are gold cd's better sounding than their regular counterpart?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Michaw, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Specifically, Dark Side of the Moon. Which one sounds best?

    A) Dark Side Of The Moon

    B) Dark Side Of The Moon (Ltd Ed) (Remastered)

    C) Dark Side of the Moon [GOLD CD]

    I have heard the Gold, but it wasn't A-B'd...so I don't know the difference.

    In general, how do these Gold discs sound in comparison to their normal counterparts? What makes a GOLD disc "gold"?

    Thanks.
     
  2. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Yes Gold CD's are typically better than their "regular silver" counterparts.
    However, the Gold color has very little to do with it.
    Most "Gold CD's" are remasters from such reputable remastering houses as MFSL (Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs) or DCC (Digital Compact Classics), and as such have been completely remastered and in some cases remixed, which accounts for the improvement in sound quality.
    The Gold color is added for 2 reasons...
    1) Gold is much easier to spray than Aluminum, so it coats the polycarbonate layer of the CD better, resulting in less "pincushioning" and a cleaner signal back to the player.
    2) Marketing. Gold = more expensive = better percieved quality. 99% of the time, the same remastered CD would sound identical if it were stamped in aluminum instead of Gold.
    As far as Pink Floyd's DSOTM goes, the single best CD version of that album is the MFSL Ultradisc pressing from Japan. MFSL also released a second UltraDiscII edition that was pressed in the USA -- that one unfortunately is not as good as the original UltraDisc pressing.
    The Capitol remastered version is good, but lacks the dynamics that the MFSL UDI has.
    I have a dts version of DSOTM that was created from the original Quad8 mixes and it is just amazingly stunning. Of course, that's not readily available for sale anywhere though. [​IMG]
     
  3. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    Probably the best sounding version of DSOTM is the MSFL vinyl UHQR version. I have A-B the Gold CD of DSOTM vs. :

    US Capitol CD (1st version)

    1990's remastered version

    vinyl US version

    MFSL vinyl US release.

    If you disregard minimal surface noise and some pops here and there, the MFSL vinyl is the best sounding. You can almost "taste" the sound from that version. The gold CD is good, but, its mid-range sounds so flat compared to the vinyl. Also, the vinyl has a sound "edge" that the CD totally lacks. It's hard to describe, but I always thought the gold CD was the best until I decided to open my sealed vinyl MFSL version kept under wraps for more than 10 years. It was worth losing its sealed value. That vinyl disc is amazing. I wish I had the UHQR version.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Audiophile or "Gold" discs are better than the "regular" releases for the most part for the reasons that Ric stated. There are many exceptions. Some music has been remastered by the original record company since the audiophile label mastered them. For these releases, sometimes the new major label master sounds better. Examples that I have include some of Paul McCartney's catalog (though I'm not replacing my DCCs) and Steely Dan's "Aja".

    As for Dark Side of the Moon, I have the original Made in Japan US CD (on the Harvest label - from before Capitol Records committed to the CD format!), the origial US LP (with all posters and stickers intact and unwrinkled!!!!), and the US MFSL OMR LP. The MFSL version blows the others away despite the fact that it is damaged (has a significant scratch side 2 near the end of "Money" - not my fault but definitely my problem)
     
  5. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all -
    Is this MFSL Ultradisc pressing from Japan the same import disc that is for sale here at www.hmv.com (I would give you the link to the disc, but HMV uses javascript to access their catalog, and you must have "logged" in to their site to navigate).
    If so, I will take all your advice and order myself a copy.
    Thanks.
     
  6. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Rob,

    No. MFSL has been out of business for quite awhile now and the first UltraDisc pressing probably hasn't been made since 1991.

    You can find them on EBay sometimes, but just make sure to look for the UltraDisc I and not UltraDisc II.

    The Japanese import is the same master that is used in the US release but with much snazzier LP-style packaging that mimics the original LP release in 1973.
     
  7. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    Ric,
     
  8. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  9. KevinJ

    KevinJ Supporting Actor

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    mfsl has been bought by music direct and will be coming out with new discs next month or so i've read
     
  10. Micahel C

    Micahel C Stunt Coordinator

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  11. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Hi Micahel!

    I have both a dts copy -- which I got from Micahel -- and a Dolby Digital copy that I got from a musician friend of mine.

    The Dolby Digital version is the weaker of the two but it is still a pretty incredible experience. There are dead spots between tracks on the DD version, but it's a pretty good listen.

    I'm always on the lookout for new Quad mixes of any of the Floyd.
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Ah Pink Floyd....

    The best Dark Side of the Moon CD is the British pressing on the Harvest label. (At least until the SACD is released - hopefully not wishful thinking on my part).

    This is catalog number is Harvest CDP 7 46001 2.

    A recording engineer explained that this CD took a early version analog master for the music versus a latter version master for the U.S. versions.

    I do have the MoFi (and many others) and this blows it away. I found my copy in a NYC record shop about 12 years ago but it is worth seeking out. The track for "Time" with the opening clocks is really clear and open.

    Lee
     
  13. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Ric,

    I am surprised you said that. I will check on the version I have in my garage and get back to you.

    I think I have the imported one and my Harvest does not sound compressed at all. Perhaps there are two Harvest pressings? - mine was pressed in Holland.

    I'll investigate this and post soon...

    Lee
     
  15. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  16. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    RicP,

    You certainly know your Dark Side of the Moon CDs. Please see my post on the "Which Dark Side" thread. I have some questions for you on the Sony SACD player.

    Thanks! Happy New Year!

    Lee
     
  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    RicP,

    One minor thing. Country of origin was given only to label the right version. I do know for a fact that the Columbia DSOTM CDs suck because they used a latter copy of the master. This often degrades sound quality, even if digital, based on my experience. The MoFi has the Harvest label on the case so I suppose that they used the same or a similar master.

    Alas, the transfer process makes a huge difference. Note the improvements in the new Fritz Reiner XRCD2s (I just listened to Debussy Iberia). They are amazing...

    Maybe Sony will issue a SACD and we can all go home happy!

    Lee
     
  18. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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