Why are so many albums poorly remastered onto cd

It seems like every time I read a review of a remastered album onto CD everybody just bags on the quality and from some of my experiences, rightfully so.The quality of music is going away so quickly, why is it so hard to remaster a album?
A lot of newer remasters are remastered with greater average loudness levels than before. The sound can be much different as a result, better or worse depending on the individual preference and other factors.

Louder means clipping often comes into play sooner which may result in worse sound if the amp/speaker combo is not up to the task.

I find only a small % of remasters I have heard are remastered in a manner where clipped waveforms in the actual recording are an obvious problem that makes the recording hard to listen to,

Until clipping produced by the playback system, specifically the amp/speaker combo, is addressed, it is hard to tell sometimes that the issue is more with the playback than with the recording. This kind of clipping can be subtle and hard to detect even at moderate volume until one hears the same recording played on a system where clipping is not a factor in the sound quality at typical listening volumes. I suspect clipping in various forms is an issue with many digital playback systems using less efficient speakers and/or less powerful amplifiers to an extent that many would be surprised by.
there are so many horror stories of different 'master tapes' that are compressed etc while the real masters remain untouched the ones that were toyed with are what we often listen to
what about the obvious:

the master tape ages and when it is used to create a cd, the result is less than pleasant. this would be true for poorly maintained or old master tapes, maybe acetate-based.
Music is compressed for a reason. Grand piano, for instance, has dynamics close to 100dB impossible to reproduce on typical low cost system or boombox (not to mention whole symphony orchestra). CD mastering is targeted for average buyer. Audiophiles, being small group, have no buying power. In addition old analog tapes were converted long time ago to digital with jittery clocks. It is type of jitter that cannot be removed or suppressed unless it is digitized again (if analog master still exists).
07-09-12: Mrtennis
what about the obvious:

the master tape ages and when it is used to create a cd, the result is less than pleasant. this would be true for poorly maintained or old master tapes, maybe acetate-based.

Have you heard the remastered 45 RPM vinyl of Louis Armstrong, "Under The Stars," recorded in 1957?

There are more than a few new recordings that pale in the face of this early technology. "Satchmo Plays King Oliver," is stunning as well and equally old.

Your point is valid, some tapes have deteriorated but much was either bad to begin with or made worse by poor remastering.
So many of these remasters are meant to grab someone's attention -- on an iPod, in a car, on a boom box, over the stereo system in a barroom -- not to be appreciated by an audiophile sitting down in a quiet listening room. Just as our daily political "discourse" has been reduced to shouting masquerading as debate, so much music is seeking to do exactly the same thing: getting someone to pay attention, if only for a split second.
"Notice me!" shouts the guy on Fox News or MS-NBC. "Buy my tune" shouts the singer on the latest remaster.
Remember when the word "digital" was used as a positive marketing term? Audiophiles soon enough learned the truth. Perhaps the same kind of thing is happening with remastered recordings.
-- Howard
Yes, there are some reissues that suffer from tapes deteriorating over time, and a whole lot more reissues and new issues that suffer from shoddy and indifferent mastering/production.

But, I would guess that the primary driver for the pervasiveness of bad sounding recordings is public demand--"we" want compressed music to listen in high noise environments (car, subway, airplane, etc), "we" have become accustomed to, and prefer MP3 sound (a blind study showed that most young listeners prefer MP3 to CD).

Of course, by "we" I don't mean those of us who are concerned about sound quality, but, that "we" are in the minority. Perhaps, some day, those same listeners who don't care about sound quality will come around, and in that case, the recording industry will be more than happy to resell their catalogue in a higher quality format. In other words, the industry will make more money by selling crap recordings, as well as more expensive "audiophile" recordings, than it would make by making all issues decent in sound quality.
Don't tell me I'm in the minority in thinking that most remastered CDs I listen to are actually done pretty well, often better than ever before.

I generally find classical reissues to have good sound, often better than the original vinyl issue (e.g., DG recordings from the 1970s). A lot of jazz reissues sound good too. For me, much of the pop/rock catalogue sounds quite bad in recent reissues. I think it is a deliberate--trying to match the loudness of current recordings via heavy use of compression.
"I think it is a deliberate--trying to match the loudness of current recordings via heavy use of compression"

No doubt many more recent remasters seem to do this compared to earlier CD versions.

I do not have a problem with increased loudness categorically. It all depends on the details of how it is achieved. Many early CDs did not make use of full dynamic range available in CD format well. Many newer remasters do. Its when waveforms are clipped in the recording that worse sound is inherent. Increased loudness does not always mean clipped waveforms, though it is most common in pop music these days similar to how popular music on 45s back in the day were never a popular format in regards to sound quality.
A lot of times the artist has a say in just how 'loud' he wants it to sound and that can impart a negative. He/she wants it to grab your attention in this sea of competing artists.

Also, a lot of the times the wrong 'master' tapes are used. I've read somewhere that a lot of audio recordings have several master labeled tapes and simply the wrong ones are used.

All the best,
It would be interesting to find out exactly how HD Tracks gets there Hi Rez stuff. Are they taken from original masters and remastered? Are the tracks just cleverly upsampled? Why are there differences in quality? I have seen some mainstream reviews claiming the Redbook CD sounds better the HD Track 24/96 or 24/192 issues.

Just curious. I'd like to know for sure before I buy.

Wouldn't it make since to remaster the originals before releasing them as HI Def? After all a bad sounding recording is going to stay a bad sounding recording whether it is Redbook, 24/96 or 24/192 isn't it?
There's this about HD Tracks:http://www.itrax.com/Pages/ArticleDetails.php?aID=32

And I thought the 'butterfly effect' had only to do with random, unintended consequences, not intentional ones.

All the best,
I also read that the latest Beatles release that was so highly touted as Hi Rez is merely a 24 bit remastering of the master tapes that was down converted to 16 bit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_(The_Beatles_album) see Remastering section

That's the extent of the purity of the latest Beatles CDs or downloads and yet most reviews go over the top claiming Hi Rez, but is it? The sound is better but their not getting blood out of a stone, just a damn good 16 bit recording.

Go figure. (If I misread or misunderstood the article, please set me straight)

There was a FLAC version on USB thumb drive in 44.1/24 but that's the extent of Hi Rez that the public got.

Marketing has its place.

All the best,
Many remastered CD's do sound inferior to the original, but there are many that actually sound better.
Read The article in The Absolute Sound, "What Exactly Are CD-Quality and High-Resolution Audio?" in the July/August 2012 issue. It reveals a lot about mastering and remasters, etc.
There's roughly a million bits of information per inch of vinyl record groove. There is no dispute about this. A "red" laser pick-up is capable of about 1/3 of that. If this sounds better to you, then your analogue system is obviously lacking. "Blue" lasers, aka, blue ray, are apparently competitive. I've heard rumor that we will enjoy this benefit in future, albeit to a limited extent. It has to do with focal ability.

I never knew that. I guess that's why a really nice TT setup sounds so nice, and a really great one just takes your breath away.

All the best,