Steely Dan Aja vinyl shootout

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

  1. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    AA-1006 on A side/(RE) 3 on B side ABC early reissue pressing. This thread made me double check. One of the best sounding LPs in my collection. If i come across an original MoFi or an AB-1006, i'll prolly grab it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  2. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    A lot of the AAs use the same stampers as the ABs (usually crossed out in the dead wax)
     
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  3. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    No, skip the MoFi. It's hyped up, particularly on top. It doesn't sound natural. Sure, it sounds dynamic, but it's tonally quite off. The highs come off as harsh.
     
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  4. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    I have the MoFi, not one I would give high marks to!
     
    katstep likes this.
  5. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Hmmmm. Okay then. I guess i'll pass unless the price is right!
     
  6. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Uh .. What price is worth a mediocre listen?
     
  7. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    I own a dbx 3BX III. I can find the sweet spot with just about any recording with it.
     
  8. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I wonder what caused the distortion on the Back to Black? Inadequate groove space?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  9. I have the AA, the Mo-Fi and the Cisco vinyl.

    I prefer the sound of the Mo-Fi and AA over the Cisco although the Cisco is not a bad sounding reissue.
    The Cisco is my least preferred version because the midrange is not as good as the AA and the Mo-Fi.
    In fact, I was underwhelmed by the sound of the Cisco because that's not what I remember hearing when I used to hear Aja from FM station. Between the Mo-Fi vinyl and the AA, they are close except that the Mo-Fi has the advantage in the bass frequencies.
    I still have to hear the AB though.
    I used my favorite track "Deacon Blues" in the comparison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  10. rushed again

    rushed again Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Funny you mention this. Describes my copy. So they did a scratch off to update the stampers and slapped updated labels and packaging to go from AB to AA. Maybe? Interesting stuff.
     
  11. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    I think so
     
  12. bru87tr

    bru87tr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lowell, MA
    I finally got a Cisco.

    The AB is better, but it's close. The Cisco sounds very nice.
     
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  13. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    The MFSL uses inferior tapes
     
  14. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Just did a small comparison between AB & Cisco. AB sounds glassy but has plenty of punch. Cisco has a duller dryer sound but still sounds great. AB for me.
     
  15. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    People's perception that the Cisco is duller....

    Could that be due to the fact there is no compression used at all? I found I had to crank the Cisco...
     
  16. rushed again

    rushed again Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    The Cisco is great. Definitely easy to crank.
     
  17. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    The Cisco is good but not as good as the AB
     
  18. DangerousKitchen

    DangerousKitchen Forum Resident

    That's been my take. I brought this up in our host's compression thread, citing the differences between the only 2 versions in the running for best listen, in my opinion. I pretty much have them all. 9 copies. The original uses a lot of compression which gives it a lot of...excitement, whereas the Cisco does not, which when listened to via a nicely assembled system, allows the listener to draw out more detail. I may even be quoting our host on the last statement. I love the first AB and I love the Cisco. Each have their merits.
     
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  19. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I have an AA as well. You're not close to hearing what Aja sounds like at its best. It would be like saying "I have had burgers from McDonald's, Burger King, and Jack In The Box". The Burger King is the best." The AB I have smacks them all, all over the place.
     
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  20. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    This.

    I have the AB and the Cisco LPs. The slight compression used to tame the dynamics of the original pressing gives it an exciting, punchy sound, but it's soundstage isn't as open. On the other hand, the Cisco is leaner and meaner in the bass and requires an extra push of the volume knob, but it's soundstage has more air.

    For side one, I think the AB pressing is best because Black Cow, Aja and Deacon Blues benefit from the 2:1 compression that was used. Those tracks needed the help the compressor provided.

    As for side two, the Cisco is best because Peg, Home At Last, I Got The News and Josie have better mixes and sound fine in full dynamic mode.

    Still, you can't go wrong with either pressing. I have both, and I bounce back and forth when spinning Aja. Last time I spun the Cisco. Before that...the AB original.
     
  21. deadbase

    deadbase Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Are the AB's worth anything? That's the one I have and haven't listened to it....not a fan.
     
  22. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Maybe to someone here. If you'd want to sell it you'd probably do better in the classifieds on the forum than out in the world.
     
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  23. deadbase

    deadbase Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Ya, I didn't know there was a difference. Thx!
     
  24. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The Cisco has certain aspects to it that sounds quite different than the AB1006. It does seem to have greater macro-dynamics. And the soundstage might be deeper than the AB1006. But it sounds a bit claustrophobic, as well as dull on top (It sounds rolled off). The AB1006 sounds wide open in the midband, as though you opened the roof on your convertible car and suddenly you're surrounded by fresh air. The Cisco was also reputedly done from a copy of the master, not from the master itself.

    When listening to the Cisco, I feel more impact in the bottom end, and instruments may sound a bit fuller, but put on the AB1006 and the top comes right off the soundstage, images are huge, and the sound seems closer to the immediacy of a master tape sort of sound.
     
  25. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    I've seen them go for excessive amount on the forum. But only on the forum and usually from a well established seller
     

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