Letter of the Week – “The transparency on this copy is superb!”

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Hello Gentlemen,

I have to commend you once again. I have never heard Maiden Voyage like this before. The transparency on this copy is superb! I gave up listening to my reissue a while back. It had a heavy veil hanging over it that was obvious. Yet as the listener I yearned to hear past it because the music itself is so wonderful. Thanks for digging up this treasure. It will bring many hours of enjoyment now and in the future.

Records are a tangible investment for the listener. When you find a great copy you hang on to it because it engages you. It moves you in a real sense.

A collector who collects for value of first issue is a collector too. However they collect as one would coins, stamps or baseball cards. The value is attributed to what is perceived, not what is experienced. I do not slam anyone for this. If joy is found in this manner then, so be it.

I collect records to enjoy the music and if that means digging thru a number of pressings to find the best one or paying the bucks from someone like Better Records, so be it. If a reissue is better than an earlier pressing I will hold on to the re issue. This is a rarity but does happen. I can think of at least 20 LPs I have that I still favor the reissue over all others.

Both collectors are valid. They simply have different goals in mind.



Thanks for your letter.

We know what you mean by records that have heavy veils hanging over their sound.

Here are some others we’ve found to be similarly veiled and here are some that are good for testing transparency.

Blue Note got into the Heavy Vinyl game back in the ’90s, in the days when we here at Better Records were still selling in-print Heavy Vinyl, but we thought very few of them were of much value to those looking for audiophile sound.

At the time I didn’t know it, but it turns out Maiden Voyage was mastered by that notorious hack, Ron McMaster, which explains our antipathy at the time to the Blue Note series he cut.

As I recall, the sound of his remastered pressings was clean and tonally correct, but his records were missing the analog qualities the better vintage pressings have in such abundance. In other words, his records sounded like CDs.

Who can be bothered to play records that have so few of the qualities we audiophiles are looking for on vinyl?

Back in 2007 we put the question this way: Why Own a Turntable if You’re Going to Play Mediocrities Like These?