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Original vs. Remastered Albums? - Page 5

post #61 of 155

Why did the label "AAD" "ADD" and "DDD" die out.


Back in the day this help sort the wheat from the chaff, no one seems to use it anymore.


Does anyone know was it part of the red book standard or was it marketing?

post #62 of 155
I think they dropped it because most everything is either ADD or DDD today.
post #63 of 155

Also, I'm sure the number of people who know what that stuff means (even with the helpful explanation a few albums I have give in the booklet) is so small that they don't even bother anymore because it would just clutter up the case copy. They've dropped the prominent Compact Disk logo these days as well (which I'm happy about because they usually put it right over the artwork).


Does anybody have a disc from the era when they used to put something like this on the label (I'm paraphrasing here):


The material on this program has been digitally remastered from analog media, and because of the high resolution of the compact disc format, limitations of the source format may be exposed.


I always smile a little when I read that, since I'm sure it drives subjectivist audiophiles/vinyl junkies up the wall every time they see it. High resolution?! Hah! Digital sounds cold and brittle and 16/44 isn't enough to render all the musical content!

post #64 of 155

I was worried ive gone crazy. I recently got a hold on several remastered (201X, all of them) albums that were originally AAD or ADD and I was shocked to find out that they sounded nothing like the original ones. For example: Inxs - Kick Remastered 2011 (this one was not bad at all actually), Bob Marley - Legend, Marvin Gaye (not sure which album) and I believe there was one Pink Floyd album as well.

They sounded very thin and as if all the instruments vocals were unrealistically placed.. sounded like convoluted garbage. I just got the 2011 remaster of Made in Heaven (Queen). I have never really liked Queen to be fairly honest, but I really like "You dont fool me" so I wanted to have this album as well.

I was shocked to discover that this song sounded NOTHING... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like I remember it. My K701s are acutely precise when it comes to imaging and instrument/vocal placement.. and I was really stunned to hear it like this. 

I thought that it might have to do with the fact that I have never heard this song on headphones, but I will definitely get the old version of the album, to make sure. 

Honestly, the song sounded so unnatural, that I am almost sure it has to be the remaster that's the problem. The rest of the songs had piercing treble and were unbearable to listen to. This happened with most of the other remasters. 

My question is, what is the point of ... (putting it straight forward) destroying albums like that? I am yet to uncover an album which bears that note "Remastered, 201X" and sounds good. Who is actually remastering and releasing these albums? Is it the initial producer of the original ones?

post #65 of 155
Originally Posted by mikiphile View Post

Who is actually remastering and releasing these albums? Is it the initial producer of the original ones?


Often engineers who work for the record label produce the remasters. The original producers aren't usually involved.

post #66 of 155

I for one am sick and tired of producers getting their hands on original masters and then turning them into their own personal wet dream of how they "should" sound.  They "should" sound the way they sounded the million plus times I listened to them before they became new & improved.  The end result is that it sounds like a cover band playing the songs - not something I am willing to pay money for.  Out of the last six CD's I purchased on Amazon, I had to send 4 back because they were remastered crap!  I guess I'll have to do my shopping in audiophile stores from now on.  Tell them to STOP IT!!!!!!

post #67 of 155

Living near a large city,I have some ability to check out used music stores for older releases.I've stopped buying new releases or re-mastered recordings for the most part,unless I know it's a good master.

I do find myself listening to other genres like jazz and prog rock to get away from poorly mastered recordings.

post #68 of 155

I tend to prefer originals most of the time. Especially when it comes to the older punk albums. There is just something off about Johnny Rotten being remastered. It sort of takes away from the magic of it all. Of course, some albums that were lacking to begin with might end up better with a little extra work.

post #69 of 155

Remastered versions are mostly dynamic compressed, but some of them [deluxe version] come with bonus tracks, Releases from MFSL, Audio Fidelity, APO should also be considered as remastered version, and they mostly betters original version. Price is also a factor, so I'm open to remastered versions. Dynamic compression isn't always bad for rock/pop music, just over-compression is bad.

post #70 of 155

I think the poor quality of cd's in general and remasters in particular is why a lot of people are going back to the original vinyl records and a good turntable/cartridge setup.

post #71 of 155

Some remasters are much better than the originals. I had vinyl and even half speed mastered versions of ELO's Discovery and Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, and the European box sets which cost just a couple of bucks a disk sound MUCH better than even the best vinyl pressing.


It all depends. Usually recordings that were crappy in the first place are crappy on CD too. Perhaps more crappy, because they try to "fix" them in mastering. Really good recordings tend to sound even better on CD.

post #72 of 155

I have a few remastered cds that sound fantastic.

post #73 of 155
Hello everyone. What an excellent thread!

I have long been curious by this loudness war thing as well. For me it began when I bought the Iron Maiden remasters and "Somewhere in Time" sounded absolutely atrocious to me. So here I am gobbling up CD masters that sound decent. My thoughts:

1). Very few remasters are worthwhile. Some exceptions: I like the Dire Straits 1990s remasters, the Rush 1990s remasters, and the early 1990s Led Zeppelin remasters.

2). I like some of the Steely Dan remasters, and Aja sounds fine to me. The DVD-A of Gaucho is also very good.

3). The online dynamic range database is helpful, but sometimes misleading. Dynamic range isn't everything, but it does help.

4). Steve Wilson is not a god. His King Crimson remixes are interesting but sometimes the person(s) responsible for mastering mess it up. For example, to me the original of Poseidon and Islands sound better than his new versions. I like his stance on loudness war issues, but his back catalog betrays what he says (like 2005's "Deadwing", which sounds awful).

4). Careful googling helps. but ultimately one can't say all remasters are bad. There are just too many variables (equipment, tastes and preferences, etc.).

5). I theorize that as equipment improves technologically, and as equipment prices decline, people will want "hi-fi" music again, and the pendulum will swing back. We're already seeing this with the resurgence of vinyl sales. The CD is a fantastic medium for audio fidelity.

Anyway, great topic!
post #74 of 155


What do you think which ones are better, original recordings or remastered editions of music albums? I'm not a professional but many times a remaster sounded much better than original for my ears for example clearer and softer sound, but also many times a remaster sounded worse than original with too much loudness . So what's your opinion?
What do you think about deep purples remasters, first three albums remastered in 2000 and other eight Anniversary Editions? They sound better to me than originals.
What about black sabbath... the first 8 albums with ozzy from 2004 black box remasters sound much clearer but they are a bit loud, also the 2008 remasters of Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules sound very rough and there is too much loudness.
What about Dire Straits, 1996 remasters? They are a bit louder but i like the clearer sound and the crisp treble.
I always use a equalizer when listening to music 2 equalizers exactly, one from Windows Media Player and one from pc's onboard Realtek sound card.
I use "Deluxe DLS 2118" 2.1 speakers 2 x 12.5w 4 OHM speakers and 40w 8 OHM subwoofer. It's not a professional equipment but still can hear the difference. 
I prefer originals.
I have heard that the 2009 Beatles remasters did not really add anything that the 1987 discs have.  As for the Black Sabbath remasters, I have not heard them.  I did buy the Symptom of the Universe compilation CD.  It is a little loud, but not horrible.  As for the Dire Straits albums, luckily my dad has all the original CDs.  I have not heard the newer remasters, but I'd imagine the older ones sound better still.
Some remasters I have heard do sound good, such as the 2011 Pink Floyd remasters.  They are not overly loud and they still have good dynamics. 
Then there are some remasters that just destroy good music such as the 2009 UMG remasters of the Rolling Stones.  They are way too loud and distorted.  The 2002 Abkco remasters got good reviews, but I generally feel the same way about them.  Though they are not as loud as the UMG ones.  I still prefer the 1986 CDs.
I also finally bought Layla by Derek & the Dominos and thought it was too loud.  Same way with Eagles Hotel California.  Ended up trading both of those for original CDs which I felt were much easier on my ears. 
The older discs just have something that the newer ones don't.
As said, CD is a very capable medium when used properly. 

Edited by hogger129 - 8/19/13 at 7:20pm
post #75 of 155
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post

I think the poor quality of cd's in general and remasters in particular is why a lot of people are going back to the original vinyl records and a good turntable/cartridge setup.



Poor quality of CDs in general?  Could you elaborate more on this?  Also, I feel like the interest in vinyl has a lot to do with kids and their fads.  People say it sounds better but listening to some of my dad's records, I have to say CD sounds better to me.

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