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 Post subject: Big Star SACD
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:19 am 
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Is somewhat blah.

I really, really like 3rd/Sister Lovers so much more than the two "classic" albums. I guess it just means I'm a verifiable sicko.

I got it for $16.99, though, which is decent.

I think it's the last SACD I'll purchase for a while. Recent DSD research has really soured me to the whole concept. Sony is the *king* of half-assed, paradigmatically-invalid technology.

They're worse than the fucking Cathars.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:25 am 
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I have no problems with (hybrid, anyway) SACD as a format, but in terms of sound, I'm perfectly happy with CD. Of course, multichannel mixes are neat, but...

What has soured you, exactly?

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 Post subject: Re: Big Star SACD
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:50 am 
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Still waiting for mine but as long as it's an improvement over the '92 twofer I'm happy. BTW, I like Sister Lovers better than the first 2. One of my favorite albums ever. I also like Radio City MUCH better than #1 Record. IMO Radio City is a stone cold power pop classic. I've always thought #1 Record was overrated though Chilton's originals are classics. I like Chris' Bell's solo stuff better than his songs on #1 Record. Now if we can get a decently mastered version of I am the Cosmos I'll be happy...

Chris


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Is somewhat blah.

I really, really like 3rd/Sister Lovers so much more than the two "classic" albums. I guess it just means I'm a verifiable sicko.

I got it for $16.99, though, which is decent.

I think it's the last SACD I'll purchase for a while. Recent DSD research has really soured me to the whole concept. Sony is the *king* of half-assed, paradigmatically-invalid technology.

They're worse than the fucking Cathars.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:53 am 
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The realization that, if push comes to shove, DVD-A really is the more sensible format. DVDA has the hobbyist perks, works with an established digital format, and doesn't seem designed to alienate and entrench. Worse, the way DSD was marketed--"it's more ANALOGUE than PCM"--really bothers me, as it is just patently untrue, and works on people's misconceptions re. digital audio.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 8:04 am 
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I like it better than the old Fantasy CD, and probably better than the old old Line CD (though I haven't A/Bed them). It is a bit bright, but so was the original recording. I can't help but wonder what the cancelled MoFi SACD would've sounded like.

I'm kind of down on SACD at the moment as well, but less because of the tech and more because of the stench of death surrounding the format. I'm certainly not going to be buying many more non-hybrids, that's for sure. I can't say DVD-A's health status is any more encouraging. (I can't find those damn Neil Young "missing four" DVD-As anywhere. Yeah, I know I can get 'em online, but still.)

Sounds like I need to go get a copy of Third/Sister Lovers.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 9:37 am 
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Hmm. DVD-A simply doesn't interest me at all, due to the whole "I have to listen in a DVD player" idea. I still think hybrid SACD is the way to go, but it's unclear how much longer it has for this earth.

As far as Big Star goes, I guess I'm confused - who put out the SACD? The only one I had been aware of was the planned MoFi one.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 11:41 am 
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Luke, Fantasy released it:

http://www.fantasyjazz.com/html/sacd.html

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 11:46 am 
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Luke, you're more outta the loop than I thought... :D

Anyway, re. the SACD, I think I'm hearing a few of the dropouts mentioned in the sh.tv thread...I haven't compared, though. It isn't awful, but it begs the question: if the reason it's so bright is because the master is so bright, why not tone it down a bit? Do we really like flat transfers that much?

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 11:51 am 
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How's it compare to that Line CD? That seemed bright to me...

Loop? What loop? I don't recall seeing it mentioned here, nor on the ICE board for that matter.

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 12:47 pm 
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sh.tv, all the way :roll:

It's brighter than the Line disc, although I again need to stress I haven't ABed at the moment. This is referring to the CD layer only.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 2:10 pm 
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No, I'm with you all the way, Dave. The third album is better than the first two, but that's like saying Revolver is better than A Hard Day's Night; the latter work is certainly more challenging and interesting, charting darker waters both lyrically and sonically while maintaining a strong grasp on melody (the first half of Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers is surprisingly tuneful: "Jesus Christ," "Kizza Me," etc.), but the earlier work is still solid, tuneful, exuberant rock.

BTW, I think the Rykodisc version of Big Star's Third has problems. Dr. Toby Mountain doing his bright, sharpening EQ moves again, another case where you need to tone down the treble and upper frequencies a touch and restore the bass.

The SACD of the first two supposedly has some EQ work done, but primarily in the bass regions; I'm assuming its a small boost since George Horn, the mastering engineer, agrees that the recording is bright but maintains its the way it was recorded. Unfortunately, he did add a little compression, but he says it was only a touch.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 3:03 pm 
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Anyone else get the feeling that engineers just make things up to cover their asses? "The reason the CD sounds bad is because that's the sound of the tapes and you wouldn't want to tamper with that." Or how about "The reason other versions seem to have more 'air' is because that tape had too much treble and I needed to ease it down."

How about "tampering with history is bad (except when I do it)"?

I could go on and on...

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 8:32 pm 
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This SACD is *really* bright. The acoustic guitars do sound...well, different, but I'm unsure if I feel like calling it "better" or just "different EQ work" (see the difference between the original mix of the Divine Comedy's "Songs of Love" and the remix: the same guitar sounds VERY different in each place, yet it's hard to qualify one as being "better").

Engineers frequently make stuff up. I must confess that I often wonder if when people spout off about certain dbs being added in different cycles right off the top of their heads, I frequently wonder...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:45 pm 
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Anybody try their own EQ on this?

I was thinking of getting the SACD but read this dialogue between Hoffman and Tate:

Steve: Big Star masters are usually stored in Memphis. They came west for the SACD mastering. Even though #1 Record always sounds like it was recorded with two tin cans and an Edison recorder, it’s actually the true master that was used on the SACD. I would have, um, fixed it in mastering for the SACD but to each his own.

Tate: Never having heard this stuff before I picked the SACD up…downshifted my player to the redbook layer and YIKES! We have (((Rhinophonic))) sound...There’s a few things that tell me it was recorded with this treble lift. There’s not a high level of tape hiss. Controlling the top end that much would leave behind a significant amount of noise. What would follow would be an increase in audible tape dropouts, splices, print through, etc. There was also a style of engineering back then that was treble happy…Roger Nichols, Michael Tretow, Alan Parsons, any Fleetwood Mac album from that era. #1 Record is just an extreme example of that.

Did you notice the second album on the disc is a little more natural sounding? [John Fry was] engineering, right? There’s still the treble tweaking but not as much.

[Horn says he did do some EQ work, but for the most part, it was in the bass regions.]

Tate: I did a quickie, 10-minute cheap-o mastering job on [#1 Record]. I took out about 6 dB at 12k (maybe 10k or 8k, I can’t remember…) [and it was] still bright so I did a few other top end tweaks and ran the whole thing to CD. Much easier (and smoother) sounding now. Could still use more work but it’s better than the SACD at least. Youch! That’s bright!

Steve: I did a one minute quickie on it and tried taking some out at the usual ‘pressure points’ of 10k, 8k, 5k, 3k and added something at like 500 cycles, 250 cycles, 80 cycles and 40 cycles. Didn’t really put much of a dent in it. Amazingly screechy mix. I don’t know what engineer john Fry was using as mix monitors but I bet the tweeters were disconnected or something. Urggh…I have a Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers Lp that he mixed and it has the same screech. I think that –8 at 10k would be a good start for ANY Ardent mix around that time period.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm 
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I have a nice needledrop of both #1 Record and Radio City. I haven't done a proper comparison with the SACD but I remember thinking that the LP was really bright as well.

I also have a needledrop of an original 1978 Car Records I am the Cosmos b/w You and Your Sister and it's MUCH nicer than the corresponding tracks on the Ryko Chris Bell comp. IIRC Geoff Emerick engineered many of the Bell solo sessions...

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