A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This British Threshhold pressing is one of the best copies of this album we’ve heard. Both sides have tons of tubey magic (natch), BIG BASS, and better transparency than the copies we played it against. Most Moody Blues records are too murky to make much sense of, but this Hot Stamper copy breaks through that mud and gives fans of this band the sound they’ve been wishing for and likely never found.
It has the tubey magic missing from the reissues and the typical import pressings. (The domestic copies of course are a bad joke.) When you hear the acoustic guitars strumming on a song like Question, the strongest song on the album, you would think you had a pair of 1954 McIntosh MC-30 vintage tube amps hooked up to your speakers. (I know that sound well; I owned those amps and they are hard to beat for midrange magic.)
Of course the problem with these vintage Moody Blues records (and the problem with vintage McIntosh amps too!) is that transparency and clarity are not their strong suits. In other words, there’s a certain “murky” quality to the sound that some may find less than appealing.
However, this is the sound the Moody Blues wanted. (There’s a long story behind that but I won’t go into it now.) Trying to “fix it” can only result in one outcome — a disaster. This is what modern recording engineers don’t understand. Brightening up a record like this adds nothing to its sound. The richness and the sweetness are what’s good about these recordings, and making them brighter causes them to lose a great deal in those two areas. (A judicious bit of boost in the extreme highs, one or two DB at 10 or 12K might have some benefit. The problem is that anyone messing with the sound is going to want to add some below that, in that dangerous 3 to 5K range, and that’s the last thing in the world that should be done.)
You can EQ this all you want. It is what it is and nothing you are likely to do will make it any better. (more…)