I've had a chance to have a listen to some of these needle drops over the last year, and i'm still undecided.
Don't misunderstand me. VINYL SOUNDS BETTER!
*When* its STILL on vinyl and has never been Digitized.
once you digitally rip it you lose the advantage. (more about why that is, later)
I think the only advantage in digital format of good needle drops is the possibility of getting one step closer to the master, or original mixes that have been lost by official remastering..
What do I mean?.. Well, when vinyl used to be pressed, the master was copied, and a bunch of sub masters were made for cassette. Unfortunately, more often than not, the vinyl stampers were ALSO made from the Sub-master .. mostly because they DO wear out, and need to be done again.
These sub-masters were, often, also the ones used for transfer to digital, at least in the beginning of the digital age.
A good example is 'Future Games' of Fleetwood Mac. The CD has a DROP-OUT! in it. Now I'm pretty sure the Master Tape Doesn't (at least , I hope).
Now, I think that on the first run, they in fact used the master for the first stamper...very often the case..so if you find a first pressing, mint, and do a needle drop off it, on adequate pro gear, you've got something significantly better than the current CD. But not due to any advantages in the sound of vinyl.. if it's digitized.. digital signals work on an on-off format ..where half the sound is, in fact, dead silence. your brain fills in the missing gaps. If everyone's brain worked the same I guess it wouldn't be an issue, but a digital recording is gonna sound different to everyone, in theory...not so you'd notice, tho, erxcept 'it sounds harsh, or dull', or however you'd interpret it.
So what am I saying about the unofficial 'remasters' (i.e. needle-drops) out there?
Well, first of all, Ebbett's wins the cake.. he's found the correct reason to do them (original pressings) and doesn't 'EQ' them or sweeten in any way, just uses top level gear to record them. Mickboy's also are recorded superbly, but the extra eq'ing done in an analog fashion, I don't think, helps at all, because they're all converted to digital, and if they're gonna be digitized anyways, it would be better to do it digitally, because there's control you just can't acheive with even the best analog gear. I'm glad they're out there... I just wish that original pressings of some of the less distributed artists were ripped from vinyl first- pressings (such as the aforementioned 'future games').
I did a whole slew of 'em myself, as far as preserving my collection of first pressings.. I used to be an avid record collector for extremely rare recording.. by which I mean, that if you collect EXTREMELY rare vinyl, i wouldn't be surprised if you had one of my old ones in your collection. Like, Freddy King '24 vocals and instrumentals', 'The Fireballs' canadian issue, etc..
I paid my mortgage for three years selling em all off... to a Record Dealer! (who sold em off all over the world...
Had enough writing for now... more (and some new recordings of mine ) next time.....