let's talk about our pressing of ALVEAR (Led Zep, AC / DC, CCR, Young ... and others ...)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Christophe Lethimonnier, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. multirock

    multirock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    I found a A9/B9 copy of the Alvear’s Zeppelin II. I’ll tell you my impressions.
    I wonder why Alvear made so many different masterings of this particular album.
    Maybe he was a big fan of this LP, and he had the chance or freedom to experiment whit…
     
  2. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Can't wait to hear how this A9 / B9 ~~ sounds !? Is there a copyright on the back cover like its A8 / B8~~ counterpart (© 1981)?
     
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  3. multirock

    multirock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    I made a fast comparison listening The lemon song, and Heartbreaker between A7/B6 and A9/B9.
    To my ears side B sounds equally, but maybe maybe maybe… side A sounds a little better on A9, especially on the bass region.
    :bigeek:
    And yes, there is a copyright 1981 on the back cover.
     
  4. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    " Led Zeppelin III. Wow! This copy is great! I had the chance to listen a A5/B3 (both sides stamped) before, but the copy has heavy scratches so I returned the LP. However I wasn't so impress with the sound of that copy. Hot (like the A5/B3 Zeppelin IV), but I miss details, and delicacy. In the other hand the A7 side sound great. Finally I can hear a nice bass in Since I'v been loving you. Not a boomy one, but each note. Rock, blues and acoustic sounds balanced and fresh. Side two sounds as good as one. I think maybe Alver only work over the side one because he was already happy with side two... Anyhow, this is one of the greatest Alvear works."

    Bought today a copy A7 ~~ / B3 or A2 ~~ / B3 (the seller had difficulty interpreting the number "7"), presumed very good ++. We will see ! I already had an option with another seller, but at the last moment they increased their price !? Not very honest !? Here too I am impatient to listen to this hybrid pressing and to confront it with his ... half-brother! ;-)
     
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  5. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    How is this A9 / B9 positioned compared to your two other records? Tonal balance, bass power, details, three-dimensionality of the soundstage ... etc ...?
     
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  6. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    The Hispavox history as written and linked via employees and companies as provided by discogs is fascinating, even in brief

    With their influence as a record company, label, recording studio, pressing plant, and printing offices, and the sound engineers and executives who ran the co. and worked in the studios. Impressive.

    Also of note, Howard Barrow of PYE UK, worked at Hispavox apparently in the mid to late 70s and early 80s. At PYE he used a triangle or is it a diamond shape, as part of his PYE sig but I have received a few replies and seen the same, triangle or diamond, in a few deadwax listings at discogs, from the Hispavox label. I will have to check some of my emails and discogs listings fwiw.


    Hispavox also cut vinyl for Spanish artists only, from the Belter label, from iirc was said to be around 1965-75. Of course they distributed and pressed records of so many US and UK artists too from a handful of different labels.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2021
  7. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Fwiw, I can add that the LZ PG record with his sig on both sides has to my ears an absolutely sound relation to the other record that is stamped. The Alvear' sig or waves is on sides 1 and 3 (1 LP) and the other LP (sides 2,4) is machine stamped. I can add the matrix of each side later, but am also now much more prone to believe the machine stamped record is also his work.
     
  8. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I would add that the LZ III A5,B3 stamped record was an interesting listen for me. 2nd time through. Found the sound of it sort of 'live' and primal. The bass guitar sounded awesome big in Immigrant Song and Tangerine. The vocal and guitar effect was a clear sounding one. Cymbals seemed to crash at times though drums didn't seem to pound. Some nice sturdy vinyl. Enjoyed some of it and appreciated some of the raw presence it had on me.

    I enjoyed the sound of the Pete Townshend Empty Glass album. A balanced sound imo with at times more than enough bass guitar and kick drum throughout, aggressive guitars in sections of the title track. Will give side 1 a listen a 2nd time but seems like a good pressing to me and in excellent condition from a 1980 Hispavox release. I think there are a few later pressings and entries not under the Hispavox and alvear name and by the time of 1982's Chinese Eyes, perhaps only an unknown etched and stamped side of a hybrid pressing. A great headphone album, Empty Glass, with many different layered keyboard sounds and more throughout side 2.
     
  9. multirock

    multirock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    Hello Christophe,
    This A9/B9 sounds almost a copy of my A7/B6 in tonal balance, details and stereo image. I’ve just noticed some very subtle differences in bass clarity on side A. Subtle but nice!
    Regarding to the A8/B8, I think my impressions mentioned on a previous post about the differences between that and the A7/B6 are valid to this case.
    By the way, do you have more than one Alvear copy of the Zeppelin I? If so, which on is your favorite?
     
  10. multirock

    multirock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    Nice! I’ll be waiting for your impressions.
    And I hope you receive a VG++ record. I’m not proud to say that some spanish sellers are optimistical when grade records. And same thing happened to me one time; I asked one or two things to a spanish seller and then he increased the price… a shame.
     
  11. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I have bought a few of the Spain pressings fom the US, UK, and Germamy as well, in addition to Spain. Waiting for more now though mostly from Spain as I am curious and will decide after that.

    Yes, not the first sellers, regardless of country, to raise prices whsn asked specific questions about their item!
     
  12. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Wow!

    You outdid yourself there dear Dee! Wonderful revelation! I just noticed that my Spanish pressing has a diamond shape (or a sort of lozenge) ... on all 4 sides!

    See attached photos below ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bingo!!!:cool::righton:

    :wave:
     
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  13. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    We must not forget that Led Zeppelin ll and Led Zeppelin lV are probably the two best sellers of the group; It seems logical to me that there are more cuts in each country !?
    Now it is possible that Alvear, like George Piros, liked to experiment. Just for an album like Led Zeppelin ll, there are a lot of differences between its A7 / B7 ~~ cut and its amazing A8 / B8 ~~! Purists might prefer his other cuts (A7/B6~~, A7/B7~~, A9/B9~~...etc...) from this album, but his A8/B8 ~~ with its incredible three-dimensionality, abrasive electric guitars, bass notes breathing like an over-amplified heartbeat, wonderful clarity and organic quality. Is a "must have"! Absolutely brutal !!! Spectacular like the legendary mastering of Robert Ludwig ...... but in a different register!
     
  14. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Definitely Dear Dee, you are in great shape and very inspired!

    ... "Found the sound of it sort of 'live' and primal"... This is exactly it!
    And this phrase could apply to a lot of Alvear masterings too! ;-)

    That's why I really like this pressing for its more "raw" side than the other masterings I've heard from this album. The others were too clean, Too processed, too dazzling, too perfect ... Too good to be true! But I think this album just needs a little warmth, grain, enormous dynamics and incidentally ... a good bottle to listen to it!
    The other pressings I heard weren't inherently bad, but like some blurays that abuse DNR (digital noise reduction), poetic magic doesn't work with me!

    :tiphat:
     
  15. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Here is an old post that I dug up.
    This was about Led Zeppelin lll (Canadian TG pressing ... a forum favorite) "versus" Led Zeppelin lll (Spanish pressing). I was certainly less experienced than today, but overall I won't change a lot of lines on this!


    "Since you are talking about Led Zeppelin here is why I have a preference for Spanish pressing. First of all, I do not want to get angry with our Canadian friends. The series of the first pressings with TG in deadwax seems very estimable. Great dynamics, good depth, powerful bass, excellent detail, appreciable softness. Really very powerful. But maybe a little too much too much for my taste! What I reproach him is a lack of subtlety and nuances. This album does not need anabolic treatment. IMHO. Only a great air breathing and an excellent tonal balance to vibrate properly ... and that's it! On Canadian pressing some cymbals are sometimes invasive. The bass overflows a little. The bass on the Spanish pressing has a higher vibratory quality and sounds more natural. The sound stage is more three-dimensional on the Spanish pressing (really "in your face"), more lateralized on the Canadian pressing. Not really crippling but sometimes the stereophonic image is more rudimentary can cause a slight imbalance. An example: the song "Bron-y-aur stomp". On Canadian pressing, Bonzo's rythm is a little too loud. Almost deafening. We distinguish less well the acoustic and Robert Plant's voice. On the Spanish pressing, the balance is perfect. Reminder: Stomp (dance): jazz that we dance by stamping our feet to mark the rhythm. Jazz .......... not heavy rock! Another example of nuance management: on the song "Gallow's pole", the acoustics in the introduction of the song are more present on the Canadian pressing. At first listen, Canadian pressing seems better. But when Bonzo's drum arrives in the mix, the effect is more spectacular on the Spanish pressing. Logic! A French scientist (Michel-Eugene Chevreul) theorized this phenomenon in the 19th century: the law of simultaneous contrastes. Canadian pressing has a very smooth listening. Very nice compared to some pressings that sometimes sound more harsh. But this softtness seems to have been obtained with the planing of some micro-frequencies at the expense of a global réalisme. The Spanish pressing sounds more rustic and bucolic and therefore has a poetic power more evocative. Is Spanish pressing better than Canadian pressing? According to my criteria and my own system, yes, because I find that the Spanish pressing has a mastering more in adequacy with the musical material of the album."

    :tiphat:
     
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  16. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Let us understand each other well! I don't want to get angry with our Canadian friends because some pressings in this country are wonderful. In particular Led Zeppelin ll (MG), very very powerful or Led Zeppelin l (Red labels not TG or MG), sublime (If you hear Led Zep sounding like an old Jazz or Blues group from the early 60s, it 's is that one!)!

    To stay in the register that interests us.

    :tiphat:
     
  17. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Difficult to answer! I had the A6 / B4 ~~ and kept the A9 / B6 ~~ ......... because it was in better condition! From memory the two seemed to sound almost the same. Probably out of the same cutting session? (1976 I think?).

    I kept the HD audio files. I will be posting some excerpts this weekend; if that can help you?

    ;)
     
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  18. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    After some research and thought, I'm not sure that Howard Barrow cut that record !? It would seem that the diamond-shaped signs, being the mark of the punch corresponding to the lathe used?

    But maybe cut by another English engineer, who knows ?! Either way, the mastering is remarkable! I'll explain why soon ...
     
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  19. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    The Talking Heads album Remain In Light album arrived. A1/B1. Another record that played really well. No audible s/n to me on side 1 and very minimal on side 2. ~~~ on both sides. A very consistent 'sound' from song to song. Was a good listen for me. I enjoyed it. I was not overwhelmingly impressed with the sound of it, but happy or satisfied with it. Seemed like a good balance of sounds. Credit to the mix too perhaps. The few guitar solos were what 'sounded' the 'strongest' to me or perked my ears up quite a bit.
     
  20. multirock

    multirock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    Hello everybody!
    I have some goods news for you. I think I’ve found the holy grail. The Led Zeppelin III, both sides mastered by Alvear!! :agree::agree::agree:
    I just bought it in a record store in Madrid, and for what I’ve been looking in Discogs, it is a new non listed edition.
    The matrix are A9/B4. And although just side A has the Alvear signature, both sides are hand etched, and has the distinctive 1-.
    Record looks very close to NM, and I just want to clean it and give a full listen to it.
    When I have the time I’ll upload this new edition to Discogs catalogue.
    Great!!!!
    Best regards

    P.D: I found a Led Zeppelin “Presence” both sides mastered by Alvear in that store also. I didn’t buy. Any ideas of how does it sounds??
     
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  21. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    I'd have bought Presence right then and there out of curiosity. Not easy to find if looking for one, as far as I know.
     
  22. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Wow! :yikes:

    Congratulation!:righton:
    Happy for you. :edthumbs:

    Like the legendary Led Zeppelin ll German pressing mastering Robert Ludwig ... on both sides, this one is perhaps now the other Holy Grail of Led Zeppelin pressings! Congratulations Dear Esteban!

    Can't wait to hear what this gem sounds like! ;-)

    :tiphat:
     
  23. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    What method is used for cleaning your vinyls?

    This is what I use:

    Winyl Gel - descubre el sistema del limpiador de vinilos Winyl RC

    But I assume you already know him?:D
     
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  24. Christophe Lethimonnier

    Christophe Lethimonnier Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    I'm not sure if the distinctive "-1 or" 1.2 "can be related to Alvear's work ?! I had speculated on this but now I'm not so sure! Indeed I checked my first few Spanish pressings with machine-stamped matrix. Some do not have this distinctive sign "-1 ..." (Led Zeppelin l A2 / B2), others partially (Led Zeppelin lll [A5 / B3], only on side A) and others, from 2 sides (Led Zeppelin lV) !? Maybe if we had some more information about this it would be of great help, but for now I attribute to these distinctive signs, the quality of a stamper. So, even a late pressing, with matrix etched by hand and having this distinctive sign ("-1, -1.2 ...), does not necessarily presage a mastering of 'Alvear!
    ... Fortunately, we still have another clue: The sound! ;-)
    For example the Led Zeppelin IV (A5 / B3 stamped machine) which is a real Hot mastering, does not look like the mastering that ALVEAR will produce a few years later ... yet it is the same work step!
    In the case of the third album, the hybrid mastering will be even more decisive to help us, because if ALVEAR really cut the side B (B4), the difference in sound texture and the quality of the mastering should be noticeable. Less than the example of the Led Zeppelin lV first pressing Versus Alvear but nevertheless noticeable I think?
    So why a little less?
    Quite simply because, it is a well-known fact admitted on this forum, that the side B (essentially acoustic) of this marvelous luminous, bucolic, festive and sometimes epic or dark album, sounded better than the first, overloaded with electricity! What could also explain this late cut and its rarity !? In its hybrid version, probably Alvear (I imagine?) felt that its side harmonized well enough with the B3 stamped machine side!

    Just a simple guess, of course !?

    :tiphat:
     
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  25. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    I love my Spanish hispavox Led Zeppelin LPs.

    But I'm not allowed to post about sound quality because I haven't filled my gear profile.
    It's not an audiophile gear at all. I'm not an audiophile.
     

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