Taking Tiger Mountain remaster - longish comparison

Discussion in 'Music' started by Doug Otte, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    So, I was in the local new-used store today, and saw the Eno remasters. My favorite is Green World, but due to the reported problem, I'm holding off on that one. I picked up Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).

    It's in a gatefold digipak, but slides into a hard plastic shell. I guess this will help preserve the cardboard digipak, but it's a little hard to get out.

    I'm comparing the remaster to a US EG CD. The color and detail on the cover seems more accurate on the remaster. On the older CD, the cover is overly bright and washed-out.

    I used Sennheiser 'phones directly out of my Denon DCM-380 and one glass of Tenuta la Gabbiola chianti. I switched back and forth between the two discs, sampling about a minute of each of the first 4 songs. For the 5th song, The Great Pretender, I sampled 2 minutes so I could hear the crickets.

    The biggest difference was - the channels are reversed! I don't know which one is correct, but the L-R are definitely the R-L on the remaster.

    The other differences are much more subtle. The overall gain on the remaster is slightly higher, but not as bad as some remasters we've heard. Otherwise, the differences follow what we've noticed before w/ DSD. The bass is slightly deeper and fuller - "rounder." The treble is less harsh and edgy. The imaging is slightly better, and the decay on sounds is more accurate and easier to distinguish. For example, the piano "bass" on The Great Pretender has a nice echo-y decay that I can't hear on the old CD. I can't say I heard anything on the remaster that I couldn't hear on the old one. Because the treble is less harsh and pronounced, some of the high guitar and sound effects frequencies are further back in the mix on the remaster. Maybe it's closer to Eno's original intent? Me don't know.

    In summary, if you have the originals and aren't an overly critical listener (or a long-time Eno afficionado like me), don't bother w/ the remasters. I'll pick up Green World when it's fixed and Before and After Science too. I was never big on Warm Jets except as a kind of novelty.

    Cheers.
    Doug
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    what's "wrong" with agw?
     
  3. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Scott, A few seconds were chopped off the beginning of Everything Merges w/ the Night. I put a note about it at the bottom of this thread:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...=eno+remasters

    Doug

    PS Another oddity I forgot to mention about the package:
    the writing on the spine is backwards. When a CD is vertical on a shelf, the writing usually goes from top to bottom (just like a book). However, on the Tiger Mountain remaster, it runs from bottom to top.
     
  4. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    btw....replacement discs of "Another Green World" can be requested by emailing Astralwerks at [email protected]

    They will send out a replacement disc pronto.
     
  5. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    btw....replacement discs of "Another Green World" can be requested by emailing Astralwerks at [email protected]

    They will send out a replacement disc pronto.
     
  6. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Well, I listened to Tiger Mountain again, this time comparing it to the old CD, but using speakers instead of headphones.

    Using speakers gives a better sense of the soundstage. The remaster does have a slightly, but appreciable, more open soundstage and better imaging.

    I've had a slight change of heart about the remasters. While I'm still disappointed they're not SACDs, they are worth the investment if you're an Eno aficionado.

    I went ahead and bought the remasters of AGW and BAAS. Unfortunately, I got a bad early copy of AGW.

    However, Ashley at Astralwerks sent me a corrected copy that I received in 4 business days after I e-mailed her. I commend Ashley and Astralwerks for their exceptional customer service.

    Regards,
    Doug
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Hopefully they will correct the mistake and issue SACDs. It seems a waste not to do so if you have new DSD masters.
     
  8. Bren_Chris

    Bren_Chris Stunt Coordinator

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    Apparently, these aren't really remasters, but so-called "re-transfers". I bought Warm Jets, Green World, and Science, and was not thrilled with the "new" sound of any of them. At least knock the master volume up a bit if you're going to re-do the discs; these don't sound much different/better than what was issued in the two ENO boxsets about ten years ago.

    The original mixes buried some of the Jones/Collins bass and drum tracks, and that's where my gripe lies, I guess. I love the analog sounds of these records - it's not like I wanted them remixed - but the recordings/mixes never had much "punch" to begin with.
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Politely, I disagree. The worst current mastering practice is this over-maximization bullshit, the so-called "loudness wars". And these most certainly have been remastered to DSD.

    I picked up "Another Green World" (likely the only one I'll purchase until we know for sure whether SACDs are in the offing), and the new mastering is an improvement. I'm no expert, but the transfer sounds flat to my ears, or at least with no egregious eq tweaking (no "smiley face" eq'ing). It doesn't sound over-maximized or compressed. The bass is much fuller and more coherent, and faint details are more apparent.

    The problem with "Another Green World" is that the opening "Rosalee..." line from "EVERYTHING MERGES WITH THE NIGHT" is cut (just the vocal), picking up at "I've been waiting all evening". I emailed Astralworks and received a corrected replacement disc 3 days later in the mail.

    Sounds mighty fine, but I'm still hoping for SACDS!
     
  10. Bren_Chris

    Bren_Chris Stunt Coordinator

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    All I said was, bump up the volume "a bit." I agree with the general consensus that volume overkill sucks. But I need some volume improvement from the original Eno CDs.
     
  11. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Rich is right. Many recent remasters seek to trick casual ears by overmaximizing the overall gain, reducing the dynamic range and clipping the loudest bits. If you want louder CDs, use that big round dial on your amp/receiver.

    By the way, what's the difference between "remaster" and "retransfer?" I would have thought "remaster" meant to make a new digital transfer from the original master mix. I guess it could include some tweaking, eh? Anyway, I'm glad these "retransfers" are just a flat transfer via DSD from the analog master tapes. We hear some hiss and noise, but that's what the Domed One left on the tape, right?

    We are the 801,
    Doug
     
  12. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    as for the "backwards" spine info-I believe that is how they do it in Europe- not a mistake. This may be an import-or they didnt bother to change the cover.
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Yeah... these were made in Holland, I think, and bottom-to-top is the typical type format for Euro releases.

    I've been so impressed by the sound of "Another Green World" that I'm tempted to pick up the others... I just know that as soon as I do, we'll get an SACD announcement!

    (Actually, it's hard to say whether that'll happen or not, or anytime soon; the smart studios/musicians are hopefully looking to archive aging analog tapes to DSD before they further deteriorate, whether or not planned SACD releases are in the offing.)
     

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