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Steely Dan CDs Different Masterings: The Summary Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bmoregnr, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. strippies

    strippies Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I believe a six digit DIDX/DIDP matrix code with a leading zero indicates a 1988 or later (re)press.
     
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  2. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    Sounds about right. They were still using the Digital Audio Disc stamp blurb in 88.
     
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  3. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Cool, thanks. So if I create a discogs entry for this (which would be my first), I'll date it 1988 as a best guess.
     
  4. princesskiki

    princesskiki Kiki's Mom

    @strippies , @WiWavelength and others here who are tech savvy and have access to multiple pressings of Steely Dan albums on CD:

    If we are to accept the "general" memories of Steve Hoffman, Roger Nichols and Glen Meadows, these should be the only analog-to-digital transfers that were done in the 80's:

    AJA: in the order of the initial CD release (not in order of the digital transfer)
    1984 (most likely early 1984) by Steve Hoffman (so-called "Mastering 3, 6 & 7) on PCM 1600 (which for Mastering 6 and 7 were most likely on 1630 transferred from the original 1600)
    1984 (most likely middle of 1984) by JVC Japan for VMI VDP-27
    Around 1988 by Mobile Fidelity for their gold CD
    Before 1984 by Roger Nichols on 3M (which would have needed to be transferred to 1600, 1610 or 1630 depending on the time period)

    If you know how to "sync" these, I am pretty sure that all four above will not sync with each other, as they were different A2D transfers.
    On the other hand, I would guess that all US CD releases from 1988 and throughout the 90's stemming from Roger Nichols original digital transfer would "sync" regardless of EAC peak level differences. I would guess that any MCAD-37214 CD pressings with the JVC "tetris" matrix and "RE" in the matrix would fall into this Roger Nichols category.

    GAUCHO: (again, in the order of the initial CD release)
    1984 (most likely early 1984) by someone still yet to be identified: CSR Japan for US CD (and later CD pressings using the same digital transfer)
    1984 (most likely middle of 1984) by JVC Japan for VMI VDP-26
    1985 by someone still yet to be identified: JVC Japan for US CD (and later CD pressings using the same digital transfer)
    1991? by Mobile Fidelity for their gold CD

    Here, what I would like to know is IF either the CSR Japan for US CD OR JVC Japan for US CD syncs with US CD pressings in the 90's and other known Meadows or Nichols CD pressings. Then at least we can identify the source of one.

    KATY LIED:
    1985 by Steve Hoffman? with the disc initially made by JVC Japan for the US market

    Here, what I would like to know is IF the JVC Japan for US syncs with any known Meadows or Nichols CD pressings. If so, then Steve Hoffman A2D transfer never made it to CD release. If not, then it looks like Steve's A2D transfer was used (1600/1610 initially and then eventually in 1630 form after conversion) until Meadows/Nichols A2D transfer was used instead. [Please remember that by the late 80's and most definitely in the 90's the same A2D transfer could be EQ'd digitally since 1630 was used by that time.]

    OTHER ALBUMS:
    1985, with the disc initially made by JVC Japan for the US market. The question is whether these were from Nichols original A2D transfer on 3M (that needed to be transferred to 1600 or 1610 PCM).

    If these JVC Japan for US CD's sync with the later known Meadows or Nichols CD pressings from the 90's on, then they were from the original Nichols transfer.
     
  5. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Another copy of Can't Buy a Thrill, mastering #4 (level-shift of the Citizen Steely Dan mastering):

    MCAD-31192 D100399 Manufactured for BMG Direct Marketing, Inc.
    Plaid back (blue/white)
    Matrix: IFPI L238 D100399 1H 11

    I'm guessing the plaid back indicates a later budget-line pressing?
     
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  6. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    Funny, the clubs couldn't make up their mind on what mastering to use :laugh:
    I have the DIDY 90's IFPI Columbia House Club, uses #3
     
  7. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    I found an inexpensive copy of Mastering #3 of Katy Lied recently. Sounds great, but there's a very small manufacturing defect (the surface is not scratched) in "Your Gold Teeth II" (track 7). I hope I'm allowed to ask if someone could please post a link to a short lossless (FLAC, WAV, or AIFF) rip of 1:27-1:37 in that song from the same master? That would allow me to repair the damage in my ripped file. (I'm not actually missing ten seconds of the song; there are a couple of small errors in that range, and it seems simpler to ask for one sample rather than two smaller ones.) Thanks! And if this is a forbidden request, just let me know and I won't ask for such a thing again. I figured since people post much longer samples for blind listening tests, it would be okay.
     
  8. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    A helpful soul provided the necessary sample. Thanks!
     
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  9. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Another Gaucho mastering #8. Sounds fantastic!

    MCAD-37220
    Manufactured in Japan for MCA Records Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37220-S4C14

    DIDX 56 (only on back cover)
    Smooth-sided case, probably original
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  10. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    The one to have :righton:
     
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  11. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad self identified, evolved misanthropic narcissist

    I haven't been able to look at every post, and I wish someone would
    post DR values, side be side so to speak, showing the peak numbers as extracted by the DR tool along with the, is it ?, the RMS values.
    I just got a made in japan aja, 37214 matrix MCAD 37214 M2E12. From what I have seen in this thread it must be a mastering 3. I'd like to compare my DR values from the disc with the EAC values posted.
     
  12. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    This is my Japan For US (Thanks to @George P for providing me this CD) :)
    Mastering #3
    90.8/91.7/90.6 etc...
    DR15 -0.83 dB -18.38 dB 5:10 01-Black Cow
    DR14 -0.75 dB -18.51 dB 7:58 02-Aja
    DR14 -0.85 dB -16.86 dB 7:37 03-Deacon Blues
    DR12 -1.03 dB -15.78 dB 3:57 04-Peg
    DR13 -0.32 dB -15.64 dB 5:35 05-Home at Last
    DR15 -1.28 dB -18.48 dB 5:07 06-I Got The News
    DR14 -0.21 dB -16.84 dB 4:34 07-Josie
     
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  13. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad self identified, evolved misanthropic narcissist

    Great thank you ! I'll check mine when on my computer where I have it logged. Again...thank you.
     
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  14. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    You're welcome and Merry Christmas Joel!
     
  15. WiWavelength

    WiWavelength Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    You do not need to confirm. Any “Aja” MCAD/DIDX JVC Japan pressing (or CSR Japan pressing) is Mastering #3. That already was established on the first page of this thread.

    AJ
     
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  16. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    When I heard you didn't have one, I thought it was a crying disgrace.
     
  17. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    EAC does peak values as a percentage of maximum value - i.e. all bits on - not RMS - and is what we have been using to identify different masterings. We haven't found any evidence of different DR values for the same EAC peak values, so - in this thread - we've left DR as an exercise for the user - sorry. :)

    For those using Macintosh, you can obtain the same peak values via XLD - you just need to multiply them by 100. :)

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
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  18. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    You can also calculate EAC values from peak dB values as reported by other software (MAAT DR Offline MkII, for example), though the numbers can sometimes be off by .1, probably due to rounding when the peak sample value is converted to dB. In Google Sheets, the formula "=ROUND(POW(10,$PEAK/20)*100,1)" will do the job -- just replace $PEAK with a reference to the cell containing the peak dB value.

    As a complete example, here are the reported EAC numbers for Mastering #3 of Aja, along with the dB values reported by DR Offline MkII and my calculated percentages (which you would expect, in a perfect world, would match the EAC numbers exactly), and I'll throw in DR numbers too. You can see that EAC's numbers track my calculated values pretty well. (I took the EAC numbers from page 1 of this thread.)

    Steely Dan, Aja
    MCA MCAD-37214
    Matrix: DIDX-000055 4
    Hub: Made in USA Digital Audio Disc Corp
    Mastering #3 (Steve Hoffman)

    Cow Aja Deacon Peg Home News Josie
    EAC: 90.8, 91.7, 90.6, 88.7, 96.3, 86.2, 97.6
    dB: -0.83, -0.75, -0.85, -1.03, -0.32, -1.28, -0.21
    Calc: 90.9, 91.7, 90.7, 88.8, 96.4, 86.3, 97.6
    DR: 15 14 14 12 13 15 14

    Album DR: 14
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
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  19. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad self identified, evolved misanthropic narcissist

    Ive found value in the DR tool, thanks!
     
  20. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad self identified, evolved misanthropic narcissist

    Yes...I'm on my computer and my DR values match exactly for each track peak and RMS for my Japan for US MCAD 37214 M2E12 pressing


    So...even though some may discount the DR system....it comes in handy to match masterings. I'm not arguing the quality of sound with dynamic range....I like it for matching and it works great !
     
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  21. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Either EAC (sample peak percentage) or DR numbers will do for identifying a particular master. EAC numbers are more precise, but DR is usually good enough; I haven't noticed any album for which two different masters have all the same per-track DR numbers.

    Here are the EAC/DR numbers for the preferred masters that I own on CD of all seven of the original Steely Dan albums. Note that there are sometimes more than one preferred master, and usually there are different catalog and matrix numbers for the same master. These are just the ones I have. The EAC and DR numbers, though, have to be the same, or it isn't the same master.

    Can't Buy a Thrill, mastering #3 (Columbia Record Club copy)
    Disc front: MCAD-37040, DIDY 000369, CRC, Made in USA
    Matrix: DIDX-000369 2 + ++ +++
    Hub: Made in USA Digital Audio Disc Corp.
    EAC: 92.1, 94.1, 89.4, 94.3, 88.6, 91.3, 89.6, 89.5, 98.3, 97.0
    DR: 13, 12, 13, 13, 12, 12, 13, 12, 12, 13
    Album DR: 13

    Countdown to Ecstasy, mastering #3
    Disc front: MCAD-37041, DIDX-372, Manufactured in Japan for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37041 U3E12
    EAC: 81.9, 79.5, 88.1, 84.1, 92.3, 92.3, 71.9, 84.2
    DR: 13, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14, 13, 12
    Album DR: 13

    Pretzel Logic, mastering #4
    Disc front: MCAD-37042, DIDX-371, Manufactured in Japan for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37042-S2C11
    EAC: 90.6, 90.3, 81.6, 84.0, 56.9, 86.7, 87.8, 99.1, 98.5, 88.4, 85.2
    DR: 12, 12, 12, 12, 13, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 13
    Album DR: 12

    Katy Lied, mastering #3 (by Steve Hoffman)
    Disc front: MCAD-31194, Manufactured in USA for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37043 A4E 22
    EAC: 100.0, 100.0, 94.1, 100.0, 100.0, 100.0, 79.2, 92.3, 89.2, 100.0
    DR: 14, 14, 13, 15, 13, 14, 14, 14, 12, 14
    Album DR: 14

    The Royal Scam, mastering #3
    Disc front: MCAD-31193, Manufactured in USA for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37044-1T 22
    EAC: 96.4, 90.1, 96.4, 96.4, 96.4, 93.0, 93.0, 96.4, 96.4
    DR: 13, 14, 13, 14, 13, 14, 14, 14, 16
    Album DR: 14

    Aja, mastering #3 (by Steve Hoffman)
    Disc front: MCAD-37214, DIDX 000055, Manufactured in USA for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: DIDX-000055 4 + ++ +++++
    Hub: Made in USA Digital Audio Disc Corp.
    EAC: 90.8, 91.7, 90.6, 88.7, 96.3, 86.2, 97.6
    DR: 15, 14, 14, 12, 13, 15, 14
    Album DR: 14

    Gaucho, mastering #8
    Disc front: MCAD-37220, Manufactured in Japan for MCA Records, Inc.
    Matrix: MCAD-37220-2-S4C14
    EAC: 81.2, 74.7, 82.8, 83.7, 82.4, 85.7, 91.2
    DR: 15, 15, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15
    Album DR: 15
     
  22. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Glad that's worked for you! :)

    We'll stick with EAC for now - we have amassed EAC values for all known Steely Dan masterings - but feel free to post any DR values you obtain for EAC peaks we've posted.

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  23. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Pedantic technical correction: Redbook audio uses signed 16-bit samples, so "all bits on" is actually -1, nowhere near the limit values of +32767 and -32768 (binary 0111111111111111 and 1000000000000000 respectively). I assume EAC's peak value is the maximum of the absolute values of all samples, divided by 327.68.
     
  24. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Pedantically - you are correct. :D

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
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  25. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Just so everyone's aware, you have to be very careful with using just DR values for Aja masterings 3, 6 & 7.

    Peak values by EAC - or Peak and/or RMS values by Dynamic Range Meter - are the only way to see the differences digitally.

    For example, here's my two discs:

    Aja Mastering 7:

    foobar2000 1.3.16 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2021-12-24 00:42:09

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed: Steely Dan / Aja
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DR Peak RMS Duration Track
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR15 -0.84 dB -18.38 dB 5:11 01-Black Cow
    DR14 -0.75 dB -18.54 dB 7:58 02-Aja
    DR14 -0.83 dB -16.83 dB 7:36 03-Deacon Blues
    DR12 -1.02 dB -15.79 dB 3:57 04-Peg
    DR13 -0.32 dB -15.64 dB 5:35 05-Home at Last
    DR15 -1.29 dB -18.44 dB 5:06 06-I Got The News
    DR14 -0.21 dB -16.79 dB 4:31 07-Josie
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Number of tracks: 7
    Official DR value: DR14

    Samplerate: 44100 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 16
    Bitrate: 1411 kbps
    Codec: CDDA
    ================================================================================

    Aja Mastering 3:

    foobar2000 1.3.16 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2021-12-24 00:51:47

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed: Steely Dan / Aja
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DR Peak RMS Duration Track
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR15 -0.83 dB -18.38 dB 5:10 01-Black Cow
    DR14 -0.75 dB -18.54 dB 7:58 02-Aja
    DR14 -0.85 dB -16.86 dB 7:37 03-Deacon Blues
    DR12 -1.03 dB -15.78 dB 3:57 04-Peg
    DR13 -0.32 dB -15.64 dB 5:35 05-Home at Last
    DR15 -1.28 dB -18.48 dB 5:07 06-I Got the News
    DR14 -0.21 dB -16.79 dB 4:32 07-Josie
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Number of tracks: 7
    Official DR value: DR14

    Samplerate: 44100 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 16
    Bitrate: 1411 kbps
    Codec: CDDA
    ================================================================================

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021

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