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DMM Vinyl ??

Discussion in 'Hi Fi Systems & Separates' started by danderson01, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. danderson01

    danderson01 Member

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    I was online looking for an original vinyl of the sneaker pimps becoming x album. Searched high and low, the bay, discogs ect and only came up with a few results around 40 quid.

    I eventually came across a website selling a reissue which they say is a Direct Metal Master 200g version. I have heard about heavyweight vinyl and have a couple of heavyweight albums but not this DMM stuff.

    A bit of digging reveals this type of vinyl mastering is very rare now with only a handful of plants left in Europe, and it was developed by two German companies in the 80's mainly for classical. It was licensed to EMI who issued some stuff mastered this way. America's last machine was sold to the church of scientology for $70000 so that they can make copies of Ron Hubbard’s speeches; these copies are then put in time capsules along with hand cranked turntables. :rotfl:

    They say that instead of using acetate to make the master it is actually cut from copper. This removes two stages from the normal mastering process. They claim "better frequency definition" and "less potential for induced surface noise". I have read it can make recordings very bright or harsh, but others who have classical recordings from the company who invented it, say that is down to incorrect mastering.

    Does anyone have any DMM recordings, if so do they sound any different to to a normal record? Part of me says this is a load of tosh, but my curiosity got the better of me.
  2. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I don't have any DMM records, I don't think, I may have, but generally I've found fancy pressings to be a hit and a miss. Some sound good, some don't. I wouldn't pay over the odds for one myself but if you want the music and that's all you can find...
  3. coruja

    coruja Member

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    In the mid 80s there were quite a lot of DMM re-issues of Blue Note Jazz records - I think at the time EMI owned the label and Pathe Marconi produced the LPs. These are avoided like the plague by jazz vinyl fans because they are lifeless and dull. I would rather try to get hold of a 70s recording than a 80s/90s DMM.

    I unfortunately have few of them and although they sound ok-ish, when you compare it to a decent analogue recording the difference is shocking. I have a copy of Lee Morgans 'Sidewinder' on 80s DMM and a 60s mono. I played these to my wife, the DMM was considered OK and then I played the old mono and she said 'what was that cr*p you played before? It was like a different album'

    They are hated second only to 'digital' vinyl pressings by the jazz fans - but here we're talking about music made in the 50s.

    Modern music on vinyl I suspect are mainly digital pressings - and I don't see the point of this - unless they specifically say it an analogue pressing such as Mobile Fidelity issues. This is certainly true with all those 140g/180g/200g 'deluxe' re-issues of older albums - the vinyl may be thicker but the sound is digital - worst of both worlds?

    However, Becoming X was released around 1997 I think (I have the CD) and you should be able to get hold of an original copy if you're patient.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling, I'm a bit sleepy, will get back to you with some links & etc later.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  4. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    As you say, DMM was used mostly for classical recordings, specifically by Teldec and EMI, but also used on jazz. I bought quite a number of DMM pressings (only classical, like all my LPs), although it was only really the cover logo and advertising that gave it away, and I made no attempt to buy an LP because it did or didn't use DMM.

    The chief advantages of cutting into copper coated steel with a diamond stylus were the reduced pre-echo and achieving higher levels on longer side lengths. There were also other claimed benefits, such as "improved transient response, as well as the more linear phase response of DMM improve the overall stability and depth-of-field in the stereo image" and claimed disadvantages such as "a harshness or forwardness in the upper frequencies". The pre-echo reduction was clear, and sides lengths were a permanent issue with classical music that was only really resolved when CD took over from LP for classical music releases. I cannot attest to either of the latter descriptions, but I may just be cloth-eared.

    I have no experience with jazz records, and rather wonder whether DMM re-releases were subject to a precursor of the loudness war, given that DMM permitted higher levels.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  5. Ambo

    Ambo Member

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    OK well I have one DMM in my entire vinyl collection - Talking Heads' Speaking In Tongues on clear vinyl which I bought new in the 80's. Not played for a while and I don't have a "vanilla" copy to compare it to but IMHO, it is a great pressing with good dynamics and a huge, clear soundstage. Maybe slightly brighter sounding than, say, some half-speed masters. It's not heavyweight vinyl as far as I recall - most 80's pop wasn't, but I would put it up there with my best 80's (pop) vinyl. :devil: Hope that helps.
  6. daytona600

    daytona600 Member

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    bought quite a few DMM back in the eighties
    brighter & leaner than standard pressings
    you still can,t beat jap pressings if you can find them
    or any good first pressing

  7. formbypc

    formbypc Member

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    In my experience, Japs make wonderful pressings, but seem to be working from second-generation tapes (at least) so the actual sound of the album suffers....
  8. steveledzep

    steveledzep Member

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    I read this thread last night and recalled a DMM vinyl in my collection. I've dug it out tonight and played Side 1.

    It is Ammonia Avenue by The Alan Parsons Project. It was a new release in 1984 on the Arista label, not a re-issue. It's certainly not heavyweight vinyl, in keeping with its date of release. A little bit brighter than most, but other than that nothing much to report. Very acceptable presentation but not special. Both sides are about 20 minutes so extended playing times was not the reason for DMM here. New technology being used for new technology sake I suppose. DMM didn't persuade me to buy it, it just happened to be DMM. Unfortunately I don't have another copy (cd or vinyl) to compare it with.

    On reflection, I wouldn't let DMM excite me into paying a premium price for a vinyl.
  9. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Not only do they make great vinyl, the Japanese vinyl fan seems to look after them incredibly well too. I have never had to clean a second-hand LP I've ordered from Japan, no scrathches, no dust, no gunk. Whereas most from here or the the US are postitvely furry - as if it the previous owner had covered it in rasberry jam and invited a bear to sit on it.
  10. danderson01

    danderson01 Member

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    I ended up ordering the DMM copy, not for the fact it was DMM, but because it was only £13 vs £40 for a used original.


    Coruja, where could i find some of the jap vinyl on the net? I have found ebay and discogs a bit of a hit or miss lately. I recently got a "mint" copy of Talking Heads stop making sense, which had what looked like cigarette burns on one side making it unplayable. The seller refused to take it back and accused me of damaging it!

    Cheers
  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Unusual for an eBay seller to be quite that stupid, I assume negative feedback was his reward? From my experience, eBay sellers are hopeless at accurately describing the condition of records. I think that few people are as fussy bout record condition as we are.

    What sort of turntable do you have? If it's still a relatively modest one you'd be better putting the money towards upgrading it rather than buying fancy vinyl from the other side of the world. Make all your records sound better.
  12. danderson01

    danderson01 Member

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    I've got a project esprit which I've just put an ortofon 2m blue on. I originally intended to upgrade the turntable but after a bit of discussion on here ended up keeping it and changing the cartridge. I felt it was in keeping with the rest of the system instead of buying a tt at £1000.

    I am happy with my new cartridge and just want somewhere i can get good quality vinyl reliably. I have been buying a lot recently (10+ records each week) and always end up with a dog somewhere in there. I will eventually upgrade, but for now i just want to get good quality vinyl.

    Plus i'm moving to Australia and have just shipped my hifi there via air freight, so will be closer to japan than anything in europe.
  13. formbypc

    formbypc Member

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    I know someone who's been in Hong Kong for last five years or so, with relatives in Australia, who has been buying plenty of vinyl over there from Tokyo and other territories. I'll see if I can get some details for you.
  14. tokyo_blues

    tokyo_blues Member

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    I would like to contribute a different point of view regarding Blue Note DMM French Reissues. I own several of these (which due to the bad aura surrounding them can be found for quite cheap) and I'm overall very happy with all of them.

    As a comparison, I also own several Blue Note King Japanese reissues (believed by some people to be second only to original releases) and countless Ron McMaster cd transfers as well as (unfortunately) RVG cd remasters. I believe the Japanese King pressings to be quite overrated.

    One French DMM blue note I own is Lou Donaldson "Blues Walk". On my system (Rega Planar 3 + Fono Preamp) this is *stunning* and I would say comparable to the Japanese non DMM. It is VERY silent (no background noise whatsoever) and maybe a tad leaner than the King, but overall never fails to impress me and always gets my feet tapping. The clarity of the saxophone is especially impressive.

    While YMMV, and on some systems these DMM might sound a bit bright, I would say for 10£ you get a listening experience that is miles ahead what you get with the overcompressed RVG cds and dull, lifeless original "Ron McMaster" cd transfers. So if you're on a budget and want an entry point into great catalogues like the Blue Note one on vinyl, by all means try the DMM reissues, and judge for yourself. Maybe you like them and have avoided spending 10 times as much for noisy old pressings or 3 times as much for hit and miss "audiophile" reissues (Classic records, Speakers Corner, etc).
  15. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Sorry I didn't read your post earlier. I usually get mine from ebay too, but I deal with jazz vinyl suppliers and they've been great.

    I'll have a look around for my 'saved sellers' list and get back to you if there are any that sell rock &etc.

    I also get some from a site called Ticro Market: Ãæ¸Å¥ì¥³¡¼¥ÉÄÌÈΡ¦Ê¡²¬:¥Á¥¯¥í¥Þ¡¼¥±¥Ã¥È
    It's a fun site to look around as long as you have the language installed in your browser. The titles are all in english.

    You will need to email the seller direct with a list of items you want to buy from the site as login & etc is a bit tricky in Japanese! TICRO MARKET / Contact us.(Inquiry Form)

    You need to also double check of the pressings are Japanese if you're not sure. Also, I buy a couple at a time as the shipping is cheaper that way.

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