Best Version of Steely Dan's Aja

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Quad Linda

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Get ready, because the water is about to get even more clouded. 2ch SACD's, 180G vinyl & 2 x 45 RPM coming soon. Just got this from Elusive Disc:

 

humprof

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Get ready, because the water is about to get even more clouded. 2ch SACD's, 180G vinyl & 2 x 45 RPM coming soon from Impex:

Chad Kassem & Analogue Productions, actually:
(It turns out that the original stereo masters for Aja and Gaucho either couldn't be found or were unusable, so for those two albums, they're using first-generation copies. I haven't read or heard any details about where said copies come from. And yes: as far as we know, the original multi-channel masters for the songs "Black Cow" and "Aja" are forever lost. Do copies exist? Could Peter Jackson's demixing technology possibly work on something like Aja? The world awaits. . . .)
 
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kfbkfb

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Going OT, but I just thought of this - play the stereo mix through some of the popular matrix decoders (DPL2 music, SM, DSU [in the newer AV receivers]) for the artist and producer and ask them to recommend which fake surround creation method(s) they think sound best with the stereo mix.

At least the fake surround would carry the seal of approval (so to speak) of the artist/producer.


Kirk Bayne
 

watsontr

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Who was responsible for mentioning that "Steely Dan CDs Different Masterings: The Summary Thread" on that other forum??? My head hurts! I'm obviously a cloth eared neanderthal who has no appreciation for such subtlety or nuances but I thought my SD CDs sounded just fine so there is obviously something lacking in me! I doubt that I'm a quarter way through it yet just like a kid in a horror movie peaking from behind my hand covered eyes, I know I should close that tab on the browser but I'm probably likely to read the lot. I'm not sure if it's impending old age or just not that interested in the detail but I'm certain I'll not retain most of this. It would be really nice to get a consensus that says we (as a group) have come to the conclusion that this is the definitive version of said album. Highly unlikely I'd imagine yet if they've already said it I've obviously forgotten it
 

humprof

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Who was responsible for mentioning that "Steely Dan CDs Different Masterings: The Summary Thread" on that other forum??? My head hurts! I'm obviously a cloth eared neanderthal who has no appreciation for such subtlety or nuances but I thought my SD CDs sounded just fine so there is obviously something lacking in me! I doubt that I'm a quarter way through it yet just like a kid in a horror movie peaking from behind my hand covered eyes, I know I should close that tab on the browser but I'm probably likely to read the lot. I'm not sure if it's impending old age or just not that interested in the detail but I'm certain I'll not retain most of this. It would be really nice to get a consensus that says we (as a group) have come to the conclusion that this is the definitive version of said album. Highly unlikely I'd imagine yet if they've already said it I've obviously forgotten it
I'm the guilty party, watson. But I feel just like you. (Here's another head-pounder: Josh Mound's "The Best Version of Aja." There's an October 2021 update/postscript based on that SHF thread that will just make your brain explode.)
That short answer you're looking for: I donno 'bout "definitive," but it seems to me like for most if not all of the original albums, the go-to is the original 1980s CDs.
 
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watsontr

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I donno 'bout "definitive," but it seems to me like for most if not all of the original albums, the go-to is the original 1980s CDs.
I really haven't made any particular comparisons and nothing really stood out for me between the DVD-As and CDs? I have the Citizen box and probably the original CDs. I gave away the LPs (excepting RS & Aja) along with a few thousand others when we moved house recently. I probably listen to Aja at least once a day in stereo at home or in the car. There was a time when I couldn't give it the time of day but a mate from school (a thousand years ago) continually waxed lyrically of its virtues. I went back and gave it a few listens and I thought, "Yeah, better than I thought but not as good as the Royal Scam." Opinion still holds but I seem to play Aja a lot more? It's some sort of black magic or hypnotic suggestion I think
 
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Bob Romano

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Get ready, because the water is about to get even more clouded. 2ch SACD's, 180G vinyl & 2 x 45 RPM coming soon. Just got this from Elusive Disc:

I ordered my SACD the day it was announced. $125 for 1 album is too rich for my blood.
 

marcb

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Who was responsible for mentioning that "Steely Dan CDs Different Masterings: The Summary Thread" on that other forum??? My head hurts! I'm obviously a cloth eared neanderthal who has no appreciation for such subtlety or nuances but I thought my SD CDs sounded just fine so there is obviously something lacking in me! I doubt that I'm a quarter way through it yet just like a kid in a horror movie peaking from behind my hand covered eyes, I know I should close that tab on the browser but I'm probably likely to read the lot. I'm not sure if it's impending old age or just not that interested in the detail but I'm certain I'll not retain most of this. It would be really nice to get a consensus that says we (as a group) have come to the conclusion that this is the definitive version of said album. Highly unlikely I'd imagine yet if they've already said it I've obviously forgotten it
My head hurts reading this post. There’s a ton of great info on that thread.

There is rarely a consensus on definitive versions.

What’s amusing is folks getting sooo fired up about the same guy who cut/mastered the original LP pressing (superbly IMO) now doing the same from a 45 year old copy tape for $150.
 

Perpendicular

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From what I remember reading a few days ago, the $150 AP 200 Gram 45rpm UHQR is not the only vinyl version being released. Supposedly, there’s a 180 Gram 33 1/3 version that’ll be available at a much lower cost. Same, Bernie Grundman cut. Though, not sure if it’ll be a digital cut or not. Also, I don’t think it’ll be by AP either.
 

humprof

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Aja @ 45, continued: an interview with Don Breithaupt, who wrote a brilliant book about the album back in 2007 (bonus: the interview is hosted by a site called 360 Degree Sound):

Breithaupt, leader of the band Monkey House, is a smart jazz-pop songwriter in his own right. He freely cops to a strong Steely Dan influence, and frequently hires SD sidemen to play on his albums. His latest album, Remember the Audio, has a very good Atmos mix:
 

ssully

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I'm the guilty party, watson. But I feel just like you. (Here's another head-pounder: Josh Mound's "The Best Version of Aja." There's an October 2021 update/postscript based on that SHF thread that will just make your brain explode.)
That short answer you're looking for: I donno 'bout "definitive," but it seems to me like for most if not all of the original albums, the go-to is the original 1980s CDs.

I've obtained and compared Hoffman's mastering of Aja and: nah.

I'll take Nichols' ears over Hoffman's on this.
 

bangsezmax

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I've got the original Nichols' (no tape glitches) CD but 99.99% of the time I'm listening to the vinyl as I use it for testing turntables (I repair them as a side gig).

As I mentioned three years ago, the trick is to look in the deadwax for AAB, where the B is scratched out. Those were early-ish pressings and sound quality is on par with the AB.
 
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