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SH Spotlight What sounds just like the analog master tape: CD, Vinyl, SACD or a 1:1 analog Reel tape copy?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    That would include the music you listen to, right?
  2. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Maybe I'm missing something, but is there time travel going on? The next to last post before mine is from today, June 6, 2014 and the last post before mine is from October 12, 2013.

    Back to the future? Or someone who is in orbit and experiencing jet lag or a sense of time passing slower?

    I'm not ruling out that I'm missing something...
    Ash76 likes this.
  3. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Belfast, Ireland
    Believe me, six months down the line, they still sound amazing. Now, go set up that turntable.
  4. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Belfast, Ireland
    I have probably written this before elsewhere, but as an example of what I consider to be fine detail (and trails, of a sort) I offer this.

    SA-CD of Let it Bleed, by the Stones. Last track, You Can't Always Get What You Want. Play the redbook, choir clearly sing ".....what you wan" whereas on on the SA-CD layer, it's very distinctly "what you wanT" each and every time.

    I have always admired the SA-CD of that album and consider that layer to be far superior.
    JRM likes this.
  5. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
  6. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Thanks for the recommendation. I just went and picked up a copy. :)
  7. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    There are cases where it is known that the CD layer is deliberately mastered differently, I believe Pink Floyd DSOTM is an example. The engineers/label said that there was a market expectation that a CD would be more compressed.

    In other cases there is no way of telling other than asking nicely or analysing the audio. I'd have thought it was also possible for small changes to be made almost by accident, engineer made a tweak in the belief it would improve something. Another factor is sound levels, no guarantee when you switch a player between redbook and SACD layers that the level will be identical. All this makes switching between layers a poor way to judge the merits of DSD vs redbook IMO. Better to rip the SACD somehow, downsample to 16/44, and compare. Not trivial I know.

  8. princesskiki

    princesskiki Kiki's Mom

    Hi. Your copy is a U.S. Pitman plant pressing (probably from the late 1980's), similar to the one I discuss in paragraph #9 on my previous post.
  9. briantrash

    briantrash Member

    Well that's a bummer...you seem to think that the Pitman pressings are not particularly good. I bought it on Ebay still in its original wrapping, so I had no way to know what its matrix number is.

    Do you feel it would be worth the time and money to try and buy an earlier US pressing? Are those earlier pressings different enough to warrant another purchase?
  10. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Nowhere Fast

    What you have is solid in terms of sound but not "collectiblity" assuming that still exists for CD's :) . For CD [or SACD], think Mastering pressing. Don't believe me ask Mr Hoffman. So save your money and be aware there are those here with Ego-based, $-based, backed-into-corner -based, and other agenda's that if you are not careful could in effect defraud you out of your hard earned coin. That said if you don't like the sound of the mastering you do have, go for the SACD or original 35 8P based mastering. The 35 8p does have pre-empahasis though so you must a have transport that can decode it correctly - computers drives for example can not.

    Here's is a great link to get you started on the album on CD and SACD:
    https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=thriller sacd 35 8p&start=&ie=utf-8&num=50&oe=utf-8&q=site:stevehoffman.tv

    BTW the original Sony SACD exceeded the Scarlet Book [SACD] standards so to play it safe if you are going to spend the money get the Japan SACD which corrected the technical errors of the original SACD for the US market. Oh and welcome aboard as the saying goes...
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  11. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    I was wondering about this too. Does it just apply to the WALTZ FOR DEBBY recording or all DSD recordings?
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    That was with old A/D. New one much better.
    lukejosephchung likes this.
  13. briantrash

    briantrash Member

    Thanks for the reply, ricks!

    I'm definitely not interested in "collectibility". The only thing I care about is getting a CD that sounds as close as possible to the original mastering, within financial reason. In other words, a CD made before they started boosting the high frequencies and compressing everything. I do understand why they master things that way these days...for instance, it works much better for car audio. But I'd rather have the original mastering and then adjust it on my own when I need to play it in the car.

    So your feeling is that the "Pitman" pressing I have is pretty faithful to the original mastering?
  14. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Nowhere Fast


    The original mastering is on the 35 8p based , you have the 2nd mastering or by the book definition of "re" a remastering. The mastering you have is available on many different "pressings" and is the most common "original" mastering. Don't waste your money based on a faction that is a very tiny but vocal subset of members on this forum. Most of whom have various agenda's. Once again for CD's think mastering not pressing's. Unless of course you are a fan of snake oil and believe in Nigerian Prince type emails.

    If you like the sound of you CD then stick with what you have. If you are looking for different sound than go with the 35 8P or SACD [see details from my last post]. Just keep in mind that depending on gear you may very end up liking what you have best. Reason is the 35 8P has pre-emph and your transports may not decode even though most do and playback channels can differ greatly from SACD to CD.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  15. SpinningInfinity

    SpinningInfinity Forum Resident

    Very interesting Steve thanks for posting. I'll be reading this entire thread.
  16. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Reno, NV, USA
    Quite a few peole on this forum and others are buying the new LP's of the first three Led Zep albums, sometimes in addition to the HDTracks 24/96 versions from which the LP's were supposedly cut. Anyone who has posted about comparing the two versions seems to think the LP's sound better, and in at least some cases say it's because of "LP sound", i.e. colorations. There were similar comments about Daft Punk's Get Lucky, another situation where the LP's were supposedly cut from digital hires masters which could be purchased from download sites.

    To me this undercuts the whole premise about LP's being more "accurate"?
  17. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Nowhere Fast

    The source may be the same. But the playback mechanism/channel totally different. Different playback Hardware's effects on sound is totally legit and some may prefer one method over the other. However if I was a vinyl person I'd probably rather have it sourced analog?
  18. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    The LP cut is an analogue capture of the output of the converter used in mastering. Maybe that converter sounds better than the one being used for the 24/96 playback and the LP is so accurate it reflects that.
  19. Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith Forum Resident

    What sounds just like the master tape (if a 2-track analogue mix master tape as opposed to an EQd master)?

    Two things:
    1. Playing the master tape itself on a high quality tape machine
    2. A flat transfer of that master tape to 24bit/192kHz using a high end tape machine

    If planning to release the flat transfer, releasing the 24/192 flat transfer via a high resolution music platform (HDtracks, Blu-ray audio etc)

    If you mean a new digital EQd master from the analogue mix master tapes, then again, a transfer to 24/192 or 96 (depending on whether the digital EQd master was done at 24/192 or 96), and if planning on releasing the recording, releasing the 24/192 or 96 copy on a high resolution music platform (see above).

    If the EQd master was analogue, then the same process as I said for if it was a flat transfer from the 2-track mix (again, see above at the top).
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  20. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Reno, NV, USA
    Theoretically possible but IMHO unlikely in these instances.
  21. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    I'm a bit amazed/amused to see this post.

    I have no idea of the difference between the CD and vinyl mastering of Montrose 1, that being said any time people want to hear what good vinyl sounds like I put on Rock Candy, the drums (as well as the rest of the music) are astounding. I've heard several different drum kits played in my room over many years, and this is one of the rare few albums that gives me something close to that same sound. And....as you said, the CD is a far cry from the vinyl. Why, I don't know, source, mastering or format, or all?

    Another aside, I'm pleased as a pickle to hear in Steve's original post that they used a Shure V15, that has been my go to cartridge for decades. Currently using a V15xMR and Ultra 500 ( a souped up V15).

    I was drawn in SERIOUSLY by vinyl as a kid as young as 10. Started with a cheap BSR at age 10, upgraded to a Dual at age 13, and then of all things an Empire 698 at age 16.

    Why the hell would a 16 year old save up well over a months wages to buy a turntable? Everyone thought I was nuts, $400, I could've bought a used car with that. But I knew I was on the path to sonic heaven. Been there ever since.
    EasterEverywhere and quicksrt like this.
  22. druboogie

    druboogie Maverick Stacker

    New Jersey
    I love this thread! :goodie:

    Even though I dont think I'd be able to hear the difference (Im practically a mixing engineer, shame on me).\
    This thread should be a sticky and it makes me so happy. I still have to read the whole thing because its very interesting. Lotta scrambling going on.

    Im a vinyl only guy but I never believed any vinyl was worth playing on a $100000 turntable, but I guess it is!
    But not if Im playing a 1st issue Raspberries "Go all the way' that was horribly compressed when mixed though. or any issue for that matter.
  23. druboogie

    druboogie Maverick Stacker

    New Jersey
    Hey Steve, would you be able to master with a"one setting fits all" 3 formats just for the experiment, or would the results be so drastic, and thats why you have to tweak to get them to sound the same?
  24. robtodd

    robtodd Forum Resident

    Just stumbled on your post. I hear the same want on both layers, however the. SACD layer overall is fuller.
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    sorry it took so long to answer, just saw this.

    Each format takes a slight tweaking to sound the best. If you didn't do that, it would still sound fine, but if you want the most from each format, some stuff needs to be done.

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