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nicktf
2005-04-22, 01:22
I remember working long hours in my Saturday job to get my first CD player - this would have been in 1986. I can still recall the first three CDs I bought - Abbey Road by the Beatles, Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Physical Graffitti by Led Zeppelin.

It's just occured to me that these were nearly 20 years old when I ripped them to FLAC. Would more recent pressings sound significantly improved? Has the CD mastering process evolved significantly? I'm guessing yes...

Mike Hanson
2005-04-22, 02:59
I remember working long hours in my Saturday job It's just occured to me that these were nearly 20 years old when I ripped them to FLAC. Would more recent pressings sound significantly improved? Has the CD mastering process evolved significantly? I'm guessing yes...
Most of the time, yes. My first CD was a Steely Dan greatest hits album (can't recall the title), and they have always been sticklers for sound quality. I think they eventually remastered that one, but there wasn't much improvement.

On the other hand, I owned an earlier copy of Led Zep IV, which was retchedly shut-in and awful sounding. The new re-mastered version is quite good.

I'm not sure about "Wish You Were Here", but I know that the first release of "The Wall" doesn't sound that great.

-=> Mike Hanson <=-

FlyFishAndGolf
2005-04-23, 11:51
Both Physical Graffiti and Wish You Were Here have been remastered since then.

Phil Leigh
2005-04-24, 03:09
IMHO lots of CD's produced before (roughly) 1989 sound terrible - lots of upper mid and treble glare and harshness that gives that archetypal "digital" sound. Fortunately, many of these discs have been remastered and now sound good/great. The catalogues of the following all sound much better in remastered form:

Led Zeppelin
Pink Floyd
Supertramp
Queen
Eagles
Joe Jackson
Elvis Costello
Bryan Ferry
Dire Straits
Moody Blues
Black Sabbath
Rainbow
Elton John
Steely Dan
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Eric Clapton
Cream
Bob Dylan
Deep Purple
Peter Gabriel
Genesis
Yes
Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Bad Company
Free
Blue Oyster Cult (not all available yet)
Foreigner
Hendrix
10CC
Paul Simon
Thin Lizzy
Who

nicktf
2005-04-25, 05:11
The catalogues of the following all sound much better in remastered form:
<snip>

Bugger.

Thanks. Anyone got a spare pot of cash? The bulk of my favourites were all bought pre-1990. Actually, I had noticed how much better the Zeppelin Boxed set sounded over the originals - in fact IIRC, on my pressing of Physical Graffitti, "In My Time of Dying" has lost the last "...cough" and bit of studio chat.

I did a bit of listening this weekend and the prize for "most improved CD" are the Rykodisk Bowie issues over my original RCA pressings, though I seem to remember that the latter were withdrawn due to quality issues and are fairly rare. Perhaps if I can find a Bowie obsessive to pay me lots of cash for them?

cliveb
2005-04-27, 08:08
Actually, I had noticed how much better the Zeppelin Boxed set sounded over the originals
Sometimes you need to be careful with remasters. Alot of them have been compressed far too much in the chase for loudness at any cost. Indeed the Zeppelin ones are a case in point. The "Remasters" box sets (4CD and 2CD) are probably the best sounding of all the Zeppelin ones I've heard. The 10CD "Complete Studio Recordings" box has a harshness that's not on "Remasters". I suspect there is some digital clipping on the 10CD set. Unless they've been redone *again*, it's my understanding that the individual Zeppelin CDs are the same remasters as the 10CD set (shame).

John Stimson
2005-04-27, 12:00
I'll add Level 42 to the list of improved remasters.

I don't entirely agree with the Yes remasters though. Most of them are very good, but in the case of Drama the remastered version revealed some very nasty-sounding clipping on the guitar part (I think in "Tempus Fugit"). The YesYears boxed set which was released before the current remastered albums sounded shrill with high-frequency noise or distortion.

Tom Alves
2005-04-29, 01:44
I don't entirely agree with the Yes remasters though. Most of them are very good, but in the case of Drama the remastered version revealed some very nasty-sounding clipping on the guitar part (I think in "Tempus Fugit"). The YesYears boxed set which was released before the current remastered albums sounded shrill with high-frequency noise or distortion.It may not be perfect but the Drama remaster is still better than my doggy old original release vinyl which sounds truly woolly and flat.

You'd better add the King remasters to the list of things to get. Whether the HDCD makes any difference I'm not sure but the new DGM versions outshine those released by EG/Polydor.

Phil Leigh
2005-04-29, 11:16
Re: Zep - I was specifically thinking of the remasters box sets which I used to reconstruct the original albums in Squeezebbox folders...I've only heard PG in remastered form as an actual album (sounded pretty good - certainly better than the original CD, but I haven't compared to the Remasters versions of the tracks - and its great to have the cough back at the end of IMTOD)

Also, re YES - I only really like/own the early albums up to Relayer (+90125) and those remasters all sound great...

Jim
2005-04-29, 19:20
Remasters are record companies way of milking money from die hard fans when they're not winning payouts by from the parents of children they have scared who are only doing what many of us did as kid's which is sharing and discovering music (this is a hi-tech version, back in my day it was copying CD's/records to tapes and of course recoring the Top 40 every Sunday). But just like I did with tapes, with MP3's one day they're gonna realise how horrible they sound and buy the real thing - well they would of done.

Some Remasters are actually worse than the originals and others such as Lou Reed's "badly in need of remastering" Transformer album was remastered so crappily that with the inclusion of 2 bonus tracks people bought it anyway. And now they are guaranteed to milk fans of this album for the 3rd time on some sort of anniversay release or whatever other reason they want to give so they can finally remaster it properly. If they're smart they'll remaster it onto CD, and then a few months later make a DVD-A or a Hybrid CD release. Why not then do a special DVD-Video / CD box set too.

And it's not just the old records, someone please explain how a hip-hop classic such as Tupac Shakur's All Eyez On Me (Recorded 1996) can be released as remastered on CD in 2001? Yes, it's acceptable to make money from your artist when they die (we are the ones who suudenly get an urge to buy dead artists records), but to release it as Remastered ? From what? Wasn't it DDD originally? What have they done? Fired up the Compressing software to make the beats sound more "phat" for todayz kidz and at the same time screwed up the range and scope of the sounds?

Much of the remastering on albums such as that is just appealing to the 400wPMPO, speakers mounted on wall brigade who think because a remaster sounds louder it is automatically better.

I download all my remasters lossless from the internet and I have no qualms in doing it if I own the original. I don't consider a bonus track that I might listen to one time worthy of paying money for when I have already bought one album which sounds crap and I've had to endure this inferior version for the last 10 years because like a idiot thanks to them and thier b****hit I sold the vinyl?

I figure as I am finally getting the promise they wrote in the inlay of the original CD album I bought 10 years ago, something like "This recording was taken from the original masters for the best reproduction and enjoyment" it is pretty similar to when Bill Gates said Windows XP was good. It wasn't, but Bill soon provided me with the free Service Pack 2 with a few nice new features and plenty of remastering of his buggy code. I'd love to see what happened if I went to a record companies office with my old defective CD with the misleading description and demanded a free upgrade to a remaster.

I am not the sort of person who will buy every single version of a release by my fave artists these days, cause at the end of the day thanks to my Squeezebox they all sit in the bedroom cupboard. Just because the remastered Rolling Stones, Elton John, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Led Zepplin, Madonna, Depeche Mode (Singles), AC/DC collections come in nice packaging do you think I threw out my CD's or sell them along with everyone else for sod-all on ebay so I could pay for another days supply of Keith Richard's Jack Daniels or Elton's daily florist bill? You think with the music industry's habit of screwing people over I am willing to bet a good deal of money on any format emerging format today surviving?

How can anyone seriously consider any new music format such as DVD Audio or SACD when The Beatles haven't even appeared on it yet? I need to save all my money for that day, when I buy the entire Beatles catalogue again - that has pride of place on my bookshelf :D

pfarrell
2005-04-29, 19:44
On Fri, 2005-04-29 at 19:20 -0700, Jim wrote:
> How can anyone seriously consider any new music format such as DVD
> Audio or SACD when The Beatles haven't even appeared on it yet?

DVD-Audio and SACD are dead. They failed, like
DAT tapes. Not because they are bad, but rather
because they didn't reach critical mass.

There is a small chance that DvD-Audio will live on as part of DualDVDs,
but so far, the only dual part is video with low res sound.

SACD (and DSD) was mostly about allowing Sony records to
re-release and resell all the old albums (mentioned in this thread)
yet a third time. It makes sense if you have vaults with
2" analog master tapes. It makes no sense at all in the world
of most commercial studios, which do nearly all their
work in digital. (The good ones use high frequency/wide words)

And of course, SACD was supposed to prevent illegal copies,
which is an unreachable goal.

It is pretty clear that there no longer is any mass market
for quality sound. The month's Mix magazine
(aimed at studio and touring sound engineers)
has the cover with "who cares about quality"
and the main story is "quality in the age of "good enough""


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Jim
2005-04-29, 19:46
I remember working long hours in my Saturday job to get my first CD player - this would have been in 1986. I can still recall the first three CDs I bought - Abbey Road by the Beatles, Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Physical Graffitti by Led Zeppelin.

It's just occured to me that these were nearly 20 years old when I ripped them to FLAC. Would more recent pressings sound significantly improved? Has the CD mastering process evolved significantly? I'm guessing yes...

Either you already knew these albums on vinyl/casette and had excellant taste - or you didn't know where to start and looked at some "Top Albums Ever" chart. Either way, clever thinking - I only wish I had such excellant first purchases of CD's that I wasn't actually embarassed to reveal :D

You've already seen that Floyd & Zep are available remastered now. Don't waste your time buying The Beatles again, as far as I know with the orignal pressings nothing has changed. You'll have to wait with everyone else in alt.beatles in the always active "remaster? when?" threads.

However, there are unofficial allegedly better versions of some Beatles albums floating around known as the MFSL series.

People who are really into their audio do say they are much better and I've been meaning to have a listen. Let's be honest it wouldn't be too hard for anyone with a half decent record player, all the Beatles vinyls and a few hours to make better sounding versions than those horrid CD releases, it's a travesty that the most famous band ever is generally introduced to kids in such a terrible mastering - you only have to listen to the Anthology's, Number 1's Compilation, Yellow Sumbarine Songbook, Capitol Box Vol 1 and Let It Be Naked to see the potential the Beatles have on CD.

Jim
2005-04-29, 20:12
<rant>


DVD-Audio and SACD are dead. They failed, like
DAT tapes. Not because they are bad, but rather
because they didn't reach critical mass.

Spot on, and I don't think it's a fault with the media itself, it's just how thanks to computers (and mainly <spit> MP3's) it's all changed. I think us people here are the first to realise that the idea of always handling a physical product doesn't work anymore. You've either sold your CD's or you've got them hidden out of the way somewhere now you've got you're SlimServer.



There is a small chance that DvD-Audio will live on as part of DualDVDs,
but so far, the only dual part is video with low res sound.

The only future I see for physical music products are you'd be buying an album and it would basically be a DVD Video. It'd be filled with 60 minutes of music as normal, and for 4 of the songs (the planned singles) you'd get half decent videos as they'd be made for MTV. The rest of the video content would no doubt be filler crap, and you'd only be interested if it was a band you really liked. You can imagne how popular this format would be with teenage girls who would have a full 60 mins of their favourite boyband - in video.

Hopefully these teenage girls would keep the record companies afloat, because it's only a matter of time before lossless sharing becomes the new MP3 and people just don't care about missing out on the videos, or all PC's have enforced DRM chips so we're all screwed listening to crappy "CD Quality" AAC files or whatever.



It is pretty clear that there no longer is any mass market
for quality sound.

Spot on. Even in these forums I don't believe when I see people talking about ripping to anything other than FLAC/APE. There's only one thing more boring than staring at EAC for hours every night - that's when you do it a second time after you realise you should of gone lossless in the first place. With 1000+ albums it's not fun, and if you can afford to spend a few hundred dollars on a Squeezebox I don't understand the big deal about a few hard drives?

I look in the houses of kids today, most of their parents have crappy Micro Hi-Fi's, and don't even think how they can get any sort of lower-end louder than a flea's fart from speakers the size of matchboxes. The other luckier kids (!) maybe have parents who bough a 150 surround sound system from Argos! Still, it doesn't matter the quality of the amp/speakers when they're playing CD burned 128kbps MP3's they downloaded from Kazaa. And little Jimmy doesn't even have his parents old hi-fi in his room, or even a portable player - he's happy listening to his computer stored MP3 music from his 50 speaker set with the big subwoofer.

These days most kids can put their parents hi-fi at full volume and no damage will occur as it's usually just some crappy integrated hi-fi designed to stop people doing stupid things like this. Yet in the shops all the attention is on the watts with these crappy systems, of course in PMPO which means nothing. Why? What does it matter the watts? You're not gonna plug anything else into it?

I remember the old days of record players and unknown speakers - where you didn't know what the watt was as it the sticker has probably fallen off long ago. You'd always learn where the limit was by using your ears. You learned that it wasn't about the volume, nowdays I guess most of the MP3 crap the kids get has been 100% Amplified by some bright spark.

I'm in South America right now, this place has been selling pirated CD's in the streets probably before CD's even existed ! Originally before CD burners were mass market if you were desperate for a CD you could get a good sounding one, now of course everythnig is MP3 sourced because nobody cares, or everyones hi-fi is so crap or ears trained that loudness=quality that they don't know.
</rant>

John Stimson
2005-05-02, 15:53
And it's not just the old records, someone please explain how a hip-hop classic such as Tupac Shakur's All Eyez On Me (Recorded 1996) can be released as remastered on CD in 2001? Yes, it's acceptable to make money from your artist when they die (we are the ones who suudenly get an urge to buy dead artists records), but to release it as Remastered ? From what? Wasn't it DDD originally?Well, that's three separate steps that involve digital audio:

1) Digital recording using an analog-to-digital converter, which may not have had perfect analog electronics and may have used improper digital filtering techniques.

2) Digital mixing using digital mixing hardware, which may have been limited in computing power, requiring a compromise of accuracy for speed, and may have used flawed algorithms.

3) Digital mastering, which again may have used compromised or flawed post-processing algorithms.

If the re-mastering engineers can characterize exactly the imperfections of steps 1, 2, and 3 and compensate for them, and/or re-do the last two steps, then it's likely that they can improve even on the "perfect" (according the the early-1980s marketing of the new digital medium) all-digitally-recorded DDD discs.

John Stimson
2005-05-02, 15:58
You'd better add the King remasters to the list of things to get. Whether the HDCD makes any difference I'm not sure but the new DGM versions outshine those released by EG/Polydor.Oh, I wanted to ask about that. I agree that the DGM "Definitive Edition" remasters are worthwhile.

What about the more recent remasters that come in the large cardboard sleeves like miniature LP sleeves? The "Definitive-er" editions, so to speak...I'm curious about the sound quality, as well as the rumors that in those versions Robert Fripp has done some revisionist editing of some of the songs.

Tom Alves
2005-05-02, 17:08
The "Definitive" remasters are Mr Fripps work but the master is the same regardless of sleeve material. The cardboard sleeve was a limited run and no longer commercially available. :( DGM have just released an even newer version of ItCotCK which is from the newly found original master tapes and is reputed to sound even better than the "Definitive" remaster.

I would be interested to know whether the HDCD encoding makes any difference on a squeezebox. I did a quick kb count and the HDCD files were roughly 8% larger than on the original recordings. Is that down to remastering or HDCD encoding?

julian2002
2005-05-03, 02:37
hdcd is passed through the squeezebox accurately. the hdcd indicator on my dac lights when a rip of an hdcd is played.

nicktf
2005-05-03, 04:24
Either you already knew these albums on vinyl/casette and had excellant taste - or you didn't know where to start and looked at some "Top Albums Ever" chart. Either way, clever thinking - I only wish I had such excellant first purchases of CD's that I wasn't actually embarassed to reveal :D

Happy previous owner...at the time, I had to do 6 hours work at Homebase to afford a single CD, hence careful choices - ah...the joys of low-wage Saturday jobs...


You've already seen that Floyd & Zep are available remastered now. Don't waste your time buying The Beatles again, as far as I know with the orignal pressings nothing has changed. You'll have to wait with everyone else in alt.beatles in the always active "remaster? when?" threads.

Thanks for the tip...I'll head off to alt.beatles with my lurk hat on.