Direct Metal Mastering - Any Love?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vinyl diehard, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Just last night I was reorganizing my vinyl and came across one I had purchased in Germany back in the 80's, George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone, pressed by TelDec using DMM. I see on Wiki that it had some sonic advantages over traditional technology of the time, and had some criticisms as well. Any thoughts on this technique?
  2. dconsmack

    dconsmack Well-Known Member

    Las Vegas, NV USA
    My Rolling Stones Abkco reissues are amazingly quiet. There is no vinyl "whoosh." Since DMM has less generation loss with fewer parts for pressing, I would imagine this contributes to it's quieter surfaces. I'm guessing though. It seems to get a lot of flack, but of the '80s DMM pressings I've heard, usually the production was bad, not the DMM process.
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  3. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I haven't played that DMM George Thorogood in years. I'm going to have to put it on tonight at home to see what I think now of the dynamics of this album. I'm sure the education I've received here in recent years will make me a more attentive listener.:)
  4. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I have a German DMM pressing of The Beatles that sounds good but I like my UK mono pressing better.
  5. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    DMM has a bad reputation in some circles because of the poor mastering of some EMI DMM reissues, which had nothing to do with the technology itself.

    I have some 1980's classical DMM pressings which are some of my best sounding LPs.
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  6. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    I don't think these are generally well-loved here, but the handful of 1980s Blue Note reissues that I have - digitally mastered and DMM pressed - sound quite good to me.
  7. Mikey679

    Mikey679 Well-Known Member

    Worcester, MA
    I have Living Colour "Vivid", Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" and Guns N Roses "Lies" that are DMM and they all sound good. No issues with sound quality or anything. I might have some more titles that are DMM, I'd have to check my other albums, so far, though, nothing sounds bad that I've bought.
  8. spideyjack

    spideyjack Well-Known Member

    I remember reading that Joe's Garage was DMM and FZ was dissapointed by the bass on the finished product. He was always searching, what a guy!

    I always buy classical titles that are DMM when I see them in the thrifts, sometimes you find a real gem even on LPs from MHS.
  9. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Liverpool UK
    I have heard an Ebbetts needledrop of the Beatles White Album DMM pressing, and it was unbearably harsh and trebley. Never bothered after that
  10. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Well-Known Member

    They do sound pretty good...and they have been reasonably priced when I've seen them
  11. otherdimension

    otherdimension Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Far from an expert myself, but the Bjork S/T DMM that was pressed a few years ago was really good IMO.
  12. D Schnozzman

    D Schnozzman Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    No, he said that was because it was half-speed mastered, not DMM.

    DMM is also useful for cutting long sides without inner groove distortion. Titles like Appetite for Destruction or Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Weld, for example.
    DTK and Shak Cohen like this.
  13. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    Quite a few classical LPs were cut this way from the very late 70s early 80s IIRC by TelDec & Georg Neumann
  14. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Yup, I always grab them when they're under ten bucks.
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host

    cmndrums likes this.
  16. hazard

    hazard Forum Resident

    I assume that this is the digitally mastered version. In my younger days, before I was a member of this forum, several of my beatles albums were post-1987 pressings ie on the cover they proudly proclaim that they are DMM from digital sources. They all sound thin and harsh. I have Revolver, Past Masters and Beatles for Sale in this format - and of course the 2 original LPs have been replaced with first press mono versions, and I have collected all the the singles to get an analog version Past Masters. Now it sounds better :D
  17. VinylSoul

    VinylSoul Well-Known Member

    Lake Erie
    No, and i was under the impression that they sum the bass into mono at below 400hz.
  18. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yup, I just listened to that George Thorogood DMM Born to be Bad. The sound was pretty underwhelming.:thumbsdn:
    I guess some things are inherent in the music industry, even now. Design something to improve on the audio fidelity of a recording, then use a crappy source. The Japanese developed SHM-CD in the recent past, claiming that the design of these discs would improve on sound quality; then they use them as the media for brickwalled recordings. I mean, what's the point?
  19. dconsmack

    dconsmack Well-Known Member

    Las Vegas, NV USA
    So, does this mean that the DMM process contributes negatively to the sound? My guess was that a poor sounding DMM cut was a result of mastering and not the process itself.
  20. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Berkeley, CA
    I remember reading that the VMS lathes that worked DMM came with instruction booklets that resulted in very long side capability and very tiny, easily damaged groove impressions.

    Some companies threw out the instructions and made reasonable records without those faults. EMI UK seemed to learn pretty fast, and made some nice DMM classical discs.
    It's quite likely they destroyed a few cutting heads experimenting, and they're not cheap.
  21. OE3

    OE3 Well-Known Member

    I have some good ones, too.
  22. jlc76

    jlc76 Forum Resident

    Austin, TX, U.S.A.
    I got a bunch of these in a collection a while back and thought they sounded dead quiet but very thin, definitely the early days of digital. I couldn't give them away, I'd take them to record shows and mark them for $8-10 and as soon as people saw the DMM on the back, they'd put them back down. I think they are only regarded slightly higher than the recent scorpio pressings which are truly wretched. I think I ended up selling a bunch of them at $5 though to people who didn't care and just wanted the music.

    For Blue Note I'd say the Liberty era is probably going to be the best as far as sound quality at an affordable price.

    That being said, I do own other DMM that sound fantastic so I think the Blue Note just suffers from poor mastering.
  23. spideyjack

    spideyjack Well-Known Member

    you are right, i should have checked
  24. Antares

    Antares Well-Known Member

    A couple of these lathes seem to have survived over here indeed. Maybe that's the same one in the UK that did the Emiliana Torrini I have. I was surprised a couple of years ago to see some of the new jazz reissues (on the JazzTrack/Waxtime/DOXY series I believe) boasting DMM as well. Think these are made in Germany (Optimal Media pressings?).
  25. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Maybe, but they are unlicensed public domain reissues, therefore mastered from whatever source material the reissue label could get it's hands on, most likely CDs.

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