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Joan Baez - 5

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: baez_5_2015) 



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

Natural, unprocessed, clear, breathy vocal reproduction is the key to any Joan Baez album, and this side two will clearly demonstrate just how well-recorded Joan's voice (and guitar) were by the Vanguard engineering team. We heard immediately that this side one was excellent. We had no idea the sound could get as good as it is on side two. It takes the sound and music to an entirely new level.

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Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_diamo_2014) 



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

The last shootout for this record took place in 2007. It's remembered as not an especially happy affair. We can confidently report that this time around things are sounding a lot better than we expected, with rich, smooth, natural analog sound on the better copies. This is undoubtedly the result of our much better cleaning regimen and the many improvements to the system and room we have made over so many years.

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Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust

The Half-Speed that Beats Most Originals

  (Item #: baez_diamo_nautilus) 



Sonic Grade: B+

One of the best Half Speed Mastered Records we have ever played.

In our recent shootout we were shocked -- shocked -- to hear how good our old copy of Diamonds and Rust on Nautilus sounded head to head against the best first pressings. Hard to believe, but it actually beat practically every one. If I hadn't heard it with my own two ears I wouldn't have believed it.

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Joan Baez - Farewell, Angelina

Our Hot Copy from 2005

  (Item #: baez_farew_2005) 



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

Very nice fairly original Vanguard LP with EXCELLENT SOUND.

These early Black Label Vanguard pressings are actually better in some ways than the 180 gram reissue, as good as that one is. Of course, they all vary in their sound. But listen especially to tracks two and six on the first side to hear a more natural sounding Joan.

Side two normally lacks top end and sounds dull on most of the copies I have heard. This copy is actually quite good -- not perfect but a lot closer to the mark than others. Listen to the second track to hear Joan at her best. Her voice is breathy and sweet, exactly the way it should be.

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Joan Baez - Joan Baez

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joanb_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1960.

This former member of the TAS list is the kind of recording that has everything going for it: Golden Age equipment in a live acoustic with a simple arrangement for voice and guitar (or two).

The purity and complete freedom from distortion allow the listener to imagine himself, to borrow a phrase, in the Living Presence of the performer. With a record this good it takes no effort whatsoever to suspend disbelief and imagine Joan and her guitar directly in front of you, a command performance if you will.

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Joan Baez - Joan

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joan_2014) 



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

In 1967 Vanguard still knew how to record pure, rich, sweet, Tubey Magical analog. Some of these tracks are amazing sounding. Once a year we run across a clean stereo copy of this album. (With such complex arrangements we don't feel the mono could do the album justice. You may feel otherwise.)

This pressing appears to be the original stereo label, although with so many Vanguard labels -- dozens by my count -- this could easily be an early reissue. The paste-on rough cardboard back is a good sign of its age.

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