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DCC Archive ...do ALL abba cds suck?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by FabFourFan, Dec 30, 2001.

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  1. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It seems that I keep buying Abba cds again and again, but they keep getting worse and worse, every time!

    Unfortunately, even the old ones don't sound very good, as far as I have heard.

    So, help!!!!

    Does anyone know of any decent or better sounding Abba CDs??
  2. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy.

    Interestingly enough, did I see John Astley's name mentioned in the latest Arrival remaster...... ;)
  3. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    FabFour... I'm not a Jon Astley fan, but if you can hear an improvement with the latest 24/96 remaster... you must be deaf! I'm sorry...
  4. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    I dunno, the newe ABBA collection sounds very goo, but a little bit TOO clean. Astley's name IS on the remastering credits with ABBA's engineer...

    I think we are going to have to accept that the ABBA tapes aren't going to get any better and that's the way they were mixed. They were mixed to sound good on AM radio.

    But, I would like to hear what Steve would do for them.

    Any chances of DCC getting those tapes, Steve?
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    After my 1992 copy of "ABBA Gold" started turning a copperish color (yep, it was one of those infamous made-in-uk-by-PDO ones)I decided to upgrade to the 24-bit "remaster." Opinion? Not much difference.
  6. mikenyc

    mikenyc New Member

    NYC Metro Area
    How do all of these compare with the 4CD box set ?
  7. John Oteri

    John Oteri New Member In Memoriam

    Hollywood, CA
    To answer the main question, yes they all do seem to suck.

    Not really the fault of the CD medium though, I think the mixes probably are pretty thin and mean sounding to begin with, and the insensitive CD mastering engineers make it worse.

    My old ABBA Atlantic LP's at least had a bit of warmth to them, probably because the Atlantic cutting engineers added it, after scratching their heads upon hearing the copy tapes, but every CD version I've ever heard seems to have thinned the sound out even more than needed.
  8. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Why are you sorry?
    I have no idea what you were trying to say!
    Please rephrase?
  9. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, I'm afraid this is an accurate summary. :-(

    I never thought the US vinyl was as bad as ANY of the cds that I have. :-(

    AS ALWAYS, if anyone is interested, I can make a cd with multiple versions, from the 1984 cds to the new Astley remasters - but it won't be a pretty thing! :-(
  10. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-)

    Santa Cruz

    I think he meant to say "can't" instead of "can".

    [ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: Holy Zoo ]
  11. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

    I mean... I would like to say sorry for "deaf". I know you are not deaf, but you can believe me... the latest Abba remasters are the best available versions!

    How you will improve this synthetic sound of the 80's... the new remaster (2001) sound pretty good to me.
  12. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Apology warmly accepted!

    Now, as for the sound of the newest remasters, it seems that we are not in agreement.

    When I compared the sound of the titles that I have (1984 and on, up to 2001), it sounded like every time they said that the sound was "improved", it actually got worse.

    Every time. :-0

    I mean to say that each subsequent remaster was more compressed and louder and more horrible sounding than the one before it, and the new 2001 stuff seemed to be the worst of all.

    And since the 1984 cds were not very good to begin with, I felt compelled to name this thread "are there ANY abba cds that don't suck?"

    Of course, this is just IMHO, and your mileage may vary (as it apparently does)!

    Me, I'm still looking for some good sounding abba cds. :-(
  13. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    As I said before, we're gonna have to get used to the reality that the ABBA tracks were mixed that way. Benny and Bjourn (sp?) have stated that their intention was to craft pop songs for the radio, not for the audiophile.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    The first US Atlantic ABBA Greatest Hits CD is the best sounding (IMO) of all of them issued so far.

    Long out of print and not including the later hits, it sounds pretty much like the USA LP version.

    After that, watch out...
  15. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you, Mr Hoffman.

    Yes, at least that first Abba Greatest Hits (Atlantic 19114-2, made in W Germ) still has a _hint_ of dynamic range in it, for one thing.

    I just wish that it suffered a bit less obviously from the old-fashioned "greatest hits syndrome" (i.e., each track is copied from somewhere else). :-(
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Well FFF,

    The reason that the American ABBA G. H. has any kind of tonality to it at all is (I think) BECAUSE it's a dub of a dub of a dub.

    Each analog pass "mellowed" the sound out a bit. If it wasn't for that, I dunno. Those engineers at Metronome must have really been using some crappy monitors...Maybe left over from some Bergman movie or something.. ;)
  17. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Best release I've heard is "ABBA - The Singles The First Ten Years". This is a European CD (Polydor 810 050-2) which is no longer available. I assume that it sounds similar in quality to the first CD issues of their albums. I've not heard the Atlantic CD but 'Singles' makes 'Abba Gold' sound like digital garbage.

    I'm also keen to hear opinions on the 4CD Box Set...
  18. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I did not mention them explicitly, but both The Singles double set and the 4cd 'box set' were part of my initial listening.

    Because the Polydor The Singles is nearly as old as the Atlantic Greatest Hits, IIRC,
    I was initially quite hopeful that the 'import' Polydor might sound better than the 'domestic' Atlantic.
    However, I was surprised and disappointed when I quickly realized that The Singles had been noticeably compressed, in comparison with Greatest Hits.

    Things got worse from there from remaster to remaster, the box set included.
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