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stevoz

'Thriller' re-releases......any ideas?

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15 hours ago, stevoz said:

Just checked out samples of QJ's Walking in Space and while it's a bit too jazz and not enough soul/funk for me, I'm intrigued as to how it would sound on my system.....mmm.:) I believe it has been re-issued as well.

It sounds good on my system ( I have the CD)

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2 hours ago, kand said:

The copy I have is the original Aust release.  I got it new.  I wheel it out about once every 5 years.  The last time it was played when Michael moved on.  The sonics are amazing but having grown up with Billy jean etc on high rotation in the 80's...I'm over it.

Thriller01.jpg

Thriller02.jpg

Thanks for that kand. It seems to check out. How much are you asking for it, including postage? Cheers...

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I have purchased many MOV reissue/remasters and also have some originals of the same releases.

 

In general the MOV pressing are a bit fatter in the bottom end and the over all sound and pressing quality are good.

However, if you directly compare an original to a MOV you soon discover the originals are in most cases better on good gear.

 

For example I have

2011 MOVLP402 Bachman-Turner Overdrive ?– Not Fragile https://www.discogs.com/Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-Not-Fragile/release/3640456

 

and a 1974 Australian Mercury pressing https://www.discogs.com/Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-Not-Fragile/release/4221589

 

At first I thought I preferred the MOV version because it had more bottom end and so it rocked a bit harder.

However as I have improved my system I now hear clearly that the 1974 version is killer compared to the MOV version.

The mids are cleaner, open and not gluggy like the MOV, and the bass is tight, solid and fast on the 1974.

 

This is why with many of the MOV pressings they sound good on entry to mid level systems, but once you go beyond that the limitations of the MOV are revealed and the pureness of the original can shine on better systems.

 

There will be exceptions to this but I think it just depends on which original pressing you have. I have found that all original pressings are not equal.

 

Cover art work on MOV are usually a bad copy of the originals too.

With the Not Fragile album covers put side by side you can clearly see on the MOV the detail is muddy, colours are off, not embossed and image is bigger so is cropped. The original is so much sharper and detailed.

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Interestingly enough I agree with spin33 in many cases. The better my system has got over the years, the more I hear things I've not heard before in some of the Australian pressings I've had for many years.

I use an RP8 with a 2m black. Upgrading from a Rega Fono MM to a GSP has revealed detail and clarity I never heard and assumed was missing due to pressings being old and worn out.

Some of the original pressings seem to get better as the system gets better whereas some of the re releases sound great on lower end gear but don't really change as much when you step up the quality of the system.

Drew


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Good to here it is just not me that is noticing this phenomenon.

Since noticing this I have dragged out old pressing that I had been lest than impressed with a few years ago on my lower gear and played them again now to find they are killer.

 

One that comes to mind is Alice Cooper - Greatest Hits 1974 Canadian pressing.

I got it as new old stock still sealed and it sounded thin and weak when I first played it a few years ago on my other gear so was not interested in playing it again.

But I played it the other day on my better gear to find it is killer, sounds fantastic!

 

So you just need the right combo of gear to bring out the best in that old vinyl.

Edited by spin33

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I also agree with @spin33 here. I picked up a MOV copy of "Bad" only last night and after a back to back test with my near 30 year old early Aussie pressing. I agree that the MOV is lower end emphasized however lacking considerably in the sound stage and with less detail. Admittedly the MOV doesn't have the pops and ticks that the original does have. If I was forced to sell one of them it would be the MOV, but I like it for different reasons.

I almost feel like I'll play the MOV more as to not wear out the original.

 

Something I do need to check is my copy or Rumours as it's a terrible copy and purchased brand new from HMV a couple of years ago. Really disappointing for me given it's such a great album and I haven't found a nice copy to replace it with yet.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, delh78 said:

Something I do need to check is my copy or Rumours as it's a terrible copy and purchased brand new from HMV a couple of years ago. Really disappointing for me given it's such a great album and I haven't found a nice copy to replace it with yet.

 

 

I have Rumours Pallas pressing from 2011 and it plays nice but once again I think it seems to suffer the same issues. Over enhanced bass and gluggy mids but still a nice listen. (Most likely sounds very nice on an entry level system)

So just today ordered a used German pressing from 1977ish to hear how that compares.

 

@delh78 what is the issue with your copy of Rumours?

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It's just dimensionless. I guess it sounds compressed? It's a 2009 reprise pressing

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Here's what I told SteveOz on November 2nd about this:

 

:....Well, you've picked the most popular album on the planet to be definitive about. :)


Unfortunately, with this many pressings (well over 200 by my last count), from this many countries of origin, it is very difficult to say exactly which vinyl, from what year, and what origin, will give you most bang for buck.

 

What we do know is (and what you have already correctly discerned from your research, which no doubt included Steve Hoffman's forums?), the early pressings from some countries offer the *highest* % chance of a close-to-the-original-master recording as possible. Further differences between vinyl quality used, and what generation the tapes might come from, offer more variety in the search. Here's what I know after handling quite a few (but notably, NONE of the MOV represses); the best chance of getting an early 'pure' mastering of this record is an early pressing from the UK (specifically Holland), the States, Japan or Australia. HOWEVER, local variations in any of these can mean some will sound better or worse, by degress. This is NO exact science!! ;)

 

This has been distilled down by myself and many others (notably, again, at Steve Hoffman forums, and by myself on the Discogs database) to making sure Michael's name DOES NOT appear on the back cover as a Co-Producer, as when it does, this indicates a later pressing from all countries. Now, this is not definitive, and there are sure to be some great pressings that came later, with the right master, stampers and vinyl quality. But it's a good, educated guess that narrows the field a little for these vintage pressings.

 

What would I recommend?  Well, what I have been selling at SNA is either the early pressings (named '1st', but who *really* knows) from the UK, USA and AUS, that DON'T feature Michael's name on the back as a Co-Producer (this came on later sleeves). These are usually good early releases, from early stampers, featuring the same early masterings straight from the original tapes. I favour the US over UK, and both of those over the Aussie/NZ. The one anomaly in that is the Dutch (pressed in Holland) original pressing, which is also very much like the US 1st: tight, dry and clean. 

 

Oh, and then the Japanese pressings...you are quite right on the vinyl quality used, and the care the owners take. Second to none. But what a lot of people who used to buy Japanese vinyl blindly in the 90's have come to realise is, that though the vinyl is quiet and clean, the OBI's and packaging rather beautiful, and the tapes used often (but not always) the same early ones from the country of recording, the MASTERING in Japan is often quite bright (tending to brittle) and a dry recording like Thriller can be made to sound a little TOO harsh. Deciding exactly which of the Japanese pressing is the early master is also a little complicated because of the language barrier (I have received entirely different pressings, in the wrong sleeve, from time to time). Again, this is a process of listening for yourself and deciding what YOU enjoy, on your particular system. Many people do like the japanese masterings, so what do I know? :)

 

Unfortunately, the one copy I had left of these early first pressings I already sold in my latest SNA sale this last week. Betocool picked up by copy of 'Bad', too. :)  But they are not THAT rare - copies from the 70 million or so sold, turn up all the time. It is likely then just a  matter of price, as to what you might decide to pickup. Discogs is a really good source - although you will need to ask a heap of specific questions of the seller around origin, condition, stamper numbers in the deadwax, etc before jumping in on one.

 

So in order, I would go this route:

1. American 1st pressing
2. Holland 1st press
3. maybe one of the early Japanese
4. A UK or Europe early master
5. A clean Aus or NZ early pressing (expect to pay for it though...)

 

Again, just my take on it and I expect the best way for you is to buy a few, listen to them, and sell the ones you didn't enjoy as much.

 

But, as one fella on SNA said in reply to your thread, you can't really go wrong with this record. Almost all of them are acceptable, and everything after that is a matter of degrees of excellence (like 'Dark  Side of the Moon', or 'Wish You Were Here', to name just 2 other examples. :)

 

Finally, here's something I stole a while back that might give you a guide, as you listen, to what really nails down a great pressing of 'Thriller'. JUST a guide, and only for fun (much more interesting to just listen and enjoy the album I think....). These guys take it VERY seriously :unsure:

 


** Michael Jackson – Thriller **

 

High Frequency Trends
After listening to dozens and dozens of copies of 'Thriller' there are certain trends that have become apparent over the years, the most noticeable being the differing degrees of high frequency extension found on each pressing. Based on the scores of copies we've played, we've come up with four general classifications for the top end on 'Thriller': 

 

All the Highs 
Full extension -- cymbals and shakers are present, harmonically rich but never abrasive. Vocals are breathy, with ambience and presence, yet virtually without spit or strain. 

 

Most of the Highs
Good extension, gets most of the very top but falls short in terms of presence and overall delicacy compared to the best. Still fairly rare and far ahead of the competition. 

 

Some of the Highs 
Cymbals and shakers seem harder, grainier and more abrasive. Vocals have presence but now are accompanied by grit and may have a tendency to strain when loud. 

 

None of the Highs 
Stampers worn smooth, no real top end to speak of, percussion disappears along with much of the rhythmic energy, dullsville. You're better off with the CD (as bass-shy and gritty as the CD may be, at least it has a top end)."

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........and still the search goes on candyflip! :)

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Looks like I've got a later AUS pressing of Thriller. It's always sounded okay but I've been inclined to send out a search party for the top end. The mid range is nicely balanced as is the bass but it's always sounded a bit dry.

Might have to hunt down a US pressing :)

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Oh and this is the AUS gatefold pressing of BAD. It's okay but I wouldn't pay much for it (I think I paid $5) these seem to be less in supply as the CD era was coming into its own.

85907a125fccdc7cc1a98854c9a03139.jpg

7aaeb8f998cef4de4b004dd1be6b6f7b.jpg


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6 hours ago, astormsau said:

Looks like I've got a later AUS pressing of Thriller. 

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The sticker is the giveaway here - no first pressings had any kind of sticker or reference to the Grammy's or hit singles (how could they?).

 

6 hours ago, astormsau said:

Oh and this is the AUS gatefold pressing of BAD. It's okay but I wouldn't pay much for it (I think I paid $5) these seem to be less in supply as the CD era was coming into its own.
 

 

If you can find this album for $5, GRAB it!

Good condition copies I'm seeing around metro Melbourne rarely dip under $25.

 

 

Edited by candyflip

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I've got that same pressing of Bad. I thought it was pretty early given the sticker doesn't list the hits just the tracks and pays reference to the fact its a follow-up to thriller (the thrill is back)

It's the one I was using for the comparison to the MOV copy. I'll bow to your superior knowledge @candyflip but I was actually quite hopeful it was an early and possible first AUS pressing. (tbh, I hadn't been bothered enough with it to find out)

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17 minutes ago, delh78 said:

I've got that same pressing of Bad. I thought it was pretty early given the sticker doesn't list the hits just the tracks and pays reference to the fact its a follow-up to thriller (the thrill is back)

It's the one I was using for the comparison to the MOV copy. I'll bow to your superior knowledge @candyflip but I was actually quite hopeful it was an early and possible first AUS pressing. (tbh, I hadn't been bothered enough with it to find out)

You're confused my friend - my top comment about the sticker refers only to Thriller copies.

Your pressing of BAD could easily be 1st press (but I don't know - haven't got definitive ideas about that one).

Edited by candyflip

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you know what, I noticed that after I hit send. D'oh!

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I got the Holland 1st press of Thriller (from Candyflip!) and I think it sounds much better than the 25th Anniversary Edition that I already had.

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I purchased the 2016 MJJ productions repress from JB barcode 88875143731.

Few observations ;

Much better sound than my Aussie pressing which is a second generation Australian from the 80's with credits for MJ as co producer. Vocals cleaner and staging is better. Bass definition is tighter.

The first copy was badly warped. Took it back. The second copy is slightly dished (pushed up or down in the middle depending upon which side you play). The salesman said we could open all copies in the store but suspected they were all the same.

I paid $23 for it when they had their 20% sale the other week so not too fussed.

Have ordered a first generation Japanese pressing which arrives in a few weeks so will report back when it arrives.

Drew


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Saw the notification for the above post and decided to go on ebay for a 'Thriller' check and lo and behold, there was two listings for original pressings with just Quincy Jones listed as producer on the back covers and no MJ listed as co-producer. Both graded as VG, below my preferred near mint, but hey, they're actual 'originals'!:P One, an Oz pressing and the other.....Dutch! I went with the Dutch, on Candyflip's advice above. Search over! Yay.....Xmas pres to myself.:thumb::D

Edited by stevoz

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Glad you found them - but if they are not up to,snuff I still have a minty Jap version of Thriller with all the inserts :)

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Dutch 1st pressing arrived today and sounds fantastic. Great bass and clarity. Got all tingly during 'Billie Jean'!:D It's a good VG+ and with a 'revirginize' should hopefully come up to excellent+/near mint. A great pressing it is thanks candyflip!:thumb:

Edited by stevoz

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My Japanese pressing arrived yesterday. A quick clean and it's playing beautifully. Following observations vs the MJJ repress.

Vocals are a little more pronounced in a good way.
Bass is a bit tighter.
Less surface noise.

In all areas we are talking percentage points. Bang for buck at $23 on sale from JB, the MJJ 2016 represents great value for money.

Merry Xmas everyone
Drew!

:)



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On 29/11/2016 at 9:58 AM, kand said:

The copy I have is the original Aust release.  I got it new.  I wheel it out about once every 5 years.  The last time it was played when Michael moved on.  The sonics are amazing but having grown up with Billy jean etc on high rotation in the 80's...I'm over it.

Thriller01.jpg

Thriller02.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

I agree 2000%...


I own maybe 10 copies of Thriller and the original Aussie presses are probably the best I've heard. On-par if not better than my US 1st press.

 

The Aussie press has more body and is less hyped on the highs.

 

If you have  a high-resolution phono setup you will really like the Aussie press.

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11 hours ago, drdarkfish said:

I agree 2000%...

I own maybe 10 copies of Thriller and the original Aussie presses are probably the best I've heard. On-par if not better than my US 1st press.

 

The Aussie press has more body and is less hyped on the highs.

 

If you have  a high-resolution phono setup you will really like the Aussie press.

My original aussie pressing is for sale....

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I am really enjoying the Dutch 1st pressing of 'Thriller', a big thumbs up from me. It is a stunning recording and on vinyl it comprehensively annihilates my CD copy. I see on the Dynamic Range Database that, on vinyl, track 6 is always the most dynamically rated track, and that track is 'Billie Jean'.....absolutely no surprise there, IMO this would have to be one of the best recorded and produced tracks ever, it gives me tingles every time I hear it, especially up loud.......on vinyl at least.:)

Edited by stevoz

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