Extended Sound Quality

Posted by: Tom27

Extended Sound Quality - Thu, 29 Nov 2018 20:51:42

Hi all,

I am really puzzled with the sound "quality" of the Extended CDs (have yet to listen to the Vinyls but I donīt think this will make much of a difference). Since I have received my box set, I am comparing the tracks one by one with the originals, the later 180g remasters, the Ultravox Extended CD and my old Maxi-Singles.

The quality does not live up to my expectations, especially "Lament" sounds wrong. Most of the songs either lack bass or have too much highs. It gets very noticable when you switch forth and back while listening.

Honestly, I was expecting something in the likes of the Rubellan Remaster of the first Visage album.

Maybe I am the only one, but still ...

Posted by: Alone With Strangers

Re: Extended Sound Quality - Sun, 02 Dec 2018 15:39:15

I think much of it is a case of 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. You are right in that there is less overt bass in the Extended masters which makes them closer to the original vinyl mastering than the 2008/9 issues. The 2018 versions have a roll-off below 50hz which I suspect doesn't feature in the last remasters and - both subjectively (IMO) & objectively - this opens up the dynamics of the mid range.

Dynamic Range is just numbers at the end of the day and, as I said, it is a case of personal choice. However a straight technical comparison of the two using industry standard tools does show that there is a higher DR in these versions. I know one person will end up challenging this and he is welcome to his opinion but facts are facts and personal choice should reign supreme.

Posted by: Tom27

Re: Extended Sound Quality - Sun, 30 Dec 2018 02:13:37

Well, I still stand to my observations that the sound quality is much inferior for the new vinyls.

When analyzing three versions (2009 vinyl, Extended CD and 2018 vinyl), you can hear that the 2018 version clearly lacks low frequencies as well as high frequencies. Plus, there are strange shifts in the panorama, audible e.g. in "Lament" at the end of the "oooh" by Midge.

See and hear:

Being a musician and audio software beta tester myself, I consider the new version as not being properly mastered, because these findings have nothing to do with Dynamic Range etc. Interestingly enough, there is also a shift in timing where the 2009 vinyl version seems to be slighly slower (when perfectly aliging the files, you can see a slight drift and phasing starting around bar 15).

It is sad that nobody seems to be in the mood to answer any questions related to the quality of this expensive release.

Posted by: Alone With Strangers

Re: Extended Sound Quality - Sun, 30 Dec 2018 12:57:47

To be fair, I did answer! I also agreed that there was less bass in the 'Extended' vinyl than the CDs and that this was a choice. This is where personal preference comes in and, as I stated, the 'bass mastering' for want of a better phrase is closer to the original recordings than the 2008. The lower bass also increases the dynamic range - again a personal choice.

As for 'Lament', yes I can hear that too.

As for the speed, hadn't noticed this myself and haven't done a direct timing comparison to any of the previous releases. I'll take your word for it and it could be a number of things: the tapes being used, the equipment being used to transfer the tapes or the earlier mastering may have sped up the tracks - who knows? What I can see is that, categorically, no timing correction was undertaken during the mastering of this release and so the answer lies elsewhere.

P.S. what 2009 vinyl?
Posted by: Tom27

Re: Extended Sound Quality - Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:30:39

@Alone With Strangers: I am very sorry that you thought my last sentence was aimed at you. In fact it was meant to address the fact that nobody at Chrysalis or those involved in the production want to answer.

P.S.: 2009 was a typo, I was meant to write 2017 Vinyl Edition, but having to always scroll through my library I messed up ;-)