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Albeniz / Falla / Granados / Spain / Reiner

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: albenspain_2230) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Spain has been an audiophile favorite for a very long time. Everybody should know it by now, what with both Chesky and Classic Records remastering it in the '90s, dismally of course, as neither of these companies showed the slightest sense that they understood how lackluster, if not downright awful, the products of their efforts turned out. No doubt Analogue Productions will see fit to ruin the recording the way they ruined Scheherazade.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz


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Count Basie & Oscar Peterson - The Timekeepers

Analogue Productions Doubted

  (Item #: basietimek_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: Probably Bad, But Who Knows?

Analogue Productions remastered this longtime favorite of ours, The Timekeepers, on 45 RPM vinyl. Considering their dismal track record -- an unbroken string of failures, scoring not a single winner with which I am familiar -- I'm guessing the Hot Stamper we offered here would have blown the doors off their version as well as any other Basie album they will ever do on vinyl.

More Count Basie


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Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue

One Customer's Take on the 45

  (Item #: burremidni_letter) 



A good customer had this to say about a recent shootout:

"By the way side 2 of Midnight Blue bested every other copy I played including the 45 RPM Blue Note [Analogue Productions] reissue. The 45 RPM is very good. You know that technically it is right, but at the same time it’s missing something. When I listened to the [Hot] stamper copy you dug up for me I found it a little noisy at first and wasn’t sure if I could live with it. However after returning to the 45 RPM there was no enjoyment, so I dropped the needle on the stamper one more time, and then I heard it..."



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Benny Carter - Jazz Giant

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: cartejazzg_ap_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Analogue Productions LP debunked.

You may remember that Acoustic Sounds did a version back in the '90s, which was a complete disaster. I haven't heard the new 45 RPM version, but I seriously doubt that it sounds like this. We have yet to hear a single Heavy Vinyl 45 that sounds any good to us, judged by the standards we set in our shootouts. (Actually the records themselves set the standards; we simply grade them on the curve they establish.)

More Benny Carter


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Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo’s Factory

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: creedcosmo_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D-

Years ago a customer sent me his copy of the Analogue Productions LP (mastered by Hoffman and Gray) in order to carry out a little shootout I had planned among the five copies I could pull together: two MoFi's, the Fantasy ORC reissue, a blue label original, the AP, and another reissue.

Let’s just say there were no real winners, but there sure were some losers.

More Creedence Clearwater Revival


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Creedence Clearwater Revival - Pendulum

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: creedpendu_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This copy will THRASH any copy you put it up against. This will be especially true if you put it up against the Analogue Productions Heavy Vinyl from years back, which will undoubtedly sound thick, opaque, airless and congealed next to a properly mastered Fantasy original such as this.

More Creedence Clearwater


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Bill Evans - Moon Beams

OJC versus Riverside

  (Item #: evansmoonb_wtlf) 



The original Riverside pressings are the best, right?

Not in our experience. We think that's just another Record Myth.

Some of you may have discovered that the original Bill Evans records on Riverside are mostly awful sounding -- I can't recall ever hearing a good one -- so we are not the least bit worried that this OJC won't beat the pants off of the original, as well as any other reissue you may have, and even the new Analogue Productions 45.

More Bill Evans


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Vince Guaraldi - Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus

45 RPM Acoustech Debunked

  (Item #: guarajazzi_acoustech) 



Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked from the consistently execrable Analogue Productions label, purveyors of bad sounding vinyl from day one.

More Vince Guaraldi


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Shelly Manne - Sounds Unheard Of!

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: mannesound_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Analogue Productions LP debunked.

Remember the '90s Acoustic Sounds Analog Revival series mastered by Stan Ricker? This was one of the titles they did, and completely ruined of course. Ricker boosted the hell out of the top end, as is his wont, so all the percussion had the phony MoFi exaggerated spit and tizzyiness that we dislike so much around here at Better Records, the phony top that many audiophiles do not seem bothered by to this day.

More Shelly Manne


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Analogue Productions

Heavy Vinyl Jazz Debunked

  (Item #: rollialter_debunk) 



Longstanding customers know that we have been relentlessly critical of most audiophile LPs for years, especially in the case of these Analogue Productions releases from back in the early ’90s. A well-known reviewer loved them, I hated them, and he and I haven’t seen eye to eye on much since.

Newflash!

Just dug up part of my old commentary discussing the faults with the orginal series that Doug Sax cut for Acoustic Sounds. Check it out!

More Sonny Rollins


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Sonny Rollins - Plus 4

Hello Hello Hello...

Is There Anybody Out There?

  (Item #: rolliplus4_2014) 



We recently awarded the 45 RPM 2 LP pressing of this album a Hall of Shame. But that's not enough -- I'm not letting it off that easy!

I cannot recall hearing a more ridiculously thick, opaque and unnatural sounding audiophile record in my life, and I've heard a ton of them. It reminds me of the turgid muck that Doug Sax was cutting for Analogue Productions back in the '90s. The CD of this album has to sound better than this. There's no way it could sound worse.

More Sonny Rollins


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Sonny Rollins - Plus 4

45 RPM Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: rolliplus4_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame Heavy Vinyl Pressing

I cannot recall hearing a more ridiculously thick, opaque and unnatural sounding audiophile record than this, and I've heard a ton of them.

As I noted in another commentary "Today’s audiophile seems to be making the same mistakes I was making as a budding audiophile more than thirty years ago. Heavy Vinyl, the 45 RPM 2 LP pressing, the Half-Speed Limited Edition -- aren’t these all just the latest audiophile fads each with a track record more dismal than the next?"

More Sonny Rollins


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Saint-Saens - Organ Symphony

180g Klavier Debunked

  (Item #: saintsym3_klavier) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

Yet another murky, smeary Audiophile Piece of Trash from the mastering lathe of the formerly brilliant Doug Sax. He used to cut the best sounding records in the world. Then he started working for Analogue Productions and never cut a good record again as far as I know.

More of the music of Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)


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Bola Sete - Tour De Force

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: sete_tourd_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Analogue Productions LP debunked.

Acoustic Sounds had Stan Ricker remaster this record a number of years ago, and of course they (he) ruined it. A twinkly top end and flabby bass were just two of the major shortcomings of their version. Nothing surprising there, as Stan Ricker is famous for his "smile" curve, boosting both ends of the audio spectrum whether they need boosting or not.

More Bola Sete


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Cat Stevens - 200 Grams of Tea for the Tillerman

This Is Your Idea of Analog?

  (Item #: steveteafo_200_2014) 



Dear Record Loving Audiophiles of Earth,

I'm afraid we have some bad news to report. We regret to inform you that the 2011 edition of Tea for the Tillerman pressed by Analogue Productions on Heavy Vinyl doesn't sound very good. We know you were all hoping for the best. We also know that you must be very disappointed to hear this unwelcome news.

But the record is what it is, and what it is is not very good. Its specific shortcomings are many and will be considered in at length in our review below.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Tea for the Tillerman


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Yes - Fragile

Analogue Productions LP Reviewed

  (Item #: yes__fragi_ap) 



Sonic Grade: C

The Analogue Productions 180g reissue shown here is mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Grey, two guys I respect, but the results of their latest collaboration leave much to be desired. The overall sound is lean. This is especially noticeable on the too thin-sounding guitars and vocals. Believe me, it's no fun to play a Yes album with thin guitars and vocals.

More Yes


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