Tchaikovsky / Symphony No. 6 on Classic Records

Hot Stamper Pressings of the Music of Tchaikovsky

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Tchaikovsky

Sonic Grade: F

An Audiophile Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records Classical LP badly mastered to the detriment of those lured by the promise of easy answers and quick fixes.

It’s been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, twenty years or more, but I remember it as none-too-impressive, playing into my natural prejudice against the earliest Living Stereo recordings and Classic Records themselves.

The original is not good either in our experience. The only version of this wonderful performance from 1955, the best we know of, is this very late reissue that we discovered more than twenty years ago, a sleeper of a record if ever there was one.

When you hear how good it sounds, you may have a hard time believing that it’s a budget reissue from 1976, but that’s precisely what it is. Even more extraordinary, the right copies are the ones that win shootouts.

Further Reading

Bernie Grundman’s Work for Classic Records: Hard, Sour, Colored and Crude

The general sonic signature of the modern Heavy Vinyl Classical Reissue: Diffuse, Washed Out, Veiled, and Vague.

Here are some of our commentaries concerning the many Heavy Vinyl pressings we’ve played over the years.

And now,

A Confession

Even as recently as the early 2000s, we were still somewhat impressed with many of the better Heavy Vinyl pressings. If we had never made the progress we’ve worked so hard to make over the course of the last twenty or more years, perhaps we would find more merit in the Heavy Vinyl reissues so many audiophiles seem impressed by these days.

We’ll never know of course; that’s a bell that can be unrung. We did the work, we can’t undo it, and the system that resulted from it is merciless in exposing the sonic shortcomings of these newer pressings.

Some audiophile records have such poor sound, they pissed me off so bad I had to create a special ring of hell for them.

Setting higher standards — no, being able to set higher standards — in our minds is a clear mark of progress. Judging by the hundreds of letters we’ve received, especially the ones comparing our records to their Heavy Vinyl and Half-Speed Mastered counterparts, we know that our customers see things the same way.