More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
This entry links up a few of the commentaries I wrote as I went back through the Classic catalog, comparing their pressings to both originals and reissues.
We take to task Classic Records, The Absolute Sound, and Chesky, as you will see below.
This commentary was written in 2005, prompted at the time by a rave review in TAS for one of the new Speakers Corners Mercury reissues. I detested the sound of the first one I heard, and subsequent releases only confirmed that the mastering of the Mercury catalog for Speakers Corner was abominable, an affront, in my none-too-humble opinion, to all right-thinking audiophiles.
Some thoughts on the Heavy Vinyl version
Here is what a real Mercury pressing sounds like…
when you get hold of an exceptionally good one and know how to clean it.
As for my commentary, it should be obvious that these awful remastering labels have not gone out of business, but instead have prospered, making millions of dollars from audiophiles eager to lay down their hard earned money for one Heavy Vinyl pressing after another, often of the same title even.
When Harry Pearson (of all people! — this is the guy who started the Living Stereo craze by putting those forgotten old records on the TAS list in the first place) gave a rave review to LSC 1806, I had to stand up (in print anyway) and say that the emperor clearly had removed all his clothing, if he ever had any to begin with. (And now he has a CD List? Ugh.)
This got me kicked out of TAS by the way, as Harry does not take criticism well. I make a lot of enemies in this business with my commentary and reviews, but I see no way to avoid the fallout for calling a spade a spade.
Is anybody insane enough to stand up for LSC 1806 today? Considering that there is a die-hard contingent of people who still think Mobile Fidelity is the greatest label of all time, there may well be “audiophiles” with substandard audio equipment or weakened powers of observation and discrimination, or both (probably both, as the two go hand in hand), that still find the sound of that steely stringed Classic pressing somehow pleasing to the ear. Hey, anything is possible.