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post #16501 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post
 


I think this remaster is the real deal. It's way better than the 90 remasters IMO-just once thru after a couple of beers.....so....but given the reviews I've read, I think Jimmy did it right this time.

 

For the most part LD1+ w/ RS1i. If I want the metal/hard rock crunch-225 w/ Asgard- w/ a sacrifice in subtleties. But more in your face. The differences are not huge...but then it hits you. Refinement and smoother.

 

I think the LD tames the treble a bit. There feels like a veil-ever so slight-a warmer/darker sound w/ the LD1. The Asgard-while neutral overall-may double down as it were on the brightness quotient. Clarity  (A-2) vs smooth tube qualities. But, both are clearly quality amps. I think I agree that the overall synergy across genres is better w/ LD, but by a fairly small margin.

 

One of the biggest selling points for the Asgard is it's versatility w/ a variety of cans. The LD1+feels more like a niche.


I just got the Valhalla 2 and oddly it doesn't have much of a tube sound to it, more like a solid state amp with just a slight touch of tubeness but not nearly as much as some other tube amps I have heard.

post #16502 of 18604

I had to go check to see which ones I have and it appears I have the 90's remaster, but also by Jimmy Page. I really like these also, better than the original songs in most cases IMO.

 

post #16503 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDoe View Post

Any grado heads out there use the Valhalla?


I just got a Valhalla 2, not fully burned in yet I don't think but it sounds pretty good. Anything in particular I could help you with. Certainly a LOT better than the Little Dot I replaced.

post #16504 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbenrfan99 View Post
 

Do the actual songs sound better than the HDTracks samples?  To me, those samples don't sound any better than the Complete Studio Recordings.

 

 

I also got the Led Zep II 2014 remaster on HDTracks and I thought it was much worse than the original album masters. The new one sounds alot more modern, guitars lost alot of grit and the bass is boomy like some modern r'n'b record - I was really disappointed.

post #16505 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 


I just got a Valhalla 2, not fully burned in yet I don't think but it sounds pretty good. Anything in particular I could help you with. Certainly a LOT better than the Little Dot I replaced.

Don't think it sounds good?

 

I had the LD1 for a while and have recently been using an O2/ODAC combo but tubes are calling my name so I'm trying to assemble a Schiit stack: Bifrost + (Lyr, Valhalla, Asgard). 

 

Wanted to know if the Valhalla will play nice with my lower impedance Grados.

post #16506 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

 

I also got the Led Zep II 2014 remaster on HDTracks and I thought it was much worse than the original album masters. The new one sounds alot more modern, guitars lost alot of grit and the bass is boomy like some modern r'n'b record - I was really disappointed.


I hate feeling like I'm wasting my money on new remasters, so I decided to do a little investigative reporting.

 

I'm coming to the opinion that analyzing the differences between masters just like A-B listening to HP's and gear is extremely subjective.

 

I've found looking recently at popular DACs as an example-Arcam and Music Fidelity have two that were compared in some reviews. Given two reviews online, they both liked both DACs. But, One review claimed that the Arcam was clearly superior and more "musical" another thought the reverse and much preferred the Music Fidelity. Yeah-I know....how do you know the folks conducting the reviews weren't incentivized by from Arcam or MF to sell one company's product over the other? You don't.

 

I guess my point, like religion and politics, people come out w/ strong opinions as if they were undisputed facts.....we're not talking about the authenticity of global warming here. I think people's biases and preconceived notions, placebo etc. strongly influence opinions.

 

I've heard the 2014 remasters have sparked debate on both sides. I decided to do a google search. FWIW,I found in my search overwhelmingly favorable response.

 

Here's what Stephen Guttenberg of CNET writes:

 

Quote:
Led Zeppelin changed the sound of rock music in 1969, and that turned me into an audiophile. When the Zeppelin CDs first arrived in the 1990s, the mastering was only so-so; the sound quality of my old LPs handily trounced them, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the 2014 CDs. Well, it's easy to hear their big improvement: the sound has opened up, there's soundstage depth, they're warmer and more fleshed out. Returning to the old Zeppelin CDs, the sound is crushed and thin -- the 2014 versions are the ones to get. All of the Deluxe, two-CD editions have bonus tracks, but my favorites are the live Olympia concert tracks from Paris in 1969 that are now on "Led Zeppelin." The live tracks' sound quality isn't so great, and they're in mono, but the performances are extraordinary. The live band's raw power far exceeds the studio tracks, and Jimmy Page's sonic experimentation with feedback and distortion is ahead of its time.

 

Then, I found this on a blog called The Morton Report:


 

Quote:

So should you take the bait? As with most reissues of this sort—such as the recent deluxe editions of the Who’s Tommy, Van Morrison’s Moondance and the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat—it all comes down to the extent of your fandom. If you’re a casual admirer who already owns the original CD versions of these albums—or such earlier repackagings as Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, Let Zeppelin Remasters, The Complete Studio Recordings or Mothership—you may understandably see little need for this newest upgrade. But if you love the band, as I do, one listen should be enough to justify the price of at least the deluxe CD editions.

As the titles above suggest, this is hardly the first (or even second) remastering of the three albums, but Jimmy Page’s latest effort—which involved transfer of the original analog tapes to a higher-resolution digital format—does result in a notably fuller and warmer sound than on prior releases. Moreover, the bonus tracks on the group’s debut—a recording of a widely bootlegged October 1969 Paris concert—are terrific.

 

 

But my  own ears are the best test. I may be completely affected by placebo. Given my old 80's CD's of Pink Floyd and The Beatles, I found the 2009 Beatles remaster and the 2009 Floyd remaster a noticeable improvement over my original CDs. I have heard the argument that newer remasters are just louder and that sounds better, but dynamics are lost. That could be true. I'm not married to my opinions as set in stone. I don't claim to have golden ears. I'm not a musician. But, I know what I think sounds good to me.

 

So, here I go. I've got the condensed double disc LZ remaster from 1990. The 1990 version has been largely criticized as being pretty mediocre. I'm going to sit down right now and listen to a few songs from  my 1990 LZ remaster and then listen to the new 2014 LZ I. I will listen first thru my speakers (Monitor Audio RX1 shelf speakers) and then thru LD1+-RS1i:

 

1. Babe I'm going to Leave you. To my ears, the 1990 version is Grainier and the 2014 remaster has a fuller sound. Like a veil was lifted. After the acoustic entro, when the faster rhythm guitar kicks in, the 1990 feels a little strained. There is less distortion in the 2014 version.  Plant's refrain: "Babe, babe, babe, I'm going to leave you"....With HP's I could hear a definite difference in soundstage. 2014 sounds bigger, fuller.

 

2. Communication Breakdown. So how about something with a little more kick? The explosive beginning should be a good test. The 2014 blows my 1990 out of the water IMO. Much more clear and opened sounding. W/ HP's...wow. The bass is much tighter, there is almost a background hiss (grain?) in the 1990 version. Slam dunk IMO.

 

3. Good Times Bad Times. If you wear glasses, do you know the feeling when you get a new prescription and you think you can see OK w/ your old glasses. Then you see the difference. Everything is more clear, the colors are more alive. That's what this sound like to me. The guitar has more punch. There is more air or separation around the instruments. My 1990 version-the sounds blur or blend.

 

4. Dazed and Confused. Same-bass is tighter and more defined. Greater soundstage and clarity.

 

Overall,a little like my perceptions of going from a 225 to RS1.Subtle at first, then I notice greater clarity, separation of instruments, larger soundstage. The Beatles remasters were more obvious. Maybe even Floyd. This required closer scrutiny. But for this listener-the 2014 remaster on CD-not HD- is an improvement from the 1990 remaster series.

 

Some may like the charm of the older sound. But, I do opt for clarity over fuzz. I notice the improvements in the louder, more aggressive parts where the older version just blurred together and sounded congested, restrained. The slower, quitter moments such as the acoustic entro to Babe I'm Going to Leave You were there-but less obvious at first.

 

FWIW, YOMV


Edited by markm1 - 6/28/14 at 6:37am
post #16507 of 18604

Well I don't know about the 90s remaster, from what I remember it was also bad compared to the original album, which is still my go-to choice for listening to Led Zep to this day. All I can tell you, without going into a song by song review, is that the original definitely sound better to my ears. It's not a matter of clarity over fuzz either, the remaster sounds like it's been through ProTool's effect chain (as a musician myself I have some experience in hearing those effects on remasters/newly produced albums), which definitely creates a veil. It's possible this remaster is better than the 90s remaster, but to my ears, the original is still coming out on top. No part of this remaster sounded better to me, unless you like modern r'n'b rihanna-style boomy bass. Otherwise, Plant's voice is recessed, guitars lost their grit, Jones' bass sounds absolutely terrible (slightly biased bassist opinion there), and drums lost dynamics.


Edited by elmoe - 6/28/14 at 6:42am
post #16508 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Well I don't know about the 90s remaster, from what I remember it was also bad compared to the original album, which is still my go-to choice for listening to Led Zep to this day. All I can tell you, without going into a song by song review, is that the original definitely sound better to my ears. It's not a matter of clarity over fuzz either, the remaster sounds like it's been through ProTool's effect chain (as a musician myself I have some experience in hearing those effects on remasters/newly produced albums), which definitely creates a veil. It's possible this remaster is better than the 90s remaster, but to my ears, the original is still coming out on top. No part of this remaster sounded better to me, unless you like modern r'n'b rihanna-style boomy bass. Otherwise, Plant's voice is recessed, guitars lost their grit, Jones' bass sounds absolutely terrible (slightly biased bassist opinion there), and drums lost dynamics.


but i bet they sound better than the original through your iPod and Apple earbuds....which is how 98% of the population will listen to these new remasters.

post #16509 of 18604

I’m cross posting this from the Ear+ thread in case anyone wants to read another impression of the Ear+ and RS1i. Also, I just received an SR200 with HP1000 drivers yesterday. Too early for me to write up anything decent but I do like them. They’re less aggressive than the RS1i and have a bit more clearly defined imaging. I’ll write up something later. All thoughts below are with the RS1i

 

This is an older model with only one headphone output. My DAC is the Emotiva DC-1 and I have some brief comparisons with the headphone amp built into that unit. I am using stock tubes in the Ear+

 

The things that stuck out for me:

 

The mid bass on the Ear+ is slightly more rounded and a little heavier than the DC-1 headphone output. so there’s a bit more weight to cellos, bass guitars, etc. I don’t really notice a difference in bass kick, though. Depending on one’s viewpoint, you could call the DC-1 output thinner or simply more flat. I know that with the RS1i, I prefer the sound down low with the Ear+. I can’t notice a difference in detail down here, though.

 

The highs are less piercing on the Ear+. They’re not quieter, exactly, but that edginess of the RS1i is softened on the Ear+. It’s still aggressive but hotly mastered tracks are worse, to my ear, on the DC-1.

 

The kicker - and what makes me appreciate the Ear+ - is that I notice is greater clarity and three dimensionality with the Ear+. For example, I was listening to a song with a lot of crashing, rolling cymbals and the difference between the two headlamps was that, on the DC-1, they sounded papery and slightly one-note. All I heard was the high frequency tizzing. But on the Ear+, it was possible to hear some more subtle, lower frequency notes underneath the crashing, giving the cymbals more body and dimensionality. 

 

I’m not saying I hear the same thing across all frequencies - my ears and source material may not be good enough - but for any vocals and instruments with a lot of HF information, I found the Ear+ presented them with more realism as I could hear more subtle notes under them. And this, in turn, makes entire tracks sound more lifelike and a little better imaging.

 

For my ears and my brain, it’s not a night and day difference. Some other people might say it is since standards are different for everyone. But I do think the Ear+ is better than the DC-1 headphone out and it really does gel quite nicely with the RS1i’s natural sound.

 

I’m glad I have the Ear+ and RS1i combo. It makes the RS1i sound about as good as I’ve heard it - I’ve had one in the past and used it with a variety of amps so the DC-1 isn’t my sole reference point - and I’m looking forward to buying  a few tubes to replace the main Sovtek. 

post #16510 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassboysam View Post
 


but i bet they sound better than the original through your iPod and Apple earbuds....which is how 98% of the population will listen to these new remasters.

 

Actually I also tried it on my HTC One + Narmoo IEMs out of curiosity, and it still sounded worse than the original. That said, it's possible it sounds better on an iPod with the stock earbuds though.

post #16511 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Well I don't know about the 90s remaster, from what I remember it was also bad compared to the original album, which is still my go-to choice for listening to Led Zep to this day. All I can tell you, without going into a song by song review, is that the original definitely sound better to my ears. It's not a matter of clarity over fuzz either, the remaster sounds like it's been through ProTool's effect chain (as a musician myself I have some experience in hearing those effects on remasters/newly produced albums), which definitely creates a veil. It's possible this remaster is better than the 90s remaster, but to my ears, the original is still coming out on top. No part of this remaster sounded better to me, unless you like modern r'n'b rihanna-style boomy bass. Otherwise, Plant's voice is recessed, guitars lost their grit, Jones' bass sounds absolutely terrible (slightly biased bassist opinion there), and drums lost dynamics.


Are you listening to vinyl? One review I saw stated that the original vinyl is the one ring to rule them all, but given digital remasters likes the new one.

post #16512 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post
 


Are you listening to vinyl? One review I saw stated that the original vinyl is the one ring to rule them all, but given digital remasters likes the new one.

 

No strictly digital, as you can see from my sig.

post #16513 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDoe View Post
 

Don't think it sounds good?

 

I had the LD1 for a while and have recently been using an O2/ODAC combo but tubes are calling my name so I'm trying to assemble a Schiit stack: Bifrost + (Lyr, Valhalla, Asgard). 

 

Wanted to know if the Valhalla will play nice with my lower impedance Grados.


Yes it will play fine with Grado's. The new one (version 2) has an added gain switch for low impedance phones that the original didn't have. I heard some RS1i through the original too and they sounded fine even before they added the gain switch.

post #16514 of 18604

Some Kenny Wayne to get 'yall going on a Saturday...

 

http://youtu.be/v0mb0_SUx-A


Edited by swspiers - 6/28/14 at 8:41am
post #16515 of 18604
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

No strictly digital, as you can see from my sig.


Gotchya. When you say original album, what do you mean by that? The original master from the 80s?

 

My source- I'm listening to CDs from an entry level Onkyo 7030 CDP-probably my weak link in the chain. It's decent, but not high end fed through my Rotel RA-12 w/ built in Wolfson DAC which is also decent but not crazy good. I put all my CDs in lossless files and either stream them w/ Sonos or listen to CDs through my dedicated stereo.

 

My only question is, if the original master blows the new one out of the water, why not reissue the original?

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