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Surely I'm not the only audiophile metalhead who buys new vinyl. Disappointed with sound quality.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I got the new Blind Guardian album, At the Edge of Time, on vinyl - a 2LP pic disc set.  It is an excellent album musically, but it has the worst surface noise I've ever heard on any vinyl record.  During the quiet parts it sounds as if a wind is blowing during the performance, and it diminishes enjoyment of the music by a large amount.

 

I sent it back and got a replacement.  Same problem.  That's four records (two times 2LPs).  I emailed the label, Nuclear Blast, and they said it was their first complaint in over 1000 sales, and they just listened to it in their office and it sounded fine to them.

 

What's going on here?  Surely I'm not the only metalhead who cares about audio quality in new vinyl.  I don't think my ears are particularly golden, but I know when surface noise gets in the way of the music.

 

Anyone else have similar experiences or advice?  I think I'm going to swear off new vinyl in the absence of being able to hear it first or read a review by an independent audiophile.  In this case, they charge twice as much for half the fidelity.


Edited by acidbasement - 12/7/10 at 10:02am
post #2 of 27

quite a few metalheads who buy vinyl are listening on thrift store special equipment and their idea of cleaning a record is blowing the dust off of it

post #3 of 27

I'm an audiophile Metal head with a decent analog set-up and for the most part Metal sounds awesome on vinyl. Of course you're going to get the odd duffer, especially if it's just a CD-rip dumped on wax but for the most part vinyl is the only way to experience Metal, or any genre for that matter.

post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazza View Post

but for the most part vinyl is the only way to experience Metal, or any genre for that matter.


Maybe.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazza View Post

or any genre for that matter.


NO.

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazza View Post

I'm an audiophile Metal head with a decent analog set-up and for the most part Metal sounds awesome on vinyl. Of course you're going to get the odd duffer, especially if it's just a CD-rip dumped on wax but for the most part vinyl is the only way to experience Metal, or any genre for that matter.


I buy a lot of second-hand vinyl, but the only new vinyl I buy is in the metal genre.  I may just have bad luck, but I find there is a much higher proportion of crappy pressings with new vinyl.  That said, there are some really amazing new metal pressings too.

 

I'm just amazed that, out of >1000 record sales of the title I'm whining about, I'm the only one who has complained to the company about the most obvious and annoying surface noise I've ever heard.


Edited by acidbasement - 12/8/10 at 10:37am
post #6 of 27

I've been dying to find out if the vinyl pressing of Symphony X - Paradise Lost sounds any better than the overly-compressed, hotly mastered CD.  Great album, but painful to listen to.  If I could find even ONE review of that vinyl that could provide somewhat objective claims of improved sound quality, I'd buy it.  $35 for something that might sound just as bad as what I already have, though?  No thanks.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Someone needs to make a wiki database website where users can submit reviews of pressing/mastering quality.  Any web coders out there with time on their hands?

post #8 of 27

^ That would be nice. I only buy jazz, or classical LPs at thrift stores. The odds of getting a well mastered recording is reasonable for those two genres. Rock is meh. Metal is the worst.  

post #9 of 27

Great.  Another project.  I don't even own a working turntable!  I just download vinyl rips.  :P

 

I might be able to do this.  Finding time to do it between my work-related projects (both paying and internal) and time devoted to the wife might make that difficult, though.  Seems like it'd be fun, though...  Might try to get something going.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post

Someone needs to make a wiki database website where users can submit reviews of pressing/mastering quality.  Any web coders out there with time on their hands?

post #10 of 27

I do have a question: if you are looking for audiophile quality metal why are you looking at Blind Guardian? That band consistently produces some of the most brickwalled, poorly produced albums I have heard from a metal band. A Night at the Opera in particular is probably more brickwalled than Death Magnetic. Granted clipping is not an issue for vinyl but they will probably be the last metal band I'll look at for good production.


Edited by scytheavatar - 12/8/10 at 9:15pm
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post

I do have a question: if you are looking for audiophile quality metal why are you looking at Blind Guardian? That band consistently produces some of the most brickwalled, poorly produced albums I have heard from a metal band. A Night at the Opera in particular is probably more brickwalled than Death Magnetic. Granted clipping is not an issue for vinyl but they will probably be the last metal band I'll look at for good production.


 

Good point.  While I have not seen waveform graphics of their most recent album, I can say that my digital copy of it sounds a lot less brickwalled to me than anything else by them that I'm familiar with.  I think it was mastered much better, to the point where I'd even call it 'good'.  :)  In fact, all aspects of the album including production, recording, mixing, and mastering, sound better to me than their previous releases by a long shot.


Edited by acidbasement - 12/9/10 at 10:11am
post #12 of 27

For those interested, I provided Symphony X - Iconoclast to a well-known vinyl ripper.  The results were very pleasing.  DR of 12 instead of 7 for the CD, and the harshness in the highs was eliminated.  So it's still worth it.  I can now turn the volume up pretty high without fatigue, making it far more enjoyable.  \m/

post #13 of 27

Never had that problem. That said, my vinyl experience is rather limited, my only metal vinyl albums are all Tool. Lateralus, Undertow and Aenima.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packgrog View Post

For those interested, I provided Symphony X - Iconoclast to a well-known vinyl ripper.  The results were very pleasing.  DR of 12 instead of 7 for the CD, and the harshness in the highs was eliminated.  So it's still worth it.  I can now turn the volume up pretty high without fatigue, making it far more enjoyable.  \m/



Excellent to hear.  Did you ever get the Paradise Lost question settled?

post #15 of 27

Picture discs are notoriously of lousy quality.  Depending on how cheap the record company got, it might not even be vinyl, but the same plastic that they used to make flexi discs that used to come in magazines.  Metal bands and punk bands get away with this because the typical fan is just going to throw it on the table, crank the volume knob to 10 and smash bottles over their heads.  Outstanding fidelity is not required.

 

Once again depending on how much the record company was willing to pay, did they do two separate masterings one for cd, one for vinyl?

 

Having listened to metal since I was a young boy, about 25 years now, one thing I've learned, metal records often sound bad, but they still make you want to put your fist through a wall.

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