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Miles Davis - New 5 SACD Box Set from Esoteric Japan (December 2016)


duxservit
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Apologies if this has been posted. For Miles Davis fans, the folks at Esoteric Japan have produced a new box set of some of the beloved albums of Miles Davis:

 

ESOTERIC MILES DAVIS GREAT 5 | ESOTERIC COMPANY

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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no Blue?

 

what's the cost?

 

Box set cost is around USD$250. Several already advertised on eBay.

 

I ordered mine from Elusive Disc because they have a 15% discount currently.

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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AFAIK, Esoteric has never done a transfer from original (analogue) tapes. They always worked on digital (PCM) copies provided by the original label. They then play those back through a DAC and then an DSD converter (using their own Esoteric equipment) to master the SACDs. This has been confirmed by an Esoteric official.

 

Notice that their technical description only mentions the converters and cables, but not the tape deck, and they say "The criterion of re-mastering is to faithfully capture the quality of the original master. ", but don't say the SACDs were mastered from the original tapes.

 

So it all depends on the quality of the transfer done by the original label.

 

I've been able to compare two Esoteric SACDs with later DSD transfers by Universal for their SHM-SACDs, and the Esoteric SACDs sounded much worse, with a more bloated (artificially warm) sound lacking detail. This was the Mahler 9 by Bernstein and the Tchaikovsky Symphony 5 by Mravinsky.

 

Those Miles Davis albums now released by Esoteric have been mastered for SACD already 15 years ago by Sony (mostly using remixes from the 3-track tapes), and some of them have more recently been released on SACD by Mobile Fidelity (using the original stereo mixdown tapes, i.e. a tape generation higher) . The MoFi versions sound much much better, because the Sony remixes have a rather thin sound. The Sketches of Spain Sony SACD mastering especially was a dramatic failure.

 

If Esoteric used the original Sony DSD transfers, they are not worth getting. I think the original single layer Sony SACDs can still be found at a lower price. "Porgy and Bess" and "Miles Smiles" are the only one of those five albums that have not yet been reissued by Mobile Fidelity, and the Sony SACDs sound quite good.

Claude

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Yep. AFAIK they never have access to original master tapes. I've heard some of their albums quite weirdly compressed, some sounded like they were equalized (!) by some guy with a very bad taste.

 

I'm a fan of Analogue Productions. As for Sony Miles' remixes - their 2007 'Kind of Blue' is my fovourite digital version of the album.

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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Analogue Productions all the way!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

Music Server(s): Aurender N100H, Digital to Analog Converter(s): Audio Research DAC 8, Digital to Digital Converter: Bryston BUC-1, Preamplifier: Ayre K-5xeMP, Amplifier(s): Ayre V-5xe, Loudspeakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Interconnects: Kimber PBJ, Cardas Clear, Bryston AES/EBU, Loudspeaker Cables: Kimber PR8, Miscellaneous: Oppo BDP 95 disk player, CJ Walker turntable Jelco SA-750D tone arm, Ortofon 2M black cartridge, Magnum Dynalab tuner, Dream System: I've got it!, Headphones: Sennheiser HD600, Grado PS500e, Headphone Amplifier(s):Graham Slee Novo

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Here's my assessment on the SACD options for those albums:

 

- ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT:

 

The Sony SACD and the MoFi SACD sound very similar. The Sony SACD has bonus tracks

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=638

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=8244

 

- MILESTONES

 

The Sony Japan SACD is stereo (but a weird, chaotic mix, with little channel seperation), while the MFSL is mono. The Sony SACD has bonus tracks. I prefer the fuller sound of the MFSL

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=8077

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=839

 

- PORGY AND BESS

 

Only available on Japan SACD so far. Sound is quite good.

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=836

 

- Sketches of Spain

 

Awfully thin sound on the Sony SACD, which has bonus tracks. The MFSL, made from the stereo mixdown tape, sounds much more natural (like the Porgy SACD)

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=643

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=8576

 

- MILES SMILES

 

Not available from MFSL so far, but on an early Sony SACD. This is not as well recorded as the other Second Quintet sessions, the sound is a little ruff.

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=642

 

For the other Second Quintet recordings released on SACD by Sony Japan and by MFSL (ESP, Sorcerer, Nefertiti, Filles de Killimanjaro), the MFSL versions,made from the stereo master tape while the Sony releases were remixed from the 3-track) sound much more realistic, natural and full. It's a significant difference.

 

The only Miles albums for which I prefer the remix (on the second Japan SACD releases indicated below) are the two New York 1964 live albums (My Funny Valentine, Four and More), because the stereo mixdown tapes used by MFSL have added reverb and a more distant sound.

 

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=4869

https://www.hraudio.net/showmusic.php?title=4870

Claude

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AFAIK, Esoteric has never done a transfer from original (analogue) tapes. They always worked on digital (PCM) copies provided by the original label. They then play those back through a DAC and then an DSD converter (using their own Esoteric equipment) to master the SACDs. This has been confirmed by an Esoteric official.

 

Notice that their technical description only mentions the converters and cables, but not the tape deck, and they say "The criterion of re-mastering is to faithfully capture the quality of the original master. ", but don't say the SACDs were mastered from the original tapes.

 

So it all depends on the quality of the transfer done by the original label.

 

I've been able to compare two Esoteric SACDs with later DSD transfers by Universal for their SHM-SACDs, and the Esoteric SACDs sounded much worse, with a more bloated (artificially warm) sound lacking detail. This was the Mahler 9 by Bernstein and the Tchaikovsky Symphony 5 by Mravinsky.

 

Those Miles Davis albums now released by Esoteric have been mastered for SACD already 15 years ago by Sony (mostly using remixes from the 3-track tapes), and some of them have more recently been released on SACD by Mobile Fidelity (using the original stereo mixdown tapes, i.e. a tape generation higher) . The MoFi versions sound much much better, because the Sony remixes have a rather thin sound. The Sketches of Spain Sony SACD mastering especially was a dramatic failure.

 

If Esoteric used the original Sony DSD transfers, they are not worth getting. I think the original single layer Sony SACDs can still be found at a lower price. "Porgy and Bess" and "Miles Smiles" are the only one of those five albums that have not yet been reissued by Mobile Fidelity, and the Sony SACDs sound quite good.

@CatManDo: Thank you for this great input. I have most of the Mile Davis MoFis SACDs. Going to cancel my Esoteric order, pending review from the experts here. My shelf space is just too valuable these days :-)

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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My choice (can't remember details, it was quite long ago):

Round About - MoFi

Milestones - both versions. The artificial stereo sounds quite natural. I don't like mono but it was recorded mono.

Porgy - Japan 1999 Sony SME. No choice.

Sketches - MoFi. I think it's possible that I haven't heard Sony though. Does it really sound so bad.?

Miles Smiles - yep, no choice. 1998 Sony.

 

 

Unfortunately no AP editions of these albums.

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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I know that I'm uttering a great heresy but, one of the versions of some of these albums that I enjoy is the Columbia cd bo set release entitled, "The Original Mono Albums Collection". This set offers a different, not necessarily better, sound than some of the stereo recordings. The club-like atmosphere of the recordings is interesting.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

Music Server(s): Aurender N100H, Digital to Analog Converter(s): Audio Research DAC 8, Digital to Digital Converter: Bryston BUC-1, Preamplifier: Ayre K-5xeMP, Amplifier(s): Ayre V-5xe, Loudspeakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Interconnects: Kimber PBJ, Cardas Clear, Bryston AES/EBU, Loudspeaker Cables: Kimber PR8, Miscellaneous: Oppo BDP 95 disk player, CJ Walker turntable Jelco SA-750D tone arm, Ortofon 2M black cartridge, Magnum Dynalab tuner, Dream System: I've got it!, Headphones: Sennheiser HD600, Grado PS500e, Headphone Amplifier(s):Graham Slee Novo

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