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Man I love the record! Currently my favorite Tool record to date
My read is that the band is so meticulous, hence why the album sounds so freakin' amazing otherwise. But someone (not in the band) definitely made a mistake. Digital distortion on palm muted guitars and toms (no doubt happening at specific frequencies) is a mistake to be sure.
Honestly, it personally bothers me more than it otherwise would, because beyond the distortion, the albums sounds so damn good.
No, I can’t recall other albums off the top of my head that sound better via speakers rather than headphones, or vice versa. But it might make for an interesting thread all of its own.
It’s funny that you hear distortion early in Pneuma because I hear it later! I’m definitely not of the same belief that this is intentional. Like thebkt said, this just seems like somebody stuffed up.
Hell it seems like the distortion is even different on different files. It's clear as day to me early on in Pneuma. There could very well be copies out there that don't have any distortion.
I've been getting into Tool lately, and HDtracks is now offering 20% off storewide through 11/30. I have the first 4 Tool albums on CD. There doesn't seem to be a clear consensus about the hi-res versions, but the general opinion on the Steve Hoffman forums seems to be that Lateralus and Undertow are the most improved vs. the original CDs. Has anyone here compared the HDtracks hi-res remasters vs. the original CDs?
You could start here: