well mastered cds

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  • Matt Broeska
    Senior Member
    • Nov 2000
    • 121

    well mastered cds

    hey everyone.

    this is something that doesn't really apply to me since i don't have any receiver to speak of to find if the cds i have are well or poorly mastered, but it's something that fascinates me nonetheless. what are some examples of good and bad cds for their audio quality? i had never really thought about it much before getting into home theater as a hobby. picture was always my concern and after that the audio track. but of course i guess the same thing applies to any music cd. are there production companies that always put out high/low quality cds? are there any bands that consistently put out high/low quality cds?
    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    Matt on a system capable of high resolution play back you can clearly hear good CD's from poor ones. Chesky records always produces fabulous CD's and Creative Audio sells some of these titles if you're interested. Otherwise there are a lot of well recorded CD's but also a lot of duds. Typically a lot of pop music is produced for radio play so even a well mastered disc may stil sound like crap with way to much bass etc. One example I know of is Chantal Kreviazuk's Leaving on a jet plane. Its a great song but try playing on a system with a sub and its very boomy. Its unfortunate since the rest of her disc is great. Most jazz CD's seem to be well recorded likely b/c of the type of person buying them.

    There are some remastered CD's that sound amazing though and a few well recorded goodies like most Dire Straights CD's (esp brothers in arms)




    Comment

    • John Holmes
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 2703

      #3
      I can't say which company to shy away from because, I honestly don't know. I do know that Columbia (Sony) tends to have quality sounding disc. Also, every HDCD I have heard sounds very good to me. I haven't listen to everyone out there but, they seem to be consistent in quality of sound. And this is on standard playback (I don't own any HDCD decoding equipment).




      "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
      "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

      Comment

      • Lexman
        Super Senior Member
        • Jun 2000
        • 1777

        #4
        Here are a few my personal favorites that seem to be well mastered:

        Christian McBride, Gettin To it'
        Eric Clapton, Unplugged (Not all tracks)
        Sarah McLachlan, Fumbling Towards Escacy
        Joshua Redman, Live At the Beacon and Moodswing
        Holly Cole, Temptation
        Diana Krall, Love Scenes I think- The one with that Peel a Grape thing on it.

        Lex





        <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

        Comment

        • Matt Broeska
          Senior Member
          • Nov 2000
          • 121

          #5
          sorry lexman. can't say i have any of those. in fact i don't think i have anything mentioned above. but i was listening to a craptacular mp3 of "sultans of swing" just a little while ago.

          oops! is mp3 a bad word here? probably...:B
          Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
          That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

          Comment

          • Lexman
            Super Senior Member
            • Jun 2000
            • 1777

            #6
            Well, it's not all mainstream stuff Matt. Mostly jazz, and there are so many good jazz artists out there that you say who? huh? I don't know of him. But take my word on it, all great CDs above. Though I sort of drifted past my love for Sarah a bit. I have been more into jazz the last year.

            Lex

            Comment

            • gil
              Junior Member
              • Dec 2000
              • 27

              #7
              Sarah McLachlan's Mirrorball CD is an excellent example of a very good live recording. Interestingly, I found the audio on the DVD not up to par.

              Comment

              • Bing Fung
                Ultra Senior Member
                • Aug 2000
                • 6521

                #8
                If you are in to classical, Telarc is considered reference material as well.

                What are the general thoughts on Windham Hill?




                Bing
                Bing

                Comment

                • Andrew Pratt
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 16507

                  #9
                  Yes the telarc stuff is very good




                  Comment

                  • JonMarsh
                    Mad Max Moderator
                    • Aug 2000
                    • 15269

                    #10
                    First, a number of labels and artists have recognized that their "original" CD releases were not exactly up to snuff, and have issues -2 versions, usually with much better results. Particularly successful in that vein, in my opinion, have been Joni Mitchell's HDCD re-masters, the recent Yes re-masters by Ocean Digital, and the re-issue of "Hotel California" by the Eagles.

                    Another interesting phenomena is the use of DSD recording and a new DSD super bitmpapping down coversion process to CD. This has been used on some recent releases by McCoy Tyner, Yo-Yo Ma, and others. Tends to be confined to Sony owned labels, for now.

                    Last, not least, though, are the JVC XRCD releases. Mostly with Jazz and blues artistis, XRCD is a complete process control implementation affecting all phases of the audio mastering and CD manufacturing. Try one, you may be pleasantly surprised; they're probably the closest that CD can get to SACD sound.

                    Regards,

                    Jon




                    Earth First!
                    _______________________________
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                    the AudioWorx
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                    Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                    Comment

                    • Jay Mitchosky
                      Junior Member
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 11

                      #11
                      Matt

                      Stefanko A/V on Portage (just west of Grace Hospital) has a pretty large selection of DCC's gold CDs. These are really well mastered discs, even for rock music. Queensryche's Empire is excellent. I also have some Wes Montgomery.

                      HDCD was mentioned above. I've never heard HDCD fully decoded, but my understanding is that you still benefit greatly from the mastering process even without the proper hardware. Check out Patricia Barber's Cafe Blue as a great example (female jazz vocal). Exceptional recording, although there's a little too much reverb on the voice for my tastes (I prefer that style to be fairly dry like Holly Cole).




                      --Jay

                      My Home Theater Setup and Pronto CCF...
                      --Jay

                      My Home Theater Setup and Pronto CCF...

                      Comment

                      • John Kotches
                        Moderator Emeritus
                        • Jan 2001
                        • 140

                        #12
                        Bob Mintzer Big Band "Camouflage" on DMP.

                        Bob Mintzer Big Band "Homage to Count Basie" on DMP Hybrid SACD

                        Diana Krall "Love Scenes" and her latest one.

                        The Grainger Edition Volume 8, Works for Wind Orchestra 2 on Chandos

                        Many many others.




                        ---
                        Editor, PC/Home Theater
                        Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
                        My Home Theater
                        NEC LT-150 specific page.
                        ---
                        Editor, PC/Home Theater
                        Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
                        My Home Theater
                        NEC LT-150 specific page.

                        Comment

                        • JonMarsh
                          Mad Max Moderator
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 15269

                          #13
                          Came across something interesting today. FIM records has just released their SACD sampler, full albums to follow soon. I ordered their sampler, and found out about some XRCD2 disks they have I didn't know about, including an XRCD2 version of Patricia Barber's "Companion" (the live album, which I have on "standard" CD), and Jacintha's album. Ordered those too, and I'll relay my impressions, and comparisons with the standard CD's as soon as they arrive.








                          Regards,

                          Jon




                          Earth First!
                          _______________________________
                          We'll screw up the other planets later....
                          the AudioWorx
                          Natalie P
                          M8ta
                          Modula Neo DCC
                          Modula MT XE
                          Modula Xtreme
                          Isiris
                          Wavecor Ardent

                          SMJ
                          Minerva Monitor
                          Calliope
                          Ardent D

                          In Development...
                          Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                          Obi-Wan
                          Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                          Modula PWB
                          Calliope CC Supreme
                          Natalie P Ultra
                          Natalie P Supreme
                          Janus BP1 Sub


                          Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                          Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                          Comment

                          • JonMarsh
                            Mad Max Moderator
                            • Aug 2000
                            • 15269

                            #14
                            Whoooo boy!

                            Got my FIM SACD sampler and XRCD's today, are they ever sweet! FIM (First Impressions Music) has access to material off a number of intersting labels, including Proprius, Groove Note, and others. The SACD sampler has some very awesome tracks- remarkable openess, imaging, and smoothness combined with detail. Great demo material, but if they bring most of this stuff out on SACD releases from the original albums, I'll be in line to spend some more money.
                            The real surprise was how good the XRCD2 of the Patricia Barber album "Companion" is- it may not be quite all the way to SACD, but it's remarkable how much more definition, weight, and clarity it brings to the music, while removing hardness and that "CD" edge that's so common to the upper mids and highs. A remarkable achievement.
                            Now I know what ThomasW's bday present will be....

                            Regards,

                            Jon




                            Earth First!
                            _______________________________
                            We'll screw up the other planets later....
                            the AudioWorx
                            Natalie P
                            M8ta
                            Modula Neo DCC
                            Modula MT XE
                            Modula Xtreme
                            Isiris
                            Wavecor Ardent

                            SMJ
                            Minerva Monitor
                            Calliope
                            Ardent D

                            In Development...
                            Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                            Obi-Wan
                            Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                            Modula PWB
                            Calliope CC Supreme
                            Natalie P Ultra
                            Natalie P Supreme
                            Janus BP1 Sub


                            Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                            Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                            Comment

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