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Redbook Recording Quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    You know, about a month ago I purchased a full set of Paradigm Reference speakers (40's, 20's and the CC). Finally! I can now turn the tone controls off my crappy AR Rock Partners and listen to music how it's suppose to sound (the rest of my system is an Anthem Amp, Sony SCD-555ES source and a temporary Harman 2.0 preamp on loan), so I'm not running some crappy Aiwa shelf system.

    Surprisingly the sound was rather thin on most everything I played. Bass was there, but not "potent". Hi's and mids were pretty clear. Nothing spectacular. I attributed this to break in, but it didn't seem to improve over about 3 weeks or so.

    Then, I put in the new Maxwell CD "Now". Suddenly the sound exploded. Bass was awesome, mids and hi's stunning. Ditto for the new Dave Matthews. Not quite as good, but close.

    I listen to a very ecclectic assortment of music (over 450 CD's). Most music is from the 80's and early 90's however. My question is this. Have Redbook recordings improved so much in the last 5 years or so that all my old recordings sound lifeless on my new Paradigms? I heard these speakers will reveal flaws with the source material, but still. I'm stunned by the difference in some recent releases. At least it makes me feel better that it's not the speakers.

    Any thoughts? Sorry for the long post
     
  2. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

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    Most popular music has dreadful sonic quality, no matter what format (CD, LP, tape, etc) that it's released on. They tend to overcompress the audio until there is little or no dynamics remaining.

    Also, I've found that many of the 80s-era CDs sound thin or lifeless since they were never mastered or equalized properly for CDs. They often simply took the LP or cassette masters and slammed them onto a CD, with the result being a poor sounding CD. Some of the more popular such discs have since been remastered, thankfully.

    What are some examples of the discs you have that sound thin or lifeless?
     
  3. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Well, lets see. I listen to a lot of hard rock, so comparing the first Creed - "My Own Prison" to the new "Weathered" was almost night and day IMO. Much fuller sounding material, especially in the bottom end.

    I have a ton of KISS in my collection. Most is from the 70's, so I will cut it some slack...but most of my hard rock collection, you name it, I got it, sounds flat now...slightly. I'm not saying I can't enjoy the music, but for some reason my R&B collection seems a lot more detailed, fuller. Usher, Maxwell, Diana Krall, and a lot of my other Jazz records are much more dynamic.

    Maybe I'm being a little over critical.
     
  4. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    I can vouch for Led Zeppelin's remastered CD's sounding very very good. Those albums have such a great drum sound. Full of power.

    -JNS
     
  5. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    I also found the Led Zeppelin remasters are a big improvement over the original CD releases.
    Its a shame that alot of popular music doesn't use dynamic range more to its advantage. I guess radio play is more important.
    I also find it a shame that I can play one of my jazz or blues discs that were recorded in the 50s or 60s and it sounds better than alot of popular music of the 90s.
    Its funny how I didn't notice this stuff as much when I had a crappy stereo system. Spend some money on some good speakers and the next thing you know you want to buy the entire Mobile Fidelity catelogue.[​IMG]
    KrisM
     
  6. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    Speaking of excellently-recorded Jazz albums, this Bill Evans Trio album (recorded in 1961) is a great showcase of redbook CD stereophonics done right.
    -JNS
     

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