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to_dizzy
(electric tomato)
12/11/05 07:27 AM
Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds best?  

A few days ago, I picked up a little Sony portable CD player to use in front of my computer. Although not extremely hi-fi, the sound is good and I've been using the little Sony with headphones to compare some of the 24 bit Bowie remasters that came out in 1999.

So far, I have listened to Aladdin Sane and Station To Station. I've found the sound quality on Aladdin Sane stunning. There are so many sounds and special effects rendered crystal clearly through headphones on this remaster.

On the other hand, although the sound is warm and non-fatiguing, I find STS a little dark, without much detail. I think the production is a little lifeless on STS.

In your opinion, how would you rate the sound quality on the various 1999 remasters?



XAVeRY
(mortal with potential)
12/11/05 06:21 PM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: to_dizzy]  

Unfortunately, I've got only six of them - SO, TMWSTW, HD, AS, DD and STS.
I have to agree with your feelings about Aladdin Sane - I find the quality simply terrific on this one. The one I don't like is definetely Hunky Dory - don't know why, but...something's not really right with this one (I wish I had a RCA CD to compare)
I also like Diamond Dogs very much - I'm very satisfied with the channel separation and the depth of the music (listen to the last track and you'll know what I'm talking about)
Station To Station sounded quite OK to me. Except that my CD is skipping near the 3 minute mark - although I think there's some over-voluming (I don't know the exact name of this) in "Golden Years" and "TVC15".
All the other ones are fine by me.



Pablo-Picasso
(stardust savant)
12/11/05 06:27 PM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: XAVeRY]  

Young Americans is a vast improvement over the Ryko, mainly due to the odd mixes on the Ryko.



to_dizzy
(electric tomato)
12/11/05 07:02 PM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: Pablo-Picasso]  

I have been listening with some portable headphones called Sennheiser PX100, a well-known portable headphone intended for personal audio.

I have learned that these phones are known for being on the dark and bassy side. Since then, I have equalized much of bass out, increased the midrange slightly, and boosted the treble as high as the custom equalizer on the Sony would allow.

Now I can tentatively say that STS sounds much better, with a lot more snap, detail, and crispness. It is incredible how much percussion exists on the title track,. especially the first movement of the song. It is incredible how the twin guitars sound in each channel of Golden Years. It is incredible how beautiful the background harmonies sound on Word on a Wing, rivalling even the harmonies on Satellite of Love.

I am very happy now that I have learned to vastly improve the sound on this flying saucer.



Forgotten_Boy
(wild eyed peoploid)
12/11/05 11:31 PM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: to_dizzy]  

Interesting you say that to_dizzy, because many audiophiles here have said that there's something lacking in the remastering of STS (not just for the 1999 re issue but indeed the Ryko one too), and that the RCA mastered version indeed sounded better? I've never quite understood what was meant by this (perhaps because I don't have the RCA STS CD myself), but yeah...
"Heroes" sounds particularly good. A bit crisper and cleaner and more spine-tingling in places. From memory Low sounds really good too.

In reply to:

I also like Diamond Dogs very much - I'm very satisfied with the channel separation and the depth of the music (listen to the last track and you'll know what I'm talking about)


Agreed. I have the RCA version of this and at times it's very muddy, especially during the Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing suite, the 1999 reproduces it impeccably.


I think you could be mistaken...

diamondogz74
(freecloud)
12/12/05 08:31 AM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: Pablo-Picasso]  

In reply to:

Young Americans is a vast improvement over the Ryko, mainly due to the odd mixes on the Ryko.


You took the words right out of my mouth as many times as I've listened to Young Americans, yes the new remaster is good, but I still tend to listen to the Ryko version more simply because of the bonus tracks, another reason I can't wait for the new collectors edition.

Hunky Dory sounds better as does Diamond Dogs.


London Bye Ta-Ta...

XAVeRY
(mortal with potential)
12/12/05 11:39 AM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: diamondogz74]  

Damn! I've got only the Ryko edition. Nothing to miss, though ;) - I'd never exchange the bonus tracks for the 24-bit sound :D



ThinWhiteDuke87
(kook)
12/14/05 07:35 AM
Re: Which of Bowie's Abbey Road remasters sounds b new [re: Forgotten_Boy]  

In reply to:

Interesting you say that to_dizzy, because many audiophiles here have said that there's something lacking in the remastering of STS (not just for the 1999 re issue but indeed the Ryko one too), and that the RCA mastered version indeed sounded better? I've never quite understood what was meant by this (perhaps because I don't have the RCA STS CD myself), but yeah...


I haven't heard the RCA CD either, but the way I see it, both the Ryko and the EMI/Virgin editions of STS sound muted — not so much like you're listening to it through speakers in another room or anything, it's just quiet and you need to turn the volume up far more to get a normal sound, where any other CD would be loud at that volume. (In fact, I first noticed this upon listening to the Rykos of STS and Lodger back-to-back. So.)

I've also noticed that on the Best of 1974/1979 compilation, "Wild Is The Wind" sounds noticeably quieter in this way than the songs around it. "Golden Years" and "TVC15" don't, but of course they're the single versions.

‘‘And I say, ‘What’s the matter with my psychopathic sex?’ ’’
—Avatar courtesy Nature_Boy



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