Friday, September 13, 2013

EMI Pressings Sound Matrix

The Matrix:

One of the problems with EMI is they have so many excellent pressings (we are British focused). Which one is best? Often, the answer with most labels is always the original. Often this is the case with EMI, but not always. Often the originals are very expensive, and a reissue pressing can be had for next to nothing that beats the original in some areas, and possibly overall. The following is part of a larger spreadsheet I am using to keep sonic notes in for general impressions of the originals and reissues.

These are extremely preliminary results, so this is a work in progress.  I will update this frequently and welcome all comments and contributions on the various reissues.

Here is how it works.  The column headings list the original pressing.  As your work down the rows it shows what reissues are possible (you'll lose sight of the column headings so keep a mental note of the columns you.  The first number is a general sonic rating for the original or reissue based on the column and is followed by comments.  The matrix in the spreadsheet is 21 columns wide.  These are just the first three, but I will add further columns in sets of three as I have more information.  For now we start with the three main golden label pressings.  These represent the loin's share of reissue activity, however issues of the later transistor based recordings will also be of strong interest and should start showing up within the month.  Some small sister golden age labels, like BSD, SBO, and SCX are omitted due to lack of recordings and a presumption that they match one of these three labels.

Reissue\Issue Gold & Cream Blue and Silver CSD Gold & Green
Gold & Cream 9.5 – Strongest bass performance for tube pressings with excellent harmonic detail. Bass is not quite as tight as later reissues. N/A N/A
Blue and Silver N/A 10 – Excellent, tight bass performance, often couple with ever so slightly accentuated midrange N/A
CSD Gold & Green N/A N/A unknown, handful or recordings including Pineapple
CSD Mini N/A N/A
HQS Mini Beecham reissues, unknown
N/A
Regal 9 – tighter bass and resolution results in sweeter midrange presentation and more toe tapping bass while still retain much of the original tube sound 10 – tighter bass and resolution results in sweeter midrange presentation and more toe tapping bass while still retain much of the original tube sound N/A
MFP see Regal above see Regal above
Semi (SAX or ASD) 9.5 – Impressive dynamics and coherence surpassing the original pressing, but some fine graininess to sound 8 – Loses much of the tube magic and special midrange N/A
SAN White Angel
9 – Similar to blue and silver for imaging, but a less refined, coarser sound
SXLP 20000 N/A N/A N/A
SXLP30000 Chevron 9 – tighter, stronger bass and resolution results in sweeter midrange presentation and more toe tapping bass while still retain much of the original tube sound. Piano sound very fine. 9.5 – tighter, stronger bass and resolution results in sweeter midrange presentation and more toe tapping bass while still retain much of the original's tube sound. Piano sound very fine. N/A
CFP Box 9.5 – Extremely impressive bass, highs, and soundstaging, but midrange a hair dry 9.5 – Extremely impressive bass, highs, and soundstaging, but midrange a hair dry 9.5 – Extremely impressive bass, highs, and soundstaging, but midrange a hair dry
1st Stamp(ASD/SAX) 9 – Much like semi, but a bit constrained and cold sounding in comparison 9.5 – excellent balance and very strong bass compared to the original pressing, but bass almost too
SAN Black Angel


SAN Yellow


CFP Scroll 9.5 – Extremely impressive bass, highs, and soundstaging, but midrange a hair dry 9.5 – Extremely impressive bass, highs, and soundstaging, but midrange a hair dry
CSD Green


HQS Maroon


SXLP Ring 8.5 – Good bass and dynamics, but midrange is dry and much of the vintage sound is lost 8.5 – Good bass and dynamics, but midrange is dry and much of the vintage sound is lost
B&W Stamp 8.5 – Good bass and dynamics, but midrange is dry and much of the vintage sound is lost 8.5 – Good bass and dynamics, but midrange is dry and much of the vintage sound is lost
Color Ring


ESD Green

9 – Truely impressive bass and treble dynamics, but midrange a bit reticent and defocused. Noise floor improvement.
Big Dog 9 – Truly impressive bass and treble dynamics, but midrange a bit reticent and defocused, some noise floor improvement

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to seeing the updates on this matrix. I think many of us out there would like to know if it's worth dishing out the dough for the original or if we're better off getting a reissue which is sonically superior. Having collected many of the SAXes and early ASDs, I can tell you how frustrating it is to put up a good amount of dough for a collectable record and to be disappointed with its sound quality.

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