Heavy Vinyl Winners

16 Cisco (and Impex) Titles Reviewed

warnehunte_cisco

Some of Cisco’s records are quite good.

Here is a list of titles that we have reviewed, sorted alphabetically by artist.

The one you see above we were not too happy with.

Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

“Some of the worst sound I have ever heard in my life. An absolute disgrace, both sonically and musically.”

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

Back In Bean’s Bag

xxx

Coleman Hawkins and Clark Terry

A Classic from 1962

  • The best copy we have ever heard – Triple Plus (A+++) on side two and nearly as good on side one (A++ to A+++)
  • This is the kind of classic All Tube, Live in the Studio Columbia Sound from 1962 that makes a mockery of most jazz recordings
  • What a swingin’ group – there is simply not a false step or false note to be found anywhere on either side of this wonderful recording
  • Hawkins teamed up with the personable trumpeter Clark Terry for this upbeat set of of solid swing. Terry in particular is in exuberant form on “Feedin’ the Bean” and a delightful version of “Don’t Worry About Me,” but Hawkins’s playing (particularly on the trumpeter’s ballad “Michelle”) is also in fine form.”

This Minty Original “360 Sound” Columbia Stereo LP from 1962 has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND! No other copy we played was in a class with this bad boy — it does it ALL. For those of you who appreciate the sound that Columbia’s engineers were able to achieve in the ’50s and ’60s, this LP is a Must-Own

Columbia’s best recordings — those that were recorded at the 30th Street Studios and those that were not, such as this one — just doesn’t get any better than this. Tubey magic, richness, sweetness, dead-on timbres from top to bottom — this is a textbook example of early ’60s Columbia sound at its best. It’s audiophile heaven.

This original pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it doesn’t look like it is coming back any time soon. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the control room hearing the master tape being played back, or, better yet, the direct feed from the mics in the studio, this is the record for you. It’s what Golden Age Jazz Recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

The Doors – L.A. Woman – Rhino Heavy Vinyl Reviewed

doorslaSonic Grade: B

The pressing we auditioned from the Doors Box Set was surprisingly good. It’s rich and smooth with an extended top end — tonally correct in other words — and there’s lots of bass. This is all to the good. For the thirty bucks you might pay for it you’re getting a very good record, assuming yours sounds like ours, something we should really not be assuming, but we do it anyway as there is no other way to write about records other than to describe the sound of the ones we actually have on hand to play.

What it clearly lacks compared to the best originals is, first and foremost, vocal immediacy. There’s a veil that Jim Morrison is singing through, an effect which has a tendency to become more bothersome with time, as these sorts of frustrating shortcomings have a habit of doing.

A bit blurry, a bit smeary, somewhat lacking in air and space, on the plus side it has good energy and better bass than most of the copies we played. All in all we would probably give it a “B.” You could do a helluva lot worse. All the ’70s and ’80s reissues of this album we’ve ever played were just awful, especially those with the date inscribed in the dead wax.

See all of our Doors albums in stock

Warners / Rhino 180g EQ Anomaly Test

Yet another album we are clearly obsessed with

Click on the link below to pull up the many reviews and commentaries we’ve written, as well as Hot Stamper copies that are currently available on the site.

Sweet Baby James

taylosweet_1601

Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

There is one obvious and somewhat bothersome fault with this new pressing, an EQ issue. Anybody care to guess what it is? Send us an email if you think you know. Hint: it’s the kind of thing that sticks out like a sore thumb, the kind of obvious EQ error I can’t ever recall hearing on an original.

Our Heavy Vinyl Review

This Warner Brothers 180g LP is the BEST SOUNDING Heavy Vinyl reissue to come our way in a long long time. Those of you who’ve been with us for a while know that that’s really not saying much, but it doesn’t make it any less true either, now does it? Let’s look at what it doesn’t do wrong first.

It doesn’t sound opaque, compressed, dry and just plain dead as a doornail like so many new reissues do. It doesn’t have the phony modern mastering sound we hate about the sound of the new Blue. (We seem to be pretty much alone in not liking that one, and we’re proud to say we still don’t like it.)

The new Sweet Baby James actually sounds like a — gulp — fairly decent original.
(more…)

Shoot Out The Lights – Loud Versus Live

Shoot Out The Lights

 

thompshoot_1503_1_1282591967

 

Here’s a thought: if 180 gram records are supposed to be an improvement over the original pressings, why is it that they NEVER sound Big and Bold like this pressing? And I do mean never; I’ve played hundreds of them over the years and have yet to hear this kind of sound on any of them. At this point I would have to conclude that it is simply not possible.

If you have big speakers, a large listening room and like to play your records loud, there is no modern reissue that will ever give you the thrill that a record like this can. (Of course, to fully appreciate the effect it obviously helps if you have a White Hot Stamper copy to play.)

Loud Versus Live

I’ve seen Richard Thompson on a number of occasions over the years, and as loud as my stereo will play, which is pretty darn loud, I could never make his guitar solos 20 dB louder than everything else, because it’s not on the record that way. That’s why live music can’t be duplicated properly in the home: the dynamic contrasts are much too great for the typical listener or his stereo.

Having said that, when you actually do turn this record up, way up, you get the feeling of hearing live music, and that’s not easy to do! Only the best recordings, in my experience, can begin to give you that feeling. We discuss this subject in a number of commentaries under the heading of Turn Up Your Volume.
(more…)