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donman7

Robert Ludwig (RL) pressing of "Led Zep II"

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Unsure if this LP has been discussed before, but yesterday, I received (got back) my original "Led Zeppelin II" LP from my Brother. And, as luck would have it, it's the "RL" Mastered LP! I remember buying it on the very day of its release in Fall, 1969.

Now, I've been used to the muddy, echo-laden 2nd Release of this LP for many decades now & hearing the Ludwig 'version' was a REVELATION!!!!!!!

I never paid much attention in '69. I'm sure my Stereo wasn't the best. But, when I compared the 2 yesterday, I was blown away at JUST how much hotter the mastering is!! The Bass jumps out at you, the high's are much more 'in your face' & there's very little echo (reverb?) in this pressing.

It really was like hearing this LP for the first time!! Get this "RL" version if you can.

Don

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I need to get one of these. I've always wondered what all the fuss was about for these pressings.

Ditto.

I have two different pressings of II. One is just a late pressing that is not even worth putting on. The other is the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab pressing which is the best I've ever heard, but sadly it is missing a large chunk of vinyl. I hear nothing but good things about the RL pressing.

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Hi Don

I'm interested in all things LZ vinyl, can you tell me the matrix details? How is a Ludwig recognised? Is it a red and plum label? Is it "Killing floor" or "Lemon song" ?

Cheers

Dave

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It's hard finding one in VG+ or better. And on eBay they want mega bucks for them. So I settled for the pbthal rip and have my mint '77 reissue of II. Still a huge improvement over the current CD offerings.

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I have a question for those that have heard a real RL SS copy of Led Zep II (US Pressing) on their own system.  I picked up a close-to-mint looking copy of this LP last summer at a garage sale for a couple bucks (don't hate me), but I don't seem to be having the superb audio fidelity I keep reading about.  The first track on each side play very well and all of the quieter parts of the LP play well (fairly quiet between tracks), however most of the louder parts of the other tracks tend to distort and crackle.  I use an Ortofon model 20 stylus at 1.5 grams on a modern turntable.

Am I hearing the distortion that caused many people to return the LP back in 1969?  Is this just the status quo for this LP, and if so, I'm surprised this distortion doesn't get mentioned since it sure distracts from the overall sound quality IMO.  Is it possible the album was played in the past on a defective stylus?  Do I just happen to have a defective copy?  I never cleaned the LP since it looks very clean already...would cleaning it help?

I read somewhere that the distortion sometimes heard on this LP is due to the large amount of sonic information packed into these master grooves (I know, there is only one groove.) makes it difficult to reproduce on many, even modern systems.

Any thoughts on my crackle issues of this RL SS pressing?

Jack

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^Hard to say about your copy. Not sure, but I think the returns in the early release days had more to do with the LP skipping than distortion.  A friend had this issue in 1969 and returned the Lp 2-3 times.  

You should try cleaning the album to see if it helps.  It could be groove damage from a worn stylus in which case you may be out of luck.

There is  some (tape saturation) distortion on the master tape.  It's part of the way the album was recorded and mixed  That will never change, short of a remix, and even then I'm not sure how clean things could sound.

I love the sound of the RL pressings but none of mine are perfect, that's for sure (one does skip and one has a bad warp).  Also, I'm not bothered by the tape distortion as it's just part of the sound of this album,  but I can see where some could be put off by it.

Edited by ledsox
clarity

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Thanks for the thoughts.  Maybe I'm bothered by this "tape distortion".  I doubt,even though it may be possible, there is damage from a worn needle for the following reasons:

  • Not all tracks have this distortion
  • The LP looks almost unplayed...no marks near the center hole
  • The other LPs I bought from the same owner don't have these distortion issues

I'll try cleaning it too.

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Thanks for the interesting link.  I guess my real problem is that I didn't spend over 6 grand for my stylus and over 20 grand for the associated equipment. :P 

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Thanks for the interesting link.  I guess my real problem is that I didn't spend over 6 grand for my stylus and over 20 grand for the associated equipment. :P 

You're welcome and yeah, me neither.  Still using my technics from about 1981 with an 8 year old cart.  Somehow it still gets the job done.  

I thought it would have been cool for Ludwig to have a pass at mastering the recent vinyl version of II from the actual tape that he used back in the day.  

Oh well...

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I have been a fan of Led Zeppelin 2 ever since it first came out in 1969, my brother had it new when it was released and Whole Lotta Love skipped during Jimmy's solo. But we kept it, anyway does any one know how many are still in circulation? and Lets say an RL master cut pressed at Monarch Or Pressway vrs one pressed at Columbia House , would the Columbia pressing be as good as Monarch or Pressway pressing? excuse me if this has already been answered

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On 1/4/2016 at 2:06 AM, ledsox said:

Funny,  I just came across this day old article.  A short piece on the RL II and Whole Lotta Love good for a listen on youtube.

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/start-new-year-rl-version-whole-lotta-love#oDKq78mfmw1yVRKv.97

I have heard this on You Tube, through my stereo and speakers, not a cheap computer out fit but my home stereo , sounds fantastic, my Copy is weak compared to this, Mine is not an RL cut

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