Here is a short list of the best sounding LP’s in my collection: Supertramp, MoFi Crime of the Century; Bill Evans, Analogue Productions Waltz for Debbie (45 rpm), Billie Holiday, Classic Songs for Distingue’ Lovers(45 rpm), The Beatles Love EMI, Jethro Tull Aqualung MoFi and Classic Clarity 45. There are others, but that gives you an idea.
Recently Chad Kassem released the Verve Catalogue on 200 gram, cut at 45 rpm. (Arguably the most storied of the Jazz labels…not to shortchange Impulse, Concord, Blue Note and Riverside.) These new releases were mastered by the late George Marino at Sterling in New York City. And cut on one of Chad’s six new cutting lathes. This one was a Southern Machine and Tool device.
There are several significant differences in the process. First, mastering and transfer duties were not handled per usual by Kevin Grey and Steve Hoffman. Secondly, the lacquers were not pressed and transferred at RTI. And thirdly, for not quite the first time, Don McGuiness and Rick Hoshimoto were not involved.
Now here is the weird part. These new pressings are the best yet from AP! And of the first batch, Oscar Peterson’s We Get Requests, is the best sounding record I own…and that’s out of a selection of over 5000 LP’s!
The surface is impeccably quiet and super flat! The tonality is absolutely natural. The Dynamics kill! And the Micro and Macro side of the shadings is nigh on perfect and the depth is out of the back of the system. If you buy no other LP’s this year (or ever) this is the one.
There is another quality (I thought) pressing of this from Speaker’s Corner, but I have recently learned it was cut from second generation production tape. It sounds good, but totally pales by comparison!
The other initial releases include the iconic Getz Gilberto, Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (another scary good pressing), the aforementioned Billie Holiday as well as her Body and Soul, and both teaming’s of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Sonny Stitt, and another solo Ella outing.
The series is impeccably packaged with quality inner sleeves, perfectly reproduced cover art, and a to-die-for heavy grade, high gloss outer jacket.
If this isn’t an excuse to start spinning black biscuits, I don’t know what is! Call Chad or Stelly or Chuck and order yourself a turntable and some REAL music! You will not be disappointed!
Future offerings on the “Quality” label will feature variety of profiles including SVP, Clarity and the old MOFI standard, UHQR. From the house of musical mayhem, Speakerboy Out!