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Analog Productions Steely Dan SACDs on the Way?!


JoshM

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A few weeks ago, Acoustic Sounds accidentally published the listing for an upcoming UHQR vinyl release of Steely Dan's Katy Lied mastered by Bernie Grundman. Shortly thereafter, an eagle-eyed fan on Steve Hoffman Forums found that by changing the numbers in the URL, one could find unlisted pages for both vinyl and SACD releases of every Steely Dan album album through Gaucho.

 

Both the SHF thread discussing these releases and the inadvertently published Acoustic Sounds pages have been deleted. But screen captures and Google Cache have preserved at least some of the information.

 

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Needless to say, Analogue Productions SACDs of the Steely Dan catalog would become immediate contenders for the best sounding versions of each of these albums. 

 

Keep your fingers crossed that the hidden pages on Acoustic Sounds represent real upcoming releases that will be made public shortly. Needless to say, I'll be punching every one of the SACDs.

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1 hour ago, Jud said:

Or could they just be reserving spots for whenever they decide to make them available?

I'd be *very* interested in what they did/will do with Katy Lied, because of...problems.  https://sdarchive.com/dennys3.html

 

Me, too. Maybe they should talk to @John Dyson!

 

Personally, I've always felt the kerfuffle about the Katy Lied dBx error was overblown. It's still a wonderful sounding album -- better than 99% of releases from the era. But the Steely crew were perfectionists.

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On 9/5/2022 at 8:10 PM, JoshM said:

 

Me, too. Maybe they should talk to @John Dyson!

 

Personally, I've always felt the kerfuffle about the Katy Lied dBx error was overblown. It's still a wonderful sounding album -- better than 99% of releases from the era. But the Steely crew were perfectionists.

This is the current state of the decoder -- even with the pre-'semi release' version, you can tell the 'squish' that they generally do against the recordings.   Hopefully, an improved stereo image will be perceived.   Right now, I am fighting Mr Gibbs (the overshoot from brickwall filters), and Mr Nyquist (wrapping the spectrum) right now, so sometimes there is a bit too much 'edge'.    On the full recording, the vocal chorus will 'bite' you.

 

There is probably too much HF on this demo, so also be aware that I often have problems with HF...  PLEASE ignore that problem, this work is still in progress...

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oj58y1z4urfaphh/04 - Peg-SNIP.flac?dl=0

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On 9/5/2022 at 6:10 PM, JoshM said:

 

Me, too. Maybe they should talk to @John Dyson!

 

Personally, I've always felt the kerfuffle about the Katy Lied dBx error was overblown. It's still a wonderful sounding album -- better than 99% of releases from the era. But the Steely crew were perfectionists.

 

What they lamented was how great everything sounded before the problems. So as well as it eventually turned out, I'll still always be curious about what we didn't get to hear. 🙂

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10 hours ago, LucasZ said:

I'm sure everyone has noticed by now, but the pre-order pages are now live on Acoustic Sounds' website;

https://store.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?get=results&artistid=3361&LabelID=507

 

Interesting to note differences in the provenance for each title, for instance "Can't Buy A Thrill" says "Mastered direct to DSD from the original master tape", whereas "Aja" says "Mastered from an analog, non-EQ’d, tape copy".

 

I had not seen. Thank you for posting!

 

7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

From Acoustic Sounds:

 

All albums are being meticulously remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes except for Aja, which will be mastered from an analog, non-EQ'd, tape copy, and Gaucho, which will be
sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ'd by Bob Ludwig. (There's no evidence the original tapes containing the flat mixes of Aja and Gaucho were delivered to the record label and it's presumed
the tapes no longer exist.) Seven of these classic titles - Can't Buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy, Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, Aja and Gaucho will be released as double 45-RPM UHQRs, priced at $150 per copy with
a limit of three copies per customer. Additionally, UMe is releasing these same seven titles on 33 1/3 RPM,
also mastered by Bernie Grundman. Lacquers for UMe's standard
180-gram version will be cut by Alex Abrash at his renowned AA Mastering studio from high-resolution digital files of Grundman's new masters and pressed at Precision. They will be housed in
reproductions of the original artwork. Two of the titles from the Steely Dan/Analogue Productions reissue series - Everything Must Go and Two Against Nature - have already been released as non-UHQR. 45-RPM editions and will now be available on Hybrid Stereo SACD. Two Against Nature is the only title in this series not mastered by Bernie Grundman. It was recorded to a multi-track analog tape, mixed to 24/96 and mastered
and cut by Scott Hull at Masterdisk

 

When Nichols transferred the tapes to digital in the early-'80s, he said several were in bad shape. It also seems that some of the recent Japanese releases used a first-gen copy tape. So I'm not surprised about Aja or Gaucho.

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17 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

From Acoustic Sounds:

Thanks, that clears things up. Do we know if these are all being released at the same time, or one at a time?

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1 hour ago, LucasZ said:

Thanks, that clears things up. Do we know if these are all being released at the same time, or one at a time?

On their web site there's a page for each album.

Some have release dates, others don't have one yet. 

That means they could be several months or even a couple of years away. 

I waited over a year for a Hendrix release after they announced it without a release date. 

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18 hours ago, JoshM said:

 

I had not seen. Thank you for posting!

 

 

When Nichols transferred the tapes to digital in the early-'80s, he said several were in bad shape. It also seems that some of the recent Japanese releases used a first-gen copy tape. So I'm not surprised about Aja or Gaucho.


I want to correct what I wrote here. Double checking, the 2018 MQA-CD, which (despite being MQA) is probably my favorite mastering lists the source as “DSD flat transferred from US original analogue master tapes by Eli Brown at Universal Music Studios, LA, in 2018.”

 

So the question is: Was the tape used by Brown in 2018 the same flat copy tape as the one that Analogue Productions is using?

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I also have to say I’m not thrilled that the Two Against Nature SACD’s source is listed as “the original analog tape.” Two Against Nature was all digital. They made a tape copy of the final mix, but it was for vinyl use only, according to Walter Becker. 

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Well, 

4 hours ago, JoshM said:

I also have to say I’m not thrilled that the Two Against Nature SACD’s source is listed as “the original analog tape.” Two Against Nature was all digital. They made a tape copy of the final mix, but it was for vinyl use only, according to Walter Becker. 

Well, it IS "the original analog tape", intended for vinyl....

Shades of MOFI? 

They don't know they shouldn't do this?

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So I sent this text to AP, let's see how they respond:

 


MUSIC SACDS HYBRID SACDS  HYBRID STEREO SACD
Steely Dan - Two Against Nature

 

Described: "Newly remastered from the original analog tape by Bernie Grundman direct to DSD"

 

see: https://broberg.se/sd_2agnatur.htm

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/steely-dan

 

Walter Becker said this album was recorded digitally, and " the original analog tape " was made from the digital master for the purpose of releasing vinyl editions. 

"Perhaps they finally grew tired of endlessly mulling over every single detail: the new album saw a different and much quicker approach to creation than Two Against Nature. The latter was recorded over several years, on digital, and entirely through overdubs, starting with drums and bass and then moving upwards to the chord and melody instruments. "

 

Multiple sites confirm the recording source was digital. 
You should check if this is true and clarify. You don't want to have an issue like MOFI one-step on your hands. 

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