Electric Recording Company To Issue Sonny Rollins' "Way Out West" in Stereo

The Electric Recording Company announced today that it would release a limited edition version of Sonny Rollins' Way Out West cut as always using the original master tape.

The photo shows a printing plate. The announcement includes this:" Mastered without any processing, with the exception of a light sprinkling of reverb courtesy of our valve powered EMT 140 echo plates in line with the original pressing." As always the edition is limited. 300 copies only costing £300 ($375).

COMMENTS
Drew71's picture

I have the Analogue Production pressing of this album. It is probably one of the best sounding pressings I have ever heard. It will be tough to improve on it.

Anton D's picture

Looking forward to people's experiences!

My one quibble: I have the mono pressing and ordered this for the fun of comparing, but 400 bucks to my door is not an amount of money where I'd call it "only!"

Maybe a future post where everybody can talk pressings would be fun!

MalachiLui's picture

I completely agree. i tell michael that a lot, that a lot of these pressings and equipment can't have the word "only" attached to it even if jokingly. i think he understands but he's doing a lot of things all at once... still the magnitude of a single $375 LP, no matter how amazing it is (drop dead amazing, i've heard a couple of these), should be noted.

Rocketman248's picture

I think he meant "Only 300 copies, costing $375 each", rather than "only costing $375".

Steve Edwards's picture

of how a comma, or lack thereof, can completely change what is being said in a sentence. With all the things on Michael's plate, he probably has little time for proof reading all of his work.
Would love to hear one of ERC's records, just not in my budget (still hate that word)!

Anton D's picture

Strunk and White for everybody!

Eats shoots and leaves!

mixpro's picture

I have this one too and I agree. The separation leads me to think "stereo" wasn't really meant to be heard that way, so I flip my preamp to mono for this one.

Tom L's picture

...silly quantity and price.

freejazz00's picture

Michael,

Do you know if they will be adjusting for the pre-emphasis that was employed in the original issue? It is my understanding that the original recording had the highs boosted several dB only to have them cut at the time of mastering. I had read somewhere (maybe here) that previous reissues weren't able to get this tweaking correct. Anybody that is considering spending this kind of money would like to know if ERC is going to get this right. Thanks,/d

marmaduke's picture

was adjusted for the ERC mono version of this album title according to a very very authoritative source.
That was the condition for my purchase.

Anton D's picture

My experience is the same as Marmaduke's.

mndoss99's picture

Admittedly an ambiguous sentence, but my reading was that the "only" applied to the number of copies being pressed (300) and not to the price. Ultimately, not a big deal either way.

darthlaker's picture

Is Michael going to review the mono release?

marmaduke's picture

however it seems that ERC has quickened the pace of their releases quite a bit here lately. Once and awhile offerings at their 300 quantity release price could be rationalized because it was after all only once and awhile.

But at this pace with classical, jazz, and now classic rock in the catalog, my common sense is saying 'slow down you're going too fast, you need to make your record buying money last'.

Apologies to Paul Simon.

bkinthebk's picture

Which title?

MalachiLui's picture

"forever changes," cut to sound like the tape.

bkinthebk's picture

Interesting choice for their first rock title.

lodestarhotel's picture

I completely agree. i tell michael that a lot, that a lot of these pressings and equipment can't have the word "only" attached to it even if jokingly.

Michael Fremer's picture
Referring to quantity not price!!!!
azmoon's picture

I also hope this company goes out of business fast. Ridiculous price. Spend $35 and get it somewhere else.

Anton D's picture

Why would you hope they fail?

I can't afford a Bugatti but I don't wish them ill.

I also can't afford the finest truffles or Champagne, but I don't want the purveyors to go out of business.

What is the issue that provokes such ire that you wish ill upon others?

MichaelTrei's picture

Why artificially limit the pressing number and charge such a crazy price? I'm thinking that most of their expenses are in research, preparing the tape, and mastering, not the actual pressing and packaging. 3,000 copies at $50 each would make it easier to for more people to justify the cost. In the meanwhile, I'll stick with my $7.98 OJC pressing.

shawnwes's picture

The mastering, plating & artwork are expenses that have to be covered regardless. This way he only has to press 300 lps & make 300 covers with a small overrun for defects or problems with shipping.

The profit would probably be the same regardless if he pressed 3000 at $50. This way he doesn't have to sit on any of them because he has a list of purchasers who'll continue to buy whatever he produces as long as they think it's a premium product. $3,000 scotch most likely doesn't taste any better than $200 scotch but there's a market for it because those people have alot of money to burn & like the feeling they get from owning the most exclusive. Why fly 1st class? You don't get there any faster? A McLaren isn't a better sports car than a new Corvette.

It's bragging rights like $700k speakers & $50k tonearms.

shawnwes's picture

I don't notice any quality difference between the Tone Poets & the BN80s other than the packaging. Alot can be accomplished for a relatively small price. The BN80s kick butt for the retail price & the only thing that truly is important is how close to the master tape is it & is it a quiet pressing. A fancy cover is nice but doesn't improve the listening experience.

sfojws's picture

I agree that the BN80 series represents the best value available in vinyl reissues today. I haven't been able to run an "apples to apples comparison", as there are no titles in both the Tone Poet and 80th anniversary series. My sense is that the TP reissues may be slightly quieter pressings, and the difference of $10 is not egregious. Nevertheless, the BN80 reissues have been significantly better than earlier reissues. Also, when adjusted for inflation, $25 in 2020 is approximately equivalent to $4 in 1970-72, the cost of most LPs when I started buying albums. Considering that the mastering, vinyl, and pressing qualities are all better than most of what was available in 1970, this series is a win all around.

shawnwes's picture

Pleasure & pride of ownership is probably more like it.

one for the road's picture

The Ego, what a strange and peculiar facet of humanity. Even so, it will be the ultimate reason for mans downffall. Better to do a small favour for the many than to try to please the ego of the few.

one for the road's picture

The Ego, what a strange and peculiar facet of humanity. Even so, it will be the ultimate reason for mans downffall. Better to do a small favour for the many than to try to please the ego of the few.

MalachiLui's picture

what a lot of ERC haters don’t understand is the licensing involved. sometimes the ONLY way to get the license and the tape is to do a super limited run that’s extremely expensive. major labels who own these recordings want to make sure that the audiophile editions don’t compete with their widely available $20 pressing. concord music group, who owns “way out west,” among our industry is notoriously hard to deal with re: licensing.

would i like to see ERC-level pressings become more affordable? of course. but the cost of licensing and manufacturing with their method is EXTREMELY expensive, even if you mass-produced it. setting up those letterpress plates can’t be cheap.

MichaelTrei's picture

Give me a break. Asking an honest question about a company's business model does not make someone a hater. Please don't casually throw out that kind of accusation.

MalachiLui's picture

you called the prices "crazy" (very expensive, yes, but also reasonable with all factors considered) and called the quantity "artificially limited" (again, for a reason potentially out of their control). not exactly positive words. i'd reserve criticism of their business model until we know ALL of the cost particulars (which we may never), and until then consider that reissues at their level involve more extensive work than it seems.

MichaelTrei's picture

I am not a "hater" of ERC. My comment was reasonable and pertinent. Ans yes, by any sober assessment, $375 is a crazy price to pay for a record.

ArcAudio's picture

I think labels, seeing opportunities themselves, have started tightening their license agreements. Do not be surprised if MOFI, AP, etc will be 100% limited to 3000 copies or so (or even less like ERC)

azmoon's picture

so where are all of the $300 LPs from MFSL and QRP? They don't exist. Again, I hope they fall flat on their face with this.

ArcAudio's picture

$10,000 watches from Timex don't exist...I hope Rolex falls flat on their face.............$30k weddin' rings from Zales don't exist.......I hope Tiffany fails........$10,000 amps from Pioneer don't exist....I hope McIntosh fails.........$75 hamburgers from Wendy's don't exist.....I hope Ruth Chris fails...........The Logic is sad.

volvic's picture

Could it be the licensing agreement only allows them a certain number? Not sure, but it can be done for cheaper, no doubt as Speakers Corner and Analogphonic have done. I got my Chet Baker Sings Tone Poet record a few days and yes, I can hear the tape flutter in between tracks, but the sound is still glorious.

Rodan's picture

If we're only interested in the performers, performances, and sound of the ERC reissues, how important is it that the covers are produced via letterpress or silk is used for the packaging? In other words, how much is ERC's admittedly extraordinary packaging adding to the cost? And would the reissues be more affordable--and more available--if a more mundane packaging approach was pursued? Inquiring minds want to know...

MalachiLui's picture

is to equal and/or better the original in every single way. jacket and artwork quality is an absolutely ESSENTIAL part of a reissue that most of us only notice if done glaringly wrong. if the original was letterpressed, ERC will replicate that to the finest detail. it adds to the premium quality of the overall product. i don't think a lot of ppl realize how important the packaging is; that's an aspect that matters a lot to me so i'd be willing to pay ERC prices for something i love knowing what went into it. wouldn't pay it for "way out west" or "forever changes" but if they get around to reissuing my favorite albums ever, best believe i'm lining up.

Rodan's picture

It's important not to conflate the LP itself (music/content) with packaging. If we're discussing the disc, then we’re talking about music, performance, sonics, et al. If we’re talking about packaging, then we’re talking about the sleeve, the most basic function of which is to protect the LP. What do I spin on my turntable? It's certainly not the record jacket. Remember, an LP will sound exactly the same whether the sleeve is an artisan-produced masterpiece or a generic white cover.

I have many valued pristine (or close to pristine) original discs—some actually valuable!—surrounded by original covers that range from serviceable to barely functional to execrable to nonexistent. One example is Reiner’s take on Respighi’s Pines/Fountains of Rome (RCA LSC 2436; “shaded dog” 1S/1S) that I picked up many years ago for a couple of bucks. The LP’s in excellent condition, the sleeve is what I’d call serviceable. Would my listening enjoyment be in any way enhanced if this disc had a pristine sleeve? No. In fact, I have two reissues of the Reiner that have beautiful jackets that protect very well produced LPs. However, as good as these reissues are, to my ears the original sounds better; the quality of the sleeve (or lack thereof) doesn’t enter into the equation. Call me crazy but, as a music lover, my only interest is in the quality of the disc itself and what’s etched in the grooves.

That said, I certainly admire ERC’s dedication and herculean efforts to produce the totality of the original releases and I equally admire the 300 folks who are fortunate enough to purchase one of these limited runs. The fact that ERC’s LPs sell out almost immediately is clear evidence that there’s a market and their product warrants the asking price. I only wish that the releases were larger and more affordable.

MichaelTrei's picture

Really? A 14 year old has $375 of their own money that they'd splash out on a single LP? Call me skeptical.

MalachiLui's picture

i love how yall seem to forget that buying (and reviewing) records is my job lmao

MichaelTrei's picture

Reviewers get free records. But would you, as a 14 year old with presumably somewhat limited income, lay out $375 of your own hard earned money to buy one record?

MalachiLui's picture

1. i purchase nearly all of my review records.
2. yes, i'd line up in a heartbeat to spend $375 on an ERC-level pressing of anything bowie, kraftwerk, neu, etc.
3. idk why ppl are so pissed at ERC prices yet are perfectly fine with high end fashion. i love both fwiw.

MichaelTrei's picture

No other company charges more than around 1/3 the asking price, even for the fanciest reissues. Most are less than 1/10th the price. MFSL one steps are around $125, and those are pressed on two 45 rpm records, not one.

JR465's picture

Michael- Thanks for including the link to the ERC site. Seeing photos of the EMT 140 echo plates is a pretty cool sight.

DaveyF's picture

Only $300.. for a record.
To some folks who make $300 in a minute, that’s pretty cheap. My question to the author is..does that apply to you, or is it ONLY to others who comply to my point?

Rashers's picture

A mint copy of the original Stereo records pressing would set you back $500- and may not actually sound as good as this product. The Craft records box set was disappointing, digitally sourced and we will likely never see the Analogue Productions version. If this is one of your favorite albums, it costs the price of two expensive seats on Broadway, a concert or even a visit to an expensive restaurant. Let’s face it – none of us are going to any shows, concerts or Michelin star restaurants anytime soon! The tapes are deteriorating and this may be the last opportunity to obtain a well remastered AAA copy of this recording. However, 300 copies in mono and then another 300 in stereo seems a little cheeky. Staggeringly expensive, but it will never lose its value. There are people who would spend multiples of this amount on shoes or handbags......

DaveyF's picture

Only (pun)questioning the comment 'ONLY' such and such a price.
Everything is relative in regards to value. Stating something is 'ONLY' a certain price is usually a little disingenuous. IMHO.

Eskisi's picture

I feel like over the past century music was increasingly devalued. Imagine what it must have taken someone to hear any music, let alone something of their own choosing, before the radio came out? Fast forward to today and anything is available, for free or very little, at anytime, anywhere. Even just 20 years ago such access was unimaginable.

Quality matters aside, it seems to me exclusive publishers like ERC, with all their silken finery, are trying to bring back a sense of value. It will work for some people, for others the cat has long been out of the bag.

shawnwes's picture

Blame Napster as the start of the slippery slide both in quality & devaluation of returns on music for many of the labels, esp the pop & rock markets which are the whales in the industry. Crappy mp3s for free!

A whole generation of teens discovered they could get all their music for free so why question the quality of it? To think it's only been 20 years since it was first launched. The labels discovered they could peddle 'em that stuff and the hardware makers jumped on board. However much to their chagrin it basically began the death knell of digital physical sales.

Mile High Music's picture

:...so it that is :-) or :-( depending on your POV of course

azmoon's picture

...born every minute.

Anton D's picture

I mean, you are way too smart to be fooled by this scam, it's for suckers.

Can you afford these releases?

Suckers can.

How do those suckers do it?

;-D

If you are sitting at a poker table wondering which player is the sucker....it's you.

azmoon's picture

there is no value in a $300-400 newly remastered LP when QRP, MFSL, Speakers Corner, etc put out fantastic LPs for $35 - 55. Makes no sense to pay more unless its an ego trip or you are a sucker. Or you work for ERC, which is probably the case.

Anton D's picture

LOL! "If you don't hate these guys you must work for them or you're on an ego trip."

55 dollars?

What kind of sucker are you?

Digital lovers will look at you for the sucker you are, spending 35-55 dollars for a record!

You are simply one of those bitchy suckers, I guess.

How much did you record playback system cost?

Anything above the price of a simple CD player is for suckers.

azmoon's picture

maybe you can find one online.

Anton D's picture

Deal?

So, how much was your vinyl front end?

one for the road's picture

Always one of those dorks in the crowd that needs to justify their exixtence by demeaning others. Put your dick back in your pants, and quit wanking Anton D.

Anton D's picture

It's a blizzard of triggered snowflakes whenever ERC comes up.

You guys live in fragile little ice houses.

freejazz00's picture

gone in only a few days. i guess 300 folks don't agree that it was over priced, suckers or not.

bkinthebk's picture

Does anyone know where these are pressed?

bkinthebk's picture

or even a higher end Android and you're complaining, you should probably STFU. You can buy a smartphone for almost nothing and a really good smartphone for a 1/3 of the price of an iPhone. In a 2-3 years, you'll buy another iPhone. In 10 years you'll have spent thousands of dollars on obsolete tech. You need that iPad that'll be crawling to its grave in a few years? Not to mention, the poor labor practices that went into all your tech. That's something to complain about, not a piece of wax made by a small outfit driven by a labor of love.

The complaining about price is weird. Especially since no one really knows the costs that go into the production of a set of 300 (e.g. amortized costs for finding and refurbing ancient machinery scattered across the globe, labor and maintenance for said machinery, licensing fees, transport of master tapes, printing, raw materials, misc. overhead, etc.). They're providing a a good that people clearly want. Is it expensive? Yep! But everyone's complaints are totally rooted in envy. Ask people who own these records if they feel ripped off. If they don't, then all parties involved have a right to trade their coin/goods for a top of the line heirloom without getting shamed for it.

McFaden's picture

Let's close up the comments cause nothing more needs to be said.

McFaden's picture

Let's close up the comments cause nothing more needs to be said.

Anton D's picture

;-D

cher143's picture

It really is a terrific album. But the album cover is also kinda interesting. Sonny is in the middle of the desert in western garb, with his saxophone, yet purposely showing there's no gun in his holster. The look on his face is classic and so is the cover.

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