Steve, final word on the Zeppelin CDs yet???

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by audio, Apr 5, 2003.

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  1. audio

    audio New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    guyana
    Steve, a week or so ago you mentioned that you were waiting for a stack of the original Led Zeppelin cds to arrive. I was just curious if you had a chance to listen to them and come to any final opinion on the originals versus the remasters??
     
  2. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Better the Tonmeister(where did Jr. go?:confused: Did somebody get promoted?)than me. I have a copy of each mastering for all the albums, but it would take either a loaded gun or a lot of cash to get me to A/B those suckers, as I've heard them to death already.

    Personally, I think most of the original CD masters play just fine at a fairly high volume(how else do you play Zep?), while the remasters work better at medium volume, though it sure sounds like they've been Eq'd somewhat.
    What IS certain is that Jimmy Page must have used 1st gens for his discs, while there's no way to be certain what was used for the original pressings.

    A brave man, Mr. Hoffman is.

    ED:cool:
     
  3. audio

    audio New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    guyana
    I agree totally. I'm just eagerly waiting to hear what Steve has to say. There have been several threads on the Zeppelin discs already. I didn't mean to open up another can of hash. This was meant to be more of a final word thread. So you are saying that basically the remasters win for low to moderate listening levels and the originals for no holds barred blasting?
     
  4. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    That's the way I hear 'em. What I'm unsure about is how much NR was applied to the remasters. I suspect some, if only because I pick up more hiss on the earlier discs, overall, than on the remasters, but that can be deceptive sometimes. I, too, await Steve's verdict. It's a good topic, because the sound quality, over the years, has been even more variable on vinyl. My 1st US press of II has a very obvious dropout during the middle of "Heartbreaker" that is jarring, yet on the original CD issue, it was gone. Another question is this: if Page didn't like the sound of the old CD's, does that mean they're inferior, or he just wanted to tinker with them himself to his own satisfaction? That happens, too(think: Gus Dudgeon's remastering of Elton's catalog).

    ED:cool:
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    First of all, Jimmy Page must have drastic hearing loss by now; why would I want him to master anything that I would buy in a store?

    Secondly, I have 1, 2, 4 and 5 and am waiting on the rest.

    From a quick listen, it sounds like they were flat transfers. That ain't always a good thing, as songs like "Stairway To Heaven" needs a bunch of mastering work to make it sound decent. But, if you want to hear what the tapes actually sound like, un-futzed with, get the old discs. I'm not saying that it will always be a pleasant experience, but it will be an honest one I guess.
     
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I'm happy with the 4 Cee Dee and The 2 Cee Dee box sets...They'll do just fine...
     
  7. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I just now finally completed my collection of getting used copies of the original Zep CD releases (that weren't all beat to %&^^*). Harder than you think!!

    I've always had the two box sets to listen to for judging the sound. Somethings don't sound so great on the originals, especially III.

    As others have pointed out, you do need to give 'em so volume to really squeeze the sound out good. Physical Graffiti has a really natural sound to it that I'm jamming to right now.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    B.C.
    If II & III sounded as good as I & IV I'd be a happy camper with the original CD pressings. This old hound's ears do not like the frquency boosting that Jimmy Page did, plus his guitar sounds better on the originals IMHO.
     
  9. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Location:
    Germany
    I'm sure Atlantic will do the Zep catalog again... they have a big fan base... so we can buy the stuff again!
     
  10. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Not I, Sir! No way! No how!....Unless SH does 'em...I'm safe at the moment...:thumbsup:
     
  11. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Vermont
    I guess I might be alone in preferring the remasters here. I can understand Steve's point of view on this, but keep in mind that many of the original issues of the Led Zeppelin CD's were not from original mastes, but rather second and third generation copies. Even when Page remastered them, he could not find the original masters of some of the songs(and used no noised copies). I think the remasters sound more....finished than the originals. Like Steve said, the originals sound flat, and the remasters sound completed(to my ears).
     
  12. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    I will always back up the Zep remasters too. They are so clear you can hear the squeak of Bonham's kick drum!
     
  13. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    I prefer the originals, warts and all...
     
  14. jeff e.

    jeff e. Member

    Location:
    NY
    Not at all! We may be in the minority here, but you're not alone. I had all of the original CD's but never liked them. As soon as I got ahold of the remasters, I ditched all the old ones and never looked back. To my ears, the Jimmy Page remasters are considerably better. They have a certain power (and "completeness", as others have commented) that I felt was lacking in the old versions, and if they have any NR, it sounds like it was used sparingly. There is still plenty of tape hiss.
     
  15. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
    So are the remasters any different from the crop circles box set? If so, is there any consensus how?
     
  16. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    The remasters are no different than the Box Sets except the beginning part of the Immigrant Song where it sounds like a tape machine starting up is cut off on the Box Set. I think it was done for sequencing purposes. Jimmy stated in an interview that they only used NR during some quiet parts of songs.
     
  17. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
  18. dwmann

    dwmann Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Houston TX
    As Steve said, the originals sound like they were transfered flat from the tapes. However, they don't sound like 1st generation tapes to me. For the most part, the originals don't sound very good to my earsat all. Kind of flat and blurry. Since I'm not a talented mastering engineer and don't have a bunch of profesional quality equalizers in my system, I never listen to them.

    The remasters sounded like a breath of fresh air for all of about 5 minutes until I turned the volume to a decent level, when it was immediately consigned to the shelf.

    If I was going to listen to this stuff at low volume, I'd have to go with the remasters over the originals, but since I would never consider listening to Zeppelin at low volume, the point is moot. At high levels the remasters make my ears want to scream.

    Personally, I never listen to ANY of the Zepplin CDs anymore. Both versions sound terrible in their own way. Whenever I just HAVE to hear something from this band (which is not very often) I pull out the UK vinyl. Since I'm generally to lazy to fool around with vinyl, I don't listen to Zepplin very often.
     
  19. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    My copy of the crop circles box has a version of "The Song Remains the Same" that sounds very muffled compared to the version on the remastered Houses of the Holy.
     
  20. JohnG

    JohnG PROG Nation!

    I'm happy with the last batch of remasters from the 90's.

    Now I want all of Zep done on DVDA or SACD.

    JohnG
     
  21. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    Got the same ones myself. In fact, I carrried around and played that 4-CD box set so much, I had to buy a second one two years ago since three of the four discs were trashed! :D

    Keep in mind that I was not a Led Zep fan at all...until I'd picked up Robert Plant's Shaken & Stirred. (I think that's the name of it--it had "Little By Little" on it.) That prompted me to get IV, in its original CD reissue. I can say I did NOT enjoy that CD, since there was so much tape noise and it just no *life* to it. (I thought back then that if the Zep catalog sounded *this* bad, I'd never get any other CDs...and I didn't!)

    I bit the bullet in the early 90's and got the 4-CD box, then got the 2-CD box a few years later to complete the set. Just seems to sound cleaner to me, a bit punchier with better dynamics, but overall and IMHO, much easier to listen to. And just getting knee-deep into those box sets has made me into another Zep fan. :) Not owning any original CDs (IV is long gone) or vinyl, I have no real point of reference, and the box sounds fine to me.
     
  22. lil.fred

    lil.fred Forum Resident

    Location:
    The East Bay
    In Steve's post, I believe, "flat" means "transferred without equalization", and isn't to be taken as meaning anything impressionistic about the sound. In this group "flat" is usually a term of praise.
     
  23. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    Flat=Praise when you consider after being weened on EQ'd issues, and you're feeling a little bit exausted from the sound, flat gives you a better impression of what the master tape MIGHT sound like in your home, for better or for worse, and to the extent to which the medium and playback you're using will take you.

    I don't go for flat all the time, but I insist to "try it" every opportunity I can get.
     
  24. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    I still say the remasters are the best for calrity and sonics. Flat is great but not great for these orginal CD pressings due to bad tapes being used.
     
  25. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    I'm with you. The remasters sound more vibrant and lifelike to me. Overall, I still prefer the lps though.
     
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