New vs Old Pressing

When I was growing up my parents, or more particularly my father, in the early hours, when only a few survivors would have moved onto the brandy, would play a copy of Nancy & Lee. As a result I was indoctrinated with their versions of certain songs, such as Jackson.

When my father decided to dump his system, which by that time consisted of a selection of my cast offs, that left his somewhat knackered record collection high and dry. I must confess that most of the damage was caused by me; but, that is what happens when you buy a small portable record lathe for your son.

Having cleaned Nancy and Lee I played it and found it was just SOOOOO much better that the digital equivalents, regardless of bit rate and frequency.

However, there was a level of damage, including one channel on the first track, where the violins sounded as though the needle was carrying a ball of fluff.

I saw a new pressing was available via Amazon and bought it. Today I did the comparison.

The violins on track one sounded the same. The crackles and pops were gone, but so had most the sparkle and joy, not to mention the power and depth of the bass.

I won’t be doing that again, unless I find some reliable reviews first!


So it is…
Had some of these moments recently…
Paul Simon old vs new…
And so on.
I always prefer the old one - more dynamics - more reality.

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If me, having made some researches on Discogs, for the fun, I would buy that one pictured here. A UK reissue from 1971. Quite sure it will sound so much better than the Amazon recent reissue you got. And in NM condition.
The original ones are expensive, about 100 euros for a NM copy from US.

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Only tangentially relevant, but I find that original 80s pressings of rock/pop CDs often sound much better than their super-duper remastered (i.e. brick walled) successors.

A few examples: Songs From The Big Chair, Bad and Heaven on Earth.



“ …The crackles and pops were gone, but so had most the sparkle and joy…”

Yep, that’s my experience too @MrUnderhill . I’ve pretty much given up on reissues unless it’s something that I can’t find or where originals have gone nuts on valuation even for ruined copies, like original Stones, Led Zep and the like. I’ll tolerate the noise of old records because the music still generally works better for me as a musical experience.


I buy reissues only when the originals cost a lot and are very hard to get NM or M.
I have always found, apart some rare cases, the original one ( from the year or near the year of production) sounding more real and livelier vs the reissues.

My rule of thumb has always been to try to get a first pressing from the country of issue. If that’s unavailable or unaffordable, I’m usually happy with a NM or even VG+ second pressing. I’ll only consider a modern, audiophile-approved reissue if a reasonably-close-to-original pressing in decent condition is unjustifiably expensive, in which case I’ll grudgingly accept the loss of flesh and blood in favour of cleanliness and detail.

Yes, I frequently find that ‘remastering’ means mastered to 0db, with the dynamic range massively reduced. It is just LOUD.

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Was it the new(ish) version on Light In The Attic @MrUnderhill? I think that one sounds superb, and the packaging/presentation is out of this world.

Hi Kev,

Yep. I agree the packaging is excellent and a real step up on the original. But, my old Reprise pressing is just so much better.


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