Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland best version

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by The Lizard King, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    DC area
    Color me skeptical on these proclamations. Sources?

    My early Track copies doesn’t sound muddy at all other than the OOP effects perhaps giving the illusion mudiness/hollowness at times on when not listened to in the sweet spot.
  2. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here

    Mcdermott ( as one source)

    Relative ( especially in comparison to the flat master sources)
  3. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I have a US Reprise w7 two-tone label copy and also a French Barclay pressing from my JH Experience box set. The US Reprise is a great sounding LP!

    Barclay box set - Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix

  4. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here
    I also concluded that the albums sounded "muddy" way before the 2010 issues btw.

    I sat with plenty of copies and heard only small differences for the most part and all sounded rather dead and flat, almost like the life was being sucked out of them.
    That i'd grown up with the Track and Polydors is irrelevant, I had and still do love these albums on those labels. and enjoy playing them even today. My go to is the Newbury 2010 reissue.

    I used a Michell Gyro - Techno arm- 2M Blue
    Trichord phono
    Naim inter' amp mk 3
    home made interconnects
    spiroflex speaker cable
    Ruark monitors (on stands deadened with sand)
    steviebee likes this.
  5. steviebee

    steviebee Always playing Ese and The Vooduu People

    London, England
    Great thread - anything to do with Ladyland on LP is fascinating and also perplexing to me!

    It does seem to come down, in some large measure, to suck it and see with all the different pressings etc. I'd love to try to get a Barclay, a Track and a Newbury to supplement my collection - if only my bank manager would agree :righton:

    But even without those, it's music I'm glad to have in my life.
  6. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    Sorry, I was looking for a cd version not vinyl.
  7. Laservampire

    Laservampire Down with this sort of thing

    The old Reprise 2-CD edition is the best sounding Electric Ladyland on CD. All the others are either inferior tapes (80s Polydor), NR'd (1 CD Reprise and 1993 remaster) or brickwalled/clipped (all the EH remasters)
    DTK, mpayan and John Buchanan like this.
  8. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here
    As usual, we have folk saying what IS THE BEST sounding.

    It may well be for them, but I advocate a listen for yourself. Most of the CD's are not deal breakers in terms of cost either. Plus samples are on the internet.

    The only ones I would avoid or at least be wary of, are those that are mastered overly loud. Then again, you may be used to that elsewhere so it could be these work out for some folk!
    EVOLVIST and moops like this.
  9. Laservampire

    Laservampire Down with this sort of thing

    Is anything I said inaccurate?

    The original 2-CD Reprise and the original Polydor CDs are the only non-brickwalled, non-NRd versions of the album on CD.

    Close examination reveals that the 2-CD Reprise comes from a better tape than the Polydor, which has additional dropouts and tape noise in the fades, indicating a copy tape. The fact the sides are jumbled as well would indicate a cutting master.

    The 2-CD Reprise most likely comes from the master as there is very little difference in fidelity when volume matched with the 1997 remaster which we know comes from the master.

    I’m glad to take on any corrections you might have if I’ve overlooked a CD variant, but my objective analysis I’ve done of all the CD releases would dictate that the best source with the least amount of unnecessary mastering is the 2-CD Reprise.

    It’s a shame that the new box mastering is screwed up, it would be amazing to have a definitive version like the new Axis SACD, which really can be said without a doubt to be the best digital version of the album (the alternate mix notwithstanding of course)
  10. Rob Hughes

    Rob Hughes Forum Resident

    Maybe a topic for a blind listening test thread?
    mpayan likes this.
  11. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here
    What's best sounding to one may not be to another.

    I'm just advocating folk listen for themselves.

    For instance, I'm happy with Douglas's issues. I have a good selection to pick from here to.

    Its always the case with some that what they like everyone must like.

    Being tbe "best" is a personal selection.
    moops and jhm like this.
  12. moops

    moops Senior Member

    Geebung, Australia
    Bravo !

  13. Laservampire

    Laservampire Down with this sort of thing

    A lightly mastered CD made from the master tape would technically be the "best" in audiophile speak. Many posters here are after the most un-futzed with copy of the album, which is the 2-CD Reprise.

    If you prefer a badly mastered, heavily noise-reduced CD, more power to you, but there's no reason to cut down the factually-based, objectively stated opinions of those who have done the hard work in comparing these CDs.

    Some people hate hiss enough to prefer NR artifacts, some people hate quiet CDs and prefer ear-bleeding, brickwalled remasters, that's fine. No-one is wrong for liking these things.

    Here's an easy list so people can choose which CD they want, based on their own tastes:

    1984 Polydor - no NR, no compression, but sides are mixed up and it's not from the original master
    1987 Reprise (2-CD edition) - no NR, no compression, correct tracklisting and most likely from the original master
    1990 Reprise (1-CD RE-1 matrix) - primitive NR applied to 1987 mastering
    1993 MCA (Douglas remaster) - heavy digital NR applied
    1997 EH remaster - no NR, but heavy compression/brickwalling applied
    2010 EH remaster - no NR, but heavy compression/brickwalling applied
    2018 EH remaster - no NR, but heavy compression/brickwalling applied (with bonus hard clipping/distortion!)

    Choose your poison, folks!
  14. Kristian1980

    Kristian1980 Forum Resident

    Just scored a German 1st press in what looks to be really good condtion! Original Track stampers?

    Jimi Hendrix - Both Sides of the Sky [New Vinyl LP] Gatefold LP Jacket, 180 Gram | eBay

    I asked the seller to confirm the grading and matrix:
    "I rarely grade any NM as a seller but if if their were a candidate it would be these records. In terms of condition both records are in VG+/NM condition. There are no scratches that are even visible and no spindle marks. I got these from a gentleman that had a pretty big jazz collection and all of his records were in VG+ to NM condition. I think he probably listened to them once or twice, if that, and put them up. Now in terms of the variants here is what I am seeing when I look at the 2 records.

    - 184183A 613008A//1
    - 184183B 613008B//1
    - 184184A 613009A//1
    - 184184B 613009B//1"

    What do you think, did I pay too much, or get a good deal? when I look at OG Track copies of ELL on ebay, or discogs, well, I thought this was a pretty good deal considering. Also picked up Axis 1st German (description above applies to both records).
    Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral [New Vinyl LP] Explicit | eBay

    This is a diff mix of ABAL, right?
  15. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

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    Nice scores.

    No to Track stampers, the ones shown here are for this Polydor pressing.

    Yes to the different ABAL Polydor mix.
  16. Kristian1980

    Kristian1980 Forum Resident


    184183A = German catalogue identifier

    613008A//1 = UK Track stamper

    Polydors were manufactured several years later, this is the 1st 1968 pressing.

    I believe the seller omitted some details that identified here from an online database:
    11/68 *184 183/4 ELECTRIC LADYLAND gatefold 2LP orange stereo label. Interior of cover is THIN stock paper- Fragile ! Matrix disc 183: Side A: 184183A 613 00(two etched outs)8A//1 Side B: 184 183B 613 00(etched out)8 B//1 Matrix disc 184: Side A: 613 00(8etched out)9A(etched in)(B etched out)//1 184184A Side B: 184184B (above) 613009B (below-etched in) 61300(9etched out)8 A (ALL XXX’d out) //1

    I thought I'd done my homework and had found an A1/B1/C1/D1 Track on the cheap! I have B2 later Track and an early 70's polydor (thinest vinyl in my collection, I might add! sounds nice though)
  17. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    I love the UK Track. I bought off eBay years ago and was lucky to get a great-sounding pressing despite a slightly worn sleeve. It has a magic and life to it that I haven't heard on any other issue. It may not be accurate but it lives and breathes :)

    steviebee likes this.
  18. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here
    The stamper marks are a mess for this set.
    Electric Ladyland

    Yes, the German identifier tells me its not a Track pressing.

    Yes, a first German Polydor pressing.
    Promotional Pressings
  19. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    Rehoboth Beach DE.
    thanks for all the info. Disappointing the recent box set didn't get it right except for the surround mix which I like very much!
  20. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    You are here
    I really like the vinyl Ladyland mastering and the vinyl outs, what we have of them at least from the box set issue.

    From the digital side of things, yes the 5.1 hit the nail on the head it seems, pity its such a niche market even in 2019!
  21. jymy

    jymy Senior Member

    The 2cd Polydor is also preferred by many people here, despite the flaws, and indeed not from master tape. But the Reprise 2cd is a little thin sounding, while the Polydor seems a bit boosted in low end (suits the music imho).
    By the way, also avoid the 1991 Polydor (1cd), it has NR, similar to Reprise 1990.
    Laservampire likes this.
  22. bobcat

    bobcat Forum Resident

    London, UK
    The 2CD Polydor? Do you mean the 1984 one?

    There's also a Polydor from 1986 with the same catalogue number. Same one?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  23. jymy

    jymy Senior Member

    All the 2cd Polydors have the same mastering iirc. All from the 80's.
    bobcat likes this.
  24. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Stax Sigma

    Gordon, have a listen to "C'mon Part 1 (Let The Good Times Roll)" on the 1993 Mankowitz cover version. There is quite severe distortion that is not present on any other version. Not from the master tapes, or even close, despite assertions at the time that they were from the master tapes. The Reprise 2CD set is the only US version that isn't squashed and/or NoNoised and sounds rather nice.
    Gordon Johnson likes this.
  25. Kristian1980

    Kristian1980 Forum Resident

    As mentioned earlier, Early Australian and German pressings used Track metal work (South African too, I believe)

    Yes, Polydor pressing, Track metal work.

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