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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:24 am 
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lukpac wrote:
Listen again. The source for the gold CD is a lot better (less hiss, more separation), it just doesn't have the extra EQ the silver CD does.

I remember you posting that SH said the ROTS version came from a copy tape...I made that comment to emphasize that it seems like the ROTS is actually the better one.

I did go back and listen, this time with headphones. It's difficult to say which source has less hiss since the EQ is so different. One would expect that the brighter of the two (ROTS) would have a bit more emphasized hiss. If it was a high quality copy that was used, I would expect that the difference in hiss (and tonality) would be minimal compared to the master tape.

Where it gets interesting is the stereo separation. IMO there's no question that the ROTS is more spacious sounding through speakers. Yet, through headphones, the opening guitar riff does seem more "hard right" on the gold CD.

If you think about it, the sense of spaciousness in stereo is caused by a certain amount of crosstalk. So, for proper spaciousness, nothing should ever be completely "hard right or left." A dual mono track would have the maximum amount of separation, but it's not stereo.

Listening closely to the opening guitar, I hear more left channel reverberation from the ROTS than the gold. If the EQ of the gold is obscuring this reverberation (which I think is the case), then the result could be a more "hard right" sound...but this isn't necessarily good from a stereo soundstage standpoint, and this is borne out by listening through speakers.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that the copy tape was high quality, which would lead me to think that any separation or plainly audible hiss differences are caused by mastering EQ and are not inherent in the tapes themselves.

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Last edited by Dob on Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:33 am 
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Andreas wrote:
One DCC CD is not up to Steve's standard, in my opinion, and only because of those two songs.

Fair enough. Actually, I do prefer one song from the SACD (Proud Mary). I wouldn't say that the DCC CD "isn't up to Steve's standard" because of that, though.
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The DCC Cosmo's Factory, on the other hand, is awesome, and maybe better than the SACD because of the absence of that pop in Run Through The Jungle.

The pop doesn't bother me (I hear right through it), but I do like the SACD better for that one (and all the other SH CCRs).
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Nevertheless, I sold the DCC when I bought the SACD. You know, remasters are always better. :)

I hope that "just kidding" smiley applies to both of those statements!

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"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- HL Mencken


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:43 am 
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MK wrote:
Steve's big on focusing on the vocal, he believes some mastering engineers make the mistake of focusing on the cymbals when it comes to top end adjustment...

I would partially agree. Sometimes the best sound can be gained from a compromise (vocals a bit toppy, cymbals a bit soft)...but sometimes compromises end up pleasing nobody!
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...but if you played back the master straight on most speakers, Fogerty's vocal was toppy. The band sounded fine, but if you wanted a more natural vocal, the band would lose a little bit on top.

This is a common problem with pop recordings. There is a peak in the 2-3k range that makes vocals harsh. I've said this before -- if you made a "black box" hifi tweak that cuts a bit at 2-3k and adds a bit of lower bass/upper treble (smiley curve), it would make a huge amount of pop recordings sound better and I think it would sell well. Maybe someone's already done this...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:11 am 
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Dob wrote:
Listening closely to the opening guitar, I hear more left channel reverberation from the ROTS than the gold. If the EQ of the gold is obscuring this reverberation (which I think is the case), then the result could be a more "hard right" sound...but this isn't necessarily good from a stereo soundstage standpoint, and this is borne out by listening through speakers.


I disagree. There isn't more reverb on ROTS, there's crosstalk. Listen to the gold CD. The *only* information in the left channel in the intro is delayed from the right - *only* reverb. On the ROTS version, however, you've got that delayed information *plus* leakage from the right channel that isn't delayed.

Seems to be exactly the same situation as Let It Bleed, where previous CDs had crosstalk between the channels and the SACD doesn't.

Quote:
I think it's pretty safe to assume that the copy tape was high quality, which would lead me to think that any separation or plainly audible hiss differences are caused by mastering EQ and are not inherent in the tapes themselves.


I disagree, based on the separation comments above. You can EQ till the sun's gone and you won't get any non-delayed information in the left channel of the gold CD. There might not be much/any more hiss, but the separation clearly isn't as good on the ROTS version. You may not *like* that separation, but that *is* the way it was mixed.

All you have to do is EQ the gold CD to match ROTS and you'll see there are more differences than EQ.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:21 am 
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lukpac wrote:
I disagree. There isn't more reverb on ROTS, there's crosstalk. Listen to the gold CD. The *only* information in the left channel in the intro is delayed from the right - *only* reverb. On the ROTS version, however, you've got that delayed information *plus* leakage from the right channel that isn't delayed.

I loaded the two versions in Cool Edit so I could have a good close look (and listen).

In essence, your statements are correct. I didn't realize that there was so much difference in the left channel between the gold and the ROTS. Actually, the more I listen, the more I think that there may be something else going on here, and that the ROTS isn't just a copy tape.

On the gold right channel, at about the 4.5 second mark, a rumble appears and continues. This is completely absent on the ROTS. Plus there is just so much difference...I tried to duplicate the ROTS by leaking a small percentage of the gold right channel to the left, and that didn't get me any closer. It's hard to believe that the ROTS source was a mere copy. I checked my Japan CD (Captain and Me) and it is the same as the gold (rumble and channel separation).

So, it seems as if the master tape for the gold was used before and isn't some special "never before used" source (like Love In Vain from LIB). I wish I had a regular CD of the greatest hits (actually I might have one lying about somewhere). If the GH CD is the same as the gold, that would tell us one thing...if it's the same as the ROTS, that tells us something else. I wonder if the ROTS version has ever appeared anywhere before...if it's the same situation as the "cold ending" Born To Be Wild that SH dug up.

Quote:
Seems to be exactly the same situation as Let It Bleed, where previous CDs had crosstalk between the channels and the SACD doesn't.

I went back and took another look at Love In Vain too...if you crank up the right (quiet) channel on the SACD, it also sounds very different than the WG. The guitar has more treble and delay, plus there are some booming bass tones that don't seem to be in sync with the guitar - almost as if the tape was used before and the bass tones are residual tones that weren't erased completely.

By contrast, the crosstalk on the WG right channel seems to be a muted, muffled, dry copy of the guitar. Of course, the right channel sounds (as heard on the SACD) are so low in level that it's possible the crosstalk on the WG covered all that up.

Quote:
You can EQ till the sun's gone and you won't get any non-delayed information in the left channel of the gold CD.

Can't argue that...but if it's already there, EQ may make it more (or less) evident. That doesn't seem to be the case here, though.

Quote:
There might not be much/any more hiss, but the separation clearly isn't as good on the ROTS version. You may not *like* that separation, but that *is* the way it was mixed.

Well, it's puzzling that the ROTS sounds more spacious through speakers...do you agree that it does?

Quote:
All you have to do is EQ the gold CD to match ROTS and you'll see there are more differences than EQ.

Heh, you make the job of matching EQ sound easy! Yeah there sure are more differences than just EQ, which makes me wonder exactly what is the deal with the ROTS tape.

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"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- HL Mencken


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:55 am 
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Dob wrote:
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Nevertheless, I sold the DCC when I bought the SACD. You know, remasters are always better. :)

I hope that "just kidding" smiley applies to both of those statements!

The truth is, I did sell the CCR DCCs (I only had three of them). I got about the same price that I paid for the SACDs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:37 am 
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Dob wrote:
On the gold right channel, at about the 4.5 second mark, a rumble appears and continues. This is completely absent on the ROTS.


Well, it's actually in both channels on the gold CD. I'd say it's probably just harder to hear on the ROTS version, due to the other aforementioned factors.

Quote:
Plus there is just so much difference...I tried to duplicate the ROTS by leaking a small percentage of the gold right channel to the left, and that didn't get me any closer.


That wouldn't do it, since it isn't as if the channels are simply narrowed. That is to say, the bleeding isn't "clean". What you hear in the left channel isn't just what's in the right channel but at a lower volume (which is what you'd hear if it was narrowed). It's a very poor reproduction of what's in the right channel (and at a low volume). Same with Let It Bleed on SACD (every song, not just Love In Vain).

Quote:
Of course, the right channel sounds (as heard on the SACD) are so low in level that it's possible the crosstalk on the WG covered all that up.


Yes.

Quote:
Well, it's puzzling that the ROTS sounds more spacious through speakers...do you agree that it does?


Haven't listened with speakers recently.

Quote:
Heh, you make the job of matching EQ sound easy! Yeah there sure are more differences than just EQ, which makes me wonder exactly what is the deal with the ROTS tape.


I got pretty close in a couple of minutes with WMP:

2k: -5dB
4k: -4dB
8k: +2dB
16k: +2dB

It isn't perfect, but it's pretty close.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:26 pm 
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lukpac wrote:
That wouldn't do it, since it isn't as if the channels are simply narrowed. That is to say, the bleeding isn't "clean". What you hear in the left channel isn't just what's in the right channel but at a lower volume (which is what you'd hear if it was narrowed). It's a very poor reproduction of what's in the right channel (and at a low volume).

If by "very poor reproduction" you mean a different EQ (tonality), I do hear that, on both the ROTS and the non-SACD LIB. There isn't any treble, which may be one of the properties of crosstalk. Perhaps if the right channel on the gold were to be EQed with a big treble cut, and then that was bled over, it would be a closer match to the ROTS.

In any event, this just reinforces my opinion that proper tonality is more important the using the best possible source (within reason). Even on LIB, where the superiority of the SACD source is more obvious than the gold CD/ROTS, I still prefer the WG for the last three tracks, due to the better tonality.

The decision of which to use for remastering, though, is trickier. Using the better source should yield better results, even if that means more work to get proper tonality. If I ever decide to remaster China Grove, I'll start with the gold CD and your EQ recommendations...but if I feel that I'm spinning my wheels (as I did when trying to remaster the last 3 tracks of the SACD LIB), I'll go with the ROTS.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:23 pm 
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Dob wrote:
If by "very poor reproduction" you mean a different EQ (tonality), I do hear that, on both the ROTS and the non-SACD LIB. There isn't any treble, which may be one of the properties of crosstalk. Perhaps if the right channel on the gold were to be EQed with a big treble cut, and then that was bled over, it would be a closer match to the ROTS.


I don't know if you could ever reproduce that with EQ, but that's getting closer.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:20 pm 
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As a footnote, here's a review from Rock Rap Confidential, of all places. Of course, no one at that other place would ever read RRC:

Minute by Minute, Doobie Brothers (Audio Fidelity)--Even though "Don't Stop to Watch the Wheels" and the gorgeous country-rock instrumental "Steamer Lane Breakdown" provide a link to the group's roots, this represents the point of definitive transition from artistically ambitious biker bar band to pop soul juggernaut. Recent arrival Michael McDonald dominates, with soulful vocals and writing to match. The sound on the gold compact disc, especially the synergy between bass and bass drum and the grit in McDonald's voice, is so good that it's almost like listening to a completely different record.

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