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33 1/3 vs 45, worth the money?
post Dec 26 2012, 18:55
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I just got my first record player and 12" record as a gift from my girlfriend. Nothing crazy expensive, an Audio Technica LP60 USB and "Opus Eponymous" by Ghost, which is a single 33 1/3 LP. I do not want to start any kind of quality war but compared to my FLAC files that are on my computer (being played through the same receiver and speakers as record player), I do feel the record sounds much more rich and alive (the best way I can explain it). I also just like the idea of buying a record and playing it, I have a little old-school in me. So I was looking into some other records that I would like have, some of my favorite albums like Metallica's "Master of Puppets". Amazon has 2 versions, a single 33 1/3 LP or 2 45 LP's. Would the 2 45 LP version be worth the additional ~$15 or would I really be splitting hairs at that point? I don't have any specific information on the 33 but 45s include the following information (if it's helpful in anyway):

"features two 45 rpm 180g vinyl discs pressed at RTI in
Stoughton gatefold jacket with universal Louder Faster
Heavier branded bellyband. The pressing was half-speed
mastered from the original analog tapes at Mobile Fidelity
for the ultimate audiophile listening experience."
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post Dec 29 2012, 09:34
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If you're still interested in "test-driving" another 45 RPM-speed 12" LP, you could check out the latest Prong album "Carved Into Stone." It's a double LP with the CD included as a bonus. Mine never stated on its packaging that it was 45 RPM so I had to find out the hard way biggrin.gif

This example also has a strikingly different "mastering" than its digital counterpart. It's currently listed for $26.49 on Amazon, but I suggest shopping around if you're interested. My local record store still has a new copy for less than twenty. I think mine was 18.

...but regarding the actual topic, I'm not too convinced that it makes a huge difference. A good pressing should sound great at either speed IMO. It's also my experience and subjective opinion that the Metallica albums you are referring to sound just as good on the original-issue CDs as they could on vinyl. Perhaps more so though I"m not inclined to take the Pepsi Challenge smile.gif I had Master of Puppets on cassette when it came out so vinyl or CD would be a big step up from that biggrin.gif

The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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