Too bad, I went to my local record hut in search of Morph this weekend based on it being cut from analog tape and being a Hoffman mastering. Now I am kind of glad that I came up empty.
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I hate to complain about Steve Hoffman masterings, because he uses so much care and really does try to (and often does) get the original sound right, but I have noticed that a lot of his remasters tend to be a little darker-sounding than the originals (i.e., more tilted to the bass, less treble energy). Anyone else notice this?
Interesting you mention that. "Morph" has been on my hot rotation for a few months. I usually play the DVD-A version, which sounds incredible. While attending the LA HES in early June, someone put on a vinyl copy of Morph, and I thought the music was missing much of it's punch and life. I attributed the sound quality to the system, but now I realize perhaps it was the recording, and not the playback equipment.
Tvad, I'd revisit the system quality theory. :-) I have the Morph LP's and the DVD-A. The LP version is one of the best sounding recordings on vinyl EVER, if the music itself leaves something to one's desire. IMHO, it embarasses the DVD-A in comparison. I have had some issues with other Hoffman masters - but this ain't one of them by a LONG measure.
The LP version is one of the best sounding recordings on vinyl EVER, if the music itself leaves something to one's desire. IMHO, it embarasses the DVD-A in comparison. I have had some issues with other Hoffman masters - but this ain't one of them by a LONG measure.Just commenting on Stlram's original post. I have no agenda either way.
Even on vinyl "Morph the Cat" is not a pure analog recording. The sessions were recorded via 2" analog tape and then transferred to digital (ProTools) for editing and mixing. I only have the CD version and like "Everything Must Go" the bass is hyped, but not unpleasantly so. I've not noticed any lack of high frequency info on either although neither is a particularly open or airy recording.
I'll side with 4yanx here - Morph is fine sounding LP - mostly analog, but one which has obviously seen ProTools. I think one of the nice aspects of this vinyl pressing is that it demonstrates how FAR digital has come in the past 20 years. I would describe Morph's bass as articulated and extended, but certainly not bloated (any bloating may be the result of the fact that this is one hell of a thick/heavy LP - I certainly need to adjust VTA while spinning it). HF extension seems fine to me, perhaps just a wee bit of top end EQ applied during vinyl mastering to give it a more analog "feel", and to avoid some of potentially clinical sound that might have resulted from too much time on the computer. Musically, I rather like Morph, albeit the fact it has taken time to warm up to. I believe I like it better than Two Against Nature, though each has its own strengths and weknesses.
I have several copies of DVD-A's CD's and vinyls version and in most cases, like 90% or more, the vinyl versions always beat out the CD or even DVD-A a case in point would be "Everything Must Go" or first presssing "Guacho". I could go on to list all the other non-Dan copies but that would miss the point.
Whether the bass is bloated may be an arguing point, however, I would quess that starting at around 8,000 hertz the high end rolls off at least 5-6 db down to 20,000 hertz compared to the DVD-A. And, I would not discribe the DVD-A as bright or tipped up. I would discribe the album as dark and lacking in much top end energy.
I've never heard such a difference between media. It is impossible to play the album loud due to bloated bass or decapitated highs, however you want to define it.
Outside of my usual unbiased leaning to vinyl I don't have a dog in this hunt. Also, my system is set up accurately. Since I use it to master recordings of local, regional and national artists it is essential that everything is in perfect operating condition.
I also believe the albums (speaking of which how about 1 instead of 2? - there's no need for 2) are sonically "out of balance". Perhaps that is not the correct technical description but there's no question the bottom end is somewhat unnatural and the other end lacks "sparkle". Again, please forgive the non-technical terminology. All of course IMO.
I have not heard the recording in any other formats.