If you have a well recorded master tape and maintaining the sound quality throughout the manufacturing process is a high priority, cds with excellent sound quality can be produced. Some people will still feel that vinyl sounds better though.
Cd technology (and other digital formats) is steadily improving and will continue to improve for some time to come.
I just bought, on a lark, the Beatles "Rubber Soul" newly remastered CD... what was surprising to me, was the liner note stating this remastering was based on digital transfers made back in 1987 by George Martin (I think).
Well to me, this disc sounds really good. And I am wondering, why was this remastered from what would seem to me to be a very early digital transfer of imformation (1987)?? Why weren't these new remasters made from original analog tapes, digitally transferred now with the latest digital levels (you know, 24 bit 196 whatever)...
No matter, the sound is very good to me. I'm sure an original British Mono LP mint pressing would sound better but this is one good sounding CD.
I have to agree ... I bought Abbey Road and was so impressed that I went out and bought nearly all the remaining stereo remasters (should have bought the box set). Costco had them for $10 ea. I enjoyed them for a couple months and then after reading more reviews dumped a small fortune on the mono box set. I was very happy with that as well. Maybe there is still hope for some of the old classics? The Zeppelin remastered box set was very, very good as well.
They are well done and a lot louder overall which creates a totally different presentation that keeps your attention better.
I think the Beatles remasters are the prime example of newer recordings that fly in the face of the mantra often heard that all newer loudness wars CDs are bad recordings. many are, but many are not. Nothing new under the sun there.....
If CDs had sounded this good from the beginning, I wouldn't have so much vinyl.
I still buy used vinyl for cost effectiveness in listening to a lot of new music for not much, but seldom pay more than $1-$5 for used vinyl in good condition.
I'll go higher occasionally for old stuff on vinyl I have to have that is not available with good CD quality but that's about it.
80% of my vinyl collection was acquired BCD (before CDs, in the early 80s or earlier).
I bought a nice Linn turntable back then in that I did not want to have to replace all my vinyl with CDs (expensive) to have good sound. That was one of the best audio investments I have ever made. The Linn is still going strong and sounds better than ever in my current rig.
I hope to convert some of my vinyl to digital music server files gradually over time, but that is still a time consuming process that I have little time for.
I gotta agree that the new Beatles CD sets sound great.
I bought the mono set, blocI am very impressed.
My two cents worth.
Thanks for the comments. I've got the stereo box and it sounds as natural as anything. There is one new song version that is great--Only a Northern Song on Yellow Submarine, which the accompanying booklet says was not remixed from a "faked" stereo version, as were all previous releases. Again, i can't get over how nice these sound.
I wish they would apply the same treatment to McCartney/Wings, Lennon, and Harrison's other material.
All Things Must Pass really deserves it...
Band on the Run was just released in remastered high resolution (24/96) format. It's available for $19.99 on Sir Paul's web site. There's also an interesting discussion about digital mastering that results in loud versus soft volume.
If you can find the "Yellow Submarine" CD from a few years back that was re-released along with the movie, that is an equally good and I believe somewhat different remastering of teh songs included there as well.
i borrowed the beatles set from my local library.
i would agree that there is an improvement in the current mastering vs the older discs.
however, i own many discs which i consider much better sounding than the beatles reissue.
i would give them a b minus in sound quality.
there are many small labels which offer better quality. many are very small labels produced in foreign countries which are classical recordings. there is a domestic label which concentrates on acoustic music , i believe it is music and sound, which is also worthy of consideration, if you like the type of music they record.
i did not find the beatles reissue sufficently high enough in quality to purchase them.
is this what you're talking about?
I don't like them. The stereo remasters have been compressed, which makes them sound louder and "better" in a quick A/B comparison, but that does violence to the music. The mono remasters weren't compressed, and to my ears, they are the better of the three (original stereo, mono and stereo remasters).
Yes,but all CD music is compressed if you are coming from analogue tapes especially.Anyway,George Martin himself put his foot in it years ago when interviewed about the original CD issue.Talked about only achieving a "harsher" sound than they would have liked and that the early stereo albums were terrible,not worthy of release.They did a pretty good job apparently to get them out,much like today.
Mapman, I would suggest that the re-release of the Beatles material doesn't "fly in the face of the mantra often heard that all newer loudness wars CDs are bad recordings...", it further confirms it. Remember that even though these re-issues may have come from earlier re-releases, all those earlier versions were done without digital clipping so prevalent today. The newer versions are just able to use the greater dynamic range of newer technologies, just as todays well recorded classical recordings can. I don't think anyone is saying that all new CDs are bad, just way too many of them are bad.
I have the Yellow Sub. from a few years back and have listened to it happily several times (really love this album),
but the box-set one just is more balanced for me, with no ear-bleeding sounds. And that goes for all the albums,
especially the early ones, which bordered on unlistenable for
the high-pitched overtones [unless you were listening on Harbeths or Sennheiser 650 headphones :) ].
The latter albums were much better (Abbey Road, Let it Be, and Let it Be Naked), but still, I much prefer the rounded vocals and overall sound of the box set ones.
Is that Band on the Run a CD or a FLAC file that I need to burn or something? I'm not really up on computer audio.
(But I LOVE my Quad 9L speakers with youtube music. I spend way too much time with them.)
the beatles love album was taken from the master tapes, that one sounds fantastic !