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 Post subject: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2021, 23:18 
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Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]

Having received this disc from Japan today (complete with microscopic crack) I couldn't wait to try it out. Has the elusive search and the wait been worth it for this 1991 release of the 1983 disc of a 1982 concert? Read on to find out. Note I have covered the 1983 pressing in detail at the following link, so please do take a look there first to get up to speed if you wish to:

https://forum.lddb.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=9419

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So here it is. The elusive Digital Audio edition (or Digtal according to the obi strip) of Masayoshi Takanaka's 1982 concert Guitar Fantasia and the first thing we're going to look at here is the back of the sleeve. There's some aesthetic changes here. The same concert stage photo has been used but instead of being at the top half of the sleeve it's now on the bottom. The drop shadow colours around the band portrait photos are gone and just simple borders around the photos (still the same colours). There's a spelling mistake too noting that 'songs' are now 'soongs'. The small print appears to be the same. With this release an obi strip is present which declares that the 1991 pressing is a 20th Anniversary celebration release of the original concert recording from 1982 (and released in 1983 on Laserdisc and VHS).

What about the disc? Well, this is a biggie. The original 1983 pressing I have is a 2 sided CAV disc. This 1991 release with the Digital Audio track is only a 1 side CLV release. Yet both discs run at 60 minutes? I'm not quite sure how that was acheived. Anyone know? Better compression algorithms perhaps? Well whatever it is, Side 2 on the 1991 disc is now blank.

Now for the big change. Originally the 1983 disc and it's subsequent pressings were analogue only. This 1991 edition now features a Digital Audio stereo track. But does it make a big difference to the original release? Honestly? I don't think so. I also think that the audio sounds a little more busy, like it's struggling for space, for width and power. Comparing it to the 1983 disc and I genuinely notice a difference. The 1983 disc sounded more open, with more range to the sound stage. It's not a night and day difference that will unite galaxies and change the human race forever, but it is there and it is noticeable in my opinion.

Picture quality is the big one for me, and I think it may be down to this single side business. To me and my very humble opinion, I think the 1991 disc is a lot softer than the 1983 original. Perhaps it's a mix of compressing it all to one side but also the age of the master source perhaps? 20 years is a long time. Looking at the original disc it doesn't come up as quite so faded or soft. Both discs do have a little noise to them but it's nothing too bad. In the picture department there really is a difference and the winner is the 1983 disc imho.

So which disc do you get? Well I suppose it comes down to getting whichever disc shows up first. You tend to need to be quick buying it once it appears as it tends to sell fairly rapidly from what I've seen. Failing that, if you want to hold out and pick the right disc, and if you are putting a bazooka to my face and forcing me to choose one, I would pick the 1983 disc unless you absolutely MUST have the Digital Audio track. As said, there isn't much in it between the two, but owning both discs and in other folks cases they will likely want to own just one release and taking in to account the expense of importing, I say go for the 1983 Kitty Video original disc. The picture is superior and the audio, while a close run thing, is the important factor here for a music disc purchase. Why have just 50% of something when you can have the whole shebang?

The 1991 disc isn't bad, though the whole 1 side thing troubles me deeply and I can't shake it. Just having seen both I can't really formulate a case for getting the 1991 disc. Maybe it will sound better on your setup, maybe it's just me and my hearing? I don't know, but I do know what I like and it's the 1983 Kitty Video disc. So if forced to choose if my life depends on it, I choose that one. In total honesty though, just get whatever shows up and be happy you snagged a copy. Crank up your sound system and enjoy it! :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 01:29 
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I've actually been really getting into his music lately. Was considering the Goblins LD.
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 14:58 
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That's great! Do you have any favourite tracks? I hope you get to try Guitar Fantasia, it's really very good, especially if you are already digging Takanaka-san's stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 15:12 
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I'll have my eyes on buyee. This seems like one of those things where you could go to Japan and rummage through LD bins and find them relatively cheap if they haven't been binned.
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 15:21 
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Definitely keep a look out. Prices vary, it just doesn't come up very often and when it does it sells fairly quick. Best of luck and enjoy it if you do get a copy!
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 19:49 
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teddanson wrote:
What about the disc? Well, this is a biggie. The original 1983 pressing I have is a 2 sided CAV disc. This 1991 release with the Digital Audio track is only a 1 side CLV release. Yet both discs run at 60 minutes? I'm not quite sure how that was acheived. Anyone know? Better compression algorithms perhaps? Well whatever it is, Side 2 on the 1991 disc is now blank.

Because CAV holds 30 minutes per side and CLV 60 minutes per side? I don't understand what's so confusing about that. :?

Also you said that the old analog pressings sound better, so how does the analog track on this one measure up?
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 Post subject: Re: Masayoshi Takanaka: Guitar Fantasia (1982) [KTLV-1008]
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2021, 20:54 
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takeshi666 wrote:
Because CAV holds 30 minutes per side and CLV 60 minutes per side? I don't understand what's so confusing about that. :?

Also you said that the old analog pressings sound better, so how does the analog track on this one measure up?


Ah I didn't know that. I thought CLV was around 45-50 mins per side. Thanks for the information, it makes it much clearer. I thought it may have been some sort of compressed or non-conforming disc standard.

Before replying I dug out both discs again and listened to a couple of tracks with my XM3's on. Both the analogue tracks and the digital track.

The analogue and digital tracks on the 1991 disc still feel very squashed compared to the 1983 disc in my very much humble beginners opinion.

Pop in the 1983 disc and it sounds so much brighter than the 1991 disc. The difference is a lot more pronounced with headphones. If I didn't have access to both discs and only the 1991 edition I'd be less critical. I will say too that both discs need a little crank in the volume department to get them going. Less so with the 1983 disc.

One other thing I only just picked up on, is the 1991 disc is framed ever so slightly smaller than the 1983 disc. The picture on the 1983 disc is superior I think, perhaps because it was done only months after the concert was recorded on August 8th 1982?

But as I am lucky enough to have both discs I am able to choose between them. Don't get me wrong, the 1991 disc isn't poo, it's very good. Just not as good as the 1983 disc.

To throw a spanner in the works, there was another analogue edition released in 1985 which may eclipse both of these discs! I'll have to hunt it down to complete the set!

Regardless, it is such a good concert I hope anyone who does decide to buy it enjoys it as much as I do. :thumbup:

One other thing, the chops on Joaquin Lievano and TM Stevens are to be admired. Shiela Escovedo is great too, she plays nearly every instrument on the stage including guitars. Everyone does a great job though which I think is what makes it such a fun concert. Enjoy it!

Edit: I've submitted updates for both discs to LDDB.
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