This is a very old review, probably from 2010 or thereabouts.
Hard to say what we would think of this pressing today, what with our unwavering antipathy to Half Speed Mastering, in this case being added to the consistently poor track record of the so-called UHQR.
You are no doubt aware that the Ultra High Quality Record was recently brought back from the dead by Analogue Productions on a pressing whose packaging is quite a bit more impressive than its sound.
Our Old Review
This is a BRAND NEW UNPLAYED Reference 45 RPM Half-Speed Mastered UHQR LP. They only made 1,000 of these, so sealed or unplayed copies are virtually non-existent.
This is actually one of the best sounding Reference Records. It was recorded in the ’50s on location and has very natural sound. Half-Speed Mastered by Jack Hunt even!
I think the exceptionally natural sound found on this record is the result of two factors:
- It’s a live recording, meaning not everything can be controlled and the space is real, not engineered. And,
- This is early days in the recording history of Keith Johnson. As time went on he thought his engineering skills were improving, but I see little evidence of that in the results of his labors: the records he’s been making since 1957.
His records are as phony and weird as practically every other audiophile label of the day (M&K, Telarc, Chesky), no doubt the result of these audiophile types thinking they knew a lot more about recording music than turned out to be the case.
Play any vintage pressing from the ’50s to see exactly what they failed to accomplish.
We know of at least two releases on Reference Records with “astoundingly” bad sound.
Both figure prominently on our list of the worst kind of Audiophile Bullshit Records.
- New to the Blog? Start Here
- Record Collecting for Audiophiles – 45 RPM Pressings
- Record Collecting for Audiophiles – Audiophile Pressings
- Record Collecting for Audiophiles – Direct to Disc Recordings
- Record Collecting for Audiophiles – Japanese Pressings
- Record Collecting for Audiophiles – A Guide to Understanding The Fundamentals