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David Bowie A New Career In A New Town 1977 1982 Boxset 3

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zach Johnson, Dec 28, 2016.

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  1. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canton, NY, USA
    On Sunday I listened to side 2 of the new Low, and then immediately followed with the same side on my Canadian Dynaflex pressing (the only Bowie LP from this box of which I have an earlier vinyl version). First, I should begin by pointing out what an utterly gorgeous album side this is! My sense of the new version's sonics was that it didn't have the spatially flattened-out effect I noticed on Scary Monsters, but it did have a sound to the synths that didn't sound quite right to me--it's as if they had a kind of "chalky" texture to them, rather than the more liquid texture I associate with analogue synths of the era. Not having listened to the album too often before, I was taken aback (in a very positive way) by the vocals toward the end of "Warszawa"--they seemed very present and holographic in the listening space.

    On to the earlier, Canadian pressing. First, I noticed the cover art looked surprisingly different between the two. The earlier pressing was slightly glossy, and the new version totally matte. Moreover, while the colors in the earlier version blended yellows, oranges, and pinks, the box version seemed to eliminate all the pinks, making more of a sharp contrast between the yellows and oranges, and giving Bowie's skin and hair a considerably less natural look. In some ways, the differences between the covers are almost uncannily analogous to the sonic differences I ended up hearing.

    That is, the Dynaflex pressing had a far more "liquid" midrange as compared to the new version's more "chalky" texture I mentioned above. This was most notable with the synths, which sounded far more organic and rich on the Dynaflex. For example, there's a moog sound--or something similar--in "Wailing Wall" that practically glows on the earlier pressing, with no such effect on the newer one. The vibes (or similar instrument) on the same track also sounded far more nuanced and fully rounded. On the other hand, I'll give the new version some credit--the low, deep voices toward the end of "Warszawa" did not make nearly as much visceral impact as they had on the new version. Aside from that, though (as well as some occasional light surface crackle), the Canadian Dynaflex version sounded far, far better on my system. It was as if the new version stripped away all timbral nuance (as it did the pink tones of the cover) in favor of a high contrast between bass and upper midrange frequencies.

    Anyway, I didn't have time to post this comparison Sunday, but it has contributed to some of the exasperation I've been expressing about the sound. One of the things my set-up normally seems to do really well is reproduce timbral nuance, and it's like this mastering just gives it nothing to work with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  2. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Definitely not Low, or at least not any previous version that I've heard. My early RCA vinyl pressing of Low has a very clear, detailed sonic quality.
     
  3. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy.

    Funny that the response from Parlophone reminds me of the response from Experience Hendrix to an audiophile who criticized them for compressing the Jimi Hendrix catalogue. Their answer was to deny that it was compressed at all. :eek: Most people (the cash cow) don't care, sadly. I care. There is no loss of energy in the Ryko CD of Heroes. The answer smacks of laziness in mastering (preserving the integrity of the master tape - yeah, right). Do what SH had to do when mastering Aqualung all those years ago - that's what Ray Staff and Tony Visconti should have done.
     
  4. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Fingers crossed at my end.
     
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  5. antonkk

    antonkk Senior Member

    Location:
    moscow
    I was horrified at the level of compression and bass overload on The Man who Sold the World reissue so I stayed away from the second set. Looks like the third one suffers from the same "added bass" problem so I'd rather spend my money on original pressings.
     
  6. imarcq

    imarcq Men are from Mars, I'm from Bromley...

    Amazon UK are now selling vinyl boxes of this set as a direct import from USA by default via Amazon Global Store. I wonder what is going on now? Do they think the US boxes are going to be different? Or did they just run out of UK boxes. Very odd...
     
  7. yarbles

    yarbles Too sick to pray

    Clearly a case of NSS (Neurotic Sheep Syndrome).
     
    Dbstay and Mazzy like this.
  8. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
    Smart move. I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I’m really saving these box sets for my daughter (now 11 years old). I’ll keep the originals ;)
     
    imarcq and Schwebung like this.
  9. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    Why? Was she naughty?
     
  10. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Dude. That's the way TMWSTW is supposed to sound. It really is.
     
    stef1205, vonwegen, Dbstay and 3 others like this.
  11. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
    :laugh:
     
  12. antonkk

    antonkk Senior Member

    Location:
    moscow

    On my (incredible) system with the huge 18 inch woofers it's unlistenable.
     
  13. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    <shrug> Can't help ya. But it's not boosted. That's how it was mixed and mastered. If anything some CD editions dialed the bass back.
     
    Wipeout, DHamilton, vonwegen and 2 others like this.
  14. Before I retuned my CD box I played LOW on my nice home stereo and then on my Computer through a pair of Audio Engine 2 speakers. It sounded like crap on my good rig but good (it's all relative) thought my computer rig. My guess is that most buyers are playing these CD sets through systems like that of my computer. Its all loud and sort of works in a way.
     
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  15. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
    Someone has now gone through and pasted Parlophone’s response to every negative review on Amazon.
     
  16. sammy davis junior

    sammy davis junior Forum Resident

    the more i look at that comment "high-frequency automation (in the region of +- 6dB)" the more it sounds like someone told them - "say there is some high-frequency automation which has caused the 'perceived' problem", then someone asked "how much high-frequency automation?" and they said - "i don't know, . . . say in the region of 6 decibels - plus or minus" and like someone who reads "pause here for applause" on autocue - they've just repeated it parrot fashion.

    the headline on sde should be "PRESIDENT & PUBLICIST ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN THE MASTERING PROCESS TO THE GENERAL PLUBLIC"
     
    vonwegen and Pavol Stromcek like this.
  17. DBMethos

    DBMethos Forum Resident

    "Auntie Sabrina"
     
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  18. Auntie Grizelda’s Sister. :tiphat:
     
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  19. cmcintyre

    cmcintyre Forum Resident

    That's entirely due to the two things:

    1. Theses sets, with only Young Americans as the exception, copy the UK packaging.
    2. The UK RCA (PL 12030) Low cover is a rescan of the US cover. The UK RCA loses the detail you refer to, maybe not as much as the new sets, but the pinks are lessened, the hair looks less natural and so forth.
    If the Parlophone is a rescan of the UK, then it will be lesser quality - if it's used original art but filtered to look like the UK RCA, then that's what you're seeing. I haven't seen it yet.

    Prior to posting, I've just had a close look at the US, UK, Canadian, Japanese original issues and the German RCA International, US Best Buy and EMI 1991 LP covers. Generally speaking the further they are from the first issue, the lower the reproduction quality, with the 1991 EMI the worst. (The EMI (which is derived from the RYKO release) is a rescan of the US Best Buy edition - the colour of the title and rear cover are very different from the 1977 issues.

    The US cover (CPL1-2030) stands head and shoulders above all others - clarity, colour balance and breadth - it looks natural, yet not - an effect not had on the others.

    BTW - As there's lots of orange on this cover, it's best to keep it out of the light - otherwise it will fade.

    On another level, I find it of interest that the official response to date about the aural concerns about this set has included that there was a desire to retain the original masters' integrity - I wonder why this also didn't apply to the covers.
     
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  20. rihajarvi

    rihajarvi Forum Resident

    speaking of covers—they could've also provided fans with some hi-res artwork for all the individual albums included. y'know, for those of us who keep a meticulously organized itunes library. throw us a couple of jpegs, parlo!
     
  21. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Location:
    Toronto
    RCA lost the 'master' elements for those covers long ago
     
    e.s. likes this.
  22. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Sure. After all, the album was mixed by the bass player. Some guy called Tony, I think. That's never a good idea.
     
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  23. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Hahahaha! But we can at least say that's where this pattern of his started!
     
    93curr likes this.
  24. Marc 74

    Marc 74 Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Germany,NRW
    Yes,that's true. The original German 1970 LP has tons of bass (especially The Width Of A Circle).
     
    Ben Adams and BlueSpeedway like this.
  25. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
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