- Jul 19, 2017
- Melbourne, Australia
I assume you are referring to the 24/192 HDAD release. Apologies if not.After listening multiple times and comparing with my old DAD, I'm voting a 9. After volume matching, the hi-res stereo on blu-ray sounds virtually identical to the old DAD, with the 24/192 just edging out the blu-ray in fine detail and lower noise floor. The 5.1 mix is just a touch brighter than I like when first starting to listen, but I quickly adjust and don't notice it as the album goes on. However, to me the surround mix is just stellar, exhibiting tons of detail and frequent directionality within a fully immersive soundfield that makes great and pretty much constant use of the surrounds. It's definitely going to be my preferred way to listen to this album going forward. The extra video content is nothing too special but worth seeing once or twice. However, getting the album in hi-res stereo, 5.1, and with a comprehensive booklet at this price is pure value we don't see enough of in this era of bloated and way overpriced box sets. Kudos to Alan Parsons for supporting ALL his fans with these standalone blu-ray releases.
The 2023 hi-res remaster sounds significantly different from the HDAD disc. I don't want to discuss our personal tastes in mastering, but simply comparing the EQ of these two remasters shows some radical differences. For example, in Games People Play, the 2023 hi-res remaster has a 3dB boost between 500Hz and 3kHz, and about 1dB above that frequency. It's also about -2/3dB at 80/100Hz. These differences are audible and result in a quite different presentation, definitely mid-centric, brighter, less punchy, with less bass overall.
Most tracks in the HDAD disc also have speed issues. Assuming the 2023 hi-res remaster runs at the correct speed (it's very close to all other releases), the HDAD runs slower on many tracks, and this is also quite audible.
All I am trying to do is to provide some objective measurements that these two releases do not sound virtually identical. They are quite different, and it's probably best to hear them both before picking up your favourite mastering. I'm not a fan of this new remaster. Dynamics are intact and the waveforms look very good, but I am disappointed by how it sounds. Given the quality of the hi-res remaster of Eye in the Sky, my expectations were higher. I'll stick with the DSD download mastering.