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Pink Floyd Discovery Box is here...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by TONEPUB, Sep 16, 2011.

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  1. When the Experience Wish You Were Here is released it will be a no brainer for me to acquire, regardless of the mastering nuance, because the 2nd disk's bonus material is that strong. The Sax remastered WYWH is outstanding and needs no replacement to my ears.

  2. For fun I compared the song "Wish You Were Here" from the sampler disk to the Sax remaster from the 90s. The 2011 version has some low end issues that obscure the bass notes and make the bottom end a bit mushy compared to the Sax version. I do like the 2011 version's high end, particularly the acoustic guitar sustain. IMO, amateur as they come, I think the Sax version sounds overall more pleasing, but 2011 version does not offend my ears and may be preferable to those listeners who crave more detail (particularly high end).
  3. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    In my opinion the 2011 WYWH sounds a bit like the great Mastersound.
  4. Doctor Flang

    Doctor Flang Forum Resident

    Helsinki, Finland
    I sounds pretty identical to the previous US remaster. There is some heavy handen limiting involved but generally i think it sounds pretty good. That said, i was never a big fan of the original CD.

    I gave it a quick spin - just a few songs in a car, but even in those circumstances that was my first impression too. The bass department sounded quite bloated. Don't take my word for it. I'll have to give it a proper spin ASAP.

    It has never been a Hi-Fi pleasure. I'd love to hear a proper remix of Nile Song someday.
  5. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity Forum Resident

    I wish you didn't say that.

    Cuz now I have to go out and buy it. :D
  6. rontoon

    rontoon Floydian Archivist

    Highland Park, USA
    It's funny seeing so many mixed reviews of the new remasters and how one statement can push folks over either side of the fence. Different strokes. :laugh:
  7. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media

    What distortion? I'm halfway through More right now. Another home run, in my opinion. Sounds great for an album that never sounded all that great. Like the others I've heard (and I'm going through the less popular stuff first) they are using good tapes, no loudness problems, and no hamfisted EQ. Plenty of tape hiss in the quiet parts for you folks allergic to any broadband noise reduction algorithms!

    The themes on these are, clear, detailed, natural sounding. I'm actually really impressed. We should all give thanks they aren't loud. I monitor all music with my "analog VU meters" on my Squeezebox Touch and these are NOT loud.

    More (no pun intended) as I make it through these, I have a few hours to burn this morning :)
  8. Norm Apter

    Norm Apter Well-Known Member In Memoriam

    Worcester, MA
    Great to hear. I actually purchased the remasters of More and Saucerful of Secrets based on your recommendations -- in this thread I think -- of a few days ago.

    Of the two, thus far I've only unwrapped and listened to Saucerful of Secrets. Even my wife who, trust me, is no Pink Floyd fan but has been exposed to all of this stuff time and time again commented on how great Saucerful of Secrets sounded after hearing the opening to "Let There Be More Light" She wouldn't be able to name a single song from the album but she was impressed enough by the sound to comment on it without be prompted to do so.

    Thus I'm looking forward to listening to More soon as well. Never liked the sound of the 92/94 remaster. I listened to the 2011 Obscured by Clouds CD last night for the first time and it sounded fantastic to these ears. Didn't A/B it with the Sax remaster, but based on a preliminary listen I would venture to say that it is at least the equal of the Sax and possibly better.
  9. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity Forum Resident

    I'm actually only kidding. I'm perfectly happy with my complete Sax collection. Even if the 2011 discs have modest improvements, I'd rather spend my money on a fresher, hungrier artist.

    Plus my wife would kill me if I spend any more money on Pink Floyd.
  10. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    I may have missed it, but has anybody compared the 2011 remasters of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here with the first Japanese pressings (CP35-3017 Black Triangle and 2-track 35DP 4 respectively)? Opinions?
  11. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media

    I'm relieved to hear you like the sound - I'd hate to be responsible for an angry wife due to my recommendations :)

    I just finished More. I did find a couple of bits where there was analog tape distortion. The end of Main Theme was the most noticeable. When I heard that hissy poppy stuff I immediately though one of my tubes was acting up... but (thankfully) it was just on the CD and must just be on the master tape. I'm kind of surprised they didn't hit it with some NR but leaving it there indicates to me they are opting for the less-processing-is-more approach.

    I wan to reiterate for anyone considering my recommendations that I haven't really listened much to Floyd in the past 20 years but listened a whole freaking lot before that and am all too familiar with everything (stopping at Final Cut)... and I have not bought remasters along the way, working pretty much all from American Capitol CDs from the early 90s and from my memory of how those sounded which is still pretty deeply etched. So if I like the way these remaster sound, and so far without exception I do, I'm kind of just considering it within its own context and my own memory, not saying it necessarily sounds better than Sax remasters or whatever.

    For instance last night I listened to Ummagumma. The live side still lacks both a top and bottom end, but sound as good as I think it can. They could have hammered it with a smiley-faced EQ but they didn't. I find that even for the stuff which clearly wasn't recorded all that well in the first place that things like spatial cues (soundstage) and tonal clarity/balance and detail is very good.

    OK next I'm going to listen to Animals because someone upthread said it was really boomy. I have a subwoofer which weighs as much as I do so if it's boomy I should probably hear it :)
  12. shirtandtie

    shirtandtie Forum Resident

    I haven't done a SERIOUS compare of DSOTM yet, but right off the top I say the new remaster's highs are just a teeny tiny bit too much. And I mean a very slight amount. It's not bad otherwise but I'll stick to my Japan for U.S. It's warmer sounding.
  13. stricee

    stricee Forum Resident

    the obtw version of AMLOR is the definitive version by far....very dynamic and chrystal clear
  14. cb70

    cb70 Forum Resident

    I'd send you mine but unfortunately I can't find the original long box so all I have is the cd/jewel case that didn't come with a cover.
  15. shirtandtie

    shirtandtie Forum Resident

    On a side note; wasn't that packaging terrible? I have the Earth, Wind & Fire "All n All" Mastersound and not having that booklet makes me nuts!
  16. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media


    Still has that "signature sound" I'm getting from all these remasters. Relaxed top end but still lots of clarity. A neat trick, I wish more stuff was mastered this way.

    Dogs: I've always loved the left/right acoustic guitar interplay. When Gilmour starts singing ("You've got to be crazy...") his voice just hovers there in the center and slightly elevated, separated from the guitars, very nice...

    Concerning boominess. I interpret that as an overabundance of midbass, say in the 100-200 Hz range. I don't find the remaster of Animals to suffer from this. Bass is there, some of it is pretty low. I've always found Animals to have a low bass (kickdrum/bass) sound that was unique amongst the Pink Floyd albums. The bass is fat and somewhat compressed, but not egregiously, it's just part of the sound. Where this album would really sound bad is if they took that sound and boosted that bass with EQ, because then yeah, it would could really boomy. But I don't hear that. I hear that fat bass but it plays nicely with the rest of the sound.

    I could see how the relaxed top end, the way it's not "crispy" on top, could give the impression of having more bottom end. But I wouldn't call it boomy, at least I don't hear evidence of egregious EQing at all.

    If anything, I would say, after just one listen, this album could have used maybe a smidgen more "air" but they seem to have approached all these albums with a minimalist approach that I like. Again I think Animals was just recorded with a fat bottom end and not a lot of crispy treble to start with. Sonically it's not what I would consider the best sounding Pink Floyd album.

    Roger's bass for instance throughout the middle section of Pigs, right where the pig noises start and onward, focuses on notes that I would call "midbass". You could think of that as sounding boomy, but I would argue those are the notes he's playing and that they just happen to be in that range. When I think of his bass sounds on other albums (like Echoes on Meddle and throughout The Wall) I think he didn't use as much of a low pass filter on Animals, so there is more energy higher up in his bass sound, unlike for instance that really low rumbly stuff you hear in Echoes.

    I've always loved the beginning of Sheep with the Fender Rhodes or whatever going back and forth between the left and right channels. On the remaster, it's very "creamy" sounding for lack of a better word. The sound effects pop through clearly but the keyboard sound is very smooooooth and laid back.

    The part where things really get rolling in Sheep gave me goosebumps. Doesn't sound congested to me at all. Bombastic but still laid back.

    And that's how I'd characterize this mastering of Animals... very laid back. Clear, but you'd be hard pressed to consider this album harsh in any way shape or form. Bump the treble knob up a few dB maybe (I don't have that ability). This is the 1st of the 2011 masters where I think you could make a case for it being a tad too relaxed on the treble, but I'll need repeated listenings before I make that call. I think maybe that's just the way the album was recorded. I would love to hear other opinions on this one from the forum.
  17. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Handsome, Humble, Genius

    After listening to these remasters after not listening to Floyd for many years except the first two albums I have come to realization that I only like the first two albums.
  18. Ulli

    Ulli Forum Resident

    I've never heard the Sax remaster of Animals, but I've compared the new Guthrie version with the old EMI master and found the former to be much brighter. I'm actually surprised that others describe it as having a relaxed top end. Something in between these two versions would be ideal to my ears (and my system).

    Also, the Guthrie remaster is about 3dB louder than the EMI version (which peaks at -1.65dB), with quite a few clipped peaks. Nevertheless, the dynamic range is nearly the same. As of yet, I'm still undecided which version I prefer.
  19. nlgbbbblth

    nlgbbbblth Forum Resident

    Just got this home. Ummagumma - how to get the booklet out without a rip? The Wall has a better set up for retrieving discs / booklet.
  20. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media


    Another great one!

    I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this entire Discovery set is an "audiophile quality" release masquerading as just an ordinary box set.

    I'm a big fan of the '09 Beatles stereo remasters and I would put (what I've heard of the) Discovery box set in this category of care and attention to getting the lowest gen tapes available, transferring on the best gear, and avoiding heavy-handed processing.

    The best term I can think of regarding these releases is that they exhibit a complete lack of wonkiness, i.e., they have gone back to the lowest gen tapes available and avoided all the pitfalls of modern mastering (heavy-handed EQ and compression).

    I noticed on Meddle that some of the distortion I remember from my Capitol release in One Of These Days and Fearless (like the crowd chant swelling distorting at the loudest parts) is just gone. I hear barely any evidence of tape hiss at the beginning of One Of These Days, but I also hear no obvious evidence of NR. Gosh, who'da thunk going back to original masters could actually sound better than using vinyl EQ copies, safety copies, or copies of safety copies??

    I've felt that on Meddle, Gilmour's voice suffers a bit from "vocal sibilance" for lack of a better word, a kind of breathy harshness. I still hear that on the remaster, but I think that's just the mics and/or how close he was singing to them that gives that sound.

    Unlike Animals, Meddle has a bit more top end (the repeated cymbal crashes in One Of These days just pop out but not in a harsh way). The laid-back approach works well on this one.

    Finally, Echoes. Probably my favorite PF composition period. It sounds sublime on my system. That molassesy gooey low bass comes through nicely while the top-hat is nice and clear, and the warbly processed keyboard sounds just as warbly and processed as ever. And barely any evidence of tape hiss in the quiet parts - this has to be the master tapes we're hearing. It's quiet and clear. Lots of detail and full dynamics. The middle section pulses and rocks. The spooky whale-sound section is detailed and creepy and lacks distortion, and there is effectively no tape his to be heard, but no obvious evidence of NR. ****in' A I'm diggin' these. Maybe I've un-burned out on Floyd, at least temporarily :cool:

    Again I am not even attempting to compare the 2011 remasters to any other remasters (just the original American Capitol releases, and from memory). I know some consider the Harvest and Mobile Fidelity versions of Meddle to reign superior. I'd love to hear what folks in that camp think about the 2011 remaster.
  21. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    This is what I like to hear.
  22. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media

    A Momentary Lapse of Waters

    Yeah I thought was being clever back in 1987 when I replaced "Reason" with "Waters" on my cassette copy made from my friend's CD from the neighboring dorm room....

    So I listened to a few tracks from this one. It sounds like very well mastered reverby 80s dreck. There's only so much you can do to such a cluttered overproduced album. I can't say I really enjoy listening to it for much other than nostalgic reasons, but it's another fine mastering without any obvious futzing.

    Concerning the guy worried about limiting on Terminal Frost, I'm pretty sure that's just the recording. It's got layers upon layers upon layers of heavy reverb and more than a fair amount of compression in the sound itself. Not a lot of dynamics to start with, and I think they wisely didn't do any obvious futzing with the 2011 mastering of this one. I hear an impressive amount of detail amongst the clutter.
  23. Leigh

    Leigh http://orf.media

    Dark Side

    Only a few words about this one, I'll defer mostly to the real aficionados with eighteen different masterings to choose from, although I do have digital copies of a few of the grail versions of this one and listened to the Capitol one until the bits fell off the CD.

    This one has the same clean, clear, relaxed mastering I've heard with the other ones I wrote about above. The sound is clear, detailed, and not congested/muddled sounding in, for instance, the soaring swelling parts of Us and Them ("Forward he cried from the rear..." etc.) which has always bugged me in previous versions I've heard. The levels are right where they should be, not suffering from the anemic low levels of the BT, for instance (honestly I've never really understood the love for that one, it sounds fine, but not anomalously so). I think just about anyone (maybe not here :)) would be very happy with this set as the only collection of studio PF. Maybe that was the point of releasing it, as people were questioning the logic of releasing Yet Another mastering of the Floyd catalog. They just done real real good on all of 'em.

    It also strikes me at how good redbook can sound when it's properly mastered. If only everything were mastered/remastered with such care.
  24. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    I think another big reason for releasing and purchasing the Discovery box is that we now have a box set (and individual CD releases) of all the studio albums that are consistently mastered by a single team.

    Previously, we had the Shine On box that did not contain all of the albums and the box had different masterings between the US and the UK. Then we had the Oh By The Way set which contained a real mixture of masterings by different people.
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    I have to agree. I just spun Obscured by Clouds which sounds spectacular.

    I think the whole set is shaping up to be an audiophile worthy effort.
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