Steve's Steely Dan Aja

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Kevin,

    I agree, this may be the SH mastered Aja. I suspected it would be upon discovering Katy Lied from this same MCA series.

    Is this Steely Dan mystery now solved too!? :eek:
  2. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    I THINK we've finally got it. I do remember being blown away when I heard the US made disc, but not so when I heard the JPN. made one. Even without an A-B comp. to guide me, the US disc was AMAZING when I played it. I THINK I am getting to be able to "hear" SH's work, though I really stress the THINK part.
  3. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    With respect to the MP3, this sounds like the US one, with the really clear cymbals. Am I correct?
  4. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    peter:

    It cuts back and forth at 30-second intervals.

    Japanese - US JVC - Japanese - US JVC

    It's a little subtle at the first switch point (0:30), but it's particularly noticeable after that, as your ear gets used to the sound of the US JVC disc.

    To me, the cymbals are clearer on the US JVC sections, and the vocal is a little more full, as well. The voice seems rather "recessed" in the Japanese version, once you A/B them this way.

    -Kevin
  5. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    Joel:

    Guess I should've listened to all of it. I will now.....
  6. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    Joel:

    The differences are there, BOY are they, and they are pretty much what I hear between my US one and my JPN. pressed one.....
  7. poweragemk

    poweragemk Old Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    There are absolutely differences there...big 'uns. I didn't make enough of a comparison before I left work to say definitively. Kevin, can you try and post a picture of the disc wherein we can see the matrix info? It's too dark in your last pic...:(
  8. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Hmmmm... I would have said that the second sample has a bit of extra midrange and lower treble (the hi-hat and vocals are much more prominent in that one). This fits the description Steve gave of filling the midrange hole that is fairly obviously present in the first sample.
  9. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Agreed, John-- that was the other reason that I was pretty sure that I was on the right track.. the US JVC disc showed changes in the places that Steve described in his earlier post.

    -Kevin
  10. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Dig it! I heard a huge difference, even on my punny computer speakers. Can we break down how to spot this US pressing with scans of the back cover and matrix info on the disc itself?

    And Leppo, I saw you mentioned that we finally found the correct Katy Lied. Although I thought I've read every one of these posts, can you give us a recap on how to spot that one, pretty please ;)
  11. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    The full data ring info on my US JVC disc is:

    MCAD 37214-1 1C1A MFD BY JVC [followed by a bunch of their gibberish characters]

    ...and the "1A" part is physically added on the surface of the disc.

    The graphics are identical to the Japanese-mfd issues, with no barcode on the backing card, though the card does have the MCAD-37214, and DIDX 55 numbers on it [since these are probably leftover backing cards and booklets, though, that's not surprising].



    And here's the disc info for Leppo's SH-mastered "Katy Lied" disc":

    "Additional identifiers for Steve's Katy Lied:
    - DIDX 373 21 matrix code inner ring
    - "Digital Audio Disc Corp. - Made In USA" stamped on plastic inner ring"

    Hope this helps!

    -Kevin
  12. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    I hate to say this, but neither one of these examples sound like the CD-R I have. Of the deacon blues sample, the first one sounds too dull. The second one sounds much like the latest Roger Nichols remaster. And both have too much siblence on the vocal.

    Also, a better example of the differences would have been the instrumental break in "Black Cow".
  13. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, that's as may be, Grant, but the US-JVC disc in question is undeniably one of the first US pressings of the title, and we've only got two choices for masters back then, so...

    -Kevin
  14. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks Kevin,

    I'll be on the lookout for both of these.

    Actually, one more Q: Does the Katy Lied have the "window pane" style back insert?
  15. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    Location:
    Off Broadway
    Hi Sam,

    Steve's Lied back insert features close-up front-cover artwork like the first Japanese pressings and again is a US JVC pressing. These can be found in the used bins and in fact mine is a CRC pressing! :eek:

    Attached Files:

  16. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    This above description is exactly (with one exception) what my US made Aja disc has as a matrix, with one exception:

    MCAD 37214-1 1C1A MFD BY JVC. On my disc, the last "A", the one after the 1C1 looks more like the number 4.

    And, my back inlay has a bar code sticker, yes, a sticker stuck on the paper back inlay, not on the jewel case.
  17. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    peter:

    We have the same disc-- I was torn between calling the last character a "4" or and "A" myself... I opted to call it an "A" , but it **could** be a "4".

    And my backing card **doesn't** have a barcode sticker on it, but I would guess they were only just starting to use them at that time, so probably not all copies have them.

    -Kevin
  18. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the pic Leppo.

    So, is it safe to say that every "old" version of this CD with the back cover like you posted is, indeed, the SH version?

    Whoops! May have answered my own question: Japan-made versions are not, but USA versions with this cover are SH mastered, correct?
  19. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    [Ahhh-- you edited your post while I was replying!]

    Correct.

    Most of the copies issued with a cover like that contain discs that were made in Japan, and are **not** Steve's work. For some reason, his master was not used until pressing was moved to the United States. [That's apparently the same thing that happened with "Aja".]

    So, make certain that the CD in question is mfd in the USA, and you're halfway there. Since Leppo has the disc, he can help you the rest of the way. :)

    -Kevin
  20. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Sorry 'bout that Kevin ;)

    Thanks for clarifying. Still on the hunt for this one. I notice so few used SD discs comparitively speaking at most shops. Took me so long to find a good copy of the Japan-pressed Aja, and now we figure out it's not even the right one! :sigh:
  21. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    san francisco
    OK, but my US made Katy Lied has this same back cover inlay, though with a vertical bar code to the left of the track listing.

    The matrix is MOST unusual, though. It is:

    MCAD31194 A50803Da MFG BY UNI

    This disc also says ADD on it and is the WORST sounding, by far, of my 1985 US Steely CD's. What mastering is this????
  22. Andreas

    Andreas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My comments are completely different from yours.

    First of all, I prefer the Japanese mastering over the US. The US has a boosted top end and more aggressive percussion. That is contrary to what I am used to from Steve's masterings. The midrange seems to be accentuated on the Japanese, at some expense of the vocals.

    Second, from comparing with one of Leppo's .wav samples, I was able to confirm that my
    Katy Lied CD is indeed Steve's.

    My Aja CD is identical (as far as I can hear) to the Japanese in the above comparison. Note how similar the details of the two CDs are...I would actually guess that the Japanese is Steve's...but I could be wrong.


    My Katy Lied (confirmed to be Steve's mastering):
    Total time: 35:39
    MCD 01800, DMCL 1800
    (c) 1975, 1985 MCA Records
    Distributed by BMG Ariola * A Bertelsmann Music Groups Company
    Printed in Germany
    inner ring: Sonopress I-5630/ MCD 01800 /A


    My Aja (probably identical to the Japanese CD from the above comparison):
    Total time: 39:57
    MCD 01745, DMCL 1745
    (c) 1977, 1984 MCA Records
    Distributed by BMG Ariola * A Bertelsmann Music Groups Company
    Printed in Germany
    inner ring: Sonopress I-5627/ MCD 01745 /A1
  23. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I agree with you. That treble boost does not sound like Steve's work. Compare that to the correct Katy Lied. Do the rest of you agree?
  24. Andreas

    Andreas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Yes, the Japanese Aja excerpts have the same wamth that was so characteristic for Steve's Katy Lied.


    We should let the tonmeister speak...
  25. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    We should indeed-- but he's already shot down the Japanese pressing as being his, so I'm kinda intrigued by what our other options are... as far as I know, there were only two CD masterings made at that time, and if Steve's wasn't the Japanese version, then it would seem logical that it has to be the other one that we've found.

    And bear in mind that this is an mp3, too-- the only valid conclusion to be drawn with regard to sound quality is how the samples **within the mp3** sound in relation to each other... you can't fairly compare the mp3 file's sound to any other outside source, as it's bound to lose nuances in the compression.

    -Kevin

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