Police SACDs

Mike Broadman

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I picked up all the studio Police SACDs today (at a good price, too!) and wanted to swap impressions.

I'll get the bitching out of the way- yes, it sucks that they're not hybrids or multi-channel. Boo-hoo, bad for marketing, etc and so forth.

With that out of the way, we can talk about the sound quality. For reference, I have been using the remastered CDs for all my Police listening needs until now. My first impressions of the first two albums:

Outlandos d'Amour
I never particulary liked the sound on the regular CD and I personally like this album the least musically, which probably color my view negatively towards this disc. Suffice it to say I was not particularly impressed. If it reveals "more of the master tape," it's not anything I'm excited to hear. I hope someone else can present a more objective opinion.

Regatta de Blanc
I hear a marked improvement in clarity in the guitars and small amounts of keyboards. The bottom isn't that significantly different to me. Overall, there is a greater presence and space in the sound to my ears.

Tomorrow, time permitting, I get to spin the SACD of my favorite Police album: Zenyatta Mundatta.

NP: Miles Davis, Walkin', XRCD
 

KeithH

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Mike, thanks for posting the initial review. I look forward to your thoughts of the Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity SACDs. I am still enjoying the Every Breath You Take: The Classics hybrid disc but haven't gotten around to picking up the other SACDs or remastered CDs yet.
 

Mike Broadman

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Zenyatta Mundatta
Some improvement in the bottom compared to the previous two, most notably in Shadows in the Rain[/b].
The improvements here in the sound over what I remember from the CDs are subtle but appreciated.

No "Wow" moments here for me, yet, though. The Police discs are so far ranking as "average" compared to other rock SACDs. Like Universal's performance on SACD so far in general, I'm pleased with the results, but a part of me feels it could have been truly spectacular.

Keith, I only didn't buy the compilation because I knew the albums were coming out, so I felt I had nothing to gain. I also have the DTS CD of the compilation.

I look forward to spinning Ghost in the Machine (Spirits in the Material World is probably my favorite Police song), as the first half of the album is some of the greatest pop music of all time.
 

KeithH

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Mike, thanks again for your added comments. I am still impressed with the Every Breath You Take: The Classics stereo SACD track. It's not the best-sounding SACD I've heard, but it's quite good. The corresponding CD sounds truncated by comparison. I haven't yet listed to the multi-channel SACD track, so I haven't compared it to my DTS CD. That should be fun, as I've always liked the DTS CD.

I agree with you regarding Ghost in the Machine. It is an outstanding album. That will probably be the next Police SACD I get.
 

John Tillman

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The Synchronicity SACD sounds good. At least as good as my memory of the original vinyl (no longer have a TT).

I tried the remasterd Ghost CD which was a waste, I'd like to try the SACD if it sounds good.

I too passed on the Classics hybrid as I have DTS CD which i think is very good.
 

Mike Broadman

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Ghost in the Machine
Basically, my impression on the sonics on this one are similar to those on Zenyatta. I feel that with the extra layers of instrumentation (specifically synths) on the later albums, you can hear more of a difference in sound from the CD. Demolition Man and Too Much Information sound particularly tasty here.

Especially the DTS vs. DSD.
The SACD definitely sounds better in terms of pure quality, as well it should. Of course, with DTS you have the surround effect.
 

KeithH

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John, the Every Breath You Take: The Classics hybrid disc has a multi-channel SACD track.
 

Larry Geller

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I haven't yet listed to the multi-channel SACD track, so I haven't compared it to my DTS CD.
I have & it's no contest. The SACD sounds LIGHT YEARS better than the DTS. The difference is MUCH greater than I could have possibly believed, since, previously, I thought the DTS disc was great! Now I can't wait for Universal to get Gaucho & Allman Brothers Live At The Fillmore East, so I can upgrade my DTS versions of them.
 

Mike Broadman

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Oh, sorry, by "track" I thought he was referring to song.

Damn, I though that by getting all the albums, I wouldn't be missing anything by not getting the compilation.
 

Mike Broadman

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Synchronicity

The best one so far. I think this is partly due to the nature of the music itself, which features more space and more airy but tighter arrangements in songs like King of Pain and Wrapped Around Your Finger, allowing the listener to hear the benefits of SACD more clearly.
 

Javier_Huerta

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Well... I own 4 Police SACDs now... and it might just be me (and my fiancee) but we both think the SACDs are inferior to the "Message in a Box" box set.

Why? Well, it seems to me that many SACDs suffer from the "early CD" syndrome> exaggerated highs, no real low end, and a very tiny sound. The Police SACDs suffer all these traits (and you have to consider, my fiancee has no audiophile aspirations whatsoever, yet she said "this release sounds so tiny... as if little kids were singing instead of Sting".

I'm sad to report I'm back to listening to the Message in a Box recordings for now, since I found the SACDs to be as inferior sounding as old, old CDs. Bummer, since I have heard what SACD is capable of (thanks to DSOTM!).
 

Felix Martinez

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Synchronicity

The best one so far. I think this is partly due to the nature of the music itself, which features more space and more airy but tighter arrangements in songs like King of Pain and Wrapped Around Your Finger, allowing the listener to hear the benefits of SACD more clearly.
Synchronicity is a fantastic production - an early digital (PCM) recording. Judging by its 1983 vintage, it was 16-bit, and the sampling rate was probably no greater than 50khz (the audiophile benchmark at the time was Donald Fagen's The Nightfly - recorded on a 32 track 3M machine at 16-bit/50khz).

Cheers!
 

Ron Reda

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Whoa, return of the thread!!!!


IMO, don't bother with the SACD...while it may reveal a smidge more in terms of detail, I feel that unfortunately, the album was not that well recorded to begin with. Some songs, yeah, but as a whole, no. Take "Walking In Your Footsteps" for example ...it's a predominantly "electronic" song. To me, it sounds better, cleaner. But the rockin' tunes like "Synchronicity II," don't sound all that much better. Of course, the singles sound good, but the SACD version doesn't bring to the table as much as you'd think.

Hindisght being what it is, I wish I had stuck with my MoFi version and gave up on this CD ever sounding great.

Wow, reading back now, my opinion differs a LOT from Felix's above...
 

Lee Scoggins

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I have both and prefer the SACD of Synchronicity to the Mofi but both are pretty good. The SACD has more detail but the recording is not as present as some of the better recordings recently.
 

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