I didn't do any of the things I set out to do today. The whole day was frankly kind of a busy in that respect.

But I did manage to lay my hands on a new pair of reasonably nice Polk speakers, and so I am finally ringing in with Chet Baker sings.

This Chet record is pretty dang good. I picked it up yesterday for $10. I figured it would be good, and frankly I figured it'd be more expensive than $10.

I was right on both counts. Discogs lists this as having sold between $10 and $125, and has this version in this condition listed between 40 and 60.

Sometimes I wish I could turn off the part of my brain that notices expensive albums as I'm flipping through crates faster than I notice records I actually give a shit about.

Speaking of which, I want a copy of Jaco Pastorius' self titled LP.

I had one, and I sold it, and I haven't seen another since.

It's doing $60 online.

It does $25 at even the expensive record stores, assuming you can find it int he wild.

Records are weird like that.

The Chet Baker record was perfectly pleasant, but it was also one of those kinds of records that all my grandparents could have agreed to listen to and enjoy.

Now I'm moving on to Thelonious Monk's Criss-Cross.

It is a record that only my cool grandparents would have enjoyed.

I need to get up and fiddle the knobs on this stereo and see if I can make it do The Thing.

It's closer to doing The Thing.

I think I need to let these speakers burn in a little bit, and try again when the dryer isn't shaking the whole house.

Not that there's anything wrong with a record that all my grandparents could enjoy! Those were shockingly rare, and ones that I *also* enjoyed were even rarer.

That Chet Baker record ticks all the boxes. Brubeck can do it, sometimes.

That's how it goes.

I think that when Thelonious is over, I'm going to grab my half speed master of Abbey Road and give that a spin before I go to sleep.

Or maybe I'll grab that remaster of Pepper they did in 2018.

That one was pretty fascinating, because they went to a generation *before* the original masters as their primary source, which is super controversial.

(I decided to go for pepper, and I can confirm that this stereo does The Thing.)

So, for some clarification:

Pepper had a horrible original stereo mix. God awful. Among the worst ever done.

Pepper also had a fairly limited mono issue, as it came at the end of the mono era.

The Beatles are not alone in this, basically everything Hendrix did is the same way. Mono or bust.

So mono copies of Pepper are exponsive.

I have a couple, in various conditions, from various plants. One of them is perfect, and it was my preferred version of this album for a decade. (I got it for a dollar at a local used book store ~12 years ago.)

If you put that on along side the stereo version that most people are familiar with, you can *see* them begin to understand (often for the first time!) why people get so worked up about The Beatles.

The stereo thing is a problem for all Beatles records after Rubber Soul (although the mono issue of Rubber Soul is more common in the US) up to The White Album, where they finally figured out how to do stereo mixing (mostly) and didn't do a mono mix in the US.

(I'd love a british mono pepper, they are very very expensive.)

The last record to get a mono mix in the US was Magical Mystery Tour (again, the mono issue is absolutely magical compared to the stereo. I can't explain it.)

Anyway, they grabbed Giles Martin (George Martin's son) and Giles did a remix (possibly with some guidance from his dad? I dunno, it was right at the end of George's life) for the 50th anniversary of pepper.

But they went back to the original studio tapes. Like, before they were bounced down, before the effects were added, etc.

And they re-did it, in a frankly fantastic stereo mix.

If you know mono pepper well, this will be a pleasant surprise. If you only know old stereo pepper, this will knock your god damn socks off.

(I guess I should explain The Thing.

Uhh, okay.

I've never heard an expensive stereo that wasn't enjoyable and technically accurate, but I've heard a lot of stereos that can't do stereo imaging, because of bad speaker placement or whatever.

Stereo imaging is where your brain can pick out where stuff is in the mix relative to where you are, but it only works when you're sitting in the right spot.

Maybe this is fake, I dunno, but it happens?

That's not The Thing, but it helps.

Anyway, on top of the imaging thing, a well paired amp and speakers will reinforce one another?

Every once in a while you find a record that, when played through that specific combination of amp and speakers, attains a new depth and dimension that it did not previously have.

So you figure out where your stereo sweet spot is, and then you jiggle your EQ for your room and preference (or not, whatever) and then you play a couple of albums to see if any of them are transformed in to a new magic thing.

It's all very woo.

The system I was using before did not do The Thing. Everything sounded fine, good even, but never transcendent.

For this system, so far, Pepper (at least this new stereo pepper) and my Mississippi John Hurt LP have done The Thing.)

If that sounds ridiculous and fake, I mean maybe it is?

But I swear there's some kind of vaguely mystical alchemical thing that happens, and somehow transmutes otherwise familiar sounds in to something entirely new.

And it is usually a surprise when it happens.

@ajroach42 it's all very very woo and totally exists and happens. unquantifiably but it happens.

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@ajroach42 There's a Giles Martin remake of the white album too, which is also very good.

I have The Beatles in Mono set, and strongly recommend it.

Also better in mono the way it was intended: The first Ramones album.

@mathew I haven't heard giles' white album.

I think I own it, but I think I bought it right before we moved back to GA.

@ajroach42 by being all "let's not pan instruments all right all left willy-nilly"

@ajroach42 have you tried mixing your own master of Pepper?
If you can find the multitracks, it is a great way to re-examine the album.
Here's a snippet of what I did

@Edent is this using the tracks from Beatles Rock band? Or was there another, better leak?

@ajroach42 Rockband. Some of the separation is pretty crappy on early tracks - but on the later albums it is pristine. Examples of both on my blog.

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