Steely Dan Aja vinyl shootout

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sam, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Samh

    Samh New Member

    Location:
    st louis
    I just found out you are correct.
    That is the RCA Club version.
    I'm going to play them tonight to see if there's any difference in sound quality.
    I found out that version was remastered by RCA from original tapes from ABC Records Inc.
    I'm not sure if that will make it better or worse sounding.
    ??
     
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  2. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.

    Might be somewhat OK .....unless the matrix number starts with R.
     
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  3. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Boy, I have written about it before, but the Cisco (which I own), while having bass extension and lower end presence, sounds muffled and woolly compared to my US.
     
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  4. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    :shrug: ......awesome resale value though!!!
     
  5. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    It doesn't sound muffled on my setup at all. Sometimes a systems characteristics can accentuate a particular quality/perceived flaw. We all know you don't like it ;)
     
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  6. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "....compared to my US".

    Haven't you ever thought you had a good copy of something only to get another and think that a layer of gauze was wiped away in hindsight?
     
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  7. JP Christian

    JP Christian Forum Resident

    Yes, twice!

    The 1957 UK HMV Ella Sings The Cole Porter Songbook - first layer of gauze comes off after acquiring the late 1970's UK Polydor re-issue!

    Second layer of gauze 'blown away' with the 3LP Analog Spark 2016 re-issue!
     
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  8. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Well its good enough for me for the moment that's for sure. There are bigger upgrades I can make...
     
  9. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The midrange, clarity, and transient response on the original is startling in my system compared to my Cisco copy.
     
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  10. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I have no problem with the Cisco, it's a great-sounding record. But I managed to find a mint U.S. first press (for $7!) and it was clearer sounding and had better dynamics IMHO. The Japanese promo was almost identical. They all sound great!
     
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  11. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    +1 That's what I hear too.
     
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  12. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I have the Cisco Aja, which sounded a bit rolled off in spots but sounded great in certain spots (I think the drum intro to "I Got the News" comes to mind?)

    I need to find one of these "AB" pressings. Are all "AB" pressings equally good as long as they are clean, or are we in Tom Port territory?

    Thanks.
     
  13. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Well, there's always the chance of a pressing off a tired stamper, but I think any one in good condition is going to be great. Someone mentioned one pressed in the Santa Clara plant, if I'm not mistaken, was the best one he came across. Don't ask me how to identify that.
     
  14. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Thanks. I take it that since it is a late 70's US pressing, vinyl quality can be an issue in addition to general wear and tear, so that adds to the challenge.
     
  15. padreken

    padreken Active Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    I bought a gold stamp promo of Aja on EBay recently, and sure enough, it's an AB. Smokes my old AA, which is now in the trade in pile.
     
  16. katstep

    katstep Forum Resident

    I know I shouldn't be lazy and should just dig through the thread about it, but can someone please list the specific deadwax details I'm looking for for the AB pressing?
     
  17. jgrillo

    jgrillo Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA USA
    AB preceding the catalogue number in the deadwax, along with a 1A or 1B in there as well will be your best bet...I believe those are the early Santa Clara pressings.
     
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  18. Pappas3278

    Pappas3278 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York City
     
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  19. katstep

    katstep Forum Resident

    Awesome, thanks. So it looks like the ones with AB scratched out should be the right ones too.
     
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  20. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Second Stock will be AA with the B scratched out, mine has RE-3 also (Revision) , <---this also carries the better mastering: My AA carries RE-4
    You can see the B scratched out, kind of tough to photograph
    SRC liked to use RE tags, not sure if the west coast has them or not, me being towards the east makes sense that this was probably a Pennsylvania press
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  21. sjaca

    sjaca Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto ON, Canada
    I've noticed the same kind of thing when comparing (casually, not in a formal shootout per se) the original AB1006 & the Cisco. Prefer the former, it is perfection to my ears.
     
  22. smokefree

    smokefree New Member

    Location:
    carisbrooke
    Question for the Cisco lovers ...

    How many did they press ?

    Mine is #1628

    That's an early-ish one ?
     
  23. ifyouever

    ifyouever Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    On my system, the Cisco packs much more wallop - in midrange, and especially in bass and drums - and it's not close. And the more you crank it up, the more it breathes.

    I also keep an original domestic AB and Nippon Japan pressing because I'm obsessive and adore the album, but I find the Cisco the clear winner. With the Cisco it's like I'm listening to live music; with the other two, a compressed recording of the music.
     
  24. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The top end and midrange are more open and detailed than your AB pressing?? Or do they just have more "whomp"? Because most of the bass and drums don't live in the midrange. How clear, open, and present are saxes and the vocals? How airy on top is the Cisco vs. the AB domestic?
     
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  25. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    For those with high end systems, you might try increasing the height of your tonearm slightly when you play the Cisco. As I recall, it's a pretty thick record, kind of felt like 200g. You may lose some lower end, but it might provide the added clarity you are hearing on the original pressings.
     
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