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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:31 am 
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I see a lot here on CAM Japanese pressing of many albums, are those made in Japan are better sonically then 180G pressings?

I am planning on buying a couple of Japanese pressing albums, which are not cheap, I figured it is best to ask if there would be a difference worth paying the extra.

Happy Canada Day to all CAMERS.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:09 am 
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The conundrum.............SOME Japanese pressings are better than domestic 180 gram pressings.....BUT.... .SOME domestic 180 gram pressings are better than SOME Japanese pressings.

It's a crap shoot.

Perhaps others can join in with a list of recommended examples of each.

Cheers, del Sol


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:05 am 
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My opinion is that it's a bit of a scam. What people are asking for some run-of-the-mill albums is crazy, just because their Japanese pricings.

But you know what they say about opinions, everybody has one :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:20 am 
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I'm with del sol on this. I have some Japanese pressings that sound good but whether or not they'd beat 180 equivalent copies, well maybe, maybe not. Lots of 180 pressings are made from digital sources, but not all. Lots of older Japanese pressings were made from original analog sources are are usually better. I've never heard a Japanese pressing that I thought sounded bad, but I have heard ones that seemed to sound better on different equipment. Case in point were some of the Beatles records from the early '90's (don't quote me on that date) that could sound pretty thin on SS gear but on tube gear, sounded just fine.
Like del sol said, "It's a crap shoot".
Good luck with yours.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:23 am 
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From what I have read Japanese pressings are better quality than regular LP's. But so are British, German, etc.

Japanese LPs usually have a better inner sleeve and apparently use virgin vinyl vs recycled. So, they may be quieter. Plus the cool packaging, sometimes they have an extra paper band around them with Japanese writing.
I heard a lot of analog master or reproduced master tapes were sent to Japan to be cut and then pressed so there are some A-A-A offerings.

I have had my eye on a Japanese pressed Badfinger album at Sonic Boom but ~$50 is way too expensive for me.

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Last edited by racecars on Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:24 am 
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Well traditionally, "Made in Japan" was being used for plenty of merchandise to represent carefully designed packaging and serious attention to manufacturing process and quality. Just like people feels "Made in Germany" means great craftsmanship based on the long tradition of the culture.

Working with folks from Japan we'll easily understand how serious they take their job (and even more serious about after-work entertainment LOL !!!!)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:31 am 
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I'd say the difference is 30 or 40 grams. :? Oh, and included printed material I can't read.

I have learned to limit my first purchase of records from an unknown seller to 2 or 3 records.
Judge his gradings against your own, and go from there.

It's definitely a crap shoot. You pays your money, you takes your chances. Occasionally you're surprised.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:31 am 
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There is a reason why Sony will be pressing their vinyl in Japan.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:14 am 
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All Japanese records that I have, have excellent sound quality, and I find that they are mostsly all better than all of my 180 to 200g newer pressing.
I think the reasons are, first, excellent quality vinyl in years past, no fillers or recycled vinyl or whatever you want to call it, and better at recording.

All of my Japanese records are from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, so I can't tell if their most recent cutting are better than the European or Americans versions.

Now I'm not saying that all my new 180 and 200g are bad, because some are very good, although I've a few that are bad, and I mean very bad, that will include poor cutting/pressing, and bad quality vinyl.

Pre 75/76, England, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, USA, Belgium had also excellent records. All my best records are mostly pre 76, while beyond that, quality as a whole started to deteriorate.

Buying vintage Japanese pressing nowadays is crazy, people asking foolish price, and sometime scamming you in believing that their records were only played once or twice.

I personally would never buy vintage Japanese pressing today, except if I new the seller for a very long time, and his asking price.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:52 am 
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First of all, weight of vinyl has very little to to with sound quality, so the discussion should be not on weight but on the Japanese pressing vs. another pressing you are going to compare it to.

The one thing I think you can really count on with Japanese vinyl (as long as it has been well cared for) is the overall quality of the vinyl itself. No question that well cared for vintage (who knows what Sony's new vinyl will be like?) Japanese vinyl is probably among the quietest, if not the quietest and best vinyl out there.

In terms of sonics, it's going to be a mixed bag. General rule of thumb in terms of sound quality would be that first pressing country of origin will outperform the Japanese in terms of sound quality. In other words, a UK first pressing of Led Zeppelin II, or for that matter even an American first pressing with RL in the deadwax, for example, will sound significantly better than the Japanese pressing, which probably used inferior or 2nd/3rd generation sources.

The dilemma is finding that first pressing country of origin copy in fabulous condition at a reasonable price. So, like most things in life, you pick the sacrifice/trade off or compromise you want to make. Do you want to chance huge $$ on an older original that may not play particularly well (pops, ticks, groove damage, noise) but play fabulous, or do you buy the well cared for Japanese pressing from the meticulous Japanese seller knowing full well you may not have the best sounding copy which, in all likelihood, is not going to sound quite as good as an original country of origin?

If you can find originals at reasonable prices and/or can stomach the cost, go for it. I've got a bit of both, originals and Japanese and many/most of the Japanese I have are pretty good. Some are excellent and some are not great.

I own a bit of late 50's to mid 60's jazz. In that genre it's pretty much a no-brainer to be buying at least some Japanese pressings. They tend to be pretty good and still available from Japanese sellers at reasonable prices. The Japanese King Blue Note re-issues (or the Kings in general, even with other labels) from the 70's and early 80's, for example, can be acquired at about 10% or less of the price of an original and sound very good. Likewise, I have some Japanese stuff on the Contemporary, Riverside and Verve labels which is at least acceptable and sometimes excellent as well.

I've bought a fair bit of stuff from Ebay sellers in Japan. I recently bought 4 Japanese pressings from an Ebay seller in Japan for about $100 U.S. delivered. Mid 50's to mid 60's jazz stuff. 3 of the 4 sound very good and the fourth is certainly not bad. They all play flawlessly, and I mean flawlessly. CD like in terms of how quiet they are.

What would I have paid for originals of those in the same condition? Probably $500-$1000 or more and even then I might have had to re-buy copies and go through 2-3 before I came up with really pristine versions. That can get expensive pretty quickly.

Buying Japanese pressings for big bucks in North America? Call me insensitive :lol: but I'd be careful. Generally speaking, the Japanese take much better care of their records, as well as grade more honestly, than anyone else in the world, at least in my experience.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:23 am 
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I've been out of vinyl for many years (don't play it & don't buy it) but back in the 70s to early '00 period I did pursue this idea that pressings from different countries or regions varied in terms of physical and sonic quality. The same was supposedly true for different labels. Truth was it was a mixed bag. A crap shoot is a good term.

I think it was in the old TAS of HP days but there was a good discussion of Sq and place of origin. Basically it really depended on' was the metal work used for the pressing derived from masters as close as possible to the original set of studio tapes or were they copies several generations or more removed.

I found pressing quality variable and had/have plenty of European (UK, Dutch, French German) LPs that were like B- or worse right out of the sleeve. Likewise I remember talking with one of the original operators of Sikora's classical records in Vancouver about EMI vs Angel (the American subsidiary of EMI Classical). He said Angel LPs were often better both in Sq and in terms of pressing & that UK EMs often had a hotter top end - all a matter of what worked better in different homes and for personal tastes.

When it comes to collecting however origin of the pressing makes a major difference. For example, USA pressings are usually far more sought after than say their Canadian counterparts.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Many Thanks to all those who took the time to respond.

Once again

Happy Canada Day to you all.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:46 pm 
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naimkid wrote:
I see a lot here on CAM Japanese pressing of many albums, are those made in Japan are better sonically then 180G pressings?

I am planning on buying a couple of Japanese pressing albums, which are not cheap, I figured it is best to ask if there would be a difference worth paying the extra.

Happy Canada Day to all CAMERS.

Cheers


I am surprised nobody has mentioned the reason Japanese Pressing might sound better in the first place. Not an expert but it certainly has to to with the limited number of copies one would make from an original stamper. Japanese label would press as low as 17 000 copies from a stamper while US labels would often press in the 100 000's from the same unit. Canadian labels have been known to press even more copies than that.

Somebody more knowledgeable could add precisions on numbers but the fact is that the first pressings of a stamper will sound best and quality will degrade with numbers. So buying japanese pressing would at least guarantee that you wouldn't end up with an end of the run beat up pressing with low dynamics, ticks n pops.

Now, how that compares to 180g pressing which provide better isolation, and are also small runs by nature is still up for debate !


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:23 pm 
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ludiqueman wrote:
naimkid wrote:
I see a lot here on CAM Japanese pressing of many albums, are those made in Japan are better sonically then 180G pressings?

I am planning on buying a couple of Japanese pressing albums, which are not cheap, I figured it is best to ask if there would be a difference worth paying the extra.

Happy Canada Day to all CAMERS.

Cheers


I am surprised nobody has mentioned the reason Japanese Pressing might sound better in the first place. Not an expert but it certainly has to to with the limited number of copies one would make from an original stamper. Japanese label would press as low as 17 000 copies from a stamper while US labels would often press in the 100 000's from the same unit. Canadian labels have been known to press even more copies than that.

Somebody more knowledgeable could add precisions on numbers but the fact is that the first pressings of a stamper will sound best and quality will degrade with numbers. So buying japanese pressing would at least guarantee that you wouldn't end up with an end of the run beat up pressing with low dynamics, ticks n pops.

Now, how that compares to 180g pressing which provide better isolation, and are also small runs by nature is still up for debate !


Great post. Working in the Quality Control department in Japan must be a wicked gig.
8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:27 am 
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Yea it seems the Japanese have always been aware of doing just a bit better than most at quality control.

Ironically I have an HKS supercharger from Japan in my project car that just failed after 12,000 km. If only it was Japanese, not Americans handling the distribution here. Ill be waiting at least 6 months for the replacement and when it comes down to premature failure in this case I am sure the US distributor will find a way to make me pay for it 100%. Japanese companies typically wouldn't do that, their name matters to them. Ill probably need a new one again eventually.

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