The Who’s ‘Tommy’ - New 2022 Half-Speed Remaster

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Benn Kempster, May 11, 2022.

  1. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Half Speed??
    This thread is full speed ahead... ;)
     
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  2. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Try to playgrade as we listen ;).
    It's not a 'new album' per se though, to most folks here. New music I still get wrapped up in the excitement of hearing and enjoying before listening too hard for other artifacts. At least I think I do ;):)
     
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  3. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    These kids and their BASS... ;);):)
     
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  4. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I’m interchanging “new” with sealed. But yes, I agree. When it’s music that’s truly new to me, it takes precedence.
     
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  5. gguy

    gguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    Count me in the camp of those that enjoy this release, at least sonically.

    Compared to my UK 69’ Track repress, this version has a much cleaner top end and deeper soundstage. The acoustic guitars sound fantastic on the AR version. The UK is a bit sibilant and not as much fun of a listen. Although, I do prefer the jacket and booklet on the UK.

    My room isn’t exactly the best for evaluating “punch”, but this release is as good as anything else I have. I’ll be sure to grab a KPG copy if I ever come across one.
     
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  6. RogerE

    RogerE Rambo, the world famous squirrel, says yeah!

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I came back to accepting smaller pressing and handling issues only recently.
    I feel better now.
     
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  7. Vinylfindco

    Vinylfindco The Pressing Matters

    Location:
    Miami
    Your thoughts on the package echo mine - tough to get the records out and they will not be put back in!
     
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  8. Vinylfindco

    Vinylfindco The Pressing Matters

    Location:
    Miami
    I have finished listening to the new edition and and earlier Japanese pressing (35MMOO70/71)
    I played the Japanese the night before this new one arrived and I thought it did sound very good but not terribly exciting. I've had only this pressing for years. The next night I played disc one of the half speed and I said wow, this is much more vibrant, detailed and punchy sounding than my memory of the Japanese. I'm not the biggest fan of Tommy but I like most of the material. I was more engaged with the half speed, marveling at the clarity of the guitar, vocals, and drums. I was pretty convinced it was better and I do think it's excellent however I played side one of the Japanese right after the HS, and matched the levels. This time the Japanese was more engaging than the the night before and really enjoyable too but it was a lot more laid back, less of the ultra clarity and in some ways a more natural sounding presentation. I really like both for different reasons. The HS was dynamic and ultra clear and detailed. The Japanese has softer edges and sounded more organic. They really are different and I could see someone preferring one presentation over the other. I'm glad to have both. I can recommend the new one easily if you love Tommy. It's really a exciting involving presentation.
     
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  9. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Capitol LPs in the 70s were pretty good.

    Location:
    san diego
    I think the Half-Speed master is more dynamic than the KG. The acoustic guitars seem a bit veiled on the KG, and Keith seems a bit louder on the Miles cut.
    Miles has a bit more gloss in the mix. Subtle differences. I think there is a bit more air to the Miles cut. I think the half-speed is just a slightly hotter mix...the OBI hype alludes to a superior treble response.

    If the source Miles used was indeed digital, he succeeded in making the songs sound more analog than KG did with his digital source in my opinion. Or Jon Astley did.

    Another great LP cut by Miles.
     
  10. Salvatore Pagano

    Salvatore Pagano Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florence - Italy
    I don't know what to think, but it's not about the hi fi system, it's about the record. But it's probably the classic matter of taste. I expected a lot more given what I had read around.
    Anyway, no big deal, it's just a record, Tommy has been thrilling me for decades and will continue to do so. ;)
     
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  11. Joseph LeVie

    Joseph LeVie Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    I’ve listened to three of the sides so far. I’m not a The Who or Tommy aficionado. I didn’t buy this for the hype and admit the I was confusing Miles Showell’s reputation with another ME’s. Had I noticed that Jon Astley’s name was attached, I likely would have passed as I have not liked a lot of JA’s EQ choices in the past. That said, The LP is very quiet sounding as far as noise goes. I am not asking this because of the term “half-speed” and I have not compared this to any other Tommy recording yet, but, does this LP play back at the correct speed? It feels slower, more relaxed and lower in pitch to me. Again, I’m comparing to memory only. Regardless, this LP is very enjoyable. When people start talking about clarity of all instruments, I get very nervous about lumpy EQ and compression (everything’s not supposed to have clarity. The background instruments are supposed to be duller to give focus to the prominent ones), but, I like a lot of the mastering choices here. Something’s got to give though, and here, it seems like the power of the drums is the victim. They actually sound great, but, a lot more subdued than I remember them being. Overall, this LP comes across as pleasant, relaxed, warm (I hate that term, but, whatever the opposite of harsh/brittle is).

    On a side note, I had to clamp these LPs down very hard to keep them from sliding? I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem before. Does anyone know why that would be?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
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  12. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    That sounds similar to what I'm saying, there are different reasons to like different versions; but if you're a fan if the album, this would easily be one of the "good" choices to own.
     
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  13. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Capitol LPs in the 70s were pretty good.

    Location:
    san diego
    I was comparing the 2014 KG LP to the new Half-Speed master last night and both sound to be going exactly at the same speed to my ears. My table is a Technics 1200 MK 7.

    As far as Keith sounds on Tommy: he seems (to me anyway) to sound more prominent in the mix on some of the CDs that I have of Tommy. I think I have all the versions...MFSL, the SACD, the DVD-A.
    Of course maybe I don't have the LP where he really shines.
     
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  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    While it’s not the horrible sounding LP dome make it out to be, the version with the least presence-emphasis on the drums is the original Decca. On Christmas in particular, the drums are pushed way back. Question on the KG because I may seek it out…I’d this the version with the standard two-way gatefold?
     
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  15. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Capitol LPs in the 70s were pretty good.

    Location:
    san diego
    I found the KG about 3 months ago (it didn't have a hype sticker or anything I guess I was lucky) sealed at my local indie store so there are copies out there. Mine says 2013 on the back. It was something like $39.
    It is a standard gatefold and much easier to manage than the new Miles version with the bizarre pancake-like jacket.

    To find a sealed KG Tommy that was done 8 years ago in my local store suggests that they are doing current reissues of that. Then again as I said in the 1967-1970 Blue Album thread I did see a sealed 2014 German pressing of that album for sale at the same store yesterday. Perhaps my store uses a supply chain that has a deep inventory lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
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  16. Zafu

    Zafu Cosmic Muffin

    I have an early pressing and was going to pass on this, however it’s among my most favorite albums. Also, as my copy is 50-ish years old, has its share of pops, etc. Given the good reviews and ability to get 20% off, ordered it and listened yesterday. I’ve done no A/B comparison but will just say I find the Sonics on this to be excellent. Every instrument has space, can clearly be heard and is presented to my ears as very natural and beautiful. It’s a very detailed & natural presentation. I’m thrilled i bought it.
     
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  17. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    The tri-fold mirrors the original album but I don’t like the fact that both discs are crammed into one side. In the original, one record out the right side, and the other is in one of the center slits. But ok…that’s what needed to know…the KG is the standard gatefold.
     
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  18. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I’m still surprised at the other poster’s assessment in which this remaster lacks bass. I shut my subwoofer off for all remastered or remixed vinyl albums because it’s not necessary. And I found a sufficient, well balanced amount of low end just with the two speakers.
     
  19. Salvatore Pagano

    Salvatore Pagano Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florence - Italy
    I will try to explain myself better, because perhaps my post can be misinterpreted.
    I didn't mean to say that this reissue "totally" lacks low frequencies, nor do I expect a record like Tommy to have any particular low-end content, not intended in the modern sense (and for those who thought so, I am not a fan of pumped-up productions).
    What I was trying to say is that in so many decades all the versions I have heard (including the original) has always had a little bit of a "hot" character in the low frequency, while here they wanted in my opinion to privilege the clarity of the mid-high range, which may be a choice and as such may or may not be appreciated.
    I am very keen to emphasize, therefore, that when I speak of a "lack of low end" I mean of a punch and a musical part that for me has always been more "forward".
    This I would not solve either with a subwoofer or if I used an equalizer (which I personally hate), because it is a specific mastering choice.
    This choice did not convince me 100%, but clearly it all depends on how I have been listening to this record all these years and from which comes the personal idea of "well balanced." ;)

    p.s. for who said that today we focus more on flaws than on music, you have no idea how wrong you are in my case. ;)
     
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  20. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Very well explained; maybe it also depends on which pressings our ears are used to but either way, all listening assessments are equally valid. Again, I’ve only listened to about an album side’s worth of songs in which I’ve based my judgment; maybe a continuous sit through the entire album will make me hear it differently. As of now, based on my other copies, this one has more low end punch than the original Decca, but not quite as much as the Classic.
     
  21. Sir Talbot Buxomly

    Sir Talbot Buxomly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Just played my newly arrived copy. Sounds good to me. As I already said, the only vinyl version of this I had until yesterday was the Simply Vinyl reissue. I didn't bother doing any A/B comparisons.

    I did that before with 'Brothers in Arms' - Simply Vinyl vs Back To Black 2014 reissue vs Abbey Road HSM 45rpm 2021. I was surprised just how poor that Simply Vinyl pressing sounded.


    Agree about the bizarre sleeve. I was (just) able to fit it into a heavy gatefold outer sleeve I got from covers33.co.uk. I usually keep the outer cellophane on the HSM records as it helps keep the fake OBI in position but I couldn't do that here. Managed to get it into position inside the outer sleeve though.

    Downsides - no polylined inner sleeves, again. And the fake OBI is, well, a fake OBI. Why not make them the same way the Japanese do??

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Capitol LPs in the 70s were pretty good.

    Location:
    san diego
    It doesn’t have a list price, so therefore it really isn’t an OBI in the first place.
     
  23. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    What distinguishes a fake OBI from a real one? I just call them all “side strips”,
     
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  24. gguy

    gguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wildomar, CA
    I ended up using thin half circle inner sleeves, this did the trick. I do still feel like I’ll end up damaging the sleeve at some point
     
  25. dee

    dee Senior Member

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    In practical terms I always thought the trifold sleeve was a pain in the to easily and carefully get the records in and out + the auto-coupling element a pain also. The Japan gatefold sleeve and non coupling solved both those issues at the same time. Plus the insert is like a book with it being attached to the inside of the gatefold. I have a few copies of the Japan issue. The later ones, 1980, don't have the insert sheets laid in and attached to the inner spine like a book iirc.
     
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