SH Spotlight Nat King Cole "LOVE IS THE THING" (1956) in new multi-channel SACD & 45 RPM LP from Analogue Prods.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Jun 20, 2010.

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  1. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

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  2. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    This is such a stupendous sounding version of one of the top ten greatest albums ever. If I could only have one of your glorious remastered CD's in my collection, this would probably be the one I would choose, although I would have tears in my eyes that I could not have The Nat King Cole Story or one of your Ray Charles CD's as well.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Wow, thank you very much.
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Reopened by request.
  5. RustyStatic

    RustyStatic Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    Hi all, I realize this is likely going to generate some eye-rolls but I would really appreciate any help/reassurance you can provide. Based on all of the stellar reviews I finally broke down and paid well over $100 for a copy of the AP release on SACD. Just received it today, and was pretty jolted early on by the bass thumps here and there that I realize are likely generated from the main vocal mic but also at times seemed to be not where I'd expect them to be.

    I went through this whole thread and some folks certainly addressed this in passing—saying "Nat could pop ANY syllable" (which made me think "OK, maybe that explains why some consonants I'd expect to pop don't, and then other times it seems to be out of nowhere"), others being jolted by the "air moving heavily" when they weren't paying close attention, and Steve even saying to "hey, just unhook your subwoofer for this one". I did just that, and it was far less jarring than when it was on, so that's good. Honestly, when the sub was on I kinda couldn't even enjoy it (not obscuring the fact that yes, the clarity and presence is otherwise outrageously good—not to mention the content).

    Admittedly, I'm new to both Nat and multichannel, so I'm confirming—this was more or less intentional on this release, for historical purposes? To not colorize or compress the sound/performance in any way? And this is sort of a known side effect for recordings of this vantage and with Nat in particular? You now how this goes psychologically, just knowing that would sort of put me at ease and let me come at it with a different perspective. Because right now there's a little nagging "is something wrong with my setup?" that is distracting me.

    (I know this isn't an audiophile level setup, but it's been a big investment/upgrade for me personally—I'm listening in 3 channel, playing the disc on a SONY UBP-X700 that'll play whatever I throw at it without complaint, through a Marantz SR-8015 feeding four Focal Aria 906's, a Focal CC900 and a JL Audio E110 sub. Like I said, I haven't experienced this issue with anything else to date.)

    I'd like to thank you in advance for your help and tolerance of what I'm sure is a naive question!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  6. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    At the risk of stating the obvious, is it possible that you have the level set a little too high on your subwoofer? Some people tend to crank it up higher than it needs to be. Have you used a test disc or the test function on your receiver to match the levels between your sub and the other channels?

    I definitely hear the pops through my sub, but to me it gives it a natural sound and isn’t really distracting.
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  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Shouldn't be distracting, yer bass is up way too high, possibly 20 db too much. Like in the Shaker 1000 system in my Mustang. Nothing like real life, but pleasing sometimes. Great for thin sounding rock stuff but murder on natural sounding music.
  8. RustyStatic

    RustyStatic Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    Makes sense, thanks a bunch. I’m not a major bass head but I like to feel it on certain stuff and even though I want to be able to “set it and forget it”, this is a good lesson for me that this just isn’t going to be the case, especially across genres and production techniques.

    I haven’t played around with that test tone feature, thanks for that prompt too - will do so! Much appreciated!
  9. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Senior Member

    brooklyn, ny
    Going through my pile of records, I found a brand new, still sealed, copy of the 45 rpm set. I bought it directly from Chad years ago at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Then, life got in the way and I forgot I had it. I think it's time to get the turntable warmed up!
  10. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    The white noise /pink noise test tone for each channel is a good start, but if you really want to get it dialed in, get a good test disc (or digital file) with a 20Hz to 20kHz sweep, and listen for levels and any peaks or valleys as the sound moves from your sub to your full range speakers. It should be a smooth and seamless transition.

    If you really want to get technical, you can do it with an SPL meter to make sure the sub level matches exactly. You can remember that setting as your “reference point” and adjust to taste as needed.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  11. RustyStatic

    RustyStatic Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    That sounds great Jack_Straw; I can go hunting, but is there a good test disc you'd recommend that I could just go out and snag?

    BTW, I just want to say that coming back to this recording this morning after some additional minor futzing last night and mainly just turning the sub off (because it's completely unnecessary on this)—holy moly. I know I'm just echoing some prior comments here but I feel like I need to say that the concerns with the mic pops have now completely evaporated... and this 3 channel mix is just absolutely, insanely, good. Like, wide-eyed amazement at the talent and the fidelity. I'm so thankful that this exists, and that recordings like this endure—especially when treated with this kind of loving care. This is demo quality all the way. Can't wait until I can get some of my other music geek friends over here to have their minds rearranged. Sincere thanks for giving me the (obvious, but still) boost I needed to arrive here.
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  12. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Wichita, KS
    I have one from Stereophile that has music in addition to test tones, etc. Can’t remember if that one has a 20-to-20 frequency sweep tone or not. I have another one I bought off of eBay that definitely does have the sweep. If you go to eBay and search for “audiophile test cd” you will find some (or “stereophile test cd”).

    You can also create your own disc or load some files on a USB drive or hard drive and play them digitally. Here’s a good site:

    Test CD
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  13. RustyStatic

    RustyStatic Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    Found and ordered—thanks!
  14. BrucePadgett

    BrucePadgett Forum Resident

    Any opinions on the 2018 Japanese SACD release featuring both the mono and stereo versions? Discogs says it’s a flat transfer from analogue master tapes, engineered by Robert Vosgien. Thanks.
  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    From the stereo 2-track mixdown reels? (The Analogue Production release used the 3-track session tapes. BIG difference.)
  16. BrucePadgett

    BrucePadgett Forum Resident

    Is the difference that pronounced, rendering the original mix obsolete, so to speak? Thanks again for your input!
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I'm not sure what you mean exactly. There were many mixes of this album:

    1956 mono original line mix.
    1957 open reel "Z" version mix at 7 1/2 ips, not usable.
    1959 stereo mix of 10 songs for new 45/45 stereo vinyl, weak sounding and grim.
    1959 stereo mix of 10 songs for quarter track open reel version, weak but not too grim.
    1990's DCC Compact Classics stereo remix (by me)
    2000's Analogue Productions stereo remix (by me)

    None of the original stereo mixes are any good (my opinion, but shared by others). I think my remixes improve on the sound of the stereo tape by a lot. My versions are only out there on DCC Compact Classics or Acoustic Sounds/Analogue Productions products (Vinyl, CD, SACD).

    Anything else offered out there is from a dupe of the 1959 stereo LP mix. Expect lackluster sound but great music.

    And if you see an old Capitol LP of "Love Is The Thing" make sure it's the MONO version with 12 songs..
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  18. BrucePadgett

    BrucePadgett Forum Resident

    So right now the mono mix for me, and hopefully Mr. Vosgien’s mastering of the original line mix is top-notch. Until I can procure a copy of one of your stereo mixes, Steve…without having to sell my car.

  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    You're welcome. A great album. Tip: Get the OLD Capitol CD, mastered by Larry Walsh. Has three bonus tracks. It is called "Love Is The Thing (And More). Decent sound. From 1988.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

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  21. Simon A

    Simon A Arrr!

  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Little bit of both, I mean, even the actual old stereo master tape has numerous substitutions from safety tapes made over the years. Some are duped from an earlier safety, some are later mixes from the three-track from like 1970 or something. Parts of the tape wear out and are substituted, sometimes in a single song there are many edits and colors of tape.

    At any rate, the Larry Walsh is the CD go-to version if you can't find an original MONO LP or my versions (DCC LP, DCC Gold CD, Analogue Productions 45 RPM vinyl, Analogue Productions SACD which has both stereo and mono versions on it, not to mention a unique three-channel version.)

    I had the Larry Walsh 1988 CD for many years. A nice version. Make sure you get the 1988 version with the three bonus tracks (from a different album).
  23. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Salem, MA
    For me, I have seen the original mono LP around from time to time. I found a NM one a while back, but I've seen them around.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    A common Capitol LP. The hard part is finding a really clean one. I have a British Capitol LP as well, never played it but it's out there as well.
    AaronW and AnalogJ like this.
  25. BrucePadgett

    BrucePadgett Forum Resident

    Thanks for the tip Steve. Found a sealed one for a decent price on Amazon. Looking forward to playing it!
    CBackley likes this.
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