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metalheaded
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PostSubject: Original CD pressings   Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:23 pm

Lately I've gotten to where I only want the original pressing when I'm hunting for a CD of an old album (in my case, 80s metal). In this day and age of lots of questionable remasters, bootlegs, and re-issues, I seem to have realized that, in most cases, the original usually sounds the best. At least, I hope that's the case...I can't say I've gotten copies of originals AND remasters of everything and compared them, but man, I'm just tired of reading testimonies of how the remasters are louder, yes, but are also clipped-sounding, like Death Magnetic was...maybe not that extreme, but to the point to where the depth and warmth are compromised. I'd rather have an original pressing that is nice and warm and full, even if I do have to crank it way up to hear it at the volume I want.

Also, I don't like it when a remaster and/or re-issue has different, updated artwork. I've gotten so picky that I don't even like it when the SPINE font and color are changed. I don't want a band's CDs on my shelf where their albums all have the same font and color on the spine. Makes them look like they are all part of a box set, or something, and takes away their uniqueness. I'd much rather have the unique and original covers that retain all of their individuality and stand apart from the other albums.

The only remasters I tend to consider are those that have been remastered by reputable persons who have the same respect for audio quality that I do and will not compromise depth and warmth for the loudness factor, or anything else. Problem is, how to know? I know Cliffy is one of those, so I have no qualms whatsoever about ordering remasters that he worked on, because I know they'll sound terrific. But I really don't know about others, and don't want to chance it anymore.

Currently, I'm in the beginning processes of hunting down original pressings of the early Iron Maiden discs (already have NOTB and SSOASS). They're relatively easy to find, so it's fine. I don't want those enhanced reissues with the fancy, updated artwork and thick booklets and CD-ROM videos on them. I've had those before, anyway, and once I read the booklets once, I didn't really read them again.

I guess I'm just getting old and want to go back to the old, original stuff and stop fussing over all the new versions of stuff coming out. It's getting a little overwhelming.
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A Handful of Wayne
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:04 pm

Hahahaha Yea I really don't care either way. Certain bands I have originals and remasters of. Some bands I just have the remasters and some I have a mix of both. I don't mind the remasters so much because usually they have some good bonus material and depending on what that bonus stuff is I'll most likely just get rid of the originals. What I do hate, like you as well is when they do change the artwork. I don't mind slight changes like for the RAGE remasters all they basically did was just change the logo with their updated one. I can deal with that. They also have nice booklets so thats fine. The ones where they either change the colors or like on the first Ozzy remasters took the original picture and shrunk it down so small you need a magnifying glass to look at it, that crap bothers me, but since I had mostly those remasters I just bought all of them and got rid of the few originals I had.

Some bands I'm not that picky about. If the original artwork is somewhere to be seen thats fine with me. Actually right now I have a few things like the new Smashing Pumpkins remasters. They are all coming in these really cool boxes loaded with stuff. It has the original artwork but they put this affect on them so its has like this shiney metallic look to it and the original colors are gone. Is it an overall better thing to have yes, but I would have liked the original artwork somewhere at least in the box so I'm still on the fence about letting those go. I also think too how much am I really going to get for it any way, probably wont even be worth it.

The other newer thing I got was the new BLUR box set where it has every album, all with bonus disc, and 3 other bonus discs and a dvd. Really awesome box set. All original artwork, nothing was messed with, except!... THERES NO BOOKLETS OR LYRICS IN THE ORIGINALS! So again I'm on the fence. It shouldn't matter but in some way it does. Its also another thing where will I even get that much money for getting rid of them anyway? probably not.

I can go on about this haha. I got the Gamma Ray box set where they changed all the artwork and put everything in digis but they kept the original booklets. Thats fine but I'm not getting rid of the originals anyway. I also got the SENTENCED box set. I had all their original cds then when they broke up and released the box set with everything they ever recorded I got rid of my originals and kept the box. The box set has all the cds in cardboard sleaves with original artwork. Theres a big book with liner notes and all the lyrics so I'm more than happy with that.

Its too much to think about with all the different issues of cds, originals, remasters, remixes, vinyl etc. Unless your listening to all of this stuff with top of the line headphones your not going to notice one hell of a difference. The only people that really have all these problems about what this or that sounds like are these audiophile nerds lol. We have a few of them here I've listened to so many different versions of albums and with the slight differences I hear theres no point in shelling out more money than you need to. The only way I would shell out extra money for cds is if they were Japanese releases. Supposedly there really is a pretty significant difference between their cds and ours. Plus they always have bonus tracks and for the most part they hold their worth and sometimes even sell for more.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:35 pm

If it's a CD I want, and the price is right, I honestly don't care if it's a first issue, a reissue, a re-re-issue, or a German, Japanese, Russian, Mongolian or Venusian pressing.

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Wargod
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:20 pm

I'm usually buying first pressings but sometimes you can't!

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ultmetal
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:37 pm

It really depends on the band, the record company and the release. Some remasters ARE better than the originals. For instance, Raven's Nothing Exceeds Like Excess. The original CD release has horrible mastering. The vinyl is far better than the CD. However, the remastered CD on Century Media sounds 100x better than both the vinyl and the original CD pressing.

The Aerosmith and Kiss remastered CDs are also better than the original CD pressings. The original CD pressings had cheap artwork and poor mastering. The remasters restore the artwork and have better mastering.

Ultimatum's Puppet of Destruction, the original mastering ruined the sound. The remaster restored the bottom end that was robbed in the original CD pressings.

So there are just a few examples of why I don't always prefer the original pressings.

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jettafiend
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:54 pm

My experience is that other than the few metal albums I was able to buy in highschool, mostly, it is the remaster/reissue albums that are available now. I came of musical age in the early/mid 90's when music that I hated ruled the rock radio scene so missed the good stuff from the 80's and early 90's. I recently bought Armageddon "The Money Mask" in the remastered form and I love it but an original is impossible to find.

Of note, I prefer the remastered version of Armored Saint's "Symbol of Salvation" to the original pressing. I don't think that it is louder so much as the dynamics are much improved.
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metalheaded
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:18 am

I do agree that some remasters are far better than the originals, like the Armageddon and Ultimatum. The Saint remasters are better, too. The Megadeth remasters sound ok and don't sound overly loud, but I didn't like how Dave changed some things here and there with the sound, and he's even the artist himself! The KIMBABIG was a huge improvement in sound, but These Boots was ruined because of all the stupid bleeping out of the lyrics; not to mention out of original song order on the remaster. Even though it was a big sound improvement, I still prefer the old original one because that's what I listened to all the time as a teen, so it's nostalgia for me. Original artwork, and all.

With bonus material, yes, that can be a pull...but for me, it's got to be something special, like songs not released anywhere else, or the band's demo that was never pressed to CD prior, or something like that.

For me personally, I guess it boils down to me hunting down all the original pressings of CDs that I had the cassettes of in the 80s. Most of them I remember as sounding just fine, so I'm not going to get the remasters. Most of them haven't been remastered, anyway, I don't think. I've never heard some of the ones mentioned in this thread whose remasters far surpass the originals, so I won't worry about them. For now, at least...
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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:46 am

It really depends on the remaster - some are much better than the original and some are overly compressed to the point that it doesn't sound right. As far as the Iron Maiden CD's, the original Japanese CD's are widely considered to the be the absolutely best versions of the first 7 albums. Of course, they are the hardest to find and the most expensive on ebay.
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martinsane
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:50 am

Oddly enough, I have been keeping both versions, expecially if as Keith mentioned I can acquire them on the cheap.
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exact33
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:09 am

Fat Freddy wrote:
If it's a CD I want, and the price is right, I honestly don't care if it's a first issue, a reissue, a re-re-issue, or a German, Japanese, Russian, Mongolian or Venusian pressing.

i feel this way most of the time. I think sometimes the Scarecrow releases are not as well done as could be (printing is off on the inserts) but I do like the odd versions with bonus tracks.

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ultmetal
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:17 pm

Some of the original CD pressings of albums that were first released on vinyl are missing songs. Molly Hatchet's live album and Rush's first two live albums come to mind. They deleted songs from the double albums to fit on a single CD.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:38 pm

ultmetal wrote:
Some of the original CD pressings of albums that were first released on vinyl are missing songs. Molly Hatchet's live album and Rush's first two live albums come to mind. They deleted songs from the double albums to fit on a single CD.

The CD version of Dokken's Beast From the East live album is missing three songs that were on the vinyl/cassette.

Years ago when that first came out, I didn't own a CD player yet, and one of my college friends (a supposed "audiophile") used to pick on me for continuing to buy cassettes rather than "moving up" to the superior CD format. When we both bought that Dokken album, I was very snotty about the inequity between versions, i.e. "HA-ha! I got three songs that you don't have!" Very Happy

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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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exact33
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:24 pm

ultmetal wrote:
Some of the original CD pressings of albums that were first released on vinyl are missing songs. Molly Hatchet's live album and Rush's first two live albums come to mind. They deleted songs from the double albums to fit on a single CD.

it was kinda amusing at that 'CD bonus track' language. I dislike those albums that cut off tracks.

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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:07 pm

In the first few years of CD the maximum amount of time on a single disc was 74 minutes. A little while later that was improved to 80 minutes. Chopping off tracks to fit 74 minutes was a cost-cutting effort by the record labels so they wouldn't have to release a double disc set. Cheesy all the way around.

I remember All The World's A Stage chopped off the song "What You're Doing" and Exit...Stage Left removed "A Passage To Bangkok" at that time, it caused so many complaints from Rush fans that the label included both those songs on the Chronicles 2-CD set. By the time the '97 reissues came out both complete albums fit easily on a single disc.

Orignal press vs. remaster. It really depends on a case by case basis. If the remaster was released between '91 an '96 it's a much better chance that it sounds good...by the time 1997 rolled around the "loudness wars" had kicked into full gear and from that point on it's a much riskier enterprise to go for the remastered discs.

Always going for the original press isn't always the best bet either, because in the early days of CD manufacturing the record labels didn't want to waste time finding the original master tapes, so often they used the LP masters for the CD, in many cases these masters had been used numerous times and were worn out...but to save a few bucks they were used anyway. They were also EQ'd for vinyl which is a different medium and requires a different approach, just slapping these on a CD generally made the recordings sound worse, not better.

At this moment in time the most dynamic and best sounding discs are Japanese (who never fell prey to the loudness wars to the degree the US did) or releases from audiophile labels like MFSL or Audio Fidelity. Major label issues are very hit or miss, but mostly miss.



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chewie
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:49 pm

S.D. wrote:

Always going for the original press isn't always the best bet either, because in the early days of CD manufacturing the record labels didn't want to waste time finding the original master tapes, so often they used the LP masters for the CD, in many cases these masters had been used numerous times and were worn out...but to save a few bucks they were used anyway. They were also EQ'd for vinyl which is a different medium and requires a different approach, just slapping these on a CD generally made the recordings sound worse, not better.

Is this because of the RIAA curve employed for lps?
Does that also mean that you would set up an EQ they way a phono preamp would work?
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:22 pm

Making LPs is a complex, mechanical process that requires more steps than making a CD (even if you start in analog). They require a certain level of compression (low end spikes can cause the needle to leap out of the groove) and EQ to bring the most out of the medium. Done well they sound fantastic.

There is nothing wrong with an LP master if the LP is the medium you are putting it on. But CDs are different animals and there should be a separate master created from the original master tapes for that medium. What sounds good for one medium does not automatically sound good for another.

Here is a good article on the LP mastering/manufacturing process:

http://www.recordingmag.com/resources/resourceDetail/114.html

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thrashidolatry
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PostSubject: Re: Original CD pressings   Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:57 am

I usually would pay well for first pressings but for example Impact- Take the Pain which sold for 800$+ I would go for an official reissue.
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