Dark Side of the Moon 30th Anniv Album

I purchased two copies of the recently released Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" 30th Anniversary album. According to the sticker on the album it is pressed in Holland. Our initial listening impressions are that it is lacking in "spaciousness" in the high end details and sounds boomy. Thinking it might simply be my system we put on a MFSL recording of Eric Clapton's first solo album; it sounded fine....crisp, clean bass, good soundstage. The Dark Side went back on; dull, boomy. We then tried some jazz albums like Coltrane and Modern Jazz Quartet with the same results.

Anybody else have a listen to this album yet?

have you compaired it to the original UK Harvest or US pressing. I have both which are quite good and therefor have no interest in the reissue but it would be intersting if someone who has both the reissue and a original did a compairson. JM
I've listened to the album with friends and immediately noticed major differences. While every single instrument seems to be clearer, resolved in space better, the overall effect is another matter. This recording has always had a "dreamy" quality (perhaps from my drug-induced days) and the guitar work was always in the forefront. The new version has a more laid-back presence on the guitars and seems more sterile and less musical. If I had never heard the old version, I would probably love it, but we compared it to the UK LP pressing and that was much more satisfying, more lively and had more "drive".

Talking to a rep who deals in vinyl a lot, he said that the original 2-track master for DSOTM is owned by Alan Parsons and he would not agree to the use of it for this release (?!) Thus they decided to completely remaster using the original studio tapes and Pink Floyd signed off on it. Perhaps since they opted to go for a surround sound mix, then based it on that first and the 2-track version resulting sounds significantly different. I've yet to hear from someone very familiar with the original that really likes the new version.
You may also want to check out the following info regarding cracks on some DSOTM pressings that appears on Stereophile's web site:


Mainly a summary of an AA thread on this topic, but they do mention sonic differences between the various pressings.
For some reason, i'm thinking that Alan Parsons prefers DVD-A over SACD. As such, he might be playing games with those that want to make use of the masters for something that he does not agree with or support. This makes me wonder what was used for the multi-channel SACD release though ??? Should i have read all of the footnotes on the disc liner ??? : ) Sean
The story I heard was that the stereo mix _is_ from the original stereo tape. The m/c mix is new and was prepared from the original multitrack tapes. It's possible that Alan Parsons has the quad tape - but I am not sure. I don't think he owns the rights to the original stereo mix. This tape has been used many times to remaster DSOTM.

Interesting information. I am quite sure that the stereo mix on the new LP is NOT the original stereo tape. It sounds too dramatically different.
Some people are talking about vinyl on this thread and some people SACD/CD.....
Good point, Ben. I think I was up too late and didn't reading carefully before I posted. Upon the light of day, I think I'll leave this one to the vinyl guys.
This is a rare case where my CD of DSOTM sounds better than the vinyl. I am fortunate to have picked up that very limited edition of DSOTM that some fellow was trying to tell me is worth 300 bucks; ha.
I have the LP and the SACD and neither of the mention Alan Parsons being involved. I have not listened to the LP yet, but SACD has some interesting things on it. I have heard things I did not notice before, but that doesn't mean it is better.
I did find it odd the AP wasn't involved in the process though. I can't believe he has any rights to or say about what Pink Floyd can do with their own music. Maybe they liked the other tapes better.
Maybe Pink Floyd sold the rights to their own music. I guess it worked for the Beatles!?!
EDIT: I listened to the LP yesterday and was very impressed with what I heard. It does seem to be vaguely different than the original. There are definately many improvements. I was able to understand several things which in the past were too muffled to hear clearly. The talking in the airport was finally clear enough, and the footsteps seemed for the first time to be running in circles rather than just back and forth across the soundstage.
I did not listen to the original and the new Holland pressing back to back so I can't make a valid comparison, but if nothing else this LP is a fresh look at a musical legend (like it or not.)
I was wrong about Alan Parsons, he is credited on the LP as the engineer.
There's an interesting analysis on the Stereophile web site that compares the CD layer versus the SACD layer. JA's measurements suggest that the CD layer was compressed and the dynamics were often clipped. Not so the SACD. The observation was that the CD layer sounded louder and punchier, but had fatiguing distortion versus the SACD layer. The Stereophile writers wonder if this was deliberate, to make the SACD layer sound better to audiophiles, or perhaps it reflects typical CD production policies.
What does the SACD have to do with the sound of the vinyl release of the 30th anniversary edition?
I suspect the 30th anniversary edition was dumped into a program like pro tools, then re worked from there.. which basically means we are getting a digital version then pressed to vinyl. I am quite sure this is what is happening with nearly all vinyl re issues. It's just too tempting to use the digital medium these days for re working things based upon the convenience of editing.

I'm listening to DSOTM 30th right now and it sounds like a CD version. Although it has the clarity, it lacks the richness and true depth only a direct and non manipulated vinyl experience can offer.
If I live another 30 years, This album is going to be remastered, remixed, repackaged, repeated and repeated until it no longer sounds like the original released by Pink Floyd in 1973. I am Dark Sided out with way too many versions of this classic.
Find an early MFSL printing of Dark Side. Soundstage is Huuuuuge!

I don't know much about the 30th Anniv. LP but I was lucky enough to hear the SACD-DSD Hybrid version in 5.1 at Phillips Crest National Studio in LA. They mass produced the DSOTM SACD's commercially. Crest's massive 5.1 Eggleston, Halcro, EMM system produced the best sounding multi-channel experience I have ever had and the sound was --flawless. Of course, the room itself was amazing and perfectly treated. That said, I also listened and compared the Anniversary SACD to several other copies I have on my two-channel home rig and clearly preferred the SACD 30th--especially for frequency extension, detail and imaging.

Regarding Parsons, the band chose James Guthrie with Doug Sax for the 30th re-master, feeling they would best preserve the original sound. The final re-master was done at Guthrie's Das Boot studio and by all accounts was extremely well received by Gilmour, the band and those at Astoria Studio --where the original recording was made.

Parsons was not happy about the decision reportedly, but the principles felt strongly about Guthrie's positive influence on the original master and so chose him for the SACD 30th master. In the end, the band themselves were the primary architects of the sound on DSOTM and felt Guthrie's lighter touch on the master would best preserve that. Based on what I hear I think they made the right choice.
Having collected this album since release (15 on vinyl and 5 compact discs) the 30th anniversary is good but not extraordinary. Certainly, it's better than both MFSL releases but pales in comparison to these:

UK first pressing
US first pressing
Japan EMI EMS80324
UK Harvest Q4SHVL804
German Harvest 1C06205249Q
UK Harvest 8556731
Japan EMI EMLF97002