Original CD vs Remaster vs Gold Disc

Those sly record executives have discovered new ways to seperate us from our money....release digital remastered versions of rock/alt CDs that are 15-35 yrs old at full price $14.99. I have had mixed results with these, for instance David Bowie "Ziggy Stardust" analog CD was slightly bright and thin sounding, digital remaster is even brighter, more presence, I prefer analog CD. I have had better luck with HDCD remasters like Joni Mitchell "Court & Spark" superior in every way to analog CD, this is what we want! Has anyone compared Gold Disc (MoFi, DCC,Sony) to original CDs, is it worth the extra money @$20-30 per disc? What is the magnatude of improvement? Anyone else compared digital remasters to original CD?......regards Sam
Hi Sam, YOU BETCHA!!!My opinion that the gold cd's sound much superior. The mastering process contributes more to the quality of sound than does the "gold" as MFSL has aluminum discs that sound awsome too. Anything mastered by mfsl, Bob Ludwig and Steve Hoffman will be execellent. Best of the best is Dream Seqence by Tangerine Dream on aluminum! vr/Mike
Megasam, Yes I like the gold CD's better than the standard recordings. Most of the gold CD's are recorded off the original master recordings. Try the CBS mastersound CD's also, they're superior when compared to the standard recorded CD. I also like MCA's Ultimate Master Disc. I don't care for the "digitally remastered" stuff. Most are not a true high fidelity recording. These digitally remastered versions aren't much better than the originals, my opinion. There are some subtle differences, as you have noticed. A way pumping sales of previously released material, again, my opinion. Even some of MFSL's recordings weren't always better, most of the time though, they were superior.
I'd like to put in my 2 cents worth on the subject. I think that most of the GOLD discs are far superior to the original cd's. I can say this as I personally own over 200 gold discs and also have most of these on the original cd's. Some of the newer re-masters put out by the record companies are also very well done. In my opinion the re-master of Steely Dan's- Aja beats the Mo-Fi gold hands down. The re-mastered Santana- Abraxas gives the Mo-Fi a hell of a run also. Same goes for the Pink Floyd re- masters. I have all of their gold discs, including Wish You Were Here put out by Sony. Doug Sax's mastering job on the re-issues is nothing short of amazing! These are a bargain. I actually prefer the Rush re-masters to the Mo-Fi's. The Eagle's re-masters also sound incredible. I think that some of the record companies are finally figuring out how to do it right. You also have to remember that technology has done a lot for the quality of the transfers. The A-D coverters that are available are so much better that what was even available 5 or 10 years ago. The older gold discs were the best that was availalbe at the time, but now some of the cheap re-masters are even better. It just depends on who is doing the work and if they really take the time to do it right. I also want to recommend some of the latest DCC gold discs. Both of the Metallica cd's and Queensryche's- Empire are excellent. Not even a contest compared to the originals.
It varies, sometimes it's worth it, sometimes not. I like HDCD encoded CD's in general very much, but you need to be able to decode it to make good use of the benefit.
Grumpy, just to let you know I got a couple DCC gold discs from Red Trumpet to try out. From the 1960s recordings, I think the Beatles digital remasters have been real improvements, I bought red & Blue collections, sound pretty good of course original tapes were from Abbey Rd studios which helps. I hear Who gold discs are massive improvement from the crap recordings they got in the 60s from Pye studios.....My Generation,Can't Explain,Substitute etc. Next in line has to be Rolling Stones 60s material, the ABKCO remasters I've heard are very dissappointing, definitely need "Hot Rocks" gold disc! Regards.....Sam
If you can find the Mo-FI versions of The Who- Tommy, Who Are You, Quadrophenia, and Who's next, BUY THEM! They are great. The MCA gold of Who's Next is also very good. I have seen the MCA at Best Buy recently. I don't know where you can find the Mo-Fi's at or how much you will have to fork over to get your hands on them since they went bankrupt.I bet they won't be cheap. I'd say if you can find any of them(mo-fi) for under $50 you should grab them if you can.
Oftentimes mixed results are because the components playing the re-Masters aren't up to the task. To really hear the improvements get a Perpetual Technologies P-1A/P-3A combination (24/96 dac/Upsampler/jitter devices) Under $1700. To read more and purchase go to www.audiotweakers.com