New Santana, Lowest Dynamic Range Ever

I'm not much of a Santana fan but did like some of the '70s stuff. Heard nothing but good about the new release Africa Speaks so got it. As usual, first thing I do is check dynamic range. Well this is the lowest in my collection. DR4, ranging from 3-5. I won't be listening to this at all.
Funny you should mention that album.

I "tried" to listen to it last night on Qobuz.
Truly awful ,gave up after few minutes of skipping through tracks to see if all the same.

Just another victim.......
No surprise and I agree but it’s more than just the compression. Santana just doesn’t have the skill as a guitar player anymore. Very repetitious playing. Not imaginative like in the early days. I have every album and multiple concerts but no more. The albums are overproduced and over compressed. Even the band members don’t have the chops as previous ones. Each album seems worse than the last, to me. 
A criticism that has been leveled at Carlos playing more than once in recent years.

A real shame as they were pure magic when I caught them live back in England in 78 or 79.

But with all that said I personally thought his earlier mini ep release this year , In Search of Mona Lisa was better fare.
Maybe we should start a new thread: New Releases With Good DR.

It would be a very short thread I'm afraid.

It is a hard time to be an audiophile that likes new music. Most of this crap sounds _better_ in the car.
But aren't there albums we must listen to for their music, regardless of DR?

Maybe this Santana release isn't it, but I'm thinking of old U2 and Talking Heads.
@erik_squires "But aren't there albums we must listen to for their music, regardless of DR?"

Sure. In many cases we have no choice. I have a long list of albums/artists whose material stinks in terms of SQ because the DR is so narrow. If you want to listen to _that_ music, you have to deal with poor SQ. That's just the way it is.

And I think it is a crying shame in so many cases.

I'm also suspect of audiophiles who claim such recordings sound good in terms of SQ. I think I am probably very sensitive to it. Even though a lot of other audiophile nuances are beyond me, a highly compressed recording causes fairly quick listening fatigue and it is obvious to me as soon as the music starts.

I am dubious about claims that system and room tuning can fix severe DR compression but I am certain it can help. A recording in the 5-6 DR range can be made listenable but I don't think it can be made 'good' no matter what you do or what your system is capable of.

This might be heresy but I think tweaking with a digital EQ can help. Have no experimented with an actual component EQ but now that there are so many good new artists releasing highly compressed work I am considering getting one. What a pain that it though.
@eric squires Maybe. I buy based on DR, among other things. But generally have no interest in lower DR recordings. Once it goes under 6 or 7 I’m done. Regardless. Maybe only a couple exceptions.

Meaning I have mostly older releases (pre-1995) and a lot of old Targets, Japan releases, Audio Fidelity, AM+, PONO etc.

Just checked my old TH and U2 to the earliest releases. DR is 11-12 avg. for all. But again these are selected for certain qualities including DR.
Should have checked a bit more... I have Talking Heads ’77 no. 6036-2 with DR 15 (13-16). Speaking in Tongues (WG Target) DR 17, 15-20. From that same period the first B-52 releases are available with fabulous DRs, up to 17 if I recall. Plenty of other too. You just have to do your research, between the DR Database and Hoffman you can ID some nice stuff. But still, most new releases, fuggetaboutit.
My main issue with U2 is the Achtung Baby album. It does not come across as a DR issue and for the most part it isn't with average DR of around 11 which is normally very listenable.

The problem I have with AB is that it is oppressively bass heavy and the bass is sloppy and muddy and obscures other parts of the music. It was my understanding that the band was influenced by techno dance music with its throbbing bass. I think they just took it too far and engineered the album poorly from a purely SQ perspective.

Joshua Tree has similar if slightly better DR and I never noticed any problems with it.
 @jaybe "Once it goes under 6 or 7 I’m done. Regardless. Maybe only a couple exceptions."

I agree with you but there is a lot of good stuff being put out these days that rarely exceeds 6 - 7. I hate missing out on it.

So I listen to a lot of it in the car where it does not matter. 

When I want to listen on my hi-fi system I often tweak EQ of ripped CDs in iTunes run through BitPerfect  (I know, I know, I know.....not an ideal solution) but it does improve things.

I think, but don't know enough about it all to say for sure, that this plays on the principle of the Fletcher-Munson curve where the sensitivity of the human ear to loudness changes as a function of frequency. I might be way off base here but based on that it seems like adjusting the various frequencies via an EQ can make overly compressed music at least a little more pleasant. I make the adjustment based on a few songs on any given album. Far too tedious to adjust for every song.

Again, it helps. But it is not the solution because there is no solution to overly compressed DR. You can tune up what isn't there.
I just listened to AFRICA SPEAKS and it is going into my library. I do like it but can sense that the recording is too hot.