I got a message from one of my friends who is a Jazz collector saying,
Takashi, you know Victor music Riverside and Prestige reissues? VIJ sounds far much better than SMJ. Did you know that?
I say "WHAT!?" that is impossible!
I thought SMJ and VIJ sounds are just identical. But, since I had this info,
I HAD TO DO THE SOUND COMPARISON TO PROVE! right?
So, that's what I did this time.
Welcome to the JBJ Jazz Lab!
The results of this sound comparison?
Yes, it is just mind blowing! Just watch and listen by your own ears and give me your thought!
I agree that the VIJ sounds better but the difference was not as pronounced for me as it seems to be for you – a little less clarity from the SMJ but still it was good. Not that it would make any difference to the sound quality but I noticed that the SMJ copy did not have the JASRAC symbol as did the VIJ. I have been seeing this logo on Japanese pressings for years, would you explain what it means or represents. Thank-you.
Peter, thanks again for your great observation! JASRAC is Japanese Society Of Rights Of Authors. An organization of copy right issues. All songs that major company issues are copy right protected same as in the other countries. That symbol means the record is copy right protected in Japan.
Thanks for the explanation – I’ve always wondered about that. I guess it’s sort of like ASCAP or BMI – anyway now I know.
Peter, that is right! Same as ASCAP or BMI.
Vij sounds better. Wider soundstage – Background noise much more realistic, Band as well.
Go on Takashi!
Matze from Berlin, Germany
Matze, thank you for your great comment!
now that I have a few of both series would agree with Matze from Berlin on the SQ.
Did a little researching on this. I always thought the SMJ series was later in time than the VIJ series, but was wrong. The SMJ series was from the late 1970s, while the VIJ series was from the early 1980s. At that time period the master tapes were all owned by Fantasy. In the US, Fantasy had received complaints about their “2-fer” series (2 records for the price of 1) on poor sound quality, and not great pressings. Starting in the early 1980s, Phil De Lancey remastered almost all of the Prestige, Riverside, New Jazz tapes for the then new series Fantasy was going to release called OJC (Original jazz Classics). In the US these OJC titles were quite an improvement over the 2-fer titles. I have most of the OJC released titles.
With that in mind, its quite possible Victor Music in Japan cut the VIJ series with the new Master tapes from De Lancey, hence a bit better SQ (sound quality) than the SMJ series.
What a great thought on this!
It is quite possible, with the OBIs of VIJ series, they write, Newly mastered and cut, improving the sound quality.
But, SMJ of Victor is not that bad as 2-fers of Fantasy though…
I really appreciate for your contribution!!
should add this is a hypothesis on my part, where the time lines do agree but have no real proof that that Victor Music used the De Lancey remastering.
Will also add that Kraft Recordings group now owns the complete Fantasy catalogue and has just started to re-issue the Chet Baker recordings on 180 gram vinyl. I bought the first 3, and they do sound exceptional.