Bernie Grundman tells it like it is----great video---lots to unpack

PeterA

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Hello Peter,

I understand you always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issues on systems with vintage loudspeakers. Do you also always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issue on systems with contemporary loudspeakers and contemporary electronics?

For example, do you always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issues on MadFloyd’s system?

Thank you.

Yes I do Ron on most systems, not just with vintage speakers. The only comparison I remember doing at Ian’s house was on Kind of blue. We compared about four versions and the original was by far the best sounding on his system to me. I’m not sure I understand what it has to do with how old the speakers are. I think it has to do with the overall resolution level of the system and the type of sound one is looking for.

I can say that my old system did not have the resolution for me to hear the differences as clearly as I can on my new system.

Do you have some hypothesis about vintage speakers and original pressings?
 
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ddk

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David,

Can you tell me five albums from the list of Bernie Grundman shown at Wikipedia


that you have experienced as sounding very natural?
It’s a short list of some of his famous pop records not something I listen to, I bought Aja when it came out but don’t remember anything else about it. Don’t see the relevance to his comments about natural sound, do you disagree with his characterization? They’re pretty much what I identified a couple of decades ago as essential elements for realism in reproduction.

david
 

dminches

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Didn’t Grundman digitize and master the Bue Note 75th anniversary series and everyone agreed they were awful?

Conversely, Kevin Gray has been mastering the BN 80 and Classic series, all analog, and they have been very well received.

I am not saying Gray does a better job than Grundman, they are both masters, but it is a bit annoying to hear BG spout all this stuff about how poor digital can be when he himself is also guilty of putting out poor sounding records.

Grain of salt and all that stuff.
 

ddk

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Hello Peter,

I understand you always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issues on systems with vintage loudspeakers. Do you also always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issue on systems with contemporary loudspeakers and contemporary electronics?

For example, do you always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issues on MadFloyd’s system?

Thank you.
Dear Ron,
We need to separate past analog reissues of titles by the recording labels from the more recent ones, say mid-late 90’s onwards coming from so called “audiophile“ labels and by extension a lot of the current reissues on heavy vinyl and digital masters.

Didn’t Grundman digitize and master the Bue Note 75th anniversary series and everyone agreed they were awful?

Conversely, Kevin Gray has been mastering the BN 80 and Classic series, all analog, and they have been very well received.

I am not saying Gray does a better job than Grundman, they are both masters, but it is a bit annoying to hear BG spout all this stuff about how poor digital can be when he himself is also guilty of putting out poor sounding records.

Grain of salt and all that stuff.
You’re talking about commercialism and he doesn’t create the recordings, he’s a job shop and as a business entity the company will produce what the client wants apart from one’s ultimate ideals. My company manufactured a lot of products for famous brands internationally none of which I would ever put my own name on but we did it to a very high standard and that’s what was required. How does that compromise one’s ideals?

david
 

dminches

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Dear Ron,
We need to separate past analog reissues of titles by the recording labels from the more recent ones, say mid-late 90’s onwards coming from so called “audiophile“ labels and by extension a lot of the current reissues on heavy vinyl and digital masters.


You’re talking about commercialism and he doesn’t create the recordings, he’s a job shop and as a business entity the company will produce what the client wants apart from one’s ultimate ideals. My company manufactured a lot of products for famous brands internationally none of which I would ever put my own name on but we did it to a very high standard and that’s what was required. How does that compromise one’s ideals?

david

Where did I say that it compromised his ideals?
 

ddk

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dminches

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You inferred something here.

david

I did not at all. I just think it is weak to talk about how crappy it is to do something a certain way when you do the same thing.

In the 2014 interview with Fremer, BG brags about how sophisticated their computer technology is, etc. etc. This is when they were doing a lot of digitizing of catalogs (which I am thankful they did). It is fine to say all those things, but then don’t turn around and say how others (in this case MoFi) are introducing a digital step that can kill the music.

I have no issues with people doing the best job they can when a client wants something done a specific way. That’s business and we all got to eat.
 

bonzo75

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Hello Peter,

I understand you always, or almost always, prefer original pressings over re-issues on systems with vintage loudspeakers.

this is quite misleading. I have compared originals to reissues on modern horns…pnoe, Cessaro, horns universum, and some DIY. Tang has a modern system NOT a vintage system, one of the most extended on either end and resolving. The system he is getting from ddk now will have vintage speakers.

Non-horns. I have compared them most on Avalon, Sigma MAAT, Diapason, Devore. On these 4 originals are way better. I have done a bit on Sonus Faber, YG, Magico Q7 mk2 (will try to them more here) and audio nec (will try to do them more here as well.

the places where I see originals not do as well Is SS amp (which usually go with a hard to drive speaker) compared to valve amps. So it could be a function of SS or complex crossover
 

Ron Resnick

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this is quite misleading. I have compared originals to reissues on modern horns…pnoe, Cessaro, horns universum, and some DIY. Tang has a modern system NOT a vintage system, one of the most extended on either end and resolving. The system he is getting from ddk now will have vintage speakers.

Non-horns. I have compared them most on Avalon, Sigma MAAT, Diapason, Devore. On these 4 originals are way better. I have done a bit on Sonus Faber, YG, Magico Q7 mk2 (will try to them more here) and audio nec (will try to do them more here as well.

the places where I see originals not do as well Is SS amp (which usually go with a hard to drive speaker) compared to valve amps. So it could be a function of SS or complex crossover

I am afraid I don’t understand your post in relation to my specific question to Peter.

I was asking Peter based on my genuine understanding of what Peter has posted about and said in the past. I was simply trying to introduce the question with what I thought has been Peter’s past reported experience. If I am incorrect about this in anyway, I hope Peter will correct me.
 

bonzo75

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I am afraid I don’t understand your post in relation to my specific question to Peter.

I was asking Peter based on my genuine understanding of what Peter has posted about and said in the past. I was simply trying to introduce the question with what I thought has been Peter’s past reported experience. If I am incorrect about this in anyway, I hope Peter will correct me.

yes but you are leading the audience with your vintage speaker comment. For those who don’t know they will make a simplified Peter -> ddk -> vintage only speakers make originals sound good association
 

PeterA

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I am afraid I don’t understand your post in relation to my specific question to Peter.

I was asking Peter based on my genuine understanding of what Peter has posted about and said in the past. I was simply trying to introduce the question with what I thought has been Peter’s past reported experience. If I am incorrect about this in anyway, I hope Peter will correct me.

I already did Ron. I don’t recall ever stating that it is only on vintage speakers that I prefer original recordings. That I don’t even want to generalize about vintage speakers because I don’t have a lot of experience with them. I’ve only heard a few that are very highly regarded in a system context that is extremely high.

One thing that I will state again for clarity: if an early or original pressing is available and affordable and in good condition I will try to buy it to replace a more modern re-issue on thicker vinyl. I am in the process of doing that now through my collection.
 
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Ron Resnick

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yes but you are leading the audience with your vintage speaker comment. For those who don’t know they will make a simplified Peter -> ddk -> vintage only speakers make originals sound good association
OK, sorry. That absolutely was not in my head in anyway at all.

I really was trying to tailor a specific question to a specific person based on my genuine understanding of his specific prior posts.
 

Ron Resnick

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Yes I do Ron on most systems, not just with vintage speakers. The only comparison I remember doing at Ian’s house was on Kind of blue. We compared about four versions and the original was by far the best sounding on his system to me. I’m not sure I understand what it has to do with how old the speakers are. I think it has to do with the overall resolution level of the system and the type of sound one is looking for.

I can say that my old system did not have the resolution for me to hear the differences as clearly as I can on my new system.

Do you have some hypothesis about vintage speakers and original pressings?
Thank you, Peter!
 

Ron Resnick

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Do you have some hypothesis about vintage speakers and original pressings?

No. But I thought your answer might be the spark for a hypothesis.
 

bonzo75

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No. But I thought your answer might be the spark for a hypothesis.

essentially your hypothesis is trying to explain the usual why new is not better. You should investigate more. The YT video does offer blows
 

Ron Resnick

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essentially your hypothesis is trying to explain the usual why new is not better. You should investigate more. The YT video does offer blows
Did you put on your cranky pants today?

I answered “no” — that I do not have a hypothesis.

If I were trying to prove that “new is not better” (that original pressings are better than re-issues) it would be intellectually dishonest because I would be trying to prove a pre-existing bias, rather than seeking to divine a hypothesis or a correlation from an honestly neutral starting point.

I have no dog in the dogmatic hunt you are, I think, making the mistake of assuming I am engaging in here. Sometimes I prefer the original pressing of a particular title; sometimes I prefer the re-issue of a particular title.

All I remember is that when I used to compare on some of my pop titles (for example, Jim Croce, Elton John, if I remember correctly) the original pressing to a DCC Compact Classics re-issue, I generally preferred the DCC Compact Classics re-issue.
 
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bonzo75

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Did you put on your cranky pants today?

I answered “no” — that I do not have a hypothesis.

If I were trying to prove that “new is not better” (that original pressings are better than re-issues) it would be intellectually dishonest because I would be trying to prove a pre-existing bias, rather than seeking to divine a hypothesis or a correlation from an honestly neutral starting point.

I have no dog in the dogmatic hunt you are, I think, making the mistake of assuming I am engaging in here. Sometimes I prefer the original pressing of a particular title; sometimes I prefer the re-issue of a particular title.

All I remember is that when I used to compare on some of my pop titles the original pressing to a DCC Compact Classics re-issue, I generally preferred the DCC Compact Classics re-issue.

I don’t think there was pop in the days they made good originals. Can you list some pop titles you think are good originals?

i actually meant your hypothesis was “new recordings are better but they suit modern speakers. Old recordings sound good only in vintage speakers “
 
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Ron Resnick

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I don’t think there was pop in the days they made good originals. Can you list some pop titles you think are good originals?

i actually meant your hypothesis was “new recordings are better”

Honestly, now I’m totally confused. I was talking about original pressings (of old recordings) versus re-issues (of old recordings). I have not been thinking about new recordings (new titles) at all.

I have said many times that I feel that my beloved rock and pop favorite songs from the 1970s and 1980s generally are quite poorly recorded. If a good re-issue house like DCC Compact Classics was borrows the original crappy, multi-track mixed, overly processed recording on reel-to-reel tape and plays that tape through a great, all-tube amplification and cutting chain, and presses on quiet vinyl, I think the resulting re-issue is usually better sounding to me than is the original commercial pressing.

If you are asking me for a pop title that was recently recorded that I think sounds decent I guess my only example would be Suzanne Vega’s “An Evening of New York Songs and Stories.” It is a digital recording, and it does not sound bad.
 
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bonzo75

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I have said many times that I feel that my beloved rock and pop favorite songs from the 1970s and 1980s generally are quite poorly recorded. If a good re-issue house like DCC Compact Classics was borrows the original crappy, multi-track mixed, overly processed recording on reel-to-reel tape and plays that tape through a great, all-tube amplification and cutting chain, and presses on quiet vinyl, I think the resulting re-issue is usually better sounding to me than is the original commercial pressing.

ok got you. Generally when I use the term originals I am only referring to certain originals from a certain era and not necessarily any original passed pressed at any time
 
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Tuckers

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That Youtube was a very illuminating discussion, I was riveted through a lot of it. For myself I got some validation from Bernie when he talked about how when you make any change to an original digital file it degrades the quality. When I was recording and doing A/D conversion to some master tapes I heard this. Even trimming the file reduced the SQ. Everything just shrank a bit, a bit less life and space. I asked many professionals about this, and all of them said I was nuts. I attributed this partially to the fact that I was using mid-level pro software and gear.

Also, though I have enormous respect for these guys, they all make their living in analog, and its not surprising they think digital is not up to snuff. Doing things right in analog mastering is an all encompassing thing requiring years of practice with more than a little personal magic thrown in. In order to get the best out of digital you need to put in similar effort.

Also, a nod to the MoFi one step process, they do an A/D in DSD256 as an archival process. They then take that DSD file and put it back into analog for processing. They are not editing in digital domain which is where Bernie and others say the digital degradation comes in.
 

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