• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Digital remasters - do they sound better or ..?

DuxServit

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
184
Likes
154
#41
The two words “Digitally Remastered” are meaningless. It’s like the word “natural” on food items or groceries.

I tend to look for very specific information about who/when/what of the remaster process. For example, here is the information relating to Pink Floyd’s WYWH (from Acoustic Sounds site):
...
surround mix by James Guthrie
Assistant engineer Joel Plante
Mastered by James Guthrie and Joel Plante
Mixed and mastered at das boot recording
DSD authoring for SACD by Gus Skinas
...
 

graz_lag

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
845
Likes
640
Location
Le Mans, France
#42
Remaster releases by STAX Records are extremely good, at least those of Blues and Soul artists.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
49
Likes
11
#43
The remasters of complete Perahia Mozart Concertos are not as good as originals. To my ears added compression and hyped high mids. I love the performances and was very disappointed.
 

rebbiputzmaker

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
751
Likes
125
#44
Exactly. And in my eyes that leaves a possiblity for a new technology to jump in and enhance what can be enhanced from these recordings.



I have some remasters of the Pink Floyd albums that were approved by the band and they really sound good. But to me the original albums, which I also have, also sound good. :)
Oh you like Pink Floyd, would have never guessed.

Re mastering is such a crap shoot there is reallly no way to generalize. If done by good people who actually care about quality, you can find good results. It also depends on what they have to work with as far as original master, age, quality etc.
 

rebbiputzmaker

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
751
Likes
125
#45
Another brick in the wall ‘ filter ‘ . Hearing loss is a bitch , live music performance artists no matter how good they are will escape it.

They are about my dad’s age and he can’t hear schiit , he can barely master his way to the loo at night though he probably practices plenty.
smh... just wait till you get to that age.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,065
Likes
1,743
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#46
I am not sure whether I prefer the remastered remaster of the remastered Beatles white album or the remastered remaster of the remastered remaster more.
 

graz_lag

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
845
Likes
640
Location
Le Mans, France
#47
I am not sure whether I prefer the remastered remaster of the remastered Beatles white album or the remastered remaster of the remastered remaster more.
It's like the last slice of Pizza : the more you heat it up the more crusty it gets ...
 

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
1,887
Likes
2,720
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
#48
The remasters of complete Perahia Mozart Concertos are not as good as originals. To my ears added compression and hyped high mids. I love the performances and was very disappointed.
Are they Columbia Masterworks released on CD in the 1980s but recorded in the mid 70s or are they remasters released later?
 

Don Hills

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
610
Likes
253
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
#49
Another brick in the wall ‘ filter ‘ . Hearing loss is a bitch , live music performance artists no matter how good they are will escape it.

They are about my dad’s age and he can’t hear schiit , he can barely master his way to the loo at night though he probably practices plenty.
... so he uses echolocation to find his way to the loo? Sounds like a trick you could use, based on your recent toe-stubbing experience...
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
94
Likes
53
#50
In a related vein: I see higher res albums on HD Tracks, usually in 24/96 format. My question is whether someone took the analog master tape and actually digitized it at the higher resolution, maybe cleaned up some noise, or is it some bad rejiggering of the transfers to digital that occurred at the dawn of the CD era. I guess the question is, which players are trustworthy?
 

Dialectic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
849
Likes
528
Location
New York
#51
In a related vein: I see higher res albums on HD Tracks, usually in 24/96 format. My question is whether someone took the analog master tape and actually digitized it at the higher resolution, maybe cleaned up some noise, or is it some bad rejiggering of the transfers to digital that occurred at the dawn of the CD era. I guess the question is, which players are trustworthy?
Based on discussions I had with someone involved with HDTracks, I understand that HDTracks may have been threatened with litigation over this a few years ago. They reportedly now have certain controls in place to make sure that albums sold at high resolutions were not merely resampled to those resolutions from lower-resolution digital sources.

That doesn't mean that the mastering on any albums you buy on HDTracks is good, of course; it just means that, if it's being sold as 24/96, it was not resampled to that resolution from a 16/44.1 source.
 
Last edited:

jackenhack

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
186
Likes
399
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
#52
Can't say that I've heard many remastered records that sound better than the original release. There are exceptions, but rarely.

Here's an example on taking a very well recorded (and now a classic) album by Nirvana. Let's look at the original release.
No inter-sample peaks, dynamics available even though it's a Grunge record.
1 - Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nevermind - Nirvana.flac_report.jpg


Now let's look at Geffen's 2011 Remastered in hi-res. Let's squeeze all the dynamics out of the music. Why would you need 24-bits to represent the end result when you easily could squeeze the music into 12-bits? They've managed to take all the life out of the song. It's even "expanded" when you look at the stereo indicator top right. Gahh!
01 Smells Like Teen Spirit.flac_report.jpg


There's a metric ton of other examples, this was just the first one I thought of.
 

bigx5murf

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
204
Likes
80
#53
I'd like to add "greatest hits" compilations into the same category as "digital remaster". I've found them both to be some of the worst, as well as some of the best masterings. For example, I recently picked up Billy Joel's, greatest hits volume 1 & 2, as well as Fleetwood Mac greatest hits from 1986 and 1988 respectively. They were both $1 each from the thrift store, and I've confirmed both albums had better dynamic range than my HD Tracks purchases of the same songs. In fact, both were some of the best, foobar's replaygain shows average adjustment of both albums to be less than -1db.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,065
Likes
1,743
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#55
I've just been listening to the latest release of William Steinberg's recording of the Planets and Also Sprach Zarathustra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and have to admit that I think DG have made an excellent job of the remaster. Also, it comes with a 24/192 blu-ray, I think y'all know my feelings on the relative merits of RBCD vs. hi-res, but, in this case the hi-res disc is quadrophonic and regardless of how hi-res it is the quadrophonic experience does add a lot to the listening experience and is very worth having.
 

bigx5murf

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
204
Likes
80
#57
Well I recently borrowed the Beatles 50th anniversary white album from my dad (sis got it for him for xmas). A little disappointed. I mean the quality is fine, but just not spectacular, and the extra takes were actually pretty bad. Replaygain on each of the CDs were varying around -4db to -6db correction. Just expected better from a $120 album. Sure it's 6 CDs, but only the first 3 are really worth listening to.
 

Pluto

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
140
Likes
224
Location
Harrow, UK
#58
I recently borrowed the Beatles 50th anniversary white album from my dad
Do remember that this is a re-mix [within the limitations of what can be achieved from an album made using mainly 4 (and some 8) track technology], not merely a re-master of existing final mixes. I thought this release really did bring something new to the party, especially with regard to the bass playing which articulated just how good McCartney really could be at that stage of his career (“Dear Prudence” being a great example).

Whether or not this release is worth the money is, of course, entirely down to the individual.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
9
#60
This topic raises perennial problems. I am a nut about Classical reissues of recordings from the past. Recently I acquired APR's reissue of Gaillard's late 1920s performances of Debussy's piano works. Mark Obert-Thorn was responsible for the job, starting with the best of the shellacs available. A thoroughly successful job; the result is quite listenable and revealing of the musical content. But all too many of these reissues stink.

On the websites I frequent a perennial question is this: Are the reissues any good? The usual answer is: no one knows. We might have comments from people whose wording suggests they are not reliable judges. If you are thinking of buying the 40-CD box of Cortot reissues, you would like at least a somewhat authoritative evaluation. Where to get that? I would trust you guys much better than most - but you know pop music much better than classical.
 
Top Bottom