Grab one before it’s too late

August 14, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

In case you haven’t heard, we produced a limited edition double vinyl album of Zuill Bailey’s brilliant work, the Bach Cello Suites.

This work represents a lifetime achievement for the master cellist and this recording is perhaps the best ever made of a solo cello.

The original work was captured on the Pyramix system in 4XDSD (DSD256) and we cut the vinyl directly from the master.

The release is a first-pressing single-stamper on 180-gram virgin vinyl. We made only 500 copies. Each is individually numbered and each is personally signed by Zuill.

Following Friday’s launch, we sold through more than half. The balance won’t last long.

If you’d like to secure for yourself a copy of this amazing work, head here.

It is a true work of art.

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22 comments on “Grab one before it’s too late”

    1. FR, I did the same as CDs made their way into our lives. I hadn’t really listened to analog in 30 years. Recently when my friends had me over for an a to b comparison. Wow, was I floored at the midrange and highs on vinyl. We directly compared a half a dozen or so albums. The vinyl was much smoother and more silky compared to the same cd or streamed file (both playing simultaneously alongside each other at the same volume). I thought the bass was consistently better on digital. And this was from an entry level Rega turntable and cartridge vs a $10k digital front end T+A Dac.

      That said, I won’t be buying a vinyl DSD mastered album. Vinyl still has its well known worts and since the music is already digitized, I won’t be getting it on vinyl as it isn’t analog. The best digital can ever hope for is to be as good as analog. I will look for it on cd however.

      1. Champster,
        Vinyl pressings manufactured in Australia in the ’60s, ’70s & ’80s
        were riddled with snaps, crackles & pops…like listening to music
        with an open fire burning while eating a bowl of Coco Pops.
        When CDs came out in 1984 & sounded so clean & crisp I was sold.
        Three years later it was bye-bye vinyl.

        Thirty years later, in July 2017, I heard a MoFi record played on a MoFi turntable
        with a MoFi cartridge through a pair of Sonus Faber floorstanders (I can’t re-
        member the amp) & my jaw dropped to the floor 😮 I was stunned at the sound.
        However, I now have just over a thousand CDs & there’s no going back…
        even if only for financial reasons.
        Having said that, I’m very happy with having gone digital…no regrets,
        as I chose the better option at the time ✌

        1. If I believe the pundits now it’s buy buy vinyl. 😉

          I’d include U.K. pressings with your assessment of vinyl, I’m sure they got worse through the decades. So bad I finally gave up on buying music, the radio was going to have to suffice. Fortunately, or unfortunately for my bank balance, I only had to wait about a year for CD’s to be introduced. This new format actually took me by surprise, a chap at work casually mentioned it to me, so much had my interest waned.

          I’ve not heard any modern vinyl set ups, they must have something to satisfy fans here, but I wouldn’t go back either. Apart from the fact it could be likened to going back to an ex, it’s the convenience. Play, pause, stop, skip, repeat, all from a remote, fantastic.

          1. And yet there are those who stream music now because the shear inconvenience of standing up to change a CD is completely
            destroying their concept of living in a first world country 😮

  1. Maybe not Mofi FR 😉

    Did Octave master/cut in the analog domain from the DSD256 files for vinyl (like Mofi) or did they cut from the DXD/PCM digital master(ed) file?

    It doesn’t get obvious from the above description, which either implies the vinyl is cut directly from the DSD recording format (which would mean mastered analog during cutting) or could imply „cut from the master“, meaning the mastered digital format, which is DXD/PCM in case of Octave in my understanding.

    Doesn’t have to make a big difference, but might, and would be interesting in the same way as Mofi wasn’t clear about the exact steps for a while.

    1. In this particular case, it was directly from the DSD master into the analog cutter (through a DAC of course). Rob Freiderich who was the engineer recorded the work on the Pyramix in DSD 256 then mixed it in analog on a modified Studer, then back again to DSD using the Pyramix.

      That’s not the method I like best but it sure sounds pretty perfect.

      And, I might add, better by a lot had this been an all analog recording using tape.

      1. Ah that’s interesting, that it was not yet your current preferred method over DXD for this release.

        But if Freiderich really went the DADA instead of the DA way (why?) and after/during analog mastering didn’t cut directly to the lathe as Mofi does or as every audiophile AAA release is cut, then it, too, (just as in the DXD case) would be a three step process and no one step. So then it still should read „cut from the production master“, as then the Bailey wouldn’t have been cut “direct from the master”. But I suspect the way back to DSD after analog mastering was just for the DSD release, not for the LP release, so that the LP was really cut directly from the DSD master.

        ————-
        “And, I might add, better by a lot had this been an all analog recording using tape.“
        ————

        This might be true or not (I would really be interested), but tell me if I’m wrong, thinking also in your case, this is just a claim of someone who never made an apples to apples comparison of recording something in parallel in DSD256 and on analog tape and produce a record from the DSD file over DXD/PCM mastering (or as the Bailey was done) vs. producing another record from tape with analog mastering AAA. Those labels who already did this, at least comparing AAA to DSD64 or hires PCM based vinyl, for this case came to the opposite conclusion you did.

        All this might be a little different with DSD256, but so far I never heard of anyone who made such a comparison yet. You might have experience comparing whatever live feeds with tape and DSD or other scenarios (correct me if I’m wrong and you really have parallel and comparative AAA and DSD to vinyl production experience), but that’s a different topic than comparing ready produced LP’s in two very different ways DSD/DXD vs. AAA on particular high class studio gear.

        I know where you come from and I think it’s not unlikely this could, at least some time when completely mature, be the go to method, but others are not more cautious for nothing, claiming their method is the best, without even having made a valid comparison.

        By the way and just for information for all who didn’t catch this, an interesting opposite approach to your great effort on the all digital side is Kevin Gray’s new personal recording/mastering studio, based on all tube all analog mics/gear and a room imitating Rudy van Gelders famous recording space. The first release still upcoming but a recently unveiled secret is a singular already public record using at least half of this environment (will post in the forum for those who missed this story).

  2. Wow..up early on a Sunday.
    Your enthusiasm/dedication to quality products is refreshing. Thanks for the financial/time outlay to move from DSD 64 to 256. Definitely going to buy when my new DAC arrives…vinyl tempting

    Octave Records offers many artists that aren’t on my radar. Your Audiophile Masters series offers previews, but sure would be nice to have short previews of the music. Perhaps a Paul Prime paid yearly membership that allows for short previews and free upgrade from DSD64 to 256.

      1. OK..thanks..I’ve just purchased samplers and stopped scrolling once I reached the sampling rate/payment area…pretty dumb on my part..thanks again.

  3. Please say you sent Michael Fremer a copy. That would be a fascinating review. I purchased this via download a while back and ordered the vinyl version yesterday. I look forward to listening to it!

  4. Paul: Congratulations on what I am sure is an amazing release!

    Richtea: If the benchmark is convenience, then, yes, digital wins every time.

    Champster, Fat Rat: Thank you very much for these reports about having forgotten and then re-experiencing how wonderful analog sounds. The easiest way to enjoy CDs is to focus on convenience, and to never listen to analog.

    1. Ha, good point well made. The thing is I had a vinyl set up, Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference Turntable, Shure V15 cartridge, Quad33/303 amps and Celestion Ditton 44 speakers, decent enough in its day but obviously behind the curve now. Turntable still looks good though. Trouble was most of the vinyl pressings were very poor and when CD came along it solved those immediate problems at a stroke. Not saying CD is perfect but it has improved over the years. At the time I was a convert and have remained so. For all the marketing department’s out there, it’s a case of a lost customer that isn’t coming back.

  5. Prejudice. The Zuill Bailey recording is a world class Performance and recording- I’ve nominated it in 2 categories for a Grammy Award. I buy what sounds good, sounds great and what musically turns me on. Paul’s promo of the Vinyl is not the Mo-Fi Controversy- it’s completely honest and upfront. Frankly, the Mo-Fi controversy is because of comparing what they Did not say to the mostly excellent recordings they Produce. Those folks who have raved in reviews about some of the recordings are now wailing against the process. Suddenly, magically they just don’t sound good anymore. Regarding the Bach Suites, the Vinyl will sound different, and perhaps to some better, others not so much. The performance is the same – all that really matters is which version gets me closest to the music. Don’t’ confuse artistry with marketing-its like reviewing a Michelin star restaurant that you have never eaten at and slamming it because you don’t like the name because it’s the same as your ex-wife. I love DSD and great vinyl as well. It’s best to listen and decide for yourself-not take the easy way out and take someone else’s opinion as your own.

  6. Paul, Two questions:

    1. Will my PST and DS DAC play DSD256 if I put the DSD256 on a USB memory stick and find it into the PST?

    2. Will you release some of your other music on DSD256, cello music is not my thing?

    Thanks.

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