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HiRez Poll Doors - THE BEST OF THE DOORS [SACD/BDA]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the SACD/BDA of The Doors - BEST OF THE DOORS


  • Total voters
    107

JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this June 2015 SACD release of the 1973 Quad-only Elektra album "THE BEST OF THE DOORS", from Audio Fidelity.
The same 1973 Quadraphonic is also available on Blu-Ray as part of the 2017 compilation entitled "The Singles".
(n):phones(y)

Pre-release discussion thread: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?20500

Audio Fidelity SACD:
Doors Front.jpg
Doors Back.jpg
Doors Booklet.jpg

The Singles Blu-Ray:

 

JonUrban

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[THIS AND THE FOLLOWING ARE REPOSTS OF THE PRE-RELEASE REVIEW I DID IN AN EARLIER THREAD. I COPIED IT HERE FOR CONTINUITY SINCE I WILL SOON DELETE THE PRE-RELEASE THREAD]

Those of you who have heard the CD-4, the Q8, the Q4, and some of the excellent conversions from these formats, be prepared to put those items in a storage drawer for posterity as they'll be no longer needed because this disc is one of the best sounding surround discs I have ever heard of material of this vintage.

The incredibly clean and crisp sound of these 40 year old tracks is astounding and the very broad surround mix that fills the room with pin-point precision and "turn around and look back" effects will have you grinning from ear to ear. The mix is the mix just as it was back in 1973. Nothing has changed except the delivery media is now worthy of the audio within it. It was made to showcase quadraphonic sound and this mix certainly takes it to the four corners of your listening area.

From the opening crowd noise that swells up from the rears on the live version of "Who Do You Love" that starts this disc off, the surround mix gets your attention and keeps it for the duration. The early tracks on this compilation taken from their first album, including the hit "Light My Fire", while not as spectacular in quad as their later songs, are much improved over the 3 channel sound found on the Perception Box DVD-A and AP SACD of "The Doors".

Of course, "Riders on the Storm" has the legendary whispering Jim Morrison vocal solo in the rear channels that has been a favorite of quad fans for years. That track never grows tired to my ears. You can really hear the keyboard clean and solo in the front left speaker during the musical interlude section. Very nice.

The Doors music has aged well and the surround sound mix keeps it in the present. Listening to this disc the first time was very reminiscent of when I first listened to AF Winelight SACD. I knew the material and the mix, but I could not help but notice that it sounded better than I had remembered it sounding, and in this case, so much better than ever.

I played this many times at home, much more than any other AF preview disc I had received. Every time I played it I marveled at the way it sounded. So good! :phones

I was enjoying it so much that I wanted to listen to this in my car, so I went through some big time hoops to get the audio from the disc into my PC so I could make a DVD-A. Recording in the audio via analog outputs of an Oppo 83 into my MOTU and hard drive, I viewed the wav files in Sound Forge and found they were lean and clean. No brickwalling, no loudness, just pure audio. As I broke apart the files for discWelder, I decided that I would take the audio from the AP 'L.A.Woman' SACD and add the title track to the end of my car disc, just because I happen to like that track as well. Boy, what a surprise.

The L.A. Woman track sounded hollow compared to the AF SACD tracks. Mind you it sounded good on its own, but not as good as the songs on the AF disc, even when I matched the volume levels. It just didn't have the punch that the tunes on the AF disc had.

Although I am a "surround guy", I wanted to hear the Steve Hoffman stereo mix of this disc as it was specially created for this discs release from the Doors master tapes. I have to admit that it sounded terrific. As good as any stereo Gold disc in my collection. Stereo folks will like this disc just for the exclusive mastering, I'm sure.

So if you are on the fence with this title, take my word as in this case I am not worried. You will like this disc, you just might love this disc, but if you're a surround fan, old or new, this disc is a no-brainer must buy. A '10' if there ever was one. I will be anxiously waiting for you all to get yours, and will create a poll when the AF subscribers get their discs mailed out to them.

In the meantime, get your orders in and prepare for some great quad listening.......

to a 1973 quad recording.......


in 2015!!!
 

JonUrban

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Here are a few "looks" at the audio files.

First, the wav files of the entire album. Please remember that these files are from a play-in of the beta SACD into Vegas 12, recorded through a MOTU at 24/96 and untouched by any processing other than the conversion from playback audio to wav file. This is not a look at the native DSD. (I can't do that! :( ) You can see that there was NO BRICKWALLING or loudness inherent in this audio. You can also see the rears are full volume as a quad mix should be.

Doors Wav.jpg


Next is a look at a MusicScope analysis of the fronts only audio from "Riders on the Storm". Unfortunately, MusicScope only works on 2 channel audio files. Again, this is NOT the native DSD but the "as recorded" 24/96 wav file:

Riders Fronts.jpg
 

elroy

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Fantastic review Jon, thanks for taking the time to repost it. I have ordered it but wasn't expecting much difference from the Perception set, now I'm glad I did!
 

bmoura

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[REPOSTED FROM THE PREVIOUSLY DELETED PRE-RELEASE REVIEW THREAD]

As many folks here on QQ know, "Best of the Doors" was originally part of the first group of Quad albums released by Elektra Records. It was mixed to show off the benefits of the 4-Channel Quad format and was released in Quad Reel, CD-4 Vinyl Quadradisc and Quad 8 Track tape. Then Elektra Chairman Jac Holzman, a big Surround Sound fan by the way, loved the album and used it in early Quad demos for record industry officials to try and get other record labels to enter the Quad market. Best of the Doors also gained some fame as an album that did not exist in Stereo - only on Quad - on LP! (Years later, a Stereo edition was finally released). This unique status led to Audio Fidelity's Multichannel SACD years later.

When The Doors catalog was released on Multichannel SACD by another company, Best of the Doors was not included - presumably because it was not one of the original Doors album releases. So when Audio Fidelity began their Multichannel SACD series last year (yes, it's been a year now), and started looking for titles this one was at the top of my list of recommendations. It also helped that fans on QQ have been seeking Best of the Doors on Multichannel SACD for years - making it easy to show that the market potential of Best of the Doors would be big. And now the Best of the Doors Multichannel SACD is at the pressing plant in Austria awaiting its turn before it comes to market at the end of June (current schedule).

The Stereo SACD and Multichannel SACD tracks have been transferred from the Original Analog Master Tapes by Steve Hoffman. Interestingly this will be the first Surround Sound remaster by Steve Hoffman. The tapes are so valued that the record company prohibited them from being sent outside of the LA area. So Gus Skinas at the Super Audio CD Center in Colorado did not do this DSD Surround Sound transfer for Audio Fidelity.

Like Jon, I've heard the test pressing of Best of the Doors in Multichannel SACD and can tell you that it is excellent. The use of the analog tapes, without any transfers to PCM digital, gives the new SACD a very warm sound. The Quad mix of each song is very effective which may go without saying since each one was mixed as a Quad showcase - and it is. To answer some earlier questions on QQ, yes the later songs done on 8 Track are a bit more lively in Surround than the 4 Track recordings. But even the 4 Track recordings deliver fine Surround Sound listening to my ears. In terms of favorites, all of the hits are here - Hello I Love You, Touch Me, Light My Fire. As Jon noted the Quad mix of Riders on the Storm has always been a classic and it is very effective on the new SACD. Definitely a collectors item.

I can also tell you that Best of the Doors is probably the Multichannel SACD that Audio Fidelity is most excited about among all of their Multichannel SACDs. They have played the test SACD in Surround Sound to visitors at their offices and report that everyone who hears it is blown away by the album in Surround Sound SACD. I'm not surprised. It's a favorite here as well.

Bottom line - for Doors fans and Surround Sound fans this is a must purchase. A definite highlight among the Audio Fidelity Multichannel SACDs. A "10" for me.
 

dr8track

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I'll be honest, I had no intention of ordering this title. Not because it's not a great recording and not because I don't love the Doors, it is and I do! My original hesitation was the fact that I have so much quad/surround Doors material already. I have this release in CD-4 lp, Quad reel, DVD-A conversion of the quad reel, quad 8-track and then there is the Perception Box set that contains most everything on the Greatest Hits release. But thanks to the enthusiastic endorsement by Jon, I placed my order and am now anxiously awaiting the arrival. Can hardly wait to hear it!
 

wavelength

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I'll be honest, I had no intention of ordering this title. Not because it's not a great recording and not because I don't love the Doors, it is and I do! My original hesitation was the fact that I have so much quad/surround Doors material already. I have this release in CD-4 lp, Quad reel, DVD-A conversion of the quad reel, quad 8-track and then there is the Perception Box set that contains most everything on the Greatest Hits release. But thanks to the enthusiastic endorsement by Jon, I placed my order and am now anxiously awaiting the arrival. Can hardly wait to hear it!
Damn. When I started reading your post I thought you were going to have a review.
 

matz79

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I ordered this SACD at "JPC" many weeks ago. The original release date showed 30.06.2015. So i was surprised when it already arrived yesterday. :D

I paid 34,99€, that`s not cheap for 11 songs i already had in my collection before. I own the "Perception"-Box with 6 CD`s and 6 DVD-A`s including Surround-Sound. And for that one, i paid only 55€.

If any "Perception"-Owners may ask themselves, if it makes sense to buy this SACD, i can tell you my opinion after listening to it for the second time: YES, buy it - If you are a fan of The Doors and Surround Sound!

Songs are great, sound is great. The Mix is fantastic on some songs, and only "good" on others. I like it better than the newer 5.1-Mixes from 2006.

For the "Stereo only" people i cannot recommand this disc. There are better "Best Of" Collections out for a cheaper price, even if they sound not as good as this one. But i was always satisfied with the Stereo-Remasters from 1999.

I vote 10 ! (y)
 

Clint Eastwood

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My first listen today and it has lived up to the hype...it's MUCH better than the perception set or the SACD's...I want to listen a few more times but I doubt if my opinion will change...this has 10 written all over it...the content is probably a 20...the vocals are just so much better than the other versions...they jump out at you...
 

cupboy

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....For the "Stereo only" people i cannot recommend this disc. There are better "Best Of" Collections out for a cheaper price, even if they sound not as good as this one. But i was always satisfied with the Stereo-Remasters from 1999.
....
Yea, a redbook is good enough for stereo people ..... not.
 

jasong

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I HAVE ONE WORD FOR MY COPY OF THE BEST OF THE DOORS - number 2836- AWESOME.
hearing all those sounds, the organ on light my fire, the bongo drums . the voice , AWESOME a 11 in my book
 

GOS

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I did a quick spin and I like what I hear. Yeah, you for sure get to hear some things you can't otherwise hear...even on the 5.1 SACD's. I'm gonna wait to vote until I can properly turn this up and listen. :)
 

stormchaser

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Buy this. Now. These mixes have so much more energy than I remember the Perception mixes having. Crank this one up and enjoy a 10.
 

rtbluray

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I'm not going to vote on this title until I've done a side-by-side comparison of these Quad mixes vs their respective 5.1 mixes in the "Perception" box set.

Some mixes on this disc are definitely better than their 5.1 counterparts, but not by much. The tracks in this category would be the three from the first album along with "Love Me Two Times". These mixes, while more discrete than the newer surround mixes, still don't do very much for me, and I think it has more to do with the limited instrumentation and lack of placement opportunities.
As for the other mixes, right now it's a toss-up between these Quad mixes and the recent 5.1 mixes.
I will add that I prefer the drum placement on the 5.1 mixes (in the front) as opposed to their placement in the surround channels for the Quad mix.

So far, this one will be a '9' for me, but I'll know for sure after I listen to the 5.1 mixes again to reconnect my memory with how those sound.
This Quad release still doesn't beat my two favorites thus far: "Best of Bread" and "Blood Sweat & Tears".
Your mileage may vary… :)
 

skherbeck

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Better mixes than in the Perception set; excellent sound quality with good dynamics; musical content is classic, although "Who Do You Love" and "Take It As It Comes" wouldn't be in my top 11 Doors songs. Sounds really good to me, so I'll round up from 8.5 to 9!
 

sf49erjohn

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I'm not going to vote on this title until I've done a side-by-side comparison of these Quad mixes vs their respective 5.1 mixes in the "Perception" box set.

Some mixes on this disc are definitely better than their 5.1 counterparts, but not by much. The tracks in this category would be the three from the first album along with "Love Me Two Times". These mixes, while more discrete than the newer surround mixes, still don't do very much for me, and I think it has more to do with the limited instrumentation and lack of placement opportunities.
As for the other mixes, right now it's a toss-up between these Quad mixes and the recent 5.1 mixes.
I will add that I prefer the drum placement on the 5.1 mixes (in the front) as opposed to their placement in the surround channels for the Quad mix.

So far, this one will be a '9' for me, but I'll know for sure after I listen to the 5.1 mixes again to reconnect my memory with how those sound.
This Quad release still doesn't beat my two favorites thus far: "Best of Bread" and "Blood Sweat & Tears".
Your mileage may vary… :)
Very interesting evaluation. I LOVE the Best of Bread SACD from AF also. While I am waiting for my shipment of the Best of Doors, how would you compare or which do you prefer the Doors AF disc or the AF SACD Winelight?
 

rtbluray

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Very interesting evaluation. I LOVE the Best of Bread SACD from AF also. While I am waiting for my shipment of the Best of Doors, how would you compare or which do you prefer the Doors AF disc or the AF SACD Winelight?
I definitely prefer "Winelight", but I think "Homecoming" is even better! :)
 

GOS

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Listened to The Doors Greatest Hits 3 times now. I find myself gravitating to certain songs...more than playing it all the way through.
1. Who Do You Love - live version...I honestly don't remember this from the CD I obviously have....makes me wonder if my CD didn't have it. Yeah, it's cool hearing them live.....but the sound in general is off a bit....but very typical of the era. Decent job on the surround..... Good drums here.
2. Soul Kitchen - decent sounding mix, great song of course. Lacking a bit in the bass area.
3. Hello, I Love You - killer bass, excellent sounding tune. Morrison vocals are very strong and pronounced. It's cool cause you can hear the other guys singing in the rear speakers....certainly never noticed that before. This is big, fat sound. Excellent! And of course we get the keyboard swirling from right front, to right rear, to left rear and back up to front left! Nice...
4. People Are Strange - Always been one of my favorite Doors songs. Again, crystal clear vocals....keyboards are in rear and loud.....not much bass going on here, but that's how they recorded the song.
5. Riders On The Storm - worth the price of the disc! Just a killer song, with lots of feeling and surrealism. Keyboards in opening sequence pronounced in front. Thunder mostly in rear....Morrison and guitar pronounced and secured in front. Some eerie reverb on the vocals in the rear...nice effect. I hear some bongo drums at least in the rear left...very nice. Never heard that before! Again, top notch...this will crank. Excellent powerful bass.
6. Touch Me - Another excellent song. Keyboard in front and loud...Morrison just wails in this tune and they feature his voice in front. Horns and strings all around.
7. Love Her Madly - Opening guitar riff secured and featured in left rear. Strong rock song...good bass. Morrison loud and clear in front. Sounds excellent....turn it up!
8. Love Me Two Times - Morrison's vocals spread a little more even across front back on this song. The surroundiness on this one not quite up with other tunes. Still.....
9. Take It As It Comes - Another of my favorites....Morrison just wails on this.....locked and loud in the front. Keyboards locked in right speakers.....drumming in the rear. Just an excellent jamming song.
10. Moonlight Drive - Guitar in left rear...very effective. Morrison locked in front. Vocals are outstanding...drums powerful and loud. Love this tune...
11. Light My Fire - Can't you just see them on Ed Sullivan? Amazing song which really sounds like it sums up the times doesn't it? Takes me back...way back. So, the song sounds full and good. You can really pick out the keyboards on this as they were an important part of the way this song sounds...

I love this disc. I really want to give it a 10, but I think a couple of the tunes are slightly off on the audio quality. I know it's all they had to work with...so it is what it is. Otherwise, it's powerful, lots of feeling and a good use of Quad. Far from over the top like some others - but I bet this was a big seller for Quad back in the day. I would have been all over this.

Well worth the money and a great collector piece for my collection. Rock on Doors! For me, top 5 band of all time. :)
So, I'm voting a strong 9!
 
Last edited:

skherbeck

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I definitely prefer "Winelight", but I think "Homecoming" is even better! :)
I agree. By their nature, greatest hits albums are going to have inconsistent sound/mix quality and "Best of the Doors" is no different. "Winelight" and "Homecoming", however, have consistently excellent sound quality and surround mix from beginning to end. Also, I love the feel of listening to an album from beginning to end as a unified group of songs recorded/presented by an artist at a moment in time, as opposed to hits collections which tend to sound a little disjointed. Don't get me wrong, though, I'm really happy to have "Best of the Doors" in quad, but I look forward to studio albums in quad more than hits collections.:)
 
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