This is a highly recommended Three Blind Mice LP. We don’t like most Three Blind Mice albums, or jazz played by practically anyone who is not American. (Ever played Jazz at the Pawnshop? If so, did you enjoy your nap?)
But we like the music of Yamamoto well enough to recommend some of it. Midnight Sugar might actually be his most enjoyable album of them all.
The Heavy Vinyl versions are not as good, although the 45 RPM pressing probably comes the closest to the real Japanese pressing we review here.
Anything pressed at RTI is rarely better than second rate and should be avoided if at all possible.
We almost never like records Made In Japan that were not recorded in Japan. There are of course a few exceptions.
This was the first Three Blind Mice recording I ever heard, over 20 [now close to 40] years ago. A fellow audiophile who went on to become a true audio guru for me (George Louis) played me this recording to demonstrate his stereo.
It had to be the most dynamic piano recording I had ever heard in my life.
Yamamoto likes to tinkle the keys very softly, and then really pound them. And the Three Blind Mice engineers were able to capture both the quiet tinkling because of the Japanese vinyl, and the full-on pounding because of the audiophile recording equipment they used. It was an ear-opening experience.
Over the course of the next year or two, I sold off my Fulton Premiers and my Audio Research Electronics, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get Misty to sound like it did at George’s house.
I realized that it takes better equipment than those companies were making back then to get the sound of that record right, and that put me on, to quote Cat Stevens, ”the road to find out.”
And it wasn’t just the equipment that had to get better, a subject we address in our commentary Revolutionary Changes in Audio. An excerpt:
When I got started in audio in the early- to mid-70s, the following important elements of the modern stereo system did not exist:
- Stand-alone phono stages.
- Modern cabling and power cords.
- Vibration controlling platforms for turntables and equipment.
- Synchronous Drive Systems for turntable motors.
- Carbon fiber mats for massive turntable platters.
- Highly adjustable tonearms (for VTA, etc.) with extremely delicate adjustments and precision bearings.
- Modern record cleaning machines and fluids.
- And there wasn’t much in the way of innovative room treatments like the Hallographs we use.
A lot of things had to change in order for us to reproduce records at the level required to do our record shootouts and be confident about our findings, and we pursued every one of them about as far as time and money allowed.
For a further discussion of these issues, please click here.
Honey Suckle Rose [similar to our Honeysuckle Rose I assume?]
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was