Sonic Grade: F
The Classic has dreadful sound. Their entire Mercury series is a complete disaster.
No audiophile with good equipment and two working ears should have been fooled by the hype swirling around their Heavy Vinyl pressings, although plenty of audiophiles were.
Bad equipment? Ears not working? Your guess is as good as mine.
Classic Records is right about the performance, however. See for yourself:
“Whether you prefer the fabulous bass dynamics and savage paganism of the Scythian Suite, the colorful and captivating sound-portrait of the fairy tale Love for Three Oranges Suite, Dorati’s super-charged readings of these scores are unsurpassed. Acclaimed by critics and audiophiles alike as among the very best of the best Mercury’s, this dramatic and riveting combination of Prokofiev, Dorati and Mercury Living Presence is a sure winner.” – Classic Records
What they are not telling you is that their mastering of the album was dreadful.
If you know the sound of Mercury’s records well, you know that the last thing you would want would be a pressing of SR 90006 that could be described by any of the following five words: Hard, Sour, Colored, Crude or Airless.
But that is exactly what you get with the Classic Records pressing.
If you own the Classic, we can demonstrate just how awful it is, right in your own home. Just buy one of our Hot Stamper pressings and you will hear all the things that your Classic is doing wrong. It does take two working ears and good equipment though, so if you have a top quality system, we have a top quality pressing for you to play on it.
Here are a few commentaries you may care to read about Bernie Grundman‘s work as a mastering engineer, good and bad. He cut some amazingly good records in the ’70s and ’80s but the by the ’90s we are not aware of any record he cut that would be worth owning.