What are the best sounding Jimi Hendrix CDs?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Harlanator, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Harlanator

    Harlanator Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Alameda, CA, USA
    I can't find the thread that discusses the merits of the multiple CD re-issues. I have them all but might as well just keep the specific CDs are judged by the forum's listeners as the best. Thanks in advance
  2. Hendrix_Fan

    Hendrix_Fan Active Member

    Austin, TX
    The original discs from the early 80s are likely regarded as the best. They use older tapes but don't suffer some of the problems of subsequent releases.

    In the late 80s they remastered the discs with NoNoise. The labeling looks mostly the same but they are identifiable by the "RE-1" on the disc itself. The noise reduction leaves audible artifacting.

    In the early 90s they were remastered and re-released with new cover art. These seem to use a less aggressive noise reduction.

    Then there are the EH versions which use the master tapes for the first time, but are overly compressed. The new Sony re-issues use the same tapes and slightly different mastering but are also overly compressed.

    If you can grab the all analog vinyls (or needledrops of them) those are the best out there.
  3. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Since the original '80s CDs are way too hard to find and probably would be very expensive, and I didn't like the noise reduction and revised artwork of the two middle versions, that leaves the EHs by default. They have good and bad aspects, but overall I think they're fine.
  4. Harlanator

    Harlanator Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Alameda, CA, USA

    Much obliged, very good input.
    TonyCzar likes this.
  5. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    1st Japan Polydors vs. 1st US Reprises Q:
    Do the 1st Japan Polydors use the same Lee Herschberg [pre RE-1] WB/Reprise masterings?
    David del Toro likes this.
  6. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    I think they sound fine, and better than many others' re-releases.
    Bluesman Mark and SteveM like this.
  7. therockman

    therockman Senior Member In Memoriam

    I half done a lot of research into this issue and I have concluded that it is six of one or half a dozen of the other.
  8. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    :righton:Bowie for one.
    BlueSpeedway likes this.
  9. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Senior Member

    I believe Steve has stated that the old Reprise discs used the original masters.
  10. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    columbus, oh, usa
    Just FYI, they're not as hard to find, or as expensive as one would normally expect. I picked them all up VERY cheap in used cd stores, and I have seen them several times since I completed my collection of them. I'd say use the EH as a placeholder but keep checking the Hendrix section when you are browsing.
    Kundalini and TonyCzar like this.
  11. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    I tried pretty hard a short while back and had no luck, but I guess it won't hurt to try again. Thanks!
  12. Jimi Bat

    Jimi Bat Forum Resident

    tx usa
    these discs the non re-1 seem to show up here from time to time.i've seen several over the past 6-8 months so keep an eye on the for sale section.they are usually quite affordable.

    was listening to the EH version AYE the other night just to pay more attention to the mixes.then just for fun i pulled out the polydor west german smash hits and compared its version of purple haze to the EH version.EH seemed louder and more in your face while polydor sounded lighter with more air inthe room if that makes any sense.i think i like polydor more but i'm not sure.looks like i will have to go back and evaluate the entire catalog when i get the time and money.
    Dave likes this.
  13. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    South Plymouth, Ma
    I may be in the minority, but I really, really like the newer remasters on MCA. Exp, Axis, Electric.

    The original Reprise discs, to me, sound like there's no life in there (pre RE-1)
  14. ricks

    ricks Senior Member

    The RE1's were stone cold dead due to Noise Reduction. Not clear on how the RE1's could have "life" for anyone.

    P.S. since there is misinformation in this thread the original [NON RE1} US Reprises of AYE, AXIS,EL and Cry were all made from the master tapes. The mostly inferior Polydor's [Japan and WG] were not, neither were the many of the remasters at least for AYE.

    My recommendations [for sound not track listings]:

    - The non-re1 Reprises of AYE, AXIS,EL and Cry are THE ones to get.
    - The original Polydor EL may be a tad better on approx 1/2 of the tracks
    - Avoid the Polydor AYE and AXIS [sound is nice, but by mistake used inferior mixes] is my feeling. EL is fine but the tracks are out of order - did Polydor purposely mess up all the Hendrix they did or what :)
    - Avoid the Reprise RE1's they are beyond dull and lifeless
    - Don't get fooled by claims by a tiny $$$ based faction that the 1st press Japan Polydors are good they simply are not. They use the exact same INFERIOR masterings as the WG's and in the case of Axis the inferior not meant to be issue "alt" mixes.
    - Avoid all the remasters , all though if you don't mind greatly reduced Dynamics and the urge to keep lowering the volume, the tonality on the Experience's is at least halfway decent.
  15. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    You can find good sounding Hendrix on the USA Reprise, no RE-1 matrix, the original Polydor W. Germany and the Polydor 1st Japan CDs.
  16. Jimi Bat

    Jimi Bat Forum Resident

    tx usa
    i thought japanese p33p cry or love was the recomended source for that material on cd.thats the impression i got from reading old threads.if not let me know.i dont want to spend $125.00 for a bad sounding cd and an obi.
  17. onlyshallow

    onlyshallow Active Member

    Emmaus, PA
    I could be wrong on this, but from my recent eBay hunting, all the Japanese Polydors I've seen seem to have the same incorrect track sequence as the European copies (Disc 1: Sides 1+4, Disc 2: Sides 2+3), which would suggest they were done in the same batch or from the same tapes. To my knowledge, the Reprise issues all have the correct track listing.
    SinnerSaint, marcfeld69 and BIG ED like this.
  18. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    I thought that's how all well-mastered CDs are supposed to sound. :winkgrin:
    kundryishot likes this.
  19. ranasakawa

    ranasakawa Forum Resident

    The Reprise Cry Of Love is the best sounding Jimi CD then i'd have to say the Polydor CD of War Heroes sounds great as well.
    ARod and audiomixer like this.
  20. Evan

    Evan Senior Member

    Petal, MS
    I have the West German "Electric Ladyland" and I like the way it sounds (YMMV). I made a CD-R of it to correct the incorrect track sequence (Disc 1: Sides 1+4, Disc 2: Sides 2+3) and it all fit on a single disc.
    john lennonist likes this.
  21. ricks

    ricks Senior Member

    Unless you have Gates/Buffet/Walton type wealth please for the love of all that is holy do not waste your money! It is same as the Polydor WG which as noted has out of order track-listing/sides. As I mentioned earlier about half the album in run time sounds better on the Polydor EL due to EQ than the mastertape sourced Reprise [non re1] however the opposite also applies.

    There is a tiny faction on this forum with $ based agenda's when it comes to anything 1st pressed Japan. Please do not fall into that rabbit hole as I did for a short time. Not every one crawls their way out as I did - even when they realize the identical discs sound exactly the same as what they already owned - as they have to then justify their high dollar purchases or admit they were CONNED. I am honest and altruistic enough to admit I was conned and beg of you do not allow it to happen to yourself.
  22. ascot

    ascot Senior Member

    I'm going to put myself in a group of one who actually likes the EH versions. Yes, they are loud yet it seems fitting for Jimi. :p I don't have any of the early Japanese releases but I do have several W. German discs. Those are a mixed bag to be sure. I'm still kicking myself for getting rid of the non-NR Reprise discs back when I was young and foolish. :sigh:
    Swansong, BrentB, Woodville and 2 others like this.
  23. Turnaround

    Turnaround Somehow heartbreak feels good in a place like this

    New York
    This is probably the best recent thread to settle the question once and for all.

    Poll: Your Go-to Hendrix CDs!
    Stone Turntable likes this.
  24. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    for the UMPteenth time:
    A non "RE-1" Reprise discs does NOT guaranty a non-NoNOISE'd title.
    WB/Reprise pressed more discs after the RE-1's & of coarse (UGH!) those were all NoNOISE'd.
    The way I make sure is that the booklet has my personal hero Lee Herschberg name in the credits.
    [of coarse booklets are printED at a diff rate than ceedees/so then check for the infamous "RE-1" which is the 2nd pressing & the 1st w/NoNOISE]

    Now Playing:
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  25. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident

    So, the answer too my Q [not adressED directly] as too what mastering the were the 1st/early Japanesse ceedees usED is that all Polydor's were the same mastering [Japan & WG], correct?

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