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HiRez Poll Beck, Bogert and Appice - BECK BOGERT & APPICE [SACD][JAPAN]

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Rate the SACD of Beck Bogert and Appice - BECK BOGERT & APPICE

  • 7:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor Fidelity, Poor Surround, Poor Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    19

JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this SACD from Sony Japan of the 1970's quadraphonic album "Beck, Bogert & Appice", previously available on SQ LP, Q8, and in the late '90s as a DTS-CD from DTS Entertainment. This new SACD release has a new "cleaned up" mix and comes in a deluxe package with graphics that replicate the original SQ LP.

Pre-release discussion thread: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?22102

BBA Set.jpg
 

steelydave

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Thanks to the extreme generosity of another QQ member who wishes to remain nameless, I was able to get my hands on a copy of this album so that I could do one of my reviews/technical audits on it...oh and maybe enjoy the music as well. ;)

I'll save the pictures and graphs for later just in case you're the kind of person who tunes out on that kind of stuff - in a nutshell, my findings indicate that this SACD (contrary to what I was expecting) is from an entirely new hi-res transfer compared to the old DTS CD, and to my ears it's a very substantial (I wanted to say huge, but lets not go crazy ;) ) improvement over the old DTS CD. I've owned the DTS CD since it was released, and this new SACD is so much better that at times I felt like I was listening to a new mix - it addresses both of my major misgivings with the original DTS CD, one being that it was a bit 'hollow' in the bass and muffled in the top end, and that the sound field was a bit unbalanced, namely that the rear left speaker was too quiet. I know this is an expensive disc to buy but if you like this album, or Jeff Beck, or hard rock in general in surround, this is worth buying even if you own the old DTS CD. When I originally got this as a DTS CD 15 years ago, I remember being pretty disappointed with it and thinking that it sounded like they'd just taken the stereo version and done a 'set it and forget it' mix with the rhythm guitars in the rear speakers. The SACD reveals (to me at least) that this isn't the case at all - there are all kinds of discrete things in the rear speakers in addition to the rhythm guitars, and some tracks even feature the drums spread over all 4 speakers (main kit in the front, cymbals in the rears).

The quad mix was done by Don Young, who also did the quad mixes for the self-titled Jeff Beck Group albums (get it on SACD!) and Rough And Ready (hopefully on SACD someday soon) and I think this mix is definitely in the same league as the self-titled album quad mix, but maybe with a more consistent approach toward instrument placement from track to track compared to the self-titled album.


Some observations about this disc, in random order:

1.This is a 5.1 disc, but the center channel is so low in volume it doesn't really interfere at all with he 'quadness' of the playback or the front soundstage. In fact, the level of the center channel relative to the other channels is even lower than the center channel on the DTS CD.

2.There's way more bass on the new SACD version than the DTS CD, but it all comes from the .1 channel. If you turn off the .1 channel, the low end frequency response is almost identical to the old DTS CD. Having said that, I think the SACD sounds way better and way more 'full range' than the old DTS CD. The LFE track on the SACD starts to roll off after about 120Hz, versus the DTS CD which rolls off after 60Hz - the result is the SACD LFE track has a lot more bass guitar in it, whereas the DTS CD LFE is primarily just bass drum.

3.The top end is much smoother and better defined than the DTS CD. There are weird 'notches' in the frequency response of the DTS CD above about 12kHz (presumably due to the lossy DTS codec) that aren't present on the SACD, and from a more subjective viewpoint, there were a bunch of moments where things popped up in the rear speakers of the SACD, including guitars, piano, and especially vocals, with such clarity that actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

4.The dynamic range of both the 5.1 and 2.0 layers is excellent, measuring 11 on the DR meter. I compared the SACD stereo layer to my old late 80's/early 90's unremastered Epic CD (EK 32140) and a while few of the tracks on the CD have 1dB more dynamic range, but the difference is so small that EQ choices (ie more bass) could easily account for that difference. The quad mix seems similarly unmolested (5 of the tracks are DR11 and 3 are DR12) and the waveforms don't look crushed at all, not to mention that it sounds great and powerful to my ears. If they've done anything to this album dynamic range-wise, it's so minimal as to be inaudible.

5.The SACD appears to be from a completely new digital transfer vs. the DTS CD. Not only is there frequency response over 30kHz (you'd expect to see a sharp cutoff at 22.05kHz or 24kHz if this was from a 44.1kHz or 48kHz ADAT transfer) on the SACD, I lined up the waveforms from both the DTS CD and the SACD of the first track (Black Cat Moan) and they're slightly different in duration, which indicates that they're from different playbacks of the original analog tapes.

Spectrogram of track 1 (Black Cat Moan) showing frequency response easily up to 30kHz
View attachment 26987


Compare that to a spectrogram of a track from the Jeff Beck 'Blow By Blow' SACD - note the way the frequency spectrum is 'buzzcut' at 22kHz with nothing above that except for ultrasonic noise from the DSD process
View attachment 26988


Waveform display of the 5.1 channels from Track 1 (Black Cat Moan) on the SACD - a few things of note here versus the DTS CD: the lower volume of the center channel, and the higher volume of the LFE track and left surround (LS) channel.

SACD - Track 1
View attachment 26989

DTS CD - Track 1
View attachment 26990

If anyone has any questions about this disc feel free to ask. And I don't think there's a poll thread for this title yet, but if there is one, or one is created mods, please feel free to move this post with my blessing.
 

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kap'n krunch

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Thanks Dave!
Most of the SACDs I have recorded in 96/24 to check for freq spectrum do have a cutoff at 22K (Except for the Tomita "The Planets" SACD from a few years ago), so i't nice to see an SACD delivering the goods...as it should be...
 

cornwall198

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Bought this LP when it first came out in '73 as a big Beck fan - and always both enjoyed it a lot, and was quite frustrated with it too. Great musicians not always gelling entirely, some soppy and soapy love songs that don't come over very sincerely, and vocals that can be quite irritating in both style and content. And then thunderous drums, fluent and dexterous bass, and amazing guitars interwoven across most tracks. Especially the 3 rockers that make up tracks 6 - 8 on side 2 of the original LP.

Re-purchased as the SACD on account of the exceptional review above by steeydave. His analysis is spot on in terms of the listening experience. The quality of the material hasn't really improved with the benefit of perspective - still as brilliant and frustrating as ever. But the sound quality is wonderful - and the surround is excellent, for the most part, and I like the heavy use of the rears for all sorts of things, including the riffs and solos.

Great recommendation and very happy listening experience here...
 
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rtbluray

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Can we get some more votes for this SACD? I'm sure there are more than 5 people on this forum who own it, right? :rolleyes:
 

leevitalone1

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Can we get some more votes for this SACD? I'm sure there are more than 5 people on this forum who own it, right? :rolleyes:
Trouble is, it's an old ass band. But, what a rock band they were! Original material, the shit today is based on the stuff we were weaned on- 70's hard rock, the artist then had old time blues and stuff for inspiration,
and people just don't see that anymore. The smaller bands like this sadly ignored. Like Cactus-man what a fucking hard band! Tight-precise and great. very sad indeed.
Look at the polls, and see how few actually do vote on certain bands. Yet some get a shitload of attention, go figure.
 

GOS

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Listened again...

I vote an 8. Of course, this "genre" of music is from an era I love. Great tunes, great musicianship. I like the mix, well done. Like many recordings from this era and genre, it's a little midrange heavy...to my ears anyway.

Still, excellent and what a gem. (y)
 

perzon57

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I have this on DTS CD and like it a lot(y)It will have to do for now. i bought the last two Jeff Beck SACD's from
cdjapan and I love them,but they cost me $90 a peace:eek:
 

sjcorne

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I gave it a 9. Absolutely awesome! I like this one better than The Jeff Beck Group, but ultimately I prefer Rough and Ready, Blow By Blow, and Wired for both quad mix and content.

As with the rest of these Sony Japan discs, the packaging replicating the SQ LP is too cool.

It's a typical CBS rock quad mix, so expect heavy use of the rears for rhythm guitars, backing vocals, and even drums. Interestingly, my favorite songs are actually the two more mellow tracks, "Sweet Sweet Surrender" and "I'm So Proud". The latter in particular is beautiful with the guitar echo bouncing from one rear channel to the other and front/rear call-and-response vocals.

I certainly hope we see more of these Sony Japan quad discs. The Edgar Winter quads seem like a logical place to go next...
 
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latinido

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Isn't there too much bass? I have to lower all time level of bass in subwoofer when I'm listening to it.
 

steelydave

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I dig the harmony vocals on this one. A lot like Cream, IMO. Very unique for the Jeff Beck output I've heard.
Replying to an old comment here, but yeah it is pretty unique to Beck's work, and it's because Bogert and Appice were 2/3rds of the seminal late-'60s heavy rock band Vanilla Fudge, and this kind of two-part harmony was one of their signatures. Most of their music was covers (their version of The Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On is awesome) but they were highly influential, especially on British hard rock bands starting out at the end of the '60s - I've shamelessly stolen this next blurb about it from this website:

"Their impact on the more ambitious British bands of the late '60s—Yes, Deep Purple, The Nice (and Emerson, Lake and Palmer), Spooky Tooth, Argent—is unmistakable.

Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore admitted as much to Guitar World: "We loved Vanilla Fudge—they were our heroes. They used to play London's Speakeasy and all the hippies used to go there to hang out.… They played eight-minute songs, with dynamics… The whole group was ahead of its time. So, initially, we wanted to be a Vanilla Fudge clone." And Bill Bruford says that on the first Yes album the group "made the whole lot sound like a cross between Vanilla Fudge and the Beach Boys."

Vanilla Fudge first visited the U.K. in the fall of 1967, playing a run of dates on a bill with Traffic, and there are at least a half-dozen bands whose music after that period has Fudgey fingerprints all over it: Deep Purple's Hush from Shades of Deep Purple and River Deep Mountain High from The Book of Taliesyn; Yes' versions of the Beatles' Every Little Thing and West Side Story's Something's Coming; Spooky Tooth's crawling takes on Tobacco Road and Janis Ian's Society's Child; The Nice doing Dave Brubeck's Rondo, Tim Hardin's Hang On to a Dream and Dylan's She Belongs to Me. Critic Lester Bangs even famously heard the Fudge effect on the debut album by Black Sabbath ("murky song titles and some inane lyrics that sound like Vanilla Fudge paying doggerel tribute to Aleister Crowley")."

Beck (another British "Fudge" fan) was supposed to link up with Bogert and Appice earlier, after Vanilla Fudge broke up and Rod Stewart left the Jeff Beck Group for a solo career in 1970. But then I think Beck was in a car accident or something, and rather than wait for him, Bogert and Appice started the band Cactus with guitarist Jim McCarty (who'd been in Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels) and vocalist Rusty Day - their version of Chester Burnett's Evil is a must-listen if you like hard rock. Finally by the end of '72 Cactus and the second version of the Jeff Beck Group had both run their courses and the three musicians finally got together to do this album.


Isn't there too much bass? I have to lower all time level of bass in subwoofer when I'm listening to it.
The quad mix on the SACD is definitely bassier than any other version - I think maybe the first track has a little bit too much, but not enough for me to fiddle with my subwoofer settings, and after that it settles into "just right" territory for me.


Upgrading my vote for this one from an '8' to a '9'. I probably mentioned this in my first post in the thread, but I had this on DTS CD for 15 years and didn't listen to it much, but the sound quality and mastering on the SACD is so good that it's become one that's been in regular rotation since I got it.
 

par4ken

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The SQ version of this has always been among my favourites. A short while ago I was listening to my vinyl rip through the Audionics Space & Image Composer (Tate 1, National chips) and I had to reduce the separation due to artifacting/pumping, I don't remember ever having to do that with my original unit (Tate 2, Exar chips). Anyway the point is that the mix is quite active, jumping from speaker to speaker or pairs of speakers. What I notice about the discrete version is a lack of any fill between speakers. It's almost too discrete. Discrete mixes shine when all channels are active simultaneously. Because it was mixed for SQ we don't get that, all speakers active all the time effect. The sound quality is excellent though, perhaps a little bit bright and it benefits from a bit of bass boost. I haven't listened to the DTS in awhile but I don't remember it coming close to the sound of this.
 

par4ken

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I don't use sub woofers, so don't know how others have their bass management set up. Running the Oppo BDP-103 with speakers set to large all low bass should be routed all speakers that are set to large (might not be the case?). My system does not require a subwoofer for low bass. On other recordings such as the Doobie Brothers Blu-ray set, I had to turn the bass back down to normal. I usually run a bit of bass boost when listening to vinyl.
I've just rechecked my settings and changed the crossover point to 40Hz (from 80Hz). I'll give the disc another spin to see if it has more bass. IMHO the crossover setting should not mater if the speakers are set to large. I also don't know it the Lfe channel is routed to the front only or to all large speakers (as it should be).
 
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par4ken

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So I listened to the SACD again, at first it seemed like it had better bass than before but then I realized that I had listened to it at a lower volume last time, late at night. Fletcher Munson curve, anyone. That was always the reason for Loudness controls. I checked the manual and it says that the crossover point set in the player only effects the output when the speaker size is set to small. So all is as it should be after all. The bass is not excessive at all, just about right.
 
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