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HiRez Poll Chicago - CHICAGO (II) [DVD-A]

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Rate the DVD-A of Chicago - CHICAGO (II)


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    108

sjcorne

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I voted a 6. Just pulled this out for the first time in a while and am reminded of why I never play it anymore. It's sonically impressive for sure, but it's mastered rather loud (to be fair this was SOP at the time) and the surround mix is even worse than I remember. Seems to me like it's reverb/double-stereo with guitar and brass solos popping up in the center. Add this to the list of 5.1 remixes that the old quad mix wipes the floor with.

Aside from the improved fidelity, the one point I give it over the quad mix is that you can isolate the center and hear Terry Kath's awesome guitar work separated out. This was pretty expensive when I picked it up a few years back, but now that the Chicago Quadio box exists prices seem to have dropped.
 
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John Svensson

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Agreed, I prefer the quad mixes and consider this one superfluous now. I never did track down an inexpensive copy of the "V" DVD-A, and won't be doing so.:) Luckily I bought this back in the days of retail pricing....
 

ar surround

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I like to tweek the surrounds up by 3 dB to give a more balanced presentation (based on my setup.) The bass response varies from track to track as with a lot of recordings. The bass response on 25 or 6 to 4 is almost overwhelming, while it is underwhelming on Make Me Smile. I like the surround mix because it is very satisfying despite the lack of aggression. Chicago II was one of the first 5.1 DVD-A / SACD's that I got, and I was awed by it compared to the stereo/SQ release. So I gave it a 10 at that time. Now I would rate it a 9 as I have recalibrated my ratings since my surround sound collection has grown immensely.
After hearing the Quadio, and the Steven Wilson stereo remix through the Surround Master V2, I have to drop my rating to a 7. The only track where I prefer the 5.1 DVD-A to the Steven Wilson remix through the SMv2 is 25 or 6 to 4. Also, the DVD-A has a touch of stridency to it compared to the Quadio and the Wilson remix. The Quadio of this album is remarkable.
 

ssully

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I don't get the claims that the surrounds are weak on this, or not 'discrete'. The mix sounds excellent on my system (whose levels and distances are properly calibrated, and Audyssey EQ added). The surrounds are certainly audible, not too loud, not too soft, and there are certainly definable discrete moments to delight the ears.

I wouldn't mistake this for a 'modern' recording, though. Which is fine,

I haven't heard the quad mix
 

ar surround

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Someone who doesn't love this offload at a reasonable cost, preferably to me! 🤗
Baggins, the answer is still “no” despite my revised rating of “7” and my infatuation with the Quad. It’s that pounding bass drum on the DVD-A version of 25 or 6 to 4 that keeps me coming back.
 

newslane

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I am primarily interested in stereo...has anyone compared the stereo SACD with Steven Wilson's remix, and/or with the stereo version on Quadio? I think the latter sounds pretty good, but was thinking about getting the SACD.
 

steelydave

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I don't get the claims that the surrounds are weak on this, or not 'discrete'. The mix sounds excellent on my system (whose levels and distances are properly calibrated, and Audyssey EQ added). The surrounds are certainly audible, not too loud, not too soft, and there are certainly definable discrete moments to delight the ears.

I wouldn't mistake this for a 'modern' recording, though. Which is fine,

I haven't heard the quad mix
Everything that's in a rear speaker is also in the corresponding front speaker, just at a lower volume - there's nothing unique (or "discrete" as we call it here) to the rear speakers. It doesn't make the mix bad, or weak, it just reduces the surround effect. To me it makes the soundfield sound more like it's about 270 degrees, ie there's nothing in the 90 degrees behind the listener, and the most aggressively panned elements sound more like they're at the extreme 'sides' of the soundfield, ie in line or just behind your earholes. If they'd simply made all these elements 100% "rear discrete" I think this would basically be a perfect mix. Tonality-wise, it's so much more pleasurable to listen to than any of the previous incarnations (and I've owned them all, original LP, quad LP, quad 8 track, original CD, etc.) of the album that the shortcomings in the mixing decisions aren't enough to make me choose another version.

I am primarily interested in stereo...has anyone compared the stereo SACD with Steven Wilson's remix, and/or with the stereo version on Quadio? I think the latter sounds pretty good, but was thinking about getting the SACD.
I think I've heard every version of this album in stereo - original LP, original CD, remastered CD, MoFi SACD, etc. and in a nutshell, the original mix is a turd, and even MoFi couldn't polish it. It's a midrange mess (you should see a frequency analysis, it basically looks like mount everest with it's peak around 2.5kHz) and remixing it is/was the only way to fix it.

My preferred stereo version is the Paul Klingberg remix from the 2002 DVD-A, done at the same time as the 5.1 remix. The best version of this mix is available as a 24/96 download from HDTracks and other similar sites - the version on the DVD-A had some compression applied (I think it was in the DR8 region) whereas the HDTracks version is (seemingly) uncompressed and clocks in at DR11.

I say that with the caveat that the Klingberg remix of II isn't entirely historically reverential, but it just sounds so much better than the original mix, and allows the excitement of the original performances to shine through so much more. The Steven Wilson remix does a much better job of capturing the nuances of the original mix, but that includes being beholden (for the most part) to the original midrangey tonality of the original mix, when I think he could've taken the small liberty of flattening it out a bit. The result is you get a mix that sounds a lot like the original, just with a layer of grunge removed.
 

jaybird100

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I gave it a 9, but with conditions. The surround mix is quite good, certainly better than the original SQ LP release. On the downside, it still has that strange "filtered" effect that the LP did, where it tends to muffle the highs.
 

newslane

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Everything that's in a rear speaker is also in the corresponding front speaker, just at a lower volume - there's nothing unique (or "discrete" as we call it here) to the rear speakers. It doesn't make the mix bad, or weak, it just reduces the surround effect. To me it makes the soundfield sound more like it's about 270 degrees, ie there's nothing in the 90 degrees behind the listener, and the most aggressively panned elements sound more like they're at the extreme 'sides' of the soundfield, ie in line or just behind your earholes. If they'd simply made all these elements 100% "rear discrete" I think this would basically be a perfect mix. Tonality-wise, it's so much more pleasurable to listen to than any of the previous incarnations (and I've owned them all, original LP, quad LP, quad 8 track, original CD, etc.) of the album that the shortcomings in the mixing decisions aren't enough to make me choose another version.



I think I've heard every version of this album in stereo - original LP, original CD, remastered CD, MoFi SACD, etc. and in a nutshell, the original mix is a turd, and even MoFi couldn't polish it. It's a midrange mess (you should see a frequency analysis, it basically looks like mount everest with it's peak around 2.5kHz) and remixing it is/was the only way to fix it.

My preferred stereo version is the Paul Klingberg remix from the 2002 DVD-A, done at the same time as the 5.1 remix. The best version of this mix is available as a 24/96 download from HDTracks and other similar sites - the version on the DVD-A had some compression applied (I think it was in the DR8 region) whereas the HDTracks version is (seemingly) uncompressed and clocks in at DR11.

I say that with the caveat that the Klingberg remix of II isn't entirely historically reverential, but it just sounds so much better than the original mix, and allows the excitement of the original performances to shine through so much more. The Steven Wilson remix does a much better job of capturing the nuances of the original mix, but that includes being beholden (for the most part) to the original midrangey tonality of the original mix, when I think he could've taken the small liberty of flattening it out a bit. The result is you get a mix that sounds a lot like the original, just with a layer of grunge removed.
Thanks for this detailed response....I'll check out the HDTracks download.
 

ar surround

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The Steven Wilson remix does a much better job of capturing the nuances of the original mix, but that includes being beholden (for the most part) to the original midrangey tonality of the original mix, when I think he could've taken the small liberty of flattening it out a bit. The result is you get a mix that sounds a lot like the original, just with a layer of grunge removed.
I like the Wilson remix, especially through the Surround Master, until he gets to 25 Or 6 To 4. He most definitely tries to stay true to the original LP mix here. Doing so ruins the whole experience because the original LP mix Is a muted, de-balled mess.

When I bought the SQ LP way back when, I was so thrilled with the mix of 25 Or 6 To 4 in comparison to the stereo LP that I wore out the grooves from overplaying it. ThIs track is great on the Quadio and the DVD-A. On the DVD-A, I actually prefer playing the stereo fold down through the Surround Master than the discrete 5.1. (There you go @chucky3042 ...another plug for the SMv2.)
 

newslane

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All the writing about the Chicago Quadio box reminds me of my experience with it.

I bought it used, well after it was out of print, and was shocked to hear it go into mono when I listened to Chicago II. I looked online and saw that this was a common problem, but the last post I could find about getting a replacement disk from Rhino was several years old.

I wrote to Rhino through the website, but got no response. After several months of sending follow-ups, my wife suggested writing to President of Rhino, and she got me a mailing address and I - ready for this? - sent an actual letter.

Within two weeks I had an emailed response expressing sincere regret for my experience, and shortly thereafter I got the replacement DVDs (the Chicago II tracks on Chicago IX were also in mono) along with a colored vinyl copy of the remixed CTA as a gift.

Needless to say, I am quite a Rhino fan now. John
 

ssully

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Everything that's in a rear speaker is also in the corresponding front speaker, just at a lower volume - there's nothing unique (or "discrete" as we call it here) to the rear speakers. It doesn't make the mix bad, or weak, it just reduces the surround effect.

Sorry, simply not the case. For example, in 'AM Mourning', there is snare drum exclusively in the rear channels starting circa 1:35.

In 'PM Mourning' , there's a vibra-slap (a hand held percussion device...you know it when your hear it) that's 99.99% in the right front and right rear channels with only an extremely low level 'ghost' barely discernable on headphones in the other channels . The right rear has it louder than the right front. In actual listening , it seems to move from right front to right rear.

As is typical for this mix, the discrete content doesn't last long. It's like spice in the mix. But it's there.
 
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