Has anyone heard an early copy? I love their music, and the later CD and vinyl pressings are generally excellent-- hard to know if it's worth reinvesting for SACD.... Pitch in if you've heard some.
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I'll be interested to hear how they sound as well. DCD albums are among the best recorded artists out there. (I'd advise going to their website and ordering a copy of their "Selections from the 2005 North American Tour" while you still can. Great stuff, fabulous live sound right off the boards.) There aren't many artists I'd consider buying again in a different format, but DCD are.
I ordered a copy of "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" from Hong Kong last week and it got here this afternoon. I've listened to it once and my initial impressions are quite favorable. They definitely have remastered them, and it's not a subtle difference between SACD and Redbook when played back through my Marantz Sa11S1. There is some evidence of the tendency to enhance treble frequencies that I find common in remasters these days, but the recording quality is so fine that I don't find it harsh or grating (as has sometimes been the case.) The soundstage on several tracks is vast, quite amazing. On the strengths of this disc, I'll probably buy the whole set. I noticed Amazon dropped the price to $14.99 a disc recently BTW.
Phaelon, "A Passage in Time" was released by Rykodisc, not 4AD recordings, so it's outside the label that's doing this project. "Wake" is a compilation, and the project was just the original nine studio albums. I agree that it would be nice to offer "Wake" as a good intro to this group. I was introduced to DCD through an unexpected source, a professor who is the director of our local Bach festival. He started raving about them one day and I checked them out, my esteem for them has only grown since.
Actually, the 259.00 set is not the same. The discs themselves are the same as the 159.00, but it is a very limited set that also includes a custom box for the 9 SACDs. Seems a little silly to spend 100.00 for a "limited edition box set"
The box set is available in limited quantities, while the nine individual discs as a set are in larger quantities. My set arrived today (@159.00). Elusive Disc sent me an email the other day offering me the box set for 100.00 more or my order as placed.
I called MD but didn't get a really good answer about what is different in the "extremely rare and very hard to find Dead Can Dance SACD Box Set". The rep said you just get the CD's in the bundle, but you get the box and some booklets in the "extremely rare and very hard to find Dead Can Dance SACD Box Set".
Curious, as the bundle is described as "SACD's are packaged in Japanese paper sleeves which replicate the original U.K. vinyl releases, including replica original inner sleeves and new additional booklets with lyrics, album labels and other images."
Are you really only getting a box and a number for $90.00? Really?
My bundle shipped today. I did not receive an e-mail asking to "upgrade" the the "extremely rare and very hard to find Dead Can Dance SACD Box Set".
Yeah, you're getting a fancy package and a number for $90.00. You'll not likely lose money on it if you buy it and ever resell it though. DCD fans are often some of the most rabid collectors of rare and arcane issues you'll ever meet. If you do a little research on the sale prices on the second hand market for limited edition DCD issues, you'll be amazed at the rapid escalation of prices. I'm not one to buy issues on the basis of potential collectible appreciation, just throwing this out there. The box set is now sold out from the distributor on the second day. Many retailers with copies are now asking over $300 for the set.
Yo, Synthfreek: I wasn't looking for the box set, either one of them, though i bought the standard 9 set from idealcopy after striking out big time. I was really only
looking for 3 or 4 titles and i would've been fine. But, yeah, i can see the humor in that!!! That's how we rabid DCD fans roll!
Bring back Tower! Bring back Tower!!!!!!!!
Of the new SACD's, I'd suggest starting with their live '94 album, "Toward the Within." It has many of their best songs from their first six albums plus new tracks (at the time.) It's a nice long collection of very well recorded material. It might not be quite the sonic equal of their best studio recordings, but the performances are great and it is a good overview of their oeuvre.
Just got mine today. I wasn't particularly excited about the Japanese paper sleves, but they are actually quite nice. I've spun "Spiritchaser" but haven't done any critical listening (just got in from driving from Omaha to Dallas).
However, I do have a question (which probably should have been asked *before* purchasing...
In the context of these DCD CDs / SACDs, what does "remastering" mean? Specifically, how do these differ from the standard releases?
As much as I love DCD, i hated the packaging, and I'm hoping I'm not the only one, because i'm feeling a bit whiny. Here's why:
What's with the sticky outer sleeve? It gets in the way of putting everything back inside. What gives man?
I ended up taking out all the CDs from their (very meticulous) sleeves and putting them in a disc binder.
The cardboard stuff went into a ziploc baggie.
By the time you put it back into its sleeve, 10 mins. have passed and you're no longer in the mood to listen to another one. too much work.
:( Great music, PITA packaging.
Amen Jorge, you are so right. The discs look immaculate, but they are such big a PITA to use. I'm just trimming off the flap of the outer sleeve and removing the goo with alcohol. BTW, I'd never bought their first two discs as they were never reviewed as being up to the standards of "Spleen and Ideal" and those after that. After listening to the the first two, I'm amazed at how fast they established their mature signature sound. Their first release is a muddled sonic mess that sounds like it was recorded on a four track Tascam with $60.00 Radio Shack mikes. SACD does nothing to help that one. The second EP disc sounds much better and the music is starting to gel into something good.
Paper sleeves - Better than expected.
Re-sealable outer sleeves - Sucks.
I still wish they would have released them in a jewelbox like the MFSL Ryan Adams "Heartbreaker" hybrid CD / SACD.
As for their first release...if you don't like the re-master, you really won't like the original release. The original release sounds like a mess. The remaster sounds like it's supposed to sound like a mess.
Just got my DCD boxset. They sound phenomenal! The bass is so right where you want it. The sense of space and soundstage is greatly improved. All the percussion instruments are crisp, clear and much more pronounced. I love it!
Now the negatives:
1. Yup the resealable plastic sleeves suck. I love resealable sleeves and these are just bad. Already replaced with quality sleeves from Japan.
2. The packaging is okay but they could have gone further like real Japanese mini LP sleeve reissues by including replica labels, some bonus tracks, B-sides, etc.
3. The vocals are a little too digitized for my taste especially Brendan Perry's vocals on Toward The Within.
I've got 7 more to go as I had to hear Toward The Within and Aion first.
It is not my intent to steal the thunder from this thread, but on a related note, it seems that DCD is in the process of having remastered albums rereleased on 180g vinyl. I have original copies of most of their LPs, and they are a treat. Acousticsounds is taking preorders already for Garden of Arcane Delights and their initial self titled release. The DCD website implies that more are on the way. By the way, I have recently received the SACD of Into the Labyrinth as well as Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, and they are in fact a real improvement. I have not even listened to the SACD layer yet.