Triple SCAATY  I.D. Reveal!

AnalogPlanet readers chose their favorite from among three short digitized excerpts from Paul Simon's album Still Crazy After All These Years. One was an original pressing, the second a Record Store Day release and the third, Mobile Fidelity's "One-Step" 45rpm extravaganza. Which was which was of course not revealed there but is now.

There was no "guessing" necessary. Readers listened and chose which one he or she (being an optimist) preferred. Deciding which might be which was an extra added attraction and the the readers choices proved two things: AnalogPlanet readers have great taste, good ears and reasoned judgement. Oops, that's three things.

File #1 was the Record Store Day 2014 release cut by Ryan K. Smith using the original master tape. Many readers thought because of its transient articulation and precision it must be the One Step 45rpm Mobile Fidelity version. Almost everyone recognized File #2 as the original. Many readers said "I think File #1 is the Mo-Fi but I prefer File #3". In fact File #3 was the Mobile Fidelity One Step pressing. Almost every reader who participated heard the files the same way sonically and so well-articulated that in the comments. Which one preferred was secondary as was identifying which was which. More important and more impressive was how consistent were the descriptions, proving once again that AnalogPlanet has the best and most perceptive audio enthusiast readers. And I'm not just blowing smoke (cough, choke, hack).

Anyway, thanks to all for participating and I hope we can do this again soon!

analogdw's picture

That was my preference! Could hear it even through iPhone speakers. Can only imagine on the big rig.

ChrisM's picture

Thanks for the fun !

Vinylguroo's picture

Not overly so, but for $125 you would expect surface noise to be nil. Super vinyl it isn’t. My UK TML cut is totally void of surface noise and is almost 50 years old. Cut 1 is my preference, Ryan did a stellar job with it.

Ipsofacto's picture

Contact me please I know you will enjoy my collection

javabarn's picture

I have to say i REALLY liked the original.. the one step was more true to the original and the ryan k was not very enjoyable. the cymbals were off to the left and WAY overpowering and i didnt enjoy the extra induced sibilance..

DigMyGroove's picture

Like many, I too thought #1 was the Mofi, not the RSD reissue I've owned since 2014. While all three sound good in their own ways, I prefer the Ryan K. Smith mastered RSD version, particularly once I put the record on and listened through my system. It was so much better than the digitized sample in every way, and did not require any EQ adjustments.

For me it comes down to a reminder that maybe it isn't necessary to spend an extra $100 to get what may or may not be the "ultimate version". To those who take that path, enjoy and have fun, for me I'll be far more cautious about driving down that pricey toll road. Thus far the only one of these I've sprung for is the AP UHQR "Kind of Blue", but I haven't received mine yet. I've got the original Classic Records 2 LP version, so will do a direct comparison when the time comes.

*I mistakenly posted this in the album review comments section earlier today.

xtcfan80's picture

These are fun. We have some listening parties around here to compare different pressings of various LPs... always a good time and gets the music / recordings juices flowing....

nnicola's picture

I’d love to play this kind of game again!

I thought the most interesting thing was that everyone pegged #2 as the original recording, and they were correct. After making my selections, I dug out my 45 year old vinyl copy of the record and gave it a listen. While it did not sound as flat and as lifeless as selection #2, I still preferred the digitized #1 and #3 to my analog vinyl original.

All things being equal, I still prefer analog to digital, but that doesn’t mean that all vinyl is automatically superior. There are a great many poorly recorded/mastered/pressed vinyl records out there. I know, because in 55 years of collecting LP’s, I own a lot of them! And there some very decent digital versions of recordings that I prefer to some of my vinyl.

xtcfan80's picture

nnicola, agree on all counts. The variance of the vinyl format is a double edged sword indeed. I also have so many so-so or badly mastered or pressed LPs, as I've been collecting 45+ years. BUT...When you place the stylus on a great one the high more than makes up for the lows. Any yeah..I have hundreds of CDs that sound great as well.