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Rudy Van Gelder, Any opinions on his numerous jazz remasters?


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One word: avoid

 

They range from horrible to good, but I haven't heard one RVG CD that sounds better than the previous McMaster CD mastering. The later ones (2003-) generally sound quite good. On the earlier titles, Rudy used heavy dynamic compression, boosted the treble and somethimes reduced the stereo spread.

 

There are tons of discussions on Blue Note CD releases on the Steve Hoffman forum.

Claude

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Hey thanks Claude. I thought something like that might be the case. I heard one of his remasters quite some time ago that I thought sounded pretty bad (but wasn't sure if I remembered correctly) because then recently I heard one (from 2007) that sounded good, but not really much different than the original.

 

It's just odd that he should have remastered so many albums and that the company put his name on them when his output is mediocre at best.

 

Chris

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I agree with that assessment.

One word: avoid

 

They range from horrible to good, but I haven't heard one RVG CD that sounds better than the previous McMaster CD mastering. The later ones (2003-) generally sound quite good. On the earlier titles, Rudy used heavy dynamic compression, boosted the treble and somethimes reduced the stereo spread.

 

There are tons of discussions on Blue Note CD releases on the Steve Hoffman forum.

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The Sound of his newer recordings is very different.

I have not made up my mind as to whether it is an improvment.

Here on Houston Person's The Art and Soul the cymbal sound seem to go on for ever, not very natural.

 

compare it to this 1960 recording of Arnett Cobb

 

 

now that sounds GOOD....or am I old fashioned?

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I've heard some of his I like and some I don't. But all the newer Blue Note hi-res remasters since 2012 sound better than Rudy's of the same albums - for everyone I've heard. I don't think this is because of the hi-res, I think the newer Blue Note series of remasters are better remasters.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I don't think this is because of the hi-res, I think the newer Blue Note series of remasters are better remasters.

 

The Blue Note hi-rez releases were mostly done by Bernie Grundman and Alan Yoshida. Bernie is a mastering institution, and Alan Yoshida did state of the art remasters of Riverside, Prestige, Fantasy, etc albums for XRCD release in the 1990's.

 

Rudy van Gelder is a recording engineer legend of course, but this is based on his 1950's and 60's work. His 80's and later recordings are nothing special, and IMHO he was a poor choice for remastering his own Blue Note recordings. I think PR had a lot to do with it.

Claude

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