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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:10 pm 
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I don't have an SACD player, so I can't compare the DSD layer, but if you're thinking of replacing the old CD with the new redbook remaster, you may be better off with the old CD.

The original CD was issued in late 1989, so it's not like the first-geneation masters were unavailable, or that the industry was doing quick, half-assed masterings for a new, unproven format. These were also digital recordings, FWIW. [EDIT: Let me rephrase that; the CD is classified as ADD, and the SACD certainly wasn't remixed, much less remixed in analog, so the master's got to be digital.] Greg Calbi was the mastering engineer for the original and remaster too.

The original CD is very quiet, with most of the tracks very far below the maximum output allowed, but there are a few that DO max out (and if you examine the peak closely, it's definitely the music that's peaking, not some anamoly or an artifact like a click/pop). I guess Calbi really wanted to preserve the dynamics, even if it meant mastering most of the tracks at a really quiet volume.

The remaster is twice as loud, and it sounds like a volume boost was done on most tracks...maybe a little bit of limiting but not a lot. The few that were really dynamic probably had some limiting done, but nothing too drastic. More significant was the EQ. Check out the bottom, on a number of tracks, mainly the later ones, the bass sounded fuller on the original CD and a bit thinner on the remaster.

So personally, I think the original CD is preferable to the redbook remaster, but it's not a slam dunk, it's just marginally preferable. I can easily see someone preferring the redbook remaster just because it's louder and the trade-off for that isn't too bad, if at all. The SACD may be a different story. Anyone compare those two?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:42 pm 
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I would expect the original CD mastering to be just fine with this title. Major star, repected producer, hightly regarded comeback album and all. And being a digital mix, well. I think basic tracks are analog, the mix digital. I recall Daniel L. stating that he recored the bass at a slower tape speed as to get better low end saturation, as compared to other tracks.

But I would like to hear the surround mix of this on SACD. I originally did not like this album, but it grew on me. Infidels will be interesting to hear in a new mastering, all digital this time.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:34 pm 
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Yeah, they TOTALLY should've made a 5.1 mix. I think they didn't because Lanois wasn't available - I think any 5.1 mix would require his presence, contractually speaking.

I haven't heard the original CD, but I wonder what was used when they first did Infidels. If they were REALLY lazy, did they grab an LP master (i.e. an analog dub)? Assuming an analog master was made for LP cutting, I'm not sure how it works...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:35 am 
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I recall the Infidels original CD and LP sounding amazingly similar, but I chalked that up more to the DDD factor than any shortcuts in the CD mastering. Columbia made a big deal about the fact that it was a DIGITAL RECORDING, so I'd be mildly surprised if an LP master was used for the CD.

Perhaps the Lanois availability question would also explain why we didn't get a Time Out Of Mind Sack Dee.

Ryan

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