Vinyl Box Set Review: Neil Young - Original Release Series
If you're into high-end vinyl, then these discs are for you.
A 180 gram limited edition numbered vinyl box set featuring four classic Neil Young albums is now available. The box set contains:
* Neil Young (Originally released in 1969- reissued with the original art/cover)
* Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Originally released in 1969)
* After The Gold Rush (Originally released in 1970)
* Harvest (Originally released in 1972)
From My Vinyl Review on the 140 gram versions:
The mastering duties for each of these titles were undertaken by Chris Bellman, of Bernie Grundman Mastering. Bellman, who mastered Neil Young's Greatest Hits vinyl, as well as each of the live Performance Series titles for vinyl, is by now well acquainted with Young's work, and was a natural choice for this undertaking. He went back to the original analog master tapes for each title.
The 140 gram vinyl was pressed at the Pallas facility in Germany, which is well known for producing ultra-premium vinyl pressings that are flat, clean, and are virtually silent during playback. While all of the vinyl I've seen recently from Pallas has been of the 180 gram variety, they've pressed 140 gram regular weight vinyl for each of these four titles, which is reflected in a list price for these reissues of roughly ten dollars less than the typical Pallas 180 gram release.
Fortunately, despite the less than premium price, Warner did not skimp on the packaging. The gatefold covers are made of heavy cardstock and are faithful to the originals, down to the original inserts. Curiously, Harvest carries an additional ten dollar premium, presumably because of the textured cardboard cover and insert. The 140 gram vinyl is housed in plain paper sleeves, a departure from the poly-lined paper inners typically used by Pallas for their 180 gram offerings.
From Musicangle.com by Michael Fremer:
What you’re really interested in hearing about is the sound quality of these reissues. But first a word about the packaging: Warner Brothers has gone to the trouble and expense of using deluxe paper over cardboard jackets that are authentic to the originals, though there are barcodes, new catalog numbers and updated mastering credits— all tastefully and respectfully done. All original posters and inserts are included. Pick up the new Harvest and you’ll be hard-pressed to tell it from the original, so perfectly does the new, thick outer paper stock match the original.
What’s very different about these reissues though, is the sound: I have multiple originals of all of them, including both the original Haeco-CSG version of the debut album and the re-do (obviously, though Warner Brothers and Young went with the original cover, the second mix was used) and I have to tell you, these reissues, mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman and pressed at Pallas in Germany (buy a copy of my second DVD It’s a Vinyl World, After All and you can take a guided tour of Pallas, shot in high definition), sound far superior to the originals.
Look, I’ve been listening to these four albums for up to forty years now and I was not prepared for what I heard on all four of these albums. Grundman’s chain is sounding better than ever after what I hear are a series of upgrades.
So why should you care? BECAUSE SOUND MATTERS!
Still uncertain? Then take a look at this promo video of Vinyl Boxset of NY Original Recording Series. Maybe that'll change your mind.
ps - we always considered ourselves a bit of a vinyl connoisseur. Until these came along and we have no idea how much our regular vinyls weigh, much less why we would need 180 vs 140 grams? Can 40 grams really sound different? Having said that we must admit how truly amazed were at the sound quality difference between the DVD and BluRay versions of NYA.
Thanks Jeff! Very nice.
UPDATE: Also, see Anatomy of Neil Young Vinyl Series - Chapter 2: Pressing and Chapter1: Anatomy of a LP Box Set - Neil Young Official Release Series 1-4.