Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Best sound on CD

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Andreas, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I just compared the following two CD versions:
    Per Un Amico - RCA ND 71784 (Premiata Forneria Marconi - Per Un Amico )
    Per Un Amico - Crime KICP 2718 (King Records) from 1993 / 1995 (Premiata Forneria Marconi - Per Un Amico )

    PS: The Crime CD has the same mastering as the earlier Japanese K32Y 2156 CD from 1988.

    Prior discussion showed a preference for the RCA CD because the Crime CD was described as being "Super bright and weird EQ all over them":
    Best sounding PFM CDs?

    After listening to both of them, my impression is that the RCA CD was treated with noise reduction, there is zero tape hiss during the intros and outros. The Crime CD is certainly brighter, maybe more than necessary, but it sounds a lot more natural and less processed. I can provide samples if there is any interest.
     
  2. HeavyDistortion

    HeavyDistortion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I have the original Japanese K32Y 2156 CD and think that it sounds fine, although I haven't heard the older RCA CD for years. My PFM collection consists mainly of the original Italian LPs, which all sound better than any CD that I've ever heard.


    Ed Hurdle
    HeavyDistortion
     
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  3. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Thank you for your response. Is the tonality of the Japanese K32Y 2156 CD different from your original LP, are there any other significant differences?
     
  4. HeavyDistortion

    HeavyDistortion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I think that the tonality of the Japanese K32Y CD is nice and somewhat close to the original LP's sound, but as others have mentioned on the other thread that you referenced, the CD versions that I've heard seem to lose the warm balanced sound that the Italian LPs have.


    Ed Hurdle
    HeavyDistortion
     
  5. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    That's unexpected and surprising. I think the RCA CD ND sounds great and there's quite a lot of hiss. Especially in the introduction of the first track.
    I'd love some samples, thanks :)
     
  6. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Really? I can hear not a single trace of hiss during the introduction of the first track on the RCA CD...are we sure to have the same mastering? Mine has the following EAC peak levels: 91.9 / 76.0 / 89.2 / 86.3 / 90.0.

    Here are some samples:
    First minute of "Per Un Amico" from Crime KICP 7218: Per Un Amico (KICP 7218) - 03 - Per Un Amico - 1 minute.flac (5.25MB) - SendSpace.com
    First minute of "Per Un Amico" from RCA ND 71784: Per Un Amico (ND 71784) - 03 - Per Un Amico - 1 minute.flac (4.82MB) - SendSpace.com
    First minute of "Il Banchetto" from Crime KICP 7218: Per Un Amico (KICP 7218) - 04 - Il Banchetto - 1 minute.flac (5.80MB) - SendSpace.com
    First minute of "Il Banchetto" from RCA ND 71784: Per Un Amico (ND 71784) - 04 - Il Banchetto - 1 minute.flac (5.48MB) - SendSpace.com
     
  7. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    Thanks @Andreas for the samples. This is my first time listening to a Japanese release of a PFM's album, and I am personally familiar/used to the ND 71784 mastering.

    My impression is that your Crime CD (KICP 2718) is quite bright. I had to increase the treble of my Italian CD (ND 71784) by several dB to match yours (above 6dB, but probably even 7 or even 8). Try to play with EQ, you'll also be able to hear more hiss and detail in the Italian CD. Regarding NoNoise, I don't have the experience to say whether or not it was used. However, I would be quite surprised to see an Italian CD treated that way back in 1989 (when the ND 71784 mastering was released).

    @Andreas, have you tried to compare other PFM's albums? I'd be curious to hear how a Japanese release of "Storia di un minuto" could sound.
     
  8. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

    Weren't there two different versions of those Italy ND releases that looked the same for PFM? One was no-noised but another wasn't?
     
  9. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    No. That's the Gold CD.
    CD reissues labelled as "ND 71784" share the same mastering. They are still out there in record stores in Italy, easy to find and rather cheap.

    EDIT: This is the one I'm talking about:
    Code:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed: Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) / Per Un Amico (ND 71784)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DR         Peak         RMS     Duration Track
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR11      -0.73 dB   -15.83 dB      7:44 01-Appena Un Po'
    DR11      -2.38 dB   -16.41 dB      4:18 02-Generale
    DR10      -0.98 dB   -15.57 dB      5:24 03-Per Un Amico
    DR11      -1.27 dB   -16.95 dB      8:39 04-Il Banchetto
    DR12      -0.91 dB   -17.17 dB      8:04 05-Geranio
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Number of tracks:  5
    Official DR value: DR11
     
  10. yesstiles

    yesstiles Forum Resident

    No, I know about the crappy gold digipak. I meant two masterings of the otherwise identical-looking ND RCA disc. I've heard reports before of some saying it's hissy while others say their copy has no hiss.
     
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  11. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    Could you provide evidence please? I have two copies of that CD and they are identical. Data on the DR database seems to suggest the same. I'd appreciate if you could direct me towards another thread or site where I can read confirmation of this.
    This RCA ND cd has hiss, if you bump the treble a little :)
     
  12. winopener

    winopener Forum Resident

    Maybe a pre-emphasis flag issue?
     
  13. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    Maybe for the Japanese CD?

    Also, do you know if this was released before 1989 in digital format in Italy? The RCA CD should be from 1989, with DADC Austria in the matrix and same barcode of the more recent CDs (ND 71784).
     
  14. winopener

    winopener Forum Resident

    The 1989 is the first european digital edition. Before only the Japan label King, on Nexus or Crime imprints, released some italian prog: first series K32Y 205? (?=1 to 9) in spring 1987 then K32Y 215? (?=1 to 9) in late 1988. PFM was on the 1988 series.
     
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  15. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Crime CD of Storia Di Un Minuto is on its way and I'll compare to the RCA CD.
     
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  16. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    After your comments and more listening to the intros amplified, I think I prefer the RCA CD. You were right, there is some hiss in the background, but hardly audible without some amplification. It sounds somewhat muted and darker but it suits the symphonic character of the album very much.
     
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  17. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    The PFM RCA NDs were manufactured by both DADC Austria and OPTI.ME.S in Italy, at least up to and including Chocolate Kings. The Austrian copies have the "rays" on the top half of the label, the Italian ones do not. Could it be that the mastering was different between the two manufacturers?
     
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  18. Trevor_Bartram

    Trevor_Bartram Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boylston, MA, USA
    Whatever you do don't buy the 24bit Gold CDs they are atrocious. There is an PFM expert at this forum that steered me in the right direction for the early albums, let's hope he chimes in! You could also search.
     
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  19. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    To my knowledge, they share the same mastering (at least for the albums "Per un amico" and "Storia di un minuto"). For both, I have original CDs and recent reissues (not Gold CDs): Same DR values, same sound. That's what you can find at the moment in the Italian records stores, and Amazon.it as well.
     
  20. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image Robert Fripp

    I have the RCA CDs of PFM and have absolutely no problems with their sound quality. They’re quite warm sounding, but also have a great clarity to them.
     
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  21. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    OK, thanks. I had always assumed the mastering was the same from both manufacturers. But with the suggestion that there might be two different masterings for the ND discs, I started to wonder if maybe that assumption was wrong. It could have been an easy explanation! :)
     
  22. Anyone heard this version of Photos of Ghosts? It has some interesting bonus tracks.


    Manticore / Esoteric MANT 1006
    1 River Of Life 6:59
    2 Celebration 3:52
    3 Photos Of Ghosts 5:22
    4 Old Rain 3:41
    5 Il Banchetto 8:35
    6 Mr. 9 'Till 5 4:10
    7 Promenade The Puzzle 7:30

    Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks
    8 Photos Of Ghosts (Instrumental Mix) 5:22
    9 River Of Life (First Mix) 7:07
    10 Old Rain (First Mix) 3:41
    11 Il Banchetto (First Mix) 8:35
    12 Mr. 9 'Til 5 (Instrumental Mix) 3:55
    13 Celebration (Single Edit)
     
  23. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    Location:
    MI
    Has anyone had a chance to check this one out? Is it worth going for the deluxe edition? How is the sound here? I actually don't own the English language version of this one, but given that I love the original, I thought that it would be worth picking up.
     
  24. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    Location:
    MI
    Esoteric sometimes has an iffy track record with regards to the remastering, so I don't want to pay more for a botched job.
     
  25. Trevor_Bartram

    Trevor_Bartram Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boylston, MA, USA
    I would tread very carefully with Esoteric PFMs. That said I do have the Cook 3CD set but I believe that's the only way to get it on CD. Back in the 70s Cook was the only PFM I'd been exposed to.
     

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