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<br>Joni and Blue</i><P>Hot Stamper Shootout Stalled 2005!</P>

Joni and Blue

Hot Stamper Shootout Stalled 2005!

Dateline 2005!

We are preparing to put some Hot Stamper copies of this record on the site. Because it’s so difficult to find a quiet, properly mastered, properly pressed LP of this music, it’s a project that has been going on for years.

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Sku # : mitchblue_2005

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So check out the site over the coming weeks and months to see what we come up with.

Update 3/23/05:

This project has stalled, sorry! I don't know when I will take it up again. The DCC Gold CD is excellent and I recommend that version of Blue for now. To find an LP that sounds better than the DCC CD with quiet vinyl is very difficult. Once you own the CD, you have a standard against which to measure any LP you might come across. The CD gets you 80-90% of the way there. Most people will have a very difficult time finding an LP that sound better, including me.

As I'm reading some of the notes on the various pressings that we have, almost 20 domestic copies (the Imports never sound any good on this album, by the way), I'm seeing comments like soft, lacks bass, grungy, grainy, thin, hi-fi, bright, so-so, aggressive, hard, thick, groove damage, highs worn away, lacking in bass and extreme top, gritty, swooshy, bad vinyl.

I'm also seeing comments like perfection, wonderful, lovely, sweet, transparent, as good as it gets, Joni's right there, one of the best, wow.

This record is almost impossible to find in anything quieter than Mint Minus. The copies that might play Near Mint would only do so if you've got a very quiet cartridge. I use a Benz and those are somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to surface noise. So don't expect to see any truly quiet copies. We just can't find them.

But the main reason it's so difficult to find a good sounding pressing of this record is that most copies have a tendency towards hardness, shrillness and aggressiveness. There is a great deal of mid to high frequency information in this recording, and the problem arises when you take all that energy and try to stamp it into a piece of mass produced cheap domestic vinyl. If the vinyl wasn't good on the day they pressed the record, it doesn't matter how good the mastering is. The result is grain. Grunge. And since Joni pushes hard in her upper registers on many of these songs, it's enough to make you leave the room.

That's on the copies that are mastered right! The copies that are mastered with thin and aggressive sound to start with can only get worse. Those are the rule, not the exception.

The best copies bring out the breathy quality to Joni's voice, and she never sounds strained. They are sweet and open, with good bass foundation and transparency throughout the frequency range.

We are going to start putting a Difficulty Of Reproduction scale on some of these records. It basically just describes how difficult it is to get a particular record to sound right. Some records are easy to reproduce: Willie Nelson/ Stardust always sounds good. Rickie Lee Jones' first album is an easy one. Then there are those records that require the best equipment, the best rooms, the best electricity, the best of everything. This is one of those records. It's easy for it to sound bad. It's very difficult to get it to sound right. So on the DOR scale this record would rate a 9 or so.

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