
    This isn't exactly on topic, but....

    Whatever happened to the vinyl re-issue of Freewheelin that was supposed to come out featuring the original (aborted) tracklisting? I thought it was coming "this fall" but I've never heard a word about it since.
  22. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member


    That is my belief. The album sides run about 25 minutes per side. The longer the album side, the quiter the overall volume.
  23. Blackie

    Blackie Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I agree 100%
  24. MikePh

    MikePh Song and Dance Man

    Those who aren't pleased : Could you be a little more vague?

    I agree with anotherside in saying that they sound excellent.
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