The 1986-1987 Impulse CD Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Feelflows, Jun 6, 2010.

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  1. SimonSaysCake

    SimonSaysCake Forum Resident

    Are you saying that the above titles exist as Japan-for-USA pressings? Or just that they were pressed somewhere be-it Japan, or USA, JVC...?

    -s1m0n-
     
  2. Yes, I see a lot of the Fulginiti editions (tiny credit text), and since reading this post had been on the lookout for earlier editions. I have yet to find anything from 1986/87, but think these two titles may predate Fulginiti since he's not credited.
     
  3. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Actually the two reissues you mention (Duke Ellington & John Coltrane and Meditations) were from around 1988 or 89, when they had dropped the "digitally remastered" logo.
     
  4. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    I miss ICE.
     
  5. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada

    All 1986-1987 USA Impulse 1st pressings are Japan for USA (JVC in '86, JVC, Denon & Sanyo in '87). At least the first dozen MCA/JVC-XXX titles predate the Japan 32XD series and domestic West German releases...the mastering/pressing is likely the same, but I'm a curious guy- especially since many 35DP to 32DP masterings are different. These 20 titles also exist as USA & Canadian pressings, but these are later pressings. EAC shows several titles to contain the same peak levels and CRCs, it states the USA/CAN pressing might be different in all cases. I have no idea how this could be so given the other information EAC gives me before that statement at the end of the .log! I do hear a audible difference between the Japan 1st pressings, and would give the edge to them in all cases. YMMV, I'm not looking to open up the pressings can of worms here. I want to know if any/many are quantifiably different.

    88-89 discs exist primarily as JVC USA pressings, but according to a forum member in this thread who has a Sanyo Japan Africa/Brass, Japan for USA titles were still being pressed.

    I should also note that the Steve Hoffman Coltrane FTOMT disc is a good 20%-30% louder than the same takes found on the 1987 "Coltrane" CD & 1988 "Africa/Brass v2" CD & 1989 "Ellington & Coltrane" CD. Steve's FTOMT uses the "do not use" tapes? FYI, Steve's FTOMT is the clear winner, while both have the breath of life, and a great deal of warmth- FTOMT just sounds like more musical info is being captured in the same 16bits & not in that harsh K2 kinda way. Totally different (better) tape source, not a re-EQ. You've really gotta wonder- while I'm sure many of these tapes are lost to the ages - how many more tapes are sitting in the vaults collecting dust that sound as good as the Steve sourced "Soul Eyes?"


    P.S.- Life has been extremely crazy for what seems like ages, I do plan on updating this thread again with the 1988-1989 USA titles I've gathered from various online/offline sources.
     
  6. I have that JPN for US pressing. Will check peak levels.
     
  7. Levels for JPN for US of "The Blues and the Abstract Truth" MCAD-5659 / JVC-468 are:
    71.5% / 76.5% / 75.9% / 64.4% / 69.3% / 76.2%
     
  8. I just checked the peak levels of my early German impulse! CD pressing with catalog number 254 631-2 and they are identical to the above version.

    I have quite a few of these 254 xxx-2 German CD's and also several of the 32XD-xxx versions, so I can check further peak levels if needed for comparison with the early JPN for US or US for US versions listed at the beginning of this thread.
     
  9. On which titles is Greg Fulginiti not credited? I have 5 titles in this series, and they all credit him. Sometimes the print is so small that it cannot be really read, but with a 10x loupe you can sort of make out the credit. On some CD's, the "Digitally Remastered...." text is a little bit larger than on other versions.
     
  10. Here are the levels of "A Love Supreme" MCAD-5660 / JVC-467 JPN for US CD pressing:

    72.6% / 76.4% / 79.4%

    I also have the 254 xxx-2 and the 32XD-xxx CD pressings for this album, and I remember one of them (at least) had a different mastering (I think). Will check that also.
     
  11. The 32XD-595 has the same peak levels as the ones listed above.

    The 254 557-2 German CD has different peak levels:

    77.1% / 79.4% / 73.9%

    That is one example where the 32XD and the 254 xxx-2 series have a different mastering. For many, if not most titles, the mastering is identical between these two series. The exact same titles were released in these two series.
     
  12. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks Roland! Peak levels are exactly the same as the JVC USA. I guess the question is, since I don't have anything to compare it with- does the tape sound like this? I hear hiss...it's not a question of NR being used, it's just such a bright recording. Or, at least compared to the other albums released in this series anyway. The horns are slightly piercing at the peaks & drums are very bright. Both sound just a bit unnatural to me. I notice it's produced by Creed Taylor and not Bob Thiele...is it a production style thing? This *really* sounds like an LP tape with weird EQ. While I do believe that many different pressings which read the same in EAC can sound different...this'd be an extreme difference to put it mildly.

    EDIT- I'm using a Marantz DV8400 as my CD player atm and a 2270 for the amp...rarely do things sound "bright." If anything, the sound leans towards "dark"
     
  13. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    They still sound great to my ears! I'm assuming these were USA pressed JVC discs?
    By the way- I should mention that there are at least 25 releases between 1988-1989, not counting the issued MCA/Impulse recordings of 1980s albums. I'm not very interested in these...
     
  14. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    As I mentioned earlier they did a great batch of avant-garde Impulse reissues in 1989 that was almost the last before GRP took over.
     
  15. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup. I've found catalog numbers for everything in that series except MingusX5. There were more avant-garde ones in '89- Alice Coltrane Journey In Satchidananda & Chico Hamilton- The Dealer come to mind. I agree, everything I've heard from the 1988-1989 series sounds wonderful. I will be expanding the list to include all of those titles.
     
  16. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Uncredited...



    So, none of the Impulse vinyl has Hoffman's credit either? LOL for the CD issues...I swear someone snapped a picture of the vinyl jacket front and back & called it a day. Based on the sound of the Coltrane FTOMT, I'd say LP masters were used in the 86/87 series. The sound difference is very much like the Buddy Holly FTOMT 1st to later pressings where Steve's LP tape is used erroneously.

    Given the detail we've gone into in these MCA Impulse threads, I strongly doubt Steve is thinking of a different project. I don't know if our host was still with MCA when these came out...perhaps Steve prepared a bunch LP reissues and left before they were released. Fulginiti could have simply pulled Steve's LP tapes and transferred them flat for the CD release.

    I know credits are very sketchy in this time. Heck, look at the Rob Fraboni & Barry Diament credits on the Marley CDs, 7 years later! Run some searches & see what Mr. Fraboni's contributions were to that remastering project (as told by Barry). Some people's talent seems to be getting their name on other people's projects (see:Fred Quimby-MGM). As I don't know any of the people involved, I would not make any guesses as to what happened- I'm not certainly not implying anything sinister on Greg's part!

    Greg Fulginiti might have been the only person still working at MCA when the 86/87 series was released. Mastering credits in those days seemed to be given to those who spoke up...there were 20+ releases in 86/87- I'm guessing Greg Fulginiti did some of them at least. Given how slapdash this series is in everything but sound quality I can't imagine anyone at MCA losing sleep over who was being credited in the engineering dept. The "powers that be" approved CD booklets that in some cases are too out of focus/dark/blurry to identify the artist on the front (the Count Basie release is the "best" worst example).

    Another possibility is that Greg did the LP releases and Steve did the CD releases. The decision to use the LP artwork on the CD releases -to save cash of course...you wouldn't want to have to print a booklet with the liner notes at a generous "10" TNR font- might have left Steve uncredited. This is also plausable if Steve was no longer working at MCA speak up in correcting these oversights.

    I notice there aren't any mastering credits on the '88 '89 series.

    Either way, I'm sure if Steve could to go into more detail he would have already.
     
  17. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Which of the Impulse CDs did Steve master?
     
  18. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That's the $64,000 question...

    I should note- the *only* CD in this series that has no Greg Fulginiti credit on the back cover is Quincy Jones: The Quintessence. I imagine this is the same for the MCA-5728 LP release.
     
  19. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA
    Well I picked up the Coltrane and Ellington CD this weekend and it sounds fantastic, whoever mastered it. It sure has that "breath of life" sound I associate with Steve's mastering.

    I've been gradually replacing my 1990s Erick Labson-mastered Impulse! digipacks with these earlier titles. The differences are generally huge. Whereas the Labsons sound too bright on top (for example on the Ellington/Coltrane disc imparting a hard, brittle character to Coltrane's tone) and boomy in the bass, not to mention a bit compressed, the earlier discs by and large sound very tonally natural and dynamic.

    Also unless I am hearing incorrectly, many of the Labson-mastered digipacks have the stereo field narrowed slightly.

    So far the only one of the earlier, non-digipack MCA-Impulse! discs I am not quite sure about is THE ARTISTRY OF FREDDIE HUBBARD, which sounds a bit brighter than I'd like on top (I'm confident this isn't Steve's mastering), but still is overall more natural sounding than the Labson-mastered version.
     
  20. SimonSaysCake

    SimonSaysCake Forum Resident

    I'm happy to report that I've found one of these Impulse!/MCA jazz titles that does not appear to be on the (original) list:

    McCoy Tyner "Inception/Nights of Ballads & Blues" catalog number "MCAD-42000", made in Japan, matrix "MANUFACTURED BY SANYO JAPAN MCAD42000 A7403C", hub text=(none), UPC="076742200022".

    It seems to be a two-fer as there are 14 tracks with a total time of 71:47. A quick first listen sounds good to these ears. :)

    -s1m0n-
     
  21. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    It is a twofer. The titles of the 2 original albums are combined in its title :)
     
  22. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Didn’t you or ‘other engineer’ master the other titles such as Coltrane’s 'Sun Ship’, ‘OM’, ’Transition' and ‘Live In Japan’?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Sorry, don't remember. 30 years ago now.
     
    yasujiro likes this.
  24. MicJames

    MicJames Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I sometimes see German made Coltrane Impulse! 1987 CDs with the MCD or MCAD prefix. Interestingly, there is often a corresponding European 254 prefix release of the same title the very same year. I’ve read the 254 prefixes often have the same mastering as the Japanese 32xd’s, with some exceptions including A Love Supreme.

    Any insight into the mastering of the MCD/MCAD German releases?
     
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