Double "Unboxing": Analogue Productions UHQR "Axis: Bold As Love" MONO & Blue Note Review #2

Here's a double dose for AnalogPlanet readers (and YouTube viewers) who like "unboxing videos": AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer unboxes the not yet released Analogue Productions UHQR Clarity Vinyl mono issue of Jimi Hendrix's classic "Axis: Bold As Love" and the second edition of the deluxe "Blue Note Review" box #2"—this one a tribute to jazz drummers, particularly Art Blakey.

All 1500 copies of the limited edition mono Hendrix album have been pressed, boxed and shrink-wrapped but Analogue Productions has chosen to hold off shipping until the approximately 5000 copies of the stereo version have been pressed, boxed and packaged, so both can be shipped simultaneously. There are still some copies available so if you're thinking of buying now's the time! BTW: you'll find fraudsters on Ebay claiming to have copies for sale of the mono box (for $700). They don't have it to sell. The photos they are using are filched from the Internet.

BTW: a one-sheet in the box that I didn't see until later indicates that the second UHQR will be Jethro Tull's Aqualung.

The video includes the usual Fremer anecdotes and asides—laced with humor and surprises.

cdvinyl's picture

Just fantastic Michael. You really go above and beyond. Thanks.

avanti1960's picture

is simply fantastic- all (4) LPs. The spirit in time compilation, the blakey, the hutcherson- all have so many quality, engaging songs and moments. best recording i have purchased in a long time...

MRubey's picture

Great video Mr. Fremer. Thank you.
When cd came out I think my first one was probably DSOTM.
And I said right's lost something compared to analog and it's because the analog recording chain and playback translate vibration directly to vibration with a minimum of simple electronics in between.. It's a direct translation. The digital recording /playback chain removes the information from the vibratory realm entirely then reassembles it ......with gaps.

cher143's picture

Another great reason to spend a little money. There was also a special release of The Jimi Hendrix Experience Smash Hits LP on Quality Record Pressing for 2016 Record Store Day, that wasn't to shabby either. Just another source of amazement from Jimi.

Montpier's picture

Ever hear of a razor blade holder? Or a zip knife? Suggest holding off before shooting DVD3: "How to open your vinyl mail order shipping boxes"

Personally think the standard Acoustic Sound shipping boxes for multiple albums with the tri-fold closure is the most well designed pack out there. Not so sure about the need for a handle though...

Michael Fremer's picture
It's single edged razor blade with a soft, rounded edge on the other side. I've used these for decades and never sliced myself!
McLavach's picture

Sir or Madam,
Are you kidding me? You're really going to try to tell Mr. Fremer how to open his records? The man has been doing this for at least 40 years if not longer, and has undoubtedly opened thousands of records this way, and you are truly so hubristic and arrogant that you would actually take the time to write a post like this, essentially critiquing his method for opening his own vinyl? Wow. You should be down on your knees thanking Fremer for even responding to this. Learn some respect. The man has a reputation and resume that speaks for itself. The fact that he has enough patience and humility to even respond to your message is an even greater testament to his character, because in the least he should have ignored you, and at best told you to go.....(FFFFill in the blank)... By the way thank you Mr. Fremer for your reviews of these. I was lucky enough to preorder both the mono and stereo which has proven to be not only a great sonic improvement over the (already great) original Sony Legacy reissues, but also a great investment as well. Thanks again for all you do! Your passion truly shines.

OldschoolE's picture

just looks fantastic! I'm very into drummers (I used to be one). I love jazz drummers and rock drummers (then there is Neil Peart who is both and a thus a living legend). I was going to try to find out how much it cost to see if I could even consider it until you mentioned that one of the records is cut from digital. I like my analog to be AAA or as close as possible. I just can't wrap my head around digital cut records. Even at high-rez it makes no sense because as far as I know you can't play records through a dac to process the high-rez data. Let me know if there is something that can be used for that.
Still though I want to be open-minded about that box set because of the way it is put together and presented and of course the music contained therein. I just struggle with the whole cut from digital thing, I've heard some horrid examples of that, such as U2's Joshua Tree, which is one of the rare albums that sound better on CD.
By the way, one can get such books and what have you with CDs, but I doubt anyone can read them. I know I can't! I also just like the larger artwork that comes with vinyl records. It is what I grew up with and I'm sticking to it.

OldschoolE's picture nice as it is I just can't run to that. Plus you have to subscribe which (I'm not sure), could mean that your credit card gets charged every time a new record comes out and is delivered automatically. Thank you, but no thanks. I'm sad, such a nice set! Oh well, life goes on still and there are plenty of records out there (original pressings) that I call historical documents I can restore, which is why I took the trouble to spend nearly two years to learn all that correctly! Records need to be preserved!

Ivan Lietaert's picture

A bit scary indeed, to give them your credit card data.
Their Terms-page is not loading properly on my Firefox browser either, so one isn't even sure what one is signing up for...
Also, one doesn't tell us how many Volumes are in the making, and what the future price will be. This is a an old skool trick: $200 for volume 1 & 2, and then the price goes up, without explanation.
Also, there is no opt-out information anywhere.

In Europe, with our much stricter trade laws, they would be out of business, even before they started...

Ivan Lietaert's picture

see subject line

OldschoolE's picture

Yes, indeed! This wouldn't last in Russia (east Europe) either. In fact, it would stand a chance at all, Russians are savvy shoppers. (I think all Europeans are savvy shoppers, they have a different approach than western folks).
Anyway, I did not see the opt out myself either. I will go back and look when I can now that you pointed it out. Still, the terms may be not good on it. At any rate, why go through all that when interested in only one item. I would hasten to guess that there are many who are only interested in an individual item, affordability not withstanding.
Yes, too rich for me, but such is life. Plenty of other records to go after.

Vinyl On Tubes's picture

I'm actually cool with that. But, I've been waiting over a year for my mono pressing. This order was excluded from the normal free shipping policy. So, I'm more than annoyed that Acoustic Sounds is withholding shipment until the stereo pressings are ready. I'm paying the shipping whether or not I get just one or both editions. Ship the mono pressing.

Michael Fremer's picture
I get it. I know they struggled to get the box perfect and that was most of the delay. Not shipping until stereo is also ready has got to add fuel to the fire. What can I tell you other than that the wait will be worth it? They are being meticulous: for instance if even a tiny fleck of black vinyl gets into the biscuit they are rejecting it. They want everyone to be simultaneously happy even as they are currently simultaneously pissed off!
Vinyl On Tubes's picture

Still annoyed. They have $150,000 in inventory that is all pre-ordered and they are waiting to ship with 5000 other units. The logistics aren't improved by waiting.

High Rant District's picture

Thank you for the review which was fantastic. I ordered the mono Hendrix back in December of 2017. I called Acoustic Sounds today to check on the status of the order and I got the same response that I've gotten the last few times I've called: it's been delayed another half a month. I bought that response the first few times, but at this point, something isn't right. If the monos were all boxed and ready to ship at the end of March, why are they still being held? Stereo versions haven't shipped either, but people at AXPONA were able to buy a stereo copy there and take it home! Something is really, really wrong here.

Wimbo's picture

aint politically on the same ship, but once again young Fremer, fantastic
video. Great to hear you did Woodstock.Envious. One of my best LP's for getting me into the bowl mood. Excuse me for my lax grammar.

Michael Fremer's picture
More please. The opposite is the truth of course, other than in spirit where "immature" sums it up best, which is why I have so many young friends who seem to be more mature than I am!
fetuso's picture

Another great video, Michael. I have to ask something, however, that's been on my mind for a while. Not to be morbid, and since you "opened the box," who will be getting your records when the time comes (in a hundred years)?

Tom L's picture

they will be immolated as part of the Viking funeral.

marmil's picture

The word is "iconography"
The 2nd LP on UK Track is The Who Sell Out
Coca-Cola didn't sue The Kinks for the line in Lola; The BBC banned the record because of the line so Ray had to fly from the US back to the UK just to fix those 3 syllables. Crazy, right?
Otherwise, very enjoyable.

TommyTunes's picture

The original UK came with a 20 by 12 foldover color insert that was used for the inside of the US cover. It was only reproduced once for the 2007 Japanese reissue.