Muffled records phenomena

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Leonthepro, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    A trend I've started to notice between a few older releases I have is that they sound very low end or even muffled. The ones I have in mind are
    Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
    Genesis - Foxtrot

    I am especially surprised by the Foxtrot album because a German SEBtP which has similar release indicators that I bought at the same time and place sounds much better, as noted on discogs.
    Genesis - Selling England By The Pound

    Setup issues are not very likely since I have much more impressive and vibrant sounding records. One possability would be damaged grooves since some high frequencies are crackly and distorted, but is this likely to make whole albums low end?
    Is there perhaps some common theme here to look out for as to why this occurs? Are they truly supposed to sound like the way I describe it or is it perhaps just a poor mastering of these issues?
    I would also love recommendations for better releases of these LPs if you have any to suggest.

    Equipment:
    Rega RP1 with base carbon cart
    Cyrus 2 Amplifier
    System Fidelity SF5030 speaker towers
    Custom made HQ speaker cables

    Thank you for your feedback and excuse any mistakes I make as a first time poster here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2017
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    You have picked two really bad sounding records. Any others?
     
  3. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars Forum Resident

    I got a Stones Hot Rocks which sounds insanely bad. I checked it with Discogs and it appears to be an original or at least early pressing. There is no clarity. There's a bump in the bass and a huge spike in whatever range makes it sound like the instruments have bad nasal congestion and nothing else EQ wise. If instruments could talk, they'd be talking with a sandwich in their mouth. I've fiddled with my EQ but couldn't find any middle ground between between "blllblblblbl" and "EEEEEEEEEEEEE". Probably going to sell it. Would love the Ludwig/Abkco reissue if it wasn't a clear disc, I don't like colored discs.
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  4. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    *checks the SHF vault*

    We are running out of bunnies and we better get that grill going...

    Were gonna need more pancakes...!
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    I have a few records bought used where the grooves are worn out.

    Maybe this is what you're hearing?
     
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  6. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I thought that might have been the problem but Im not sure how to tell. And again, I bought both Genesis albums at the same time and place in a weekly new put out bin, so I imained they were from the same owner. The jackets are equally excellent but perhaps he/she played Foxtrot to death with a bad setup.
     
  7. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Not ones that are bad in this mannar. I buy most of my records online in Mint or NM condition. Any suggestions for better releases, originals perhaps?
     
  8. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I think it comes down to experience: visibly inspecting the records for damage grooves. If the store has a record player, then you can check the records before you buy. I would consider taking them back for exchange or a refund.
     
    Christopher B likes this.
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    As I understand it damaged grooves give off distortion and crackles on high frequency areas. This is not the case, if anything I would speculate worn grooves, that have been ploughed and lost their fidelity. The thing is Ive had it for a long time and was never sure if this was how it was supposed to sound like. But I know the owner at the store so Im sure I can work something out. Although If I were going to switch I might as well get a good soundimg release. Any suggestions? Ive read here that the German releases are typically great for Genesis if you can get a UK.
     
  10. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    I don't really think low end/muffled sound has anything to do with damaged grooves , which causes distortion but not really low end sound- I remember buying a modern day reissue of Roy Ayers Africa,Center of the world which had muffled sound whereas the original album from 1981 sounds clear and dynamic. I don't really follow the threads on mastering etc but I reckon it has something to do with it or pressing quality .
    P.S.
    To be honest I have never heard a great sounding Foxtrot , the German Charisma release is ok but nothing to get excited about
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    Leonthepro likes this.
  11. I can suggest you get instead the original Porky first UK pressing of "Foxtrot" on vinyl on large Mad Hatter label from 1972. It sounds open and great. Has that breath of life that we and our leader here are after so much.
     
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  12. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Our leader, youre making it sound like the third reich ;^)
    Thanks for the suggestion, although original porky cuts might be expensive to get. Ill look out for it for sure.
     
  13. Cassius

    Cassius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lafayette, Co
    The software is the issue. Living in Sweden, if your talking vintage LPs of US or UK artists, they will usually be cut from a copy tape. Copy tape copies will sound duller as they're sourced from dubs.
     
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  14. Goggen

    Goggen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oslo
    Hmm...

    Are you sure about that, Cassius? Not the fact that copy tape copies will sound duller, but that that is usually the case in Sweden.
     
  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    As an owner of many typical 70s to 80s records that were sold in Sweden I can say that most of them we got from Germany and the Netherlends. The UK and US pressings are rarely found in old attic collections here and as such its usually many steps removed from the source. Although again, the German issues can sometimes sound fantastic still with their own EQ and mastering. Genesis SEBtP is a good example.

    I typucally look for any recent good reissues because I prefer the concept of owning a totally unused record.
    But with Genesis and Rainbow I have not found anything more compelling than the originals so I presume thats what Ill be aiming towards.
     
  16. Goggen

    Goggen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oslo
    True. Many pressings from Germany and Netherlands, but a lot of UK and US pressings as well, in Norway at least.

    I think, as Hoffman stated, that the albums you mentioned are not espescially good soundwise either way (maybe with the exception of orig. press). It can be difficult to find the best (or good) repressings as there are many bad ones around. One might narrow it down by going after pressings from companies as: MOFI, Speakers Corner, Analogue Productions, Music Matters etc. But quality comes with a price tag...
     
  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Thats the thing. I dont think there has been an audiophile labeled release of those, with the exception of Classic Records which people dont recommend.
     
  18. Goggen

    Goggen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oslo
    I've got this Foxtrot pressing:

    Genesis - Foxtrot

    It's no bomb soundwise as I recall.

    I've got a UK Porky Pecko pressing of SEBTP which is quite good, I think.
     
  19. Cassius

    Cassius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lafayette, Co
    I have no idea what kind of pressings are knocking around in my native homeland, I assumed like other parts of West Europe I've shopped that US originals of US bands would be fairly rare. The old West German and Dutch mentioned below make sense. 99.9% of those would be dubs. I have no doubt that UK and US originals could be floating around there as well, obviously the British LPs would be much more common.

    Once you get outside of the country of origin, your stuck with dubs most of the time. I do know there are handful of Danish and Swedish Beatles and Stones pressings from the mid to late 60s were Decca and Parlophone provided orig UK stampers to service those markets.
     
  20. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    There was a Swedish pressed beatles collection blue box as well I believe. But yeah 90% Dutch and German from what I see.
     
    Cassius likes this.
  21. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The clear vinyl Rolling Stones "Hot Rocks" sounds fabulous, as do the other titles in the series. I believe the quality of vinyl used to press these is high quality, as no coloring is added and obviously no impurities are visible.
     
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  22. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars Forum Resident

    Does that (and Let It Bleed while we're at it) come in a black vinyl version? I'm not a fan of colored records.
     
  23. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Well you know, black is also a coloring. The natural state of vinyl is clear.
     
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  24. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Have you tried cleaning your stylus?
     
  25. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I clean it regularly after every record or playsession with a fibre brush for light dust and green paper stylus cleaner for melted on or hard debree.
    Even if I didnt I still have many more vibrant records. Also, I just changed carts so the stylus is brand new anyway.
     

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