Intervention Records Hybrid SACDs

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by toilet_doctor, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What is it Intervention Records anyway?


    "Intervention Records is owned and operated by professional music lover and Hi-Fi industry veteran Shane Buettner. Buettner also manages Marketing and Business Development for Vandersteen Audio, and prior to that was Vice President, Communication at AudioQuest. Buettner’s earlier career was in publishing, and his work was read in respected publications such as Home Theater magazine, The Absolute Sound and The Perfect Vision. Intervention Records would not exist without the inspiration and guidance of Joe Harley and Ron Rambach of Music Matters Jazz, brothers in analog arms and two of the kindest people walking this Earth.

    Intervention's sonic goal is that each record we do must be the single definitive, final version of that album, the one real music lovers will seek out. That’s why we work from the original master tapes whenever possible, and always from the very best sources available. We only approve and move forward with our releases when we are confident we will produce the definitive vinyl edition of that recording.

    We will always reveal the exact source material we use and we stand by our commitment so that our customers know that our vinyl will always be the definitive go-to for any title we produce.

    Starting from last year, Intervention released several LPs and recently their first and only SACD:

    Jul. 22, 2016
    Stealers Wheel S/T

    Hybrid Dual-Layer CD/SACD Disc
    Deluxe Old Style "Tip On" [Mini LP]CD Jacket Printed By Stoughton
    Original Release Date: 1972 Original Label: A&M
    Mastered From Real Analog Tapes by Kevin Gray At Cohearent Audio


    I have to admit, I missed this album in 70's, while I liked their hit 'Stock in the Middle with You', heard on a radio. I left my LP collection behind many years ago to concentrate on High-End SACD playback system. Now with this SACD release, I discovered kind of "new album".

    I learned that this Scottish band (initially two friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty + Roger Brown, Rab Noakes and Ian Campbell), were signed to A&M Records and released 3 albums, then disbanded in 1975.

    Their self-titled debut SACD came in very nicely done (on a level with Japanese ones) Mini LP cover with beautiful Artwork by artist John Patrick Byrne, who was responsible for all three albums covers. The word is that this cover is a kind of charade: there is name Stealers Wheel 8 times hidden in it.


    Musically, it's well crafted soft rock with pleasant vocal rather than folk rock, as some suggested.

    So, how does it sound? Speaking ahead, I would say very good. Sound is open, airy and well balanced, nothing dominate or missed, bass is well present, vocal in front without brightness of the trebles.
    I put it against my favorite 2014 Audio Fidelity Renaissance Scheherazade SACD also mastered by Kevin Gray, which stays on a border Outstanding and Very Good category in my list.
    Scheherazade won with deeper bass, better dynamics and overall clarity of the sound. (If not a tiny bit of brightness in Annie Haslam's vocal, it could be firm Outstanding place).
    Then I put Stealers Wheel again. First track, another their hit Late Again: spacious sound, deep soundstage, tight bass - pretty damn good! Recommended.

    Thank you Shane, thank you Kevin and everybody who made it happened for all audiophiles and music lovers.
    I know it's not easy, but I am looking forward to see more SACD releases from new label.
  2. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    I would like to see more SACDs from them as well:cheers:
  3. Good review, where can I buy this?
    angelo73 and toilet_doctor like this.
  4. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    I bought mine from Acoustic Sounds:cheers:
    angelo73 likes this.
  5. Thanks. I just found it at Amazon.
  6. According to the listing at Amazon, this SACD is a PCM to DSD conversion. I might still pick it up.
    toilet_doctor likes this.
  7. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    While I bought it at amazon together w/ Steven Wilson's Jethro Tull Stand Up (Elevated Limited Ed. $26.39) to get free shipping, it's actually Shane, who sold the copy through amazon, as third-party seller.
    Other IR on-line retailers are: Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, MusicDirect and SoundstageDirect.

    The mastering info, you mentioned, should be here:
    "...FM Radio Classic Stuck in the Middle Immortalized in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs! The short but legendary recording career of Stealers Wheel is defined by the pinnacle reached with its first two albums. Listening to this extraordinary debut effort it's easy to hear why many thought Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan's Stealer's Wheel would become the UK's answer to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The duo's distinctive style is in full evidence, marrying ultra-catchy hooks and melodies to thoughtful lyrics and gorgeous vocal harmonies. Stealers Wheel is much more than just its smash hit single. It's an all-time great rock n' roll record from start to finish, a great record to discover or (Re)Discover! Mastering Notes- Stealers Wheel’s self-titled debut is sourced from the best source that is currently available, a beautifully preserved ½” 30ips “safety copy” of the original stereo master. The result is a remarkably lively recording with driving bass, wonderfully expressive guitars and living, breathing vocal harmonies from Rafferty and Egan like you’ve never heard them before! The LP lacquers were cut directly from the analog tape by Kevin Gray, who simultaneously archived from the tape to 24-bit/192kHz digital. These files are essetially high-res archives of IR's LP mastering with identical board settings and EQ with wide open dynamic range and zero compression applied. Kevin converted the 24/192 high-res files to DSD and sent them to Gus Skinas at the Super Audio Center in Boulder, CO. Gus prepared the DSD and CD masters for this hybrid CD/SACD disc; the CD layer is thus a downconversion from the DSD files."

    There are a couple of good reviews at amazon (second grabbed my attention):

    "5* Classic album receives loving treatment from Intervention Records--wonderful SACD release in mini-LP packaging..
    Intervention Records reissue of the classic Stealers Wheel first album sounds the best (well except for those who are into vinyl and they've reissued it in that form, too!). Reissued as a Hybrid CD/SACD from, this also features the original 1973 mix of "You Put Something Better Inside Me") and mastered by Kevin Gray from DSD, the album received renewed interest when "Reservoir Dogs" used "Stuck in the Middle with You" for the brutal interrogation/torture scene.
    Shane and his team at IR put this together using the original master tapes (made available by Universal) and the album comes in a Mimi-LP sleeve with the CD replicating the original vintage A&M logo on the disc. The disc comes packaged in a high quality plastic sleeve. The original release didn't have a lyric sheet.
    The album sounds warm, full and has wonderful depth and detail.
    I'm looking forward to the reissue of the second Stealers Wheel album on SACD from IR.
    " (Sep. 2016)

    "3* Great remaster - but strange housing of the SACD causes scratches and marks.
    First: thank you guys at Intervention Records for bringing this recording back to light in great sound quality! Kevin Gray has given it an awesome remastering, it sounds great, very warm and analogue, yet detailed.
    But: one may like the cardboard sleeve packaging or not, the inner sleeve used for the SACD is made from a strange soft PVC plastic that is just inappropriate for housing any kind of CD or SACD!
    My item arrived factory sealed and I very carefully unpacked it, but the disc showed scratches and marks from the plastic sleeve right away.
    What is the higher sense in packing a new CD/SACD in a way that guarantees it arrives scratched at customers hand??
    I contacted Intervention for this issue and got an immediate answer - they offered taking it back for a refund, but had little understanding for the actual problem.
    It's that easy: as a collector I want items purchased brand new to be in brand new condition - w/out any scratches or marks.
    Why not use inner sleeves like MFSL do for their SACDs?
    Please Intervention, use better inner sleeves for housing the discs for future releases!
    " (Oct. 2016)

    3* is unfair rating: those scratches or marks on a disc were not caused of plastic inner sleeve, but inaccurate packaging at the factory (happened to me ones with Mini LP CD from Japan). Regardless of that, I immediately put the disc into Japanese (Dick Union made) white fabric inner sleeve, I bought from one DU dealer on eBay (recommended):



    (I also use these sleeves for the reg. digipaks with inner pockets for CD that hard to pull out them from).

    Please note:
    The cover is not Gate-fold style and can be opened only from one side to keep plastic wrap on.

    Here is an image of backside cover:
    I personally agree to buy more IR SACDs without inner sleeves at all, but where are they?
  8. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Heaving a big experience with selling SACDs on eBay, I deeply believe that it is a marketing mistake to do not offer this SACD directly from IR trough eBay worldwide this holiday season.
    Price: $30 w/free shipping within US and with shipping cost $12.75 worldwide would attract and domestic, and Int'l buyers.

    Is not a shame that two retailers are offering Stealer Wheel SACD for about $45 + $7 shipping from... Germany and one copy already has been sold:
    Stealers Wheel Audiophile Hybrid SACD Intervention Kevin Gray Mastering wie MFSL | eBay »
  9. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What to expect?

    Welcome, Intervention Records »

    Shane is a member of our forum and he will check our thread.
    But first, guys, we have to do our own home work:

    There're currently 9 more titles, remastered by Kevin Gray, available in LP:

    Big Audio Dynamite
    Erasure The Circus
    Erasure Wonderland
    Stealers Weel Ferguslie Park
    Joe Jackson I'm the Man
    Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
    Joe Jackson Night and Day
    Everclear So Much for the Afterglow
    Everclear Sparkle and Fade

    1. What titles/title would you prefer to release in SACD?
    2. What of them would be more demanding market-wise?
    angelo73 and SinnerSaint like this.
  10. d.s.l.

    d.s.l. Forum Resident ^O;O^

    London, England
    Joe Jackson - I'm The Man
    Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!
  11. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    The Big Audio Dynamite and Erasure are the ones that would most interest me.
    Merrick and toilet_doctor like this.
  12. I would buy all three Joe Jackson titles on SACD in a heartbeat.
  13. MarkN

    MarkN Forum Resident

    Given that the Stealers Wheel album was digitized to 24/192 PCM from the analog master, it seems like releasing it as a DVD-A or Blu-ray audio disc would be more true to the original. Converting the PCM master to DSD seems like a step in the wrong direction. If the analog tape had been mastered directly to DSD, the SACD would make more sense.

  14. I agree with this statement 100%. This is actually the only hang up for me of not buying this disc immediately.
  15. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    BAD please.
    Imagine how good "Medicine Show" would sound!
    Dennis Metz likes this.
  16. Sander

    Sander Forum Resident

    So would I :righton:
    toilet_doctor and therockman like this.
  17. Instant Karma

    Instant Karma Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Me too!!!:agree:
    angelo73 and toilet_doctor like this.
  18. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter


    - Shane, are you interested in suggestions for titles?

    - ALWAYS.
    (from another thread)

    OK, guys, let we suggest some good stuff for future SACD releases, keeping Alternative Rock in mind.

    Portish Head - one of the most influential and loveable band in Alternative Rock and beyond. I believe their first two albums Dummy (1994) and S/T (1997) would be good way to proceed with SACD releases.

    Dummy took #2 in UK chart, UK Album of the Year award and couple prestigious BRITS and BRATS awards. (I already see myself ordering these two money makers, "fulfilling" at amazon for free shipping).

    Also big positive point for this release is: they've never been remastered at all, which makes them even more desirable for music lovers.

    I'm not talking about their hits: Dummy, Glory Box and Sour Time (those are untouchable classics), but any song I randomly took, sounds fresh, as it was written just yesterday. Arrangement is jawdropping, but Lady (Beth Gibbons) is mesmerizing and heartwrenching to the tears...

    See for yourselves:


    Portishead - Elysium (PNYC) »
    Portishead - Roads »
    Portishead - Strangers (PNYC) »
    Portishead - Only you (Roseland NYC) (HQ) »
    All Mine
    Portishead - All Mine - Sub Español »
    Portishead Threads sub »

    I cannot help, but post Sour Time (sorry about that):
    Portishead - Sour times (Roseland NYC) (HQ) »

    Is not this Alternative Rock at its best deserve to be "(re)lived" in Hi-Res for the future generations and take its place in Library of Congress?
    Shane, where are you?

    Guys, support me here, make your suggestions - we are at risk to be left without our favorites...
  19. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    Does Intervention Records actually have anything else confirmed for future SACD release?
    Shvartze Shabbos likes this.
  20. Dok

    Dok Forum Resident

    I believe the second Stealers Wheel is supposed to be in the pipeline.
    toilet_doctor and Joti Cover like this.
  21. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    Sean Connery... is that you ? :D

  22. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    You bet, it's me, but please don't tell anyone. Let it be between you and me.
    angelo73 and Diamond Dog like this.
  23. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    It is correct, but... depends completely on therockman.
    "I went and done some digital. Stealers Wheel 1 is coming on a hybrid CD/SACD SOON- shipping 7/22! Ferguslie has also been cleared for CD/SACD and as long as sales look good I'll green light that one too." -- IR Shane
    angelo73 likes this.
  24. spotlightkid

    spotlightkid Forum Resident

    BAD please!!
    No Static likes this.

  25. I am so sorry, if it all depends on me then I will push the button and buy it right after the holiday.

    As a side note. I appreciate good mastering and attention to detail, but I really think that Intervention Records could have went the extra mile and provided a nice little liner for the disc. This is what MFSL does and it is a nice way to present the final product. Just my opinion.

    But of course I will buy this disc anyway.

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