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Best audiophile metal and rock albums

Discussion in 'Music' started by headlover, Jun 17, 2008.
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  1. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Will have to take your word for it. I've only heard the Black Box version a couple of times, but from my memory, it crushed the Castle remaster I have. You could actually crank it up, and there wasn't all the horrible static and crackles I get with mine.



    Hmmm, perhaps you could say what year the disc was pressed and the catalogue number on the spine, and I could see if it is a 1986, 1996, 2001, or some other odd Castle remaster...
     
  2. PWilson
    At work, so a quick google says it's the 1996 Castle Remaster, which seems consistent with when I bought it. The main track that I use as a reference (more because it's possibly my favourite Sabbath track, and because the flaws are most apparent) is Faeries Wear Boots. After the intro, one would expect the level to increase for the song itself (especially as the opening chords of the main song sound like it's meant to be a bombastic opening). Not so on my copy. Overall loudness stays the same, making the opening much less emotional/impactful. I noticed all of this looong before having heard of audicity or anything like that, so I don't know whether it's compression or simply bad mastering (or the artists' choice).
    Also, this is one of the first songs I've heard that made me check that I hadn't blown my earphones (and I believe this was way back when I was playing it out of a walkman, but also on a CD player), as the crackling and distortion was significant. It's been a while since I've given it a good play (a number of years), so I should again to figure out for myself what was wrong, now that I know better. But definitely, long before I knew what I know about CD quality, I was very disappointed with the disc I have.

    Oh, also, I recall reading online that the Black Box remasters used a different copy of the master tapes than the Castle ones did, hence a lot less noise. No idea about the EQ though, but I don't like the sounds of what you're saying [​IMG]
     
  3. japc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    No idea about the EQ though, but I don't like the sounds of what you're saying [​IMG]



    Ignore him! It's safer for your wallet. Do the la la la [​IMG]
     
  4. chadbang
    I've just listened to it. This recording will excite the most jaded audiophile and die-hard rock fan.


    Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I (1991) (MFSL UDCD-711)
     
  5. PWilson
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by japc /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Ignore him! It's safer for your wallet. Do the la la la [​IMG]



    Hahah. Maybe it's not... I've been seriously contemplating the Black Box so I could get definitive versions of everything (esp as I only own Sabbath and Paranoid /shame). Not buying the BB means casually picking out better versions as time/funds allow.
     
  6. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    At work, so a quick google says it's the 1996 Castle Remaster, which seems consistent with when I bought it. The main track that I use as a reference (more because it's possibly my favourite Sabbath track, and because the flaws are most apparent) is Faeries Wear Boots. After the intro, one would expect the level to increase for the song itself (especially as the opening chords of the main song sound like it's meant to be a bombastic opening). Not so on my copy. Overall loudness stays the same, making the opening much less emotional/impactful. I noticed all of this looong before having heard of audicity or anything like that, so I don't know whether it's compression or simply bad mastering (or the artists' choice).
    Also, this is one of the first songs I've heard that made me check that I hadn't blown my earphones (and I believe this was way back when I was playing it out of a walkman, but also on a CD player), as the crackling and distortion was significant. It's been a while since I've given it a good play (a number of years), so I should again to figure out for myself what was wrong, now that I know better. But definitely, long before I knew what I know about CD quality, I was very disappointed with the disc I have.

    Oh, also, I recall reading online that the Black Box remasters used a different copy of the master tapes than the Castle ones did, hence a lot less noise. No idea about the EQ though, but I don't like the sounds of what you're saying [​IMG]




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Hahah. Maybe it's not... I've been seriously contemplating the Black Box so I could get definitive versions of everything (esp as I only own Sabbath and Paranoid /shame). Not buying the BB means casually picking out better versions as time/funds allow.



    I just went though and listened to two versions of Paranoid: a wonderfully done needledrop of the 1st US pressing LP and the 1st Japanese pressing (33PD-353) CD, and I heard nothing that you mention in the way of crackling and distortion. I mean, sure, I heard the limitations of the recording and equipment used, but it sounded great nonetheless. Both of the versions I mentioned are regarded as among the absolute best versions of their respective format for that album. The 1996 Castle remaster is regarded as a rather mediocre version, but even then, I have not heard of the distortion you are talking about with that remaster.

    By the way, the crescendo that you wanted to happen in Fairies Wear Boots is not going to happen on really any version. It does get louder, but not 1812 Overture louder. It is the recording and neither of the versions that I mentioned have an awesome dynamic on that part either.

    I would strongly urge you to NOT buy the Black Box, as all albums in it have a "V" shaped mixing. It is compressed, and the dynamics are squished. I heard it used the master tapes, but if the mixing sucks, using the masters does not really matter.

    Here is my advice. You can do it two ways:

    1. Go the easy route. Go on ebay, and buy all the Sabbath albums you want that are the 1988 US Warner releases. Generally regarded as good to great (the best as far as Sabbotage is concerned), but not THE best for any albums. Easy to find and very cheap.

    2. Go the harder but reference route. Get your hands on my previous recommendations:

    S/T: Japanese Twofer (33PD-353) or 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
    Paranoid: Japanese Twofer (33PD-353) or 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
    MOR: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
    Vol. 4: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
    SBS: 1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle
    Sabbotage: 1988 US Warner (1986 CLACD/NELCD Castle has some tape issues on two tracks: "Symptom..." and "Megalomania")

    I will state the obvious: there is a 33PD-353 on ebay right now if you want to bid on it. I am as well, and I expect it to go for a lot more than most are willing to pay, so I will see how it goes...
     
  7. Kui4ever
    Metallica - The Black Album
     
  8. PWilson
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I just went though and listened to two versions of Paranoid: a wonderfully done needledrop of the 1st US pressing LP and the 1st Japanese pressing (33PD-353) CD, and I heard nothing that you mention in the way of crackling and distortion. I mean, sure, I heard the limitations of the recording and equipment used, but it sounded great nonetheless. Both of the versions I mentioned are regarded as among the absolute best versions of their respective format for that album. The 1996 Castle remaster is regarded as a rather mediocre version, but even then, I have not heard of the distortion you are talking about with that remaster.



    I have to admit that I really have neglected listening to this song in any way critically (ie, apart from just having it in the background on speakers) for quite a few years. I just went back and checked it out, and the distortion is different to how I remember it. Of course, now I have equipment that makes it easier to distinguish what's going on, both in the signal and in the noise.

    Anyway, I ripped the track and had a listen again. There's a constant distortion in the left channel, most noticable during the intro, but still present throughout. I then loaded it up in Audacity and was confronted with this abomination:
    http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s...p0/Faeries.jpg
    Left channel has once side of the waveform sliced off O_O. I played the song straight from the disc to confirm, but the distortion was the same.
    I'm not quite sure how this happens. Is it possible to get a bad pressing that does this, or is this representative of the entire Castle Paranoid release? It's a '94 release, btw, according to the inner sleeve. I fired up a bunch of other songs on the disc, and they're all the same.

    Anyway, I'll take your advice on board and stay clear of the Black Box set. And apart from the left channel distortion, the Castle disc was quite good everywhere else. It's a shame about the intro/song transition; every time I listen, I brace myself for a big windup [​IMG]. Don't think I'm up for buying expensive versions just yet, so I'll slowly collect the best of the rest [​IMG].
     
  9. japc
  10. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I have to admit that I really have neglected listening to this song in any way critically (ie, apart from just having it in the background on speakers) for quite a few years. I just went back and checked it out, and the distortion is different to how I remember it. Of course, now I have equipment that makes it easier to distinguish what's going on, both in the signal and in the noise.

    Anyway, I ripped the track and had a listen again. There's a constant distortion in the left channel, most noticable during the intro, but still present throughout. I then loaded it up in Audacity and was confronted with this abomination:
    http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s...p0/Faeries.jpg
    Left channel has once side of the waveform sliced off O_O. I played the song straight from the disc to confirm, but the distortion was the same.
    I'm not quite sure how this happens. Is it possible to get a bad pressing that does this, or is this representative of the entire Castle Paranoid release? It's a '94 release, btw, according to the inner sleeve. I fired up a bunch of other songs on the disc, and they're all the same.

    Anyway, I'll take your advice on board and stay clear of the Black Box set. And apart from the left channel distortion, the Castle disc was quite good everywhere else. It's a shame about the intro/song transition; every time I listen, I brace myself for a big windup [​IMG]. Don't think I'm up for buying expensive versions just yet, so I'll slowly collect the best of the rest [​IMG].




    I have no idea what the heck that is. I have never seen that before in my life. The 1994 date is also an oddity, as I am pretty sure it does not use the 1986 mastering. I bet if you find the time to post a picture of the disc, I could find out what you have, because it is not one of the usual suspects from what you say.

    Oh, one thing I neglected to say before. The 1986 pressings have pre-emphasis, so it will make things more complex if you want to play from a computer/mp3 player, but de-emphasizing can be done via software. In light of this, and based on what you said, I would definitely go the inexpensive 1988 US Warner masters that are easy to find. Then, if you get the itch, you can go hunting...
     
  11. milkweg
    Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
    Lou Reed - Transformer
     
  12. borizm
    Quote:
    Primus [1993] Pork Soda is an adiophile CD for sure, but Primus [1999] Antipop and other Primus CD's aren't so pure, clear any more.
    Considering Tool, IMHO only [2006] 10,000 Days is woth audiophile recomendation, [1996] AEnima contains the best compositions but has too many glaring flaws in quality, [2001] Lateralus is a little better but quality is not steady.
     
     
     
     
  13. bcasey25raptor
    Tools lateralus.
     
  14. staxxx
    Hibria - Defying the Rules (great)
    X Japan - Blue Blood (great)
    Angra - Temple of Shadows (a bit loud)
    Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness (raw)
    Opeth - Blackwater Park (nice production)
    Sigh - Gallows Gallery (1st release, not remaster)
    Wintersun - Wintersun (a bit overproduced)

    Some random stuff, they're produced well especially X Japan and Hibria. There's tons of well produced metal, but I can't remember them of the top of my head.
     
  15. bcasey25raptor


    Quote:

    Wintersun sounds amazing on good equipment.
     
     
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