John Coltrane: Blue Train

John Coltrane: Blue Train

Universal (Japan)  UCGQ-9023

Mono Single Layer


John Coltrane

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Analogue recording
Comments (6)

Comment by Downunderman - March 28, 2018 (1 of 6)

Part of the Blue Note SACD series out of Japan, of which there are quite a few (try 20).

Details on the source used for the DSD masters in this series are pretty sketchy, but the odds seem to be that we are looking at a conversion to DSD of the 24-bit, 192 kHz masters done in the mid noughties.

They are not nearly as texturally rich and full sounding as the Mofi jazz efforts. They have that clean Japanese presentation and something of a PCM character.

This title has been issued a couple of times on SACD but I have not heard them and can't compare.

It sounds pretty good........and the bonus for me is that there are NO 'bonus' tracks. Just the album as originally fashioned.

If you like bonus tracks the AP version still seems to be available and it does have a couple bonus tracks tacked on the end.

Comment by Mark Werlin - May 21, 2018 (2 of 6)

This SHM-SACD of Blue Train is described as sourced from a new DSD transfer.

From the CD Japan site:

Reissue in SHM-SACD format for the first time. Uses 2017 DSD master.

Seems to be the one exception to the 192/24 sources for the rest of the series.

Comment by analogue - June 26, 2018 (3 of 6)

Hello all.
I purchased 18 of the 20 titles in question. I can only say that these are brand new Dsd transfers from the tape sources. I realize some might have misgivings. I compared some of these new titles with previous releases of the same title. The newer releases from Universal Japan are better .They are more transparent and open. I compared..for example.... the somthin else sacd with the 24/192 pcm dvd audio and also the analogue production sacd. The new reissue is better. It is more detailed, more open and has better overall presentation. In fact its outstanding in every way and may well be the best of the lot.

Give some of these a chance. The music is incredible. I cant say that every single of the 18 discs are awesome recordings...who can? But I am certain that they are ALL pure Dsd transfers.


Comment by Tony Reif - July 4, 2018 (4 of 6)

Analogue, nice to see you back!

These single DSD 2017 transfers were done by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Mastering in LA. Great to hear they're an improvement on the Grundman or Yoshida 24/192 transfers. Btw is Speak No Evil among those you have? There has long been a tape issue with this record - apparently the original master has been deteriorating for ages - same with Maiden Voyage. But then a few years ago, according to Robert Hutton (, pristine 2nd generation backup masters made in the 70s were discovered and they sounded way better than the originals. They were used for the Music Matters (Kevin Gray mastered) 33 rpm LPs but not for the 24/192 transfers - wonder if they were used here.

Comment by analogue - July 6, 2018 (5 of 6)

Howdy Tony.

Yes I purchased both Speak no evil and Maiden Voyage. Love the music.
These two are among the releases that are not quite as good as the very best of the lot. Difficult to articulate exactly why.............but I personally found Speak no evil a little recessed and grainy and Maiden Voyage sounding much better. With regards to Maiden voyage I found the bass under recorded but the overall sound is pretty darn good....especially the very first track which has good soundstage and a nice open quality.

As I mentioned previously there are some magnificent transfers here...Both Hank Mobley sacds and of course Somethin else might be the best.

Comment by Tony Reif - July 24, 2018 (6 of 6)

Unfortunately neither Maiden Voyage nor Speak No Evil are the new DSD masters from analogue. In fact all except the last 4 releases in the series are DSD conversions of the older 24/192 transfers. The exceptions are all Coltrane-related: Blue Train, Whims of Chambers, Sonny's Crib and A Blowing Session. The giveaway is the track times - if you go to you can check the track times of the previously-issued SHM-CDs of those first 16 titles, which were based on the 24/192 transfers, against the track times of the SACDs and of the new (Japan only) DSD downloads - for example:

Info on all 20 of the new DSD downloads can be accessed from this page:

I blame Universal Japan for not clearly stating that they were reusing the PCM transfers rather than using the new DSD masters. Here's a google translation of their info on the CDJapan website:

Speak No Evil [SHM-SACD] [Limited Release] / Wayne Shorter
[BLUE NOTE name board 15 title / SACD ~ SHM spec recurrence] BLUE NOTE's masterpiece is the latest DSD master! Miles ~ A masterpiece representative of the new mainstream school whose young talent gathered around Coltrane. Decorate the end of the 1964 Blue Note trilogy following 'Night Dreamer' 'Juju'. Unfolds a distinctive mysterious Shorter world such as title song "Witch Hunt".

Whereas CD Japan's English description reads: Reissue in SHM-SACD format with DSD mastering. This series features the albums with the following product numbers: UCGQ-9007 through UCGQ-9022. (At least they don't claim that these are the "latest" DSD masters.)

Customers shouldn't have to read tea leaves or do personal research to know what they're buying! Maybe there are a lot of Japanese SACD buyers who never buy downloads and who will be satisfied with these. Universal Japan could easily have done the right thing and licensed the new masters for the whole series, but probably that would have cost them more.