Steely Dan Aja vinyl shootout

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

  1. rl1856

    rl1856 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SC
    Just picked up a c1977 Japanese ABC pressing (YX-8114 AB). To my ears this is now the best copy in my collection. MUCH better clarity of instruments and all the little sounds that are part of the performance. Musicians are anchored in the space of a wide and deep soundstage. Wayne Shorter comes in like a soaring angel. In comparison, my AB and other copies sound muddy. Caveat is I think the Japanese engineers boosted the treble slightly while vocals seem farther back in the mix.

    Japanese copies are readily available for about the same cost as other premium reissues.
     
    pudgym and Preston like this.
  2. ODShowtime

    ODShowtime Swirl Life

    Location:
    Tampa
    They seem to be worth about $3 in Tampa these days I have a pile of them. I finally found my copy a few weeks ago; excellent condition all around.
     
  3. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    It's funny, but my AB sounds anything but muddy. It's astonishingly open in the midrange.
     
  4. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I had that pressing but preferred the Cisco, which I feel is a bit fuller in the midrange and has a bit more bass. I feel that if the Japanese had more low end, it would be a tough call.
     
    bru87tr likes this.
  5. j.barleycorn

    j.barleycorn Forum Resident

    What the the heck just checked mine. I always thought it was the AB..... Turns out it sort of is. And apparently a Santa Maria too. All hand etched...
    .
    Side 1 : S AAB 1006 ( RE-3) -A 1A ( the B is scratched out)
    Side 2 : AA AB 1006( RE-3)-B ( the AB is scratched out)

    I've also got a Mofi too that I've had for ages. Time for a high noon shoot out. But I seem to recall the ABC copy was better.
     
  6. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    My AB 1006 is one of the best sounding vinyl pressings I own. Every time I find a clean one in the used bins I snatch it up, give her a good cleaning, pass it on to a vinyl friend, and let them know they're in for a treat.
     
  7. ODShowtime

    ODShowtime Swirl Life

    Location:
    Tampa
    That's funny Doctor, I have about 6 copies and I'm giving a few out for the holidays this year.
     
  8. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    Right on, those will make fantastic gifts for anyone who's into vinyl. It's pretty cool that we can still pick up a true audiophile vinyl pressing for a few bucks.
     
    pudgym, Chemguy and John Bliss like this.
  9. JCLSDL

    JCLSDL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California
    I’m sitting here listening to my AA 1006 and it is marvelous in all the ways you described the AB 1006. ( except for Deacon Blues which has been discussed in other threads as being of lower quality). I also own an AB 1006 so will compare soon. Perhaps, as one person noted, this was not a mastering issue but a price issue , the mastering is attributed to Grundman in the credits.
     
    AnalogJ likes this.
  10. bru87tr

    bru87tr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lowell, MA
    If you think the AA sounds good (which it does not), wait till you listen to tge AB.

    Now that is marvelous. They are very different.
     
  11. mickster

    mickster Forum Resident

    Location:
    boonton, NJ, USA
    I love the Cisco...
     
    MYKE and Psychedelic Good Trip like this.
  12. geddy402

    geddy402 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore
    Found my second AB copy. Fantastic sounding.

    I also picked up a Portugal press a couple days ago. Wasn’t too impressed with its sonics but kinda cool to add it to my collection.
     
  13. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    But the AB blows the Cisco out of the water. Imagine having a permanently dirty, pock-marked car windshield for a decade. You'd get used to it, still enjoy your drive. Then you get a new windshield installed. Everything looks astonishingly clear after that.
     
    GentleSenator likes this.
  14. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Re-press credits often went unchanged. The AA mastering is a noticable step down from the original mastering.

    Are you perhaps only looking at the catalog number and not the dead wax matrices? Many AA 1006 copies used the AB 1006 mastering.
     
  15. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    I can vouch for this.....because I have one
     
    marcb likes this.
  16. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    I have three... :targettiphat:
     
  17. GentleSenator

    GentleSenator what if

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    AnalogJ is right, sorry boys.
     
  18. webmatador

    webmatador Man Of The People

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    I recently found an AA copy that wasn't the scratched out AB master and it beat my dozen copies of AB (one of which is a promo). My AA is a Santa Maria press and has RE-4 in the deadwax (all my others are RE-3) and it has slightly more presence and punch--the bass was especially better defined, as in I could hear the notes over just the thump. I was surprised given the conventional wisdom about the AB.

    I like the Cisco for different reasons, but a good original press sounds more "authentic" to me.
     
  19. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Made from a cutting master has more presence and punch? Ok.
     
  20. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront

    14 Cheerleader Coldfront Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I picked up an AA this year by mistake (it was in an AB cover and I didn't look closely enough at the vinyl). At first I couldn't tell the difference from an AB copy but after multiple back and forth comparisons I realized it was the drums...much better on the AB.

    Still, they were pretty close. But I won't bother with the AA cut. It is AB for me.
     
  21. Sam

    Sam Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I couldn't have said it better. Perfect analogy.
     
  22. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    Confusing!

    Mine has an AA cover/inner/labels, but side 1 is AB with the B crossed out, and side 2 is just straight AB. It sounds very, very good.

    Have had a MoFi for as long as I can remember, and a Canadian one I haven't listened to yet.

    Never saw a Cisco.

    What would the different pricing be with AB versions?
     
  23. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront

    14 Cheerleader Coldfront Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    From what I have read they raised the price a dollar or so with the second issue AA.

    Sounds like you have a good one with the AB cut. Honestly the AA I have sounds quite good too. But the AB's are truly special.
     
    c-eling and misteranderson like this.
  24. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Remember...the secret is in the deadwax. The label, the catalog number, or even the record company don’t really tell the story. You don’t necessarily recut an album just because there was a label or catalog number change.

    The AA cover with the crossed out AB are fairly common.
     
    bru87tr likes this.
  25. tnic73

    tnic73 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    How can you tell if it is a Santa Maria pressing?
     

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