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Which Kind of Blue Pressing? (mono)


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Hi all.

 

New to Jazz, and I'm now ready to start investing in some nice pressings of what I've discovered I like. It's not hard to find a reasonably priced version of most things, but given the amount of pressings, remasters etc of Kind of Blue - it's a f***ing minefield. I can bang on about the best pressing of Led Zep albums and all my other traditional genres - but that's of no value here.

 

I had the pure joy of borrowing a long-time friend's 6 Eye mono (promo release - it's NM and he's had it since the '80s), and he was kind enough to rip it for me in 24/96. It destroys the HD tracks version I have (paid for), the Qobuz HiRes and the SACD I have.

 

I think I've narrowed it down to:

 

- US 1st Press - VG+ copies can be had for <$500

- This Sony reissue from 2013 - https://www.analogplanet.com/content/miles-davis-kind-blue-monophonic-reissue-sonylegacy-analog-planet-exclusive

 

Does anyone have both and has compared, or any other suggestions?

Edited by Billy Shears
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If the mono columbia six eye of KOB is anything like the mono six eye versions of Time Out, Lady in Satin or Sketches of Spain then yeah, it's where I'd head.  I own those three and they are killer.

Tone, detail, liquidity...  I can forgo the stereo imaging for something that sublime in a heartbeat.

The folks recording, mastering and pressing those early Columbia monos really knew their trade.

 

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1 minute ago, FR DRew said:

If the mono columbia six eye of KOB is anything like the mono six eye versions of Time Out, Lady in Satin or Sketches of Spain then yeah, it's where I'd head.  I own those three and they are killer.

Tone, detail, liquidity...  I can forgo the stereo imaging for something that sublime in a heartbeat.

The folks recording, mastering and pressing those early Columbia monos really knew their trade.

 

Yup - and I have no issue with mono pressings of anything (IMO 9/10 times the mono kills the stereo prior to 1970ish in mot genres).

 

He has the 6 eye stereo too (not as minty, prob VG/VG+) and I'd take the mono version in a heartbeat.

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You've just inspired me to play my copy of the 2013 mono reissue with my new Ortofon Cadenza mono.

 

The Sony reissue 2 LP set with the original and correct speed versions is very good, if you can still find it. The MFSL 45 rpm version is also excellent, but again may be hard to find, although it wasn't released all that long ago. Unfortunately I don't have an original pressing to compare them to.

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2 minutes ago, rossb said:

You've just inspired me to play my copy of the 2013 mono reissue with my new Ortofon Cadenza mono.

 

The Sony reissue 2 LP set with the original and correct speed versions is very good, if you can still find it. The MFSL 45 rpm version is also excellent, but again may be hard to find, although it wasn't released all that long ago. Unfortunately I don't have an original pressing to compare them to.

The MoFi is actually incoming (sealed) - my understanding is that they used the 3 track stereo (given the original mono was last/taped over).

 

It will be interesting to compare that to the 6 eye stereo.

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Just now, soundfan said:

I've owned a s**load of different KOB pressings over the years.

Buying the 2015 MFSL stopped me looking.

 

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue/release/7303082

Yup - I have it incoming as we speak (as above, will be good comparing it to the stereo 1st press) - but all about mono on this one.

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I was looking at this last night as I was listening to some other mono jazz records. The Michael Fremer article from the above post rates the 2013 sony columbia mono as better than the original 6 eyes (or that's what I took from the article), and from further reading, the MOV version which came out the following year is the same mastering etc, just pressed in the Netherlands. These are both full analogue, though mixed from the three track. 

 

I have noticed that discrepancy has another release coming from Japan in mono, though it suggests that it is from the digital masters, though I am not sure that it isn't just the same masters as the above ones. 

 

Lots to choose from, and it doesn't sound like you have to go back to the high dollar originals. 

 

Justin

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Giving the Sony 2013 mono reissue a spin, and it sounds fantastic. Pressed at RTI and mastered at sterling sound, and even has the pretty 6 eyes (albeit not the originals, or the $$$ a the originals command)
 

D30410EC-0C7C-45E1-A36C-5F74B5D9EB4B.jpeg

4504E774-E4A2-4328-A63B-DB6E1E9A8452.jpeg

Edited by Juzbear
Corrected info about sterling sound before I got pinged by someone!
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3 hours ago, Juzbear said:

Giving the Sony 2013 mono reissue a spin, and it sounds fantastic. Pressed at sterling sound, and even has the pretty 6 eyes (albeit not the originals, or the $$$ a the originals command)
 

D30410EC-0C7C-45E1-A36C-5F74B5D9EB4B.jpeg

4504E774-E4A2-4328-A63B-DB6E1E9A8452.jpeg

Mine arrives this week - just need the amp back!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well - I have 3 versions incoming:

- Sony 2013 mono (as per Analog Planet) - should be here tomorrow

- Classic Records 33rpm

- MFSL SACD

 

I looked around the mofi 45rpm, but this album will lend itself to chilling with wine/beer, and I get the MoFi mix on the SACD.

Edited by Billy Shears
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23 hours ago, Billy Shears said:

Well - I have 3 versions incoming:

- Sony 2013 mono (as per Analog Planet) - should be here tomorrow

- Classic Records 33rpm

- MFSL SACD

 

I looked around the mofi 45rpm, but this album will lend itself to chilling with wine/beer, and I get the MoFi mix on the SACD.

If you are on the northern side of Sydney, let me know if you wish to borrow /hear (at my place) my Japanese release and / or MOFI Release.

 

These are what I have.

 

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue/release/5621247

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue/release/7303082

 

I have a few others plus (on order) the mono you just got.

 

I don't have the Classic Records of KOB, but do have the Sketches of Spain Classic Records release.

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I also had the 2015 MoFi, 2013 Music on Vinyl Mono and Music on Vinyl Stereo. Sold them all and keep only this Mono version.

 

I do think the MoFo sounds better SQ wise but like you I much prefer the mono mix.

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7 minutes ago, MoveD said:

I also had the 2015 MoFi, 2013 Music on Vinyl Mono and Music on Vinyl Stereo. Sold them all and keep only this Mono version.

 

I do think the MoFo sounds better SQ wise but like you I much prefer the mono mix.

I've a fondness in general for mono from that era, but it's nice having a great mix of both formats when they're an album of that caliber - hopefully I spent my budget wisely!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just received the 2020 Japanese Mono version today.  Will try and do an A/B test between this and the RSD 2013 Mono.

 

The Quality of the Cover (with OBI) and design is far superior to the 2013 version.  I Believe the Vinyl feels heavier ( we all know that can be good or bad), but the real test will be playback. 

 

It could sound very similar or exactly the same as RSD 2013 if mastering was via the 192/24 digital files.

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Posted (edited)
On 17/09/2020 at 2:59 PM, scuzzii said:

If you are on the northern side of Sydney, let me know if you wish to borrow /hear (at my place) my Japanese release and / or MOFI Release.

 

These are what I have.

 

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue/release/5621247

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue/release/7303082

 

I have a few others plus (on order) the mono you just got.

 

I don't have the Classic Records of KOB, but do have the Sketches of Spain Classic Records release.

Apologies - I missed this. I’m working interstate ATM and I’m all over the place, and it’s possible I’m off permanently - but damn that would be awesome.

 

On another note - the CR is here, and the MoFi SACD in transport limbo.

 

I love both so far! The CR is done brilliantly, as is the Sony. 
 

I did my first back to back listen, and neither is better, just different.
 

 

40BB9566-4361-40A6-8E73-D7864F6AE9C2.jpeg

Edited by Billy Shears
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12 minutes ago, Andrews_melb said:

Are you guys playing mono albums on mono carts or stereo carts? Super keen to try a KOB mono but only have stereo carts so have the 45 mfsl version

Stereo cart for me - but I have a mono switch to sum the channels on my phono.

 

It will definitely play just fine on a stereo cart with no mono switch... just third a third tier option.

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23 hours ago, Billy Shears said:

Stereo cart for me - but I have a mono switch to sum the channels on my phono.

 

It will definitely play just fine on a stereo cart with no mono switch... just third a third tier option.

Yep same for me stereo cart but switchable to mono on the Luxman phonostage 

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The Japanese 2020 Mono pressing is a excellent and dead silent.  Even though it likely came from the same digital source as the 2013 RSD mono seems to be more “earthy” if I can use that word?  I don’t mean muddy just clarity is there plus the analogue sound.

 

haven’t managed a true A/B 


would be interesting to also dig out my Mofi Stereo recording to

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22 hours ago, Demondes said:

The Japanese 2020 Mono pressing is a excellent and dead silent.  Even though it likely came from the same digital source as the 2013 RSD mono seems to be more “earthy” if I can use that word?  I don’t mean muddy just clarity is there plus the analogue sound.

 

haven’t managed a true A/B 


would be interesting to also dig out my Mofi Stereo recording to

My understanding is that the RSD is an analogue remaster?

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I read the Michael Fremer article and took away from it that it was all analogue, though on re-reading the article he doesn't actually specify whether it is or not. It seems that it may not be after all (and we are not the first to wonder). That said, it sounds great, whatever its provenence!

 

https://www.vinylcut.net/a62-miles-davis/m108-kind-of-blue/v203

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Keen to hear your impressions. I've the MFSL 45 which I am still a bit on the fence with.  No doubt it has immense detail and tonally it is just spot on but I find the way certain instruments "pop out" of the soundstage quite disconcerting at times.  I think a good mono version might be just what I need.  

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11 minutes ago, Viognier said:

Keen to hear your impressions. I've the MFSL 45 which I am still a bit on the fence with.  No doubt it has immense detail and tonally it is just spot on but I find the way certain instruments "pop out" of the soundstage quite disconcerting at times.  I think a good mono version might be just what I need.  

You have one mate..  Sitting at my place.  Grabbed a few for us NTTr's

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3 hours ago, Billy Shears said:

Finally - all are arrived!

 

TY all for your help - I’m very happy with the split of versions.

A00AC6C6-9C6E-44A2-948F-4EC5A7BDBB2F.jpeg

nice.  I've heard but don't own the Classic Records.  Value wise, hard to beat the mono 

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1 hour ago, Viognier said:

Keen to hear your impressions. I've the MFSL 45 which I am still a bit on the fence with.  No doubt it has immense detail and tonally it is just spot on but I find the way certain instruments "pop out" of the soundstage quite disconcerting at times.  I think a good mono version might be just what I need.  


The BIG caveat here is that my digital system falls short of analogue  (as tested doing a quality vinyl rip, and then playing it back and A/B testing). I don’t have an SACD player either, so so far the MoFi gets a pass.

 

Classic is my favourite. My research tells me they wanted to make a perfect version of the original stereo release, and I think they achieved it. It sounds like a mint pressing of a ‘50s/‘60s record.

 

The MoFi is stunning, and sounds ‘cleaner’, but I see what people mean about bass boom. It’s more like remaking the album with today’s technology rather than recreating a perfect ‘50s version. Once I upgrade the DAC I’ll revisit it heavily. I didn’t want a 45 4LP version, it’s not the sort of album I want to get up for that much. It also means it will be my go to version during the day. Whether it ends up being IMO slightly better or slightly worse than the Classic, I think it will be negligible. I do have the HD tracks version, which is identical to the Qobuz version, and it s***s all over that - it’s not even close.

 

The mono is clearly stunning value for money, and I get a mono version that the peeps in the know (Fremmer) say is better than anything but the first press (which is not in my price range for a flawless playing copy).

 

So, so far the Classic wins on the ‘glass of red, chill out’ listen, MoFi is likely to be the ‘critical’ listening version and the day to day player. The mono will be great for ‘mono nights’ - which sometimes it’s really nice not to be listening for the soundstage.

Edited by Billy Shears
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57 minutes ago, scuzzii said:

You have one mate..  Sitting at my place.  Grabbed a few for us NTTr's

How cool is that.  I just think about it and  it turns up at your place. 

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12 minutes ago, Viognier said:

How cool is that.  I just think about it and  it turns up at your place. 

the magic that is NTT.

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13 minutes ago, Viognier said:

How cool is that.  I just think about it and  it turns up at your place. 

I’d be thinking very hard about a sealed UK mono 1st press of Pepper...

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23 minutes ago, Billy Shears said:

I’d be thinking very hard about a sealed UK mono 1st press of Pepper...

might have needed to think of that one 20 years ago today................  ;)   (I'm here all week)

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