Thanks for trying to share. I'm blocked from viewing as it states I am outside of the UK.
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That's libellous Geoff. You do realise on-line abuse is traceable these days. Never write anything in a Forum that you wouldn't say in a court of law... ;^)
Besides, the last people we should be taking cheap shots at are those who achieved success by honest talent, unlike certain reprehensible fat-cats whose sole purpose in being placed on this Earth is to make life indescribably worse for those less well off...
Moving on…. :D :D
Getting back to the subject of the Thread here is a relevant anecdotal account of my 2013 comparison of the 60-track Rolling Stones TrueHD Blu ray with a similar 40-track compilation LP from 1977 entitled “Rolled Gold”. (Bearing in mind that “Rolled Gold” would have been created from secondary masters and therefore be at an inherent disadvantage so theoretically it should have been a slam dunk for the BluRay. I was looking forward to the comparison and excited that the BD offered the possibility of something better…)
How it happened was a friend who’d acquired the BD (knowing my primary interest was analogue) lent me the disc and requested my impressions of how it stacked up against some original vinyl? Later I acquired my own copy so that I could do a deeper comparison…
In no particular order here are some snapshots of the “analysis”. On the track “It’s All Over Now”, the ambience of the guitar intro was more substantial with a fuller midrange “presence” on the LP than the BD. The reverb on the BD had more of a “tinny” sounding character – while not giving any greater sense of detail & resolution - but seeming more recessed and distant within the mix. Low level detail on the LP was immediately more obvious and rewarding, although this can partly be attributed to differences in dynamics between the two. (Note -Peak levels of LP & BD were perceptually as closely matched as possible).
Surprisingly, tambourine at the front of the stage sounded more live, immediate and detailed on the LP than the BD, an area where one would have expected the HD digital to score some points. On the BD, Jagger’s voice seemed a little louder within the mix and somewhat “sanitized”(not nearly as raunchy or raw) but still seemed more live, fleshed out and visceral on the LP. Backing vocals needless to say were a particularly clear winner for the LP as again you felt there was someone real behind the mic and he wasn’t thrown so far into the background you needed binoculars! I don't know. Maybe if they are releasing ultimate HD versions of stuff there is need to showcase the dynamic range etc so much that you can no longer hear what's at the back of the stage ;^)
These comments don’t just apply to a few items but the entire production can be characterised in favour of the vinyl version.
Switching to 4-channel surround on this track showed the wealth of ambient detail that was possible from the LP. Backing vocals clearly fleshed out to emphasize the vocalist’s presence rather than just being a small & insignificant “point source”. The LP soundstaging on all 4 sides of the room was cavernous, tangible and seamless. There was a lot more going on and there was more life to it. With the BD there wasn’t much obvious “phase info” distributing sound down the sides & rear of the room. Quite non-eventful in fact.
Bass drum was the most interesting and contentious bit. The BD sounded like they’d tweaked something and over-compensated because the punchiness of the rhythm was swamped by bass presence almost causing a loss of rhythm! I re-checked this through a cheap system using budget bookshelf speakers not endowed with any extreme low end grunt and they were similarly confused despite not even having heavy bass capability. Bottom line, the drum rhythm was much easier to follow on the LP – which was punchy and clean.
In “Oh, Carol!”(LP) a split second before the chorus you feel the rush of momentum that carries the band into the chorus. On the BD that moment was more of a bland non-event. Against all logic that damned tambourine again seemed more corporeal on the analogue version. Just a few examples.
Overall, the LP managed to really “swing” while the BD was far too “polite” for its own good.
This exercise, from my subjective viewpoint, was aimed at deciding, in this case, which of these media offered the most rewarding and listenable performance – something you’d want to play over and over again. The LP produces the most memorable, exciting and involving performance. The BD did not achieve those objectives. In fact the more I sampled the LP the more I wanted to hear it (as a result I was singing the tracks to myself for days afterwards.)
If it were a “desert island disc” situation and you were only allowed to take one of these two, you’d be taking the LP with you – simple, easy choice.
Sometime later, curiosity drove me to check out what the Digital Forums thought of it and the consensus seemed to be that they preferred the earlier SACD over the TrueHD BD. In fact their remarks weren’t too kind either, many feeling the producers had sanitised the life out of it and left it sterile, clinical and dead. I’ll let them continue to argue amongst themselves over the relative merits of differing packaging methods for “1s and 0s” but I know what I’ll be listening to ;^)
Thanks Geoff :)
To some that review may have sounded as if I was baiting digital enthusiasts but it was intended as an illustration of why Keith's preference for analogue is easily understandable. (As our analogue friends here already know).
Note that I waited over 2 years before publishing any remarks so as not to torpedo sales of the BluRay ;^)
Unfortunately, the digiphiles had already done their own hatchet job on it shortly after release so I can't feel too guilty... :) :)
I could be wrong about this but it seems to me all of the Stones' albums since Steel Wheels which if memory serves is more than 20 years old have been entirely digital, i.e., DDD. in addition, most or all of the Stones' albums in the past 20 years maybe more have been victims of the Loudness Wars, having the dynamics compressed out of them. one assumes that Keith and the boys must exercise no control whatsoever over their artistic products, regardless of what Keith opines regarding the pros and cons of analog recordings.
It could well be more than that, Geoff...(nearly 30 yrs?)
If memory serves, widespread use of Sony PCM1600 machines in the recording industry didn't seriously happen until mid-late 1980s?
All credit to them if they managed to dodge that particular bullet until the 90s.
Some original tapes (by other artists) from the 50s and 60s, and their resultant digital transcripts, have proved to be in far better shape than they have any right to be (many tapes were seriously suffering the ravages of time, while a few were lost or destroyed altogether) but if one wants to get as close to the original issue of the analogue master tape an early vinyl pressing is most often the answer.
BTW..I'm ashamed of you guys... :) :)
No one noticed the deliberate mistake. I cut and pasted a short comment about the track "Carol" from a second e-mail because it was assumed to be a BD comment (because that's what it stated). "BD" had been clearly a typo. It was obviously a sideband comparison spawned by the BD comparison and involved another digital source - possibly even a digital needledrop. My sincere apologies.
(Also it was 50 tracks not 60 ;^)