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cyclone

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I was at a stereo shop checking out some new equipment I had brought what I thought were some of my better recorded CDs after listening a while the gentleman helping me told me "I've got something for you to check out" he brought out a CD that had been burned supposedly from the master tapes it was a combination of recordings from Elvis, Johnny Cash, Sonny and Cher, The Byrds etc. let me tell you the differences were not subtle I could not believe there could be that much difference. It made me wonder why can't all cd's be made to these standards surely if something originally recorded that long ago can sound so good why can't new recordings with todays technology sound that much better. It also makes me wonder why one wants to put a ton of money into audio equipment when you're at the the mercy of the record labels to produce decent sounding discs.
 
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Tiberium

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It also makes me wonder why one wants to put a ton of money into audio equipment when you're at the the mercy of the record labels to produce decent sounding discs.
It has always been like that but joe blow does not care about quality. There are a lot of good quality recordings out there in every genre but you do have to hunt for them.
 

cyclone

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That's just it you have to look for good recordings not the music you like that sucks you would think artists especially established ones would demand their music be put out in the highest quality possible. I do not know what goes into a production run of cds but I wouldn't think it would cost that much more to do it right. Also the disc I was talking about made what I would have called before a good sounding disc sound very bad it was an eye (ear) opening experience I didn't think a CD could sound that good.
 
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DTB300

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cyclone said:
I do not know what goes into a production run of cds but I wouldn't think it would cost that much more to do it right.
It is not the CD Production, it is the original recording.

I have CD from recordings done in the 50 & 60's that are just superb. Recordings that had minimal microphones, and the players sat down played and they recorded.

Dam
 

cyclone

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If that were totally true why is it I heard the exact same music on other discs and it didn't sound anywhere near as good? There has to be a weak link between the master recording and what is put on the store shelf.
 

DavidG

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Tiberium said:
It has always been like that but joe blow does not care about quality. There are a lot of good quality recordings out there in every genre but you do have to hunt for them.
You want proof of this - just look at the growth in mp3 sales. The average person is prepared to pay to download mp3 audio at 128kb format. With the amount of loss used for this format, there's hardly any of the original recording left!

Annoyingly, lossless compression formats (like MLP) have existed for some years, but no-one seems to be all that interested.

(Rant over!)

Cheers,

David
 

edwinr

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This is an interesting topic. Like the rest of you guys, I've often eagerly awaited the release of certain recordings by top name artists - when I've played the CD's, I've been very disappointed. Things like congested and compressed midrange, anaemic bass and screeching treble have manifested themselves in CD's that have sold like hotcakes. It's even more irritating when I've paid full price.

Now that I own Martin Logans, this has become even more of an issue.

But I should point out, that some CD's that I thought were average, have actually turned out to be very good recordings. I had previously sorted out a collection of CD's that I was going to sell - primarily because I thought the sound quality sucked. But I decided to give these CD's a last minute whirl on the Summits before I sold them. Lo and behold, over half of them demonstrated superior sound quality. My previous non-ML system didn't reveal the quality of these recordings.
 

DTB300

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cyclone said:
If that were totally true why is it I heard the exact same music on other discs and it didn't sound anywhere near as good? There has to be a weak link between the master recording and what is put on the store shelf.
While it is true that a bad pressing can occur. But there can be bad batches of CD's too. Take your computer CD-R's for example...you can get real crap and you can get real reliable ones - not sure if this can be compared to audio CD's but if we experience it with computer stuff, it just could be possible for audio CD's.

Also, someone here posted about copying their CD to Black CD-R's and hearing an improvement in their playback. I have a couple of the Burmester compilation CD on Black CD-R and I have made a copy to regular CD and there is a sound difference.

Dan
 
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Robin

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CD Sound Quality / Sonic Quality...

This is a very interesting topic. :)
I too have noticed a difference is sound quality / sonic quality of many CD's produced in the US vs. CD's produced in Japan. IMHO It seems, at least for some CD's produced in Japan, that the quality of sound is better. For example - the CD produced in Japan - "Whipped Cream and Other Delights", which I own, sounds superior to the US produced copy of the same CD, at least to my ears anyway... I don't know why this is the case... :confused: I wonder if it is just a question of the expense of production vs. profits?

Roger Waters - "Qsound" is another example of how superior sonic quality can be produced for CD's. ;)
 
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amey01

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Lets not forget that we are here for the music, not so much the sound. A good sound system can (and does) make bad CDs sound more enjoyable as well so that is why I have a good audio system. It is not a waste if you enjoy the music on it!
 

aliveatfive

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amey01 said:
Lets not forget that we are here for the music, not so much the sound. A good sound system can (and does) make bad CDs sound more enjoyable as well so that is why I have a good audio system. It is not a waste if you enjoy the music on it!
Sorry - have to disagree. The more accurate an audio system, the easier it is to hear the flaws in the recording. A limited bandwidth, low accuracy system will always make junky recordings sound better.
 

Rich

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DTB300 said:
It is not the CD Production, it is the original recording.
I think it is not just in the original recording, but in the post-recording mastering that most problems arise. I don't know that much about it, but I know that MoFi takes old recordings and re-masters them with their own special equipment, and produces cds that are reputed to sound much better than the original.

I have a friend that has recorded two cds, and long after he was finished recording, the mastering engineers were putting in long hard hours to make it sound right. I think that is where time and money can be well-spent to make a great cd.

Unfortunately, my ML system is so detailed and precise, that there are a few cds that I used to love to listen to on lesser systems that I just can't play on my MLs because the sound is so bad. Just a few though. Most cds sound fine, and some are just absolutely amazing. :)
 

amey01

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aliveatfive said:
Sorry - have to disagree. The more accurate an audio system, the easier it is to hear the flaws in the recording. A limited bandwidth, low accuracy system will always make junky recordings sound better.
Fair enough, but within reason! The majority of my CDs are not audiophile recordings, but they still sound great. I would not have bought an excellent system if it didn't make 99% of my CDs sound better. Sure, some are so bad that a decent system only makes them worse - they are in the unlistenable category, which is thankfully very very small.
 

aliveatfive

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amey01 said:
Fair enough, but within reason! The majority of my CDs are not audiophile recordings, but they still sound great. I would not have bought an excellent system if it didn't make 99% of my CDs sound better. Sure, some are so bad that a decent system only makes them worse - they are in the unlistenable category, which is thankfully very very small.
If your cds sound good on a good system, they are probably well recorded. GIGO - garbage in, garbage out!
 

DTB300

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aliveatfive said:
GIGO - garbage in, garbage out!
Exactly my thoughts for the master being a major driving force for good sound. But as we all know the final product can still be mucked up pretty good.

The great point was MoFi and what they can do with a good master recording. I recently bought the Gerry Mulligan and it is a very nice sounding album considering the time it was originally recorded.

Dan
 

amey01

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aliveatfive said:
If your cds sound good on a good system, they are probably well recorded. GIGO - garbage in, garbage out!
I didn't specify that they sounded good - I simply said that they sounded better than on a crappy system. Subtle and slight difference I know, but pertinent in the context.
 

aliveatfive

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amey01 said:
I didn't specify that they sounded good - I simply said that they sounded better than on a crappy system. Subtle and slight difference I know, but pertinent in the context.
And I still do not agree with you. A crummy system of less than full frequency response that does not reveal all the details of a recording will homogenize the sound of all music fed to it.
 

dbakker@wwnet.com

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Rich said:
I think it is not just in the original recording, but in the post-recording mastering that most problems arise. I don't know that much about it, but I know that MoFi takes old recordings and re-masters them with their own special equipment, and produces cds that are reputed to sound much better than the original.
I am not sure if this is in reference to analog or digital originals. I have never heard a CD re-issue from a original analog original LP, by original I mean first pressing, that was even remotely better or had any of the micro detail of the latter. CD's are at best a compromise technology and although it may described as lossless in comparison to MP3 or other compression technologies, it is far from lossless compared to fine analog recordings.

I am well aware of the unavailability of analog recordings of all musical repetoire from the last 15-18 years, but there is more than 30 years of analog production out there in the now international market place.

I have collected records since I was 14 years old and bought classical and jazz recordings on Blue Notes, Impulse, Epics, Eratos, Deccas at the time of first issue. So far I have not found any reissue either by the label itself or by secondary pressings such as Mobile Fidelity, Mosaic or Acoustic Sounds that carry the sound and signature of the original. And I would include the thousands of Japanese re-issues of "classics" in the mainstream repetoire.
Find some seventies and eighties french Eratos or Philips of composers like Xenakis, Ligeti or John Cage and you will hear the pinnacle of what recorded sound can be like. Better yet, buy some symphony tickets (if you are near one) and hear all that is missing in all digital listening experiences.

Don't forget to listen to the music first.
 

aliveatfive

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dbakker@wwnet.com said:
Better yet, buy some symphony tickets (if you are near one) and hear all that is missing in all digital listening experiences.

Don't forget to listen to the music first.
Absolutely agree. Heard the New York Philharmionic at Lincoln Center 2 weeks ago and was again amazed at the difference between the live experience and the recorded one. Live is absolutely amazing - no distortion, no frequency deviation, etc.
 

DTB300

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dbakker@wwnet.com said:
Better yet, buy some symphony tickets (if you are near one) and hear all that is missing in all digital listening experiences.
There is not a recorded medium which will be equivilent to the live version - digital or analogue.

Dan
 
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