Genesis - Selling England by the Pound on CD: Blind Listening Test

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Diablo Griffin, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    We're jumping back to the Gabriel era with Selling England by the Pound. This is one of the best sounding Genesis albums IMO, so maybe the good production will make it harder to vote. But then again, maybe not. It all depends on your tastes.

    These FLAC samples come from 4 different CD masterings. Each file is approximately 2 and a half minutes I've used excerpts from Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Firth of Fifth, More Fool Me, and The Cinema Show. These were the songs I chose because they each highlight certain instruments or the vocals. I didn't pick these sections to give certain masterings an edge over the others. ReplayGain has been applied through Audacity so that each mastering of the songs is around the same volume.

    Rules and notes:
    • In order to avoid biased votes, please do not guess or speculate which mastering a sample uses. This wasn't much of an issue with my previous blind tests, but I feel it bears repeating.
    • If you intend to vote, it's recommended to read other people's posts after you have listened to the samples and voted, in order to escape confirmation bias.
    • It's recommended that you listen to the samples and discuss what you heard. Discussion of compression (without referring to DR values), EQ, and different tape speeds is fair game.
    • Comments based on visual inspection of waveforms, spectral plots, DR values, and noise reduction might condition the poll results while the poll is open. I strongly urge you to avoid talking about these things until the poll has closed.
    • You can't view the results before you vote.
    • You'll be unable to vote after the poll ends.
    • Votes are publicly displayed.
    • If you want to change your choice, you can do so as much as you please until the poll's expiration.
    • This is entirely optional, but I'd appreciate if you could point out if you're listening on speakers or through headphones. If you don't, then that's totally fine. It does help a bit though. :)
    Dropbox links
    My previous blind listeing polls (from oldest to newest):
    @albertop @Eleventh Earl of Mar @The_Windmill @Front 242 Addict @Thievius @ermylaw @Andreas @HiFi Guy 008 @Mike McMann @jp312 @Plan9 @Black Elk @Vaughan @patel kismet @c-eling @Jack_Straw @The Slipperman @RollinHard843 @Marc 74 @Dr. Funk @ganma @Joe McKEe @ledsox @grandegi
    Would you guys like to join in for this? If not, that's okay, but I thought that tagging people who participated before would be the best way to notify them about a new poll.

    Instead of 2 weeks like the other polls, this one will be open for 18 days. 3 weeks may be a bit overkill for just one thread, so I felt that 18 days was a good compromise. Have fun!
     
  2. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I'll might upload a sample from my US Atlantic vinyl too. Not sure when though.
     
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  3. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    I'm in Diablo......just got to set aside some time, so I can give it the attention needed. :righton:
     
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  4. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    This was a tough one. To my ears these were pretty close - less of a drastic difference than many of the other tests (on first listen, anyway). They all have plenty of bass, a little harshness on the vocals, and not much EQ difference that I could tell. I chose C for just a little more realism on the vocals and acoustic guitar, more nuance on the electric guitar, and more natural sounding resonance on the toms.
     
  5. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    Location:
    In your mind
    A..no make it B..no make it C..no go back to A...no B...what the hell? o_O
     
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  6. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    By the way, I see my name tagged - correctly - in the OP, but I never got an alert. Weird.
     
  7. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    This time, I've used my AKG EO-IG955BRs first.

    Man, this comparison truly was harder than the previous ones for me, at least with these earbuds. I usually hear differences between masterings rather well with them, but not so much on this album. TBH, I didn't notice much of a difference between A, C, and D. B was brighter, for better or worse. D had somewhat deeper low-bass, but I really had to concentrate to notice it. More Fool Me and Cinema Show thankfully showcased more audible differences. MFM had better lower-mids on D, which gave it a 'weight' that A and C kinda lacked. Phil's vocals were a tad raspier on B, but I thought the guitars sounded more clear here. Cinema Show was more natural on C and D. Despite B's increased highs, it didn't sound too bad here. A was slightly thinner.

    All of these samples are good, but I'll go with D for now. Maybe that'll change when I use my NAD HP50s.
    That's odd. Do you have the tag notification setting enabled?
     
  8. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Yeah, I think so. Everything is checked under "Alert Preferences"
     
  9. Mike McMann

    Mike McMann Forum Resident

    I'm in Diablo, Good call on the album. I have two formats of this record and really enjoyed the Musical Box tribute show to the album as well.
    I'll be back and yes good thinking on the tagging, thanks.
     
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  10. Jack_Straw

    Jack_Straw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    After listening with headphones, I still like C by a good margin, but I thought B sounded much better with the cans than it did on speakers. (it sounded kind of "hollow" to me on the main system). A and D sound very similar, but I'd give a slight edge to A.

    w/ speakers:
    C > A > D > B

    w/ headphones:
    C > B > A > D
     
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  11. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Somehow none of these samples remind me of the versions I have.

    A: Flat and not boring, I suspect noise reduction.
    B: Too crisp, somehow better than A, but maybe not from the best source.
    C: Round and smooth, engaging, natural, a relevation compared to A and B
    D: A bit compressed, bass is more emphasized, not that natural

    C > D > B > A
     
  12. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    I'm also in. Will do it in the coming days :)
     
  13. Luisboa

    Luisboa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coimbra, Portugal
    To be honest the big diference for me is in sample B. It has more detail but is louder and brighter so its a no for me. The other 3 seemed very close. I voted C, of the 3 seems the one who has slighty better balance beetween a nice round sound and good details.
     
  14. patel kismet

    patel kismet Forum Resident

    Location:
    reunion france
    Listening on speakers.
    A : sounds like there's loudness . Good on "Dancing" but on the others a bit loud to my ears
    B: sounds very good on "Firth" & "Cinema" with presence & smoothness . In return, the highs are too prominent on "Dancing" & the vocal on "More" is not enough natural.
    C: sounds natural but needs some deptf (on Firth) & some highs (on Dancing)
    D: the vocals sound fine & the acoustic guitars too (More fool me). Not great, but a good general balance.
    I vote D.
     
  15. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    NAD Viso HP50 - I still ended up choosing D. Still, all of them are so similar that it almost doesn't matter which one you choose (except for B which may be too bright for some of you guys).

    Audio Technica M50x - I didn't plan on using these headphones, but because the comparison was so difficult, I was curious to try them out here. A was a little thin on Moonlit Knight and More Fool Me, but it also had more upfront sub-bass on Firth of Fifth than the rest of the samples. I didn't hear it like that before. C and D were extremely similar, but D had slightly better lower-mids. Once again, D is my choice.

    I'll do another comparison with my Noontec Zoro HDs soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  16. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    On my Zoro HDs, I actually preferred sample A by a small margin over B. The sub bass really opened up with the Zoros. The rest of the samples sounded a little clearer on them too. However, I'm sticking with D for now because I picked it on all of my other headphones.
     
  17. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    By the way, I'd rank them like this: D > A > C > B.
    However, B sounds better than C on the Zoros.
     
  18. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    Listened with Senn HD600 and Chord Mojo. I voted A, mainly for the differences heard on More Fool Me (vocals and guitar).
    I think that differences between A, C and D are small. B is more in front of your face.
     
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  19. Mike McMann

    Mike McMann Forum Resident

    Hey Diablo,
    this was a well done challenge for this round.
    They all sounded good through speakers (Totem Sky bookshelf)
    Headphones changed everything (HD600)
    B was immediately tossed
    A had the weakest vocals and instrumental details
    C had good detail and vocals
    D had the best vocals to me and rivalled C on detail.

    I'm voting FOR "C"

    Cheers man
     
  20. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict "I'll drink the moonlight from your hands"

    Location:
    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    Diablo Griffin Sorry for the late response to then there were three , I was absent from the forum during the last 3 weeks ,I will be happy to participate in Selling England by the Pound test, this Amazing album was my first introduction to Progressive rock :)
    Thank you for the test of one of my ultimate favorite albums :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
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  21. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    C is the most balanced and natural for me. D is my number two exhibiting similar qualities as sample C. B is not too dissimilar from D, perhaps a little goosed in the bottom and muddier. A is the worst of the lost sounding like a late generation tape.

    Listening on Genelec studio speakers. Well, it sure seems like C is going to easily win this one. There's a pretty clear consensus so far about the quality of the various samples. Interestingly it strikes me that the recording sounds reasonably poor. Recall my first UK Porky sounding quite good.
     
  22. C sounds better than any of the others although B wasn’t bad on my wireless headphones (Couldn’t find my wired set), D sounded pretty good as well. A must be sold either by the pound or dollar depending on the exchange rate.
     
  23. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict "I'll drink the moonlight from your hands"

    Location:
    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    I actually have 2 different cds of Selling England by the Pound,each one with different mastering ( I didn't listen to them at all during the test in order to take the test without trying to identify which of the samples are similar to the disks I have)

    A-Too much bass to my taste,you can hear it during the Gorgeous Guitar sounds on Firth of Fifth

    B- less amount of bass and more tight,I like it more than A ,I think B is brighter than A and C and D

    C- perfect amount of bass ,The vocals sounds better than ABD , Natural balance that I like , Maybe C needs a bit more detailed heights but I like C more than ABD

    D- I like how Steve Hackett's stunning Guitar sounds here , open with lots of presence ,the vocals sounds a bit distance than in ABC (Especially during the start ) , More bass than C, I Think that D less brighter than ABC during the end of the test 2:10-2:30 , D is nice

    It's very hard to decide, Each one of them has good sides and less good sides

    I decided to vote for C

    I made the test with my
    M3i series Mission and Shure SRH940 Headphones
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  24. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Looks like C has taken a slight lead over D. I hope there won't be another tie between the losers this time... :)
     
  25. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Anyone else up for the challenge?
     

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