Kansas – Listen to the Difference Up High and Down Low

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This is one of the pressings we’ve discovered with Reversed Polarity.


Just played the record again and can say without fear of contradiction that the two easiest ways to recognize that the polarity is wrong are these:

  • The record is simply far too bright without the polarity reversed. It’s an interesting sound — I myself like a lot of top end — but switching back and forth it’s clear that the highs are overdone until you reverse the polarity. Once corrected they sound like the highs should sound on a ’70s Big Rock record.
  • Even more telling: the BASS. Reverse the polarity, then listen for the kick, the toms and the bass guitar. Assuming you have a good copy they’re full-bodied, punchy and solid. Now put the polarity back to “normal” and hear how hollowed-out the bass sounds. The kick and the toms don’t punch through the way they should. It’s obviously worse and obviously wrong. The evidence down low is incontrovertible in my opinion.

With all that in mind, the first track still sounds good even when the polarity is wrong. It just sounds better when it’s right.

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We owe a big “thanks for the heads up” to our good customer Chris Looby (proud owner of the previous Hottest Copy) who took the trouble to point out to us that only the first track on side one is reversed. (I hadn’t bothered to get past that song once I determined that the phase needed correcting. Apologies for the oversight.) Later we learned that track three on side two is reversed phase. Every copy we played was reversed for that track and only that track on side two. Listen to your own copy — you know, the one you paid three bucks for from your local record store — and then reverse the phase. It gets a whole lot better on that track.

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