Vinyl release comparisons

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by drfindley, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,531
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    As I have been a very eager vinyl collector, I often end up with several different releases, remasters, reissues or just colors of a certain album. While some are clear-cut winners, others are more difficult to pin down.

    I thought it'd be fun to have a thread here where I make some vinyl rips of my different versions and post them for everyone to take a listen and see what they think. For now I'm starting with 90 second clips.

    These will be recorded with the following chain:
    Turntable: EAR Discmaster
    Arm: Helius Omega Silver Ruby
    Cartridge: Kiseki Purpleheart
    Phonostage: EAR 912
    ADC: Korg MR-2000S, hotrodded by @shaizada
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    msommers, hanzo, sphinxvc and 8 others like this.
  2. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,531
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    [​IMG]
    Radiohead - OK Computer


    For the first comparison, I thought it'd be good to start off with my favorite band and a recent remaster: the OKNOTOK remaster of OK Computer.

    The track is Airbag, the first song on the first side, 90 seconds each:
    1: 1997 Parlophone UK (NODATA) - The original pressing from the UK [discogs]
    2: 2008 Capitol US Remaster - Capitol remastered the first six Radiohead albums in 2008 [discogs]
    3: 2017 XL UK (OKNOTOK, blue) - band supervised remaster [discogs]

    Give each one a listen and post your preference and why.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    brencho, sphinxvc, Garns and 2 others like this.
  3. Mayor D

    Mayor D Rando

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    18
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Brighton
    nice idea.

    1. 1997, sounds more raw and open, drums sound better
    2. 2008, more laid back and closed in
    3. 2017, sounds like 2008 but more dull and uninteresting to me

    Edit- using Fostex TH7's
     
    drfindley likes this.
  4. Northwest

    Northwest Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    51
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle
    I enjoyed these clips!

    1. 1997 Parlophone version is definitely my favorite. Its a little forward(maybe due to my particular headphones). Vocals feel centered.
    2. 2008. Definitely sounds closed in. Vocals feel like they moved to the right a little bit. Vocal presence seems to be pushed back?
    3. 2017. Sounds possibly compressed as if it were a pancake. The opening few seconds doesn't engage me like the original pressing does.

    Listened to with AZ PMx2
     
    drfindley likes this.
  5. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    211
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    India
    1997 - Bad timbre, grain galore.
    2008 - Closed but natural, would have liked better bass texture, good timbre
    2017 - Sounds like processed 1997 version. Timbre fixed, grain controlled but still a bit too aggressive.
     
    drfindley likes this.
  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Got lucky and managed to squeeze a tiny listening session.

    1997 original release


    Drums sound natural, some compression which makes it sound raw and somewhat unrefined, but that’s the personality of that track anyway.

    Soundstage is slightly disjointed, but fairly extended on 180 degrees, maybe a bit more. This release also has the more depth of the three.

    2008 release (WRT original release)


    Drums are dull. Tambourine and guitars are less prominent.

    Soundstage is the most cohesive of the three tracks, but also the most closed one in depth and width.

    2017 release (WRT original release)

    The chorus from 44 secs is more prominent than in the original release, while tambourine is less prominent.

    Soundstage is the most extended of the three tracks, but also the less cohesive. I'd say it goes roughly to 240 degrees for the drums on the left side. However it doesn't have the depth of the original release.

    Overall conclusion

    I prefer the original pressing, as it's the one presenting the most information and spatial cues. It's also the roughest release of the three, but I can personally live with that.

    2008 remaster is very polite, but cuts too much into the meat to leave something tasty, unless you haven't heard the other ones.

    2017 remaster sounds to me like the band took the 2008 remaster, and tried to reintroduce the original vision into it, but went a bit overboard with the width. It's the second best, but it doesn't have the same life in it.

    Thanks for the fun Drfindley
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
    drfindley likes this.
  7. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Ok gave these a listen.

    The original seems like it captures the essence of the album as the band originally intended. The distorted guitars and the bass lines come together to form the intended soundscape (seems like to me). Nothing particularly calling attention to your senses. The track washes over you beautifully. Its not as refined, but what the hec, I don't really care for it to be. Its part of the Radiohead sound.

    The second and third remasters seem to give the liberty to the mastering engineer to "try" and make things better. In the 2008 remaster, the guitar was juiced up but the bass line was made more polite and it throws the "Feeling" of the track off.

    I really like the 2017 master. It hearkens back to the original and is slightly more refined while also smoother. Balance is back. I like it.

    Ranking:
    1. Original
    2. 2017 Remaster
    3. 2008 Remaster

    I would keep both the original and 2017 remasters as vinyl rips on my drive together :)
     
    bazelio, drfindley and brencho like this.
  8. LFF

    LFF Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    863
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    OkComp.JPG
    In case you guys are wondering what the waveform should look like.;)
     
    JK47, drfindley and frenchbat like this.
  9. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I'm afraid to even look at it
     
  10. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    211
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    India
    Listened again on the headphone setup this time (Previous audition was that on a bluetooth speaker).
    The first sample easily tops the other two. Second sample is congested, third is decent but not as natural as the first one.
     

Share This Page