Two interesting observations on Journey *Greatest Hits* SACD.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I just picked up the Journey Greatest Hits stereo SACD last night, and two things struck me as interesting as I compared this SACD to the corresponding remastered Sony CD. One thing about the SACD is good, the other is bad.
    1) The Good: The SACD has 16 tracks, while the remastered CD has 15 tracks. Sony added "When You Love A Woman" as track 15 to the SACD. All other tracks are the same between the two discs. I've never seen an SACD from Sony that didn't mirror the CD in terms of track selection. Is this a first?
    2) The Bad: For some reason, the intro. to track 5, "I'll Be Alright Without You", is considerably shorter on the SACD than on the CD. This is disturbing. The track time on the CD is 4:49, while it is 4:33 on the SACD. I definitely prefer the intro. on the CD. Sony left out the twangy guitar part of the intro. on the SACD. What gives? I wonder if a shorter version of this song was ever released for a single and/or for radio airplay and if such a version was used for the SACD. I dunno. [​IMG] There is a credit on the SACD that says "SACD Editing: Adam Ayan", so maybe this Mr. Ayan did some chopping of the original masters. I don't know if such an editing credit is common on SACDs. I don't recall seeing one on my other SACDs, though I haven't gone through them since noticing the credit on the Journey disc.
    Even though the SACD has the extra track, the total playing time is 65 minutes and change, so Sony did not have to cut out any material. I have not listened to the SACD and CD track for track to see if there are any other ommissions on or additions to the SACD.
     
  2. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    Keith,
    You left out the most important part of your post:
    How does this disc sound? [​IMG]
     
  3. Greg Robertson

    Greg Robertson Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes. Or more specifically, compared to the CD.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I hadn't listened to the SACD thoroughly when I posted the information above to be able to judge the sound quality. Thus far, I've only A/B'd the SACD and remastered CD on my second system, which is not nearly as transparent as my main system. On my second system, the SACD sounds better than the CD, but not world's better. I'll have to A/B the discs on my main system to better evaluate the SACD.
     
  5. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    I picked this title up on my way home from work along with the Hootie DVD-A. The CDWorld closer to my home was kind enough to check the computer to see if the Hootie DVD-A was listed and it was so they sold it to me. I guess my money was green enough for the Parsippany, NJ CDW.
    Anyway we will compare notes regarding the Journey SACD after I take a listen and see if we feel the same way about the disc.
    What irks me a bit about Sony is that for every SACD that they release they use the generic CD booklet. So in the case of the Journey SACD, the case indicates the 16 tracks, yet the booklet only lists 15, and only gives you lyrics for the 15 cuts that were on the original CD. You would think a company the size of Sony would be able to at least print up a new booklet specifically for their SACDs - since it is supposed to be a premium product.
    Warners does it for their DVD-A releases, so why not Sony on the SACD - other than that tiny little insert telling us that "This is even better" than redbook which was supposed to be "perfect sound forever".
    Ok my rant is over. [​IMG]
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, I too have been disappointed by the fact that Sony uses the same booklets for SACDs as CDs. In most cases it may not really matter, but it is inexcusable in the case of the Journey disc. Note that now Sony has gone from the custom cardboard slipcases for SACDs to generic plastic ones. I don't like that either. [​IMG]
     
  7. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, the Compact Disc World in West Windsor has the SACDs mixed in with the CDs, so it isn't always easy to find the SACDs in the new clear slipcases.
    I've been listening to the Journey Greatest Hits SACD on my better system, and honestly, I don't think it is much better than the remastered CD when A/B'ing both through the 'C555ES. There are some improvements such as slightly smoother vocals, and that's just it. The differences are slight. To be honest, this is one title where I could live with the CD. On the one hand, the CD has the better intro. to "I'll Be Alright Without You", but the SACD has one more song. So, both discs have their merits. I'm just disappointed to find that the SACD doesn't blow away the CD. [​IMG] Of course, another way of looking at this is that the CD is quite good. Sony's CDs remastered with the Super Bit-Mapping process are quite good in my opinion.
     
  9. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  10. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ric,
    I haven't compared the Journey Greatest Hits SACD and CD in my '777ES, but maybe differences would be more apparent there than with the 'C555ES. Still, I did find the SACD to be better than the CD when playing both through the 'C555ES. It's just that the differences were not night and day in my opinion. Admittedly, I did not compare the two discs extensively, but maybe I will at some point. I've bought a handful of SACDs lately, so I've had a lot on my plate, so to speak. [​IMG] By the way, I own Escape on SACD, but I have yet to compare it to the Greatest Hits SACD.
    Kevin,
    Thanks for the info. regarding "I'll Be Alright Without You". I own the 1988 Greatest Hits CD, but haven't listened to it since I bought the remastered CD some several months ago.
     
  12. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Brian, I'm not sure what you mean by fiasco, but I assume it is the sound quality of the Escape SACD versus the Greatest Hits SACD. As I said above, I have not yet compared the Greatest Hits and Escape SACDs, so I can't offer an opinion there. One thing that struck me when I compared the Greatest Hits SACD and remastered CD is that I felt they were closer in quality than the Escape SACD and remastered CD. That is, I felt the Escape SACD offered a greater improvement over the Escape remastered CD than did the Greatest Hits SACD versus the Greatest Hits remastered CD. However, I compared the Escape and Greatest Hits discs a few months apart, but I do remember being taken aback by the Escape SACD when I bought it, and I did not get that feeling when I first listened to the Greatest Hits SACD.
     
  15. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I guess fiasco is too strong a word, but it's disappointing that for whatever reason (according to Ric) some songs on the Greatest Hits SACD sound better than the Escape SACD. It could mean several different things:

    1. The Greatest Hits CD was remastered and sounds better than the Escape CD, and the tapes were simply converted to SACD with no adjustments.

    2. The mastering engineer doing the Greatest Hits SACD transfer was more skilled than whoever did Escape.

    With SACD still in its infancy, I thought that the discs would be produced with the attention and care of a MFSL disc. In other words, the original master tapes would be used and optimized for SACD. (Remember the complaints of early CD transfers coming from tapes optimized for vinyl? CDs became much better when the engineers started mastering according to the capabilities of CD.) Apparently this is not the case, or else the same songs on Escape should sound exactly like those on GH. (Again, since the release of both SACDs is so close to each other, I assume there was no special "re-remastering" of the GH. Maybe ten years from now, but not now.)
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Brian, I am no remastering expert, but I would hope that great care would be taken for each and every SACD being released. For one thing, I feel strongly that Sony and Philips and all others with a vested interest in the format have an uphill battle in garnering significant market penetration, no matter how much I like SACD. This is because the CD is ubiquitous and MP3 is a popular format. Also, the producers of SACDs have to know that a majority of their clientele at present are discerning listeners, so it behooves them to turn out the best-sounding software possible. As a result, a song common to the Escape and Greatest Hits SACDs should sound the same, meaning they should sound as good as possible due to great care being taken in the remastering process.
     
  17. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Keith,

    I agree 100%, and that's why it's puzzling as to why songs common to both would sound different.
     
  18. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Brian,
    I think that the explanation is this, and it certainly is no fiasco.
    DSD masters were created from both the analog master for Escape, and the analog master for Greatest Hits. I think we can all agree that "Greatest Hits" sounds better on CD than Escape? Maybe not but to me it does a little.
    SO I'm sure that Sony created the Escape SACD from the existing DSD master, and did the same with Greatest Hits. Because Greatest Hits was mixed and mastered by a different engineer at a different time (years later) I wouldn't find it surprising that the mastering is somewhat better than Escape.
    Perhaps my comments were misconstrued but there is not a "night and day" difference here, it is extremely subtle, but I feel that the Greatest Hits SACD sounds a little more open than Escape.
     
  19. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Journey on a SACD???

    Must be the End of the World...thanks for the tip

    start charging up the Visa cards!
     

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