This commentary was written in 2004. We carried Heavy Vinyl back then, and for that I would like to apologize. Like the audiophiles of today, at the time I thought I knew a great deal more about records and their proper reproduction than I actually did.
Yes, I admit it: I suffered from the Dunning-Kruger effect. There is one very powerful benefit that I gained from being so mistaken. Having experienced it myself, the signs that you think you know more than you do are very easy to spot in others. If you want to see the effect firsthand, go to any audiophile forum and start reading any thread you find there. It would be hard to miss.
Some thoughts on the new 180 gram Mercury reissues by Speakers Corner and a bunch of other record related stuff.
The Absolute Sound weighed in with their view of the series:
Speakers Corner has given these recordings the respect they deserve. The packaging is gorgeous: a black album titled “The Living Presence of 20th Century Music” and displaying the Mercury logo holds the three records with their original covers and liner notes. In addition, there are informative annotations on the music and Dorati, and a history of Mercury Living Presence…They sound at least as good and in some ways better than the originals…There are no negatives and not enough superlatives to describe these magnificent reissues. It’s rare that performance, sound, and musical value combine at this level in a recording.
Arthur B. Lintgen, The Absolute Sound, February/March 2004
Let me start by saying that I have not listened to a single one of the new Mercury titles.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me state for the record that the chances of the above statements as quoted in TAS being true are so close to zero that they cannot be calculated by anything but the latest Cray computer.
Has Speakers Corner produced a single classical record that’s better than a good original pressing? One or two. Maybe. So what are the chances they did so with these? Almost none I would say. (more…)