Author Topic: Best remastered CD's  (Read 7130 times)

Offline mca

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Best remastered CD's
« on: May 20, 2007, 03:38:44 PM »
I see so many CD's from the '80's and '90's that have been remastered. I always wonder, are they really that much better than the originals?

What remastered CD's have you bought that you thought was a big improvement?
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Offline richidoo

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Best remastered CD's
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 06:54:39 PM »
I don't think the MoFi remasters of classical stuff at least is super duper great like they want you to think. SOme of the rock stuff does sound very good.

At lectures by Steve Hoffman at RMAF last year, he played a lot of remastered stuff that he had done. He explained how the original tapes can be pretty badly tweaked for commercial reasons of the day. WHen he gets to revisit the originals he can reinterpret with an audiophile's ear instead of trying to sell 45s. His Sinatra stuff, Ray Charles, lots of jazz stuff is much better than the original records which were mutilated by the record cutters with different motives than high end sound.

Sadly, some jazz CDs especially those made overseas are recorded off an LP. You get a decent tone, but you hear the rumble and slight ticks on some of them. So those definietely are not as good as remastered from original tapes. I have a Gerry Mulligan tentette remaster which is a total disaster. Obviously the engineer knew nothing about the cool west coast sound or the intimacy of those takes and just ruined it with some kind of weird reverb patch or plugin with even a little echo in it. You can hear the electronic new brightness spreadout on top of the original mellow tape. It's unlistenable and very sad because the music will fade into nothing because no-one can get the jist of the music when it is destroyed like that. So if you don't have the LP you can't hear it.

Oh well. We can't hear Beethoven paying piano anymore either, but instead someone takes it in a new direction suitable for today. But what if.... :D

Rich

kallitype

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 08:45:44 AM »
Sony's remastering of the (shrill and hissy) Columbia / Glenn Gould early CD's is excellent. Those recording produced by Andrew Kazdin are not so bad. Nothing can be done about the tape flutter, tho, on the mono recorded stuff. 

Offline richidoo

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2008, 11:20:24 AM »
This is the one I was talking about.
http://zenph.com/sept25.html

Offline Carlman

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2008, 12:17:19 PM »
I compared Mothership Connection ripped to FLAC from the remasted cd to a new release 180G vinyl copy and you could tell they 'messed with it'... The remastering 'choices' weren't an improvement over vinyl.  The soundstage seemed a little flatter, less space around the musicians, etc.. The vinyl augmented that difference even more with its 'wholeness' of sound. 

The remastered cd sounds technically excellent but it sounds like they put all the levels in the middle and didn't touch them throughout the recording.... The love wasn't there on the cd.  Maybe all they did is make it all louder and compress it on the remaster, I don't know... probably depends on what some exec thought would sell more at the time.  How's that for cynical? ;)  Don't mess with P-funk.  8)
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline allenzachary

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2008, 02:07:18 PM »
That's the law 'round here.  You got t' wear ya sunglesses...so you can feel coo'.

 8)

kallitype

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 04:36:01 PM »
Guess I]'ll have to get the Zenph for myself---a lot of dissention among the reviews.  I don't find the 1955 Goldberg sound unlistenable in the SOny remaster  (in the "Original Jacket" collection) but the 1981 performance is much deeper on the emotional and spiritual level. It should be----Gould was nearly 30 years older and possessed of much deeper insight and approached the variations with much greater ability to limn them with (as he put it at the time) "some degree of perfection, not purely of a technical order, but of a spiritual order".  In the Sony collection, there is a CD of his interview with Tim Page about the 1981 Goldbergs, I will listen to it tonight and see if it offers some clear info about his perception of the differences between the 1955 and 1981 recordings.
Gould:  "I would like to think that there a kind of autumnal repose in what I am doing, so that much of the music becomes a tranquillizing experience".....he perhaps had an inkling that his life was coming to a close.  His intention was, at 50, to stop performing on the piano and turn to conducting.


   One of the reviews of the "recreation":


First the good news. The recording quality is better than the original.

Then the not so good news. In despite of all the technology too little of Glenn Gould found its way into the stream of zeros and ones on this disc. In addition, the piano has a very different sonic signature than Glenn's Steinway and this recording's miking differed significantly from the one the Canadian used throughout his Bach recordings.

Listening to this recording made me think of one of those old Star Trek episodes where something went wrong in Scotty's attempt of beaming someone up. Superficially, everything seems to be there and in the right place, but the original soul is no longer there. To me most of what made this recording great and Gould so special got lost in the elaborate process of recreation. The extras provide little in the way of compensation.

While this recreation may have used the most technologically advanced approach, older technology like piano rolls -I am thinking here of the Rachmaninov reissue on Telarc about a decade- and player piano -at its very best with D. Hyman's recordings for Prof. Johnson- yielded far more involving results than this disc. Based on the Hyman experience, this suggests that most got lost in the processing of the original recording to the piano programming.

Although the geek in me still thinks that there is a lot of promise in this approach, I infinitely prefer the rather poorly sounding original. Similarly, this elaborate and expensive process, at this stage of its evolution, will likely add little to the oldies from the 78 RPM era that may lack sonics, but are high on soul.

Glenn Gould???
Not even close.

Offline richidoo

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 12:27:56 PM »
That's to be expected. The original is always preferred by those already accustomed to it. But for new listeners who expect it to sound new, this may be interesting to them. Gould has a presence when sitting at the piano, I assume that will be missing since he is not there. The Art Tatum is what I'm most interested in hearing. The greatest pianist of all time was recorded on state of the art equipment in 40's, but it leaves a lot to be desired in sound quality. Unfortunately, a lot of the subtle details that I'm hoping to hear will not be revealed by magic, the original is still the source for the re-recording. No matter how talented the digital editor working on the MIDI file, tweaking it manually will always make it look fake. "Better," maybe in some ways, but not real. I will still buy it to see how it sounds.

ipy

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2008, 12:06:56 AM »

Headspace

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Re: Best remastered CD's
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 08:54:30 AM »
Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon SACD was well done as well.