Linda's favorite digital versions of all Black Sabbath albums

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by blacksabbathrainbow, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England

    I just listened to the SACD 24/44.1 convert, 2009 and original Castle using only Tomorrow’s Dream as an example


    My favourite is still the SACD, even with my old ears the thing I always notice the most on Tomorrow’s Dream is the percussion sounds, on the SACD they sound the most “real” and “clear” without any added harshness some other masterings have.

    My second favourite is probably still the the original Castle, but the 2009 is also very good.

    It’s actually nice to have three excellent options for this album.

    I don’t actually play the SACD any more as I’m more than happy with the 24/44.1 convert I got from using the PS3 extracted data file and converting it to PCM

    Some may say I’m losing something by doing this, but I’ll be open here and say I really can’t tell that much if a difference between the SACD and the Convert and if there is a difference I’m using my DAC to convert the PCM and the SACD players analogue out when I did compare… so there would be that to take into account to

    I like to think I’m just honest enough to say I don’t really hear a great deal of difference in DAC’s as much as I do with loudspeakers or Amplifiers like some say they do.
     
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  2. Hadn't seen it! Love it! Thank you.

    Same here, I dislike most "reaction" videos, but this channel seems different to me than most I've seen. I agree they seem to have a great understanding of music, making a lot of great points while showing real passion for the music.

    This one's also nice, especially when they get to the quieter part of the song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-X0-3v7vvI

    Thank you very much for your comments!

    Yeah, more often than not, I listen to a 16/44.1 transfer of the SACD.

    If you don't mind, I would be very interested in your thoughts on how these three releases compare for St. Vitus Dance, because I found that those masterings work out quite differently for different songs, and for me St. Vitus presented an interesting contrast to Tomorrow's Dream in that respect.
     
    sandimascharvel likes this.
  3. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    I clearly hear differences during quiet passages, mostly cymbals, piano and ambience smears, especially when I use my headphones etc.
     
  4. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    I think I’ve mentioned before Claus… You obviously have much better ears than me

    I’m almost glad I don’t notice the differences, I get obsessed enough with masterings without hearing more differences between PCM and DSD conversions :)
     
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.
  5. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    Well, it depends! I don't hear any differences on raw live concerts or low dynamic range Metal, but mostly on classical music, Jazz, Blues, Folk and Pop with great dynamic range, higher than DR 13.
     
    hutchguv likes this.
  6. I have posted my criticism of this box set on Rhino's Facebook page, everyone feel free to join in ;):
    Log into Facebook
     
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  7. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    I don’t use FB but I just read your comments and they are great! I’m sure people will join in!
     
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.
  8. Thank you very much! I try not to use FB most of the time but in this case I felt I have to. It is difficult though because in the same time span that I post one critical comment, 50 people post how absolutely great the box set is because it looks so good. I don't get it. If that was my priority, I would go and buy a painting, not a piece of music.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  9. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England

    Ok, just had a listen

    I definitely still prefer the SACD… but….

    I think I like the 2009 more than the original Castle for this track…. The 2009 sounds better just for the percussion mainly

    Hmm, that’s kind of thrown me

    I’m not sure I want to start worrying about which mastering is best for each track :yikes:

    Luckily the SACD is still the winner for me here :)
     
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.
  10. Thank you very much for your valuable comment!

    Vol. 4 is a nightmare with respect to mastering comparisons, because the production is so uneven between tracks. And I still have to run another comparison on my speakers; the last ones were all with headphones.
     
    hutchguv likes this.
  11. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    As I suspected they only sent me one cd - disc 2.
    Getting returned tomorrow.
    Pity.
     
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.
  12. That's real sh***y of them. Sorry to hear it.
     
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  13. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    Having heard a de-emphasised 1986 Castle Vol 4, I now know why growing up with my Castle tapes Vol 4 was my favourite Sabbath album. Lovely and smooth sounding with a thick fat fuzzy guitar tone. Absolute bliss!
     
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  14. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England

    I just listened again to the 2021 Vol 4 straight after listening to the SACD

    I really, really don’t like that 2021 mastering…. It’s so, for want of a better description, in your face…. But not in a good way.

    It gives me that “these guitars sound like a chainsaw” feeling

    And not a “yeah rock n roll chainsaw guitars” feeling, but a “is that chap next door ever going to stop revving his chainsaw whilst I’m trying to sleep” kind of feeling

    I suspect it would appeal to people in their seventies who’s hearing has gone :)

    But….

    I played back my SACD 24/44.1 conversion and the 2021 using just my iPhone speakers and guess which sounded better….. the 2021

    I mean, obviously for sound quality iPhone speakers are terrible, but a lot of people these days are playing back stuff through phone speakers and unfortunately that is just the reality of life these days.

    So I do get why they do these remasterings, I just think generally the people buying these box sets are going to be a bit older and are more likely to actually play a CD through a hi fi system

    Anyway, apologies for this ramble…. Just sharing my thoughts after listening
     
  15. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    Sorry to hear that mate
     
  16. damnit

    damnit Great Cd Mastering Only Please

    Location:
    usa
    Could be great news!!!!

    "News has just come through that the original tapes, long thought lost, have been discovered.
    In a recent interview, Tony Iommi commented " I’m also thinking of remixing the album “Born Again” now that we have found the original tapes......"
     
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  17. hutchguv

    hutchguv Rock/Metal/Prog/Power Pop fan

    Location:
    England
    GREAT NEWS

    Although I don’t actually mind the sound of the album, a remix could really bring out some clarity

    I’ll start saving for the 2033 Super Deluxe set :)
     
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  18. topekatj

    topekatj Forum Resident

    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    It would also be great if the original line (Gillan, Ward, Tony and Geez) toured to promote the remaster!!
     
    Greenalishi likes this.
  19. Tony and Bill have both ruled out further tours. Which is both realistic and wise with respect to their health.
     
  20. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I wish Tony and Rob Halford would do something. That would be cool.
     
    Gus Tomato likes this.
  21. Gus Tomato

    Gus Tomato Stop dreamin’ and start drivin’ Stevie!

    Location:
    Cork
    Live Evil WB 2 disc VG+ picked up on discogs, great deal on shipping minus jewel cases - nice when buyers don’t try rinse you with the postage.

    My final two CDs to get are legit versions of Headless Cross and Tyr - and they won’t be easy to find, I like the US versions’ disc artwork so I’ll go for those.
     
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  22. Tomcat83

    Tomcat83 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Slovakia
    Linda,

    I would like to know result of your comparison in sabbath bloody sabbath album:

    2009 remaster VS HDtracks 2014 (2012 remaster?)

    Which one do you like more and why? I know 2009 remaster has swapped channels... I would like to know your verdict without consideration of swapped channels in 2009 remaster...

    thank you

    Tomas
     
  23. I believe last time I checked I preferred the 2009 (with corrected channels), probably it sounded a bit darker and fuller to me. But it has been a while since I checked last time. The swapped channels are of course a very stupid mistake, though easy to correct on a computer. Usually I listen to an SACD>CD rip of this album. My latest comments on most Sabbath albums can be found here:
    Linda's favorite digital versions of all Black Sabbath albums
     
    Tomcat83 likes this.
  24. Andy Pearce's Black Sabbath remasters

    This is a revised and expanded copy of a post I made in another thread a little while ago. People keep referencing "the Andy Pearce remaster(s)", as if there was just one batch of those, so I thought it would be good to have one post where the 3(!) series we've seen of Sabbath Pearce remaster are explained. Hopefully this means that in the future, rather than explaining the same thing again and again, I can simply point people to this post.

    Any corrections are welcome.

    As I already mentioned, there exist, at this point, no less than 3(!) series of Andy Pearce Sabbath remasters (most but not all created with the assistance of Matt Wortham):

    (1) 2009-2011 Pearce remasters
    Used for (most of) the 2009-2011 Sanctuary CDs. These encompass the entire Sabbath 1970 through 1992 catalog other than Headless Cross and TYR. However, 4 of the 2009-2011 Sanctuary CDs do not in fact use a Pearce remaster: The Paranoid 2009 CD actually contains a copy of the 1996 Ray Staff Castle remaster despite claiming it was remastered by Pearce. A true Pearce 2009 remaster of this album has never surfaced. Same goes for the 2011 Dehumanizer which is a copy of the original 1992 CD. The Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! 2009 CDs both contain terrible Japanese masterings.
    This first series of Pearce remasters (which means: all 2009-2011 Sanctuary CD releases other than the 4 just listed) generally sounds dark, some of these are moderately (but not excessively) compressed. IMO all true 2009-2011 Pearce remasters sound very good to excellent. One further exception: Wicked World, located on the Deluxe bonus disc for the debut album. European copies of this track have always been very bad, this one's no exception. In this case, the problem is not due to the mastering but due to the source that was used. Good tapes for Wicked World are located in the US, not in Europe. (How this is relevant in 2021, you may ask, given that there's planes and global capitalism and such. You've got a point there. Even though markets for the Sabbath catalog have been split up between WB for the USA and Universal - now BMG - for Europe, I have no idea why WB couldn't send Universal a transfer of their Wicked World tape. This is even more mysterious considering what comes next.)

    (2) 2012 Pearce remasters
    These were originally created for "The Vinyl Collection 1970-1978" by Sanctuary (a European release), so they encompass the 1970ies Ozzy era catalog. For reasons unknown, the 2012 remasters (despite being created specifically for vinyl and even having vinyl moves baked into the mastering) were re-used in 2014 by Rhino for their (US) HDtracks hi-res official download edition of "The Complete Albums 1970-1978". (Now, I know what you think: WTF??? Yep. While Universal somehow didn't manage to get a good copy of Wicked World, located in the US, from WB, it was somehow no problem for Universal to send WB the entire rest of the 1970ies Ozzy catalog. Just to complete the confusion, the accompanying 2014 8xCD set re-used an older American mastering series instead - I believe it was the "Black Box" remasters.) Subsequently, the same 2012 Pearce masterings were re-used for a series of American releases in 2016: the Rhino CDs (1xCD, Deluxe 2xCD and "Paranoid" Super Deluxe 4xCD) as well as accompanying vinyl releases. BUT things didn't end there. The 2012 mastering also appeared on multiple streaming sites, as well as the (BMG/EU!) 2017 "Ten Year War" releases (on vinyl, official downloads and FLAC MQA files), "The Ultimate Collection" (2016/2017, released both by BMG/EU and WB/US) and the 2019 Rhino/US edition of "The Vinyl Collection 1970-1978". The 2016 Paranoid Super Deluxe 4xCD set was re-released in 2020.
    But again, there's exceptions and further inconsistencies. For reasons unknown, the Paranoid 2017 Ten Year War hi-res FLAC version doesn't contain the 2012 Pearce remaster but a re-remastered, upsampled copy of the 1996 Ray Staff remaster. (Many thanks to @rnranimal for pointing that out. Further thanks go to @agentalbert.) "The Vinyl Collection 1970-1978", a European box set, contains Evil Woman, but a very bad-sounding copy of Wicked World. The 2014 HDtracks in contrast, a US release, contain a great copy of Wicked World but no Evil Woman. Moreover, and inexplicably, the 2016 Rhino CD version of Wicked World is different from the 2014 HDtracks. Both are great, but the 2014 has a very sharp stereo separation, while the 2016 hasn't, and the 2016 sounds warmer. These are likely from different tape transfers or maybe even different tapes (thanks again to @rnranimal for this discovery). And of course, just to make our confusion complete, the "The Ultimate Collection" Wicked World sounds different again (but great too).
    These inconsistencies aside, the sound of the 2012 Pearce remasters generally ranges from a bit bright to extremely bright (as compared to the original U (UK LPs). No compression, but I am not a fan. (However, the copies of Wicked World used for the 2014 HDtracks, 2016 Rhino CD and 2016/2017 The Ultimate Collection are the best ones available for that track (IMO), followed by the original WB CD.)

    (3) 2021 (etc?) Pearce remasters
    So far we got only 4: Vol. 4 2021 Super Deluxe, Heaven and Hell 2021 Deluxe, Mob Rules 2021 Deluxe and Sabotage 2021 Super Deluxe. (Paranoid 2016 and 2020 Super Deluxe use the 2012 Pearce mastering.) Vol. 4, HaH and MR are more compressed than the earlier two remastering series, and very weirdly EQed. Not recommended. Sabotage is not quite as bad but significantly harsher sounding than my favorites, which are the original WB CD, 2009 Sanctuary CD, and side 2 of the 1986 Castle CD (side 1 of which suffers from tape damage).
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
  25. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    Andy Pearce remastered all Ozzy albums from the original analog tapes in 2009. It is still a mystery why the record company sent different files to the CD plant.


    It is the same issue like Universal USA vs. Universal Japan.
     
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