My CD player is old and not fancy (Harmon/Kardon HD200). However since getting new speakers (Realistic Mach One 4024a—not fancy but they seem to sound good) I've noticed that many CDs seem to be absolutely terrible. Is there something deficient about my setup? I tried to listen to "Them" by King Diamond. It sounded awful. I thought my speakers were broken. It was horribly compressed, and it sounded like it had been run through an equalizer which bumped up all the mids, but left the treble and bass alone (very weak bass). There is no technical reason it should like that. I also tried listening to "Battle Maximus" by Gwar. The kick drums were loud, but all the vocals and guitars sounded muddy and indistinct (perhaps due to lack of dynamics). I played "Rain Dogs" by Tom Waits. That sounded like it was supposed to. Am I doing something wrong? I feel like albums were so poorly mastered that they shouldn't have been released in that format. Were they just never intended to be listened to on hi-fi system? I've never had this problem with any of my vinyl records. Even if they aren't masterpieces everything is distinct. I was listening to "Dreamweaver" by Sabbat. Not much in way of dynamics, and I've always thought the album had a weird kind of "cold" sound to the top end. From a production standpoint it kind sounds weird. I've always thought it was kind of "muddy" but it really isn't in comparison to the albums I've mentioned. Maybe it is just because most of my CDs are metal albums. I'm not really a vinyl supremacist but it seems like a lot of the masters on the CDs I own are terrible. Either that or my CD player is failing me in some respect. It seems like there are way more technical barriers to good vinyl playback, so it doesn't make sense to me that CDs would sound so bad.