Analogue Productions "Goes to the Dogs"—Its "Scheherazade" Living Stereo Reissue Sounds Best

This ravishing beauty, originally released in 1960 or fifty three years ago, has been a long-time audiophile classic. It's also considering to be among the finest if not the finest performance on record or any other format.

It's a "shaded dog" with a sterling pedigree: produced and engineered to three track tape using an all-vacuum tube recording chain by the legendary team of Richard Mohr and Lewis Layton and conducted and performed by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony on February 8th, 1960 at Chicago's Orchestra Hall including a solo violin performance by Sidney Harth that sounds directed by a "higher authority"—as does much of the orchestra's playing. The fourth movement was performed live, without a tape splice.

I can hear some whiners from here saying "Another version of this? Hasn't it been done to death already? Doesn't everyone already have a copy?" etc.

Look, the last time this was reissued by Classic Records was almost 20 years ago. Yes, hard to believe but true. That means an entire generation has come of age and they too deserve to hear this classic in its original analog form, thank you.

As a candidate for the "I want to get into classical music can you suggest something?" Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Scheherazade" is a natural. It's the soundtrack to an imaginary movie filled with drama, intrigue, mystery and romance. It's the famous 1001 nights story set to music in 1888 at a time when music of necessity was required to provide the picture. It's "world music" before the term was invented.

The original LP edition of LSC-2446 was a "Living Stereo" treasure coveted by collectors for its transparency, lush string tone, low frequency extension and dynamic impact. Clean originals of certain stamper numbers at one time fetched hundreds of dollars.

The brothers Chesky reissued this record in the late 1980's using the original three track master tape and a rebuilt Ampex 300, with the three tracks mixed "live" to two tracks and fed directly to the cutting lathe. The plating was done, I believe, at Europadisc in New York, which also pressed it on 150 gram Teldec Virgin Vinyl.

At the time RCA was covetous of its artwork and logo so Chesky was unable to use the original cover art, the "Living Stereo" logo or the Nipper "shaded dog". The Chesky was warm and lush and had a somewhat distant perspective but at the time it was embraced by a grateful vinyl community, particularly given the insane prices of clean originals. The pressing quality unfortunately was not great with the thicker than normal vinyl giving the pressing plant some trouble with vinyl flow at the outer edges.

In the 1990s Classic Records began an extensive RCA "Living Stereo" catalog reissue series with Bernie Grundman cutting and plating and pressing at RTI. Classic negotiated and won the rights to use the original artwork including "Living Stereo" and "shaded dog" elements. For those who grew up in the pre-stereo age and who remember when those elements were introduced and our first look at and listen to a "Living Stereo" record, it was damn exciting.

The Classic reissues were a mixed bag though the 180g pressings were generally superb. Bernie Grundman's cutting system was not what it is today and his main interest is jazz. Though a great deal of care went into these reissues, Classic's decision to begin with some of the most revered "Living Stereo"s was rightly questioned by some who thought that perhaps the label should work up to the greats as the learning curve couldn't have been anything but steep.

The Classic Scheherazade was disappointing to many who thought that compared to the original the string tone was overly burnished and somewhat dark and especially lacking in delicacy and texture. The overall picture lacked transparency and depth compared to the original and the conclusion of many was that while the stereo was "living" it wasn't breathing all that well. Strings and woodwinds suffered the most in these less than successful retellings.

Nonetheless, to be fair, it was a well-produced, well-pressed record using the master tape and the price was right compared to a clean original. In retrospect, for whatever reason or reasons probably having to do with better playback gear, the Classic reissue sounds better today than it did when first released.

When Chad Kassem bought the Classic Records assets from Michael Hobson who I believe history will judge as one of the daring pioneers of the vinyl revival along with Kassem, he was determined to reissue the Living Stereo catalog using Classic's metal parts unless he cut re-cut from the original tapes and produce significantly better sound.

The original tapes were in the New York area so Kassem enlisted Sterling Sound and George Marino trained cutting engineer Ryan Smith. Tapes were played back on the late Marino's Mike Spitz modifier ATR 102 and lacquers cut on Sterling Sound's VMS 80 lathe meticulous maintained by Barry Wolifson and sent to Kassem's Salina Kansas based QRP pressing plant.

The results were so far superior in his opinion to what the older metal parts produced that he decided to green light an ambitious RCA Living Stereo reissue program using original 3 and 2 track tapes, all cut by the young Mr. Smith and plated and pressed at QRP. Kassem's reissued feature "Tip-On" jackets like the originals and meticulous attention was paid to the artwork. If you look at the back jacket of this release and compare the photo of Fritz Reiner there to Classic's you'll see a dramatic difference. The Analogue Productions version's photo is dramatically better. In fact it's better than the original as well as is the entire physical packaging.

As for the sound, well I get into arguments all to often with people who insist originals are always better. If after comparing this reissue to the original they still think so, they are hopelessly prejudiced. This reissue easily beats the original I have in every category.p> Of course the original can't begin to approach the 200g QRP pressing quality, especially in terms of velvet-black backgrounds and perfect surfaces. The reissue is far more dynamic, the low frequency extension complete, and most importantly the instrumental textures and tonalities are rich, full and spectacularly transparent. All of the delicacy, three-dimensionality and transparency promised but only partly delivered by the original is fully communicated on this Analogue Productions reissue.

Both the music and the sound are transportive, making this easy to recommend even if you think you don't like "classical" music. If you're looking for a way "in" here it is!

These recordings were simply produced of necessity, using tubes of necessity and minimal miking of necessity. Balances were set meticulously by the conductor based on how the results sounded in the control room. The musicians weren't "punching the clock." Fixing it in the mix was unheard of. It was fixed in the performance.

The first three of the twenty five that will eventually be reissued are now available and not surprisingly they are three "Living Stereo" classics that also happen to be "literate" musical compositions—ones that musically describe visuals, the other two being Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (LSC-2201) and Respighi's Pines of Rome/Fountains of Rome LSC-2436), the latter made famous because the original 1S pressing was too dynamic for most if not all record players of the day to properly track so it was quickly replaced with a less dynamic edition. Originals at one time went for upwards of $600. Rest assured that dynamics were not curtailed on this new reissue that is readily available, pressed better and costs around $30. Both will be separately reviewed. All twenty five will be, in fact.

Please read the final interview Part 1 ever conducted with legendary RCA producer John "Jack" Pfeiffer originally published in The Tracking Angle back in 1997.

Part 2

Music Direct Buy It Now

volvic's picture

 It's Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony, one of the 5 greatest orchestras in the world ....done, going to order my copy. 

Thing Fish's picture

I've just ordered this as my first foray into classical music on the back of this review.

I hope I like it :-)

Michael Fremer's picture

Please let us know! 

Thing Fish's picture

I'm no Classical expert but decided to take the plunge after reading this review.

The record arrived yesterday and I have to say the pressing and quality is truly excellent. The cover is also of the highest quality. Nice and thick.

As to the music itself - I was and still am totally blown away with the content of this record. I find myself totally lost in the music.

Thanks for setting me on the right path Michael :-)

where next in my classical education? Should I continue with the 'living stereo' collection?


readargos's picture

I think so.  These recordings feature not only excellent sound in sizzling performances, but many are definitive recordings.  Fritz Reiner transformed the Chicago from a regional orchestra to a world class orchestra.  I've not heard a better "Pines of Rome", a very tight orchestral tone poem: The spriteliness and joie de vivre of the first movement; the solemnity of second movement; the pastoral stillness and yearning of the third movement; the crushing dynamics and grandeur of the final movement (meant to convey the power and might of the Roman Empire)...  I'm pretty sure you'd like "Pictures at an Exhibition", as well, a piano piece written by Mussorgsky, but arranged for full orchestra by Ravel of "Bolero" fame (another classic "Living Stereo" title with Gallic Charles Munch and the Boston).  Many of these Living Stereos are orchestral showstoppers, and the types of compositions that might be featured in "pops" performances, so they have broad appeal.  They really are special, and seem to capture a brief shining moment.  

Although I don't have any first pressings, I have acquired many of the Living Stereo recordings on CD, XRCD, the SACD reissues of nearly a decade ago, the Chesky reissue of "Scheherazade" Mr. Fremer mentions.  Of the new pressings, I have "Pines of Rome" and "Scheherazade" so far, and they are the best versions I've heard in any format.

Michael Fremer's picture

I would try "Pictures at an Exhibition" with Reiner/CSO. Perhaps others prefer different performances but this one is fine with me and the sonics are stupendous.

Jay's picture

Are there any plans to issue these at 45rpm?  I passed on Classic's 45rpm pressing of the three titles mentioned as I already have the 33's, but I have to admit that an Analogue Productions 45 pressing of Reiner's recording of Pines of Rome & Also Sprach Zarathustra, Fiedler's Gaite Parisienne and Ansermet's Royal Ballet Gala would be very tempting.  While any idea of resisting a 45rpm series of the Led Zeppelin albums would be utterly and completely futile...  laugh

Michael Fremer's picture

Not sure. My only issue with classical at 45rpm is how the side breaks are arranged. It if can be a movement to a side, fine. But sometimes the break is in the middle of a movement and it's a fade-out and fade-in. 

And that is too close to 8-Track tape world for comfort!

Paul Boudreau's picture

...they could add a "clunk!" sound at the end of those fade-outs.

Jay's picture

Thanks Mikey.  I agree, splitting movements between sides is a pain best forgotten...

Paul Boudreau's picture

...what I see on eBay, Classic did in fact produce 45rpm versions of at least some of the Zep titles, in the "Clarity" format.  Maybe they only made it to the test pressing phase before Classic was sold.  That does raise a question:  Is it generally thought that those pressings were superior to the black-vinyl ones?  Just curious.

Michael Fremer's picture

I have many of the Classic 45 classical releases. They do sound better than the 33s, particularly since they don't extend to the inner groove area where high frequencies roll off (though it's so gradual you mostly don't notice). 

They are one-sided so it's even more of a hassle. And because grooves are only on one side, many of the records are "dished" and must be held down with a good record weight. If you have vacuum hold-down, it often cannot fully suction the record flat against the platter.

But the do sound great.... however, I think these cuts by Ryan Smith pressed at QRP sound better. 

I spoke to someone at Sony about posting brief segments and was told that 30 seconds is considered "fair use" and that there would be no legal repercussions from doing so. I am thinking about it---but only after getting the phono preamp files done.

As for "Clarity Vinyl", yes, it does sound better IMO if you don't have a record demagnetizer. Classic used that formula after Mike Hobson visited me and I played one of his black discs and demagnetized it and played it again. He heard it.

When he pressed on Clarity, he sent Leo Kottke's 6 and 12 String Guitar album reissue (originally on Takoma) on both black and Clarity vinyl. They sounded very different until I demagnetized the black one and then they sounded alike.

And yes, I should and will post "before and after" demag files at some point and you can judge for yourself.

Paul Boudreau's picture

So you'd expect any non-black vinyl record NOT to benefit from demagnetization (e.g. red, blue, yellow, clear, etc.)? 

Michael Fremer's picture

That is correct. It's something about whatever is put into the black used to make clear PVC black. Other colors don't seem to be affected.

Jay's picture

Check out the prices for the classic sets on e-bay though.  Spending $800 on a single record isn't exactly a recipe for a happy marriage... smiley

Paul Boudreau's picture

...I love this "insider" stuff.

rlw3's picture

Ultra sonic cleaners improve fidelity in ways I have never heard before. Does this impact or make more meaningless, the differences between different versions of the same lp. I have wondered if the encreased quality of regular pressings after cleaning make "hot stampers" less needed?

Michael Fremer's picture

The cleaning method will make the record sound as good as it can possibly sound and yes, until you hear it, you don't believe it, but believe it! This cleaning method has sonic repercussions beyond what's expecte of record cleaning. 

However, differences among pressing remain.

Paul Boudreau's picture have concerns about ultrasonic cleaning's possibly damaging records, I think from the impact involved?

Michael Fremer's picture

Based on many hundreds of records cleaned I have no such reservations using the Audio Desk machine and other readers report equally good results with the others we've reviewed here.

Blue Note's picture

Michael, would ordering from the Music Direct link on this web page help your most appreciated efforts here at Analog Planet?

sharris55's picture

All three arrived at my doorstep on Sunday (FEDEX Christmas delivery!?!?!?).  Listened to "Pictures" last night since it was the one I was most familiar with.  The dynamic range and transients in the first couple of segments brought me up off the sofa in astonishment.  Got to be the best sounding vinyl classical I have in the collection.  Dead quiet backgrounds.  OK maybe a slight bit of tape hiss.  I didn't know my rig could sound this good (and a new JC-3+ and cartridge are still to come!).  Can't wait to pop open the other two over the holiday (if I can manage to squeeze some non-holiday music into the mix).  Thanks for the recommendation.  Don't see how I can afford the rest of the 25. Have already read about a couple other titles also being outstanding.  Maybe if they spread them out a little over time....

vinyl1's picture

......NM copies of the best originals for the comparison.    I quite understand why Fremer is unable to do this - he is not a classical maniac, and the originals are very expensive.  Those who do have beautiful original copies who have done the compaison have reported that the originals still have some qualities that the new reissues don't have, while the reissues are better in other aspects.   My own view is that after 50 years, some of the music that was on the tapes when they were fresh is simply no longer there, so the reissues are up against a formidable barrier.   I am quite pleased to hear they are as good as they are, and they are certainly suited to new listeners who are not inclined to jump on eBay and empty their wallets for a 1S/1S.

I do have good originals - a 1S/1S PInes, a 23S/23S Pictures (the most dynamic pressing), a 7S/1S Scheherazade, so I'll probably be skipping this round.   However, I can't find a good LSC-2449 for under $500, so when that comes out I'll be rushing to Chad's web site.

I will also say that many collectors have come off the golden-age stereo obsession and look more at performance now.   The Reiner Scheherazade, while good, is rather stiff and over-disciplined.   I now most often turn to the Kondrashin on Philips, which has really excellent sound of a Philips, and the Beecham on EMI.  The Kondrashin is stormy and fierce, while the Beecham is meltingly lyrical.  There is also an almost-savage Fedoseyev on Melodyia/EMI that is good fun.

Michael Fremer's picture

I had a subscription to the New York Philharmonic for 20+ years, center orchestra row 20. I have thousands of classical originals all at least VG+ and many "mint". I have UK DECCAS, Londons, RCAs, Lyritas, Mercs etc. I have a 1S LSC-1806 and many other 'grail' RCAs and Mercs

And I have done the comparisons. It is usually a trade-off. One of the funny aspects of this is that people who cherish the originals and insist they are the 'grail' have assembled stereo systems designed to maximize the sonics of those records. When you play a more linear presentation on such systems they can sound bright. Live music sounds bright too. 

This reminds me of the debate regarding the Analogue Productions reissue of Tea For the Tillerman. The original Pink Label Island is "luscious" and romantic but does an Ovation guitar really sound like that? NO WAY! An Ovation is bright, steely and hard sounding as it does on the reissue. The reissue if more truthful to the source and to reality but some object because it can sound unpleasant in places. Well then, don't sit close to an Ovation guitar being madly strummed!

Finding truly 'mint' originals is very difficult--even when those records were new. Pressing plants today---the good ones---are MUCH better than those in the 1950s and 1960s and pressing in far more limited quantities under better controlled circumstances.

There's too much romanticizing the past IMO when it comes to those old records. It's like people who romanticize a great deal of old, highly colored gear that sounds warm, and sweet (etc.) but far from accurate. Granted the tapes were fresher when the original lacquers were cut but what usually goes first? The high frequencies. Well then consider that most reissues are more open and yes "brighter". Why? Because the originals were often soft and rolled off for one reason or another.

There are many less than satisfactory reissues but there are also many great ones. I had mixed feelings about many of the Classic Records RCA reissues. The textures in particular were terribly homogenized. The ones now coming from Analogue Productions combine the openness found on the tapes along with greater transparency and textural beauty.

As for dynamics, many of the originals can't come close and in terms of vinyl-quiet, there's no contest. 

The same is true for many Blue Note and other jazz reissues in my opinion.




vinyl1's picture

...than your conclusions.   The reissues may be great, but in a review of a new reissue one expects a detailed description of the sound, how it differs from the originals and previous reissues, and why the reviewer thinks it is better or worse. 

You have provided such an example in the Tea for the Tillerman comment.   An opposing reviewer might say that the original pressing has the sound the artist intended, and that the harsh-sounding Ovation guitar makes the songs worse, but the basic sound of the reissue is on the table and the readers can decide for themselves whether they might like it or not.  

I have found, in general, that more accurate equipment makes classic original RCAs and Mercs sound better, not worse.   The flaws of the great RCAs are pretty well known, as are their strengths.   They have attenuated bass, glorious microdynamics, complex tonal textures, and sweetness rather than power in the upper midrange.   The Hobson-era Classics are completely different, and offers a sound that appeals to rock audiophiles rather than those who appreciate the subtleties of complex art music.  

I would like to hear a pressing that combines the strengths of modern mastering with the inner details present in the original, if these pressing indeed provide that.  The closest I've heard are the Chesky reissues, but they fall short of the originals in a few crucial areas.




Michael Fremer's picture


I have a LARGE collection of RCAs, Mercuries, Deccas, EMI's etc.

You are talking out of your butt.

I am happy you have an original 1S of "Pines".... But back in the real world where people live, that is a difficult record to find and when you do it is extremely expensive. And finding a truly quiet pressing is difficult as well.  

Cutting and pressing quality in the 50's and 60's was primitive compared to what can be achieved today.

I have never said anything but tradeoffs are often involved between originals and reissues.

People who love the originals tend to overlook the defects but are very picky about them on reissues.

I have a 23S/23S "Pictures" too (whoopy for both of us).

soundscape1's picture

    I will never buy a classic record reissue again.I wasted $80.,$50. on a 45rpm Saint Saens symphony#3,an utter piece of unlistenable garbage.The quality of the vinyl is so incredibly poor it's unlistenable,my brother has the same perfomance on 33 rpm,same problem,incredible surface noise.I bought Zappa's Hot Rat's,another waste of $30.Who are they kidding,the original is dramatically better.

 Mike,I don't know what Classic reissues you have but my Boston Symphony/Munch 45rpm is terrible.I have the original 2s and would like you to hear the difference on my system between the 2.

Michael Fremer's picture

So that will not be problem. I have many Classic Records reissues that sound superb and some that don't. However, the Classic Records "story" involves the label starting pressing at RTI (one of the best pressing plants) and then later on, moving to Bill Smith (not so good and sometimes terrible) and then to setting up its own pressing plant, which believe me is NOT EASY TO DO!

At that point, Classic pressed some truly awful records. And since they had the metal parts from the early days, they were re-pressing older titles that sounded fine originally. Many of the "Clarity Plus" clear vinyl reissues in the red boxes were not well-pressed.

However, if you bought the 45 Saint Saens #3 used from a seller who misrepresented it you should try to return it especially if you used PayPal. 

Otherwise, I would caution readers about buying sealed Classic Records reissues without knowing when they were pressed. The later ones could be stinkers.

I have an original Saint Saens #3 and an EARLY Classic Records reissue pressed at RTI that is very well pressed and quiet, but the original has better sonics. However: Analogue Productions will be reissuing this from a new cut and pressed at QRP. I have a test pressing that is WOW!

As for "Hot Rats", the original Classic reissue pressed at RTI is easily competitive with the original IMO....

Again, beware of the late pressings from Classic, particularly the ones in the red boxes at 45rpm. It's a crap shoot. Meaning, many are crap and you'll want to shoot them.

soundscape1's picture

  Thanks Mike for your in depth knowledge.I'm almost certain I bought the 45rpm set new so I'm stung and stuck with a piece of junk I couldn't sell,it's expensive skeet shooting 4 disc set.I only played it a few times but it just fell apart.It is in mint condition visually.

 I found Hot Rats classic LP certainly not up to the orginial blue label bizzare.The later brown label warner bros are not the equal of the orginial blue labels but I am an avid Zappa collector with over a 100 of his LP's listening for every minute detail.I still have my Hot Rats,Burnt Weeny and Uncle Meat LP's I bought in the 1960's.I also have most of the early promo LP's.

  I just picked off a beautiful Living Stereo classical box set with Fritz Reiner among them for a buck at the local auction,pressing around 6-7s area.Listened to Reiner Chicago New World Symphony last night 6-7s from the set,excellent.It sounds even better at what 15 cents an LP.What a score.

amandela50's picture

I've had my pressings for a bit over a month now and they sound stunning. These reissues are perhaps the quiest LPs I have ever owned, almost rivaling CD with their eerie "black" backgrounds... Worth every frakkin' penny....

archiekaras's picture

I would love a non-BS answer to one thing which is on everyones mind. Analog Productions Scheherazade vs Classic Records Scheherazade-----> WHO WINS ? There is no bias as the latter is out of business, but I would love to hear an answer from someone who has actually compared.

rosser's picture

Based on all the rave reviews, particularly about perfect pressings, I bought the first three RCA reissues when they came out. I had to return all three because they were horribly noisy. Constant ticks and snaps (like one every 1-2 seconds), along with a groove grinding sound in the right channel. I decided to only replace the Sheherazade -- the replacement was only marginally quieter, but it was pressed off center, particularly on side 2, where it warbles in and out of tune toward the end.

So like the vinyl fool I am, the other day I decided to try the Gershwin, and it will also have to go back. It is pretty severely dish warped (honestly, like far too many QRP pressings), and way too noisy to listen to. So now I've bought 5 different albums in this series -- 4 had to be returned, and the only reason I kept the other is because it didn't seem likely I can get anything better based on my experience. I doubt I will buy any more of these. One thing that is particularly galling is the promo piece that accompanies the albums, in which QRP vinyl is extolled for its near-complete absence of "bedevilling ticks and pops." Every one of their RCA reissues I have received are among the most annoying records I've ever listened to -- I was barely able to hear the music for the distracting popping, snapping, ticking and crackling sounds. 

When QRP records are not dish warped, off center, or noisy, they are as good as vinyl gets. A few of the Prestige mono series have been superb, though none of them are completely flat, one arrived with greasy fingerprints, and several have the spindles holes punched too large, so you have to figure out what the center is supposed to be. Having bought somewhere near 50 QRP pressings, I would say a good 70% were defective, to the point that I avoid them. 

Michael Fremer's picture

I have not gotten a single warped QRP pressing and only a few out of many dozens that were at all noisy. 

I really have a great deal of difficulty believing this:

"Every one of their RCA reissues I have received are among the most annoying records I've ever listened to -- I was barely able to hear the music for the distracting popping, snapping, ticking and crackling sounds."

Unless something really awful has happened at this pressing plant I'm baffled. Why don't you send me a few of them and I'll pay shipping both ways?

cPehlivanian's picture

The noise level on these reissues is unacceptable. Consistent noisy, clicks and noise every 10 seconds or so on the Mussourgsky and Scheherezade, the only ones I've tried.  I only expect this from the $1 bin, not new releases, certainly not "audiophile" lps on first play. These will be returned.

Here's a tip for the audiophile labels. If you can't press 200g vinyl, stick to 180g. Work out the kinks before releasing. 

If you think this is sour grapes, please purchase, ignore the hype, and let us know if the surface itself, not the performance or engineering, is as good any standard mid 80's new vinyl.  

Michael Fremer's picture

If you buy an expensive record and it has high noise levels then it is not "sour grapes" to complain. However, when you charge me with "hype", your motives do become suspicious. I have listened to dozens if not more QRP pressings—sent as promos and purchased by me— and they have been consistently among the quietest records I have ever heard from ANY era. 

So what I've written is based on my experience not upon "hype".

Of course any pressing plant can produce a noisy record but two that are "consistently noisy with clicks and noise every 10 seconds" is something I've NEVER gotten from a QRP pressing. 

From whom did you buy them? You should ask for and receive replacements. Please let me know if you can't get them returned and replaced and I will help you do so.

archiekaras's picture

I posted earlier but got no response. This is the million dollar question, well $30 question at least. In fact this question is valid for just about every analogue productions reissue that classic has done as well. The Classics are out of print and VERY expensive nowadays, so if the APs hold up it could be a good way to get those titles. I hope that the question is not being dodged out of some fear of controversy, it is unavoidable and an inevitable discussions audiophiles/vinylophiles will be having anyways. WHy not address it ASAP. Mikey...I know you probably have both just about all the releases that both classic and AP have done, why not speak up...Maybe your busy working on your Jackie Mason.

ALSO: What is with the sound issues as well? Is this a legitimate concern with QRP, it is the first I have heard of this.

PS: Great work on Stern, and on the youtube afterwards, dont let the haters get you down, that is classic material.

---------------OLD POST----------------------------

Submitted by archiekaras on Fri, 2014-04-11 09:39

I would love a non-BS answer to one thing which is on everyones mind. Analog Productions Scheherazade vs Classic Records Scheherazade-----> WHO WINS ? There is no bias as the latter is out of business, but I would love to hear an answer from someone who has actually compared

Michael Fremer's picture
Is that Ryan K. Smith's cuts at Sterling Sound from the original 3-track tapes sound more transparent, particularly in the strings and overall on top than do Bernie Grundman's for Classic Records back before he significantly upgraded his cutting chain. The 3 dimensionality and transparency are easily heard IMO and QRP's pressings have a noticeably inky black background...despite what a few complainers have said. Try one and you'll see.