They aren’t a gimmick. They really do sound better, for technical reasons that supports that. For example, I have 33 and 45 versions of various Music Matters Jazz Blue Note reissues. The 45s are hands down better, IMO. I bought the 33s for the convenience of them.
However, the mastering of 33s has gotten so good the differences are diminished from what used to be the case, and I don’t feel like the improvement justifies the extra expense (+50%) and inconvenience (three record changes vs one).
Anouskar Shankar - Chapter 1, Forever For Now, BMG Records (2023)
Really, really looking forward to this mini Lp below is a taster ‘Stolen Moments’. The LP is just £16.99 on Amazon cheaper than anywhere else I could find.
Recorded at Berlin’s celebrated Funkhaus complex, the four new tracks make up the first chapter in a trilogy of mini-albums Shankar will be writing and releasing as an evolving story between tours. Featuring guest appearances by Nils Frahm (piano, glass harmonica, harmonium, slit drum), Gal Maestro (bass) and Magda Giannikou (accordion), Forever, For Now was produced by praised Grammy-decorated singer and composer Arooj Aftab.
Prince Fatty - Prince Fatty meets The Gorgon In Dub, VP (2023)
Prince Fatty uses custom built equipment to his own design to get the ‘right’ sound and rarely if ever in my experience produces a bad sounding record.
‘Presented with a carefully selected set of digital multitrack master recordings from the archives of the iconic Jamaican Reggae Producer Bunny Striker Lee, next generation UK producer and dub engineer Prince Fatty (Mike Pelanconi) fed the audio into the analog realm for mixing through a carefully built audio analog system similar to that used by Osbourne Ruddock (King Tubby), producing 10 new dub mixes for the modern age.’
I’m a bit late to this, but how, for instance, do they get Close to the Edge on a 45rpm disc? The title track is 19 minutes or more. It can’t be split over two sides, so the grooves need to be closer, which surely limits dynamic range?
In any case, I won’t buy any 45 that splits tracks across sides. That’s bonkers. And I won’t buy classical on 45 RPM for similar reasons. I’m kinda done with 45 RPM. Mastering at 33 RPM has come a long way and is good enough for me.