Is remastered mainly just less jitter?

When a  CD is remastered is it simply just less jitter???
If you go to this website put in your artist and album you'll find usually the earliest original cd’s are the most dynamic, the later and remastered ones are just louder recorded and more compressed rubbish.

Cheers George
No. A remaster from analog tapes may have less jitter with a more modern A to D. However the main thing with a remaster is some adjustment of the sound of the original master by a mastering engineer. Modern technology can also work a bit of magic with older material. Also the final EQ is adjusted to fit modern tastes.

Unfortunately, per George comment above, modern Mastering is all about making things sound hotter for car and portable player consumption. The sound is harsh with an increased level of uneven harmonics from hard limiting of peaks to squash the dynamic range into a few dB. In the end, most modern masters are harsh and unnaturally constricted sounding - or a way to describe it is the recordings don’t breathe and listeners will find the audio tiring after a very short time.

Interesting list.  I wish there was a legend explaining the scale.

No. Jitter is usually considered an issue on the playback, but I suppose ADCs could also have it.

Read up on the mastering process. You start from raw recordings, with coughs, spits, excess breathing... and multiple tracks and boil it down to the record.

There’s also a final mastering step, where 2 tracks are adjusted based on particulars of an audience or LP master cutting lathe

A "re-master" can often be quite trendy, adjusting for changes in listener and speaker preferences over the years.

Here is a shorter, fun version to learn about the re-mastering done to "Kind of Blue"



OTOH, the really early masters for CD are poor - if one were to avoid listening before buying maybe the 1990s would be the safest bet.

Re-mastering can use newer, better technologies; can remove some artefacts from say wow & flutter, can degrade the sound with compression, and can reflect personal preferences of the engineer or fads

Jitter is likely the least problem or benefit in re-mastering
Early CD really vary.

For some reason, Dark Side of the Moon was often sent around in analog master form, then was final-mastered at each CD pressing, so there are a number of different quality CD’s for the same recording out there. Then there is one VERY famous remaster that totally kills it dynamically and sound effects-wise.

Then there’s a lot of really crap sounding CD’s, especially in the early age of digital drums. Ugh.
I have had many Dark Side of the Moon's, none were great as the list shows, best was the vinyl.

I buy all my cd's s/h on ebay for a couple of bucks this way. I search then click on the issue with the most green, get the "catalogue number", and search it on ebay.

Cheers George
"Dark Side of the Moon ... there is one VERY famous remaster that totally kills it dynamically and sound effects-wise"

is that the one Barry Diament did?
I’d love this, got the CD Issue/ cat no. and year it was done? I can see on the net he did a SACD version but the redbook layer of that was crap. All the SACD’s on the list show it was also compressed no DR, all done in 2003 

For him to have done this, he would have had to get the original master tapes from that recording session 21 January 1972 .

Cheers George
This was the MoFi one, crap also compressed to the max, rubbish. Vinyal to me was the only decent one.

Cheers George
Mobil Fidelity Sound Labs only did one jafant, the one I linked to above.

Cheers George
Pretty sure the answer to the question why do they remaster CDs is to compress their dynamic range.

I once attended a panel discussion where the "loudness wars" came up and one of the panel members, a mastering engineer said that if you wanted to get mastering work, you had to compress dynamic range.

It seems like the "loudness wars" may be taking some pause, hopefully more and more music will be mastered in the future with better dynamic range...
" "Dark Side of the Moon ... there is one VERY famous remaster that totally kills it dynamically and sound effects-wise"

is that the one Barry Diament did? "

I believe you are referring to the remaster that Tim from EAR did as one of the first recordings used to market SACD. Personally, I never cared for it. Very boring to listen to. All the life was sucked out of it.
Jitter is not only an issue of the playback but recording (digitizing) as well.  The difference is that playback jitter can be suppressed while recording jitter cannot be removed and the only way to improve it is to digitize it again from analog tapes (if they still exist) with better more stable A/D converters (clocks). Some early master tapes were digitized poorly, but there are many other reasons for remastering.  DSD, SACD, can only be mastered after conversion to 24/192, AFAIK.
"...the really early masters for CD are poor.."

Unless I’m not reading the numbers right, but looking at the DR values this theory doesn’t seem to hold up. There are lots of early 80’s CDs that are much better than then their later counterparts. I expected the opposite. Interestingly enough, many of the "popular" music like Beyonce, etc., have real low DR values. This supports the theory around the quality of (compressed) sound geared towards the ear-bud/mobile user community.
I have heard a number of remasters that are definitely not improvements over previous masters. So frequently the term remaster simply means crap shoot.
On the other hand remasters can improve things immensely, the Beatles and Springsteen catalogs are good examples.
I have no way of knowing if jitter plays a role in either scenario.
also the 2002 or so re-masters of the Stones 1980s releases are supposed to be MUCH better

Most of the re-masters I’ve heard are just louder and more compressed.

Typical example was the Moody Blues On the Threshold of a Dream, the original Decca release is so much better than the MFSL re-master.
Sure the Decca was a "little" raw, but the MFSL re-master was blunted and fat, no excitement in comparison.

Cheers George
The Stones remasters in hybrid cb/sacd were excellent and much better than prior releases. Those remasters provided the greatest improvement over original redbook in the rock domain that I have ever heard. Remasters in general are a crapshoot.
I concur w/ The Rolling Stones on SACD (remastered), as well as, The Police on SACD, Van Halen (CD) and Rod Stweart (CD).  Otherwise, it is a crap-shoot.  Happy Listening!
The Small Faces Decca deluxe reissues have also been well remastered. I agree it is a crap shoot.

Most of the re-masters I’ve heard are just louder and more compressed.

not only are many if not most remastered overly compressed, sometimes to the point that all the numbers are in the RED on the Dynamic Range Database, but many original issues are overly compressed, examples include the last few Rolling Stones, Dylan, almost all Radiohead, the list goes on.

Five pages of The Rolling Stones releases, again early stuff was the least compressed, SACD is not so good, and DSD lovers will get a reality check here.

Cheers George
Agreed - it is a  crap-shoot,  crap shoot, or at least a  crapshoot.

Find a ratings list, then see if you can try before you buy - if not be prepared to re-sell the crappy ones, or shoot at them as targets
My experience is that remasters sound worse. I think newer A/D is probably far superior. But even when they don't try to increase the loudness, I think they sound worse. The highly acclaimed, latest remaster of the self titled Dire Straits from Japan is lacking some of the voice and instrumental timber of the original CD release that I listen to on Tidal. My theory is that the 40 year old master tapes have degraded, so you'll never be able to make a better release. 
.... less jitter?

Who knows. The re-clocking with the laser burners slows down the production rate significantly and the result is, what nobody wants: higher production costs.
There are so many ways to make a CD worse (or the master) there are endless reasons  to make a reissue. But the main reason for me is to make money again and again.
I seriously think (with a few exceptions) when you want the most natural sound on a CD, look for one of the first releases, beginning of 90's, those are pretty good.

I listen to Classical exclusively.  The remastering are almost always superior.  There are none of the loudness issues.  From what I have read the biggest reason for the improvement is that early CD issues of analog recordings featured 14 bit ADCs.  Also several Conductors liked to diddle with the knobs in the control booth and did a lot of damage, so going back to the earlier mixes was restorative in and of  itself

Of course Classical and Jazz will do better, rock is a garbage in, garbage out situation .
Young folks boogie on headphones and iPods. Old dudes listen to classical on their big home systems. The market is young people. Which is why rock and pop are compressed and classical isn't.

Market is not for young people its for dumb people which come in all ages, esp. in USA .
Most of you folks are all over the place on this. To the OP's original question: No. As far as remasters it just depends on the purpose of the remaster. Steve Wilson has done a bunch of remasters they sound amazing. The point was to improve the sound. A lot of the remasters from the early 00's were to boost it up and that trashed the DR., The DCC Steve Hoffman Cd's are mostly excellent 
The only other thing I can add of any (potential) value is this. Some remastered discs do a good job of adding additional tracks that are worth listening to. I won't buy a cd any more that isn't remastered, unless it's from Japan, West Germany, or some version that is generally accepted as being one of the best versions.
I agree that remasters are a crap shoot.  But I always seek to hear them as some are worlds better. 

The most recent Beatles is an excellent example - the 24/48 files from their USB key are the best I've heard by a large margin.

I think the 2009/2010 Japanese remasters of the Stones albums are probably the best Stones versions as a group.  YMMV with individual albums.

Any Steven Wilson remaster is an automatic improvement.  So good he has me buying albums I didn't even want before he remastered them.

If you really want a new and compelling way to listen to remastered music, seek out the DVD--Audio, SACD and Blu-Ray multichannel versions.  Some of those are pretty mind-blowing, again starting with the Steven Wilson ones (try King Crimson Discipline on DVDA).
Sorry for going a bit of topic but are there any websites that simply show which is the best lp or cd version to buy for the best recording/sound quality? I was listening to Depeche Mode Violator on CD last night which is easily in my top 10.  Discogs does a nice job of showing the different versions but is there a website detailing the best sound quality version?  Thanks for the help 

spoutmouzert8 posts04-14-2017 1:55amSorry for going a bit of topic but are there any websites that simply show which is the best lp or cd version to buy for the best recording/sound quality? I was listening to Depeche Mode Violator on CD last night which is easily in my top 10. Discogs does a nice job of showing the different versions but is there a website detailing the best sound quality version? Thanks for the help

As you can see the best is the earliest non remastered that are the least compressed, I buy all my cd this way s/h and it been right 100% just click on the one with the most green and find the cat no. and go ebaying.

Cheers George
If you're interested in long, in depth discussions of which version is best, check out the Steve Hoffman Music Forums:

George,  IMHO, while dynamic range is important to sound quality and the loudness wars are a blight on music, dynamic range isn't the only factor to consider when choosing between different versions of an album.
dynamic range isn’t the only factor
No there are other factors, but to me it’s the most important to start with and you can do something about it now, and the DR website let’s you be the controller of what you buy today.

Cheers George
+1 George, I agree - no one said DR is the only factor to consider but it’s way up there. In fact I'd guess that if anyone made a list of his least favorite CDs the CDs would score very low on the Dynamic Range Database.

Like the film business , it’s a sausage factory.

Quality meat goes in.... and ground up chicken lips and arseholes - comes out.

Whatever drives the masses.. to making it a mindless ’pull sale’ (buyer requesting to buy), is what is done.

It’s about the money. How much can be pulled from the mass of the market, and the mastering is dictated by where the mass of the market sits and exists, in lifestyle and points of view.

It’s a numbers game.
I also use the DR Database to compare recordings. IMO dynamic range is important, but it is clear from actually listening to some RBCDs and their SACD counterparts that DR doesn't tell the whole story. My rule of the thumb is close to that used by @georgehifi , which is I want records that have an overall "green" score. (Unless it is a genre that wouldn't exist if it had a green score dynamic range--Oasis records come to mind.) If the SACD has a vastly different lower DR than the RBCD, the SACD probably isn't worth owning IMO. However, if the scores are close, for example if the RBCD score is a 16 (rarely happens but they do exist) and the SACD score is 15, then I'm inclined to hunt the SACD down on the used market if possible. Mastering and remastering, whether found on RBCD, SACD, vinyl, or a "hi rez" file, etc. can be done really well and add value or be done poorly and diminish a recording. 
Just to mention CDs aren’t the only thing being overly compressed these days, as shown in the Dynamic Range Database. Vinyl reissues, SACDs, even hi res downloads. Even those cool SHM CDs from Japan are getting the business. The horror, the horror... There are now more than 106,000 albums contained in the DRDB. But who's counting?

geoffkait, I guess that shows what the record labels think of the audiophile market.
I had an audio session at Deqx’s Allan Langfords place on Monday and took a 1st issue Sade Diamond Life CD he’s into downloads, here’s what I said about it on the SNA forum.

" PS the original European 1983 Sade (Diamond Life) on cd that I bought along, it blitzed all the versions (about 5 of them) Al had on his 20 terabytes of H/D hi-rez, re-mastered, re-con-cocked downloads even the MoFi one he had." not one of them stood up to the original 16/44 1st edition.

Cheers George

This has been an informative read.  I was unaware of the DR website.  I listen to mostly acoustic jazz and classical and tend to find that most remasters of these genres are not just about loudness and compression, and are not geared toward the ear-bud crowd.

I have yet to hear any compelling arguments in favor of any sonic improvements with the SHM discs coming out of Japan, and have been wondering about those, especially as my entire jazz collection seems to be being re-released in the format (and at twice the price!).
Agreed, very informative.  Good to see the the new Floyd animals vinyl re-release get a good score.  Hi-Fi News & Hi-Fi Choice UK magazines always have very nice articles on sound recordings, represses etc. Enjoy the wkd.