SH Spotlight Wanna check how your CD player is doing? "Tigerlily" CD Natalie Merchant, how I compared CD players

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Aug 15, 2022.

  1. Yawndave

    Yawndave Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santa Clara CA
    I went down to Rasputin in Campbell and picked up a copy for $1.95. Never heard the album before.

    Listening to it on my Marantz CD player/Yamaha Amp, I think I hear the reverb in Wonder, and I can definitely hear the "midrange suckout" in Jealousy. On Carnival, I hear a sibilance in the S-sounds, I suppose you could call that "spitting"?

    Playing it on my Sony UBP-X800/ Onkyo 494, the reverb and the "midrange suckout" is still noticeable, but is there seems to be a bit less "S spit" in Carnival.

    Finally, on my AppleTV 4K through the Onkyo, the lossless Apple Music version, the reverb is there in Wonder, the "midrange suckout" in Jealousy is there (there's a really noticeable change in the sound when the next track Where I Go starts up). And the S-sound seems a just a bit smoother in Carnival.

    There's certainly a variance in how these sound because of the hardware involved, but maybe the slight differences I notice are my ears warming up? :p I think I'd be able to pick out the subtleties more clearly if I could crank up the volume, but I want to remain on good terms with my downstairs and next door neighbors. And I'm sure the tinnitus in my right ear gets in the way of hearing certain details.

    Bottom line, though: overall the album sounds good, period. Thanks for turning me on to it!
     
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  2. Static

    Static Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    You should check out her work with 10000 Maniacs also. Especially In My Tribe.
     
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  3. Tom Favata

    Tom Favata tbuick6

    Location:
    New York
    That “mid-range suckout” is equally glaring when going from track 4 (River) to track 9. Yay! I can hear it. With my aging ears and modest gear.
    Thanks Steve. Never heard this album til now. Really digging it.
     
  4. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    You would be correct. I know that two tracks were recorded at Clubhouse Studios(then in Germantown, NY), one of them being "San Andreas Fault" and then(as now) there is indeed an early 70s Neve board. Overdubs were done there, too. Monitors were at least NS-10s and perhaps Tannoys for the "big" speakers. Mixed at Sony Music Studios, again on a Neve, I'm told an 8078. No idea about what was used at Bearsville, where the rest of the work was done.


    Dan
     
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  5. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    Dan, which other song was recorded at Clubhouse?
     
  6. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    I want to say "Wonder", but unfortunately, I can't be certain, so don't quote me on that. The drums do sound like the big room that used to be upstairs. Incredibly live and made drums sound immense.


    Dan
     
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  7. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    I have a CD comp of hers so my natural inclination would be to get this on vinyl if at all... but maybe the original (and perhaps only?) CD is the way to go?
     
  8. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nowhereland
    Either that, or it is a perfect example for the powers of psycho acoustics... ;-)

    I picked this CD up for small change on ebay, but I must admit, it does not do much for me. Not the biggest fan of 90s pop music I guess.

    Others my disagree, but to my ears, the SQ of the entire album is fairly inconsistent and mediocre at best. Also, her voice has a slightly unpleasant sharp edge that pops up quite frequently throughout.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    So let me understand this. You didn't like the album, music, her voice, her songs or production. You didn't do the test. You think I'm hypnotising the members into hearing what I want them to hear. And you posted all that in my thread that is simply trying to help people fine tune their gear.

    That about right?
     
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  10. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nowhereland
    That about right?[/QUOTE]

    No it‘s not. But this is quite obviously the wrong place for any kind of ironic or tongue-in-cheek remarks. I had thought that the additon of the ;-) code made it clear that the remark was intended as a JOKE. My fault. Good-bye.
     
  11. Professor Batty

    Professor Batty Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anoka Mn
    It wasn't a joke thread.
     
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  12. hronists

    hronists Well-Known Member

    Location:
    North Pole
    OK, I decided to give a go, but cheated because of I have no CD player. Listened to Spotify instead :)

    Reverb on "Wonder" - yes it's there. It's on every single instrument, on all drums. I noticed that crash, while reverberated, sounded for 1/3 of a second max. Why not if they think it's good.

    S on "Carnival" - it's there, but very slight.

    Midrange suck on "Jealousy" - playing after "Carnival" it just sounds hollow.

    Listened on low end AKG K240MkII headphones. Maybe later I'll try on speakers with FLAC source.
     
  13. mando_dan

    mando_dan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Beverly, MA
    Slow reply. Thanks for the info! My take fwiw is these ultra expensive products from niche companies are marketed such the buyer is imparted with wisdom that the product they purchased is very special and therefore requires special treatment. Marketing. In marketing v physics, physics wins.
     
  14. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    Regarding “Jealousy”, I wonder if that is why her record company released a remix as the single for radio and commercial cd single. I think that remix is also the version used on her “best of” comp.
     
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  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    You have a Euu-Toob link to the remix? Never heard it.
     
  16. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    I think it’s same as official music video:

     
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Different everything, music, vocal. Thanks.
     
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  18. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    I see, a Re-recording rather than remix.
    I used to own the cd single, and recalled enjoying more prominent guitar in that version!
     
  19. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA
    This was a lot of fun. So far I just did comparisons on my home theater system, which is quite nice to my ears, but certainly not mega-bucks. Marantz SR 7011 home theater receiver, with Martin Logan Motion 60XT speakers for the L and R – by far the best home theater system speakers I’ve ever had, love these things - and an SVS SB-2000 pro (sealed box) subwoofer which I have taken great pains to properly integrate, using room measurements etc.

    I did a little variation on the test Steve outlined - using only a single CD player – my humble but much loved Onkyo DXC-380 6 disc changer. I know multidisc changers are looked down upon in general, I know this one is a “lower end” model but I have always loved the way this player sounds and would put it up with much more expensive single-disc players (of which I have several, including a Marantz SA-7S1 and an Oppo UDP-205 in my listening room system) - I've compared these directly and the Onkyo comes out surprisingly strong in that company. A most musical player.

    The variation was that I listened to the specified tracks on Tigerlily two ways with that single player: first, using the Onkyo’s analog outputs into the receiver (in other words, using the Onkyo’s internal DAC), and second using the digital output of the Onkyo into the Marantz (thus, using the Marantz’s DAC, with the Onkyo functioning as a transport).

    With BOTH approaches, I could hear all the things you mentioned Steve.

    On track 5, “Carnival,” I could appreciate some slight spittiness/emphasis on the “s” sounds in the vocal using either the Onkyo’s internal DAC or the Marantz’s DAC. However, the effect was somewhat more intrusive/prominent with the Marantz DAC, which seemed to emphasize this a bit more.

    On track 9, “Jealousy,” I could hear the midrange suckout with both approaches, especially A/B’d with “Carnival.”

    And then on track 2, “Wonder,” also heard the reverb with both approaches. I'm not sure I'd have known it was "fake," I've heard more obvious examples but it is definitely a more reverberant sound than on the other 2 tracks. Here though, the reverb was a little bit more evident using the Onkyo’s internal DAC, you could really hear it on the vocals in particular.

    In general, on all these tracks plus the rest of the CD (which is great, been such a long time since I listened, nice to revisit!), I preferred the sound of the Onkyo player’s own DAC, though the Marantz receiver's DAC was quite good too. The Onkyo's DAC has magic in the midrange, the sound that brings me back to this humble, inexpensive player time and time again, after all these years (it's gotta be at least 20 years old now). With the Onkyo's DAC, Natalie’s vocals just sound wonderful throughout, as do the guitars and pianos. And the Onkyo’s DAC also has a more natural (to me) sounding high end, less harsh. The one downside is that the Onkyo’s DAC is not quite as accomplished on the low end as the Marantz receiver's DAC - at times it's a little "mid-bassy" in fact - though it’s by no means bad in that realm at all and I can live with that trade off.

    Next (hopefully tonight or tomorrow) I'll give some comparisons a whirl on my listening room system. Should be a blast! Thanks Steve for posting this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2022
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  20. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA
    I'll ignore most of this but will say this: if you feel her voice sounds like it has an unpleasant sharp edge on this CD, I'm 100% confident you need a new listening system or at least key elements need to be replaced (or maybe you have hearing issues I guess).

    I've listened to this album over the years on multiple car CD players, streamed on my iPhone using the iPhone speaker, on my home theater system, and in my listening room and never have I heard anything in her voice that is close to an "unpleasant sharp edge." Whether or not one likes her vocals or not is of course personal taste, but objectively there just isn't an "unpleasant sharp edge" to any of the vocals on this recording.
     
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  21. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA
    Thanks for posting this, all I can remember hearing is the CD version. This one is indeed a completely different performance, and excellent.
     
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  22. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    And for those who like the tip our host shared, you might want to check out two previous threads giving hifi setup tips using CDs:

    Using The Kinks stereo "Waterloo Sunset":
    SH Spotlight - Play the Kinks "Waterloo Sunset" in stereo, check and fix or improve your stereo playback with it!

    Using Steve's mastering of Bing Crosby (on the DCC compact disk):
    SH Spotlight - Test the midrange purity of your system and/or your computer speakers using Bing Crosby!

    Please post links to other past similar topics created by our host that I may have missed :)
     
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Water-Lou bump.
     
  24. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Listing all of those would make a great new thread!
     
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  25. Isitquiex

    Isitquiex Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Oh wow, I never knew the "Jealousy" single was a rerecording. There was also a CD single remix of "Wonder," which I remember amped up the guitars and included a great cover of Aretha's "Baby I Love You" as a bonus track

     
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