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 Posted:   Jun 27, 2020 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   Moonlit   (Member)

The vinyl is "warmer," and the CD has better "fidelity." That I think I get. But can the original "redbook" CD be improved, or is that more a matter of the original source being poorly recorded and hence the remastering improving it? The higher bit rate in other formats hasn't proven to be better than the CD that I'm aware of.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2020 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

More accurately- vinyl is more 'pleasingly distorted' than a CD's so-called 'fidelity'.

Neither medium is any better then it's source material.

A performance recorded with tag-sale Radio Shack cassette recorder microphones and placed on CD will sound terrible.
That same performance recorded with the latest microphones at 192k/32-bit floating point DACs and placed on even the most ambivilently mastered vinyl will sound waaaaay better.


(although the vinyl will introduce one more generation of distortion as CD reproduction will still more accurately reproduce whatever the final recording was- that is to say the CD still has more potential frequency and dynamic range than the vinyl (provided the recording initially captured it)).

CDs are meant to mimic the frequency and dynamic range of the human ear, but it falls short (artistically and technically). Vinyl falls shorter, though it's imperfections tend mimic the limitations of human hearing.

In the end, it's down to the creators to decide what kind and how many imperfections & distortions they can allow in their reproductions.

 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 5:40 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

The quality of the original recording and mixing, together with the speakers or headphones, are far more important than the choice of playback medium.

Remastering has been prone to going through "fads" which sound bad a few years on. The worst example of this was the boosting of levels so much that you get waveform clipping - the so-called Loudness Wars.

Some of the early audio clean-up software was very primitive and distorted sound badly, introducing phasing and modulation effects. An example of this was the Cathy Demos (Kate Bush's childhood recordings). I even have one professionally-produced CD from the 90s where this happened.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Be very wary of the term "remastered" on a CD. That can mean a lot of different things.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Be very wary of the term "remastered" on a CD. That can mean a lot of different things.

Well some superstar bands have had the same album released 4-5 times, some with extra tracks ect. & each release sounds different, remixed/remastered to the style of the day, usually loud & punchy these days, so it sounds good with earbuds. Some Beatles albums are on their third release (Pepper, White Album & Abbey Road). Usually fans have their favourite release, maybe the second release out of five. A few years ago I was reading some good things on Amazon about a German Steely Dan compilation called Collected (three CDs), & how much better they sounded than the other releases. It had been deleted, but I managed to buy one, & I was really impressed. Probably a punchy mix for the ipod generation, but it sounds great to me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Be very wary of the term "remastered" on a CD. That can mean a lot of different things.

Well some superstar bands have had the same album released 4-5 times, some with extra tracks ect. & each release sounds different, remixed/remastered to the style of the day, usually loud & punchy these days, so it sounds good with earbuds. Some Beatles albums are on their third release (Pepper, White Album & Abbey Road). Usually fans have their favourite release, maybe the second release out of five. A few years ago I was reading some good things on Amazon about a German Steely Dan compilation called Collected (three CDs), & how much better they sounded than the other releases. It had been deleted, but I managed to buy one, & I was really impressed. Probably a punchy mix for the ipod generation, but it sounds great to me.


"Remastering" can mean everything from going back to the original tapes and doing a new digital transfer, to taking the most recent digital remaster and mildly tweaking the levels. It is a very misleading term, perhaps deliberately so.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Back in the old days (during the times when a record company realized they could sell you the same thing several times), I would instantly snap up practically everything that had the word "remastered" on it.

Then I began to self-educate about how much of remastering is actual tampering.
Ultimately, it lead to the very sad state of trying to find all the original issues of CD's that I stupidly sold off.
Ugh, I was such an idiot.
Early editions, even those that were clearly made from LP production masters rather than the authentic 2-track masters (and therefore may not necessarily have optimum SQ), tend to be the least futzed-with and are now almost always preferable to anything that came since.

It's a hard lesson that good remastering is an art, and that generally the people who do it nowadays practice that art without being artists.
Clipping, extreme compression, excessive NR and/or EQ--they are all WAY overused with impunity and complete disregard for original dynamics.

I think it's a good idea to approach remasters with caution and healthy skepticism.

 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2020 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

CD's often sound dryer than the vinyl because the audio engineers try to purify the tracks, removing the original ambient sound - noise and all. It is impossible to remove inherent noise without SOME loss of ambience. The question is how much is too much.

 
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