SH Spotlight I'm asked stuff: Favorite mastering engineer, best BOSTON CD, best TRAVELING WILBURYS CD, etc..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Eh, it could make a little difference depending on how the glass master is prepared from the tape, but most people wouldn't be able to tell any difference. So, it is pretty much a non issue. At DCC we instructed our Gold CD plants to always prepare in real time, just to be safe...

    That help?
  2. rock4ev

    rock4ev Forum Resident

    CA USA
    Thanks Steve, much appreciated.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No prob.!
    rock4ev likes this.
  4. Espen R

    Espen R Forum Resident

    About 15 years ago or so, I read an article on the internet from a mastering engineer on this issue. Later I have tried to find it on the web, but not.

    But here is the short version:
    He bought a CD in the store, an album he just recently mastered in his studio. He was a bit shocked how it sounded, compared to how he remembered the finished CD-R sounded, the digital master that was shipped to the pressing plant from his studio. So he went back to his studio and compared the CR-R to the CD bought in the store. There was a significant difference in sound, in his ears. More fidelity on the CD-R.
    So he was curious what happened. Deeper investigations revealed both CDs was 100% bit-for-bit identical.

    End of story; he learned about jitter in digital audio. He got the disc re-presses at another factory and the new disc sounded much closer to the CD-R.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  5. RandySchimka

    RandySchimka Forum Resident

    San Diego
    That sounds like a Roger Nichols story for Steely Dan...
    painted8, BeatlesBop and marcb like this.
  6. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    CDs Give Me The Jitters!

    It's worth noting that he specifically indicates such differences are player dependent, and that when he ripped the "bad" CD and burned a CD-R, it sounded "just like the ref" (the good sounding reference disc).
    GerryO, supermd, C6H12O6 and 2 others like this.
  7. George P

    George P Notable Member

    It also makes (at least) two respected audio professionals who hear clear differences in CDs pressed using the same mastering. The other is Barry Diament.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  8. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Depending on how they are played back.
    marcb likes this.
  9. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Barry Diament also thought he heard differences between two identical CDs and posted his findings here, only to paddle back later.
  10. rock4ev

    rock4ev Forum Resident

    CA USA
    That is interesting. One thing I notice or hear on cds with identical mastering though a level difference is that in some cases the lower leveled cd can seem to give better detail.
    I say this because it's like a pro guitar amp set up (less knobs the better to hear differences, and only one overdrive or boost pedal in line path as well), makes or changes sound when volume increases, even if you don't change any settings, and more so if you roll back level (only the level knob not the drive/pre amp knob) on od pedal.
    With all that said, my meaning is the more the volume knob is turned up on amplifier the guitar definition in some cases becomes more audible and retains the sound your looking to obtain/maintain, so depending on how loud you need your sound for different situations/scenarios, level change in signal path can help achieve that regardless if it's louder or lower volume you are looking to achieve and also can be done without any in path pedal and just direct into amp and using guitar knob as attenuation.
    Long store short (maybe a bit too late/long,lol) is that master volume of a stereo amp/receiver, especially if a good or decent unit can deliver signal more defined and clear (regardless of tone or in this case to a cd album of most any music type) by the volume/level used by the piece of gear that controls output volume.
    I have some cd albums that are just level shifts tho same mastering where the lower version/pressing can be more pleasant at higher volume than the higher level version.

    Is this audible to anyone else with level shifted (lower) cd albums sounding better at higher volume ??

    Add: I know sound, and how to achieve desired outcome, tho I don't know anything about cd technical manufacturing or 0's and 1's
  11. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Have you heard any of the Classic records test pressings? The ones Michael Hobson held back for his collection. Which is now being sold off.
  12. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    I must say too, I have a MoFi test pressing of Isaac Hayes, "Hot buttered soul" which sounds fantastic. Dead quiet vinyl and far better than the original I have.
    Cervelo likes this.
  13. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    :agree: Yes.
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  14. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind Forum Resident

    I'm a nobody but :
    *Standing ovation!* Bravo. Enjoy the music .
    hi_watt likes this.
  15. Steve,

    Know the intention was to have the DCC CD & Vinyl sound the same*.
    Do you have a suggestion for a title complementing that endeavor best?

    Annoying Audiophile Analysis [is there any other kind?!?!]: would you consider "Riders on the Storm" from DCC's "The Doors - L. A. Woman" to be a great demo track?

    * even when not released together, correct?

    March 1995
    "Sonic compromises to vinyl are pretty simple; get the most signal in the groove without mistracking. In the old days they compressed the hell out of the music, removed a bunch of bass and top end to get a uniform groove that would play music above the noise level of the surface vinyl. These days (at least when Kevin Gray and I do it) we ignore all of those compromises in favor of a clean signal at a slightly lower level but with full dynamics and tonality. If you play my DCC LP of PET SOUNDS or AQUALUNG, etc. they should match the tonality of the DCC GOLD CD versions exactly. Of course, just because they did in the studio upon playback of the Test Pressing doesn't mean they will at someone's house; different tonal qualities of phono stages, RIAA variables and cart variables will make a difference but there still should be a sonic signature that matches. I can't speak for how anyone else does it though. Perhaps Vic did two different masterings in two different ways, I don't know. But, as a test of a system to play back LP's sonically correct, the above DCC examples could be used to determine if a system is being honest in playback of vinyl... "


  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Riders On The Storm has my favorite unused lyric: "Riders on the storm, gonna eat at Norm's."

    That song is not a good demo track at all for anything. Reason? It sounds good always, good on your iPhone, good on your million dollar system, good on anything in between.

    A good demo track is something less hi-fi. Nonetheless, it should match from Gold CD version to 180 gram vinyl version, but the little sonic differences will be hard to spot by the very nature of the song, tempo, recording, etc.
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  17. Off:
    Since i'm wasting your time...

    The plan is demo turntables/cartridges/phono stages. Since it's at a audio dealer & wouldn't know the room, spks, etc... wanted to play a ceedee 1st. At least get an idea of the systems SQ [IMO]. Then play a record of the same title to evaluate analog rigs.

    Thanks again.

    No reply required nor requested.
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Use LOVE HER MADLY. Faster tempo will help. Look, start the song on the CD, then hit pause. Cue the song on the vinyl and when it starts, unpause the CD. They should be in sync so you can A/B them. Make sure the levels match.. Should sound the same or close. If they don't, figure out why.. It's fun!
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  19. bullygoat

    bullygoat Forum Resident

    Question about the old 24k gold CDs. Does gold foil really make much of a difference in sound? As a rule, they sound great on my Audio Note gear. Unfortunately the new audiophile discs are all DSD, which I’m generally not a huge fan of on my (non-SACD) system.
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  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Didn't tarnish, more stable. Real gold, not fake-o. The sound would be in stone either in silver or gold..
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  21. bullygoat

    bullygoat Forum Resident

    Thanks for the quick reply. What do you think of the sound of the redbook layer of the newer audiophile reissues on your AN gear? I seem to often prefer an original 80s CD.
  22. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    One warning to those who own DCC gold CD's: you may not want to clean them with any cleaning fluids or running water.

    rjstauber posted about this and I confirmed it later on as well, but basically, if you have a gold CD pressed by Nimbus and the lacquer on the label side is a bit sticky (and it may even have dust stuck to it that won't wipe off easily), do NOT clean it with any fluid.

    This has been a problem with Nimbus CD's in general. There was a period of time when the lacquer they used for the label side wasn't waterproof, and *sometimes* when this lacquer wrinkled and broke off from any water running on it, the reflective metal substrate would disintegrate with it. At one point I thought this didn't extend to DCC gold CD's but I was definitely wrong about that. I've had this happen to a 4AD CD single I had for "Gigantic" where most of the label came off but the aluminum substrate remained intact. Unfortunately for the DCC gold CD I cleaned, the gold started to break off right along the hub. It still plays fine, none of the gold covering the actual data came off, but it wouldn't surprise me if it turned into a clear disc if I ever dropped it in a pool full of water.
  23. Tom Favata

    Tom Favata tbuick6

    New York
    Hi Steve. Just picked up a used vinyl copy of your Buddy Holly For The First Time Anywhere collection. Wow!! Best sounding Buddy I’ve ever heard. Really nice liner notes you wrote too. It’s only drawback’s too short! Ten songs clocking in under 20 minutes. I know that’s all you had to work with, but I bet you wish there was more. Thank you for helping us hear our favorite artists as they were intended to be heard. These records put us right in the studio at a time when they really knew how to make record. This and your Elvis 24 Karat Hits are 2 of the best sounding records in my collection.
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  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

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  25. rjp

    rjp Senior Member


    a quick question.

    on the razor & tie beach boys greatest hits 'surf's up' is not there and 'disney girls' is. i don't think that 'disney girls was even released as a single was it?

    why one and not the other?

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