Hendrix CDs?

Just what the name says.
User avatar
lukpac
Top Dog and Sellout
Posts: 4589
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Hendrix CDs?

Postby lukpac » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:10 pm

Anyone here consider themselves an expert on these? All I've got for the original releases are the 1993 discs, including (the sometimes dreadful*) "Ultimate Experience". I've heard a number of times that the albums (mastered by Joe Gastwirt) had noise reduction, but I'm listening to them now, and I guess I don't hear it. The Axis tracks seem to match up fairly well with the ones on Ultimate Experience (which wasn't done by Gastwirt), and there's clearly hiss in places.

A few years back I compared the EH version of Electric Ladyland to the 1993 one, and I could have sworn there was less hiss on the 1993 disc, but again, that was a few years ago. How do the EH versions compare? Or the Reprise discs?

I also recall a dispute where Gastwirt claimed he used the masters (and made note of the splices between the tracks) while the EH camp basically said he was full of it.

* I'm amazed at how bad some tracks sound on "Ultimate Experience", notably the AYE tracks. Those are all sped up and some (Purple Haze, Fire) sound *really* bad. A UK tape of some sort (it was mastered in London)?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

User avatar
MK
Posts: 946
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:24 pm
Location: North America

Postby MK » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:52 am

I have both the Gastwirt mastered AYE? and the current Hendrix Family-authorized remaster done by George Marino with Eddie Kramer supervising. I also have the Hendrix Family-authorized remasters of Electric Ladyland and Axis: Bold As Love.

I have never done a comparison of the two AYE?'s but I'll do that either tonight or Sunday night and see what I find.

Rolling Stone posted an article a long time ago about the current remasters. Kramer was heavily involved with the reissue project and said he found the original tapes. He made the claim that at least some of these tapes would be used for the first time ever on CD. Gastwirt was questioned and he said that he didn't want to start anything, but the tapes he used for the 1993 MCA reissues had splices and it's unlikely a dub would have splices. Kramer fired back that "he was there" - isn't that a popular comeback line in the reissue business? - and therefore he would know. Kramer also added that the tapes he used had no splices. So for those who remember proofs in high school math, if Kramer has the original tapes and they have no splices, then any tape with splices can't possibly be the original. But, that's if Kramer actually does have the original 2-track masters, as advertised on the reissues.

It's been said that the original Reprise CD of AYE? used the original master tapes but was mastered poorly with really bad EQ. I think the original Reprise CD uses the American track sequence, and I heard it once about ten years ago before I actually knew anything about Hendrix. In other words, I couldn't tell you if it's any good, but the only thing going for it seems to be the use of the original tape.

User avatar
Xenu
Sellout
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:15 pm

Postby Xenu » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:14 pm

What's this HDCD edition of The Ultimate Experience that sh.tv crowd on about?
-------------
"Fuckin' Koreans" - Reno 911

User avatar
krabapple
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 4:19 pm

Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:19 pm

The Kramer-supervised ones sound hot as hell. And there's certainly plenty of hiss. I wonder how much digital buzzcut there is during the loud parts....

Again, my recollection is that Gastwirt has done some of the Hendrix's *twice*, teh second time with less heavy-handed NR. I suppose the 1993s could be that second round.
"I recommend that you delete the Rancid Snakepit" - Grant

User avatar
Crummy Old Label Avatar
Posts: 1226
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:55 pm
Location: Out of my fucking mind

Postby Crummy Old Label Avatar » Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:36 pm

Those MCA reissues of AYE, Axis, and Electric Ladyland with the hideous altered cover art from the early 90's (I forget the exact year they came out, and they didn't stick around long) -- those are the ones to get.
If you love Hi-REZ TAPE HISS, you're REALLY going to love Stereo Central

Ess Ay Cee Dee
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Ess Ay Cee Dee » Fri Oct 15, 2004 4:10 pm

nt
Last edited by Ess Ay Cee Dee on Sun May 01, 2005 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Rspaight
Posts: 4384
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2003 10:48 am
Location: The Reality-Based Community
Contact:

Postby Rspaight » Fri Oct 15, 2004 4:34 pm

I am again Master of Old CDs. I've got the old Reprise Essential Jimi Hendrix 2-CD set. It proudly touts its use of No-Noise in the liners. Everything else I've got is EH. I haven't compared the two, but I'll do that as I have time and post back (with an mp3 compare if I *really* have some time).

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

John Buchanan
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:50 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby John Buchanan » Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:47 pm

The Hendrix CDs have been mastered in the US several times.
AYE, Axis and ELL have been mastered 4 times.
1. Non-original master source (i.e. copy of the master) Possibly done by Lee Herschberg.
2. NoNoised version of 1. Joe Gastwirt, I think. RE-1 in dead wax.
3. MCA versions with ersatz album art and better tapes and less NoNoise. Done by Joe Gastwirt RE-2 in dead wax.
4. EH versions with digital maximisation, but better tapes, and minimal NoNoise. Done by Eddie Kramer.
I would say that version 3 would be the ones to get - I don't have these any more, however and am quite happy with the EH. Don't look at the waveforms, however! Apparently the Non-US AYE (with the Track type booklet) has the original mono Red House, rather than the version recorded later in stereo and included on the US Smash Hits album. I prefer the stereo version personally. The mono version is available on the Blues CD anyway.
Band of Gypsys was done twice in the US (and if anyone is interested in a more detailed comparison of this album, email me). The first 25th Anniversary edition was mastered using a copy of the master tape and sounds very slightly phasey with a little bass distortion. The EH version uses the original master and changes Bill Graham's intro to a drop in rather than a fade up. Some soft crackling noises have been introduced also, but overall it sounds better and the booklet is way better.
John Buchanan

Kjoerup
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 9:33 am

Postby Kjoerup » Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:53 pm

Am I wrong, or are there two different 1993 masterings -- the ugly cover MCAs and then whatever replaced them? I thought the EH ones came along much later. I could be wrong about all of this.

So, Luke, are you talking about the ugly MCAs in your post? I'm confused.

Ess Ay Cee Dee
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Ess Ay Cee Dee » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:06 pm

nt
Last edited by Ess Ay Cee Dee on Sun May 01, 2005 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MK
Posts: 946
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:24 pm
Location: North America

Postby MK » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:25 pm

I've only done a very brief comparison between the 1993 Gastwirt remaster and the 1997 estate-authorized Marino/Kramer remaster. I ripped “Wind Cries Mary” and “Hey Joe.” The 1997 disc needed to be adjusted to 60% of its original volume to match the 1993 disc. Listening to the quiet parts of “Wind Cries Mary,” and straining to hear the hiss behind Mitchell’s brushwork, I’m having a tough time hearing any NoNoise - or comparatively more NoNoise, if it has been used on both - on the Gastwirt CD. The 1997 disc seems a bit more detailed and sharper, the Gastwirt CD more fuller on the bottom on “Hey Joe”, but the Gastwirt CD doesn’t strike me as being boosted on the bass, and the 1997 disc doesn’t feel like the treble’s been spiked very hard if it has been spiked. The 1997 disc doesn’t sound squished or compressed even though it was mastered at a louder volume, but I’ve been listening to a lot of music all day, so my ears may not be that sensitive at the moment.

User avatar
lukpac
Top Dog and Sellout
Posts: 4589
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Postby lukpac » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:33 pm

Ess Ay Cee Dee wrote:My question is: If Kramer really did use the "original" tapes for the EH series, then why is "Stone Free" still in that horrible fake stereo? This was a single B-side--therefore, the "original" tape is clean mono. He apparently just grabbed the master that was used for the old "Smash Hits" LP. (I have the old mid-80's W. German Polydor "Smash Hits" CD with "Stone Free" on it. Unfortunately, though the track is mono, the opening notes are clipped off. :roll: )


Yeah, that doesn't make much sense. I was going to say maybe it's just one of those "it's on the LP tape that way", but Stone Free was never issued on AYE. So...yeah. Pretty dumb.

On a related note, why do both the '93 (MCA) and '97 (EH) remasters of AYE have the alternate "Smash Hits" take of "Red House"? If they were trying to accurately replicate the original UK version, they should have used the version that was actually on the original UK LP. (I know it's been released elsewhere, but still...)


Yeah, I've always wondered that myself. I prefer the Smash Hits version, but still...
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

User avatar
lukpac
Top Dog and Sellout
Posts: 4589
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Postby lukpac » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:42 pm

John Buchanan wrote:AYE, Axis and ELL have been mastered 4 times.
1. Non-original master source (i.e. copy of the master) Possibly done by Lee Herschberg.


As I'm too lazy to look, hasn't Hoffman said some early Reprise CD of AYE is the "one to get"?

3. MCA versions with ersatz album art and better tapes and less NoNoise. Done by Joe Gastwirt RE-2 in dead wax.
4. EH versions with digital maximisation, but better tapes, and minimal NoNoise. Done by Eddie Kramer.


No RE-2 on the 1993 CDs, as they are MCA, not WEA.

You say "minimal NoNoise" on the EH versions. Is there *any*? I hadn't thought so. And I guess it's still up in the air about the 1993 CDs.

And what of the Polydor CDs?

Apparently the Non-US AYE (with the Track type booklet) has the original mono Red House, rather than the version recorded later in stereo and included on the US Smash Hits album.


According to the notes in the 1993 AYE booklet, both takes are from the same day (12/13/66). The UK version has never shown up in stereo, has it? I wonder why not.

And, yes, when I say "1993 CDs" I mean the alt cover/remastered by Joe Gastwirt/supervised by Alan Douglas CDs. Do *yours* still have the stamps :roll:
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

Ess Ay Cee Dee
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Ess Ay Cee Dee » Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:46 pm

nt
Last edited by Ess Ay Cee Dee on Sun May 01, 2005 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
lukpac
Top Dog and Sellout
Posts: 4589
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Postby lukpac » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:09 pm

Ess Ay Cee Dee wrote:That's a mystery. Apparently, the original Track issue of AYE was mono-only and all the tracks were remixed into stereo for the Reprise LP. So true stereo mixes were done for all of the UK AYE tracks save "Red House," along with all 3 of the single A-sides. Why "Stone Free," "51st Anniversary", "Highway Chile" and the UK version of "Red House" were not remixed, I have no idea.


Why weren't they mixed to stereo? Because they weren't released on the US LP. The 3 A-sides were. The B-sides weren't released in the US till later, at which point I guess nobody bothered to go back and remix. Although it isn't clear why the "alt" Red House on Smash Hits is stereo, while Stone Free isn't.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD