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Ongoing Rolling Stones thread

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:03 pm
by Xenu
I guess I'll be posting my observations in here as I go'll make it easier to re-write entire sections as I get to them.

Thus far, I've done a pretty unnecessarily exhaustive comparison of first/ENglands Newest Hitmakers. Here's what it seems to look like thus far:

a) No issue is digitally identical to any other issue, although it's likely the three Japanese CDs are the same (I only have one). In other words, the early German, later German, later Australian, and Japanese discs don't sync (although I have no earthly idea why the Australian one wouldn't). Now, the Japanese disc and the early German are clearly from the same source, and the others from another source...I guess the question is whether there's an extra analog step here, and if so, where.

b) I haven't checked the digital lineage of the old ABKCO against any of the above, but it's lookingly at least partly from a different source. The only tracks I can point out as being audibly inferior to the London discs are "Route 66" (MUCH duller here) and "Carol" (same). Everything else sounds pretty close, I think.

c) There's a noticable EQ difference between the first German London/Japanese and the latter Londons. The first pressing is a little brighter, which I happen to like.

d) The ABKCO SACD's EQ varies wildly, from being really close to the London to...well, not being so close ("Route 66").

e) None of these discs are in true mono, but the worst offender is the ABKCO SACD, of all things. There's some HORRIBLE stereo artifacting going on, including really obvious dropouts and/or poorly-done digital fixes. Hopefully a "real" mono version of this title was made available at some point, but if it has been, I haven't encountered one.

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:13 am
by Andreas
A tiny bit of information:

Two West German London Beggars Banquet CDs turned out to be identical, except for offsets. I compared:

A first pressing (with the old-fashioned black/red London logo, a "digitally remastered" on the one-page front cover, no booklet, and no song titles on the back cover) that looks like this one:

A third or later pressing (no "digitally remastered" banner, 12-page booklet, songs listed on the back cover, new style red/blue London logo).

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:53 am
by Xenu
I think what we might see, Andreas, is that titles that had definite changes between the first and second pressings will be different, but that others will likely be the same (on that note, actually, is someone willing to put up a short clip of "Ruby Tuesday" or something from the "bad" Hot Rocks 1 for comparison purposes? I sold mine long ago).

I think it likely also that the "first batch" of titles will differ digitally between German/Japanese sources, while the "second batch"--More Hot Rocks, that sort of thing--will likely be the same.

Re: Ongoing Rolling Stones thread

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:33 pm
by dudelsack
Xenu wrote:e) None of these discs are in true mono, but the worst offender is the ABKCO SACD, of all things. There's some HORRIBLE stereo artifacting going on, including really obvious dropouts and/or poorly-done digital fixes. Hopefully a "real" mono version of this title was made available at some point, but if it has been, I haven't encountered one.

Not even the original German? I'll have to check mine, it came up on the 'scope as real mono, I had thought.

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:59 pm
by Xenu
12x5: Really, really close thus far. It sounds as if the original ABKCO may be a *bit* duller on the shared tracks, but otherwise, it's a close call. I haven't brought the SACD into the equation yet...that's next.

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:52 am
by lukpac
Aftermath...I believe you said the various German versions you had were identical. Question - is the hiss "blacked" between tracks? I just got a "Digitally Re-Mastered" copy, and it is. However, I remember my old CD-R (apparently of a German copy) and Japanese copy not matching - I *thought* the hiss was blacked on the Japanese but not the CD-R. So that might be a difference.

I'm not exactly sure why I care, but...

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:10 pm
by Xenu

You care deeply.

don't leave me alone, daddy

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:35 am
by Xenu
Most of the shared tracks on 12x5 are pretty similar...the ABKCO is a bit different in places, but again, hard to tell. Susie Q has vastly different EQ on the SACD.

Onto "Now:" as I've suspected forever, the Shame/Down the Road Apiece sounds markedly better on the old ABKCO than on the old London. It's for an odd reason, though: the London simply has no frequencies above around 15kHz (much the same problem afflicts the No. 2 version of "Down Home Girl," making me wonder if these are all sourced from the same digital tranfers). Everything else is pretty close, though "Heart of Stone" sounds different. I still don't know what went wrong with the SACD ABKCO of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"...why is it EQed like that? My SACD is a second-or-longer pressing, and is in true mono.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:11 am
by Xenu
Yeah, research has been slow recently. The combination of frustration re. getting database software to work AND my hatred of editing the thing itself AND doing the London comp killed my desire to work on this for a bit.

I did to a little bit of She's a Rainbow snooping per JWB's request. It appears as if both London and ABKCO took a "scavenger" approach to their versions of "More Hot Rocks." ABKCO did some digital stealing from their album entries, as did London, but London did it in a weirder way.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:21 am
by JWB
I noticed that some mono Stones tracks circa '64 have bad crackle when you OOPS them on both the Londons AND the not-true-mono SACD's...for what it's worth. The true mono SACD's seem to be free of these anomalies.

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:53 am
by Xenu
Exceedingly bad crackle...on some tracks, though, the SACD is worse, for some reason.

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:52 pm
by MK
some opinions/tidbits on the SACD remasters:

The Stones SACD's do very well. Good sound. A shade more bottom end would have been nice around 40hz though. (compared to the vinyl) ... #msg_11912

I think that despite the sometimes thin EQ, which resembles the vinyl but doesn't match it to my ears, the sound of these remasters is an extraordinary achievement. They do sound better in my car than they do on my Lipinskis in the mastering room (where they can be a bit tinny), but I love hearing the stones without a multi-generational veil and the vinyl repro distortion. It's a great mastering job and even though it could have been even more "natural" with a richer EQ, it's still very entertaining and amazingly dynamic (consider the source).

Bob Katz - DigitalDomain

The Stones wanted it to sound exactly like the vinyl TO THEM and only signed off when they felt Bob had accomplished that.

Bob is on the record as saying that his personal preference would have been to make them sound more like the tape but it wasn't his call.

Bob Olhsson ... #msg_11912

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:09 pm
by krabapple
Does the vinyl really have much going on around 40 Hz (that isn't due to format/system noise)?

I'm beginning to think there should be an organized rebellion against allowing the artists -- many of whom have been playing at loud volumes for four or more decades, and have surely suffered signficant hearing loss -- to determine what a remaster should sound like.

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:13 pm
by lukpac
My understanding is was ABKCO that wanted them to sound "just like the LPs", not the Stones. I could be wrong, though.

Either way it's kind of dumb.

Of course, the majority of "opinions" seem to be with people that have never actually sat down and done a comparison, never mind a blind one. "I remember the LP sounding this way..."

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:52 pm
by Xenu
It's also inconsistent. One of the rationales I've heard for narrowing Aftermath is "to get it to sound more like the LP." Then what the heck was going on with Beggars, which is far wider than the LP?