Supertramp "Crime of the Century" - mastering comparison & discussion *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lucidae, May 21, 2015.

  1. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD Thread Starter

    For those who are interested, here are audio samples taken from 4 different pressings of this album;

    Deluxe Edition CD
    Speakers Corner LP
    A&M CD

    The audio clips are taken from the track "Asylum", volume matched as closely as possible without clipping.
    Freedom Rider, pitro, TLMusic and 3 others like this.
  2. Parkertown

    Parkertown The Art of Drumming

    Which do you prefer?
  3. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD Thread Starter

    The Deluxe Edition is my favorite digital version.
    tmsorosk and JulesRules like this.
  4. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    No doubt, based on my ears:
    • the MFSL CD has much more DR, it's much more detailed (drums are very detailed and it sounds very "real": it is always perfectly distinguishable the bass drum...), it has good bass frequencies, and this edition manages to give a great "sense of ambience".
    • the Speakers Corner LP wins the second place
    • A&M CD comes third
    • the worse edition is the Deluxe one: it sounds compressed and it is not detailed.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
    SteveS1, mrob0000, Dave and 3 others like this.
  5. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD Thread Starter

    I appreciate your comments.

    Regarding the deluxe: while it is less dynamic than the MFSL it isn't digitally compressed.
    The EQ is also darker than the MoFi, which could be described as less detailed.
  6. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    Sorry for my poor English, but I have some difficulties with regard to the translation of some technical terms: however it seems clear that the MFSL edition has a "verticality" (no compression at all) that other editions do not have; you can still feel the sound of the bass-drum; regarding drums, it is distinguishable even the vibration of the skins of the drums.
    No comparison, based on my ears.
    mrob0000, Dave, kevywevy and 2 others like this.
  7. YouKnowEyeKnow

    YouKnowEyeKnow Forum Resident

    Lexington Kentucky
    The MFSL is my pick.
    Jrr and Dave like this.
  8. AJH

    AJH Forum Resident

    PA Northern Tier
    To my ears, the MFSL is the best.
  9. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    And I appreciate this thread: you did a good job by loading these files online; I hope that in the future there will be many threads like this one: it is a good opportunity to have an informed opinion before buying an album ...
    Vinylfindco, scobb, Carlox and 5 others like this.
  10. ledsox

    ledsox Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA
    First off, what a section of music! and thanks for putting these clips up.
    As my son said when I played this song for him, "they don't make them like this anymore". So incredibly dynamic and dramatic. The ending can be chill inducing for me.

    Secondly, my favorite personal version is my UK LP (even with a little crackle). I have pretty much every lp and cd version except the newest one.

    Thirdly, all these samples sound great. The drums on the deluxe version stand out as immense and impressive but I could happily live with any of these versions.

    As I usually prefer slightly darker over slightly brighter I might agree with the OP that the deluxe is the best version of the 4 here. The mofi cd is great as well but I think the album benefits from a slight bit of analog compression on the mix.
  11. Please allow me to contribute to this "mini-library" thread with my samples of the same excerpt taken from the original UK LP and the 40th anniversary edition LP. I know that a comparison is not meaningful if there's different gear involved, but still I think you may get an idea.

    Original UK LP

    40th anniversary edition LP
    PteroDon, rxcory, Stefano G. and 2 others like this.
  12. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Thanks for posting that!

    What are the matrix numbers on your UK copy?
  13. Side A: AMLS . 68258 . A - 8
    Side B: AMLS . 68258 . B - 11 ALLEN LJ
    TLMusic likes this.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Is Crime Of The Century the name of the band?
  15. millbend

    millbend Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    The name of the album. The band is Supertramp.
  16. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    The MFSL is simply breathtaking. But be sure to have the volume control handy--that sucker swings from silence to floor-shattering cacophony in a heartbeat!
  17. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    :thumbsup: Thanks!

    My "keeper" UK vinyl copy is similar, A-8 B-12. It appears this album was recut a number of times for the UK vinyl market.
  18. graystoke

    graystoke Forum Resident

    From the original poster's samples I prefer the Speakers Corner LP sample over the others. The A&M CD is the best of the CD samples. The MFSL is too bright and suffers from sibilance on the highs. The Deluxe one was far too harsh sounding (the snares and cymbal crashes are horrible) and sounds squashed to me.

    When including the samples posted by Hail Vinyl! the overall winner for me is the 40th Anniversary vinyl closely followed by the Original UK LP sample. Allowing for gear and sampling differences these two sound much better to me than the original poster's four samples. Way more clarity and separation and better sounding high and low ends. The bass on the full on sections in all the samples is a little loud but that's in the mix.
    Lucidae likes this.
  19. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    Probably, the first UK batch had A5//B5 as matrix numbers: the first 4 lacquers were discarded; and probably the 5th lacquers sound different than the subsequent ones....who knows?
    Anyway, to my ears the 40th Anniversary LP sound very good, but far from the MFSL CD edition: MFSL CD mastering (of this album) is able to give a spatial location to instruments and vocals: in practice, it can give to the listener a "sense of ambience"; no other version (among those included in this thread) has managed to do the same thing. That said, personally I prefer the 40th Anniversary LP edition than the original UK (A8//B11) issue: the Anniversary has excellent and very full bass sound and good details.
    The 40th Anniversary LP wins the second place, based on my ears.
  20. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Ab alto, speres alteri quod feceris.

    Again, many thanks to the users @Lucidae and @Hail Vinyl!
    If there were more threads like this one, I would avoid throwing away money by buying issues that I do not like...
    Of course, it's just a matter of taste: each of us has its own preferences; the perfect mastering job does not exist, but when we start from an excellent mastering, by setting the equalization of our system we can get close to "our" perfect sound...
    Dave, pitro, Lucidae and 1 other person like this.
  21. Sordel

    Sordel Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    I suspect that Our Host was probably thinking about the Search Engine & the title of the thread. I suppose that there's an outside chance that he's never heard of Crime Of The Century .... :p
    JulesRules and Sneaky Pete like this.
  22. rxcory

    rxcory mastering connoisseur

    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for the discussion and samples, Lucidae and Hail Vinyl!

    Digital: I must admit that the DE CD didn't sound as bad as I thought it would. I would still rank it as my least favorite among all of these samples; it doesn't breathe like the others and the EQ choices aren't to my liking. My previous favorite, the MFSL CD, is probably still my favorite digital version due to it's stunning dynamic range, crankablilty, and also EQ-ability. The A&M AM+ CD is not bad, but I don't think it's really impressive either (it was my first CD copy of Crime and I was happy with it until I got the MFSL).

    Analogue: I really love the Speakers Corner reissue LP and as much as I hate to say it, I think it even tops the UK Original LP, at least based on these samples. I realize the differences in gear and technique could be affecting what I hear. The 40th Anniversary LP comes in 3rd place for me; a spectacular album such as this deserves a spectacular presentation, and the 40th Annv. LP does not provide that for me.

    1. Speakers Corner reissue LP/MFSL CD
    2. original UK LP/A&M CD
    3. 40th Anniv. LP/DE CD
    Lucidae likes this.
  23. skateaway

    skateaway Forum Resident

    I compared the MFSL to the deluxe (I have the hi-res download of this) on my setup. The MFSL is nearly perfect, I like the organic sound of this but they went a bit overboard on the top end for my liking. So I'll stick to what I have.

    Thanks for posting this Lucidae :righton:
    soundQman and Lucidae like this.
  24. Freedom Rider

    Freedom Rider Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting the samples, Lucidae, and wow, the dynamics on the MFSL CD are awe-inspiring, almost scary. What an album and what a recording!
    Lucidae likes this.
  25. mrob0000

    mrob0000 Forum Resident

    The hell it's not!
    dennis the menace and Dave like this.

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