Audio Fidelity new 24 Kt Gold CD of "Crosby, Stills & Nash" Review: Veil Removed!!!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by audiomixer, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    ...me too...when CD versions sound so poorly compared to the original, sacred vinyl... :laugh: ..it ruins the remembrance of old times that can accompany listening to revered albums for me. My brain gets sidetracked by the offending sonic sensations when the music ain't right as rain.
     
  2. Never thought there was much of a "veil" to "remove" with this recording. In fact, I think that metaphor is usually not very apt and is overused. YMMV.
     
  3. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    It should, if done right.
     
  4. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I thought the original, un-remastered CD sounded pretty good. At least, up until this release, it was better sounding to me than the remaster.

    People keep mentioning 'original' vinyl but there were a lot of pressings, some so-so, some better. It also stayed in production and some of these are outstanding. Its hard to pin down what was 'original'. A mid-'70's Piros US Atlantic pressing finally did this album right.

    As I mentioned, after comparing them all, the new CD is similar in presentation, balance & sound to the Classic 33 & 45 audiophile vinyl, which are all different than the Piros. My personal favorite for vinyl is easily the Piros, on CD.... this one.
     
  5. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    You do have the AF disc, right?
     
  6. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles Thread Starter

    :laugh:
     
  7. Grant

    Grant Fight The Power

    Location:
    United States
    Seriously, one can hear the guitars now. Instead of sounding like mush, all blended together, they sound separate. You can hear the strings being plucked.
     
  8. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    All vinyl is holy. I know it's true because the messiah, Brian, said so... :laugh: "I follow not the sign of the shoe or the gourd. I follow the sign of the album..." :D

    I have no idea what vinyl pressings I heard...and recorded off somebody, but the CD is much more analogue mimicking than most CD's are. The experience of listening to it doesn't seem like a CD. It seems more like listening to an LP. The album, not sounding disagreeable, spun up memories from the past instead of, "this album sounds wrong", even played on 11... :laugh:
     
  9. randy9700

    randy9700 Indian MC Rider!

    First apologies to the OP since part of the post will be a bit off topic but I wanted as many folks to see this as possible. Besides the sound of this release being awesome so is the customer service for AF. I had issues with 2 discs I received from Amazon and rather than deal with Amazon I thought I would contact AF and try to work with them. Anyways, Marshall wrote back to me almost immediately and had already priority mailed me a replacement copy. I received a PERFECT copy TWO days later! I had only asked for the disc as I had the jewel case and slipcover. Marshall sent me a complete package in a case with the slipcover. This is just another example of excellent customer service provided to us by AF. I don't buy every release...more like about 50% of the issues but it is this type of quality service that will keep me supporting AF in the future.

    Randy
     
  10. DennisF

    DennisF Forum Resident

    That is exactly what I was thinking. I listened again to Barry's mastering and there is no veil there.
     
  11. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    #1940 here! :)

    Steve did an excellent job on this one. What impresses me is the solidity of the bass (no more out-of-control cloudy bass like I've always heard this title), the perfect tonality and the decays, the depth and resolution.
    While Barry's version held its own for more than 20 years, this new Audio Fidelity CD resolves a level of depth that simply wasn't possible with the AD Converters from the 80's.

    Highly recommended! The music isn't too shaby either. ;)

    Now I would like to hear other CSN(&Y) albums done by Steve.
     
  12. kingofstoneage

    kingofstoneage Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    it arrived today:D

    # 2511

    best cover quality so far from AF:righton:
     
  13. whatnow?

    whatnow? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    I'm really glad AF were able to issue this title. It was almost impossible to find the old Atlantic CD mastered by Barry Diament, at least in my searches for it. The AF edition sounds much more natural and balanced compared to the 2006 remaster I had previously.
     
  14. Batears52

    Batears52 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Baltimore, MD
    Slightly OT, but....

    Why couldn't Atlantic simply license "Deja Vu" to AF, MoFi or anyone they wish to? Is there some sort of a contractual thing in place similar to what the Beatles have - in that they all have to sign off on any remastering effort?

    Is the master tape held by someone in the band - similar to the case with this album?

    Just wondering....
     
  15. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    I own the 1993 gold cd. I am interested in how the 2 gold discs compare...
     
  16. stevemoss

    stevemoss Forum Resident

    My impression is that CSN releases are signed off on by the partnership. And if you're talking about "Deja Vu", that means Neil would have to sign off, too... ...and Neil's very particular about the handling of stuff he's participated in. Particular enough that it sounds like it wouldn't happen... His terms and AF's terms have irreconcilable differences (example: Neil's insistence on HDCD encoding)
     
  17. JuanTCB

    JuanTCB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  18. DennisF

    DennisF Forum Resident

    I belive the 1993 Gold CD uses the Gastwirt mastering (as does the silver) and IMO not as good sounding as the new AF gold CD.
     
  19. pdenny

    pdenny 18-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Location:
    Hawthorne CA
  20. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    Location:
    Canada
    Kevin works for AF and still does his mastering with HDCD.
     
  21. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    I can't possibly heap any more praise on this mastering than what has
    already been posted. It is the best. Thanx Steve & Steph. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Grab this one soon before it's gone.
     
  22. Marty Milton

    Marty Milton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Urbana, Illinois
    I wholeheartedly agree and couldn't say it any better. Love this version of a classic album. Great Job, Steve.
     
  23. Randy W

    Randy W Original Member

    My full review of the AF mastering session and CD are now up on Michael Fremer's website. Thanks to Steve Hoffman and Stephen Marsh for inviting me to attend!

    http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=195
     
  24. dead of night

    dead of night Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern Va, usa
    Randy,
    Thank you for the wonderful link. I wish you were present at every Hoffman mastered recording because this musical history, as any important moment in history, should be attended by a capable journalist. Thanks again for bringing it to us.
     
  25. Batears52

    Batears52 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Baltimore, MD
    I finally was able to take a little time yesterday and compared my original Atlantic CD and the AF to my vinyl LP from 1969.

    As others have said, the song "Helplessly Hoping" is the real stunner here! The comparisons were going along fine - about what I expected. The LP sounded really nice - I hadn't tracked it in years. The original Atlantic CD sounded better - the bass was more defined & things like cymbals stood out a bit more. The AF CD was even better still. I can't explain why, it just is. The bass is really nice, but it's more than that - it just "feels" better! And "feel" is what this album is all about!

    Then "Helplessly Hoping" came on. I don't remember it sounding this way on my LP before, but like I said, I hadn't heard it in years. After all the preceding tracks, HH comes on and it sounded like someone took the "bass" knob on a receiver that had been set to play things "flat" - and just turned it up. You know the sound I mean. Just play a CD or record flat & if your equipment has tone controls - turn the bass knob up. Only HH sounded like that on my LP - none of the other tracks did. It was really weird. After hearing that, jumping straight to the Atlantic actually made the latter sound "thin" in comparison. At that point, I took the LP off, filed it away and concentrated on the 2 CDs.

    For me - to my ears, the Atlantic CD that Barry did is very good - the AF is just better. And "Helplessly Hoping" slam-dunks it IMO.

    I also pulled the 2006 version into the shootout. Not sure how to say this. It sounds fine ("OK") - definitely a much heavier bass sound - and I think it's compressed a bit. Things like cymbals sound too up front instead of floating & shimmering in the air. It's not painful to listen to (like some newer masterings) - it's just not really what I want now. The bonus tracks don't do a lot for me & I'm thinking of letting it go to a friend. Am I nuts to do this? (I know there's people here that have umpteen versions of this album, but I have to ask! :D)

    No way would I let go of the Atlantic - but the AF is "the one".

    One question though: I remember reading (somewhere) that Halverson recorded them singing around a single mic. Is this true? That would seem to make any kind of remix impossible - at least as far as the vocals are concerned. Yet "Helplessly Hoping" was not recorded this way - the voices are spread across the stereo spectrum. Has anyone ever read why this song is different in this respect? (The version with the steel guitar is not this way as I recall.)

    Dexter
     
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