Genesis "Selling England..." 1994 remaster, cassette vs CD

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bryantn3, Oct 17, 2017.

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  1. bryantn3

    bryantn3 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Long time browser, first time poster.
    I had in my possession, although it seems to be missing now I'm looking for it, a copy of the Genesis "Selling England By The Pound" '94 remaster on cassette. The weird thing about it is, it honestly sounds better than any other master, remix, or remaster, even better than the CD version of the same remaster. It sounds brighter and clearer than any version I've ever heard, and less muffled, but it doesn't seem to have any more audio compression or noise removal done to it, at least as far as the '94 CD master is compared to it. True, it has more noise because of the tape hiss, but it almost seems as though, underneath the inherent tape hiss, there is actually more dynamic range to be heard. I've not had a chance to do a proper dynamic range examination, as I don't even have a halfway decent tape deck, just a low end yellow plastic Walkman.
    Basically, I'm wondering if anyone knows if there was something different done on the tape vs the cd master. Like was it a Digalog transfer? I.E. did they first remaster the master tape to, like, hi res (24 bit/88.2 kHz, maybe?) digital tape, and then transfer copies of that to the cassette? I'm just curious if anyone has any insider knowledge about this that I'm not privy to, as I've seen other posts on here where just such a knowledgeable person replied.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    It'll be the same master. Just the master was no-noised. And on cassette it would use Dolby Noise Reduction, which if you don't turn on when you play the cassette will sound more trebley than the CD. So it's probably just that. Play the cassette with Dolby B Noise Reduction on and I bet it'll sound similar to the CD.
     
  3. bryantn3

    bryantn3 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I have experience with Dolby, and it's not exactly more trebley, not in the way that a dolby tape sounds without dolby (I've played it with Dolby on and off in my car deck), that's not exactly what I meant by "brighter". I guess I should've just stuck to using "clearer". Huh. Weird. Maybe it's just my imagination, then. I did think I recalled maybe seeing a digalog logo on it. Maybe it's just louder, like with Dolby HX Pro in addition to Dolby B? I don't know why both would ever be used together though.
    It's kind of hard to describe. It's not exactly that it has higher dynamic range, now I think about it, it's more like I said, "less muffled". I don't know how else to describe it. It doesn't necessarily sound like it's noisy or hissy in the other masters, just kind of like all the tracks were recorded with a blanket thrown over the microphones, but it's also a problem with the keyboard and guitar parts as well, so maybe an issue with the original recording process. But then why would it sound better on one release than another? Huh. Just throwing thoughts around at this point.
     
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  4. bryantn3

    bryantn3 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Just found the original insert. It is indeed a digalog tape. But not only that, it seems it was both mastered with Dolby S, and Dolby HX Pro. I never realized there were any Genesis tapes with Dolby S. Maybe that explains it. I was actually partly right in both posts. But I was definitely not expecting Dolby S. I had thought that next to nobody ever ended up using Dolby S except in home recordings. Now I want to get a proper tape deck, find the tape itself and give it a proper listen. I guess it sounds better than the CD because it was transferred to tape directly from a high res digital master tape, and since the CD was, well, a CD, it was downsampled, whereas an analogue cassette tape wouldn't need the audio to be downsampled. Does anyone know if there were versions of this tape without Dolby S, or versions of other Genesis records released on tape that also had Dolby S? If so, I might need to track them down and give them a listen.
     
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  5. bryantn3

    bryantn3 New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Finally found the tape, and meantime found a software pseudo Dolby B decoder. I ran the tape over my walkman after cleaning the tapehead, into my soundcard at 24 bit/48 kHz (which is all my windows laptop supports, and I didn't want to bother setting up the software on my mac) and through the vst plugin, with some adjustments to the strength of the decoder equalization. I passed that through to audacity at the same bit depth/rate. I played it back, and the recording seemed a bit weak on the low frequencies, so I applied a slight boost to the bass frequencies, after normalizing it (peak normalization, since the right channel had a weaker signal, probably the tape or tape head was misaligned, and I don't want to take apart my walkman to align it). I then spliced it up and reordered it back to the original track listing because the tape had the track listing rearranged. I also added some fades to the beginning and ending of sides so there's no click between the cuts.
    I listened back to it, and the wow and flutter is a little noticeable here and there, but otherwise, IMHO I'd say it sounds better than any other version I've ever heard. The tape was in really good condition, and the treble response seem to be fine, great in fact, better than any other ferric cassette I've heard.
    I've always loved tapes for the nostalgia factor, I started making mix tapes off the radio when I was probably eight. but I really never expected to get a tape that sounds better than a vinyl copy of the same record. I've always felt that the other masters of the record were kind of weak in the bass and treble, and strong in the mids, giving a kind of canned feel to the album. But when I play this back over my tower speakers, I can really feel the beat of the bass drum, and hear the highs of the keyboards. The guitars during the keyboard solo from "Cinema Show" are more prominent, too. In fact, listening to "Cinema Show" makes it hard for me to believe I'm hearing the studio master, it sounds a lot more like a particularly good live recording. Now I'm glad I went to so much trouble, this makes an excellent addition to my digital music library. I've gotten to the point that I've had to start renaming the albums in my library according to which master and release the files are from. :p
     
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  6. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    Interesting. I'm trying to buy a few of the Definitive Editions on cassette, but they're just so elusive. eBay only has the originals, while most of the remastered cassettes aren't even on discogs at the moment. My only guess is that Atlantic didn't make a lot of copies of these tapes. Even the Zep and Yes remasters from the same year aren't as difficult to find as the DEs.
     
  7. Wallflower

    Wallflower Well-Known Member

    Location:
    England
    I didn't know they had released remastered cassettes in '94!

    Could you post the Cat# and barcode of your SEBTP?
     
  8. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    @bryantn3 They wouldn't have used a "Hi-Res" digital master for cassette duplication in 1994. Highest resolution you could have at the time was 20bit/48kHz. Digalog used standard 16bit/44.1kHz.

    Also, have you heard the pre-'94 remaster, Virgin/Charisma CD "mastered by Nimbus" of this album? Could be a copy from that.
    Or, Barry Diament has said he had remastered some Genesis titles but was unsure they were ever released. Maybe they used his masters for the cassettes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  9. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    I've ordered the DE Duke cassette thanks to a spare eBay gift card I had lying around. It's not so much for listening but more for the sake of my collection. Still, I'm curious to hear how it sounds.

    Going by Discogs and this thread, the only DE cassettes that don't have any evidence of existing are Nursery Cryme, Wind & Wuthering, Seconds Out, and Three Sides Live. I wonder if anyone has those versions. Since all of these cassettes were only released by Atlantic, then the DE Trespass likely doesn't have a cassette variant.
     
  10. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Cassettes often and usually sound better than CD'S. There's dozens and dozens of albums where I have both the CD and the cassette. And this has been my experience.
     
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  11. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    Location:
    United States
    It's a case by case basis, but I've definitely heard tapes that sounded better than any CD equivalent. To stay somewhat on topic, Genesis and Invisible Touch are some examples where I came to that conclusion.
     
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  12. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    Best CD and vinyl version of this album?
     
  13. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
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  14. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
  15. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    To me, my cassette copy sounds better than my CD copy. The bells sound like real bells.
     
  16. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    I have no cassette player anymore..
     
  17. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    You're in the majority.
     
  18. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    They vinyl, if you find a good copy - but the CD is close sonic wise.
     
  19. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

    I find it hard to believe that one of those DE 1994 remasters sounds good in any form.
     
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