Best vinyl Dark Side of the Moon?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by andyinstal, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. andyinstal

    andyinstal Runner for Others Thread Starter

    Allen, Texas
    I found a near mint vinyl of The Dark Side of the Moon with triangle and Harvest logo last night at half price books, but did not get it. I wanted to get opinions of forum members familiar with the vinyl of this title. What is the vinyl to look for? BTW I have searched and could not find the info.
  2. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Forum Resident

    IMO an early UK pressing is the best. It need not be the 1st issue just a lower stamper number. Second to that I'd go with the Japanese Pro Use and then the EMI 100 Anniversay issues. I personally don't like the recent LP remaster there is something very wrong with it. It almost sounds like a Dolby tape when it is played back on a non-dolby machine.
    Paully and The Beave like this.
  3. andyinstal

    andyinstal Runner for Others Thread Starter

    Allen, Texas
    Any info on the number of the early UK pressing. The number on this one started out with a 110???
  4. chosenhandle

    chosenhandle Well-Known Member

    I will second the Japanese Pro use DSOM. I picked up a copy at the Denver Audio Show and am very impressed with it. I have about 10 copies from around the world, and I think the Japanese is the best. My UK copy is not NM, so I can't do a fair A/B on them.
  5. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Based on the copies I've heard, I'd agree. I have two early UK Harvest pressings, and while neither is a first pressing (solid blue triangle on the label; see image below), they sound great and to my ears they beat the other copies I have ("Wally"-cut US Harvest and 30th-anniversary edition).

    The catalog number for the UK LP is SHVL 804.

    stax o' wax likes this.

    DOUBTINGTHOMAS29 Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    I have a Japanese 2nd pressing that I enjoy very much. I prefer it to the US and MOFI. I haven't heard the UK pressing yet.
  7. Kent Teffeteller

    Kent Teffeteller New Member

    Athens, TN

    I like the following: Blue Triangle UK Harvest SHVL 801 (low stamper numbers best), Toshiba-EMI Harvest Pro Use Japan, EMI 100, 30th. Anniversary (my low bucks favorite), and the Mobile Fidelity LP.
    Paully and stax o' wax like this.
  8. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Northwest Illinois
    I auditioned a German vinyl copy from a friend last year that was purchased around 1973-74 and I thought it suprisingly sucked. Weak in dynamics for sure.

    Maybe a later German copy might be better?
  9. John

    John Forum Resident

    rhode island
    A subject worth talking about a many times as necessary, IMO. I have an early US, MOFI, (2nd press?) UK, EMI 100, and the 30th anniversary remaster. Of the versions I have, at the end of the day I come back to my early US pressing. The EMI is very good, but my copy has a slight edge that my US does not.

    The US is very well balanced, and very good all around, does nothing stunning, but nothing wrong either. It was pressed on thick vinyl, about 150g, and says mastered by Capitol, I think I paid $8 for it earlier this year. Oh yeah, and the vinyl is dead quiet.

    My MOFI isnt worth talking about, the UK is very pleasant sounding but lacks the presence of my US copy, and the remaster is just a mess, IMO.

    I wish I had a pro-use or solid triangle UK, but those sell for more than Im willing to dish out.

    Perhaps when the 30th anniversary sells out, someone will remaster this properly, without the top end boost, and the feeling that the LP is "trying to accomplish everything all at once".

    Dont overlook the US pressings...

    Good Luck in Your Search!
  10. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Forum Resident

  11. innercircle

    innercircle Forum Resident

    Monterrey, Mexico
    My Japanese LP sounds really good, I need to go home to check what version I have, is the one with the White-pictured OBI.
  12. poweragemk

    poweragemk Old Member

    Pro-USE and MoFi both are really good.
  13. Curiosity

    Curiosity Portable Audio Fan

    United Kingdom
    I used to have way back in the early 80's the Canadian Capitol which I still miss - ruined by applying white spirit in an attempt to remove chocolate stains from it.I like the sound on that a lot.

    I finally got around to getting a EMI Harvest around 1989 but it was a bit noisy - perhaps the stamper was a bit passed its best too.

    I'll put getting a replacement on my 'to do list' for next year.

    Regards from the girl of one hundred lists,
    John Bliss likes this.
  14. sungshinla

    sungshinla Vinyl and Forum Addict

    Here is a link to my personal opinion on this subject:

    To clarify, the best sounding versions are:

    - UK "second pressing" (when the label just switched over from all solid-blue triangle to the blue-rimmed triangle) with the dead wax matrix ending A/3 on Side 1 and B/3 on Side 2. I have also seen a blue-rimmed triangle which has a A/3 and B/2 matrix but this also suffers from the same problem on "Money" as the all solid-blue first pressing.

    - Tied for first with the UK mentioned above is the Japanese FIRST pressing by EMI/ODEON. This one has the all solid-blue triangle like the UK first pressing.

    Also, to add: The EMI 30th Anniversary Edition is very good in that it is still available (I still see it sealed on eBay for $30 or so) and sounds very good too. It tends to be a bit bright but so does the Japanese Pro Use vinyl.
  15. Randy W

    Randy W Forum Resident

    I have UK (mid-year), US (early and latest remaster), regular MoFi, UHQR, and Japanese Pro-Use. I'd say the last two are best. However, to be honest I do not play it on vinyl too often (I play the non-TO Japanese black face CD). When I do play vinyl it's the UHQR all the way.
  16. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Forum Resident

    It's interesting that you bring up the UHQR. To my ears it sounds the same as the standard MFSL. Which different from the UHQR of Sgt. Pepper where I found the UHQR to better any other version.
  17. Onward

    Onward Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    I've got a second issue german dsotm with A4/B1 matrix and a 6th issue uk with SHVL 804 A-11 / SHVL 804 B-11-C-1-1 matrix, and the uk sounds best even if it's a late issue. The german sounds congested and bright at the same time.
  18. Alan D

    Alan D New Member

    North Wales
    suffers from the same problem on "Money" as the all solid-blue first pressing. What is the problem with Money on the first pressing??
  19. Stax Fan

    Stax Fan Active Member

    I like the standard MFSL best, but my copy has what Tom Port considered the hot stamper for Side 1 and although Side 2 isn't what he thought was the hot stamper for that side, it still sounds pretty good to me. I tend to like a warm sound, and that's the tonality of this copy so it works for me. FWIW, this copy is in the later style cover with the italicized ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING banner across the top as opposed to the vertical lettering of the first covers.

    Other copies I have are a later UK pressing, an original US Wally (WLY) cut and a Japanese EAS series copy with the obi that has the picture of the band and the red & black stripes. IMHO, any of these are enjoyable but I think the particular MFSL copy I have is the best of my stash...good enough that I don't really care to look for something else. I won that MFSL copy sealed in a Goldmine mail auction from a guy in Seattle about 10 years ago. :)
  20. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    I'll have to dig out my German copy I picked up in 1989 while living in West Germany. I'll be interest to compare it to the version you heard from an earlier pressing.
    As a matter of fact, I'll give it a try on my SystemDek IIX first (fitted with the Grace), and then on my Denon DP51F fitted with the DP-60 to see what deck sounds the warmest.:edthumbs:
  21. sungshinla

    sungshinla Vinyl and Forum Addict

    I have never heard the UK solid-blue original pressing but what I understand from the UK DSOTM experts (the same ones who informed me about the best sounding stampers of The Who, Who's Next LP and the Elton John, S/T LP and the fact that the Stereo Track of Hendrix Are You Experienced is a late 70's/early 80's reissue and that the 60's UK Track stereo does not exist, etc.) is that there is a glitch on "Money" for matrix ending B/1 (if one exists, I do not know) or B/2 on Side 2. The very two runs of the blue-rimmed label have the matrix ending B/2 or B/3 on Side 2. What you want is the B/3 version. Because many UK audiophiles already know this, you will see potential eBay buyers routinely asking what the dead wax matrices are or specifically asking whether it is a A/3, B/3 pressing. These go for at least $50 in an Excellent condition and close to $100 in a Near Mint condition. My copy has a black circular shaped sticker on the front cover. Apparently, these mostly came in a black inner sleeve.

    I have had AT LEAST one clean copy of the following in my collection:

    UK blue-rimmed triangle label A/3, B/3 pressing
    Japanese EMI/Odeon solid blue triangle label first (3 copies of this one)
    Japanese Pro Use (I sold this one)
    Japanese second EMI pressing (with tan/orange EMI label)
    Mo-Fi (several copies of this one)
    US original cut by Mr. Traugott
    US pressing not cut by Mr. Traugott
    UK Quad original
    EMI 30th Anniversary reissue

    First of all, they all sound excellent, if they are not being A/B'd, as it was just a fantastic recording in the first place.

    Secondly, however, the UK A/3, B/3 pressing and the Japanese Odeon solid blue triangle pressing are so much better than the rest that the sonic improvement is unmistakeable and significant. I, too, had been in the "how much better can they sound" camp, as many of you apparently are now. But when you listen to one, I can promise you that you will definitely note the sonic improvement. Everything is clearer with better and bigger sound stage. The vocals have less distortion and as if a veil has been lifted without sounding bright (which is the problem, IMHO, with the Japanese Pro Use and, even more so, the EMI 30th Anniversary reissue). The UK Quad sounds excellent but it has some annoying remixes, which just does not sound right. Like one is trying to fit a square block into a circular hole. The Mo-Fi and the US Wally cut sound very similar to each other (with the Mo-Fi getting the nod, for detail, a bit punchier bass and, of course, dead quiet vinyl) but they sound veiled and lifeless in comparison to the best two listed above. The Japanese second pressing is on quiet vinyl but is deficient in the other categories.

    BTW, the Japanese CD (without the "TO" or whatever) that I have definitely sounds better than the Mo-Fi LP, US Wally cut, Japanese 2nd pressing, etc. It only loses to the two top vinyl pressings noted above. There is the freshness and the naturalness to the two vinyl pressings and the Japanese CD that I cannot communicate to you. You just need to listen for yourself.

    This must be the third time that I have offered this opinion on DSOTM LP, and I guess I will stop now, since too many people here just seem to be ignoring it.

    Based on some people's doubts here about the best sounding The Who, Who's Next LP (which many UK audiophiles know is the earliest UK Track stampers (which are A/1, B/1 or A/1, B/2) with EITHER "Bilbo" OR "MG 12888" (or something like that, as my copy is in the other room right now) on the dead wax on ONE SIDE ONLY), I threw away another $30 and purchased the Classic 200-gram reissue to do a comparison against my "right" UK Track. While the Classic reissue is quite excellent, there was not much comparison, as the UK Track sounds just right, especially in the high frequencies, while the Classic sounds like it was sourced from a tape which had degenerated in sound quality (not too much, but noticeable in occasional parts WHEN COMPARING against my UK Track).

    As I mentioned several times, DSOTM is such a great recording that many pressings are "good enough". But your question was which is the best sounding vinyl, and I have given you the answer.

    If you doubt my A/B results, you are, of course, welcome to spend about $1,000 in acquiring the different pressings and finding out for yourself.

    I apologize for the ranting but I guess I am a bit tired of repeating myself when I am the only person that I am aware of at this Forum who has actually owned and compared in detail all these different pressings.

    Again, my apologies.
  22. Onward

    Onward Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks for taking the time to type out such a long and detailed answer :thumbsup:
    wwright likes this.
  23. hoover537

    hoover537 Forum Resident

    Sung your posts are very much appreciated by a lot of people here. Thank You for taking the time to share your results.
    wwright likes this.
  24. mtodde

    mtodde New Member

    Atlanta, GA
    I can only speak about the EMI 30th Anniversary issue which sounds very nice to my ears. The best part is that LeeS paid for it!
  25. sungshinla

    sungshinla Vinyl and Forum Addict

    Thank YOU, for reading my ranting, lol.

    wwright likes this.

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