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Original vs. Remastered Albums?

Discussion in 'Music' started by alexandermkd, Feb 10, 2012.
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  1. AlexanderMKD
    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. 
  2. LFF
    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.....
    AlexanderMKD likes this.
  3. mibutenma
    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.
    AlexanderMKD and cmarti like this.
  4. AlexanderMKD
    Thanks for the replays.
    One "newbie" question? What is Digital Mastering (Digitally Mastered)?
    I DL'ed the Black Sabbaths official live albums and there are 3 editions for some albums. I will take for example the 2nd album, Live Evil.
    1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ]
    1982 Live Evil ( 1996 ) [ UK ESM CD 333 Castle ]
    1982 Live Evil ( 2010 ) [ Germany 2733929 Sanctuary ]
    The 1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ] on the CD scan it writes Digitally Remastered and its the best sound compared with other 2 editions
    The 1982 Live Evil ( 1996 ) [ UK ESM CD 333 Castle ] is castle remaster edition and it is louder and lacks clarity.
    The 1982 Live Evil ( 2010 ) [ Germany 2733929 Sanctuary ] is Deluxe Edition and at times it sounds like studio recording.
    * back cover from 1982 Live Evil ( 1989 ) [ Germany 826 881-2 Vertigo ]
    So i guess the first edition (Digitally Mastered) actualy is original recording?
  5. kstuart
    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.
    AlexanderMKD likes this.
  6. MorbidToaster
    As said by a few others it's really case by case to my ears.
    The new Smashing Pumpkins remasters sounds great to my ears, but I've heard some bad ones, too.
    AlexanderMKD likes this.
  7. Mactire
    I don't have very good experiences with remasters.
    Years ago when I started collecting music I bought all the Dire Straits albums, all remasters since the old ones aren't available anymore.
    So I returned the albums I borrowed from my parents, original copies.
    after while I had the feeling that the albums weren't the same. 
    As it turned out, they aren't.
    I ran a track by track comparisson and found that the remasters may sound 'crisper' at first but lacked the dynamics the originals had.
    It was my first encounter with bad mastering.
    Now I'm slowley replacing the remters with second hand copies. It's quite the search but worth the efford.
    Now I'm carefull with remasters and first look them op on the internet.
    I'm sure this doesn't apply to all the remasters, but it left me suspicious.
    AlexanderMKD and Sattelight like this.
  8. kstuart
    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.
    AlexanderMKD likes this.
  9. LFF


    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.
  10. pcf


    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.
  11. bigshot
    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.
  12. Remior
  13. LFF


    X 2!
    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.
  14. puzl
    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.
  15. bigshot
    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.
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