Grateful Dead on Vinyl: Comparing Pressings

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Wingtip, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Vibrolux_Reverb

    Vibrolux_Reverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA

    YES!

    This is the best sounding mofi I have ever heard, including a couple of one steps. Stupid good sounding. They knew what they were doing in the studio. Come to think of it, all of my Grisman albums sound fantstic, but this is next level.
     
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  2. Vibrolux_Reverb

    Vibrolux_Reverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Owning a good many of the Dead vinyl I have decided to do a ranking in order strictly based on sound quality and pressing quality for the ones that I do have (not including stuff like Europe72, Mar Hotel, Reckoning, etc.)

    #1 - Wake Up to Find Out (my best sounding live Dead. So good!)
    #2 - One From the Vault (another impressively good sounding record)
    #3 - Dicks Picks 36 (I was so glad I grabbed this. Another flawless pressing and great sound. This and Veneta are my favorite of the shows.)
    #4 - 02/28/69 (very good sound and pressing. On par with the others, but with that raw 69 sound that isn't tonally as pleasing)
    #5 - Veneta [Sunshine Daydream] (the first one that isn't perfect. A little surface noise on a couple of the tracks. Mastering is great though)
    #6 - Buffalo (05/09/77) (Perfect pressing, but the vocals are mixed oddly. If it weren't for the vocals on here, which I am assuming is from the actual mix live, then it would be towards the top, but there is just something off about the vocals on the first half of this release. Back half is fine. Instruments sound amazing)
    #7 - Dicks Picks 3 ( Really good except for a terrible skip during Lazy Lightning and brief surface noise during Sugaree of all songs. Still recommended though, and sounds way better than playing the Flac files through my same amp and speakers)
    #8 - Two from the Vault (Perfect pressing, but not the best sound imo.)
     
  3. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Grisman was known for recording acoustic instruments as simply as possible. Just mic to tape, with minimal (if any) processing.

    There's a bit of distortion on Jerry's vocals on this one, which I assume is from the master.
     
  4. markmck79

    markmck79 Forum Resident

    Agree, but I think Shady Grove sounds just a little better. Both are on my list of things to grab as I head out the door in case of house fire. Really wish MoFi could get their hands on the Pizza Tapes.
     
  5. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Oh what I would do for a MoFi (ONE STEP?!) of the Pizza Tapes. I can’t possibly pick just one, but it might be my favorite recorded Jerry of all time. It is so damn good and hasn’t faded at all to me after all these years, no matter how many hundreds (thousands?) of times I’ve heard it.
     
  6. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    So I got my 50th of WMD, and I'm somewhat underwhelmed compared to American Beauty. Probably will try to get the original pressing and see whether it's just because I prefer American Beauty
     
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  7. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    The 45rpm MoFi of Workinman's that came out a few years ago is spectacular sounding IMHO. I liked it enough that I didn't bother to pick up the 50th on vinyl, so I can't compare.
     
  8. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    Yeah I get that, but I refuse to butcher album sides for the sake of playback over composition.
     
  9. Zafu

    Zafu Forum Resident

  10. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    So its been awhile since I've spun Europe '72 and I have to say this 1979 Warner white label sounds fantastic to me. Bass, guitars, clarity all beautiful. I'd really have a hard time believing the earlier WB greenie is that much better? I'd also considered getting the reissue for comparison sake but damn this sounds phenomenal.
     
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  11. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
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  12. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    That’s the same version I have on vinyl, bought in late ‘85 or early ‘86. U actually haven’t played it in ages and am out of town so can’t spin it right now, and it got near daily play on my cheap high school turntable, so probably far from pristine at this point. I’ve never owned another vinyl copy to compare.
     
  13. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    I have some problem with noise on my copy. I must have cleaned it a dozen times to try and get it better but to no avail. Just poorly manufactured vinyl imo. I listen to the Blu Ray for the best sound. Not the whole show but I believe it is better than the vinyl anyway even if the vinyl didn't have the surface noise.
     
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  14. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland

    I don't have the CD boxset but I can't imagine 2/28/89 sounding better than the plangentized Vinyl of 2/28/69. I find 2/28/69 vinyl to be one of the best records I own period! Not just a best version of that show. For me no matter how many times jaded deadheads have heard 2/28/69 in other formats they need to hear this vinyl version. Its that good! Difficult for me to see the CDs which were not treated with plangent sounding better but without actually listening to the boxset itself I can't say for sure.

    The 2/27/69 vinyl pressing I have (the European pressing) is a complete and utter disaster and disappointment due to the quality of the vinyl which is very poor imo. 2/28 (USA pressing) on the other hand is one of the best ever imo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
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  15. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    Same I like my 45 RPM Workingman's so good I was like I'm done no need for another copy. I did get the 50th CD for the live material and I still like the 45 RPM better than the 5oth of the CD. I am sure the 50th vinyl is good but I'm happy with what I have already with the 45 RPM mofi.
     
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  16. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    [​IMG]


    Yeah Baby! THAT's what I'm talk'n about! :righton:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    Yes that original pressing is sweet! Especially in the mid range. The 2019 is great too but the beautiful highs come at the expense of some of the midrange imo. So they are both good. Haven't heard the 84 mofi vinyl but the mofi CD was one of my favorite CDs of all in the 80s that I owned for sound quality. Somehow I lost the CD along the way or perhaps I sold it when I sold a substantial number of CDs all at once in the 90s. Would like to check the CD out again sometime as I have great memories as to how good the CD I had in the 80s sounded.
     
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  18. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    Is this your way of saying the Shrine 67 vinyl is in the same class sound as the 2/28/69 vinyl?
     
  19. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I've got the 45rpm versions of Workingman's Dead, American Beauty and Mars Hotel and they're pretty much definitive versions for me. Highly recommended!
     
  20. jewelsnbinoculars

    jewelsnbinoculars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Hope we get another chance at Workingmans Mofi
     
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  21. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Yeah, I bought the 50th on CD for the bonus material, but have not yet gotten around to the main album from that release yet.
     
  22. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    Its good IMO. Normally I think of the Plangent versions as definitive but in this case I rank as follows

    . 1. 45 RPM Mofi
    2. Rhino CD
    3. 50th Anniversary CD

    That being said they are all great but a bit different in their strengths and I haven’t heard the 50th vinyl at all. You really can’t go wrong with any of theses.
     
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  23. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    TBH, it has been a while since I've listened to the Shrine album, but if memory serves I remember it sounding pretty good and in the general neighbourhood of the other two.

    Interestingly, I just the other day got the new 2-LP 1972 'Light into Ashes' release from a member here, the clear vinyl, and although certainly acceptable, the sound quality was nowhere near the two Classic Fillmore albums.
     
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  24. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland
    Is your 2/27/69 a USA pressing?
     
  25. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Yep, 2016 limited edition pressed at RTI...
     
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