Thoughts on the sound quality of remastered Earth, Wind & Fire CDs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let me start this thread by saying that other than remastered CDs, I have no Earth, Wind & Fire recordings in my music collection. That is, I have no LPs, SACDs, or original CDs. In any event, I have Greatest Hits, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1, and The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire on CD. I figure that most, if not all, of the songs on these discs were taken from analog masters given the age of the recordings. Surprisingly, I found these discs to sound very "digital". Now, I know these are CDs, but still, I did not expect an overly digital sound from older recordings. The vocals are rather "glassy" or have a bit of "sizzle". As an example, I found the sizzle to be readily apparent on "September" and "Can't Hide Love" on all three discs. Overall, I feel these CDs show great separation, detail, and rhythm, but there is the digital glare. Does anyone else feel that the remastered Earth, Wind & Fire CDs sound too digital?
     
  2. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2000
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I only have ALL N' ALL and to me it sounds perfect! A definite improvement over the original issue. However i must admit that thought it sounds "cleaner" it you can deduce that it lacks warmth. Can't speak for the other titles.

    David
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    David, as I said, I don't have the original CDs for comparison, unfortunately. I do feel that the remastered CDs are clean. There is great separation, punch, and imaging. However, a lack of warmth is an excellent way to describe what I am hearing. I'm not sure if the CD format is completely to blame for that since these are not DDD CDs (i.e., the songs were recorded in analog).
     
  4. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I must be the only person who has the previous edition of That's The Way of The World and the new version with the
    bonus tracks, which is the only reason I bought it. I haven't done a comparision between them but I know that the song September doesn't have the very forward sounding horns that I like from my CBS Mastersound half speed mastered vinyl edition of The Best of EWF, Volume 1 . Now, I'm curious to do that comparision.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Charles, if you do the comparison, please post your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
     
  6. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'll do that comparision tonight. It has always been my thought that CBS/Sony should re-master the earlier part of their catalog. I always wanted to Open Our Eyes in its
    full quad glory.
     
  7. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The results are in! First, let me say that this test was completely un-scientific in its methods. I used 2 players, my Pioneer DV414 and the CLD 1080 Laserdisc player. I could not match the audio output of either player. The DV414 had a higher output than the 1080. The question was do the remastered CDs sound better than the originals? They sound different than the originals. The remastered disc was "louder" than the original and I played the newer disc in both players just to be certain. The original EWR disc sounded like it had a tiny bit of tape hiss in the background and some type of compression. With the new disc, all that noise had been removed. There was more punch and definintion in the mid range in every track, especially the end of "Shining Star" with the male vocals. My conclusion is that the new disc does sound better than the original. I also have All n All from the remastered series but I do not have the original for another comparision. Remember, I bought the discs not for the "improved" sound but the bonus tracks.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Charles, thanks for the comments. Overall, I am happy with the sound of the remastered Earth, Wind & Fire CDs, but there is some digital glare. Oh well. These are CDs.
     
  9. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can always dig up the 8-track version of the album if you're retro. More curiuos, I wonder how the MFSL vinyl edition stacks up.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Charles, oooh, Earth, Wind & Fire on 8-track. Very cool. [​IMG] I have about 20 8-track tapes, but no Earth, Wind & Fire. I'm sure any MFSL LPs of Earth, Wind & Fire sound great, and may also cost big bucks these days.
     
  11. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My 8-tracks bit the dust a long time ago. I remember seeing That's The Way of the World from Mobile Fidelity right before they went under. I'm searching a very elusive, obscure track they recorded for a Canadian produced cartoon movie called Rock and Rull and the track was titled Dance Dance Dance. I have a low quality 30 second MP3 of it
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Charles, I never play 8-tracks, but I have around 20 tapes. About two years ago, I found someone on eBay with an unused Realistic (Radio Shack) 8-track tape player. It must have been from the late '70s or early '80s. It came in the box with all the packing materials. The player was still wrapped in bubble wrap. I got it for $30. It was one of those what-the-heck purchases. Shortly thereafter, I purchased a handful of 8-track tapes on eBay. Most of them were $1-2 each. However, I picked up a few sealed ones that I still have not had the nerve to open. One of them is Dark Side of the Moon. I paid $20 for it on eBay, and I wonder if it is worth more. Probably not since it's just an 8-track.
     
  13. Pete Gia

    Pete Gia Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi KeithH---My favorite EWF is called "I AM".You might want to check it out. Get the original CD. I don`t know if there`s a re-master,(which I wouldn`t get anyway because of "glare" concerns. This disc sounds very good for being older. Another excellent(but little known) band that does this type of music is called Tower of Power. If you`ve never heard them,and want to give them a listen,I can give you some suggestions. I would also like to say that I enjoy reading your very informative posts. Best Regards, Pete
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pete, thanks for the I Am suggestion. I am steadily expanding my Earth, Wind & Fire collection, though I only have a few compilations thus far. I will look for the original version of I Am as a used CD.

    As for Tower of Power, I know that Sony put out an SACD. I believe it's a live album. I have none of their albums, though. Didn't they used to perform with Huey Lewis & The News? I seem to recall that.
     
  15. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think I Am has been re-mastered this time around. And if it were, I wouldn't let this "digital glare" discourage me from getting it soley because, as with the others that have been re-mastered, the bonus tracks are worth the price alone. Speaking of I Am, try finding the 9-minute version of "Boogie Wonderland" on CD. I still have that on 12-inch vinyl disco single and it's not for sale. If I have a favorite EWR album, it would be Raise! which was the second CD I ever bought.
     
  16. Pete Gia

    Pete Gia Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith,Towers` 5-piece horn section is considered by many musicians to be "The best in the business". They did,in fact play on some Huey Lewis cuts. There`s a list of artists they`ve worked with at their site www.bumpcity.com click site map,then click horn section. Anyway,some disc titles I can recommend would be: *Bump City *Tower of Power *Back to Oakland *Urban Renewal ---- T.O.P----Souled Out---and Rhythm and Business. (* indicates older transfers from analog) Pete
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pete, thanks for all the information. I am somewhat familiar with Tower of Power, but certain am no expert. I appreciate your input here.
     

Share This Page