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MD Blue Note 75th LPs - consensus on quality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Doug Walton, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I recently grabbed a couple of these at 20% off from MD - Coltrane's Blue Train, and Shorter's Speak No Evil.

    Then I started to get nervous - are these the ones that people are saying to avoid? They're due to arrive here today, and while I can just return them, I'd like to do the homework I should have done before I ordered them. :)

    Should I just leave them in the box and return them for a refund? Is there a particular set of pressings from MD in the BN 75th series that are solid, and is that info easily viewable from the album cover?

    Next time I'll do a bit more work to find this out beforehand. Feel free to PM me if this is something best discussed off-forum.

    Thanks...
     
  2. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I have Page One by Joe Henderson from this series and think that it is outstanding. Quiet, flat vinyl and great mastering. It's from a digital source, but sounds fantastic.
     
  3. kozy814

    kozy814 Forum Resident

    For starters these are digitally sourced, which is not an automatic deal breaker. However in this case I thought I heard they are using the CD masters with little or no reworking for vinyl. The Music Matters editions are quite excellent and beat these by a wide margin as I understand. I want to say these are being pressed at United which is not going to help matters. All in all, the consensus is that these are not worth the $20 price tag for most titles.

    Here is a thread which gets into some detail:

    Blue Note 75 Reissue Help
     
    Doug Walton likes this.
  4. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Well, that thread does address my question pretty well - thanks for posting the URL.
     
    kozy814 likes this.
  5. Mister President

    Mister President Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    The only one I have is Sam Rivers Fuchsia Swing Song which sounds great to me, I'm in the U.K so would have a European pressing.

    I might look at some others...
     
  6. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    The US albums were pressed by United. The few that I bought in the series were horrendously pressed. I’d send them back.
     
  7. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Forum Resident

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    The 10" lp's from this series are fantastic. The Thelonious Monk titles, Horace Silver and Jay Jay Johnson deserve special mention.
     
    Tommyboy likes this.
  8. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    Yes, you’re right. They’re very good! Better than the albums. I had no luck with the 4-5 albums that I purchased, but the EPs were just fine.
     
  9. Marko K

    Marko K Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU, Estonia
    They are not using CD masters. Files are high resolution mastered by either Bernie Grundman or Alan Yoshida.
     
    Bloom and Tommyboy like this.
  10. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    The EU pressings are much better than the US pressings, as well.
     
  11. I have that one as well, and my pressing is also fine, and it souds very nice. It is from the last batch of five titles, and these were not pressed in the EU. For the titles released before the last 5, there are EU and US pressings available. The EU pressings are usually of better pressing quality for this series.

    Soundwise, I think these are decent. The problem with some of the US pressings (not all of them) is some pressing flaws. You need to check them carefully, but if the US pressings don't have any major pressing flaws (like non-fill), then they are worth having. I have a few of the US pressings, and I had to return some of them due to these issues.

    All in all, they sound pretty nice, but they can't touch the MM pressings (of course). For some titles, I have/had the 75th Anniversary pressing as well as the MM33 pressing, and the MM's are better. Noticeably better, but not a "night and day" difference (in my opinion).
     
    Mister President likes this.
  12. SuperFuzz

    SuperFuzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Some sound fantastic. Unfortunately United Pressing is not consistent in quality.

    I talked with Don Was recently in NY at an event he was doing. I mentioned being a Blue Note fan... he then asked if I was an audiophile. I don't ever call myself that, but I said yes, and then we started talking about vinyl records. He said they have big plans for Blue Note's 80th anniversary...

    He is also aware that the 75th Ann. series did not please many audiophiles... he's been talking to people like Joe Harley a lot recently, and he now knows the importance of a good pressing plant. He went on to even say how he now knows that particular presses at plants sound different than others presses at the same plant...
    What was really interesting is when he said that the 75th Ann. records were cut ANALOG. He said he knows there's been chatter about them being digitally cut, and he didn't understand why. He said whenever they have the tape, he would cut from the tape, and that it was not cheaper to cut from a file, so there's no incentive to do it that way. Maybe he was mistaken, but he is the president of the company and he seemed adamant about it. He then flipped through photos on his phone and showed me a couple with him and Ron McMaster and someone else I believe, holding some master tape boxes.

    Not all of the 75th reissues were cut by Bernie... some were cut at Capitol, as you can tell by the stamp in the deawax. Ian Sefchick cut some that I have. And they sound excellent, like "Newk's Time" which I'm listening to now.
    As for the 80th Anniversary, I think his plans are to up the quality game, cut them 100% analog (and I told him he should add some hype stickers to the shrink wrap noting this), and have them pressed at a good plant. Possibly with a $33 price point. Sounds good to me. :righton:
     
  13. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go?

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Sound-wise I think they're great--edgier and crisper than their audiophile conterparts but sometimes that's refreshing. Pressing quality is dodgy st best--at least when I was buying them regularly a couple years ago. Most copies I puchased were warped or had severe non-fill or both. I just stopped buying them altogether which is a shame because they were great titles and I liked having everyday copies to play for fun.
     
  14. ArneW

    ArneW Senior Member

    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    ...I just happened to find a sealed (75th Ann. ?) copy of Sam Rivers‘ „Fuchsia Swing“ in the jazz section of my local 2nd hand record store. The back cover says „Mastered at Capitol by Robert Vosgien“.
     
  15. Bloom

    Bloom You're embarrassing me in front of the wizards

    The ones I bought have sounded great. Especially if you can't drop the asking prices for the Music Matters versions. The Grundman remaster sounds good to me.
     
  16. Fender Relic

    Fender Relic Forum Resident

    Location:
    PennsylBama
    I saw Happenings and Out To Lunch at a local B&M a month ago for $20 each. Anybody have feedback about those 2 titles?
     
    scottc1963 likes this.
  17. Marko K

    Marko K Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU, Estonia
    I got this one today, havent opened it yet. I had no idea that such cuts ("Mastered by Capitol") existed from this series, most I have are cut by inhouse engineers from Optimal. Maybe these Capitol ones are AAA?
     
  18. ArneW

    ArneW Senior Member

    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    I highly doubt it. To the best of my knowledge, Robert Vosgien doesn't cut lacquers. Probably a 24/192 mastering by Robert Vosgien cut by Ian Sefchick or someone else. But it sounds fantastic. Honestly, I have no idea how it could be bettered.
     
    Marko K likes this.
  19. Marko K

    Marko K Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU, Estonia
    There is also the MMJ version, but 45 RPM flipping is overkill for me.
     
  20. ausgraeme

    ausgraeme Forum Resident

    I’ve had mixed experiences but for the price, especially since price wise including shipping Music Matters are almost untenable to ship to places like Australia where I live - they’re ok if you’re willing to spin the dice and buy from someone like Amazon where returns are easy if the pressing sucks. Right this minute I’m listening to Grant Green Street of Dreams which I purchased recently and it sounds just fine. Amazon reviews seem to be a good guide to the titles in which the the pressings are either ok or aren’t. I have about 10 of the 75th series and I’d say 7 I’m really happy with and 3 are a bit iffy. Have returned 2 or 3 which were complete junk.
     
  21. ausgraeme

    ausgraeme Forum Resident

    Listening to the BN 80 series sounds like you were on the money- great story
     

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