CBS Half Speeds? Digital?

I bought a fine collection of audiophile discs here on audiogon from a nice fellow back East. I was just interested in the MFSL and Nautilus vinyl but the 50 or so albums included about a half dozen CBS half speed "audiophile" pressings. Curious I spun Billy Joel's "The Stranger" and couldn't believe how badly it sounded. Like a CD with noisy vinyl. There was a write up on their "technical" specifications and if I'm not mistaken they actually converted the analog master to digital and then cut the vinyl from this "exciting" new master. These were pressed in the early 80s when digital conversion technology was primitive to say the least. Any of you audiophiles care to shed some light on these discs? I tried the Springsteen and a couple of Michael Jackson albums and they sounded equally bad. If they did in fact convert analog masters to digital tapes and then pressed vinyl the persons responsible should be forced to listen only to MP3s for the rest of their natural life.
I have found similar results with some of these, as well as other non-audiophile records. Some are just made that way. I try to avoid them. However some of these audiophile recordings are really good all-analog recordings, well mastered, and pressed on top quality vinyl. Those are worth having. I always try to read all the fine print on the record jacket, to try to weed-out the clunker digital remasters.
the cbs half-speeds were indeed remastered digitally. i've been told that there were some made prior to these abominations that were not, but have never found one. beware and follow twl's advise: read that fine print. there are an incredible amount of digitally remastered lps out there (many are classical) from many labels, and most of them announce it on the front cover with great pride. ahh, those crasy 80's...
also, many current lps are taken from digital recordings. some are fine (lots of improvements in digital technology since that dark decade), some are not so fine. many sound exactly like the cd.
I listened to the CBS half speed master of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" two days again and I was real happy with the sound. This is an older version, no digital here.
I know when digital was all the rage in the early 80'many of the companies rereleased good recordings but with digital remastering. Of course no one knew how to do it at the time and the recordings sounded like hot steaming excrement!
Since those days people have learned how to use the new technology, and some of the recordings are actually listenable. SOME!
Like Tom suggested, read the fine print. It's possible you might be getting some real gems.
Good luck.
CBS Master Sound "Audiophile Recording" LP "Isaac Stern's 60th Anniversary Celebration" proudly proclaims itself as a "Digital Recording." That it is -- it sounds more like a CD than an LP.
I have had mixed experiences with the LPs saying "digital remaster" or "digital recording".
Almost every single CBS digitally remastered LPs sound bad.
But ones with just says digital PCM recording(like Denon, Telarc) sounds very good.
CBS Master sound lps usually sound very good(I have about ~40 of them) in my experience.
If you think these are bad try the A&M audiophile half-speeds; they are tons worse. Though most of the CBS half speeds are worse than the originals the Santana Abraxas sounds pretty good.
thanks for the insights...I always seek out first or second pressings...I have even found original sealed copies of albums that have been reissued for less money than the current version...I will be listing the CBS dogs on ebay...I notice that hearing impaired buyers are paying pretty good dough for some them...of course I will take the proceeds and just buy more vinyl....

Post your eBay username here so that we can avoid your listings! ;-)
You are correct!! They are bad. I'll tell you why.
CBS stole the half-speed process from Stan Ricker (MFSL). Mfsl did some CBS titles, then CBS asked them to give them a list of the next titles they might be interested in. Those are the first titles that CBS did, taking advantage of MFSL's research. But they didn't understand the half-speed process, so most all of their recordings are out of the correct phaze, or worse. If Stan Ricker would have done them, they would be fabulous! As Stan says: "THEY SUCK BAD GAS!!" I have over 100 of them anyway. And yes, the vinyl itself is poor also.
Almost all of the half-speed mastered CBS Mastersounds are analog. They have the blue label on the front jacket. The red label ones are digital, and less valuable.
In regards to the a&m audiophile series...i have supertramp's breakfast in America and crime of the century and i find them pretty spectacular. I have also heard that the police's a&m aud series are quite nice as well. As for cbs half speeds, they are anywhere from poopy to very good....many are only equal to original floyds wish you were here is supposedly the holy grail of cbs half speeds but many prefer a UK a1, b3 over the cbs should be noted that the second cbs hs pressing of wywh is worthy. It has the 43#### catalog number in deadwax and not the 34####. You have to be careful though because some have the 34#### on one side and 43#### on the other.