The Smiths - CD comparison thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mal, Oct 24, 2006.

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  1. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    I've been meaning to do this for a while now. Ever since I heard the stark difference between the original European Rough Trade CD pressing of "Louder Than Bombs" and its original US Sire/Rough Trade counterpart. The European disc totally smokes the US one - it's like night and day!

    What I propose is that anyone with a CD pressing of a Smiths album and the means at their disposal and a desire to do so should post the EAC peak values for that disc if those values haven't already been posted. That way we can build up a table of EAC peak values for all pressings of a particular title and that should tell us whether they are the same or not. If needs be we can look further into things but the peak values will at least tell us whether they are significantly different or not.

    I'll tackle each disc separately - first up is "Louder Than Bombs" since that is the disc that started it all......
     
  2. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    "Louder Than Bombs"

    [​IMG]

    Exhibit A:

    ROUGH CD255
    Made in France by MPO
    matrix#: ROUGH 255 CD MPO 01 @

    Exhibit B:

    SIRE 9 25569-2
    Made in USA
    matrix#: 1 25569-2 SRC-09 M5S1


    Here are the EAC peak levels for each track - first column is the European Rough Trade pressing (exhibit A) and the second column is the US Sire/Rough Trade pressing (exhibit B):

    01 100.0......76.0
    02 _89.0......67.5
    03 100.0......77.6
    04 _95.2......72.2
    05 _88.5......67.1
    06 100.0......76.7
    07 100.0......87.3
    08 _87.7......71.3
    09 _91.0......73.9
    10 _81.2......66.0
    11 100.0......80.5
    12 _88.8......70.5
    13 100.0......79.1
    14 100.0......77.3
    15 100.0......74.8
    16 100.0......80.7
    17 _97.8......72.5
    18 _84.7......62.7
    19 100.0......74.7
    20 _73.5......54.5
    21 _75.5......55.9
    22 100.0......79.3
    23 100.0......83.9
    24 100.0......81.1

    You can see that the discs are completely different in terms of their peak values. I haven't verified whether they are from the same digital transfer but whatever the original source, B has been seriously compromised in comparison to A. A sounds tight and clean whereas B is a soft and ill-defined mess in comparison.

    I had always assumed that the currently available WEA issue was a clone of B although looking at how quietly it was mastered I somehow doubt that now - but if someone can post the peak values for the WEA disc we'll know for sure.

    Anyone have any other pressings - for example, the Japanese Victor issue or the Australian 2-CD Festival issue?......
     
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  3. trucker

    trucker Member

    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    The Queen Is Dead

    Great idea! I'd be very interested in the results of this.

    Here's the Rough Trade of The Queen Is Dead. Sorry I don't have anything to compare it to. I was already aware of this forum when I got into The Smiths, so I haven't bothered to pick up the Sires, I just keep an eye out for the Rough Trades.

    ROUGH CD96

    It doesn't say where it was mastered or have a matrix number, it just says "ROUGH CD 96" and "MASTERED BY NIMBUS" where the matrix number usually appears. Come to think of it, is that a bad sign? Don't tell me I have a pirate copy on my hands. Anyway, here are the peak values from EAC:

    01 87.4
    02 68.9
    03 64.2
    04 69.1
    05 63.2
    06 67.1
    07 58.2
    08 66.5
    09 66.0
    10 61.6

    Mastered pretty quiet. Actually, Mal, I'm suprised your European Louder Than Bombs has peaks at 100. Seems unusual for a CD from the 80s. Allmusic says Louder Than Bombs was compiled for American audiences, whereas Hatful Of Hollow was the singles compilation in Europe. Maybe then the European Rough Trade version of Louder Than Bombs came out a little later and a little louder?
     
  4. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    Doubtful. My copy (bought the first day it showed up as an import) just reads "ROUGHCD96 - MPO 02". RT moved from MPO (France) to Nimbus (UK) and back again pretty often back in the early days, depending on when they could get in line for in-demand CD pressing queues. Yours was probably manufactured a bit later than mine, but not by much.

    'Hatful' wasn't a singles compilation, it was made up of BBC sessions and alternate takes. 'The World Won't Listen' was a collection of singles and (for reasons which passeth my understanding) tracks from 'Queen.' Sire requested the compilation of 'Bombs' (a combination of tracks from 'World' and 'Hatful') because they had never issued 'Hatful' Stateside (though Sire in Canada issued it) and wanted a single package instead of issuing both albums separately (they had already included 'How Soon Is Now?' as a bonus track on the US 'Meat Is Murder') RT later put out 'Bombs' in the UK as it sold extremely well as an import (it did include four single tracks that weren't on 'World', plus most Smiths fans were rabid record collectors and apparently wanted every variation).
     
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  5. Here's the Peak Levels from my Aus-made WEA Louder Than Bombs

    Track 1 Peak level 94.3 %
    Track 2 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 3 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 4 Peak level 93.2 %
    Track 5 Peak level 86.3 %
    Track 6 Peak level 93.3 %
    Track 7 Peak level 92.4 %
    Track 8 Peak level 95.5 %
    Track 9 Peak level 93.2 %
    Track 10 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 11 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 12 Peak level 88.9 %
    Track 13 Peak level 93.3 %
    Track 14 Peak level 87.3 %
    Track 15 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 16 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 17 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 18 Peak level 94.7 %
    Track 19 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 20 Peak level 70.9 %
    Track 21 Peak level 80.3 %
    Track 22 Peak level 97.7 %
    Track 23 Peak level 91.8 %
    Track 24 Peak level 91.0 %

    Now I'm just confused :confused:

    Or did I do it wrong?
     
  6. trucker

    trucker Member

    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    Whew!

    Thanks, 93curr, that's a good explanation. What I'm trying to figure out now is if one needs all three albums, or if it would be better to go with either just Louder or a combination of Hatful and World. Looks like you need all three to have everything, but there'll also be a lot of repetition. Guess that's generally the way with these things. So was Louder Than Bombs what broke The Smiths in the States?

    Also, sorry if I spoke out of turn going ahead and posting Queen info.
     
  7. Collecting The Smiths is ALL about repetition :sigh:

    Here's the CDs you need to collect all of the proper Studio tracks.

    It's a shame that very few people would actually own all three Rough Trade, Sire and WEA discs for all of the Smiths albums, it would make comparison a lot easier :D
     
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  8. RayistaGeoff

    RayistaGeoff Forum Resident

    Courtesy of my lovely wife, who was a Smiths fan living in Europe long before I was:

    The Smiths -- s/t
    ROUGH CD61
    Made in France by MPO
    matrix #: ROUGH 61 MPO 01 @

    01 -- 95.6 %
    02 -- 100.0 %
    03 -- 97.3 %
    04 -- 100.0 %
    05 -- 86.6 %
    06 -- 94.7 %
    07 -- 99.7 %
    08 -- 100.0 %
    09 -- 100.0 %
    10 -- 100.0 %

    Of the ones that haven't been done, I've also got the Rough Trades of Hatful, Meat and the WEA of Strangeways. I'll try to get one more up before I have to leave for work.

    Geoff
     
  9. RayistaGeoff

    RayistaGeoff Forum Resident

    The Smiths -- Meat is Murder
    ROUGH CD81
    Made in France by MPO
    matrix #: ROUGH 81 MPO 01 @

    01 -- 96.8 %
    02 -- 92.8 %
    03 -- 94.7 %
    04 -- 87.7 %
    05 -- 85.4 %
    06 -- 91.9 %
    07 -- 100.0 %
    08 -- 99.1 %
    09 -- 89.5 %
     
  10. RayistaGeoff

    RayistaGeoff Forum Resident

    The Smiths -- Hatful of Hollow
    ROUGH CD76
    Made in France by MPO
    matrix #: ROUGH CD 76 MPO 01.

    01 -- 86.1 %
    02 -- 89.5 %
    03 -- 78.9 %
    04 -- 99.3 %
    05 -- 99.0 %
    06 -- 83.7 %
    07 -- 100.0 %
    08 -- 90.3 %
    09 -- 90.1 %
    10 -- 98.1 %
    11 -- 79.1 %
    12 -- 85.7 %
    13 -- 92.7 %
    14 -- 49.5 %
    15 -- 99.6 %
    16 -- 70.9 %
     
  11. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    Cd with matrix ROUGH 96 MPO 02 has the same peak levels as your "MASTERED BY NIMBUS".

    This is the peak levels for the Made in USA Sire/Rough Trade (9 25426-2)

    Track 1 Peak level 78.1 %
    Track 2 Peak level 67.8 %
    Track 3 Peak level 58.2 %
    Track 4 Peak level 62.7 %
    Track 5 Peak level 65.6 %
    Track 6 Peak level 68.1 %
    Track 7 Peak level 59.7 %
    Track 8 Peak level 64.6 %
    Track 9 Peak level 68.5 %
    Track 10 Peak level 56.9 %
     
  12. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    Hatful has to have been one of the biggest selling imports of all time, along with the Clash's debut album. Why Sire did not issue it in the U.S. at the time of its release in the U.K. baffles me - it sold a ton of copies as an import.
     
  13. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    Great response so far :righton:

    I suggest we just keep the data coming and then I'll compile new tables in a week or so.

    I still have these discs to rip and will post the EAC data over the next few days:


    "Strangeways, Here We Come" - ROUGH CD106, SIRE 9 25649-2
    The Smiths - Rough CD61 (NIMBUS and MPO)
    Hatful Of Hollow - Rough CD76 (MPO), Rough Trade/Virgin 30257 (PDO)
    The Queen Is Dead - Festival D 30108 (DISCTORNICS [sic] USA)
    The World Won't Listen - Rough CD101 (NIMBUS)
    Meat Is Murder - Rough CD 81 (MPO),
    "Rank" - Rough CD126 (NIMBUS)

    :)
     
  14. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Re: "Louder Than Bombs"

    Matrix: ROUGH 255 CD MPO 02 @@ has same peak levels
     
  15. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    The World Won't Listen
    ROUGH CD101
    Made in France by M.P.O.
    Matrix: ROUGH CD 101 MPO 01 @

    Track 1 Peak level 84.9 %
    Track 2 Peak level 85.9 %
    Track 3 Peak level 79.0 %
    Track 4 Peak level 73.6 %
    Track 5 Peak level 76.2 %
    Track 6 Peak level 76.3 %
    Track 7 Peak level 85.2 %
    Track 8 Peak level 73.9 %
    Track 9 Peak level 86.8 %
    Track 10 Peak level 86.4 %
    Track 11 Peak level 83.4 %
    Track 12 Peak level 75.1 %
    Track 13 Peak level 82.9 %
    Track 14 Peak level 78.1 %
    Track 15 Peak level 93.0 %
    Track 16 Peak level 87.5 %
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    ...and a few singles ("Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", "William, It Was Really Nothing", "How Soon is Now", ...). :wave:

    Regards,
     
  17. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Meat is Murder
    WEA 4509-91895-2
    Made in Germany
    Matrix: 450991895-2 WME

    Track 1 Peak level 89.5 %
    Track 2 Peak level 95.1 %
    Track 3 Peak level 88.0 %
    Track 4 Peak level 81.1 %
    Track 5 Peak level 93.2 %
    Track 6 Peak level 93.6 %
    Track 7 Peak level 90.2 %
    Track 8 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 9 Peak level 86.8 %
    Track 10 Peak level 92.6 %

    This has one more track; i think it is number 6 "How soon is now?"
     
  18. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member

    Location:
    ....
    I'd love to hear comparison clips between US and UK discs. :angel:
     
  19. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Rank
    ROUGH CD126
    I think this is made in Scandinavia, possibly Sweden. It has no "made in" information. It has no barcode. What it does have is a BIEM/ NCB mark.
    (NCB - Nordisk Copyright Bureau - is a Nordic-Baltic society that in co-operation with copyright societies abroad administers the copyrights in the recording and production of music on cd, dvd, film, video, the Internet etc on behalf of composers, lyricists and music publishers.

    The head office is in Copenhagen and there are branch offices in Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn and Vilnius)
    Matrix: ROUGH 126 CDM04

    Track 1 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 2 Peak level 81.9 %
    Track 3 Peak level 83.0 %
    Track 4 Peak level 95.3 %
    Track 5 Peak level 82.6 %
    Track 6 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 7 Peak level 97.4 %
    Track 8 Peak level 90.6 %
    Track 9 Peak level 84.8 %
    Track 10 Peak level 82.0 %
    Track 11 Peak level 86.8 %
    Track 12 Peak level 90.0 %
    Track 13 Peak level 86.8 %
    Track 14 Peak level 81.6 %
     
  20. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Strangeways, Here We Come
    Rough CD106 (Gold CD)
    Made In France By MPO
    Matrix: ROUGH CD 106 MPO 03 @

    Track 1 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 2 Peak level 99.9 %
    Track 3 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 4 Peak level 87.4 %
    Track 5 Peak level 89.6 %
    Track 6 Peak level 93.3 %
    Track 7 Peak level 90.0 %
    Track 8 Peak level 99.9 %
    Track 9 Peak level 93.4 %
    Track 10 Peak level 61.6 %
     
  21. Dr. Merkwürdigli

    Dr. Merkwürdigli Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Starangeways, Here We Come
    WEA 4509-91899-2
    Made in Germany
    Matrix: 450991899-2 WME

    Track 1 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 2 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 3 Peak level 99.9 %
    Track 4 Peak level 90.5 %
    Track 5 Peak level 100.0 %
    Track 6 Peak level 99.9 %
    Track 7 Peak level 84.2 %
    Track 8 Peak level 99.8 %
    Track 9 Peak level 90.1 %
    Track 10 Peak level 62.2 %
     
  22. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    The Smiths -- Hatful of Hollow (early UK issue)
    ROUGH CD76
    Made in Japan by ??
    matrix #: ROUG-76 1A3 69

    01 - 77.3 %
    02 - 85.7 %
    03 - 83.2 %
    04 - 86.8 %
    05 - 81.5 %
    06 - 84.1 %
    07 - 90.6 %
    08 - 95.3 %
    09 - 86.5 %
    10 - 92.1 %
    11 - 87.0 %
    12 - 83.1 %
    13 - 90.1 %
    14 - 50.0 %
    15 - 85.1 %
    16 - 57.3 %
     
  23. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I get the same peak levels with:

    Made in France by MPO
    matrix #: ROUGH CD 81 MPO 01.
     
  24. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Re: The Queen Is Dead

    Same peak levels on this UK release:

    Made in France by MPO
    matrix #: ROUGH 96 MPO 02.
     
  25. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Forum Resident

    Re: "Louder Than Bombs"

    Mal- When you did the audio quality comparison, did you make sure that you were listening as the same relative volume? I.e., you would have to turn up the U.S. disc some to get the same volume as for European disc.

    Frankly, I am surprised by your conclusion, as *usually*, the lower volume mastered discs sound better because they aren't clipped. A 100% value for peak value is usually not a good sign.

    Look at tracks 13, 14, 15, 16 for example. The U.S. versions all have different peak values, but the European release are all "peaked" at 100%. That indicates that some of those tracks were probably clipped.

    Personally, I'll stay with the U.S. version. :)
     
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