HiRez Poll Bowie, David - STAGE [DVD-A]

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Rate the DVD-A of David Bowie - STAGE


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neil wilkes

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This I have also been waiting for a long, long time.
The niggles I have here are much the same as the other title:
No dedicated stereo mix - it's a downmix again.
Poor stills
No DD stream, so all there is again is 24/48 High Rez, 24/48 DTS and 24/48 stereo.

On to the good stuff now.
IMHO, this one is technically superior to David Live - the mix is very discrete, and is especially noticeable in some of the Ambient Eno numbers - with the opener, Warszawa, you will hear all the various electronics and synths right around the soundfield.
And it stays like this too throughout. There are mentions in the liner notes about this project, and Visconti confirms the old rumour that it was recorded originally with a Quad release in mind.
It makes me want to dig out the vinyl & run it through a tate just to see.

The performance, although superbly recorded, is not on a par with the '74 Dogs outing IMHO, and I do not know why this should be - but by comparison this disc is a little lifeless in places, but this is not down to the mix - it's the band. They don't seem to gel quite as well as the previous one did. Another possibility is that Bowie's well-known Cocaine problems in the late 70's were starting to tell.

Again - it's great to get the correct running order back again - the vinyl version for some strange reason had the tracks in chronological order instead of the running order, and this is very strange.
Also it is totally live - there is a single cheat admitted to with Station to Station - the beginning & end is from one show, the middle is from another.
Apparently this is because there was just not a single great take of the entire track in the whole tour!

A great record, a fine mix, and another one I can highly recommend.
 

Kazaam

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I like the DVD-A of "Stage", too.

I worried that having such a discrete surround mix for a "live" album would be too much. Thankfully, it's not---at least in my opinion.

The only thing that kinda bugs me is perhaps that the "shaker" noises coming from the rears during "Heroes" are a bit too loud and jarring. Everything else seems pretty decent and appropriate---again, in my opinion. I enjoy hearing the train run around in circles during "Station to Station". And enjoy the audience noise between tracks and the overall live vibe. Oh, and that bass sounds really nice and full!

Also...

There don't appear to be any audible gaps in between songs. (You would think this would be an obvious thing to avoid, but considering that the other DTS/EMI Signature Series DVD-A's I have tend to have long gaps between songs as the player accesses the main menu, or whatever, I was a bit worried.) So, again, I'm pleased to say that "Stage" plays straight through without gaps---at least on my Denon DVD-2200.
 

uffeolby

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And you also find the best version of HEROES available on this record, period. I'm glad to say that both the sonics and 5.1-mix is extra good on this particular song.

HEROES gets 11 out of 10 from me.

The whole allbum got an 8.

//Ulf
 

ssully

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Strange. For this one, I'm not getting surround channels in the DVD-A surround mix. Switch to DTS, and there they are. I've never had this happen with a disc before or with this player (Yamaha S2500).

Also, there's a PCM 2.0 mix on mine, as a selectable option. There's also separate copyright credit for the stereo masters of the stereo mix. There's also a separate credit for the stereo mixes of the 'new' tracks, Be My Wife and Stay. How do you know its a downmix?
 

neil wilkes

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'Cos Tony Visconti says so in the liner notes.
"The stereo mix is derived from the surround".

Also, on my copy, there is a 24/48 LPCM in the Video_TS section, but if it is output digitally it truncates to 16/48 (Courtesy of DVD-Audio Explorer)

The surround channels are all present & correct in my Denon 2910, right from the word "Go" (after I select the 5.1 DVD-A in Audio setup, and then press enter within 20 seconds)
 

ssully

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Oh well, I thought I'd read all the liner notes. I must have missed that part. Still, it's odd that two of the stereo mixes actually get a new credit, as do the rest of the downmixes together. Then again, downmixes can also be 'mixed', in the sense that the engineer can direct the way the downmix will happen. It's just that I haven't ever seen downmixes get credits before.

Perhaps someone who owns the previous CD version can confirm whether the new two-track version is a different mix?

As for the lack of surround, it's unique to this disc, out of the couple of dozen I own. Given that the DTS works fine, I'm not too put out.
 

neil wilkes

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It is definitely possible I have made a mistake with regards to Stage.
It definitely says in the "David Live" liner notes the stereo is "derived from the surround", even though it is a separate asset on the disc - twice, apparently.

I'd be miffed about the High Rez not working.
It's definitely better than the DTS.

I had a yamaha DVD S1500 - apparently (according to the retailer) it will not play Sci-Fi discs - perhaps it won't play Bowie titles either??
 

ssully

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neil wilkes said:
It is definitely possible I have made a mistake with regards to Stage.
It definitely says in the "David Live" liner notes the stereo is "derived from the surround", even though it is a separate asset on the disc - twice, apparently.
Dunno about Live. There are definitely credits for the stereo version on Stage in the liner notes, and I don't recall mention of derivation (which doens't mean it's not there). But I never owned this album before, so I have no idea if its a remix/downmix, or a transfer of the original two-track masters.

I'd be miffed about the High Rez not working.
It's definitely better than the DTS.
<shrug> If the levels have been altered, it's hard to compare. If not, I doubt I'd hear a difference unless they did a terrible job of the encoding. As always, it's technically hard to say for sure why stuff sounds the way it does, though that doesn't stop people from doing so.

To be honest, and this is probably sacrilege here, I surprisingly often end up playing and preferring the two-track versions of many surround discs, through DPL II, because the new dedicated surround mixes are too different from the originals for my taste....once the novelty factor wear off.

I had a yamaha DVD S1500 - apparently (according to the retailer) it will not play Sci-Fi discs - perhaps it won't play Bowie titles either??
Not sure what is meant by 'Sci Fi' discs -- is that a brand? Because certainly I can play sci-fi movies with no problem. ;>

Right after the failure of 'Stage' to emit surround , jsut for peace of mind I checked the player with my UK version of 'Medulla', and it worked fine, as did the old 'Night at the Opera' DVD -A , and "Pet Sounds' (the latter two are known to give some players fits). So I'm not sure what's up with Stage..some obscure authoring issue perhaps.
 

JonUrban

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NOTE: Added scan (in Post #1) from U.S. Bought DVD-A (at Best Buy)
 

Cai Campbell

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I agree that the "Stage" DVD-A is superior to "David Live". The surround mix has an awesome presence that feels very real, relying on a great mix of recorded elements with no hint of trickery, such as reverb and the like. The performances are exceptional. A truly delightful live surround presentation! However, just like "David Live" the visual elements of "Stage" are, at best, half-baked and tacked on. No big deal, but certainly they could have gone to a bit more of trouble to track down some decent live shots from the dates recorded. Be that as it may, a very strong and enthusiastic 8 points!
 

neil wilkes

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Cai Campbell said:
I agree that the "Stage" DVD-A is superior to "David Live". The surround mix has an awesome presence that feels very real, relying on a great mix of recorded elements with no hint of trickery, such as reverb and the like. The performances are exceptional. A truly delightful live surround presentation! However, just like "David Live" the visual elements of "Stage" are, at best, half-baked and tacked on. No big deal, but certainly they could have gone to a bit more of trouble to track down some decent live shots from the dates recorded. Be that as it may, a very strong and enthusiastic 8 points!
According to Visconti, the whole tour was recorded in such a way as to still do a Quad mix, so there was a lot more attention to detail.
Even though this is technically the superior disc, I still think the performance on the Dogs show is better.
 

Cai Campbell

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neil wilkes said:
Even though this is technically the superior disc, I still think the performance on the Dogs show is better.
I love the performances on both discs, but I have to give the nod to "Stage". I'm something of a Belew fan, so it's pretty exciting to hear him play "Fame" and the songs from "Ziggy Stardust".
 

rusinurbe

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Listened to this last night (thank you Amazon for the special low price). i love it its not my favorite Bowie period by any means but the DVD sounds great. the Mix nocks spots off of most live DVD's i have, and is surprisingly good considering that the only other Visconti mix i have was very dissappointing (T-Rex)

ill give it a nine for music and mix 2 for bonus content:banana:
 

elmer

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Great live mix - especially considering that this was recorded in 1978! Very good use of the rears - cool effects without being distracting. I am a big Adrian Belew fan and it's great to hear him tearing it up - the man plays with Bowie, King Crimson, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Porcupine Tree (just to name a few) and of course his solo stuff. The Thin White Duke ain't half bad himself - I give it a 9.(y)
 

timbre4

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Also a nice surprise fo a DVD-A release (if you ignore the warts Neil found). I saw this tour in 1978 (here in Nashville amazingly) and it was amzing to see Adrian Belew and Roger Powell in this context. (BTW - Adrian lives here now)

Maybe not on par with David Live in terms of career timing/energy/songs chosen, yet it is also very good for it's own reasons...
 

John Svensson

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Just got this disc and I'll give it a solid 9 also, all been said above, very cool around the room effects on several songs, fidelity is more than acceptable and I personally like the song mix..particularly Ziggy/Station to Station stuff, and that is one very good version of Heroes! It has convinced me to track down the "Live" disc now. John
 

fredblue

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Oh how I love this!

The surround mix is superb and the performance is a fantastic little time capsule of Bowie at this time.

It's not often I'm rivitted by live albums (I can count on the fingers of one hand the truly amazing ones I listen to a lot!).

It's a "9" from me.
 

Overfloater8

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My favorite era of Bowie live. Prefer this to "Live." Love Carlos Alomar (Check out his work on Iggy Pop's the Idiot) and Belew on this album. They just kill it!


Mix/Sonics.: 7.5
Music: 7.5
 
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