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Beatles remasters soon available on vinyl
cliveb
post Oct 2 2012, 13:54
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 1 2012, 10:46) *
Other George Martin recordings show none of the "grunginess" that plagues some Beatles tracks - when he was recording Jazz or Comedy he created recordings that sound about as good as they could. In the same years that he recorded "lo-fi" Beatles, tracks, he gave a very "Hi-Fi" treatment to The Temperance Seven and Peter Sellers etc.

Interesting comments. I appreciate that you are a serious Beatles scholar, so what follows is just my casual observation...

IMHO, most Beatles recordings sound significantly cleaner than contemporary recordings of other pop/rock acts. Take a listen to things like Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, Cream, Hendrix, etc and they sound much worse to me (sound quality wise) than the Beatles albums.
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mzil
post Oct 2 2012, 14:54
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Regarding EQ, since none of us have heard the master recordings directly, I don't think any of us here (or posters in other forums) are in a position to comment on which release is the most faithful and transparent to the original tapes. One might correctly comment "this one is too bright compared to the others" or "this one is too boomy compared to the others" but for all we know that "bright" or "boomy" version might actually be the most accurate and have the highest fidelity to the original tape!

This post has been edited by mzil: Oct 2 2012, 14:55
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greynol
post Oct 2 2012, 15:13
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The point that seems to be overlooked about MFSL is that they tend to have exaggerated bass and treble across the board; it's apparent on a variety titles by multiple artists, not just the Beatles.

When you consider that these titles were originally released by different labels it isn't a big leap to conclude that the trend found in MFSL releases is attributable to MFSL practices. Otherwise, we are left thinking that everyone else has colluded to use too much midrange. IOW, a conspiracy theory.

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 2 2012, 15:20


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2Bdecided
post Oct 2 2012, 16:37
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Oct 2 2012, 13:54) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 1 2012, 10:46) *
Other George Martin recordings show none of the "grunginess" that plagues some Beatles tracks - when he was recording Jazz or Comedy he created recordings that sound about as good as they could. In the same years that he recorded "lo-fi" Beatles, tracks, he gave a very "Hi-Fi" treatment to The Temperance Seven and Peter Sellers etc.

Interesting comments. I appreciate that you are a serious Beatles scholar
That's funny! wink.gif I bet you've transferred more vinyl than I've ever listened to.
QUOTE
... so what follows is just my casual observation...

IMHO, most Beatles recordings sound significantly cleaner than contemporary recordings of other pop/rock acts. Take a listen to things like Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, Cream, Hendrix, etc and they sound much worse to me (sound quality wise) than the Beatles albums.
Yes, I agree. There's a large UK/US divide, and in the UK there seems to be quite a divide between different recording studios / record companies (and recordings made somewhere that couldn't be called a recording studio!). And George Martin & team always cared about quality (minimised tape generations etc). Also, some other EMI pop records sound almost too "hifi" compared with the examples you cite. But I think GM's Beatles stuff is "grungier" than his other stuff. IMO.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Oct 2 2012, 16:41
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QUOTE (mzil @ Oct 2 2012, 14:54) *
Regarding EQ, since none of us have heard the master recordings directly
...well, no, but at least in the case of The Beatles there are enough bootlegs around, some of known provenance, to have a rough idea what they sound like.

As greynol said though, there does seem to be a clear trend, so even with no reference, it's hardly wild speculation.

Cheers,
David.
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mzil
post Oct 2 2012, 22:48
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 2 2012, 10:13) *
The point that seems to be overlooked about MFSL is that they tend to have exaggerated bass and treble across the board; it's apparent on a variety titles by multiple artists, not just the Beatles.

TOS 8 violation. "Everybody knows" and/or "It's as plain as day, just listen to it" doesn't prove anything. Do you have a link to a MFSL document which states "we exaggerate the bass and treble across the board"? Or a spectrographic analysis were we do have access to the original tapes to compare their releases to?

This post has been edited by mzil: Oct 2 2012, 22:51
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greynol
post Oct 2 2012, 22:54
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ABX?!?

Are we now claiming that different masters all sound the same?

Give it a rest.

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 2 2012, 22:56


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mzil
post Oct 2 2012, 23:59
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 2 2012, 17:54) *
ABX?!?

Are we now claiming that different masters all sound the same?

Give it a rest.

The topic I quoted you on is MFSL releases, not all masters from all sources. What I am asking for is objective evidence to back your claim besides "well just listen to it yourself, can't you hear it?" or "everybody knows". ABX would be one example, but others I would be interested in include measurements showing they have been EQ'd by an amount we all would generally expect to be audible. [many dB, not tenths of a dB, for example] This could come in the form of an independent spectrographic analysis by a third party, or perhaps a statement from MFSL supporting that they do this sort of EQ you claim they do.

TOS #8: "All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims..."

"MFSL ...tend to have exaggerated bass and treble across the board" would be an example of "a statement concerning subjective sound quality". I'm kindly asking for objective evidence to support this statement, that's all.

I never stated my beliefs on the matter, they aren't set in stone, but I have a vague recollection that MFSL claim they do minimal processing.
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Porcus
post Oct 3 2012, 00:12
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Are you saying that you were not trolling when you requested a spectrogram for TOS #8 compliance?


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greynol
post Oct 3 2012, 00:20
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mzil,

I'll gladly show you logs demonstrating I can distinguish a difference between an MFSL mastering and a non-MFSL mastering if you like. Graphs will not be forthcoming. As to original source tapes, yeah buddy, you got me there. And to that point, you're right, we're not certain of anything.

Provided there are differences between masterings (hardly controversial!) and MFSL releases have a commonality amongst them when compared to non-MFSL releases (I am ignorant of this being controversial, save for your lone concern), where would this lead us? MFSL is closer, non-MFSL is closer or neither is closer. The principle of Occam's Razor kinda tosses the first example in favor for the other two, does it not?

rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 3 2012, 00:52


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mzil
post Oct 3 2012, 01:07
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Oct 2 2012, 19:12) *
Are you saying that you were not trolling when you requested a spectrogram for TOS #8 compliance?

I was not trolling. I am asking for evidence to help me make an informed decision.

He made a statement which contradicts my original understanding of how they, MFSL, operate. His statement was regarding EQ. I don't know about you, but the first thing that pops into my head when one needs to measure EQ differences, objectively, was spectrographs, but if they are a sore topic here because they are used for other mischief/shenanigans, as I suspect, then I'm sorry to have brought them up [I'm not a prolific poster or reader of this forum; please note my low post count compared to most of you here]; any other method would be just fine by me.

And just to prove that I'm not pulling this claim that they do minimal (if any) EQ, at all, to their recordings "out of nowhere", and just making it up out of thin air because I am "a troll", as you have just suggested, might I point out that wikipedia pretty much supports this, too:

"As with the company's record pressings, no dynamic range compression was used in the production of the CDs. For the most part, no equalization was used either, so CDs are essentially straight transfers of the original master tape." [emphasis mine]
---

Just for the record, I think a rule that shuns claims of audible differences, without objective evidence to back them, is the coolest thing ever! GO SCIENCE! I'm a strong believer in evidence based science, careful level matching, protocols which eliminate observer bias, and all the other things I get the feeling most people here stand for. However, all these rules should apply to everyone, me included.

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krabapple
post Oct 3 2012, 02:35
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 2 2012, 10:13) *
The point that seems to be overlooked about MFSL is that they tend to have exaggerated bass and treble across the board; it's apparent on a variety titles by multiple artists, not just the Beatles.



MFSL has employed a few different mastering engineers over the years, so I would find this surprising if true. They ahve also released music as LPs, tapes, CDs and SACDs so I would be surprised if what you trend holds true across Mofi's entire history.

AFAIK, they have only ever tackled the Beatles on vinyl, and that was years ago.


I don't necessarily hold that Mofi does 'flat' transfers as a rule...but I agree with _if that unless you've heard the masters, played back on a 'flat' system, and compared them to a CD on the same system, none of us can say which mastering is closest to the masters. It might even be best NOT to sound like the masters....they aren't always that great sounding, and sometimes are *intended* to be 'helped' (e.g., in the days of LP, mixdown master engineer leaving instructions for LP mastering engineers -- apparenlty Yes 'Fragile' is an example of this)

This post has been edited by krabapple: Oct 3 2012, 02:39
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krabapple
post Oct 3 2012, 02:42
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 2 2012, 11:41) *
QUOTE (mzil @ Oct 2 2012, 14:54) *
Regarding EQ, since none of us have heard the master recordings directly
...well, no, but at least in the case of The Beatles there are enough bootlegs around, some of known provenance, to have a rough idea what they sound like.

As greynol said though, there does seem to be a clear trend,



Does there? Do we have a significantly large sample of comparative frequency plots such that we can make claims about trends across Mofi's entire output (which extends back decades)? Or is it essentially audiophile lore?

On another forum I post to, Shawn Britton (current ME for Mofi) occasionally posts; I could pose a question to him about EQ practice, but I can't guarantee he'd answer.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Oct 3 2012, 02:43
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mzil
post Oct 3 2012, 04:54
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 2 2012, 19:20) *
mzil,

I'll gladly show you logs demonstrating I can distinguish a difference between an MFSL mastering and a non-MFSL mastering if you like.

Well since you offered, OK, sure, please do. Thanks.
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greynol
post Oct 3 2012, 05:29
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Here you go:
CODE
foo_abx 1.3.1 report
foobar2000 v0.9.4.2
2012/10/02 21:24:01

File A: C:\Documents and Settings\greynol\Desktop\Pink Floyd\dsotm - breathe (capitol).flac
File B: C:\Documents and Settings\greynol\Desktop\Pink Floyd\dsotm - breathe (mfsl).flac

21:24:01 : Test started.
21:24:59 : 01/01 50.0%
21:25:06 : 02/02 25.0%
21:25:10 : 03/03 12.5%
21:25:17 : 04/04 6.3%
21:25:22 : 05/05 3.1%
21:25:25 : 06/06 1.6%
21:25:29 : 07/07 0.8%
21:25:33 : 08/08 0.4%
21:25:36 : 09/09 0.2%
21:25:41 : 10/10 0.1%
21:25:46 : 11/11 0.0%
21:25:51 : 12/12 0.0%
21:26:04 : 13/13 0.0%
21:26:07 : 14/14 0.0%
21:26:11 : 15/15 0.0%
21:26:17 : 16/16 0.0%
21:26:22 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 16/16 (0.0%)

MFSL is bass heavy and mids are supressed

Attached File  dsotm___breathe__capitol_.flac ( 2.96MB ) Number of downloads: 124
Attached File  dsotm___breathe__mfsl_.flac ( 2.48MB ) Number of downloads: 47


This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 3 2012, 05:42


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mzil
post Oct 3 2012, 07:13
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There's a huge difference in the audio level, but thanks.
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Porcus
post Oct 3 2012, 08:19
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QUOTE (mzil @ Oct 3 2012, 08:13) *
There's a huge difference in the audio level, but thanks.


ReplayGain. Or foo_abx.


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cliveb
post Oct 3 2012, 09:20
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 2 2012, 16:37) *
But I think GM's Beatles stuff is "grungier" than his other stuff. IMO.

Presumably by "GM's other stuff" you are referring to jazz & classical. He's done other pop/rock, and off the top of my head I'd say Wired by Jeff Beck is easily as grungy (in a very enjoyable way) as any Beatles stuff. Blow by Blow is much cleaner, and IMHO sounds a bit restrained and therefore less enjoyable. Grunge can be good!
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Porcus
post Oct 3 2012, 10:18
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QUOTE (mzil @ Oct 3 2012, 02:07) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Oct 2 2012, 19:12) *
Are you saying that you were not trolling when you requested a spectrogram for TOS #8 compliance?

I was not trolling.


OK. I did assume you were trolling, when you requested a graph, quoted part of TOS #8 and omitted the part that explicitely rules out graphs as acceptable evidence.

Actually I think you are in principle right. I know that is said the most polite way to state a “get real!”, but anyway, argument follows:

- There is no need to prove that different masterings sound different (recall that “mastering” is really a shortened-down phrase for what once was called “pre-mastering”, which is not merely the transfer of audio signal, it has a mixing element to it)
- However, a “remastered” sticker does not prove that any such changes have actually been made. And even if the masters aren't bit-by-bit the same, there need not have been any audible changes made, despite marketing claims to the contrary. And even if it isn't an outright lie, what does a “40th anniversary remaster” really mean? That it was remastered again? Or that they repackaged a previous remaster?
- What is in principle the difference between (I) a marketing buzz trying to fool users to buy a reproduction device that makes no audible difference, and (II) a marketing buzz trying to fool users to buy a new and “improved” release which has no audible difference?


Consider this statement: “The new 'Mastered for iTunes' version sounds much better than the previous one i bought from iTunes last year”.


There is this discussion over the content of TOS#8 where, IMHO, the wording and the practice are not in line. One example could be this – TOS #8 is certainly not suited for comparing music, and not different recordings, and arguably not different (pre-)masterings. Assuming that they are indeed diffferent (pre-)masterings, differing by mixing elements.


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greynol
post Oct 3 2012, 10:42
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Oct 3 2012, 00:19) *
ReplayGain. Or foo_abx.

I'm confused about the ". Or"

I instructed fb2k to use RG during the ABX session. Distinguishing a difference was trivial enough without the level difference. Also I played the sample back from the beginning each time without fast switching since they will not time-align except at that point.

Anyway, I do not pretend to have proven anything with a single sample point taken from CD. Since I do not plan on testing every MoFi title available to me, I'll gladly concede (again) that I don't know what is true. I will not concede to a comment in a wikipedia article, however; especially when I was told by mzil that appeals to authority/popularity were specifically disallowed. If this requirement is now off the table, google will readily show what krabapple is suggesting is only lore.

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 3 2012, 10:52


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RonaldDumsfeld
post Oct 3 2012, 17:00
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QUOTE
Looking forward to hearing the mono versions when they become available.


QUOTE
But the mono CDs had no compression or limiting done to them. Any record release made from those remasters as a starting point is going to just be trying to sound like they already do on CD.


Aha! I thought we were generally agreed that vinyl and CD do not sound the same?

Those early albums were meant to be played on vinyl and in mono. On fairly crappy gear, even by today's standards.

This might turn out to be one of those rare occasions where the vinyl really does sound 'better' than the digital version. laugh.gif

I'm looking forward to putting a 1962 Denon DL-103 on my 1972 Technics 1210 and cranking up the volume until distortion sets in. Might even buy an Avontone......
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mzil
post Oct 3 2012, 18:32
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 2 2012, 10:13) *
The point that seems to be overlooked about MFSL is that they tend to have exaggerated bass and treble across the board; it's apparent on a variety titles by multiple artists, not just the Beatles..

Yeah, I admit it, I hear the bass boost on that DSOTM cut too [if I'm allowed to say that without ABX documentation!] compared to the original, however "exaggerated treble" doesn't seem accurate, at least not in my quick cursory listening of this cut in particular. Too bad we don't have the master tape though.

"Smiley face" EQ has been a long time, simplistic accusation against (some) audio products, and I guess song engineering. I've heard it used against Bose speakers for years, for example, however rather than accept it at face value I instead keep an open mind. [I've never really ever wanted to listen to a Bose speaker, nor have read many objective reviews that plot their FR, so who knows? Maybe its true, maybe not.]

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greynol
post Oct 3 2012, 18:49
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If you boost the bass and treble, or cut the mids, the shape is basically the same. If you want to hear an unbalanced treble response, listen to the clips in the link David gave.

Whether you have an open mind or are skeptical depends on how you wish to spin your words. My mind is open to the possibility that the claim in that wikipedia article about no use of EQ is false. wink.gif

Either way, I'm distancing myself from the sweeping claim I made earlier. MFSL could be closer to the Beatles original master tapes but I seriously doubt it. Even if they were, I prefer something more balanced, tyvm.

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mzil
post Oct 3 2012, 18:52
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Oct 2 2012, 21:35) *
I don't necessarily hold that Mofi does 'flat' transfers as a rule...but I agree with _if that unless you've heard the masters, played back on a 'flat' system, and compared them to a CD on the same system, none of us can say which mastering is closest to the masters. It might even be best NOT to sound like the masters....they aren't always that great sounding, and sometimes are *intended* to be 'helped'

Plus, the Beatles were mixed largely on Altec 605 drivers in 612 cabinets, EMI's standard, valve amps with only 25 watts (and I'm not sure that's even by current FTC rules, but at least those Altecs are reasonably efficient), and S.G. Brown type Super K headphones*, especially as they moved to their later more complex albums. All "junk" by today's audiophile standards. Who would want a final EQ decided upon using that swill?!

*based on a design made originally for tank crews, in war, to provide radio voice intelligibility and noise isolation above all else!

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krabapple
post Oct 3 2012, 19:35
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Oct 3 2012, 05:18) *
Actually I think you are in principle right. I know that is said the most polite way to state a “get real!”, but anyway, argument follows:

- There is no need to prove that different masterings sound different



I don't think anyone is asking to see proof of that. The proposition at issue is that MFSL releases have been typically mastered with 'smiley face' EQ. What's being pointed out are the difficulties in proving *that* assertion.

One can say (and measure, and hear) with certainly that mastering X is 'smiley faced' compared to mastering Y, but one is limited to speculating on *why* that is.

It's a pedantic point but I was not sure it was being fully acknowledged here. It has been now.

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