In some ways yes, in some ways no, and we are happy to lay it all out for you based on the critical listening we undertook recently. Here’s how we weighed the tradeoffs in the sound of the originals versus that of the reissues, with VTA advice to follow.
This superb sounding ORIGINAL Black Label Contemporary pressing of Benny Carter’s swingin’ jazz quartet is the very definition of a top jazz stereo recording from the late ’50s mastered through an all tube chain.
There’s good extension on the top end for an early pressing, with TONS of what you would most expect: Tubey Magic and Richness. If that’s what you’re looking for, this copy has got it!
We prefer the later pressings in most ways, but this record does something that no later pressing we have ever played can do — get Benny’s trumpet to sound uncannily REAL. If you want to demonstrate to your skeptical audiophile friends what no CD (or modern remastered record) can begin to do, play side two of this copy for them. They may be in for quite a shock. (more…)