Black Sabbath - Remasters or Original CD's?

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by cunny678, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. cunny678

    cunny678
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    Sold all my vinyl a few years back and looking to replace my Black Sabbath collection. Just wondering whether to try and get the original Castle Pressings from the 80's or whether to go for remasters?

    I have heard that the 2010 deluxe editions which were remastered are good, but I just wanted to check if anyone has these before I shell out just in case they suffer from compression like most remasters!

    Does anyone have these or can recommend a particular recording that sounds good?
     
  2. The Eggman72

    The Eggman72
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    remasters to me sound a bit to manufactured & harsh ..I personally prefer the older recordings alot more natural & smoother sounding less harsh...
     
  3. cunny678

    cunny678
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    Yep, I tend to agree. But from what I have read, the Black Sabbath remasters on the castle and sanctuary labels are supposed to be better than the originals! Hence just wondering if anyone had any experience with these particular recordings?
     
  4. overkill

    overkill
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    The Hoffers wrangle over this issue ended with the castle versions being the most popular of the Sabs on CD.

    Avoid the remasters.

    Tbh, the best versions I have are the DMM vinyl versions. A cleaned up sound without the brightness of all the Sabs CD's I've heard. The Castle and Sanctuary (which are just the Castles re-labelled anyway) versions don't sound as murky as the originals, but then you wonder if that was intentional with regards Sabs sound?

    The best Digital versions, are, though I hate to say it, the Japanese SHM-SACD's. Expensive, but easily the best sound on silver disc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  5. cunny678

    cunny678
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    I had read that some of the Andy Pearce remasters (deluxe editions), namely the self titled debut sounded excellent and very close to the SHM SACD:eek:
    Although surprisingly its seems he did not do a good job on all of them!

    Although I have an SACD player I dont fancy spending £30+ on each CD - although there was a time when I would have considered it!!!!!
     
  6. overkill

    overkill
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    Don't blame you. Apparently the SHM Discs are aimed purely at the Japanese market and that is the price they expect to get there. As a result the import prices are very high, even in the USA. I know, as I tried that route years back to get a better price on Japanese discs.

    The 'Deluxe Editions' are very hit and miss as a series. I have Wishbone Ash's Argus which is unbearable, while Elton Johns Yellow Brick Road SACD is top notch!
     
  7. cunny678

    cunny678
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    I think the Japanese don't mess with the volume so their discs tend to suffer less from compression.

    All this trying to find the best versions kind of reminds me of the Alan Parsons quote:-

    "Audiophiles don't use their equipment to listen to your music. Audiophiles use your music to listen to their equipment." :)
     
  8. overkill

    overkill
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    He may have a point. :D

    However, when you get a really good master, it's like listening to the album in a completely different light.

    I got a 2nd issue of 'Goodbye Yellow brick road' for the missus, and it was a depressing experience. Not because it was bad, but because it blew my Simply vinyl copy out of the water, and was easily as good as the £25' worth of SACD I'd just bought. 'Sniffle'. :rolleyes:

    It cost £4.99........... :facepalm:
     
  9. The Eggman72

    The Eggman72
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    Worst remaster for me is Meatloafs Bat out of Hell..so flat & lifeless ive never heard a decent recording of the album....
     
  10. overkill

    overkill
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    I have the Mastersound vinyl version. It's the only version I've ever heard that the motorcycle noise on the title track actually sounds 'right'. As does the rest of the LP.
     
  11. cunny678

    cunny678
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    I can't remember many CD's that sounded better than my vinyl copy! But I guess that's the problem, I am trying to get a CD that's on a par with my old vinyl. I always thought the early sabbath vinyl sounded great with only technical ecstasy sounding poor.

    A couple of the sabs CD's I have sound poor but two of them are compilations. The 86 castle of paranoid is sort of OK, not compressed but a bit bloated with a muddled sound. Think I will try the debut deluxe edition and see how it compares.

    It a shame as some CD's sound amazing. Have you listened to Alice in chains unplugged - it's fantastic!! In fact there are a few rock CD's listed in the thread CD's to make your system sing that sound great. It's a pitty there are no sabs CD's in there :(
     
  12. Jon_C

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    Any Sabbath fans who have an SACD player should buy the Japanese SHM-SACD of Paranoid. It is outstanding and makes this rock (or is it jazz under its clothes?) masterpiece sound like a living, breathing being. My attitude is, yes, it's two or three times the price of a normal CD but it's at least three times as good as most.
     
  13. cunny678

    cunny678
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    My wife's going to luv you:D

    Are all the Sabs SHM SACD's good or is it just Paranoid?

    I suppose I could sell one of my DVDA's to fund it:rolleyes:
     
  14. overkill

    overkill
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    Paranoid is the best, but Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Master of Reality are better than the CD's by far. Not, tbh, that, that's hard. If you like Dio sabs, Heaven and Hell is also out in SACD. I haven't heard the first album or Vol4 yet, but once I have I'll feedback on them.

    I'd put 'em on your xmas list! :D
     
  15. cunny678

    cunny678
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    Funnily enough, Its S/T, Vol 4 and the first two Dio's that I am after. Would appreciate the feedback once you get your hands on them.

    In the meantime will have a punt on the S/T deluxe and report back. Can always sell it on on ebay if its not as expected, then raid the kids piggy bank for the SHM's;)
     
  16. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible
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    I own the SHM-SACD (the only one of this type of SACD in my collection), and I agree completely with Jon_C. Admittedly, I haven't heard any other version of this album though.

    To the OP: I've had a quick "Google-around" and it does appear that this SACD is presently being offered at quite high prices - at least at a cost I wouldn't consider. I reckon that I could have paid something in the high £20s for this album. It could be worth keeping your eyes out on eBay, just in case one comes up.
     
  17. cunny678

    cunny678
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    I notice on ebay there are SHM SACD and SHM CD. I am presuming the SACD's are not Hybrids so would there be much difference?

    The CD's are much cheaper so I am guessing its a yes!
     
  18. Jon_C

    Jon_C
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    The SACDs are not hybrids. They can be played in SACD players only.

    The SHM CDs might be better than other CD versions of this (or any other) album if they used a better remaster but I don't accept the suggestion that SHM discs offer better sound than any other redbook CDs simply because of the different materials used in their production.

    SACDs, on the other hand, are worth the premium if created with good remastering/engineering because the higher bit rate/sampling rate (I won't pretend to know much about it) of SACD allows far greater dynamic range than can be achieved on redbook CD.

    Anyone more technically minded, please explain it better than I can and correct me if necessary.
     
  19. Jon_C

    Jon_C
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    I should say, the suggestion by SHM-CD manufacturers and retailers rather than anyone here.
     
  20. overkill

    overkill
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    'SHM' refers to the layering technique used to make the CD/SACD. To date there isn't single shred of hard evidence to suggest SHM-CD's are any better (or worse) than standard Redbook. The CD's use standard masters, with no re-mastering, and often with masters that are known to be sub standard. (you can identify which master used) As such I would avoid the CD's.

    The SACD's however, are different kettle of fish. They have been re-mastered, often using early gen Japanese masters, and have the advantage of the higher bit rate of hi-resolution discs, allowing, as rightly said by Jon_C, a higher Dynamic range.

    For whatever reason, this has resulted in some fine, stereo only mind, SACD's from SHM.
     
  21. cunny678

    cunny678
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    This is a post from another forum with a similar name:-

    "I received today Black Sabbath's Heaven And Hell SHM-SACD and what a flop, I paid around 60 $ (I live in Spain, import fees are high for non-EEC goods) for a disc that is sourced from a copy of the master and sounds dull and lifeless".

    Might be worth holding off on that one if anyone is termpted!
     
  22. cunny678

    cunny678
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    Well the deluxe edition of Black Sabbath turned up a few days back and I am pleased to say it sounds excellent. They really have done a fantastic job on this disc and its a pleasure to listen to. I realise that all the Andy Pearce remasters dont sound fantastic, but I think I will try paranoid next. I have the 1986 castle which is supposed to be the best, so it will be interesting to compare!!

    This is an Audacity screen shot which does seem to bear out the SQ.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  23. overkill

    overkill
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    Glad you enjoyed it! :smashin: Certainly beats paying out for the SHM-SACD's if you find one you like in the Deluxe series.

    Haven't heard the SHM-SACD of Heaven and Hell. I'll see if my mates got it (I can't afford the SHM-SACD's either) and if so I'll give it a listen. Vol4 and Black Sabbath are next on my listening list though, so whether Ill have time to get H&H a proper hearing is unlikely. Won't see him again until after xmas either.
     
  24. cunny678

    cunny678
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    I notice on Amazon that the H&H DE is only available in the marketplace and that a 2012 version is available new for £20 ish! I assume that they are both the same disc but just a later edition. Not sure if the single disc only versions are the same recordings as the DE's, so will need to check.

    Will post back if I get one .... let me know what you think of the SHM if you get the chance:smashin:
     
  25. overkill

    overkill
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    Didn't get a chance to hear H&H, hopefully get to hear that next time. Enjoyed Vol4 on SHM SACD, Black Sabbath not so much. Seemed a bit 'thin' by comparison with the vinyl, and wasn't much better than the CD's.

    I think you've made the right choice, and saved a few bob there! :smashin:
     
  26. cunny678

    cunny678
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    Just ordered H&H from Amazon, so will report back once I have had a chance to give it a few spins. The 2009 remaster of V4 is supposed to be V good according to a thread on the Hoffman forum. Blimey, a little bit hi tech on there.....going on about premphasis and the treble lift caused by improper replay! Interesting, as it got me wondering if that's what causes a lot of CDs to sound bright!! Didn't quite follow it - how about you Overkill, are you familiar with it?
     
  27. overkill

    overkill
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    Pre-emphasis was, and is a way if increasing treble response, it can be used to boost treble post recording if treble lift is needed. Unfortunately many CD players don't like CD's with pre-emphasis and it's become the opposite of what as intended - a benefit to CD listeners. The main problems with CD's sounding so bright is a) pre-emphasis, b) recording too loud c) all digital mastering. 'But', there is the added problem that many manufacturers make their CD players sound that way as well. Japanese CD players are designed primarily for the Japanese/Asian market and as such are biased towards the way they like to listen to music, that being with high treble, and veering on the bright side.

    The easiest on the ear CD players I've ever heard have all been European or US made. Bear in mind though, I've only ever heard high end US models.

    The early CD players were real ear bleeders, we had an early Sony ES as a trade in at one of the shops I worked at, and it was nasty! :rolleyes:

    The Hoffers are great, but I don't get involved. They are way too heavy for me............ :D
     
  28. mickbirch2000

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    The SHM SACD release of Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath is receiving very good reviews online & is said to be as good sound quality as Paranoid. Saving my pennies...
     
  29. overkill

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    Don't. Paranoid is a lot (and I mean a lot) better. The first albums sounds 'thin' and brittle by comparison, something a Sabs album never should.

    Non expert reviews tend to get a bit 'carried away' when listening to anything on hi-res.

    Get MOR or Vol4 on SHM-SACD instead. They both sound great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  30. HMHB

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    Help!!! I've read through this thread and still non the wiser which CD versions to buy :laugh: I don't have SACD or vinyl playback facilities at the moment although I will have SACD connected back up and running again soon.....

    But I want CD versions that I can rip to FLAC for my Sonos system.
     

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