Elton John new 2018 remasters shm.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by swintonlion, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
    This is my final list. I have not compared all the Elton SHM CDs and won't likely be buying any more. I am glad I bought these, as in every case they bettered my old MCA and DJM CDs, but at the same time I didn't find myself as impressed with any of them as I am with MFSL, AF, DCC CDs.

    S/T - Good - I found this one to sound dull at lower volumes, wish it opened up a bit more when I turned it up. While the other Elton SHM CDs seem to have a similar EQ, it seems to be more pronounced here. I found that the imaging was murky on this at times. Still, for it’s smooth EQ, I find this to be the best mastering that I have heard for this album. Better than the UK DJM CD and better than the MCA CD.

    Tumbleweed Connection - Very Good - To me, this one is a noticeable step up from the S/T SHM, SQ wise. Nice clarity, with a smooth, crankable EQ. I find this to be the best mastering I have heard for this album, better than my previous favorites, the MFSL and Japan MCA. Also better than the DJM/Polydor.

    Madman Across The Water - Very Good - Sounds about as good as the Tumbleweed SHM. Again, nice smooth, crankable EQ, nice dynamics, highlighted on the first two tracks. When the drums come in on Levon, they have a nice kick without being boomy. I find this to be the best mastering I have heard for this album, bettering my prior favorite, the original USA MCA CD.

    Honky Chateau - Very Good - I liked this one a bit more than the others I have heard so far. It sounds more lively due to being more open on top. Otherwise, it has that nice balanced EQ I heard on the others. Nothing is harsh, but nothing is dull. Nice kick to the drums too. I find this to be the best mastering I have heard for this album, bettering my prior favorite, the MFSL, along with the WG DJM and the Japan for USA MCA CD.

    Don’t Shoot Me - Very Good/Good - Liked the sound on this one a bit less than the few that preceded it. I am disappointed, as I had hoped the SHM CD for this one was going to be among the best sounding. As it stands, some tracks are fine, others (like Elderberry Wine) are too bright. Still, it’s less bright overall than my former favorite, the Japan for USA MCA CD, so it is my new favorite mastering for this album.

    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Good - Probably like the sound of this one the least of those I have heard so far. I found the imaging to be unfocused and lacking clarity. Didn’t even listen to the whole thing. I definitely prefer my Japan MFSL to this.

    Captain Fantastic - Very Good - One of the best sounding Elton SHM CDs, I really enjoyed this one. Great dynamics and full bottom end. I like this more than my old favorite, the WG DJM CD.

    Blue Moves - Very Good - About as good as the others, while still having the same faults - needing to play it loud to get good sound out of it, softer passages sound too distant, with blurry imaging at times. Still, because it is complete and because it is not bright like my old MCA, I prefer this mastering.
     
  2. E_Braunn_Fan

    E_Braunn_Fan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I noticed this issue as well, but mostly with the HC SHM when comparing it to the WG DJM.
     
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  3. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I am surprised how comparably bright the SHM CD of Don't Shoot Me I'm The Piano Player sounds compared to the WG DJM CD. Is that really preferred? The two common songs on the album and the DCC Greatest Hits CD, Daniel and Crocodile Rock, sound very similar there and on the WG DJM CD, but significantly brighter on the SHM CD.
     
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  4. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
    I haven't heard the WG DJM, but I don't find the SHM to be bright at all. I find the Japan for USA MCA to be bright though.
     
  5. E_Braunn_Fan

    E_Braunn_Fan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    The WG DJM is a little less bright overall.

    The difference is most noticeable to me on the track Elderberry Wine. On the 2019 SHM the percussion/cymbals have a swishing/whooshing sound that is very distracting when I hear it.

    I agree that the MCA cd is very bright.
     
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  6. pdenny

    pdenny 18-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Location:
    Hawthorne CA
    Hey guys--been reading the thread with great interest. As I noted earlier, I've purchased the CF and BLUE MOVES SHM's and am thrilled with them. I'm am going to list what I have for other EJ titles I own and I'd love opinions about whether the SHM's of those are substantially better than what I have and justify their purchase. Thanks for any and all comments!

    EMPTY SKY: West German DJM black & yellow label
    TUMBLEWEED: MFSL UDCD 543 (mind boggling; can't imagine it being topped)
    MADMAN: West German DJM
    HONKY CHATEAU: MCA Japan-for-USA
    GYBR: MFSL Ultradisc UDCD 526 (sounds just like the old vinyl to me)
    CARIBOU: MCA Japan-for-USA
    ROTW: Audio Fidelity (very solid)
     
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  7. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    That's why I also compared the two common tracks with the DCC Greatest Hits CD which is my reference CD for sound quality. Some of the WG DJM CDs have the same warm sound, e.g. "Elton John" and "Don't Shoot Me I'm The Piano Player".
     
  8. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
    To me, the SHM CDs are plenty warm enough. In fact, I'd say that is one of their strengths.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
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  9. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Location:
    Home
    I've not purchased several of these from various e-tailers and will post my opinions over the next several weeks as I do my compares.

    Regarding Captain Fantastic I've done a compare but only using 1 track thus far - the title track. I compared to the Japan MCA and WG DJM both of which I found "in the wild" over the years for $3.99 or less.

    The SHM-CD to me seems to have a good portion of the MCA's warmth but with low gen tapes signatures. Both of those things are very good qualities. I rank the SHM-CD as border line Excellent!

    My current CF rankings, subject to change are:

    1 TIE) SHM-CD and Japan MCA - The EQ on the MCA is spot on to my ears. Nice warm and analogue, but some signs of higher gen tape usage. The SHM has most of the MCA warmth but sounds as if from better tapes. For me it's a toss up, I'm unable to determine a preference. The SHM packaging of course is excellent compared to cheap-jack MCA insert and tray.

    2) WG DJM - A bit too sterile for me. The EQ for my ears is simply not as nice, lacking warmth (reduced mids?). Still a great mastering overall and if was the only CD version available I'd still be happy. While I can see how some prefer this mastering for me it always came in second, now third.

    P.S. from what my ears have heard thus far these 2018/2019 SHM-CD's are nice old-school masterings. So far highly crank-able and highly dynamic and some are lower in volume than both the original 80's and MFSL masterings. Folks don't let new CD/Remaster Bias prevent you from at least picking up 1 or 2 of your favorites before these go OOP and then price gouged by Amazon and eBay sellers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
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  10. Carlox

    Carlox Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Totally agree, ricks. :agree:
     
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  11. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    I agree with you regarding the WG DJM vs. The SHM-CD for the title track. I just re-listened to them both and while they both have a lot of nice clarity/detail, they chose to emphasize the low end a bit more on the SHM which I think is better for this recording. As you say, the WG is not bad by any stretch. In fact, I'd probably think it was phenomenal if I didn't have the SHM to compare to.

    I need to spend some time with all the SHMs again as I recently (and significantly) upgraded my DAC. My new unit should reveal even more "goodness" from these 2018 Japanese masterings (at least I hope so).
     
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  12. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Location:
    Home
    D'oh! "I've not purchased" should have been "I've now purchased"
     
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  13. Funky Meadows

    Funky Meadows Forum Resident

    Worth noting for US customers :

    ImportCDs has a 10% code applicable toward various purchases.

    They currently have some of these 2018 Elton SHMs in stock @ $23.99 (Empty Sky, S/T, Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Chateau, Don't Shoot Me …, GYBR, Caribou, Captain Fantastic, Rock Of The Westies and both of the Greatest Hits (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and Blue Moves @ $32.99

    More often than not ImportCDs have very limited stock of any given title, so it's kinda like "get it while you can". Don't be surprised when after this note, there are some or all titles gone.

    If interested in any of these titles, put it in your shopping cart. An alert should tell you if that title is still available (supposedly).

    The 10% off code is : GREEN10 -- It expires March 20, 2020 @ 5:00 P.M. CST

    In the search mode - just enter "Elton SHM". That will display all available SHMs except for "Don't Shoot Me". In the case of "Don't Shoot Me …" you'll have to enter -- "Elton Don't Shoot" for that particular SHM title to appear in the roster of the various versions of that particular album.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  14. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
    I compared again tonight and I agree, the SHM SACD is the best. Great open sound on top, better clarity in the bass and better soundstaging than the SHM CD.
     
  15. I always thought the Elton John SHM-SACD was very good but I had done little hunting down other masterings for comparison, so refrained from commenting.
     
  16. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
  17. Oyster Boy

    Oyster Boy Forum Resident

  18. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
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  19. Oyster Boy

    Oyster Boy Forum Resident

    He puts some great stuff on that blog, worth following:)
     
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  20. Futurecity

    Futurecity Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada
    Can someone please clarify which Elton John 2019 Japanese SHM remastered CDs don't sound quite as good as the others?

    I might be interested in acquiring the 2019 Greatest Hits 1 & 2 and maybe Caribou, but I thought I read those didn't sound as stellar as some of the other 2019 titles? What's the story with those three, and which ones from the 2019 remasters truly sound the best yet?
     
  21. George P

    George P Gonna Wait It Out

    Location:
    NYC
    To me, these 4 are the best sounding of the 2019 remasters. They are my new favorite mastering for their respective albums:

    Madman Across The Water
    Don’t Shoot Me
    Captain Fantastic
    Blue Moves
     
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  22. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    I don't have GH V1 but I have V2. The speculation has been (likely correct) that they used the original reels that were made for each GH album. This means they are a gen down from the masters as in the LP days, it wasn't possible (or far too painful) to take the masters of the individual tracks and make them into an LP; you'd have all kinds of problems with EQ/levels, etc. I suppose since these are digital releases, they could've requested the masters for each original track be transferred to DSD for them (as this is much easier in the digital realm) but it doesn't sound like they did. Consequently I can say that the SQ on GH V2 doesn't live up to the high standard of the individual album releases on SHM CD, but that doesn't mean it sounds bad. Others have stated the SHM CD does sound better than the previous standard CD releases of GH V2. If you want the single only tracks, you don't have much choice with regards to this series.

    Others have stated that they feel the self titled LP was bested by the 2010 SHM-SACD. Again, that doesn't mean the SHM-CD from 2018 is bad. I have it and think it benefits from a little extra EQ, but it's by no means a horrible disc. Others (including myself) also feel the original DJM CD of Captain Fantastic is only slightly behind the SHM-CD from 2018 in terms of sound quality. If I was going to skimp and not get the whole set, CF might be the one to skip. Personally I have the whole set sans Empty Sky and I'm glad I have CF. Some don't like the mastering of "Elderberry Wine" on Don't Shoot Me but otherwise feel it's one of the best if not THE best digital version of this album. Personally I don't think it's a fantastic sounding album overall (compared to others in the series).

    Finally, there are those that prefer the earlier gold CDs of Tumbleweed Connection, Madman, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rock Of The Westies, etc. I'd perhaps give the nod to the MFSL of Tumbleweed myself but the others are a toss up in my opinion. I personally prefer the mastering of GYBR and Madman on the 2018 SHM-CDs to their gold counterparts. One's mileage may always vary of course.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  23. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    I should add that the general consensus here has been that Empty Sky is not a well recorded album in the first place, but that the 2018 SHM-CD is very good considering. Across the board, everyone seemed to agree that Blue Moves has never sounded as good in the digital realm as it does on the 2018 SHM-CD. If you like the album, acquiring this mastering seems like a no brainer.
     
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  24. Futurecity

    Futurecity Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada
    Thanks for all of the information...I might stay away from the 2019 Greatest Hits 2 CD now, but what's the story with Caribou...I seem to recall there wasn't quite a consensus on that 2019 remaster?
     
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  25. eelkiller

    eelkiller Technically right but still wrong

    I love those reviews, I will be checking out that blog in the future.
     
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