Saturday, January 26, 2013

A bit of a "rant".

I'm not one to complain (usually), but lately I've discovered that they don't press vinyl like they used to. I recently purchased the new stereo vinyl box set and opened it up in order to play the vinyl (yes, I do that once in a while). I must say that the outer box is nice and glossy with the slipcase, the interior of the box has the foam strategically placed to protect the book and the records. All of the covers were sealed.
I removed the outer slipcase, opened the box, moved the foam and proceeded to open the vinyl records. A bit of a disappointment I must say. First off; the quality control for vinyl record products has gone quite downhill in the last year or two.  I've seen that the cardboard used for the covers is a little thinner than I expected. It's a shame that the company who printed these covers hadn't looked at past quality covers (eg; the Japan "AP" or "EAS" series, for instance). The colours are good and vibrant.
The records themselves have very thin labels and some of them are actually off-center a little. There is a printing mistake on side two of "Magical Mystery Tour"; check it out; it claims that "Baby, You're A Rich Man" is composed by George Harrison !! haha.
I played the entire series and found that the pressings were not what they should be. For the amount of money Apple and others charge for re-issued vinyl that is supposed to be superior to regular past vinyl, this is not the case. The first LP "Please Please Me" has a skip on the second song "Misery" (talking strictly my copy). I was dumbfounded. This is fresh out of the package. I let it play through and then played side two. Once the LP was over, I once again tracked the vinyl back to side one and "Misery". Yes, folks. The anomaly is still there.
Most of the collection played well with the following being evident: My copy of "Revolver" has a "no-fill" issue on the track "Eleanor Rigby". I also found that there is loud popping on side two of "Abbey Road" on the long medley "Sun King/Mean Mister Mustard" section.
After playing the LPs; I read some reviews on various critical sites on the box set and discovered that I got off easy. A lot of people were complaining of "no-fill" on an entire side of "Abbey Road" and some problems with noise on "Sgt. Pepper".
Another issue was when I purchased Paul McCartney's 45 single "The Christmas Song/ Wonderful Christmastime" coloured vinyl. This time "The Christmas Song" played through and it was filled with pops and noise and sounded terrible. Once again, the pressing of these vinyl treasures has deteriorated considerably. A real shame.
I must add that I have checked my audio equipment (all is fine), I even took out some of my older vinyl and all play extremely well. Hopefully the companies that manufacture vinyl will "get their sh*t together" and start a better quality control system.

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