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Peter Gabriel - So (2012 CD vs High Res) Staggering Differences

Discussion in 'Music' started by morbidtoaster, Jan 18, 2013.
  1. MorbidToaster
    I just thought I'd share this with you guys here at Head-fi. I've talked about how good the 2012 remaster of PG's 'So' is, but I never realized something about it until today. 
    I bought the box set over the holidays. It comes with CDs, DVDs, LPs, and a 24/48 download of the new master. I've been listening to the 24/48 whenever I'm using digital and LPs whenever possible. 
    So I never thought about it until today but I was starting to wonder if the 24/48 copy was 'better'. Ripped the CDs and this is what I found...
    Big Time (CD 1st, HD 2nd, Show Clipping OFF)
    Big Time (CD 1st, HD 2nd, Show Clipping ON)
    Sledgehammer (CD 1st, HD 2nd, Show Clipping OFF)
    Sledgehammer (CD 1st, HD 2nd, Show Clipping ON)
    I don't really think I need to tell you which one is better. So if you were considering getting this new master of this outstanding album...Do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for the Box Set on sale. I got mine on Amazon for $65 shipped.
    I'll compare any other song on the album if so desired.
    EDIT: Or just buy the 24 bit files from B&W's Society of Sound.
  2. bigshot
    The CD is a different master from the 24 bit in the same box. Swell. I don't want all that crap. i just want a good soundng CD. Why don't they just put out a decent CD?
  3. MorbidToaster

    I kind of agree. Not sure why it's so hard to just do a good CD. Especially when they released 2 CD sets for this crappy master, too. I mainly bought the box for the LPs but I'm still disappointed by this.

    The original CD master is still the crown jewel for this one though, I think.
  4. smcginni
    I'm assuming that the 24bit masters would be the same...


    Anything Peter does anything, Bowers and Wilkins get it first. He's their big "ambassador"
  5. bigshot
    We have to buy overpriced audiophile versions of a 20 year old album just to get a good sounding CD? I'll stick with the copy I bought when it came out.
  6. MorbidToaster
    Yup. The DL code takes you to B&W. I suppose that's the best way to go. It wasn't released there yet when I downloaded it the first time. :wink:
    Yeah, I certainly would. Considering it kicks the crap out of any other master out there. Some of us didn't have the ability to buy it when it came out though. :D
  7. Argyris Contributor
    What did you guys think of the 2003 remaster? That's the only version I have, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I've never thought it sounded too bad (snare drums are a little hot), but that could just be because I've never heard another version.
    Looking at the waveform for the 2003 version of Sledgehammer, it looks quite similar to the HD version pictured above, except that Audacity didn't find any clipping at all when I ran the analyzer. Hmm....
  8. MorbidToaster
    According to their DR ratings they're almost exactly the same (with a very slight edge to the 24/48). So I suppose I'm not surprised. 
    From what I've read the 2002 master was really bad tonally though. I don't find these 'hot' at all. They actually seem slightly boosted in the low end rather than detail monster 'brightness'. 
  9. Argyris Contributor
    I wouldn't call it a detail monster tonality. It's more an upper midrange push that seems to affect snare drums disproportionately but can make the vocals a bit shouty as well. A shouting PG is never a pretty thing. PG1 from that series of remasters is definitely hyped in the treble, though. I don't think it sounds bad, per se, and it seems like they didn't totally brickwall the versions in this series so at least there's some dynamics, but I still wonder what the original versions are like.
    I'm almost tempted to get the original So off Amazon just to see, except that I really don't want to spend $11 on something I already own in a version I'm not exactly unhappy with. I'm already in the midst of replacing all my old classical albums I never kept in their jewel cases and which got ruined, so most of my music purchasing is directed toward that. You'd have to tell me it's a revelatory experience with the original CD master (which it might well be).
    Also, that's the last time I trust Wikipedia. I initially remembered the release being from 2002, but of course they said 2003 so I figured I must have been mistaken and put that instead. Grr. I hate getting these things wrong.

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