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post #50056 of 71563
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post
 
Surely the stereo version is better?

...? I wonder why you say 'surely'. Anyway, I don't own the album in stereo on vinyl (yet) or in mono on CD, but I did just compare the mono vinyl to my stereo SACD and to me the mono mix is a clear winner. The bass and piano are much more present. In the stereo mix the pianist is often barely there unless he's soloing, but in the mono mix the piano is just there and an equal part of the group. The most wonderful part is the bass, which feels like its level is just right – a rarity for a "golden era" jazz recording from pre-70s. Also the amount of spatial information present in Chambers' playing is truly superlative compared to the stereo mix.

post #50057 of 71563
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post


Surely the stereo version is better?

I am not familiar with the mono version.

 

Although I tend towards hating avoiding listening to mono with headphones, because of the extreme in the head soundstage, with a GOOD mono it is not sooo troublesome and is preferred over the table tennis effects so prevalent in earlier stereo recordings, jazz coming to mind first. These never mimic sound heard live, they serve the purpose of showing off the capabilities of the technology per se, applied with more or less taste by the producer. On speakers, I will take good mono over table tennis stereo any day in the week. Have not been listening to my copy of Blue (stereo version) for longer than I dare to admit, due to its tendency to table tennis stereo camp...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Elite View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post
 
Surely the stereo version is better?

...? I wonder why you say 'surely'. Anyway, I don't own the album in stereo on vinyl (yet) or in mono on CD, but I did just compare the mono vinyl to my stereo SACD and to me the mono mix is a clear winner. The bass and piano are much more present. In the stereo mix the pianist is often barely there unless he's soloing, but in the mono mix the piano is just there and an equal part of the group. The most wonderful part is the bass, which feels like its level is just right – a rarity for a "golden era" jazz recording from pre-70s. Also the amount of spatial information present in Chambers' playing is truly superlative compared to the stereo mix.

Don't get me wrong, guys, I'm not averse to mono recordings.  I'm a big orchestral music fan and lots of my favourite performances are old mono recordings.  Many of them have great presence and scope of sound, where the acoustics of the venue and all the delicate orchestral balances have been captured vividly, to the point where I don't 'miss' them not being stereo in any way.  It's just that I know Kind of Blue intimately and have always thought it to be a great and honest record in terms of sound.  I have never had an issue with the mix in any way and with it intended and recorded in stereo and recorded very well, I just couldn't see why a mono mix would be better.  Kind of like preferring Lord of the Rings in black and white!  I could imagine many records sounding better in mono, like some Beatles stuff, psychadelica and prog rock that definitely has that ping pong hard panned effect, but I've never had any issue like that with Kind of Blue.  I'm quite curious now.  Might just flick the mono switch and give it a listen!  I know, I know, that just wouldn't do, would it? ;)

post #50058 of 71563
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post
 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, guys, I'm not averse to mono recordings.  I'm a big orchestral music fan and lots of my favourite performances are old mono recordings.  Many of them have great presence and scope of sound, where the acoustics of the venue and all the delicate orchestral balances have been captured vividly, to the point where I don't 'miss' them not being stereo in any way.  It's just that I know Kind of Blue intimately and have always thought it to be a great and honest record in terms of sound.  I have never had an issue with the mix in any way and with it intended and recorded in stereo and recorded very well, I just couldn't see why a mono mix would be better.  Kind of like preferring Lord of the Rings in black and white!  I could imagine many records sounding better in mono, like some Beatles stuff, psychadelica and prog rock that definitely has that ping pong hard panned effect, but I've never had any issue like that with Kind of Blue.  I'm quite curious now.  Might just flick the mono switch and give it a listen!  I know, I know, that just wouldn't do, would it? ;)

It will always be a great topic for debate. Sadly, most musicians on Golden Era jazz recordings are no longer with us, and even if they were and were actually willing to re-record those albums with up to date equipment, it could never be the same; playing style and capabilities of the players may well have changed by too much. So all we can do is to enjoy those great musical performances, no matter how technically defficient they might be.

 

Kind of Blue was one of the first recordings selected for the then new SACD (which is basically nothing else than DSD64 with a copy protection) - and no matter how much I like it musically, could have hardly be more wrong vehicle for the 1 bit audio to show its true capabilities.  In a pilot jargon, it is an "unsurvivable crash" in technical terms. If the information is not there on the master in the first place, no superiour or even perfect playback system can meaningfully improve upon previously available possibilities.

 

But music on Kind of Blue will always keep the water...

 

Flicking the switch on a ping pong stereo recording to mono and hoping it will transform to the great mono version of the same recording unfortunately just would not do.

 

The most conviencingly real sounding reproduction I did get to hear yet was a 78 mono record recorded in 1943 in La Scala in Milan, Italy. The name of the tenor escapes me after more than ten years since that listening session at friend's on his behemoth Martin Logan Statement (original, not later "pocket size" version ) speakers. Custom made Benz mono cartridge no doubt also played an important role in transcending a piece of shellac spinning under the needle into the most mesmerizing sound I ever heard from a recording. The most astonishing was an almost perfect recreation of the acoustics - there was oodles of depth, something vast majority of stereo recordings have trouble with.

 

1943...- think about that !  

post #50059 of 71563
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post
 

Don't get me wrong, guys, I'm not averse to mono recordings.  I'm a big orchestral music fan and lots of my favourite performances are old mono recordings.  Many of them have great presence and scope of sound, where the acoustics of the venue and all the delicate orchestral balances have been captured vividly, to the point where I don't 'miss' them not being stereo in any way.  It's just that I know Kind of Blue intimately and have always thought it to be a great and honest record in terms of sound.  I have never had an issue with the mix in any way and with it intended and recorded in stereo and recorded very well, I just couldn't see why a mono mix would be better.  Kind of like preferring Lord of the Rings in black and white!  I could imagine many records sounding better in mono, like some Beatles stuff, psychadelica and prog rock that definitely has that ping pong hard panned effect, but I've never had any issue like that with Kind of Blue.  I'm quite curious now.  Might just flick the mono switch and give it a listen!  I know, I know, that just wouldn't do, would it? ;)

I don't think there's anything horribly wrong with the stereo mix, but after hearing the mono version I must say that I prefer the instrument balance in that.

 

Those interested in hearing the early Columbia Miles albums in mono, they were released as a box set in November on CD, but some might find it a bit pricey (I personally think it's a steal for what you get): http://www.amazon.com/Original-Mono-Recordings-Miles-Davis/dp/B00ESEYE60

 

I've heard HDTracks also has the mono mix of Kind of Blue available as hi-res PCM files. Unless they've started selling to people living outside the US some might have a problem purchasing from them, however. I've heard you can work your way around the region restrictions, but I know that UK-based mastering engineer Ian Shepherd for example couldn't get it working last summer. Not sure if he was just doing something wrong though.

post #50060 of 71563

post #50061 of 71563
For sheer realism, I find Doug MacLeod's There's a Time album hard to beat.

Try the second track, Black Nights.
Edited by amigomatt - 2/11/14 at 12:46pm
post #50062 of 71563

AppleMark

post #50063 of 71563

post #50064 of 71563
TheGirlWithTheDragonTattooDigital.jpg
post #50065 of 71563

 

 

post #50066 of 71563

post #50067 of 71563

Varied, acoustic folk with significant lyrical depth from an artist I've only recently discovered on Bandcamp. Songs about everything from lost love to creating a planet for college graduates.

 

Story of My Life by Shakey Graves

post #50068 of 71563

Fiordmoss - Ink Bitten

[1]   [2]   [3]   [4]   [5]

 

Also - Bandcamp.

 

Ifukube binge as of late.

 

Akira Ifukube - Salome

post #50069 of 71563

While I'll admit to reading up on "Kind Of Blue" @ 0300 hours and was less than refreshed, I'm almost certain the Mono version was derived from the Stereo Master, not recorded in Mono.

post #50070 of 71563

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