David Bowie CD's Ryko vs. Virgin....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Stateless, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    Which one's do you all prefer? I have most of the Ryko one's but I upgraded Ziggy Stardust to the 30th anniversary version which I found has more clarity. Are the other Virgin's a noticable improvement or should i hold on to the Ryko's. I'm also used to the bonus tracks.

    Thanks in advance,

    WW
  2. Ahh, the heavily tinkered with Peter Mew version or the unflattering Ryko disc. Hmmm? Don't know what to tell you.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Good one!

    It's a sad catalog these days.
  4. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Dear WW,

    Try searching the DB for "David Bowie". Many individuals frequenting the SH website (me included) believe the original RCA CD versions are the closest to a straight dump from the master tape. True, they may be a couple of generations away from the master, but they still sound far better (to these ears anyway) than either the Ryko or the Virgin CDs.

    Welcome to the forum,
    Kevin
  5. chrischross

    chrischross New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Wonderwall,

    They're should be quite a few threads discussing the RCA/Ryko/Virgin releases. The RCA's are highly recommended. If you can't get ahold of those, the Rykos are OK as you get some bonus tracks -- for instance, I think "Abdulmajid" on "Heroes" is pretty essential. I haven't heard the Virgin releases, but my hunch is that they would be overly compressed like all of the other new releases of anything.

    My strategy so far has been to get both the Rykos (just for the bonus tracks) and the RCA's for the sound quality. Both are OOP, but can be found if you look hard enough. Finding a RCA Bowie in the used bins can be an exhilirating experience!
  6. Vivaldinization

    Vivaldinization Active Member

    Location:
    .
    The Virgins don't sound bad, per se...they're processed, but really just end up sounding "different."

    I think bemoaning the "sad state" of Bowie's catalogue is pretty ridiculous, as everyone seems to have at least ONE version they like.
  7. chrischross

    chrischross New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    IIRC -- aren't you partial to the Ryko golds?? I might have to pick one up just to say I have one.

    I would agree about the state of Bowie's catalog --- now the Kinks, that's another story completely.
  8. Claus

    Claus Fireblade Rider

    Location:
    Germany
    I do prefer the Rykos for the bonus tracks... otherwise I prefer the Virgin's, except for Ziigy Stardust's anniversary edition... this remaster sounds aweful against the regular remaster.
  9. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    I suppose I should stick with the Ryko's then if the sound quality of the Virgin's aren't much of an improvement, or somewhat the same, depending on taste. I do like the 30th Ziggy better than the Ryko version. I don't mind a bit of NR or compression if it is kept to a minimum and done tastefully. I enjoy the McCartney remasters, and I know there was NR put on those. But as for Bowie, I love most of the bonus tracks so Ryko seems the way to stay. I do have the Ryko gold discs of Hunky Dory & Low & really enjoy them too.
  10. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    What does the forum think of the Ryko discs? What are the differences compared to the RCA CDs?
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    My first experience with a David Bowie CD was back in the mid 80's when I bought my favorite Bowie album "Young Americans". It was the RCA version of course, and the girl that worked at the store was easily the BIGGEST Bowie fan that I've ever met, so naturally she was excited about my purchase!

    It was most likely a BAD pressing or someone pushed the "record" button a few seconds late as the CD started by missing the opening drum hits...

    BA-BA-BA-BA (CD Started here) BA-DA-DA-DA-DA-Dum Sax

    I immediately took the disc back and we all (store emploees and myself) decided that it was a defective pressing! I never got another copy of it till RYKO'S 1991 AU20 Gold Disc, which sounds good to my ears!

    I do, however, still have the RCA "Hunky Dory" CD which I enjoy very much, plus the 1990 Limited Edition "Ziggy Stardust" which is stilled sealed in the Long Box and I'm about to sell soon either on e-Bay or GEMM!

    Chris C
  12. rjp

    rjp Forum Resident

    Location:
    ohio
    my opinion:

    the ryko AU20's beat everything else.

    renny
  13. John Moschella

    John Moschella Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    Big Bowie fan here. I have most of his catalog on RYKO and bought them when they were released. I have a couple of Virgins (Aladin Sane & Station). If I had to choose I would prefer the Virgins for SQ (I don't have the gold RYKOs). Actually, I always thought the RYKOs were aweful but bought them for the extra tracks. I'm not sure what happened to my RCAs, but they were nothing to write home about. The RYKO LPs were also aweful but I bought them for the packaging. There is nothing that comes close to Bowie on UK or Japanese vinyl. Some of the UK re-issue vinyl sounds great and the Aladin Sane Japanese pressing I have is stunning, so I'm not that hot on any of the CDs.

    John
  14. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Location:
    Brighton, England
    The RCAs sound like analogue recordings (as much as 16-bit/44.1KHz digital can sound analogue anyway).

    The Rykos sound feeble in comparison. No warmth, all the natural life EQ'd right out of them. Bottom line, they don't sound like analogue recordings from the 70s.

    The Virgins are Mewtilated - end of story.
  15. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    Wow. I'm amazed at the strong differences of opinion on this topic. It seems most people have pretty strong views about what sounds best to them, and those views are widely divergent. It's very refreshing actually. We all listen with different ears.

    So here's my 2 cents. I actually also feel pretty strongly about it, but it is one man's opinion.

    I actually only had a couple of the RCA's (I think Aladdin Sane and Ziggy), and I hated them. Thought they sounded really thin and tinny, very un-analog. They didn't have any of the warmth of my lps (I have all his stuff through Scary Monsters on lp, Rykco, and Virgin after Scary Monsters it's all cd).

    I bought all of the Rykco's and really tried to like them. Rykco was a small independent with a strong reputation for quality. Plus they had all those bonus tracks. Unfortunately, I've always found them very harsh and strident - also very un-analog. An example is Suffragette City where on the lp the sax and guitar create this seamless wall of sound. On the Rykco they are clinically separated, and the magic is lost.

    To me the Virgins are by far the most analog sounding. They come closest (by far) to the sound of my lps. They have the warmth and lushness without sounding muddled or compressed. Maybe they've been processed, I don't know. I couldn't care less. To me they take me closest to my original lps. So I burned all of the Rykco bonus tracks onto 2 cds, and now I never have a reason to pull the Rykcos out again.
    JP M. likes this.
  16. davef

    davef Member

    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    I have been enjoying my new double-disk Best of Bowie and like its sound. The only other Bowie I've been thinking about getting is "Space Oddity"... any particular recomendations on which copy to find for that album?
  17. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    Location:
    Encino, California
    My 2 cents....
    I have ALL of the RCA's....HATE THEM! (Too far removed from 1st Generation Masters)
    I have ALL of the Virgins...DISLIKE THEM! ( 2 dimensional)
    I have ALL of the Ryko's...Gold included...LOVE THEM!
    I have posted this before... The Rykos are much more transparent than any of the others. I hear a soundstaging with the Rykos that DO NOT EXIST with the others. The Ziggy 30th is a sonic embarassment!
  18. John Moschella

    John Moschella Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    I pretty much agree with everything you've said except its been a very long time since I heard one of the RCA's so I can't comment on that. I always hated the RYKOs and strident is the best adjective to describe their sound, the RYKO LPs are similarly bad.

    John
  19. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    This sounds exactly like what I think about the Rykos. They sound analytical, cold, and unfeeling. And, you're right, they don't sound anything like they are 70s recordings.

    Since I cannot find any RCA discs, and I refuse to bother with E-bay, I guess i'll try one of the Virgin CDs.
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    What an interesting thread. A true democratic spiltting.

    Audiomixer, can you fill out your profile?
  21. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    It seems that the only thing everyone agrees on is that the 30th anniversary Ziggy sounds terrible. I've never heard it. Is it different from the regular Virgin remaster?
  22. chrischross

    chrischross New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    The opinions on the Ryko Au20's are interesting. Why would this pressing be so much better than the regular Ryko??? Same mastering engineer (Toby Mountain), right??? Does the "gold" material really account for that much of an improvement??
  23. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    I've never heard the Au20s, but I'm surprised by that as well. It can't be the gold material. Were they mastered using a different process?
  24. chaz

    chaz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    There was an extensive discussion on this remaster in the thread below:

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5223
  25. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Location:
    Canada
    Well I'm going to stick with the RCA Bowies myself as they are the best sounding on my system and sound the most untampered of the 3 labels.

    RCA's, very warm and smooth and beg to be turned up.

    Ryko Au20's, beautiful imaging and soundstage but why did they feel that they had to raise the eq. volume in the bass and treble and use too much compression. Unlistenable to me at louder volumes.

    Ryko's, :hurl:

    Virgin's, Too bright and sounds like your are listening to the band playing on a piece of cardboard.

    Just MHO