Black Sabbath Sabotage 2021 digital

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by wrat, May 9, 2021.

  1. The Slipperman

    The Slipperman Forum Resident

    Thanks for the review, I was actually going to purchase this set today but won't now.
     
  2. gpalz

    gpalz Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.A.
    @rnranimal, Can you explain what you mean by "blotchiness"? Thank you.
     
  3. Thanks for this. Sabotage is easily my fav Sabs album, but from what I'd read even before your post, it was obvious that this box set is a joke and that they're basically taking the piss at this point. Total ripoff price, too.
     
  4. rnranimal

    rnranimal Senior Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Sure. Here are some pics to illustrate:

    This first pic is the spectral view of the 2021 audio. That hard cutoff at 16khz should not be there. That blank area should be filled in with audio and is on the lossless bootlegs. The MP3 encoder hard cuts at 16khz (frequencies it determines the human ear is likely not hearing) and throws out what is above it in order to lower file size. But sometimes, on some encoders, during the quieter parts, there is sometimes some blotchy (for lack of a better word) areas above this cutoff. I have not studied lossy encoding so I can't say for sure why this happens but my best guess is that since there is so little going on at those moments (basically just background noise), it takes much less bitrate to compress those moments and so it can allow the frequency to go above the cutoff at certain moments as it has a bit of surplus bitrate to use. This doesn't happen on every encoder/encoding (some lossy encoders don't even hard cut the audio) but when it does, it's very tell-taling of lossy encoding. You'll see this blotchiness above the 16khz cutoff towards the end of the song where it is just crowd noise and Ozzy speaking. For comparison, the pic following is from the Accidental Overdose bootleg. Then following that is a zoom in of some of the blotchiness on the 2021. And then finally, the 4th pic is of the lossless "master reel" bootleg I've had since 2004, which shows the full frequency range intact as it should be.

    "Hole in the Sky" 2021 full song:

    [​IMG]




    "Hole in the Sky" Accidental Overdose bootleg CD:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. rnranimal

    rnranimal Senior Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    "Hole in the Sky" 2021 zoomed in on blotchiness:

    [​IMG]



    "Hole in the Sky" master reel CD-R full song (lossless - showing full frequency range):

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Thank you so much for your detective work. I was still slightly tempted by this set merely because, on paper, an official Asbury Park sounds like an attractive proposition and one gets pavlovian with this band. Now I know I should definitely not waste my money on this crap. It's insulting. Has Jampot begun "managing" Sabbath now? Wtf.

    Thank you once again.

    Shame on Rhino/Sabbath.
     
    slipkid, supernaut, Plan9 and 6 others like this.
  7. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Birds Aren’t Real

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Sabbath need a loving audiophile box of the Ozzy stuff. Respect, care and great sound
     
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  8. David67

    David67 Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Thanks for saving me the expense and I'll be selling off my other Black Sabbath box sets.
     
  9. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    You know, these boxes smelled fishy to begin with. No sooner had they pushed Vol 4. out the door, when Sabotage was announced and released. We've had three boxes thus far, Paranoid, Vol. 4, and Sabotage. Paranoid has that weird folded down stereo mix no-one asked for, and a couple ropey live performances. For Vol. 4 they pushed the boat out and gave some previously unreleased stuff, but the remaster of the album proper was hosed, and Steve Wilson only worked on the new stuff. Then Sabotage and the subject of this thread.

    I won't get started on the "why isn't it chronological?" argument. I won't ask where the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is, or Masters of Reality. I won't ask why they were willing to go back to the tapes for Vol 4., but apparently not the others. But I will ask why there is such a price discrepancy between the US and the UK, where I've seen stores selling it for four times the price here. It's like they threw a lot of tapes into a cage of chimps and waited until they'd put them together into piles for release. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it.

    And they call the "Super Deluxe". Sheesh. Honestly, the older two-disc sets were better than these, and that's inexcusable.
     
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  10. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    Damn i wish I had seen this post before I went out and purchased the set today. I haven't cracked it open yet so I think I am going to bring it back tomorrow. This is my 6th purchase of this title in various formats in the past 4 years (3 various CD pressings and 3 vinyl pressings). I wasnt going to bite on this after the Vol 4 cd box debacle....but I am such a sucker for the packaging of these sets!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  11. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England

    Yep, was going to this in eight days time……

    But not now….. This form of shoddyness by record companies is unbelievable

    Well, unbelievable is the wrong word, as it rather sadly, believable
     
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  12. :biglaugh:

    Though I have to say, given what research has discovered about chimpanzees' intelligence and skills, I would have expected them to do much better than this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  13. Just two more screenshots for illustration, created with different software and taken from roughly the same 2-sec section of Hole in the Sky live in Asbury Park 1975. Here's how that section looks like in spectral view on the original lossless copy of the Asbury Park show, labelled as a master reel > CDR copy:
    [​IMG]

    ...and on disc 2 of the Sabotage SDE 4xCD:
    [​IMG]

    Screenshot #2 looks exactly like an MP3-sourced recording: straight frequency "haircut" at 16 kHz.

    Thanks again for your great work.
     
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  14. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    I know I’ve already posted I won’t be buying this…

    But it really is incredible to me how bad this really is

    To say this is poor workmanship is an understatement

    I notice on Amazon that the LP set is over a hundred pounds…. Although out of stock

    Edit…. This relates to the Live material of the deluxe

    There will be people out there that know no better, buying this and then saying “oh wow, I love how it sounds on Vinyl, so much better than the CD set” not realising it’s sourced from an MP3 file.

    I’m not casting aspersions on people saying this, but no doubt somewhere out there, a reviewer will pour praise on the LP edition.

    If someone actually enjoys the LP more, then that’s great, it’s a human thing to enjoy something tangible to hold etc

    But in reality they are getting totally ripped off by the record company

    I actually like buying these boxes sometimes, just to have “stuff”…. I would probably never play the things as I listen to all my music from a lossless server.

    In this case though, there is no way I am spending money on something like this.

    I apologise if anyone thinks I’m going over the top with this ramble,….. but this kind of record company nonsense is just a complete s##t show

    However this “deluxe” set came to be, the record company clearly spent more time on the packaging than the actual music

    Just shocking

    Oh… and a huge thank you to the people who notice this stuff and point it out


    Edit….

    Thanks to Linda for reminding me

    I am only talking about the Live portion of the set
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  15. Just to avoid possible misunderstandings: The album proper is lossless, "only" the live show on this set is lossy-sourced. You probably got that, I just wanted to point it out in case somebody didn't.

    And I fully agree with you nonetheless.
     
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  16. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    Thanks Linda, I’ve edited my post accordingly
     
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  17. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    The live concert sounds great as background music. ;)

    By the way, the original lossless files doesn't sound much better.
     
  18. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Disgraceful from supposed professionals.
     
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  19. Well, I haven't fully listened to this release, but I do know that the master reel > CDR ROIO sounds great not just as background, but also as foreground music.

    That's true for every properly encoded MP3 320K file of pretty much every recording as well: most people don't hear the difference at all. Thing is: Mp3 downloads are usually less expensive than redbook CDs and FLAC downloads. If Rhino had offered this in MP3 format, or even officially as MP3-sourced CDs, everyone could decide if that's something they want to pay for or not. But that's not what happened. The way it happened, it is a case of fraud.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  20. Time to pile on Rhino and try to shake out a replacement live disc - I mean, Cherry Red has issued corrected discs when they’ve pulled this crap in the past.
     
  21. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    No wonder... that happened 12 years ago.

    Rhino Records no longer exists?

    I haven't heard any great Rhino reissue since they fired their best employees.
     
  22. Thanks. Interesting, I didn't know that.
     
  23. Doctor Flang

    Doctor Flang Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    When this reissue of Sabotage was announced, i was very glad to be proven wrong about Wolfgang's unwillingness to negotiate a deal for a record label to use the master tapes of the KBFH recording of the Asbury Park show. Actually, i even thought that the high price of the box set was because of the deal they made. Now it seems that that wasn't the case at all.

    To release an hugely overpriced box set consisting of a remastered album and mp3 sourced concert is simply just wrong. This is the last time i'm willing to pre-order any Sabbath box set until i've read the reviews.

    Maybe people should send compaint emails to Rhino. I will.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  24. Doctor Flang

    Doctor Flang Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    What really bugs me is that record companies - and especially a label with such history as Rhino - should know better. People who are still paying big money to buy physical media, instead of streaming - or downloading bootlegs - for free, should be better served.

    If the Asbury Park show is really sourced from a lossy mp3 file, both Sabs and the record company should be ashamed for themselves.
     
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  25. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    I’ve just added a review to the UK Amazon site…..

    I stated live audio possibly sourced from MP3’s because of the 16khz cut off

    Obviously I don’t want any potential hassle from the record company which is why I said possibly

    Might I suggest others do this to warn people?
     
    slipkid, wrat, supernaut and 3 others like this.

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