An exploration of the incredible world of classical and jazz recordings
Kempe with the Berlin Philharmonic on CFP 131. The original ASD goes for about $1000 and the Classics For Pleasure does a very nice job. Not a lot of audiophile Brahms, but this combination of performance and sound is the best I've heard by a large margin.
Two favourites: Kempe/ BPO SREG 1017 and Konwitschny/ Leizig Gewandhaus World Record T464. I suspect the Regal pressing is closer to the ASD than the CFP. David
So what are your stamper numbers in the dead wax? It would be easy to verify these versus some of the ASD sales on popsike. Do tell!
The CFP is not a reused stamper; I'm pretty sure.
My favourite is Klemperer/Philharmonia on french pressing Columbia SAXF 5001 (from the box set, Les Quatre Symphonies). Like aqlam previously noted in the review of the semi-circle SAX 2350, the soundstage width and dynamics of the Klemperer/Brahms recordings may not be world class. These are very early stereo recordings after all. While I haven't heard an original UK SAX, I find the french SAXF to be extremely enjoyable for both great performance and overall quite excellent sound.I also regularly return to the Boult/London Philharmonic Orchestra on ASD 2871. Very enjoyable for both performance and sound quality (my version is from the box set SLS 5009).
Not my favorite of the Brahms symphonies those I prefer are:Barbirolli with the VPO on ASD 2401 S/CKonwitschny and the Gewandhaus Orchestra on WRC ST 464 which is an Ariola - Eurodisc recordingMehta and the VPO on Decca SXL 6796Kripps with the VPO on Decca LXT 5292It seems that the VPO holds sway with my Brahms 1 choicess
Side 1 of SREG 1017 is 1555-4G, 1, G; side 2 is 1556-4, 1, H. The difference is noticeable but not huge; while side 1 has slightly greater clarity, it's less 'warm' and transparent sounding. I happen to prefer the slightly more tube-like of side 2, but I can understand that some one else might prefer the sound more forward.
Kempe Brahms ASD 350 goes for over $1000 near mint. The 4G would not be original pressing as you suspect (the G gives that away.) Popsike shows 1YRA 1555 1 / 2YRA 1555 1 for matrix of original. My CFP shows 1YRA 1555 5G / 2YRA 1555 9. This means all three records won't sound the same. I'm guessing your Regal has a Garrod & Lofthouse datecode on the flipback cover, something like 6602 which would mean the cover was made around the second month of 1966. The original record is quite rare, so I'd be surprised if any of the Gold and Cream ASD 350's had different matrix information. It is curious that your two sides do sound different (one sounds more tube like.) Little is known about EMI pressing except they were likely to reuse stampers. I suppose its possible that they made several mothers in 1960 in anticipation of greater sales and your 1556-4 is made from one of those. My SREG-1060 Mozart Figaro matches the pricey original on 4 of its 7 sides, but I've yet to listen to see if I can discern any serious differences in the sides. Opera LPs are often great for this kind of stuff because you have many more sides associated with the same recording sessions. I am only just recently realizing how much EMI liked to "reuse" stampers. I doubt they truly reused the stampers, but the analog mother of the lacquer might have been kept and later used to make more stampers. I need to explore my collection more deeply to see the extent of stamper "reuse". A great resource is popsike where searching someing like 'ASD 350 1555' or 'ASD 350 2YRA' will show all the past ebay sales over $25 with matrix information.