During a recent meet up at the Now Spinning Arms (the virtual pub for Now spinning Patrons and YouTube Members) , there was much talk of Paul Duggan’s superb article on the legendary Bob Ludwig mastered Led Zeppelin II.
The Lower Cost Alternative to a Bob Ludwig Zep II
As most Led Zeppelin fans are probably aware, the early, withdrawn from sale, extreme hot cut Bob Ludwig Led Zeppelin II pressing is the one everyone looks for and lusts after. As time has moved on this has gotten to be a very expensive option and the prices these things go for now, often in poor condition, are just horrifying.
Well did you know that there’s a good lower cost alternative?
In recent years the mid-70’s George Piros masters have gained wide recognition as offering really excellent pressings that, by all accounts, convey much, if not all, of the power and majesty of a Ludwig.
I bought a complete Led Zeppelin vinyl collection some years ago and, by pure chance, the tell-tale relatively thin deadwax and AT-GP signature on both sides of this near mint Led Zeppelin II indicated that I’d landed a Piros.
Piros was an Atlantic in-house mastering engineer and every time I see those initials in the deadwax
I know I’m in for a sonic treat.
His Led Zeppelin 2 is a dazzlingly good hot cut, with magnificent definition, punch and soundstage. Everything you’d want a “2” to sound like, really deep bass here too. Jonesy’s sublime playing on The Lemon Song, and everywhere else of course, is just stunning.
Absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never thought much about acquiring an RL since then, though of course the door is always wide open at the right price.
The Piros pressing still doesn’t seem to command a premium, as most collectors are falling over themselves to acquire a Ludwig. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience one of the cornerstone rock albums as it was always intended.
Chris Wright | Now Spinning Magazine