Johnny Cash - American Records "Unearthed" Vinyl Box Set. 3rd November 2017 Release Date

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zach Attack, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Chris Bellman cut the vinyl as he also did with the original American albums box, the sound quality is excellent.

    Regarding the pressing, judging by conversations I've had with friends, I think both US & EU sets were pressed at the same plant, whichever plant it was didn't do a very good job at all, the records have lots of scuff marks and are noisy with numerous pops and crackles throughout.
     
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  2. fpas

    fpas Well-Known Member

    At least the mastering should be right then. Would be nice to find out if both US and EU versions were pressed at the same plant. Maybe there's more info in the deadwax, (stamped) numbers or such.
     
  3. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    My box came from the USA, two friends of mine bought theirs from the UK and each box had all USA info on the packaging, eg, no Manufactured in The EU info anywhere.
     
  4. fpas

    fpas Well-Known Member

    It could be that EU pressings weren't ready at the time. I think the EU version was released on a later date.
     
  5. kyodo_dom

    kyodo_dom Active Member

    Yes, I can vouch for this too with my US copy. LP#1 is the worst offender. Two of the LPs even have - I'm not really sure how to describe this as it is the first time I've ever encountered it and I have plenty thousands of records - sort of jagged vinyl edges, one so sharp I feel I could cut my finger on it. So yeah, mastering sounds wonderful, but lousy job at the pressing plant. Also, there are a few mistakes in the book. Of course, that doesn't affect the music, but it's a shame no-one bothered to proofread it (or if they did, s/he didn't do a very good job). A bit sloppy; I mean, if you're going to put out such a fantastic set, at least do the job properly...
     
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  6. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    I only just managed to make one good box out of two.

    In my original box the worst disc was disc 5 side 1. The opening track "Singer of Songs" had a glaring bit of damage to the groves which affected the first 20 seconds, this caused it to Pop loudly 17 consecutive times. It looks like paper or some other debri is stuck into the grooves, I tried numerous times to remove it but to no avail.

    Below is an image of disc 5 taken with a macro lens.....

    _MG_0871.JPG

    Altogether out of nine discs there were four that I was unhappy with, the others being disc 1 (The next worst record), disc 4 and disc 6, none of which I was able to swap out from the second set because were they even more badly damaged than the ones I had.

    At the end of the day now that I've replaced disc 5, I have a set I can live with and enjoy but at the price this box cost I expected so much more from a pressing quality perspective.
     
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  7. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    I wish I’d seen all of the comments on pressing quality before I placed my order. Based on the previous American Recordings LPs I expcected at least similar quality control. Mine should be arriving in a day or two. Sounds like it’s pretty unlikely to get nine good discs in one box. I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
     
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  8. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Hope it turns out good, I've got my fingers crossed for you.
     
  9. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    My set did come today. Wow, what a package is all I can echo here. This was an ambitious release. Could have been seen through a bit better. Luckily, my vinyl all looks great. After cleaning, there's light right channel surface noise throughout. The sound is stellar however and the content priceless. This kind of mild noise often diminishes after a few plays on multiple cartridge-tonearm set ups. Fingers crossed still. This could be such a treasure.

    My fifteen year old son came down as I started through the set and said, "That's Johnny Cash, what an awesome voice", and he quickly rattled off a few favorite Cash songs. Granted, the kid's name IS Sam Hall.
     
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  10. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    I've been through the whole set now. (I'm off work this week) Based on the aforementioned problems of others I have to say I got pretty lucky here. Perfectly quiet? No. But as I start through the second time it does seem to be improving. (Dehorning new vinyl, especially when roughly produced, does have some merit). None of the vinyl is warped and there are no visible defects of any significance. I'm satisfied. The mastering and sound quality never fail to be anything but top notch IMO. Nice job by CB yet again.

    I can't comment on mistakes in the book due to self professed ignorance I guess. What I can say is that this is an impressive package. The whole cloth wrapping of everything is a step beyond what had to be done. This was clearly an attempt to put out an archival release to honor a somewhat flawed gem of a man. They may have just missed the mark. Apparently, they could have picked a better pressing plant. I still applaud the effort and would recommend the vinyl box to any fan with the caveat that you may have to get a couple to end up with a satisfactory set or have the patience to play through it a few times to see how it settles out. Worth the trouble in my estimation. One of my favorite releases of the year.

    As an aside, the box is oversized for sure. Don't expect this to fit on a standard shelf designed for records (13.5 inches high).
     
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  11. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    I'm so glad it turned it well for you. Once you get past the faults with a decent set it is an outstanding reproduction of its CD counterpart.

    With gorgeous remastering by Chris Bellman, the sound quality is outstanding, certainly better than it's CD counterpart, and something that improves even further upon the already joyous listening experience of the original.

    The American era is for me the crowning achievement of Johnny's entire career, even as is health was declining and his voice grew ever more frail, there's a power in that frailness that just cuts through and creates an emotional listening experience thatjust floors me.

    I play the original six LP's often and like those this set will be on me turntable for many years to come.
     
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  12. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Dom, what are the errors in the book?

    Due to time spent trying make up one decent set I've not had a chance to properly go through it yet.
     
  13. kyodo_dom

    kyodo_dom Active Member

    Out of town over the weekend, but I’ll follow up this week. There are (at least) two silly errors as far as I remember. Many people may not care, which is fine as it is all about the music in the end, but I used to work in print/publishing/magazines so sloppy mistakes in liners, booklets etc... really bug me because it really isn’t that hard to get someone competent to check these things.

    The other thing which really irked me was how small the typeface was on the LP labels. Could easily have been printed at a legible font size. (My eyesight is still pretty decent, but I can barely make out the track names on the LP labels.)

    More anon.
     
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  14. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Here's the deadwax info for the first LP in the set.....

    B0025730-01-LP1-A RE-1
    B0025730-01-LP1-B RE-1

    Can anyone tell from the above which plant this set was pressed at?
     
  15. kyodo_dom

    kyodo_dom Active Member

    I am not qualified to make judgements on mistakes relating to the music; rather the mistakes I spotted are things that caught the eye of someone with a background in publishing. One typo is on the initial page of text in the "Unearthed Text" book...penultimate line refers to CDs not LPs. Suggests to me text was simply copied & pasted from the files used for the original CD version. It's a basic mistake, which should have been caught by a proofreader, and one that you could say sets the tone for the sloppiness that some have found in the physical production - not the mastering! - of the whole set, coming as it does in the very first sentences someone is likely to read. The other typos are hardly worth mentioning, as they are things like the incorrect font used for the word "Glenn" in the track listings ("Unearthed Volume Five" page) in the book/binder that houses the LPs. But I know from experience that these are just the sorts of mistakes a half-decent proofreader would quickly identify. Given how much has gone into producing the whole set, I think it's a shame that a higher level of quality control was not applied in regard either to the production of the LPs themselves, or to ensuring the accompanying written material was snafu-free.

    I realise this may all seem trivial, but if you're going to do a job, and then ask people to cough up northwards of $200, then please do it right first time around. Still, it sounds so fine and is so handsome looking that most people will surely be able to overlook the imperfections...even if I can't :laugh:
     
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  16. mick_sh

    mick_sh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    Nope, B0025730-01 is also written on the blurb sticker, so must be the catalogue number. That leaves nothing (LP1-x RE-1) to figure out where were pressed.
     
  17. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    It's even worse this side of the pond where it is £290 GBP that's $387.79 US Dollars

    Now you mention it Dom, I did notice it said CD's instead of LP's, as you say it is a small error but it does illustrate the lack of care taken in releasing what is a very expensive set. When you look at these mistakes alongside the poorly pressed vinyl it really is unforgivable especially for such an expensive item.





     
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  18. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Unfortunately that's the only info I can see in the deadwax. Whoever pressed it, they probably thought that they were going do a lousy job so best not let the folks out there know who we are.
     
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  19. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    I’m really pretty happy with mine but agree the quality control should have been better. I think I’m good but I’ll still get a sinking feeling if this set is reissued again in a few years pressed at QRP like the Hendrix Purple Box was. That set is pressed to near perfection.
     
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  20. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    The Cash "American Recordings" box of the six original albums was also pressed at QRP for the USA, I had hoped this would be the case for this set too, sadly Universal must have gone for a much cheaper, poorer quality option this time around. The EU pressing of the original six albums was pressed at GZ and from what I gather they too did a great job.

    This set on the other hand looks like it could have been pressed at somewhere like United or Rainbo because it really is badly pressed.
     
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  21. mick_sh

    mick_sh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    They surely did a good job. My copy is flawless. Not a single click/pop. 7 perfect slices of vinyl.
     
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