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The Rush cd mastering thread (part 2)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by -Alan, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Cucaracha Expert

    Each of us just has our own each favorites. ;)
     
  2. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    It's a great place to start! With a very few exceptions, an original pressing will sound better, and for a few, the Japanese or Canadian pressings edge out the West German/US pressings.
     
  3. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    Since they're not on the mastering chart yet, I've got EAC peaks for the following CDs:

    Rush (1993, Brazil, 822 541-2)
    94.4
    86.7
    75.0
    88.6
    73.8
    79.8
    70.9
    78.5

    2112 (2016, 40th Anniversary Edition, Disc 1)
    98.3
    95.1
    95.3
    95.4
    82.8
    94.3

    A Farewell to Kings (2017, 40th Anniversary Edition, Disc 1)
    79.7
    91.3
    76.4
    76.4
    56.4
    99.7

    Hemispheres (2018, 40th Anniversary Edition, Disc 1)
    93.9
    97.3
    95.6
    96.4

    Permanent Waves (2020, 40th Anniversary Edition, Disc 1)
    86.6
    86.0
    96.9
    68.3
    84.3
    100.0

    The peaks for the Brazil self-titled don't match the other CDs, but I still need to see if it uses the same digital source as the Anthem and Atomic.
     
    rcsrich likes this.
  4. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    As with Signals, it looks like the Brazil S/T is just a D>A>D conversion of the Atomic (complete with the fade-in issue on What You're Doing). I'm guessing the other Brazilian CDs are like that as well.
     
    rcsrich likes this.
  5. shadowlord

    shadowlord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    i recently acquired a made in W.Germany - Moving Pictures.

    how does that version fit with all the different MP masterings ?
    (compared to my 97 remaster it seems to have more prominent mid's )

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Diablo Griffin likes this.
  6. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    This is the first mastering that's missing the first half-second or so of Tom Sawyer. It also has lots of clipped peaks, though it's still reasonably dynamic compared to the 1997 remaster. The later (03+) West German and US Atomics use the same digital source, but they restore Tom Saywer's intro and fix the clipping issue. I think the version you have sounds fine TBH, but you'll need another CD if you want the full intro to Tom Sawyer. The 1997 remaster is okay in the big scheme of things, but every other MP CD sounds more organic to my ears.
     
  7. ToddBD

    ToddBD Forum Resident

    Greetings! As one who is just beginning to go down the rabbit hole of learning in regards to Rush CD masterings, the long story short is that at one point I owned all the original release CDs, but ditched them in favor of the Rush Remasters believing those would be better (which of course was not a wise decision). So, I'm in the process of reacquiring the older CDs, and appreciate all of the knowledge presented here. I have a great collection of Rush LPs that are dynamite references for me.

    I'm not as of yet too conversant in some of the technical aspects I'm reading about here when it comes to making comparisons between CDs (significance of peak values, etc.) but as a musician I rely on my ears as the final judge. In general, the Rush Remasters are too "hot" for me, yes one can say there is more clarity but the compression they employ ruins the dynamics and textures, minimizing the ability to hear tones and timbres. I mean, I really want to hear the different tones of Neil's toms, the intricate sounds of each of the guitar tracks/overdubs, the timbre of the synth parts...that's a large part of what makes Rush's "sound" so good. (I have a mint Gilbert Kong LP of Fly By Night and it kicks the can out of any FBN CD I've ever heard).

    My question, though, is related to the Rush "Chronicles" 2CD set I happened upon at a thrift store the other day. Here is what I have:

    Disc 1 MADE IN USA BY PDO 838 938-2 04! AY
    Disc 2 MADE IN USA BY PDO 838 937-2 02@ AO

    As we know, this was mastered by Robert Ludwig while he was still at Masterdisk, unlike the masters he did for Retrospective I and II, when he was operating out of his own Gateway Mastering Studios.

    While I was listening to Disc 1 and "The Temples of Syrinx," it struck me that I was hearing the individual tones of Alex's guitars when combined more clearly than ever before, as well as a firmer and more robust bottom end. I compared to the other two 2112's I own, a Silverface and the Rush Remaster, and I believe am hearing more musical detail from the Chronicles disc. Has anyone else on the forum noticed any songs on "Chronicles" sounding different/better to their ear?
     
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  8. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    Big Money sounds brighter on this comp than on the original non remastered cds.

    The Rush cd mastering thread (part 2)

    Of the Rush comps: Retrospective, Gold, Spirit of Radio, this is my go to Rush comp.
     
    ToddBD likes this.
  9. Plan9

    Plan9 Mastering Engineer

    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Yes Chronicles is well-liked for the most part.
     
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  10. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    Some songs are different than the original CDs, while others are the same. Here's a rundown of everything:

    Debut tracks: They sync with the Anthem (and Atomic), yet have different EQ. Chronicles has slightly less bass than the Anthem, but the mids and highs are the same.

    Fly by Night, Caress of Steel, 2112 tracks: Identical to the Anthems (or all originals for FBN); they completely cancel out.

    What You're Doing: Unique, though it has similar EQ to the non-remastered All the World's a Stage. Maybe it was mastered at the same time as the other tracks before being removed from the original CD? The song fades out on Chronicles before Geddy's dialogue at the end, so you'd need the '97 or Sector remaster to have the complete version.

    A Farewell to Kings tracks: These sync with the original CD, though the EQ was tweaked (more lows, less highs). There's a roll-off around 5 kHz that makes the Chronicles version sound smoother.

    Hemispheres tracks: These sync with the Anthem (and Atomic), yet have different EQ. Chronicles has more bass and slightly less treble than the Anthem. They're not that different, though.

    Freewill: Slightly off-sync with the Atomic/Anthem until Geddy starts singing "A planet of playthings" around the 39 second mark. As soon as he sings "A", Chronicles is identical until the fadeout.

    The Spirit of Radio: Syncs with the Anthem/Atomic, yet has different EQ. Chronicles has a U-shaped dip between 3 and 10 kHz which rolls off the upper-midrange. Personally, I think the Chronicles version sounds better, though it's not as good as the Sean Magee remaster.

    Moving Pictures tracks: Identical to the US silver-face. On Chronicles, Tom Sawyer needs to be level-matched in 2 sections for it cancel out with the US SF; once at the intro and again when Geddy sings "exit the warrior".

    A Passage to Bangkok: Unique, though it has similar EQ to the non-remastered Exit Stage Left. Since this song already had a fadeout on Exit Stage Left, the Chronicles version was left untouched.

    Signals, Grace Under Pressure tracks: Identical to the Atomics. Subdivisions is the same until 5:13, but I can't hear any differences after that.

    The Big Money: Syncs with the original CD. Despite it previously being mentioned that BM on Chronicles is brighter, I'm actually hearing more bass on it than the original. Treble seems about the same on both versions.

    Manhattan Project: Identical to the original CD.

    Force Ten: Syncs with the original CD, though Chronicles has a little more bass between 20 and 250 Hz.

    Time Stand Still: Identical to the original CD.

    Mystic Rhythms: Aside from adding fades to the beginning and ending, it's the same as the original CD.

    Show Don't Tell:
    Identical to the original CD.

    While we're talking about Chronicles, I want to say that while its sound quality is much better, the Retrospectives have a more interesting tracklist IMHO. I think at least one of the band members had some input on the song selection too, while from what I remember, they didn't with Chronicles. On the other hand, I imagine most people would prefer Chronicles for being more comprehensive and including live material.
     
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  11. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    So I've just gotten myself the WG Atomic GUP on ebay recently, since it was at a nice price and I know the Atomics are (for the most part) spoken well of.

    As I've recently gone into comparing the sound of different releases of the Genesis catalogue, I've started to do the same with my Rush albums. Save for Moving Pictures (which I first heard via a US first print), the '97 remasters were my introduction to most of the Rush catalog. I thought they sounded great, they made me fall in love with Rush's music. But with how some older presses of Genesis albums surprised me I can't help but wonder if maybe the older prints might be better here too.

    Right now what I have is this:

    Caress Of Steel - 1997 remaster

    2112 - 1997 remaster

    All The World's A Stage - 1997 remaster

    Hemispheres - The newest vinyl release prior to the big box set, I'm not sure if it has its own unique mastering or not but it sounds good

    Permanent Waves - Same as above.

    Moving Pictures - (presumably) original master, or close to it

    Exit... Stage Left - US Mercury silverface (skippy disc though, gonna replace it but it sounds great)

    Signals - Same as Hemispheres and Permanent Waves.

    I've ripped these to have digital versions- but- I had a thought. With the new vinyl reissues, download cards were included. My Signals didn't come with one so I made a needledrop. With Hemispheres and Permanent Waves I just used the download for my digital versions, but they're mp3s, as has been pointed out somewhere in this thread. Does anyone think a needledrop would sound better than the download? Or is there a CD version that would sound even better? I've read nice things about the Permanent Waves Atomic on this thread. If it's as cheap as the GUP I got I may go for it.

    And, in the case of ESL, does anyone have any strong feelings about the Mercury silverface? Is there one that's preferred over it? I'm curious since I'm looking to replace my scratched garage sale copy.
     
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  12. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    I wouldn't recommend the mp3 downloads from the Mercury vinyl. I remember several comments that suggest they weren't that great. The only one I've heard is Fly by Night, and that one was very poor. The speed and pitch were about 2% slower than every other version of FBN and there's a fair amount of surface noise. The rest don't have the speed issue (AFAIK), but you're better off doing your own needledrops instead of using the download cards. On the other hand, the downloads for the Atlantic vinyl reissues aren't needledrops and are highly recommended. They're lossless as well.

    Personally, I'd go with the 40th anniversary Permanent Waves CD over the Atomic. It's much smoother in the high frequencies and the dynamics are about the same on each one. You also get a bonus disc of live material, though be aware that it's not a full concert. The original Exit Stage Left is the best sounding version, but it's missing A Passage to Bangkok. To get that track with full dynamics and similar sound quality, you'll need Chronicles. The 1997 and Sector remasters reinstate it into the running order, but they're more compressed. Of those two, the 1997 remaster is better. Exit is one of the few discs from the Sector sets that I thought was worse than the 1997s.
     
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  13. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    The 40th Anniversary of Permanent Waves is the Magee mastering, correct?
     
  14. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    Yes. :agree:
     
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  15. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    I'll keep the 40th Anniversary of Waves in mind when looking.

    And I was starting to think the downloads might not be the best, more reading has only really confirmed that, so I'll be doing my own needledrops, at least until I get a better digital version.

    2112, A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres and Permanent Waves have been the only big 'anniversary' editions so far right? Those are the few I remember seeing with new artwork and bonus discs at least.
     
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  16. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    So far, those are the only 40th anniversary reissues. There is a 30th anniversary Moving Pictures release from 2011, but it's only the Sector remaster with a 5.1 remix and 3 music videos included. Unless you can do surround, it's not necessary. I'm hoping we get a 40th anniversary edition next year, but I don't know how likely that is. If it's in the works, maybe there'll be an announcement early in the year like there was with Permanent Waves.
     
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  17. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    I see! I do remember seeing the announcements indeed, so I'll be watching to see if there's any rumblings about Moving Pictures soon.

    With the other 40th Anniversary CDs- would you recommend those above any of the older releases of those albums? Or is Waves the only case where you'd suggest it? Did any of your blind listening polls include the Anniversary discs?
     
  18. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    For 2112, yeah, I'd grab an older version instead of the 40th. While the rest of the 40th anniversary reissues are the same as the Sean Magee remasters, 2112 was tweaked. Extra compression and treble were added, making it a bit harsh and grating to listen to. Personally, it's my least favorite 2112 mastering, though I still keep it around for the live material on disc 2. Grab the old Canadian Anthem or early Japanese CDs if you can (they're all the same). Otherwise, the Atomic or silverface will do. The MFSL is also pretty good, but it's rather expensive these days. None of my blind listening polls had the anniversary CDs included since the 40th Permanent Waves wasn't out yet and Signals didn't get one. I'm thinking of making a Moving Pictures poll if an anniversary edition comes out though.
     
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  19. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Noted, I'll keep this info in mind. With how rare and pricey the Anthems seem to be in my ebay searches, I might try and go for an Atomic for now, just to have something to A/B against my '97 remaster disc. Is it like Moving Pictures where there's a certain matrix number preferred on the Atomic? Or are all 2112 Atomics fine?

    I look forward to the Moving Pictures Poll!
     
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  20. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    All the old US's should carry the same mastering. Nice sounding disc. It's indexed as well if you have a player capable.
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    The Anthem is my preferred CD version...the non-tweaked Magee hi-res is nice too.
     
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  22. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Just to come back to this, as I've been searching-

    So while you'd suggest an older disc for 2112, and the 40th for Permanent Waves, would you say the anniversary CDs are the best versions to have of the ones they've done so far?

    Unless my needledrop of the Magee Hemispheres doesn't turn out well, I don't plan on getting the anniversary CD, at least not soon. I don't have A Farewell To Kings yet though, should I just go straight for the 40th CD?
     
  23. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin City Pop, Rock, and anything 80s til I die

    Location:
    United States
    The anniversary editions are my top choices for Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres as well. However, the original Kings CD is a great alternative and still holds up pretty well against the deluxe. The old one has a little less bass, but other than that, it's very good.

    The old Mercury Hemispheres CD is kinda bright and sometimes harsh, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you've got warm sounding gear. The Canadian/Japan version and Audio Fidelity SACD are both closer to the anniversary edition, but they're much more expensive too. Assuming your needledrop turns out nicely, it isn't a bad option to hold off on getting the CD.
     
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  24. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Cucaracha Expert

    I was just thinking. On my last "listen fest" with Rush, I compared most of the new Magee's from HDTracks to all my prior faves. And then I thought, whew, I'm done for a while. I hadn't really paid much attention to the new anniversary editions, thinking they'd be typical new squashed masterings. I guess not! So I'll have to now compare those ... Ha ha, maybe I'll wait for a few more to come out, and then compare at that point ... ;)
     
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  25. BitterMinnows

    BitterMinnows Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United States
    Noted, on Kings! I'm split on whether I'll get an old press or the 40th, I'll have to think as there's a bit of a price difference.

    And yeah, not planning on getting it for now! I have to wait until I can get a new cartridge, so I've still got to hang onto the downloads the album came with. Should be interesting to A/B them vs. the needledrop when it's done.

    For now I've got my eyes on some Atomics of Power Windows and Hold Your Fire. I've heard those are pretty good (plus they're inexpensive), and I should be getting the Atomic of Grace Under Pressure in the mail tomorrow, so that'll be fun to check out.
     
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