Steely Dan Aja vinyl shootout

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

  1. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    :righton: That's a very promising deadwax! How do you like the sound?
     
  2. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    People here have been calling those "substamper" codes. The best guess so far is that the letter is the mother, and the number is the stamper generated from the mother.

    "A15" would signify the 15th stamper made from the first mother.
     
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  3. rob303

    rob303 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Ok. So in the case of a CSM press, AB1006 (RE3)-A 1A the "1A" is the stamper code. But very faint "B11" on the opposite side is a "substamper" code, right? Wowzers, what a rabbit hole!
     
  4. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    I wouldn't personally call the "1A" a stamper code. "1A" is inscribed on the lacquer to show which cutting it was in the sequence. "1" means first version, "A" represents the first cutting, as I understand it.

    Those other codes, "sub stampers" (or whatever they're called) appear to have been etched on the metal parts that were made from the lacquer. More of a cataloging or quality control code marking the "freshness" of the metal parts used to press the vinyl.


    @W.B. for the proper terminology.
     
  5. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    I have not heard another that can compete, not that others can't, I just have not heard one.
     
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  6. GreatTone

    GreatTone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    That's my go-to version as well.
     
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  7. rob303

    rob303 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Got it. Makes sense. Thank you for that clarification!

    I just went through my three CSM copies and made some notes. The CSM backwards "S" indicator is preceded by a "\" or maybe a "1" on both sides of two copies. One copy, however, instead has either another backwards "S" or and upside-down "2" preceding the standard CSM scribed "S". So, it is like this:

    Upside down "2", Upside down "S", AB1006 (RE3)-A 1A, A9

    I was wondering if anyone else has noticed either the "\" or "1", a second "S" or "2" or otherwise.
     
  8. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Actually, I wouldn't say that the sound is anything to write home about. It just looks cool! I love this album and couldn't pass it up for the collection.
     
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  9. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Yeah, I got an RL copy of this. It's okay, but not nearly in the league of, say, an original AB Aja. Moreover, I'd MUCH prefer to listen to whole albums. There's pretty much not a single dud of a song on any of them. I don't need to listen to only their hits. And I have a 12" radio promo of "Here At the Western World".
     
  10. Bill Kilbourne

    Bill Kilbourne Member

    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    I just played my copy w/ matrix AA (B crossed out) 1006 (RE3) -A 1C / AA (B crossed out) 1006 (RE3) B 1A w/ a faint S on both sides, which I purchased new back in '77. I don't have any other LP copies to compare it to, but I do prefer it to my CD. The sound is quite dynamic and fortunately my copy is in excellent shape. On side A tracks "Black Cow" and "Aja" are the standouts w/ great soundstage. On side B All tracks sounded fantastic. My favorites "Home At Last" & "I Got The News" just gleaned w/ shimmering highs and fairly smooth vocals.

    My best sounding Steely Dan LPs is a Japanese copy of Countdown, I purchased back in the early '80s. I've probably only played it about 4 times since most of my vinyl went unplayed for 25 years until recently. The sound quality, especially side B, is very rich and provides a Studio like presence that is amazing (and the vinyl is extremely quiet to boot). I don't own a US pressing of this LP since this one is close to the holy grail in my book.

    As others have posed the question, I also wonder how a Japanese pressing compares to the magic US AB 1006 version. I'm definitely tempted to hunt one down based on the SQ of Countdown.
     
  11. Bill Kilbourne

    Bill Kilbourne Member

    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Correction on my last post. Where I referred to Steely Dan's "Countdown to Ecstasy" LP I actually meant "Can't Buy A Thrill". My Countdown is actually a US Pressing and although it is very good sounding, the SQ of the Japanese CBAT LP is superb!
     
  12. JP Christian

    JP Christian Forum Resident

    I'm not home to check the deadwax, or to have a good listen, but I have two copies of Aja, one German and one Portuguese!

    I'm not sure if they were cut in their respective countries or whether they used stampers from the US, I will have to check.

    All I remember is they both sounded good, but from memory the German copy sounded more 'polite' and the Portuguese actually sounded more 'lively'.

    I will dig them out when I get home tonight!
     
  13. Jasonb

    Jasonb Forum Resident

    I also got lucky and received this pressing of AB-1006 after the bad sounding AA-1006 I had ordered. Hadn't realized until I joined this forum.
     
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  14. Diskhound

    Diskhound Well-Known Member

    I found a version of this non-gatefold beast earlier this week in Paris. Mine simply has AB-1006-A and AB-1006-B in the run-off groove. Absolutely nothing else. Looks like BG writing style but what the heck do I know! The cover has a very small saw cut near the top left corner. Also towards the bottom of the spine and just above the white ABC Records text in almost illegible grey writing I think it says "Pressed by L.A.I.L". Although, it's so hard to read I can't be sure of the initials. Is there anyone who knows anything about this version?
     
  15. cwd

    cwd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    I got a west german wlp which was apparently never played, or very sparingly if at all. Sonics are phenomenal, maybe better than my Cisco, my Hoffman UK cd, or my best of the usual matrix print. A little crackly, hopefully repeated cleaning and playing can remedy.cwd
     
  16. Lebowski

    Lebowski Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    Very cool. Where did you come across this specimen?
     
  17. cwd

    cwd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    Stumbled across it on the evil auction site...
     
  18. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I finally received the Japanese LPs. Here's the comparison: the versions listed below sound almost identical (on my system, using my ears):
    Aja
    US – yellow-orange ABC label; Side 1 - AAB-1006 (RE-3)-A (with the B scratched out); Side 2 - AAB-1006 (RE-3)-B (with the B scratched out); Mint
    Japanese – yellow-orange ABC label; ABC YX-8114-AB; sold as “first pressing”; NM-

    My Japanese and U.S. versions of Royal Scam also sound almost identical:
    Royal Scam
    US – yellow-orange ABC label; Side 1 - ABCD-931-A-RE-1 “AZ”; Side 2 - ABCD-931-B-2 “AZ”;NM--
    Japanese – yellow-orange ABC label; ABC YX-8028-AB; Mint-
     
  19. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Does your Japanese cover have the silver or white font Royal Scam? My Japanese copy, with the silver font, is much better than my original US (sorry, I'm not at home to get the dead wax info). Michael Fremer agreed with me that his silver font Japanese beats his original.
     
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  20. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I seem to recall it being silver, but I'll check tonight.
     
  21. abescan

    abescan Active Member

    Location:
    Grafton,Ohio USA
    I have a copy that has this dead wax info all hand written:
    Side A.......faint A,A with marked out B -1006-(RE3)A-P4...then at 12 o'clock there is a very faint backwards c
    B.......faint AA with a marked outAB 1006(RE3)-B. P4....at 12 o'clock is a very faint backwards D and an upside down R(?)
     
  22. abescan

    abescan Active Member

    Location:
    Grafton,Ohio USA
    My other copy is all hand written"...
    Side A.......T1 AB1006(RE-3)-A T5.............and a C at 12 o'clock
    """"B.........T1. AB 1006(RE-3)-B -1..................and a backward C at 12 o'clock
    This is the copy I bought the week it came out.
     
  23. painted8

    painted8 Well-Known Member

    I thank you, because I wanted to buy the best-sounding vinyl of Aja and this thread helped me do it.
     
  24. AnotherEargazm

    AnotherEargazm Well-Known Member

    I recently picked up the MCA Super Savers version stamped AA

    I have an ABC "crossout" where the AA is written to the left of the crossed out AB. It is a Gatefold with Mastered by Bernie Grundman written inside. I think the two records sound very similar, with an exception being a slightly looser bass on the ABC version. With that said, the MCA copy is in like new condition. The ABC is in pretty good condition as well, but perhaps it is a bit played out.
     
  25. carpe-diem

    carpe-diem New Member

    Location:
    East Coast, USA

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