Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Simon & Garfunkel’s groundbreaking third album (from 1966 no less!).
Listen carefully to the voices on this track, one of our favorites to test with. On the best copies they sound exceptionally delicate yet full-bodied.
The percussion on this track is a great test for smear, a problem that plagues most pressings to one degree or another. On the better copies you’ll distinctly hear the sound of the drummer’s hands hitting the skins of the bongos, as well as lots of ambience and echo around the drum.
Note also that every stereo copy we’ve ever played spits at least a little on this song.
This song has a bit of a radio EQ and will never be Demo Quality, but on a Hot Stamper copy with reasonably good life and energy it can sound musical and involving.
The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
The Dangling Conversation
On the most transparent copies you’ll really be able to get a true sense of the depth of the studio. Listen closely and you should be able to spot the placement of all the instruments in the soundfield, with the strings in the back and the voices up front.
Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall
A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d…)
This song is clearly Dylan-influenced, and the sound falls right in line. It should sound lively, with good texture on the vocals and plenty of fuzz on the fuzzed-out electric guitar.
For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
The best copies of this song represent Tubey Magical Analog at its best! The acoustic guitar and voice have the potential to be exceptionally rich, warm, and sweet. The Red Label reissues generally fail to present the right sound for this track.
A Poem on the Underground Wall
7 O’Clock News/Silent Night
…along these lines can be found below.
This listing will help you to get The Most Out Of Your Records .
We have a large number of entries in our new Listening in Depth series.
ou can find your very own Hot Stamper pressings by using the techniques we lay out in Hot Stamper Shootouts — The Four Pillars of Success.
Record shootouts are the fastest and easiest way to hone your listening skills, a subject we discuss often on the site and directly address in this commentary from way back in 2005.