Rolling Stones-Remastered CDs

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bullis, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Bullis

    Bullis Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Are they much better sounding than the original ones that were done way back.
    Thinking about replacing the older ones.
  2. eric777

    eric777 Rock Star

    Well, my knowledge is limited ;however, I can say this. The most recent remasters of "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main St." are no where near as good as the previous versions. They are loud and compressed. They are not the worst I have ever heard, but they are no where near the best. I assume this is the same for all of them but I can only speak for the two I just mentioned.
  3. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    All the Abkco ones date back to the 2002 DSD masterings. I have no idea about the Univeral ones.
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  4. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    Reportedly the best remasters so far/still are the 1990s Virgin CDs and the Abkco ones from 2002.
  5. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Definitely. In terms of overall good sound and ease of availability, cast my vote for the 90s Virgin CDs and the Abkco CDs from the early 2000s.
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  6. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Most of mine are Virgins.

    I only bought the new Sticky because there was a coupon for free vinyl copy.
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  7. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    They sound incredibly's your guide:

    Pre-Sticky: 2002 ABKCO Hybrid SACD
    Sticky thru Dirty Work: 2011 Japanese SHM-SACD

    Also, the Japanese SHM-CD Mono Box is terrific, if you dig that type of thing.

    Another note: the half-speed master LP of Exile sounds fantastic to me, but some people will tell you that I am a nutball for saying so.
  8. Bullis

    Bullis Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I was researching and wondering about getting these
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  9. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    For the 1963-1969 material, the 2002 ABKCO CDs mastered by Bob Ludwig are lovely. They are available as hybrid SACDs too for generally cheap prices.

    The 1971-2005 remasters, released in 2009 on Polydor/Universal (UMe) are unspeakably horrible. I have a very high tolerance for compression and EQ (Flaming Lips fan here), but the remasters done by Stephen Marcussen and Stewart Whitmore are TERRIBLE. The EQ will give you a migraine. It did for me. I'm not joking.

    I have the 1994 remaster series on Virgin Records, also remastered by Bob Ludwig, and they sound wonderful. These remasters only cover up to Steel Wheels (1989) though. The original CD masters of Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon are loud but not terrible; the remasters are much worse. Blue & Lonesome and especially A Bigger Bang have just never sounded good. There is speculation that the 2005 and 2009 CDs of A Bigger Bang are identical or at least extremely similar; if you have that CD, you can get a general idea of the sound. Imagine that awful sound on those classic albums...! The horror!

    I cannot comment on the Japanese issues which are highly recommended here - supposedly they are flat transfers, but I cannot confirm. Personally I'm not a fan of flat transfers, I like a bit of beef to my masterings. The 1994 remasters have a wide dynamic range and great, not-too-heavy EQ. I think they sound fantastic.

    Avoid the commonly available 2009 Universal/Polydor remasters (Marcussen/Whitmore); they are beyond awful.
  10. Headfone

    Headfone Forum Resident

    For England's Newest Hitmakers thru Let It Bleed, I highly recommend 2002 ABKCO remasters. These remasters really needed to be done and ABKCO hit it out of the park, in my opinion.
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  11. laf848

    laf848 Forum Resident

    Sewell, NJ USA
    I like the way Blue and Lonesome sounds. Great album in my opinion.
  12. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    Be aware that the Virgin Flashpoint uses a different mix of Sex Drive rather than the one originally released. That bothered me enough to get the original rather than the Universal one.
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  13. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
    I wouldn't recommend replacing your original Columbia/CBS cds, if you have those (except maybe Sticky Fingers and Exile). Note: this advice is based on readily available cd remasters. I have not heard any of the Japanese "flat transfer" SHM SACDs that some people like.
  14. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Forum Resident

    My budget-friendly digital preference for my seven favorite Stones albums:

    Beggars Banquet - 2002 ABKCO
    Let It Bleed - London
    Sticky Fingers - CBS
    Exile - CBS
    Goats Head Soup - CBS
    Some Girls - CBS
    Tattoo You - CBS

    The 1994 Virgins are also good, but I prefer the tonality and crankability of the CBS issues. They are cheap and easily obtainable.
  15. danielbravo

    danielbravo Forum Resident

    Caracas. DC
    You should keep in mind that maybe your CDs are much better than what you can find now in the market
    In terms of availability, costs and current price and as a general rule (safe way) I would say that:
    1964 to 1969: Abkco 2002 remasters
    1970 to 1981: Virgin Remasters 1994
    from then on the rule varies according to the album, but I could summarize that
    Dirty Work, Steel Wheels (see original CBS releases or otherwise for Virgin CDs)
    Voodoo Loungue and Bridges To Babylon: Virgin original releases

    Avoid as much as possible all Universal Records Remasters !
  16. knob twirler

    knob twirler Forum Resident

    Chapel Hill, NC
    A dissenting vote on a couple Universal titles: I actually like the newest cd versions of Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. It’s overly EQ’d, and I’m sure it sounds like blasphemy to those that had the original album versions. ER in particular on cd used to sound so flat and dull - thin even - that I could never sit through the entire album. Though, a few dud songs didn’t help in that regard.
  17. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    Of course, those go for about $60 a might actually pay less for a ticket seeing the Stones in concert
  18. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    Nah...they go for $30-$45 a pop. Well worth it.
  19. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Not saying your opinion is wrong, but from my experience, I hated "She's So Cold" on the 2009 remaster, where I first heard it. The guitars are muted throughout the song, it felt like the song was dying to burst open but it never did. When I got the 1994 CD, it did: the power of that song is in the drums, especially right when they kick in. To me the drums have no life on the 2009 CD, they feel like a background noise rather than the central point of the song.

    I do agree with your assessment that Emotional Rescue lacks good songs though, haha. After about 60 or 70 plays, I've determined that "All About You" is great, "She's So Cold" is good, "Down In The Hole" is decent, "Let Me Go" is amusing, and the rest is crap. "Where The Boys Go" is a train wreck and the title track is not much better - give me "Under The Boardwalk" and anything off Dirty Work over this crap! (Although, for the record, I think Dirty Work is actually a solid album behind the production and Mick's barking.) Got a little sidetracked there. Oops.
  20. MHP

    MHP Forum Resident

    And just so everyone is aware, especially @Bullis
    The first 2 UK studio albums are as of now only available in the Stones In Mono boxed set.
    That boxed set collects essentially all of the bands 60's studio albums (except the US version of Between The Buttons, omitted because of it's trackduplication), and contains great mastering for the most part (most of it are the 2002 transfeers), so it's an essential way of getting it all at once. The Rolling Stones rocks in mono!

    That said, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed are essential in stereo, so they could of course be purchased seperately.

    I agree on the post-1971 material, that the Virgin 1994 remasters are essentially the best. They are still cheap too.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  21. Bullis

    Bullis Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have the mono box. Thanks
  22. MHP

    MHP Forum Resident

    Great. Then you are more or less covered regarding the sixties. :)

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