Music Matters Definitive Blue Note 45 RPM and 33 & 1/3 RPM vinyl series (pt7)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MilesSmiles, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I don't know. That seems merely dismissive to me. I mean, there's a perfectly good Prime ribeye steak sitting on the counter. Sorry you didn't like it. It tastes better if you cook it a little, or serve it up carpaccio style. Steaks don't cook by themselves. Grado headphones are widely acclaimed and have received numerous awards from high-fidelity reviewers. That doesn't mean they're to your taste. That's fine.

    I'm merely pointing out that Grados don't inherently have those characteristics that were cited before. The lower level models are very forgiving, but the higher ones, from the 325 upward, are not. You need to feed them well for to get the best of of them.
     
  2. musictoad

    musictoad Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    You care more about this man's headphones than he ever has. Just let that sink in for a moment.
     
  3. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    A good or great headphone amp will make lots of difference. I have an Alex Cavelli headphone amp that I hooked up directly to my Hagerman Trumpet phono preamp. That was knee trembling good sound! I think I invoked the names of several deities that night.
     
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  4. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Yup. Inaccurate misinformation should not go unchecked. Saying that a particular component IS the worse thing out there, or saying it's terribly inaccurate, particularly when it's clear that the user didn't have the sufficient associated equipment, should be mentioned. Ignorance, to me, is not bliss around here. I don't necessarily care whether recstar24 likes it or not himself. But I do care for others to know that what he states is not accurate in an absolute sort of sense. When given the right associated equipment and sources, Grados can be stunning sounding headphones. It's not right to leave a misinformed impression that they suck, period. I have played with a myriad of Grados extensively over a couple of decades. I know how great they can be. I also am aware that the 325 and RS1 models can sound bright and lack bass if not given really good amplification. It's really surprising how much tight, taut, tuneful bass, and even some thwack, that they can deliver. Grados are some of my favorite headphones, but they need the right support, particularly at the upper end.
     


  5. It appears to me that you are stating that there is erroneous information posted on the Interwebbies sometimes.

    Yikes. Really?

    Please confirm.



    :)
     
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  6. alarickc

    alarickc Vinylholic

    Location:
    Portland, OR Area
    Then I think it's also worth mentioning that thinking that Grados are punchy, but lacking in sub-bass and ultimate resolution is by far the more common opinion among current headphone enthusiasts (see Head-Fi, Head-Case, and SuperBestAudioFriends among others for examples). Grados where great 15yrs ago when they where competing primarily with the Senn HD600 and the pre-Tesla Beyers. I, and most other enthusiasts who listen primarily with headphones, tend to think Grado HPs aren't as competitive with post planar-revival HPs in the >$500 segment.
     
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  7. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    I neglected to mention early version of Grado 325 that can sound hard with CD player headphone jack. Unlistenable if you get right down to it.

    If you listen to headphones, get a good amp to drive them.

    Your education starts at headfi.org
     
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  8. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Wasn’t recorded by Rudy and the supporting musicians were pretty much unknown in the USA. I think those are the main reasons it flies under the radar. But I agree with you that it is an excellent album, and that the MMJ version (mine is the 33) sounds great.

    I also love the Bud Powell title. Monk fans will really appreciate his style and sound, if they are not already familiar with him. In fact, I believe he was a huge early influence on Monk.
     
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  9. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I don't think Our Man in Paris flies under the radar. It's in the Penguin Guide to Jazz Core Collection. And only Pierre Michelot would have been unknown to jazz fans in the US. Bud Powell (piano) and Kenny Clarke (drums) were both well known beboppers before they expatriated to France.
     
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  10. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Thanks for the correction on Kenny Clarke. I was thinking the drummer was recruited in Europe as well, off the top of my head.
     
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  11. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Just wanted to post what exactly I stated about grados, and it appears I actually like what they sound like lol. If anyone out there is curious, which I know you all could care less lol, I’ve been a longtime headphone user and reviewer originally through 6moons and then a couple of articles through innerfidelity. Main headphone amp usage is through an Eddie current Zana deux and ECP audio DSHA-2, and I’ve owned virtually every grado can - all sorts of rs1’s including the original brown box vintage brown headband gold lettering ones, various Joe grado hp1000’s (hp1, hp2, hp3), the super limited first edition PS1, you name it. I had a nice friendship with joe grado before he passed and had a nice relationship with John after I reviewed his gs1000’s many years ago. So I’m definitely a fan but I acknowledge they have a specific sound signature that I know not others dig and I was simply trying to help a fellow user nail down a certain sound. Apologize to anyone that I’ve offended :D

    EDIT: I’m not really sure who I’m responding to as my ignore list makes it appear that you all are talking to some kind of ghost or apparition, so my post above is trying to infer who exactly you are talking to and about, again I’m trying my best :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  12. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Planars are my favorite speakers overall. There is a tonal and frequency consistency and coherency that can't be beat. They don't throw a lot of air compared to dynamic speakers. But the differences between planars and dynamic speakers gets smaller as they get bigger and more expensive. Grados have a lightning quickness akin to planars, and low end planar HPs don't quite match up.

    But yeah, the higher end ones make me want one. (I used to own a lower end pair of Stax, electrostats).

    I didn't want to spend more than $300 on a new pair at the time. At that price, the Grado 325 is a great value. It's in the >$500 when the planars really start to be a complete headphone, and I might go in that direction.

    Anyway, back to the wonderful music.

    I have been noticing that prices have come down on a number of MM titles on their website. I'm torn, because my wallet's limited availability has been used toward Tone Poet and the new 80th Anniversary titles. I'm guessing that the success of those series have slowed down sales on the MM site.
     
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  13. spacecoyote

    spacecoyote Astral Resident

    Location:
    Central NJ
    Comparing Grado cans to a Prime Rib is a lot like comparing nah I’m just kidding no one wants to talk about headphones anyway in what is after a all a thread about MMJ vinyl.

    Just sayin.

    (Personally I love Grado cans and carts.)
     
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  14. spacecoyote

    spacecoyote Astral Resident

    Location:
    Central NJ
    Keep in mind that MMJ titles are limited by licensing, which is why many remain “out of stock” or out-of-print. The BN 80th and Tone Poets though, are not limited. Point being, get the MMJ sides while you can.
     
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  15. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Believe me, I am making a list.
     
  16. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Looking for some opinions on some MMJ 33 vs 45. Now, I think I know the sound signature, so I have ideas about which I'd prefer, but I'd like to hear from people who have heard both.

    Rollins Vol 1
    Out to Lunch
    Song for my Father
    Night Dreamer
    Candy
    Point of Departure
     
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  17. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I think if you go back and search individual titles in this thread, you'll get your answer on most of them.

    I have a friend who subscribed to the entire 45 and regular 33 output. Pretty much without exception (and that includes Out To Lunch, he prefers the 45s.

    Many here like the 33s for their convenience, knowing that the 33 is still plenty good.

    The SRX series, when first established, generated a lot of excitement and expectations. The promised lowered noise floor, though, was not as dramatic in terms of the added cost, as expected. And for those double dipping, having the 45s and the SRXs of the same titles, after initial excitement, are still mostly preferring the 45s.

    That's my impression.

    Again, the 33s are still plenty good. The convenience factor regarding the 33s hasn't gone away. But purely for sound, unless something like a better master tape was discovered, the 45s have a greater ease in musical flow, subtly better dynamics (part of that ease), better defined soundstage, and slightly better tonality. All very subtle. I have compared a few myself, but none of the titles you mentioned. But again, there have been some comparisons, if I recall correctly.
     
  18. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I’ve heard both for the Rollins, Dolphy, Shorter, and Hill. I prefer the 33s of those titles because they place the drums on an even footing with the other instruments in the soundstage.
     
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  19. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Candy is a bit different as the 33 is stereo and the 45 is mono. I prefer the 33 sonically, the stereo is very clear and focused, the 45 mono presentation is a little too thick for my tastes and doesn’t have the same holographic layering that some of the other MM monos have.
     
  20. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Forgot to say I’ve heard both 33 and 45 of Song for My Father. The 45 uses a Plangent processed digital file for the title track. The 33 is all analog, but the distortion on the hard piano notes on “Lonely Woman” are more pronounced.
     
  21. jphabc54

    jphabc54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NoVa
    Spinning my new copy of The Real McCoy for the first time. Feeling really fortunate this one can still be had for a reasonable sum (by MMJ standards), particularly since it never got the Classic or AP treatment. Five killer Tyner originals with an incredible line up.
     
  22. birchstick

    birchstick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    I’ve got the 45 mono and am tempted to jump on the 33 Stereo. Might just have to do that since it’s at $40.
     
  23. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Keep in mind that in my blind test of Adam’s Apple on 45 and 33, you were convinced that the first sample had to be the 45 due to what you heard as major differences in dynamics and superior tonality. In reality, what you thought was the 45 was the 33SRX.

    I prefer a number of 33s and in no case is it due to “convenience.” Tina Brooks True Blue, Little Johnny C, Kenny Drew Undercurrent, all the titles released on SRX that had been on 45....

    Plenty of great 45s and those make up a vast majority of my MM collection, but you keep returning to this bogus narrative that people who go for the 33s do so as a result of convenience. I’m sure that is sometimes true, but for anyone just joining the thread, I think it is misleading to discuss it as if we have some kind of sonic consensus.
     
  24. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I would also argue that a blind test of an LP that has been digitized and played back as such is a little misleading as well. Even in Hi Res format, I get a very different experience playing back needle drops vs the LP. A lot of the benefits of the 45 format are reduced when played back digitally, in my experience.

    On my system, both SRX titles I compared were trumped by their 45RPM counter parts (Adam’s Apple and A Night in Tunisia)
     
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  25. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, there is no “perfect” way to do it, for sure. Especially when trying to share info online.

    But when two samples are ripped on the exact same equipment, to whatever extent they would be degraded as a result of being “digitized” would strike me as being entirely equal. The notion that a rip of a 45 would somehow be reduced in quality but the 33 would not strikes me as highly illogical at the very best.

    Having said that, much of this comes down to taste. On my system, the SRX 33 of Adam’s Apple is significantly better than the 45. The tonality seems about identical but the SRX just pulls more out of the tape. Shorter’s sax is positively alive and you can hear him taking breaths as he grinds into the mouthpiece.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, this exact same phenomenon is evident to me in the two samples I uploaded. Albeit to a lesser degree than is evident when played back on my system.
     
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