View Poll Results: Rate the SACD of the Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OFF THE EARTH NOW!!

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  • 10: Great Fidelity, Great Surround, Great Content

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    10 52.63%
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    5 26.32%
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    1 5.26%
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    2 10.53%
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Thread: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OFF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

  1. #1
    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OFF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Please post your thoughts and comments on this SACD release from Mobile Fidelity. :thumbsdow
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    This one is a big surprise. While remastered to SACD Stereo and SACD Surround from vintage recording, the sonics are excellent in SACD Stereo.

    The SACD Surround is created from a 2 track Ambisonic Mic master tape using an upmix algorithm. Here again, excellent results - save for an occasional element.

    Highly recommended. I'd rate this one, and the Rickie Lee Jones SACD, as the sleepers of the year in Hi Rez Surround so far. Both much more interesting than expected !

    The High Fidelity Review story on it is over at http://www.highfidelityreview.com/ne...umber=15437803

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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    This is a very interesting, very atmospheric disc. I had not heard the original release before I picked this up. Sonics are fantastic and the typical Junkies low-key approach comes across with impressive clarity. The process by which the surround mix was created is noted above but the mix does not sound manipulated to me. Someone on another forum noted the one problem with this mix which involves the volume level in the rears. Simply put, they are loud and at times threaten to overwhelm the content coming from the fronts further away. This can be quickly resolved by turning down the rears to taste on the fly (if your receiver allows you this option). Still, I've been listening to this a lot and I am very impressed by the music and the quality of the sonics. A 9 for me.

  4. #4
    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    FYI: <scan added to original post>

  5. #5
    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by stormchaser View Post
    This is a very interesting, very atmospheric disc. I had not heard the original release before I picked this up. Sonics are fantastic and the typical Junkies low-key approach comes across with impressive clarity. The process by which the surround mix was created is noted above but the mix does not sound manipulated to me. Someone on another forum noted the one problem with this mix which involves the volume level in the rears. Simply put, they are loud and at times threaten to overwhelm the content coming from the fronts further away. This can be quickly resolved by turning down the rears to taste on the fly (if your receiver allows you this option). Still, I've been listening to this a lot and I am very impressed by the music and the quality of the sonics. A 9 for me.
    Agreed. Mobile Fidelity did an excellent job on this one. A must have Rock Surround Sound SACD.

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    800 Club - QQ All Star DennisMabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    Agreed. Mobile Fidelity did an excellent job on this one. A must have Rock Surround Sound SACD.

    Thanks for the recommendation! What a wonderful recording. This one's going to get a lot of play. Warm, personal, enveloping, dynamic, detailed and Bluesy. What more can I say? I love it!

    Dennis

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    Member Spencer1812's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Very Nice! Listened to it back to back, Just couldn't get enough first time thru. Folks may want to turn down thier sub's before the first listen.

  8. #8
    400 Club - QQ All Star bugdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer1812 View Post
    ...Folks may want to turn down thier sub's before the first listen.
    you got that right! this thing'll really make your walls shake. in fact, when i play this my wife complains her knick-knack shelf is gonna self-distruct . so when she's around, the only way i can listen to this at "appropriate" levels is with headphones (where it also sounds phenomenal).
    Barry from San Diego

  9. #9
    The Real Thing Cai Campbell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    What a great record! How did this thing elude me for 20+ years? Sure, I've heard the Cowboy Junkies before, but I never considered myself a fan. Until now. "Whites Off Earth Now!!" is an awesome album. I love the stripped-down, bluesy, ethereal feel. The guitars are brilliantly played and recorded. The vocals are moody and evocative, but unfortunately, sound congested and constrained, as if they were recorded in a bathroom or something. That's my only complaint. I wish the vocals sounded as open, airy and clear as the guitars.

    I was prepared to hate the surround mix... everything I read smacked of pseudo-surround. I'm happy to have my expectations proved wrong. No, this isn't some big surround production. It's an intimate, enveloping, holistic surround presentation that fits the mood of the record perfectly. In no way does it sound fake or cheesy. It sounds very natural and acoustically accurate. I did not get the impression that the rear volume needed to be turned down.

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    800 Club - QQ All Star DennisMabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cai Campbell View Post
    The vocals are moody and evocative, but unfortunately, sound congested and constrained, as if they were recorded in a bathroom or something.

    The liner notes say the recording was made in a garage. They did test runs and liked the sound, so they ended up recording the whole session there.

    I really like the sound and the mood. This disc takes a spin frequently around here.

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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    I just got this gave it one spin.I like how this one was recorded.9 out of 10.

  12. #12
    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Nice write up on this one from Cai here. . . .
    :-jon

  13. #13
    I can do anything! LizardKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    This is an interesting one..... So this is an up-mix & a surround sacd from Mobile Fidelity - did they do any others?

  14. #14
    Banned² cupboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Fortunately, not. I sold mine.

  15. #15
    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by LizardKing View Post
    This is an interesting one..... So this is an up-mix & a surround sacd from Mobile Fidelity - did they do any others?
    This was the only one they did. Interestingly, since the 2 channel SACD track is Ambisonic encoded, music fans with Meridian processor/preamps can check out the album that way - as well as listening to the 5.1 SACD Surround track.
    I'd recommend the SACD if you can find a copy.

  16. #16
    I can do anything! LizardKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    A "Surround Series" of one then.... what a shame...

  17. #17
    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by LizardKing View Post
    A "Surround Series" of one then.... what a shame...
    Actually the MoFi "Surround Series" also included several Surround Sound SACDs of Classical Recordings from Vox records.
    They were well done.

  18. #18
    Banned² cupboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Is anything still in print from MoFi/MFSL that is surround or did they ban surround altogether there?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    Is anything still in print from MoFi/MFSL that is surround or did they ban surround altogether there?
    i wonder why they chose to abandon surround altogether!?

    too much of a niche, within the audiophile niche to make it worth their while..?
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  20. #20
    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    Is anything still in print from MoFi/MFSL that is surround or did they ban surround altogether there?
    Yes. There are 4 Classical Surround Sound SACDs on the Mobile Fidelity web site available for purchase.
    See http://www.mofi.com/category_s/1827.htm

  21. #21
    Member Fourplay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Dear QQers,

    There has been a great deal of debate on the authenticity of the Whites Off Earth Now!! MFSL surround mix, with some going so far as to call it "fake surround." I have been recently reading these debates and posting hereabouts on the topic, but the truth is there does not seem to be any good documentation about the intent of the recording that led to the release on SACD. I therefore took it upon myself to look up the email address for Peter J. Moore, the original engineer on the project and also the man responsible in part for the surround mix, and I sent him this inquiry:

    "I am on a surround sound forum where there is great debate as to whether the MSFL 5.1 mix of Whites Off Earth Now!! is a decode or an upmix. It is understood that the recording was made with a "Calrec Ambiosonic Microphone" per the liner notes. The question is, was this UHJ encoded, and if so was it properly decoded for the multichannel mix that appears on the MFSL release?"

    He was kind enough to reply, and herewith is the response I received:

    "The {Whites Off Earth Now!!} recording was UHJ encoded. When we decoded it for multichannel we were not happy with the result. This led to finding a better way. With some privately funded research we developed a way to "Generate Perfect Surround" or GPS as we now call it. To call it simply an Upmix does not do it justice as the many rave reviews of that SACD we have received would confirm."

    -Yours Truly
    Peter J. Moore

    So this does answer two questions definitively: was the recording UHJ encoded, and was the MFSL release an "upmix" from a stereo master. Yes, it was a UHJ recording, and no, it was not an upmix from stereo.

    Now let the debate begin: Since it was not a straight decode, does it qualify as "true" surround or "fake" surround. My opinion is that considering it was recorded using a directional technique, and since the engineer in charge feels as though the presented surround mix is a good representation of the soundstage, I think it can be called a true surround sound mix. I recently listened to the mix again critically and to me it had definite directionality from individual elements. These elements were not as isolated as when a vocal or a guitar is placed exclusively in a single channel, but neither was that the intention.

    So clearly this was recorded and decoded with the intent of "real surround." And I think it sounds directional, but not discrete.

    Anyone else?

    Ken
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  22. #22
    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    That helps to explain how the GPS decoding came to be funded. And how the album came to be released as a Mobile Fidelity Surround Sound SACD.

    I should mention that owners of the Meridian Surround Processors will find those units decode the 2 Channel tracks on this SACD very well in the processor's Ambisonic/UHJ mode. Not surprising given the encoding.

  23. #23
    Member Cibola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Shouldn't it be "Whites Off Earth Now!!"?

    Not a double entendre.
    Last edited by Cibola; 12-20-2013 at 02:28 AM. Reason: clarity

  24. #24
    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cibola View Post
    Shouldn't it be "Whites Off Earth Now!!"?

    Not a double entendre.
    Yup. Fixed. Thanks. (I had to laugh though, at least I got the poll correct!)
    :-jon

  25. #25
    Member Cibola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowboy Junkies - WHITES OF THE EARTH NOW!! [SACD]

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    Yup. Fixed. Thanks. (I had to laugh though, at least I got the poll correct!)
    Kind of cracked me up too. One thing though, still got to lose "the" definite article.

    Thanks for all you do Jon, my life is better for it.
    Last edited by Cibola; 12-21-2013 at 04:58 AM. Reason: spelling

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