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LP Sound Quality

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Very disappointed, an LP stored in my loft for 20 years, given a quick brush off before being played sounds a damn site better than an LP I picked up last week from good old HMV.

Albums in question;

Bought in 1987 and in storage for 20 years - Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night
Bought in 2021 and stored for a week - Wings Over America ‘Definitive Concert Recording’

Tango is open fresh and clear, sure the odd crackle but still sounds superb, Paul on the other hand is hidden behind a heavy curtain muffled and constrained.

Why oh why is this the case, surely modern production methods should be able to emulate and maybe even improve upon pressings from 30+ years ago?
 
You might have thought so, possibly the 87 L.P. was an analogue recording with all the mastering qualifications that involved and the latter is simply a digital to vinyl reproduction.
The quality of the digital version of the Wings album might be interesting to hear.
 

JukeLad

Active member
Jun 21, 2020
7
11
25
Very disappointed, an LP stored in my loft for 20 years, given a quick brush off before being played sounds a damn site better than an LP I picked up last week from good old HMV.

Albums in question;

Bought in 1987 and in storage for 20 years - Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night
Bought in 2021 and stored for a week - Wings Over America ‘Definitive Concert Recording’

Tango is open fresh and clear, sure the odd crackle but still sounds superb, Paul on the other hand is hidden behind a heavy curtain muffled and constrained.

Why oh why is this the case, surely modern production methods should be able to emulate and maybe even improve upon pressings from 30+ years ago?
 

JukeLad

Active member
Jun 21, 2020
7
11
25
Yes, I had a similar experience with my purchase of the new 180g Dark side of the moon vinyl a few years ago. I was very disappointed 😞. Maybe that is one reason why the prices of first pressings of many classic albums from the 1970s are so high. It won’t be long before dsotm hits £1000 regularly.

The way I see it, it’s like photocopying: if you keep copying a blank sheet of white paper, eventually it becomes black.
 
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DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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Agree with Al. I've got a few original 70's LPs and they sound waay better than any of the newer albums I've purchased under the banner of 180gm remaster. I have a theory which has been correct on most occasions: If the LP was originally released as an analogue recording it will sound far superior to the digital copy used in later pressings. I also look at the run-off space on the original and compare it to the newer version of the same album; generally the original has very little run-off when compared to any newer version = wider grooves = more info = better sound.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Yes, I had a similar experience with my purchase of the new 180g Dark side of the moon vinyl a few years ago. I was very disappointed 😞. Maybe that is one reason why the prices of first pressings of many classic albums from the 1970s are so high. It won’t be long before dsotm hits £1000 regularly.

The way I see it, it’s like photocopying: if you keep copying a blank sheet of white paper, eventually it becomes black.
Going to have to play my EMI 100 best vinyl albums (or something like that) version of DSOTM, I’ve had that since the early 90’s so hopefully it will sound good, that can be tomorrow evenings listen, I’ll let you know how I get on.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Agree with Al. I've got a few original 70's LPs and they sound waay better than any of the newer albums I've purchased under the banner of 180gm remaster. I have a theory which has been correct on most occasions: If the LP was originally released as an analogue recording it will sound far superior to the digital copy used in later pressings. I also look at the run-off space on the original and compare it to the newer version of the same album; generally the original has very little run-off when compared to any newer version = wider grooves = more info = better sound.
It’s just so frustrating, I’ve looked on the Wings album and cannot see any comment about how it was mastered.

I am now having doubts about buying new vinyl which Is a shame as the new RP3 I have bought produces such a great sound when the LP is a good pressing.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
1,084
722
20,070
It’s just so frustrating, I’ve looked on the Wings album and cannot see any comment about how it was mastered.

I am now having doubts about buying new vinyl which Is a shame as the new RP3 I have bought produces such a great sound when the LP is a good pressing.
Original released 1976. If it's a new release of the original I would say that it is definitely a digital copy. If you are aware of bands and albums you would like to purchase then discogs is a good place for original recordings.

It truly can be a nightmare trying to find the best recording. Steve Hoffman forum can be a useful, his forum pops up quite often if searching the net for the best recording of any particular album.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Original released 1976. If it's a new release of the original I would say that it is definitely a digital copy. If you are aware of bands and albums you would like to purchase then discogs is a good place for original recordings.

It truly can be a nightmare trying to find the best recording. Steve Hoffman forum can be a useful, his forum pops up quite often if searching the net for the best recording of any particular album.
Thanks for the tips, I will investigate both.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Absolutely.
Probably the best vinyl sound I've got spreads a 2 min, 19 second RP Orchestra track across one side of a 12"disc.
And the worst, a couple of those old K-Tel LPs that had 20 (micro groove) tracks per side.
Ooerrr, I think that there may be some K-Tel compilation LP’s hiding at the back of my record box, in my defence I was young and naive when I bought them.
 
It’s just so frustrating, I’ve looked on the Wings album and cannot see any comment about how it was mastered.

I am now having doubts about buying new vinyl which Is a shame as the new RP3 I have bought produces such a great sound when the LP is a good pressing.
Other hifi publications do reviews of L.P. / CD / downloads. It is often better to refer to these before spending out hard earned cash
 
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JukeLad

Active member
Jun 21, 2020
7
11
25
Ooerrr, I think that there may be some K-Tel compilation LP’s hiding at the back of my record box, in my defence I was young and naive when I bought them.
I have fond memories of K-Tels 22 Dynamic Hits Volume II. I see a comment about it on Discogs says:
"The best compilation album ever.
Outstanding Track : the proper version of Sailing by Sutherland Bros
"

A K-Tel album in the record box is nothing to be ashamed of and is a valid component of someones vinyl journey. :)
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Other hifi publications do reviews of L.P. / CD / downloads. It is often better to refer to these before spending out hard earned cash
Thanks found one, enjoying catching up on what’s good out there in vinyl world. Appreciate the heads up.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
156
113
270
Which one did you find?
HiFi Choice music review section is good and HiFi + is detailed with marks for music and recording quality but limited in the numbers reviewed, HiFi News is also good
Signed up for HiFi News newsletter and at present reading through their reviews.

Will follow up on the others you mention, thanks again for the heads up.
 
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Rui

Active member
Mar 23, 2021
11
6
25
Very disappointed, an LP stored in my loft for 20 years, given a quick brush off before being played sounds a damn site better than an LP I picked up last week from good old HMV.

Albums in question;

Bought in 1987 and in storage for 20 years - Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night
Bought in 2021 and stored for a week - Wings Over America ‘Definitive Concert Recording’

Tango is open fresh and clear, sure the odd crackle but still sounds superb, Paul on the other hand is hidden behind a heavy curtain muffled and constrained.

Why oh why is this the case, surely modern production methods should be able to emulate and maybe even improve upon pressings from 30+ years ago?
don´t know if it´s the same situation, but you refer to two diferent lp´s and knowing tango in the night when it came out i played it often and it was a "mainstream" production ,lot´s of dynamic, the other LP bought recentelly might not have the same dynamic in sound ,i had a "serious" problem around 2007 when changing to an old house that i had just bought and displayed around 50 of my favorite Lp´s in a shelf ,but the wall behind this piece of furniture had an infiltration of humidity, when puting there the furniture the paint looked dry but when one moves into the house starts to produce heat and i didn´t notice anything but the humidity was entering through the wood junctions and all those lp´s start to have a white mould that i didn´t notice because i was having lot´s of work and when listening to music i was using a litle system in my bedroom with some compilations i ´ve recorded into cassette , when for the first time ,already in summer i was going to play a joy division record because a kid that played in a band that i used to watch in a friends concert hall/ restaurant / wine house, never had heard a cassette or a record ,so one day he went to my house and when playing the record i notice some dried white moist in the record, the sound wasn´t that bad but i don´t like any type of noise on my records, the sound was detailed and loud but some crackle behind and i was almost mad with it when seeing other records and they were even worst , i clean them all but two i couldn´t restore it´s original sound ,one was the joy division "unknown pleasures"that i refer to and other was the"electric"from the cult . I asked my sister that lives in london to buy me those two ,when they arrived i liked the way they look and when playing them for the first time i notice a hiss or hum inbetween tracks but the sound was perfect ,that noise isn´t a old thing only new records have that noise ,and listening to my old records they didn´t make any noise inbetween tracks and the sound is perfect, is it a new thing ,new records having noise inbetween traacks and i´m not refering to have the ground wire disconected and having a constant noise, and this two lp´s when i started to buy cd´s i thought i had bought a bad cd player because the sound of this two records and many more in cd version were horrific , i have around 14 cd´s that i never played them they almost make me think ,if i was high when listening to them when new but it´s just the bad sound of cd´s, i use them to listen to music in my car stereo but at home the sound seems empty, guitars are in the back and distortion is not what is in the record ,this is only two examples but there´s a lot more lp´s that today´s digital version is not just bad it´s terrifying ,no wonder kids don´t like old music if i had heard them today i wouldn´t like the sound of the rape of music, about new vinyl it´s worst then the old if the old was good taken care of, i bought the other day a LP from the dexy´s midnight runners and it sounds fantastic it cost me 5€ in a big sell of used stuff, but new versions have that noise why, the music itself sounds good but inbetwwen, that low noise, and i have records bought in the 60´s that don´t make that noise. I live in a very hot and dry area and humidity it´s 0% in the air, so what are they doing when recording new versions of old records, one can buy old records but it´s not garanteed that the record doesn´t have problems ,and new are not that good .
 
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To be frank I am very selective in what I buy these days considering the price of vinyl.
only those that are reviewing well or the expensive ones from the likes of MOFI recently.
second hand ones I will risk a punt on but only from reputable dealers I know.
If I ever in doubt I will buy CD or download.
To be even more honest, if I didn't have the equipment that I have, I would not be continuing down the vinyl route.
Yes there appears to be a revival but it's going to leave many disappointed
I can rightly understand those playing a poorly recorded L.P. on a Rega Planar one with a carbon cartridge are going to expect fireworks, but it isn't going to happen with the majority of vinyl released these days, sad to say.
 
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record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
72
28
10,570
Very disappointed, an LP stored in my loft for 20 years, given a quick brush off before being played sounds a damn site better than an LP I picked up last week from good old HMV.

Albums in question;

Bought in 1987 and in storage for 20 years - Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night
Bought in 2021 and stored for a week - Wings Over America ‘Definitive Concert Recording’

Tango is open fresh and clear, sure the odd crackle but still sounds superb, Paul on the other hand is hidden behind a heavy curtain muffled and constrained.

Why oh why is this the case, surely modern production methods should be able to emulate and maybe even improve upon pressings from 30+ years ago?
Wings albums always had a pretty "hefty" sound to them. I bought a Venue and Mars copy the other week in a record shop. It was secondhand, but turned out to be an original Porky Prime Cut 1st pressing. Yup, great sound, but boy did they like a full-fat sound to it. From memory, WoA was the same when I owned it before. I'd guess that was the culprit here, less the medium.

Fleetwod Mac albums also had a certain sound to them, but somewhat cleaner with a tad more clarity and bounce. I had Mirage, from 1982, and that's a terrific production. Hard to get that one wrong in any subsequent resissue, remaster, or God help us, MQA cash grab. Tango in the Night was 11 years after WoA and has the mid-80s cleaner sound, without all the electronic dreck that often affected other albums around the time.

As for the remaster itself, it's been sympathetically done. I bought the download when it was released and the 2 disc reissue. No complaints, it has the sound I associated with the album when I first heard it in the late 1970s.
 

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