Sonic Grade: F
As bad as the MoFi is, the DCC is even worse. Murky and bloated, to my ear it does almost nothing right, not on vinyl anyway. I’ll bet you the DCC Gold CD is better, and it’s certainly nothing to write home about.
Our Hot Stamper commentary below sorts out the DCC, the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl pressing and the MoFi Half-Speed Mastered LP, as well as British and domestic originals.
We love this album and we’ve played every kind of pressing we could get our hands on. The winner? Read on!
Over the course of the last 25 years we was wrong three ways from Sunday about our down-and-out friend Aqualung here. We originally liked the MoFi. When the DCC 180g came along we liked that one better, and a few years back I was somewhat enamored with some original British imports.
Our first big shootout disabused us of any notion that the British originals were properly mastered. As we noted in our Hot Stamper commentary, “The original Brits we played were pretty hopeless too: tubey magical but midrangy, bass-shy and compressed.” Another myth bites the dust.
(The same is true for Thick As A Brick; the best domestic copies are much more energetic and tonally correct.)