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  1. #1
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    Your Favorite Releases (& Biggest Disapointments) Of 2018

    All of mine are in alphabetical order, other than the Hendrix Ladyland box which is my biggest disappointment by a mile, & the Fleetwood Mac Live cd from the DE which is my album of the year also by a mile. I suspect I'm missing several imports & hi-res releases.

    All known Hi-res releases have an * before them.

    New Releases

    *Jeff Beck - Live At The Hollywood Bowl
    Cowboy Junkies - All That Reckoning
    *David Crosby - Here If You Listen
    Bryan Ferry Jazz Orchestra - Bitter Sweet
    Kate Bush - The Other Sides (From Box Set 2) A mix of new & vault.
    *Charles Lloyd & Lucinda Williams - Vanished Gardens
    Matthews Southern Comfort - Like A Radio
    *Steve Rothery - Manchester May 13th 2018 Bandcamp Download Only
    Martin Turner - The Beauty Of Chaos (his best solo / MT's Wishbone Ash album imo)
    *Bob Weir & Phil Lesh - The March Concert Series

    Vault
    In a category by itself:

    *Fleetwood Mac Live CD #3 from FM DE
    The best BN Mac show I have ever heard. Stevie channeled Janis on Rhiannon. The only question was why it took 40+ years for an official release.....

    *Alice Cooper - A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris

    *Eric Andersen - The Essential - I would have liked to have seen more Be True To You versions rather then Stages versions, & more of Blue River (especially More Often Than Not), but still a great collection with great sound.

    *Big Brother (Janis Joplin) - Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills
    *David Bowie - Welcome To The Blackout: Live London '78
    Bow Wow Wow - Your Box Set Pet: Complete Recordings 1980-1984 (see disappointments for comments)
    *Buffalo Springfield - What's That Sound Box - Awesome mastering
    *Bob Dylan - More Blood, More Tracks box
    Fairport Convention - How We Did On Our Saturday
    Frank Zappa - Roxy Performance Box

    *Fleetwood Mac - The pre BN hi-res Reprise series - Not phenomenal sound, but these great albums all needed an upgrade badly & we got one

    *Grateful Dead - Anthem Of The Sun (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
    *Grateful Dead - Pacific NW 73 complete & most of the Dave's
    *Janis Ian - 5 CBS Hi-Res Remasters - Really good sound & includes her best 2: Between The Lines & Stars
    *Jimi Hendrix - APO Axis SACD
    *Jethro Tull - This Was box
    *Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses: New Shoes I wish SW would have done the live material, but still great stuff.
    *King Crimson - Live In Vienna
    *King Crimson - Live In Mexico

    *Marillion - Edinburgh 24 bit download ONLY - It's a shame after putting out 40+ for the box I had to get the download to get the concert in hi-res; but I am glad I have it.

    Mott The Hoople Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971 - I wish this would have been done in hi-res (all the original Atlantic albums were), but it's sure nice to have everything (including a ton of rarities) pre-CBS in 1 place. Now how about a uncompressed CBS box.......

    Liz Phair - Girly-Sound To Guyville (25th Anniversary Edition) Musically this isn't a must have, but it's so cool......

    Posies Frosting 2 disc

    *Tom Petty - An American Dream - I liked this a lot more than I expected (I have so many TP Comps!)

    Tubes - Bondage At The Bush - DVD is the same as the earlier Wild West Show; The 2 cd's now include the complete concert. If you didn't buy both editions of Wild West (like I did) upon release, this is very much worth picking up.

    Wendy Waldman - Love Has Got Me/Gypsy Symphony/Wendy Waldman Here's hoping for volume 2 including the last 2 Warner's & the CBS

    My biggest Disappointments of the year:

    *Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland Box - In a category by itself of they really blew this one. The only reason to buy this is that the 5.1 mix has very good sound quality, but is a brand new album. The 2.0 is the DREADFUL 2010 master, & the live album should have been released separately in the official booklet series. It sounds horrible.

    *Beatles - White Album big box - All I want before my hearing goes is 192/24 UNCOMPRESSED flat transfers of the core catalog. Anyone who hasn't heard the 80's Japan vinyl box has no idea how well these were recorded. This set wasn't awful by any means, but I doubt if it will be played here any more often than the "Anthologies".

    David Bowie - Loving The Alien Box: No 24 bit (other than a LAME sounding Tidal stream), & his worst period.

    *David Bowie - Glastonbury 2000 - Out of everything in the vaults they chose this mediocrity???

    Bow Wow Wow - Your Box Set Pet: Complete Recordings 1980-1984 This goes in both best & worst because the music seems to really be 100% complete with lots of rarities & the sound is beyond dreadful.....

    Juliana Hatfield - Sings Olivia Newton-John (see my Ann Wilson comments below) IMO the ONLY bad album of JH's career.

    *Marillion - Clutching At Straws Box (Disappointing Sound quality; I really do like the live cd's)

    Renaissance - A Symphonic Journey live

    *Roxy Music - Debut DE - What a blown opportunity; Why didn't SW do all the 2.0?

    *Spirit - Clear & Family AF SACD's - Really mediocre sound for SACD

    Linda Thompson - My Mother Doesn't Know I'm Onstage

    *Ann Wilson - Immortal - Not sure how much of a disappointment this is, as I didn't have very high expectations to start with; but I really don't like it.

    Albums I haven't heard yet that may have made my list if I had:


    Lone Justice - Both early previously unreleased cd's
    Mosaic Savory Box
    Posies - Amazing Disgrace 2 disc
    *Steven Wilson - Home Invasion (unsure on this one; his last studio album is my least fav of all SW, PT, & BF)
    Wishbone Ash - Vintage Years Box
    Last edited by moomoomoomoo; 01-07-2019 at 09:48 PM.
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    You've bought a lot of 2018 releases. I'm sitting here and thinking about what I have bought and I think I have bought only two 2018 releases.

    I love David Crosby's - Here if you Listen. Yes, his voice isn't what it used to be (who's is after 77 years) it is still pretty impressive. He simply continues to produce quality music that stays true to his style instead of him simply singing some overly pop-influenced crap written by someone else. Anyone who is a fan of his or CSN, or CSN&Y should give this album and his previous solo work a listen.

    I have been trying to find a good copy of Croz on vinyl but it must have been a limited release.

    I also have the two-album set of "The White Album" but I have yet to split the shrink wrap on it. I seriously thought about getting the four-disc set but I didn't think I would give the demos much playtime. I have heard mostly positive comments on it. I have not heard the Japanese version that you mention.

  3. #3
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    The version of White I have is the digital hi-res. I had to sell my TT & phono preamp due to financial issues in 2013 or 2014.

    Agreed on the Crosby, I think it's his best in years & his most unique ever. I refer the version of Woodstock over all 3 hit versions: Joni's original, CSNY's version & Matthews Southern Comfort's.

    While I agree vinyl has the potential to be better than digital; with downsizing & the lack of inner groove distortion, variable pressing quality, wear, etc, I've gone to 24 bit digital & SACD wherever possible. Of course with digital in this century the big variable is mastering quality.......
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1

  4. #4
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomoomoomoo View Post
    While I agree vinyl has the potential to be better than digital; with downsizing & the lack of inner groove distortion, variable pressing quality, wear, etc, I've gone to 24 bit digital & SACD wherever possible. Of course with digital in this century the big variable is mastering quality.......
    Inconsistent pressing and inner groove distortion are real problems with vinyl today and really, from the very beginning. With the resurgence of vinyl, the pressing issue was initially compounded. Everyone wanted their albums reissued on vinyl to take advantage of the current interest and I get that. The demand was outpacing production due to all the good pressing plants being shut down. Today, I find that overall the pressings are better and many of the issues with IGD are eliminated due to some albums being split into two discs. They cost a little more but if it's an album that you love and there are no original pressings available in good shape, they can be worth it.

    I choose certain titles for vinyl mainly because of what they represent to me. I love the large physical presence and tactile feel of a record. I love the larger artwork, lyrics, and liner notes. The format makes me stop and prepare for the music which may just mean that I am ready to actually listen to the music and not have it simply background noise. So maybe for me, it's the process.

    I don't buy new vinyl for very many titles, but I like the idea of having The Beatles albums on vinyl and I'm mainly buying ones that I never owned on any format. With the Beatles, I never bought most of their individual albums but I had a few of their "greatest hits". As for my thrift store finds, I actually like the hunt.

  5. #5
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Another thought while I'm on the topic..........I find that if I listen to music on my server, I am less likely to listen to the entire album. I suppose it's easy for me to grab the remote and forward on the next track that interests me. With vinyl, I usually just let it play.

    Maybe it's just me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Another thought while I'm on the topic..........I find that if I listen to music on my server, I am less likely to listen to the entire album. I suppose it's easy for me to grab the remote and forward on the next track that interests me. With vinyl, I usually just let it play.

    Maybe it's just me.
    What are you using for a dac on your hr digital?

    If it wasn't for the iso issue & my finances, I would have tried much harder to get one of the last 205's; imo the 95's dac isn't as good as my 20 bit PS audio cd dac, but 24 bit still sounds better to me than 16. CD's sound much better on my Esoteric/PS Audio combo than on my Oppo 95. The PS Audio was deigned for HDCD (new at the time); it's 96/20 (I've never heard of another unit with those specs! At the time I bought it, there wasn't any 24 bit yet, so I didn't take that into consideration.

    I certainly agree that cd is way less involving than vinyl done right. In the days of vinyl, I could easily just listen. With much digital (especially 16 bit) I get bored if I'm not reading or doing an additional activity. Hi res has much less of that issue for me, but Vinyl was a bit more involving (though I was also a lot younger in those days!)
    Last edited by moomoomoomoo; 01-03-2019 at 06:47 PM.
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1

  7. #7
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomoomoomoo View Post
    What are you using for a dac on your hr digital?
    Right now, I have the hard drive plugged directly into my Oppo BDP-103. I am in the process of researching DACs now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Inconsistent pressing and inner groove distortion are real problems with vinyl today and really, from the very beginning. With the resurgence of vinyl, the pressing issue was initially compounded. Everyone wanted their albums reissued on vinyl to take advantage of the current interest and I get that. The demand was outpacing production due to all the good pressing plants being shut down. Today, I find that overall the pressings are better and many of the issues with IGD are eliminated due to some albums being split into two discs. They cost a little more but if it's an album that you love and there are no original pressings available in good shape, they can be worth it.

    I choose certain titles for vinyl mainly because of what they represent to me. I love the large physical presence and tactile feel of a record. I love the larger artwork, lyrics, and liner notes. The format makes me stop and prepare for the music which may just mean that I am ready to actually listen to the music and not have it simply background noise. So maybe for me, it's the process.

    I don't buy new vinyl for very many titles, but I like the idea of having The Beatles albums on vinyl and I'm mainly buying ones that I never owned on any format. With the Beatles, I never bought most of their individual albums but I had a few of their "greatest hits". As for my thrift store finds, I actually like the hunt.
    Glad to hear pressing consistency has gotten better. I was really afraid to carry vinyl as a retailer when the resurgence hit; low profit margin, high price & customers were extremely picky about quality (which they have every right to be at that price point!).

    Returns would have cost a fortune: shipping from the wholesaler to me, me shipping to the customer, me paying the customer's postage shipping back to me, & finally me shipping back to the wholesaler. I honestly don't know how new/sealed vinyl retailers cope with that issue. Obviously some are sucessfully doing so.
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1

  9. #9
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I have had issues with two so far.

    One came from a small record store, it was slightly warped but the label on side two was way off center. They ordered me a new one and swapped it out.

    The other one I ordered directly from the band as they offered a small run special edition colored vinyl. It was shipped directly from one of the band members and their packaging was so bad the cover had one corner almost totally ripped off. They shipped me another one but it wasn't in much better condition. I had to ship the two LPs back to them, at my cost, before they would ship me another one. I had emailed them photos so they knew I wasn't trying to rip them off.

    They shipped me a third copy in the album mailer box that I returned the other two copies in, which I received as an album shipment from Amazon, via UPS. Pretty poor shipping and I was a little irritated that I had to pay for return shipping and provide them a proper box. They sent me some free stickers and a sew-on patch to cover shipping but I don't have a use for them. Lesson learned. Ask about shipping and returns before ordering.

  10. #10
    Senior Member moomoomoomoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Right now, I have the hard drive plugged directly into my Oppo BDP-103. I am in the process of researching DACs now.
    For audio, any of the X.05's are MUCH better than any of the X.03's. Even trying a 95 could be a very pleasant surprise. Used 95's are still pretty reasonably priced (low $400's on ebay)
    Passive Preamp: Mod Squad Deluxe; Amp McCormack DNA-1 Mod 1; Hi Rez & blu-ray/DVD Front End: Oppo BDP-95 With Region Hack; CD front end: Esoteric P-10->Kimber/Illuminati Digital Cable-> PS Audio SL3; CD Recorder: Tascam 900SL; Cassette Deck: Nakamichi DR2; Speakers (2.0): NHT 2.5I; Analog Cable: Tara Analog Standard, Pandora & Omni Bi-Wired Speaker Cable; Various aftermarket power cords; Power Conditioner: Adcom, Televsion: Vizio E55-C1

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