Elvis Costello Early CD Masterings

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by strippies, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    The cd rot/bronzing is only present on the original PDO UK pressed FIEND CD 160 fatboy release. Luckily there exist represses from another plant.

    These 1989 2nd Columbia and 1986 IMP of 'Get Happy!!' discs sure are a mystery to me. I think they are made from the same digital transfer but the earlier IMP seems to have been edited the most. The Columbia still has the unedited tape hiss between the tracks and there is offset bias present in some of the end of track fades. They normalized this bias and edited the fades on the IMP. I wonder what kind of digital tools they used for this in 1986.
    The same flat peaks are clipping on the the IMP, so it looks like the engineer used a limiter on the Columbia.
    Also, the samples of the two don't stay in sync, so it's possible that the digital data of one of them was fed through an analog step.
     
  2. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    The first Columbia CD definitely seems like the way to go for Get Happy!!

    I listened back to my original Trust, and IMO the bass is just way too much. I'd like to hear the other CD masters, but IIRC they had their own issues; I might just need to thin out the EQ on my Columbia to make it sound best.

    Brutal Youth is also really compressed! I was shocked how squished the audio was. I'll have to A/B to find out how different it sounds from the Rhino.
     
  3. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I actually like the IMP and 2nd Columbia very much but I also haven't heard Col1.
     
  4. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    The right channel being louder is only on the second Columbia, right? Or is that on the IMP as well?
     
  5. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Only on Col2. I have a feeling that the IMP is a more edited version of the same digital source, although it was released three years earlier.
     
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  6. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Just got the My Aim Is True second CSR pressing. @princesskiki recommended it as the second best option to the US DADC (which is the one I bought on Discogs, but the seller sent me this one instead - annoying, but at least it's not the first pressing). I'm still getting used to this new pair of headphones, so I can't offer a definitive comment on sound quality. The EQ is nice, although I'm hearing some clicking noises right before the first chorus of "Welcome To The Working Week" - I'm assuming I just never noticed them before, probably just tape noises. I'll have to listen to the whole CD and report back.

    Strangely, I'm not hearing the right channel vocal skew mentioned in that comparison post - "Alison" actually sounds weighted toward the left channel. I thought I heard it on "Working Week" but that song might just be right-channel heavy to begin with. Also, the songs do seem to "run into" each other the way the DADC pressing was described, although not having heard that one I can't comment for sure.

    The disc is made by CSR and the matrix is DIDP-20091 21A1 +++++

    EDIT: For easy reference, I'm going to link that post here (because I have to keep going to Google to find it!) - https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/thre...tions-here-part-22.325527/page-8#post-9348980
     
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  7. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Please post the DR log values.
    A few years ago I posted this on the WTTWW clicks: Elvis Costello 'My Aim is True': pops/ticks on CD?
     
  8. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Code:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Analyzed folder: My Aim Is True | CK 35037, DIDP-20091 21A1 +++++
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     DR          Peak            RMS          Filename
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
     DR12     -2.25 dB    -16.22 dB    01 Welcome To The Working Week.wav
     DR11     -2.06 dB    -14.92 dB    02 Miracle Man.wav
     DR12     -2.17 dB    -16.31 dB    03 No Dancing.wav
     DR12     -2.53 dB    -16.77 dB    04 Blame It On Cain.wav
     DR12     -1.02 dB    -16.03 dB    05 Alison.wav
     DR12     -1.67 dB    -15.22 dB    06 Sneaky Feelings.wav
     DR11     -2.38 dB    -15.74 dB    07 Watching The Detectives.wav
     DR12     -0.73 dB    -14.75 dB    08 (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.wav
     DR12     -1.43 dB    -16.27 dB    09 Less Than Zero.wav
     DR10     -2.24 dB    -15.13 dB    10 Mystery Dance.wav
     DR11     -0.63 dB    -14.31 dB    11 Pay It Back.wav
     DR13     -0.16 dB    -15.27 dB    12 I'm Not Angry.wav
     DR11      over       -13.97 dB    13 Waiting For The End Of The World.wav
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
     Number of files:    13
     Official DR value:  DR12
    
    ==============================================================================================
    
     
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  9. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Heh, I posted in that thread! Seems odd that I wouldn't have checked and remembered. Hmm. Guess I'm stupid. I'll have to give this a good listen over the coming days from a sound quality perspective. I recently read a thread where our host offered a blanket recommendation for the Demon CDs, but - as evidenced by the relative infancy of this thread information-wise - I don't think he did comparisons against the Columbias.

    I will say that my copy of Trust (DR logs posted somewhere in this thread) sounded surprisingly unpleasant to my ears when I played it about a month ago. I don't know if it was a very bass-heavy master or what, but I found myself wanting to turn it off. I love that album, so it was very odd to me. I'll have to listen again. I didn't give much of a listen to Get Happy either - I was just disappointed that I got the one with the messed-up "Opportunity".
     
  10. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Yes, Trust is a brilliant album. The second Columbia and the IMP have even more low-end and much less high-end than your first Columbia, so Col1 sounds bright to me in comparison.
     
  11. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ouch! I thought the bass was too heavy on the first Columbia. Yikes. I'll need to do a more critical, comparative listen - so far most of my critiques have been cursory at best.
     
  12. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I can't promise I'll do tons of comparisons - I'm getting ready for vacation right now - but in moving files from one computer to another, I happened upon my early Elvis CD rips and decided to pop on "New Lace Sleeves" from both Girls Girls Girls (C2K 46897) and Trust (whichever one it was determined I had earlier in the thread). The difference in sound was shocking.

    Girls Girls Girls mastering sounds a little bit different; the hi-hat sounds like it's much further to the left channel than the Columbia and Rhino Trust. The vocal sounds ever so slightly weighted left, too. I'm wondering if it's partially the result of a misaligned transfer, and partially the fault of the Rhino and Columbia being slightly folded in. Both are possible, and both together would explain a lot. (These are the only three digital sources I have.)

    There is a lot more dynamic range on Girls Girls Girls. A lot more. When the RMS of the entire song is matched, the intro on the Columbia is about 3 dB louder. When level matched, and with the volume of both adjusted so that the loudest peak of Girls Girls Girls is 0.0 dB, the Columbia Trust has more than 3.5 dB of headroom. The waveforms look tremendously different, and the difference is very audible. (It's not digital compression, of course - these obviously use different tape sources.)

    The EQ is the biggest difference of all. Once again, Girls Girls Girls sounds better. It has a nice balance, perhaps a little bass shy and bright, but still lovely. Trust, comparatively, has a boost of 3-4 dB in the 1k-6k range. Yuck! The treble is rolled off and the bass is deficient. Nothing but too-loud midrange on this CD. (I had previously thought there was too much bass; on some other CDs with the 1k-3k area boosted, I thought there was too much treble. I may not be able to identify this frequency range, but I sure know it sounds bad when there's too much of it!)

    It's a shame Girls Girls Girls has what appears to be a channel imbalance, because it sounds very nice. Perhaps a little scoop of the treble will help, but it's an enjoyable listen as-is. I'd be interested to learn more about this, but I don't have the resources or the time at the moment. Can anyone chime in?
     
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  13. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    These are the CDs I have. Unfortunately I won't have access to the DR logs for some time as I haven't gotten the DR meter to work on this computer, and the DR logs are on a different one I won't be taking on vacation. @strippies Please let me know if you need me to post DR logs for any of these, and when I get back from my trip, I'll do so. (I should mention my DR meter is slightly different, it does not log the time of each track for some reason - see earlier in this thread for an example of what mine produces.)
    • My Aim Is True
      Columbia, CK 35037Artwork DOES NOT have "Now Made In The U.S.A." on back cover. Back of booklet includes barcode
      Matrix: DIDP-20091 21A1 +++++
      Inner Ring Etching: CSR COMPACT DISC CSR COMPACT DISC CSR COMPACT DISC
    • Get Happy!
      Demon Records, IMP FIEND CD24
      Matrix: FIEND CD 24 : 1:12 MASTERED BY NIMBUS
      (the "1:12" is not printed like the rest, but made with dots)
    • Get Happy!!
      Columbia, CK 36347
      Matrix: DIDP-070083 3 +++ +++++
      (the "+" above is a hollow circle with four lines sticking out at the four compass directions)
      Inner Ring Etching: Made in USA-Digital Audio Disc Corp.
    • Trust
      Columbia, CK 37051
      Matrix: DIDP 70208 11
      Inner Ring Etching: Made in USA-Digital Audio Disc Corp.
    • The Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions
      Columbia, CK 40101
      Matrix: 1D CK40101 36 B
      Inner Ring Etching: CMU P 107
    • King Of America
      Columbia, CK 40173
      Matrix: DIDP 70030 11A3
      Inner Ring Etching: Made in USA-Digital Audio Disc Corp.
    • Blood & Chocolate
      Imp Records, FIEND CD 80
      Matrix: FIEND CD80 • MASTERED BY NIMBUS
    • Girls Girls Girls
      Columbia, C2K 46897
      Disc 1 Matrix: DIDP-073091 3 + ++ +++++
      Disc 2 Matrix: DIDP-073092 1 +++ +++++
      (In both of these discs, "+" is a hollow circle with four lines sticking out at the four compass directions)
      Both have the DADC "D" logo, but no text.
     
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  14. Downsampled

    Downsampled Forum Resident

    Do we know if Girls! Girls! Girls! is essentially the same mastering as the original Demon release? (I’m not able to check right now but maybe could later.) I’ve always assumed GGG had similar sourcing to the original UK CDs, but maybe I’m wrong about that.
     
  15. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I want to amend this: I compared "Alison" to both Girls Girls Girls and the Rhino My Aim Is True. I definitely hear the right channel skew. The channels on Girls Girls Girls matched the Rhino, unlike "New Lace Sleeves".
     
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  16. I don’t have either anymore but as I recall, yes.
     
  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    @strippies --

    Here is the info from my DADC Columbia "Get Happy!" CD, DIDP 70083 21A2

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed folder: /Users/mlutthans/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Elvis Costello & The Attractions/Get Happy!!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR Peak RMS Filename
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DR13 -3.98 dB -17.84 dB 01 Love For Tender.m4a
    DR14 -5.78 dB -21.54 dB 02 Opportunity.m4a
    DR13 -4.14 dB -19.07 dB 03 The Imposter.m4a
    DR14 -5.50 dB -21.58 dB 04 Secondary Modern.m4a
    DR13 -2.78 dB -19.16 dB 05 King Horse.m4a
    DR13 -3.06 dB -17.12 dB 06 Possession.m4a
    DR13 -3.37 dB -17.76 dB 07 Man Called Uncle.m4a
    DR13 -3.71 dB -19.20 dB 08 Clowntime Is Over.m4a
    DR12 -4.20 dB -17.91 dB 09 New Amsterdam.m4a
    DR14 -3.00 dB -18.86 dB 10 High Fidelity.m4a
    DR13 -5.00 dB -19.64 dB 11 I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down.m4a
    DR13 -1.18 dB -17.16 dB 12 Black And White World.m4a
    DR12 -3.67 dB -18.15 dB 13 5ive Gears In Reverse.m4a
    DR14 -2.86 dB -18.89 dB 14 B Movie.m4a
    DR14 -2.68 dB -19.68 dB 15 Motel Matches.m4a
    DR13 -1.46 dB -16.35 dB 16 Human Touch.m4a
    DR13 -2.74 dB -17.30 dB 17 Beaten To The Punch.m4a
    DR13 -3.40 dB -17.92 dB 18 Temptation.m4a
    DR12 -1.83 dB -15.67 dB 19 I Stand Accused.m4a
    DR13 -2.23 dB -17.92 dB 20 Riot Act.m4a
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Number of files: 20
    Official DR value: DR13

    ==============================================================================================

    I got this for $1 "as is" at a used record store in Denver a few months ago. :)
     
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  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Just curious -- are you sure that the right-side credit has a leading zero? Mine reads CD 35709 then DIDP 20187 over on the right, without the leading zero.The matrix reads DIDP 20187 21A3, with the same peak values as your disc (21A15 matrix).
     
  19. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Anybody else have this version of MY AIM IS TRUE?
    R-8713757-1467169373-2792.jpeg.jpg
    I have it, but it's in Washington and I'm in Kansas right now. IIRC, the sound left a lot to be desired, but I have not played it in a few years.
     
  20. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thanks. Are your m4a file values from the 21A2 matrix from a lossless source?

    Some peaks differ substantially from these submitted values of the 11A1 matrix: Album details - Dynamic Range Database
    The Canadian Cinram with matrix #900228E (74.1/ 79.9/ 75.7/ 73.3/ 75.3/ 70.2/ 63.6/ 75.4 / 68.8/ 69.7/ 75.0/ 82.9 / 67.2) seemingly contains a level shift of the first US DADC mastering.
    The values of the US DADC Pitman posted above by @Duke Fame differ from the UK Fiend CD submitted here: Album details - Dynamic Range Database
     
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  21. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Yes.
     
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  22. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Interesting. That makes 3 different masterings of the Columbia 'Get Happy!!', although the 11A1 and the 21A2 are probably differently edited versions of the same digital source because the RMS levels are very similar.
     
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  23. princesskiki

    princesskiki Kiki's Mom

    21A may have been a 1630 technology product. 1630 allowed EQ'ing.
     
  24. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Acquired a non-leading-zero Armed Forces while on vacation. Frustratingly, this is the one album allegedly bettered by a remaster - the download of the super deluxe set - but still a fun find, and for $6, why not? Sadly, I could not bring my good headphones, so any sound quality comments will be filtered through cheap headphones I'm not familiar with.
     
  25. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I compared 'New Lace Sleeves' and 'Clubland' from your first Columbia with the 1986 IMP Fiend of Trust and the Fiend version of Girls Girls Girls.

    Columbia 1 indeed has a massive midrange and treble EQ boost compared with both Fiends. The Columbia drums sound completely different. At certain segments they are buried in the mix.

    The Fiends have very similar EQ and both have the hi-hat on 'Sleeves' tilted to the left side. They are very likely made from the same analog tape source and maybe even from the same digital transfer.

    However, the samples don't stay in sync and there are some different bias effects in the waveforms so I'm leaning to a new AD transfer done in 1989. This would mean that the 86 and 89 are both close to flat transfers.

    Bottom line: if you like 'Girls' you'll probably like the IMP Trust too.
     
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