Correction And Apology

We strive to be factually correct but occasionally make a mistake. A Sundazed representative called to correct a major error and rather than correct it in a tiny box placed inconspicuously on this website (the way newspapers issue corrections), we're putting it here.

In the comments section under the Mobile Fidelity Surrealistic Pillow review are a number of incorrect assertions about Sundazed lacquer cutting sources, including the label's 2003 Surrealistic Pillow reissue.

According to Sundazed, their mono Surrealistic Pillow reissue was not cut from a digital source, but rather from tape by Vlado Meller at Sony Mastering. We sincerely apologize to Sundazed and to Bob Irwin for that mistake. The published comments containing incorrect information will be removed from under the review of Mobile Fidelity's double 45rpm reissue.

In addition, we were told that more recent Sundazed reissues, produced and released since switching pressing plants from United to QRP are definitely not cut from CD resolution files (nor was it confirmed or denied that anything previously was cut from CD resolution files).

Whether more recent releases, now cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Mastering, are from analog tape or high resolution files was not part of the discussion. Mr. Gray rightly keeps that information between himself and his clients and Sundazed feels likewise.

So again, we apologize for any incorrect information posted about Sundazed on this website. But obviously a 180g record cut from analog tape and pressed at QRP selling for $25 is a good deal.

jblackhall's picture

Thanks for the update. Do you stick by your assessment of the MoFi double 45 having better sound?

Michael Fremer's picture
I think Mobile Fidelity's current mastering chain is the reason, plus you do gain some @45rpm. You also lose some from having to get up and turn over the record every two songs!
MrRom92's picture

It's impossible to know which of their titles have been analog sourced and which were from digital intermediates. I've been very happy with some titles over the years and yet found others to be pretty dull and uninvolving, not always due to the "lo-fi" sound of the older rock/pop recordings done in smaller studios. I've since stopped purchasing Sundazed and will wait until they are a little more open about their releases. Sometimes things are vaguely worded - "sourced from the analog masters" as opposed to "cut from the analog masters" and you aren't getting exactly what you'd hoped for…

vinyl listener's picture

why the secrecy over sources ?
to pull a fats one over buyers and/or spare the parties involved from embarrassment ?

vinyl listener's picture

no edit button ?

Auric G's picture

insistent on cutting from only the original master tapes, tmk, is Analogue Productions and Music Matters. If it's, e.g., Nils Lofgren, they tell u it's digital. So guess who's getting most of my vinyl business,... yeah...

J. Carter's picture

Music Matters frequently cut from digital files. They are usually hi res but they are digital. When you write and ask them about the source they usually are good about responding.

IR Shane's picture

Music Matters does NOT cut from digital, no way no how. I believe you are thinking of the Don Was Blue Note reissues, which are sourced from high-res digital. Music Matters' Blue Notes are all AAA.

J. Carter's picture

Who was talking specifically about Music Matter's Blue Note reissues, certainly not me?

I was referring to their reissues in general and the fact that they do use digital files on occasion. I can't speak for their Blue Note reissues but I trust what you say to be true about them.

IR Shane's picture

When I read your comment it seemed to me you were referring to Music Matters Jazz, which only does Blue Note reissues. I don't know of another Music Matters label, so I'm not certain which label you're referring to.

Ron Rambach and Joe Harley are close personal friends of mine, so I know their dedication to quality firsthand and know that their Blue Notes are all 100% analog. Every one of them, and therefore every one of their reissues.

I just wanted to be certain as this is a widely read public forum that no one else read your earlier post and inadvertently concluded as I did that you were referring to Music Matters Jazz.

charliepress's picture

Perhaps the person positing that Music Matters uses digital sources was thinking about the Music on Vinyl label, which often uses digital sources? They are in fact very responsive about their sources--they don't post them on their website probably because they reissue so much--but when asked,they respond. A couple of their releases have been cut from analog--i.e. Screaming Trees Sweet Oblivion--which sounds really good. But I am a HUGE fan of the Music Matters releases--particularly the 33 1/3 releases. They sound BETTER to me than some of the original pressings I have of those recordings (i.e. Andrew Hill's Point of Departure).

gMRfk6LMHn's picture

Just thought to be fair to everyone, Michael gave an excellent review of the 2003 Sundazed version of Surrealistic Pillow..

Here's the link...

James, Dublin, Ireland

my new username's picture

I really have no problem with them since they wouldn't happen without an ounce or three of published province by the label. Reviewer experience and knowledge of how the industry typically works is rightfully expressed in my opinion.

Hopefully the Sundered rep wasn't too upset about their company's oversight.

Or perhaps we should all only discuss sound quality and when sales of certain releases tank let the labels figure it out for themselves with zero customer feedback and insight.

azmoon's picture

I'm disappointed you state above: "Whether more recent releases, now cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Mastering, are from analog tape or high resolution files was not part of the discussion. Mr. Gray rightly keeps that information between himself and his clients and Sundazed feels likewise."
Suddenly, it's OK for this to be kept under wraps? Obvioulsy that's because they are embarrassed to say it's digital. And Mikey - you buy into this?

weirdo12's picture

The point is that it's not Kevin Gray's place to reveal the source material that he uses to do work for Sundazed without their permission.

azmoon's picture

Sundance should be owning up to what their product is. Not hiding it. I understand Kevin's place in this chain. Too bad Sundance can't be straight forward. So we may as well assume it's all digital now.

MikeT's picture

I have both the Sundazed and Mofi pressings of Surrealistic Pillow, and I can state, after comparing both, that the Mofi pressing and sonic qualities beat out the Sundazed by a large margin.

Even if Sundazed used the same tape(s) as Mofi, there is no comparison. The Sundazed sounds thin and squeezed in comparison to the Mofi, which make this album sound truly "audiophile" in nature.

randy's picture

Agree, there is no comparison. Sundazed rep says, "Cut from tape" What tape? Sundazed has missed a chance to do the right thing for years. They blew it this time too, defending another one of their uninvolving masterings, with vague info. No reason to apologize, Michael...

vinyl_blues's picture

A business has the discretion to keep hidden whether they used digital or analog for the source of the vinyl reissue. However, it's at their own detriment to not be forthcoming, in my opinion. Anytime they cut from tape, it only benefits them to say so explicitly. To not state that it's cut from tape makes me believe that it was cut from digital files instead.

Companies should challenge themselves to cut from tape as often as possible. And if they can't, there really is no excuse for not at least using high-rez digital as a fallback.

moviefan's picture

Listen to the hall effects and timber of Robert Wyatt’s cymbal work on an original of Soft Machine’s 1st. Hall effects and cymbals are nowhere to be found on the Sundazed reissue which is supposed to be “from the original tapes”.

Listen to the roundness and clarity of Masekela’s trumpet in Do You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star on an original of Younger Than Yesterday. Now listen to the Sundazed stereo reissue. It’s like listening through a layer of gauze.

The sound of the title song on the Sundazed stereo reissue of Turn Turn Turn is antiseptic, no shimmer.

In every case that I’ve heard the Sundazed reissue lacks the harmonic integrity and transparency of the original release. There’s no air around Otis Redding’s voice, no pep in Al Jackson Jr.’s stick work, nowhere near enough reverb on the acoustic side of Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home.

It’s the sound that matters. I don’t know what Bob Irwin does to create his cutting masters (a great amount of noise frequency filtering?), but Michael a 180g record cut from analog tape and pressed at QRP selling for $25 is NOT a good deal, not if it sounds bad.