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

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

  1. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    Found some time this morning........grabbed a cup of joe and put on my Grado's. Not a bad sounding one in the bunch, but D sounded the most balanced to my ears. I'm going with D.
     
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  2. eatandoph

    eatandoph Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Okay, this is my first time doing one of these polls. I don't have an audiophile setup, but I listened to the samples through my Sony MDR-7506s out of my MacBook. I'm posting without having read the other replies.

    I've read/skimmed some of the threads about old Genesis CD and vinyl releases with a mixture of fascination and something like dread — call it the Changer of 32 Matrices. Four seems like it should be relatively manageable....

    To my ears the four samples split into two camps: A & B, which have a more "modern" sound; and C and D, which sound like older masterings. A and B were brighter, where C and D were more smooth. To me A overdid the brightness, where D was the dullest sounding. This leaves me torn between B and C. Superficially I like B the best because it seems to have the greatest sharpness and clarity, e.g., the distinct "voices" of the mellotron stand out best on "Cinema Show." The bass on B also sounds like an actual bass being played, with impact, as opposed to an undistinguished tone that is kind of vaguely present in the mix. That said, I imagine that B is the sort of thing people are talking about when they mention "smiley faced EQ" and that it might be considered fatiguing compared to C, which has perhaps less clarity but is smoother. I did find that the 12-string on "Firth of Fifth" (which I had barely remembered was there, even though I've heard this album many times) stood out best on C. "Dancing" is a bit of a mess regardless of which version you're listening to and Phil's vox seem to be distorted on the original recording of "Fool"; the latter was probably easiest on the ears on C and D, but it's never been a favorite track for me anyway.

    In the end, I think I'll go with B — I like its caffeinated sound, though it might disturb the album cover's hero.
     
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  3. Diablo Griffin

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

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    9 days left.
     
  4. Diablo Griffin

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

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    1 week left!
     
  5. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Use The VTF, Luke...

    Location:
    Romania
    .flac files can’t be previewed. waste of time.
     
  6. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    Sorry, I didn't think non-previewable files would have been an issue for anyone. I will use wav samples next time so they can be previewed if people do not want to download them.
     
  7. dosjam

    dosjam Forum Resident

    Location:
    seattle
    Listened via powered monitors. This ain't no studio masterpiece and none sounded great. I started with D and worked back to A. D was the best. It had the best, deepest bass and it was the most dynamic. Interesting that at this point "C" is most preferred. I thought it was the worst, possibly a lower generation tape? I felt A and B were too compressed. B had a treble boost that makes the latter vocal section sound better but doesn't help the other 3 samples. A has solid, deep bass but the vocals have digital grain.

    Thanks for arranging this, Diablo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  8. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    I still want to upload a clip from my US Atlantic vinyl, but won't be able to needledrop it until Monday at the earliest.
     
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  9. Diablo Griffin

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

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    5 more days.
     
  10. Diablo Griffin

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

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    4 more days left. I'm hoping we get at least 30 votes for this one, or at the very least avoid a tie breaker.
     
  11. Ringmaster_D

    Ringmaster_D Surfer of Sound Waves

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Finally had a chance to listen. I'm on the road, so the caveat is that I had to listen via high-end earbuds.

    Sample A: Sounds like the lowest gen tapes to me, but the sound is "goosed" and overly loud. Everything sounds like it's playing at max volume, so subtlety is lost.
    Sample B: Sounds good to my ears. Nice high end, although possibly a little distortion here and there?
    Sample C & D: Both sound well-balanced, but the high-end is gone. Lower gen tapes or noise reduction?

    My vote: B
     
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  12. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    I'm needledropping the vinyl right now. Sounds good, though I don't know how it'll fare against the CDs. The sample should be uploaded later today.
     
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  13. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    I completely forgot about this!

    Okay give me like 10 minutes.
     
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  14. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    Sample A is fine, and probably the most even out of the four. The quieter pieces probably are the best here, but in the bigger picture it's not as good as B
    Sample B is the best, has the low end represented the best (you can KIND OF make out Rutherford!) and generally works well for the louder pieces. But with that said, it's not bad on the lower end. The echo effect might be a bit aggressive but that's a minor complaint.
    Sample C is the worst, it's just too thin and Rutherford is actually gone now. It doesn't compliment any of these songs, honestly.
    Sample D is a bit odd. It has the most obvious echo effect, but seems to prefer vocals above all else. The thing is it's not to any extent where it hurts the rest of the mix, so I kind of don't know how to feel here. It's the second worst however the album in general just was produced very well aside from the bass response being really poor no matter the pressing.

    If I had to guess which pressing I have... the sound leveling makes this tough but I believe it's B.
     
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  15. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
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  16. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I keep forgetting. I'll try to get to this tonight.
     
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  17. Diablo Griffin

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

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    3 more days.
     
  18. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    I found the vinyl to sound similar to the other samples. However, I thought it had slightly more mid-bass.
    While listening to the vinyl, I need to point out that I also heard some print-through during extremely quiet parts. More Fool Me and Aisle of Plenty are where it's most noticeable.
     
  19. Diablo Griffin

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

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    Just 2 more days!
     
  20. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    Only one more day left! Hopefully someone'll break the tie between C and D!
     
  21. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    Listening to C and D again right now. To me, it sounds like they might have used a similar source tape, but D sounds more analog in the bass and mids, while C is a little more like a flat transfer in comparison. Even though the album sounds good, I think it could use a minor touch-up in the highs. Specifically, the ideal version for me would be something between D and B.
     
  22. bdfin

    bdfin Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington State
    C, A, B, D..... listened before looking at other responses, then looking at other responses we are all over the map.....
    Used my main setup, Marantz receiver played from Mac mini through ifi dsd DAC and then to Sierra 2 speakers. I also thought they sounded not identical, but not hugely different either. Then compared to my 2008 Atlantic/Rhino vinyl copy and actually preferred that to all of the Flac. Not saying it's better, but I like the extra body and seemed there was better separation of instruments. It did also sound a touch brighter than the files.
     
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  23. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    The remix is really good save for the replacement vocal in the intro to Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. That kind of kills it for me, and I knew that version first...
     
  24. Diablo Griffin

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

    Location:
    United States
    It's been a while since I've heard the remix. While I don't own a physical copy anymore, the autorip mp3 from when I bought the 1970-75 box set is still available to download on my Amazon account. I should give it another listen.
     
  25. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Incompletist

    Location:
    London
    C and D sound clearer and more open jumping into track 2. A and B both sounded more muddled in comparison. But C edges it over D on listening to the opening of the first track at around 20 seconds in, where more detail and separation of the instruments seemed evident. Cheap AKG over-ear headphones.

    Reminds me how Selling England seems to have been a poorly engineered record. Or is the muddled sound part of its charm?
     
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