Rhino Heavy Vinyl Debunked
Sonic Grade: F
A Hall of Shame pressing and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.
The 2003 Rhino reissue on heavy vinyl of Workingman’s Dead is absolutely awful. It sounds like a bad cassette. The CD of the album that I own is superb, which means that the tapes are not the problem, bad mastering and pressing are.
More Grateful Dead
Rhino bills their releases as pressed on “180 gram High Performance Vinyl”. However, if they are using performance to refer to sound quality, we have found the performance of their vinyl to be quite low, lower than the average copy one might stumble upon in the used record bins.
The CD versions of most of the LP titles they released early on are far better sounding than the lifeless, flat, pinched, so-called audiophile pressings they released starting around 2000. The mastering engineer for this garbage actually has the nerve to feature his name in the ads for the records. He should be run out of town, not promoted as a keeper of the faith and defender of the virtues of “vinyl”. If this is what vinyl really sounds like I would have switched to CD a long time ago.
And the amazing thing is, as bad as these records are, there are people who like them! I’ve read postings on the internet from people who say the sound on these records is just fine.
40+ strong but the real number would be at least double that and probably more like triple that figure.
But who has time to make listings for all the bad records this label has released?
In case you don’t already know, one of the worst sounding, if not THE WORST SOUNDING VERSION OF ALL TIME, is the Mobile Fidelity Anadisq pressing that came out in the ’90s. If you own that record, you really owe it to yourself to pull it out and play it. It’s just a mess and it should sound like a mess, whether you have anything else to compare it to or not.
It is my contention that there is no audiophile pressing on the face of the Earth that can compete with the best sounding original Teaser and the Firecats. Of ANY music. This is a sound I simply don’t experience when playing modern mastered records. There is a magic in these grooves that seems to be impossible to recapture. Perhaps one day I’ll be proven wrong, but that day is not upon us yet. Until then, this is the king.Speaking of stereo improvements, a record like this is the reward for for the endless hours of effort and huge expense an audiophile must invest over the course of years — if not decades — to achieve the kind of reproduction a recording like this demands.
This record, on the right system, is a thrill that can not be experienced any other way.
Some of Cisco’s records are quite good. Here is a list of titles that we have reviewed, sorted alphabetically by artist.
This one 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.