David Bowie - Five Years box - Is it supposed to be this loud?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tripecac, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Tripecac

    Tripecac Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Well, now that I figured out that foobar has been messing with the volumes, I will need to re-listen to evening to find out if there is indeed something "off" about the box sets.

    I realize that the Chinese boxes may be counterfeit (since the printing on the booklets is a little blurry in places) but at the same time, I'm still hoping they are not. And to be honest, I don't want to invest a lot of time trying to prove to myself that I'm gullible. I'd rather just rug-sweep the legitimacy issue for now (assuming the sound has sorted itself out), and meanwhile prepare myself for buying the next Bowie set at full price when it comes out later this year.

    After all, some day there will be a "Complete Bowie" box set which repackages everything yet again, with better sound quality, larger booklets, and even more unreleased tracks. And I'll buy it all again then. So if I goof up now and then on the way, well, it's like the old days where I sometimes received poor-quality tapes from traders; the bad sound bothered me, but those tapes were just a stepping stone to buying the real thing (which my collector's impulse compelled me to buy eventually).

    The record companies will get my money in the end. They always do. Multiple times. But I guess David Bowie won't, which is a shame!
     
  2. I'm in New Zealand and I bought both of my Bowie boxes from Amazon UK. They were both significantly cheaper than had I purchased them in store locally. I've not long pre-ordered the next set and postage was GBP3.58 which is less than ten bucks! Would never order from China. Caveat Emptor!
     
    robtodd and scobb like this.
  3. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Bowie is dead, if that is what you mean. But if the record company gets paid, then so does his estate. A pirate CD on the other hand gives money only to the pirates; also you have no legal right to play the music though I am not saying there is any chance of this being enforced!

    Tim
     
  4. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    The test is simple enough - are the CD's a standard silver, or are the "gold" in color? If the former, it's a bootleg. If the latter, it's likely a legit copy. If a legit copy ever made it to China. :D

    As I mentioned in the original thread, I had a hell of a time buying the first two sets secondhand. The Chinese imports on Ebay were insane. Cheap - but just not my thing. I did finally get legit copies, but with the release of the third set I've concluded it wasn't time worth spending - so I've pre-ordered from Amazon.
     
  5. garrincha

    garrincha Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Plymouth, UK
    as mentioned previously, you should put a complaint into ebay. assuming you paid by Paypal, there should be no issues getting your money back. they generally side with the buyer on issues like this

    lesson learned, hopefully...
     
    ODShowtime likes this.
  6. Tripecac

    Tripecac Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Now that I've resolved my sound problem (disable ReplayGain in foobar) I am happy to consider the matter closed.

    Regarding the counterfeit issue:

    I really don't have time or interest in battling pirates. It's like when you see someone speeding in their car. Technically, what they are doing is illegal. One might argue that it is your ethical/legal duty to report them to the authorities. But how often do you actually take your time to scribble down their license plate and call the police? Ditto for jaywalkers and pot smokers. Do you go after them too?

    And what about all those songs on YouTube? Do you report them to the authorities each time you see them? This forum is full of links to songs posted which are being "pirated" via YouTube. And what about all those posts which include copyrighted cover art and lyrics? Is this forum guilty of propagating piracy? Is it our ethical/legal to try to get this forum shut down?

    Fact is, we all draw the line of personal involvement somewhere. I draw it at whether I, or someone I care about, is likely to be harmed by someone else's behaviour. That's my line. You each have your own line.

    If you guys want to spend your time fighting counterfeiters, be my guest. Here's some links to the recent David Bowie box sets on eBay, sorted cheapest first. For a small price you can purchase those box sets, and then after you receive the sets, check them for validity, and then you can report the sellers to the authorities, and request a full refund. Have fun:

    david bowie five years in Music CDs | eBay
    david bowie who can i be now | eBay

    As for me, like I said, I plan to get the next Bowie set at full cost when it comes out, mostly because I want a perfectly printed booklet, but also because I am curious to see how (and whether) the "real thing" differs from what's being manufactured and distributed by the Chinese companies. And who knows, if the difference is great enough, maybe I'll feel compelled to re-purchase the first 2 boxes from Amazon UK or some other sanctioned seller. We'll see...
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  7. BlueSpeedway

    BlueSpeedway 7217

    Location:
    London, England
    Er, do not buy CDs from China. Does this really need saying in the year 2017?

    But sorry for your trouble if there is some, with respect.
     
    FourWalledWorld likes this.
  8. 99thfloor

    99thfloor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I have bought lots and lots of CDs from China that have been perfectly fine. The stuff I have bought have been regular CDs (EU/UK or US versions), and mostly titles that were out of print at the time, and they were exactly the same versions as would have been sold here. I would not buy an expensive/elaborate box set that is new (or still in print), you have to use some judgement. But I find the presumption that anything that comes out of China is by default a counterfeit or illegal to be pretty offensive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    fatwad666 and crozcat like this.
  9. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Offensive? Sounded like good advice to me. Glad you haven't had ANY problems buying lots and lots from China. I would certainly look elsewhere but that is me. Hopefully I didn't offend you or China;)
     
    BlueSpeedway likes this.
  10. BlueSpeedway

    BlueSpeedway 7217

    Location:
    London, England
    I did not suggest that.

    And while what you find offensive is your own business, I can assure you that my Asian, as well as Russian / Soviet family and friends are well aware of the long-standing and major problem of counterfeit CDs in and from their homelands, thank you very much.
     
    showtaper likes this.
  11. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Except it's not similar at all! In the case of these pirates you are actively paying them (quite a large sum of money) to break the law and they are profiting at the expense of others!
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  12. Tripecac

    Tripecac Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Is it better to pay nothing, which is what happens when we view music on YouTube or cover art & lyrics on this forum? Who benefits when you pay nothing?

    The companies who manufacture and distribute knock-off materials have employees, and those employees (who might not know they are involved in activities which are counter to US/UK law) are able to pay the rent and feed themselves and their families. As Bob Marley says, a hungry man is an angry man... and I'd rather see well-fed counterfeiters than starving kids and people desperate enough to turn to terrorism.

    Posting music on YouTube feeds no one.

    Which is worse? Buying a CD from China or listening to that CD on YouTube while viewing the cover art on this forum?

    I'm sure this topic has been discussed to death, either on this forum or elsewhere.

    Personally, I don't like the idea of getting ripped off with fake CDs, but I also don't like downloading from pirate sites, and I don't like paying $150 for a box set where I already have 90% of the music. Why can't I just buy the booklet for $5, the outtakes CDs for $5 each, and skip the rest, since the mastering is not exactly an upgrade? Why must I pay $150 for a booklet (which I read once) and some outtakes which I will listen to once or twice and then forget about? What other options is the record company offering the consumer? Yeah, I know, it's their prerogative to sell what they want to sell, but it's also our prerogative to sort by price on eBay, cross our fingers, and push Buy Now.
     
  13. razerx

    razerx Forum Resident

    Location:
    The East
    In that case enjoy your purchase.
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  14. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Give the money to Save the Children if you want to feed people and then watch/listen on YouTube (a far better option)! Why do you want to actively support, encourage and pay for crime to happen?

    I find it odd how people seem to become totally irrational so they can justify this sort of stuff to themselves.
     
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  15. Tripecac

    Tripecac Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I don't want to support crime.

    It looks like I may have gotten "ripped off" in the sense that someone sold me a fake version of a box set. But if it is fake it is a well-made fake. The box looks good, the booklet looks good, the CDs look good, and the CDs sound normal now that I disabled ReplayGain. If this is a fake, it a much better fake than the first Led Zeppelin box set I bought last year (from Russia) which had blurry CD sleeves, misprinted labels, and bad sound quality. In the case of the Bowie box sets I don't feel like I have been "hurt" by the seller. The consumer/collector part of my head feels like I got a good chunk of stuff for a good price. So my motivation for pursing the whole "counterfeit" issue is reallllllly low. I think this is only natural?

    Will I buy from China next time? I already said no, at least for the next Bowie set. Part of my motivation is to see the difference in build quality between what Amazon UK ships and what the Chinese eBay sellers are shipping. If there is no discernible difference (to me), then I will be back to square one. But if there is a difference, then China will go on my bad-list for music, just like it did for cheap tablets (which turned out to be adware-ridden crap).
     
  16. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    You say you don't want to support crime, but then indicate if the counterfeits are not discernibly different you might consider supporting criminals again???
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  17. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Dang. People get nuts here if you don't think exactly the way they do.
     
    The Beave likes this.
  18. Tripecac

    Tripecac Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ugh. This sort of discussion goes nowhere except down.

    What sort of people feel the compulsion to preach to others about what is "right" and what they SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do?

    I asked for help identifying an issue with the volume levels of CDs. We found the problem by trial and error (and it all came down to foobar's "ReplayGain" feature) and thus my problem was solved.

    The subsequent discussion about ethics and legality and China and Russia and YouTube and starving kids and all that crap is a complete waste of time. I'm not gonna get sucked any deeper into it, because I don't have as much time to waste as some of you guys do. Time and money are two things that you might have in spades, but I don't.

    End of story. End of my contribution to this topic.

    Thanks again to the people who helped me identify the foobar volume issue.
     
  19. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Well, when you post multiple times rationalizing the purchase of counterfeits, you should expect people may comment on it.

    You could have just ended it when you foobar problem was resolved.
     
    Neonbeam and scobb like this.
  20. J. Jackson

    J. Jackson Active Member

    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Just got my Five Years box for $13.99 from China (plus $13.99 shipping). Opened it to discover minor packaging issues--jackets folded badly, discs swapped (easily corrected), but ended up with an extra 2003 mix of Ziggy in addition to the original mix. After work I will take a listen to Recall, which is why I bought the set to begin with. I will let you know how it sounds.

    I am thinking the product is legit, but because of the minor issues it was rejected by quality control and ended up in China for resale.
     
  21. Marc 74

    Marc 74 Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Germany,NRW
    A whole genuine set for $13.99 ? Highly doubt that. Are the playing surfaces of the CDs gold tinted or silver ?
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  22. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Consider me a suspicious so-and-so but it stretches my credulity when I am looking for a rare and expensive CD that is hard to find in the US and UK that there just happens to be a copy, still sealed, that somehow made it past the censors of the Communist Party into China. Yet this seems to happen pretty frequently on Discogs. Only the most inept of Chinese manufacturers would counterfeit a CD poorly enough that you could spot the difference without an original to compare side-by-side.
     
  23. J. Jackson

    J. Jackson Active Member

    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Yeah, I got a good deal. The cheapest one on eBay now is $34.99. I stand by my original assessment that this was some sort of reject by the QA department or something, though I would have expected a notch cut into the box or something. It appears legit in every way and is very high quality except for the flaws noted above; if it's counterfeit, there is no way to tell--they did a really superb job. The discs and their printed surfaces are professionally done and of the two discs I have listened to so far (disc one of Re:Call and the live Santa Monica one) sound excellent. I'm now contemplating Who Can I Be Now?; there is one in China currently listed for $32.60, though I think I only want it for the Gouster disc.
     
  24. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Also paying with PayPal should give you more protection....
     
  25. Popmartijn

    Popmartijn Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Nope. You got conned, buying a counterfeit.

    When it is rejected by QA then they don't suddenly incur many extra costs by shipping it to another country to sell the sub-standard product there. I know you're trying to justify it for yourself, but you bought a pirate copy, unofficial that is not supporting the David Bowie estate (or music industry in general).
     
    Neonbeam likes this.

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