An orchestral dreadnought such as this requires mastering and pressing of the highest quality. The music by its very nature taxes the limits of LP playback itself, with deep bass notes; incredible dynamics from every area of the stage; masses of strings playing at the top of their registers with abandon; huge drums; powerful brass effects — every sound an orchestra can produce is found on this record, and then some.
You will hear plenty of sounds that defy description, that’s for sure. Some of the time I can’t even imagine what instrument could possibly make such a sound!
See more of the music of Bernard Herrmann in stock
Sonic Grade: D
Another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.
I’d always preferred the famously rare Half-Speed to the domestic copies I had auditioned back in the day, until now of course. Now, with changes to the stereo and better cleaning techniques and all the rest, that half-speed’s weaknesses are on display for all to hear. Where is the rock ’em, sock ’em bottom end that the best originals have? It’s gone! Yes, the smeary veiled quality of the typical original pressing is gone too, which is why I used to like the DD Labs version best. It’s simply another case of a good Half-Speed beating a bad domestic pressing, and in turn being beaten (soundly) by The Real Thing, the kind of record we like to call a Hot Stamper.
The MHS pressing above can have superb sound.
The original Angel pressing shown above is at best mediocre in our experience.
MHS remastered the original 1967 Melodiya tape in 1979, dramatically improving upon the sound of the version that I knew on Angel, which shouldn’t have been too hard as the Angel is not very good.
Wait a minute. Scratch that. MHS didn’t cut the record, an engineer at a mastering house did. Fortunately for us audiophiles, the job fell to none other than Bill Kipper at Masterdisk.
A recent White Hot Stamper pressing of L&M’s fourth release demonstrates pretty convincingly just what an amazing DEMO DISC this album can be. When Jim Messina rips into his mandolin solo half way through Be Free your jaw is likely to hit the ground. On the best copies it positively LEAPS out of the left speaker. I can’t recall another pop or rock recording that captures either the plucked energy or the harmonic nuances of the instrument better. To hear such a well-recorded mandolin on a copy of this quality is nothing less than a THRILL.
This is clearly one of the best sounding guitar records we’ve ever had the pleasure to play here at Better Records. Project 3 was an audiophile label in the truest and best sense of the word: a label that not only cared about the sound of their recordings, but actually proved they could produce title after title of the highest quality, equal or superior to anything on the market.