Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" (Remixed in 5.1 surround by Alan Parsons!!)

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blue.monk

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My copy just arrived and yikes, the mastering on the 5.1 is a huge disappointment. The high end is goosed to the point of harshness. They managed to suck all the warmth out of it. Oh well, at least I have my trusty old MFSL vinyl. Hopefully the live discs will be worth the purchase.
 

ar surround

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My copy just arrived and yikes, the mastering on the 5.1 is a huge disappointment. The high end is goosed to the point of harshness. They managed to suck all the warmth out of it. Oh well, at least I have my trusty old MFSL vinyl. Hopefully the live discs will be worth the purchase.
Funny...Tonight, playing it after listening to some other stuff, it does indeed exhibit a hot high end. Ditto with the stereo layer. Time to rip the disc and mess with the EQ.
 

ar surround

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Funny...Tonight, playing it after listening to some other stuff, it does indeed exhibit a hot high end. Ditto with the stereo layer. Time to rip the disc and mess with the EQ.
One advantage to getting old and having your hearing go down the tubes - you don't even hear these releases with maxed top end. If you can't hear it, it doesn't exist - for you! ;)
What I've discovered is that my old ears are fickle. Sometimes a recording that sounds just right on a Sunday sounds hot the next Tuesday.

One thing I do know is that I like this album so much that it will be worth the effort to try to correct any EQ anomalies.
 

fthesoundguy

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Reading through and catching up on this thread has been depressing. My copy has been stuck in Chicago for about a week now but I am not really looking forward to this now. Will still listen to it and hopefully I won't be as annoyed to it with some EQ tweaks. I will also need to go back through Ammonia Avenue to see if I am hearing the brightness of that record. I found it ok at the time (not attached to that album at all), but it's been about 6 months since I listened to it.

Um, would that be me? I took the 22kHz - 8kHz high frequency test this afternoon and I can hear the 11kHz tone, but no higher. (Same as a couple of years ago.) However, I didn't notice the annoying high-end boost on the album as noted by Jonathan and Dave...Perhaps a blessing because it sounds very nice to my old ears.
That would be you! When I was in audio school, we had one classmate that couldn't hear over 10k. Which is no good if you want to go into this profession. Turned out he was in the Marines for 10 years flying helicopters and that was even with hearing protection (though I think there is/was a lawsuit saying the hearing protection didn't do what they said it would). I had my hearing tested last year and I still can hear to about 17.5K, which they said was pretty good considering I am/was in a live sound setting for 300 days a year. Perhaps a blessing for you for this and a couple of other mastering disasters.

...or if they can hear fine and they're mastering with a listener lacking in top-end hearing in mind, but it seems entirely unnecessary either way...
This is interesting to think about. Did they do some sort of focus group and found out not many people under 50 would want to buy this set, so maybe they went and jacked up the EQ to make it sound pleasant for them? Everyone loses high end as they age, so they found the "sweet spot" for what is lost and boosted that? Kind of a crazy conspiracy to think about and if true, is really dumb to do.
 

seremetcc

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Reading through and catching up on this thread has been depressing. My copy has been stuck in Chicago for about a week now but I am not really looking forward to this now.
I feel the same way. My Goats Head Soup is still sitting there unopened. I don't have the cash right now to keep spending on these sets. It is a crapshoot that I am not in favor of supporting.

A quick off-topic: BTW, I need to introduce myself. Can anyone recommend a photo stitching software so I can show you my "music room"? Please PM me if so.
 

Sal1950

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Yes, I too very much appreciate the big text in the book!!!
I usually just scan them into a file and blow them up on my computer as big as needed. ;)
One advantage to getting old and having your hearing go down the tubes - you don't even hear these releases with maxed top end. If you can't hear it, it doesn't exist - for you! ;)
AMEN to that Jon
 

skherbeck

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For me, the brightness is easily adjusted/ compensated for, and it’s easy to adjust the rear channels for the songs that need it. The music is fantastic and I’m really happy with the surround mixes, so I’m happy overall. Looking forward to Time Passages. Being realistic regarding Parsons surround mixes, though, I expect to have to make adjustments to any of his future surround releases.
 

ar surround

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In an attempt to lose my mind, I started playing around with the EQ on a couple of songs: Lord Grenville and Sand In Your Shoes. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be optimal for this album. But I have to settle on one curve because after seven iterations on Lord Grenville, I don't want to hear it again for about a year. So here is my preferred EQ curve that I will use on all tracks except Year Of The Cat, which will get special treatment because it sounds "less hot" than all of the other cuts. It is similar to the trough recommended by @sjcorne but with a -6dB cut centered at 8kHz.

-6dB at 8kHz trough.jpg


Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Disclaimers:
- I don't hear anything above 11kHz.
- Beware that I'm am old Acoustic Research (AR) guy. The other "medicare eligible" folks on this site will understand the connotation.
 

splinter7

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It must be me but I find there is too much in the center speaker and it narrows down the front soundscape considerably.
The rears seem fine so it comes across like I am sitting in the center of cone. If that makes any sense?

I have only gotten the chance to listen to both mixes twice but at low volumes.
 

sjcorne

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It is similar to the trough recommended by @sjcorne but with a -6dB cut centered at 8kHz.
I came up with my curve based only on repeatedly auditioning "On The Border", which seems more grating to me than the other songs--especially when the hi-hat really picks up at around 1:20. I'll give this a shot though, thanks for sharing.

It must be me but I find there is too much in the center speaker and it narrows down the front soundscape considerably.
The rears seem fine so it comes across like I am sitting in the center of cone. If that makes any sense?
That is really odd, since there's barely anything in the center channel. I'm pretty sure it's just a downmix of all four corner channels that's dropped 10-15 dB relative to the fronts. On the title song, you should be hearing a wide stereo spread across the front speakers with the electric guitar on the left, acoustic on the right, and vocal in the 'phantom' center.
 

Steve Schoultz

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It must be me but I find there is too much in the center speaker and it narrows down the front soundscape considerably.
The rears seem fine so it comes across like I am sitting in the center of cone. If that makes any sense?

I have only gotten the chance to listen to both mixes twice but at low volumes.
In an attempt to lose my mind, I started playing around with the EQ on a couple of songs: Lord Grenville and Sand In Your Shoes. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be optimal for this album. But I have to settle on one curve because after seven iterations on Lord Grenville, I don't want to hear it again for about a year. So here is my preferred EQ curve that I will use on all tracks except Year Of The Cat, which will get special treatment because it sounds "less hot" than all of the other cuts. It is similar to the trough recommended by @sjcorne but with a -6dB cut centered at 8kHz.

View attachment 65729

Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Disclaimers:
- I don't hear anything above 11kHz.
- Beware that I'm am old Acoustic Research (AR) guy. The other "medicare eligible" folks on this site will understand the connotation.
Man that brings back some great memories. My dad had some AR 3s. They were mounted horizontally on table legs. Not sure why he did that or if they we’re sold that way. He passed them on to me and I used them vertically. I had them until the mid 70s. Sorry for straying from the subject.
 

LuvMyQuad

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thanks @sjcorne - Maybe it was the low volume I was playing it at. It was late at night and my wife was extra cranky the last few days ;)
Ill have to try it.... at low volume ill bet the 5.1 sounds good. Too bad i cant play it at that low a volume.

In an attempt to lose my mind, I started playing around with the EQ on a couple of songs: Lord Grenville and Sand In Your Shoes. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be optimal for this album. But I have to settle on one curve because after seven iterations on Lord Grenville, I don't want to hear it again for about a year. So here is my preferred EQ curve that I will use on all tracks except Year Of The Cat, which will get special treatment because it sounds "less hot" than all of the other cuts. It is similar to the trough recommended by @sjcorne but with a -6dB cut centered at 8kHz.

Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.


Disclaimers:
- I don't hear anything above 11kHz.
- Beware that I'm am old Acoustic Research (AR) guy. The other "medicare eligible" folks on this site will understand the connotation.
I need to listen closer (maybe in a few mins) but im wondering now if the 5.1 high end of Grenville and On the Border have more of an issue than all the rest of the album. I also want to confirm that what i hear on those cymbal crashes truly is a simple case of level and not something worse like baked in overload or distortion. If its in the old stereo tracks, i never noticed it before. Dont get me wrong... this entire album is bright. It always was. But it was relatively clean.

I wouldant doubt your choise of -6db @8kH tames it, but i dont think all the tracks need that much cut. Just those 1st two.

As a first pass I wouldant touch YOTC at all. Ditto for Broadway Hotel, Ditto for One Stage Before (tied with YOTC for best mix on the album IMHO). At most, these tracks will only need a small HF cut

Everything else maybe something like a 3db cut. Its almost like the sonics get better as the album progresses.

Geeze now i gotta go listen.... I wanna try not playing either of the 1st 2 tracks straight off and hear some of those tracks from side 2 BEFORE Grenville de-sensitizes my ears with those high volume nasty ass cymbal crashes.

Here are my disclaimers.
- Im almost 64 (will you still feed me?)
-I tap out at 14kH in one ear and 12kH in the other and one side has some strange midrange dip (i dont remember which) It gets tested every year at work.
- I didnt think the Doobies were bright. I thought the midrange was sucked out a bit.
 

Imbobman

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Mine arrived yesterday from Deep Discount and ALL the discs were scrambled into a pile instead of in their respective slots! Not Deep Discount's fault but rather the flimsy poor excuse for disc holders. The exterior box was in perfect condition!
Geez..I better open mine up to see if this is also happening with the discs🤔.
It arrived a few days ago also from Deep discount.
The 'new' mailman just left it sitting out on a chair next to the house. ...too big for 📬.
Since they didn't bother to ring the doorbell, it wind up being out there over night.
Found it the next day just as it started raining🌧.
Thankfully, I live in a safe neighborhood & there was no water damage but it's a bit irritating 😡....
 
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