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In general, most new remasters are crap.
That said, they need to be judged on a case by case basis. I have written about this many, many times. Do a search for mastering engineers I recommend to help you pick out the good ones from the bad ones.
Also...FWIW...all the eq in the world will not remove that nasty distortion caused by brickwalling.....
For Black Sabbath there is the original CD versions which came out between 1986-1990.
There was 1996 remasters. Then a 2004 Black Box considered the overly loud versions.
Then a 2009/2010 remasters in Europe which are actually quieter than the original CDs from the late 80's.
Some have great sonic improvements.
Black Sabbath,Paranoid,Master Of Reality,Heaven & Hell,Mob Rules have been released in deluxe editions like this
Born Again,Seventh Star,and Eternal Idol also have gotten Deluxe Editions
Vol 4,Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,Sabotage,Technical Ecstasy,and Never Say Die are just in Digipacks like this
As for remasters in general depends on the band/albums some are good some are bad. Some have like 5 versions.
People do not want to hear this, but you need to go on a release by release basis - there is no way you can tell with anything other than ears.
You cannot even judge by who is doing the remastering. For example, the MFSL versions of the R.E.M. albums are worthless, whoever did them has no idea what R.E.M. is supposed to sound like. They may be "better" by all the usual criteria, "clearer" "uncompressed" and so forth, but the end result is simply wrong.
Another interesting case to examine is Derek and the Dominos. The original mix by Tom Dowd has a "wall of sound" approach that creates a unique sound. Someone took the original tapes and remixed them (IIRC released as "The Layla Sessions"), so that each instrument is clearly heard, and the result does not sound like the Dominos at all, it sounds exactly like the Allman Brothers. Comparing the two mixes show you what Dowd did, and some of how he did it.
A big problem with remasterings is that they are modern, played back on modern equipment, so there is more bass and more treble. What this does is destroy the original mix that was created in the original mixing studio, because now the cymbals, kick drum and bass guitar are all louder than they were in the original mix.
PS "Digital mastering" is marketing talk, all CDSs are digitally mastered.
I don't have very good experiences with remasters.
The 2009 Beatles remasters are pretty good though.
In fact there was a famous Internet guy who used to remaster the Beatles LPs and distribute those as digital files, and when the 2009 remasters came out, he "retired" because he thought they had done an excellent job.
Nope.....his retirement was forced because he was contacted by some attorney's.....he was just classy enough to say something nice about the new remasters.
IMHO, the 2009 Beatles remasters are ok....certainly nothing close to what we should have received.
Still better than any of the doctor's needle drops and the 1987 cds.
Ultra Rare Trax are still my favourite, the 2009 masters a close second.
I prefer the original CD release on The Beatles catalog. The mono box sounds great but the stereo remasters are a little compressed. The originals are just straight transferes off the masters. That's what I want. No monkeying.
This it's a very good remastered album (there is hope at least :)):
Don't even try the Amazon MP3 sound but on real CD it's better than the original xd
I think Steve Hoffman once said that The White Album, Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper's Stereo Master Tapes sound exactly like the original CD's. Abbey Road Master Tape sounds exactly like the Black Triangle.
This isn't to say they don't need work...but at least you are getting unfutzed with copies.
In 90% of cases, most remasters are terrible. I hate how they compensate for actual audio quality by compressing the hell out of the original waveforms. I always check the mastering engineer/houses who work on the albums and there are very few I trust to do a good job. John Dent is probably my favourite mastering engineer.
I suspect that most of the time the first CD release of a legacy title is pretty much a straight transfer off the master, and subsequent remasters involve noise reduction filtering, compression and sweetening. If you like all those bells and whistles and prefer your music to sound compressed and loud, the remasters are better. If all you want is the album the way it originally sounded, the first release is best.