HiRez Poll Black Sabbath - PARANOID [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of Black Sabbath - PARANOID


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Please post your thoughts and comments on this new reissue of the classic Black Sabbath album "Paranoid".
This new Blu-Ray audio release is part of Rhino Records' Quadio series and marks the first time that the original 1970s Quadraphonic mix has been properly remastered and reissued on a high-res disc format.

(y) :) (n)

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First impressions:

1. VERY crankable. Great 70s analog-style mastering, no harshness or brightness to my ears. Tight and punchy bass and drums.
2. I noticed some tambourine in War Pigs and Paranoid that I don't think are in the stereo mix at all, or are mixed very low.
3. Some other things that sounded different from the stereo mixes - the air raid siren in War Pigs and the guitar solo in Paranoid. Hard for me to tell if they are actually different or just tonally different.
4. Ozzy's vocals are mixed very low and distant, especially in War Pigs, like they are coming from a different room or something. It doesn't ruin it for me but I wish they boosted the vocals to make them more present and immediate. This is really my only nit-pick of the whole disc.
5. Love the panning in War Pigs. Drum breaks and guitars going from speaker to speaker.
6. Heavy use of the rear speakers throughout, especially the guitars. Hope your rear speakers are up to the task! This is definitely a mix that will favor those with 4 identical full-range speakers for the front and rears.

All-in-all, this is an awesome disc to have and this is will be my go-to version of this classic album from here on out.
 
First impressions:

1. VERY crankable. Great 70s analog-style mastering, no harshness or brightness to my ears. Tight and punchy bass and drums.
2. I noticed some tambourine in War Pigs and Paranoid that I don't think are in the stereo mix at all, or are mixed very low.
3. Some other things that sounded different from the stereo mixes - the air raid siren in War Pigs and the guitar solo in Paranoid. Hard for me to tell if they are actually different or just tonally different.
4. Ozzy's vocals are mixed very low and distant, especially in War Pigs, like they are coming from a different room or something. It doesn't ruin it for me but I wish they boosted the vocals to make them more present and immediate. This is really my only nit-pick of the whole disc.
5. Love the panning in War Pigs. Drum breaks and guitars going from speaker to speaker.
6. Heavy use of the rear speakers throughout, especially the guitars. Hope your rear speakers are up to the task! This is definitely a mix that will favor those with 4 identical full-range speakers for the front and rears.

All-in-all, this is an awesome disc to have and this is will be my go-to version of this classic album from here on out.
I also like some of the fun things he did with the mix like panning Ozzy’s vocals around the room during the last bit of “Hand of Doom”. Butcher was clearly very intent on making the most of quad with this mix and while it’s very adventurous and almost gimmick-ly so in some spots, I think it fits the material well.
 
I find that sound quality is a 10 (more details and fidelity than the stereo mix), material 10, and mix a 9.5 (1/2 point off for panning) due to the rare (dated) instance of panning of a vocal or guitar part. This is not on every track, and not often enough to push it down to a 9 rating for me. The material and tracks are laid out here in a very appealing quad soundstage, and in this silky smooth mastering quality, we have an average of a high 10 rating.

And the disc, like a Pink Floyd surround, or top Beatles album in 5.1 this has the potential to get a few people to grab another pair of speakers for their AVR and see what the fuss is all about.
 
due to the rare (dated) instance of panning of a vocal or guitar part
Just to clarify / potentially educate me, aren't the Quadio releases true to the original quad mixing? I.e. panning was a popular, like you said, dated element that is original?

I may have misunderstood that these represent the original quad mix....just discrete rather than matrixed (with the exception of CD4 where applicable).
 
Just to clarify / potentially educate me, aren't the Quadio releases true to the original quad mixing? I.e. panning was a popular, like you said, dated element that is original?

I may have misunderstood that these represent the original quad mix....just discrete rather than matrixed (with the exception of CD4 where applicable).
These Quadio discs do represent the original mixing decisions as found on the tapes. Yes the panning was done in this mix back in the 70s.
 
I love this this album so objectivity is out the window but this is awesome. Amazing how there are so many little moments that differ from the OSM (original stereo mix).

I had to go directly to "Fairies Wear Boots" to start, followed up by "Hand Of Doom" (my two favorites from the album). In the latter I loved how each line of Ozzy's vocals come out a different speaker as he preaches;
You're having a good time baby
But that won't last
Your mind's all full of things
You're living too fast
Go out enjoy yourself
Don't bottle it in
You need someone to help you
To stick the needle in, yeah

Let's just say, if you were in need of that sermon, you would have really enjoyed that effect and it probably would have induced you to do more (so that you could enjoy it even more). LOL

Love the drum workout around the room on Rat Salad. Ozzy vocals are fine on my system but seem a bit more "reverby" in some songs than the OSM. Little flourishes from Iommi guitar rise in the mix in unexpected ways to give them emphasis that they didn't have in the OSM.

I also found this very crankable, as in you can really turn up the volume without any unpleasantness.
I have said this before about 70's Quad mixes vs. current surround mixes, I liked that the former didn't hold back. They weren't worried about being tasteful, or maintaining the spirit of the original recording, they just wanted to "wow" you and make your head spin. Since I have never owned any original Quad recordings from that time period, nothing makes me happier then when one of them gets released on an optical disc.

As for my rating, you already knew it was a 10 when you read the first sentence.

Really looking forward to future Rhino releases. I hope this is a win-win for everyone.
 
I can't analyze I just listen to this with a big smile on my face. I do not own the original stereo so I'm unaware of any differences. I do own a CD4 copy. This is recorded so well and sounds so full.
What else can this be but a ten? I rarely vote but have to here.
 
I can't analyze I just listen to this with a big smile on my face. I do not own the original stereo so I'm unaware of any differences. I do own a CD4 copy. This is recorded so well and sounds so full.
What else can this be but a ten? I rarely vote but have to here.
I pretty much had a big smile as well. I'm like you, I don't analyze too deeply. Lyrics, yes...music, not so much. If it moves me, I know it. This quad version is simply the best. It has it all. Superior fidelity...can't you just "feel" Bill Ward getting after those drums? So, "unprocessed" sounding. Which is great. And, some props to Geezer, his bass riffs sound super as well. Hard to believe this is only their 2nd album as each song is amazing. (OK, Iron Man...everyone is pretty tired of that song) Yet, as quicksrt says, listening to this front to back in quad is a joy. Why skip any of it?

I have also noticed some differences between the stereo versions and quad. I didn't bother noting them...just interesting when they happen. Of course, Sabbath is my favorite band and this Rhino effort does not disappoint. I couldn't be happier that this is one of the first big 4. And, I'm not shocked it's the best selling title.
 
Upon first listen to just the first two tracks, cymbals splash with pristine clarity with delicious decay, but so does that tambourine. As a fan of Brian Jonestown Massacre I'm wanting to love that tambourine, perhaps it'll grow on me. Is it a producer or a band member playing it? [Back to listening...]

And we're back, it's a 10 and Electric Funeral cinched it for me. Wow!
 
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I have also noticed some differences between the stereo versions and quad.
Here’s one I just noticed. The number of bass drum beats at the start of Iron Man before the guitar drone is burned into my brain as 8. Listened to quad and something was off. Went back and sure enough, only 7! Messes with my head. 😀
 
So this one sounds HEAVY. Very easy to lock into the swing of Ward's drums, but for me it's Iommi's guitar that stands out. Sound quality is really great.

Ozzy's vocals are a bit low in most songs on my system. But because I'm pretty well versed in these tunes, and because Ozzy's lyrics were never anything to write home about anyway, it's not a dealbreaker. It is only slightly annoying, but not curable with a simple volume adjustment to the speakers since-- as has already been noted by others-- the panning is pretty adventurous on this. It kind of has to be too because Sabbath was pretty bar bones. 4 guys doing 4 things and having 4 speakers. It would be boring if they just put one band member in each speaker and stayed that way, so thankfully they don't.

This one is an 8 for me. I do think they did about all they could with it, but the ceiling for this probably wasn't a 10 for me. A must-have for Sabbath fans and once again quality fidelity from Rhino.
 
Ozzy's vocals are a bit low in most songs on my system. But because I'm pretty well versed in these tunes, and because Ozzy's lyrics were never anything to write home about anyway, it's not a dealbreaker. It is only slightly annoying, but not curable with a simple volume adjustment to the speakers since-- as has already been noted by others-- the panning is pretty adventurous on this. It kind of has to be too because Sabbath was pretty bar bones. 4 guys doing 4 things and having 4 speakers. It would be boring if they just put one band member in each speaker and stayed that way, so thankfully they don't.
Agree with your assessment and like your insights, but,,,, FYI, Geezer wrote 99% of the lyrics, Ozzy just sang them.
 
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