HiRez Poll King, Carole - TAPESTRY (5.1) [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Carole King - TAPESTRY


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    75

JonUrban

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Please post your comments, thoughts and observations.......(y) (n)
 

Cai Campbell

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A truly exceptional title! The clarity and dynamics are superb and the surround mix really adds a lot of life.
 

MIDIQ

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Gerat music and great mix, a 10.
 

dprokopy

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Great album, of course. Nice surround mix, although the sonics on this album (both the original stereo and the surround) leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion. Carole's voice always sounds like it was mic'd with some crappy Radio Shack mic or something. Could only give it a 7, unfortunately.
 

EMB

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Superb in all respects, and the hiss inherent to the master tape wasn't reduced too much...not quite as loud as it's been elsewhere, but still evident, which is no small thing, the temptation to try and mute such things must be enormous, but everything sounds honest and true!

ED :)
 

BigE43

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Classic album.

First two tracks on SACD are muddy. Others really shine.
Apparently there's an out-of-print sony/ode/legacy SACD that doesn't exhibit these flaws. (ES65650)

Haven't found one yet.

Eric
 

Chris Gerhard

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I just found the Ode/Epic/Legacy ES86328, apparently the less desirable version but I could find no problems. It was mixed in with regular used CD's and appeared to have been purchased previously and returned, surely by someone wanting the CD which was also available at a $1 higher. Used single layer SACD's are surely a pain for stores that stock used discs. I picked up 4 single layer SACD's at this store and the manager does know what they are and is glad to be rid of them, I probably should have negotiated but just paid asking price.

The 5.1 mix of this classic alubm is very good and the fidelity stellar for a 35 year old recording. An 8 in all aspects for me.

Chris
 

stoty50134

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I thought it was great, but perhaps I don't listen with an extremely critical ear like some of you do. Been a while since I dug it out, but I seem to remember thinking it sounded very good.
 

dmt

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I just found the Ode/Epic/Legacy ES86328, apparently the less desirable version but I could find no problems. It was mixed in with regular used CD's and appeared to have been purchased previously and returned, surely by someone wanting the CD which was also available at a $1 higher. Used single layer SACD's are surely a pain for stores that stock used discs. I picked up 4 single layer SACD's at this store and the manager does know what they are and is glad to be rid of them, I probably should have negotiated but just paid asking price.

The 5.1 mix of this classic alubm is very good and the fidelity stellar for a 35 year old recording. An 8 in all aspects for me.

Chris
Totally...

I was at a store the other day buying all the single layer sacd's at the store (mingus ah-um & The Three Degrees greatest hits, both of which sound awesome!) and the manager asked me if I knew what these were, because two people previously bought them but brought them back later on, haha.

I also remember going to Tower and it was customary for the clerks to ask you if you are sure that this is a sacd that will only play in an sacd player, etc.

mabye that confusion is the reason they dont make them here anymore?

oh and yeah, I only have the two channel version of this title, sounds great tho!
 

Disclord

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It's such a shame that the microphones Carole King used on "Tapestry" were so awful. It was the first pre-recorded MiniDisc I ever bought back in 1993 and I actually thought that all the distortion I was hearing was due to the ATRAC compression MD used! Then I got other pre-recorded MD's and discovered that the ATRAC-PRO encoder used to make the pre-recorded discs (as well as encode Sony's SDDS films) was audibly transparent to 20-bits. Then I thought that maybe the MD of "Tapestry" must just have been a defective transfer, so idiot that I am, I bought the CD to make my own MD copy; well, I was shocked again to find that that the Super Bit-Mapped Sony "Mastersound" CD release was just as awful sounding as the MD. A used record store in Albuquerque (Krazy Kat Records) had a pristine copy of the original stereo LP pressing for only $4 so I bought it to compare - and surprise, surprise, there it was, all that awful distortion on her vocals.

Why, oh why did she use such awful microphones or defective equipment to record her beautiful vocals on that album? Do any of her other albums sound like that?

The SACD of Tapestry is kinda depressing too because it lets you hear the distortion even more than the CD. I don't know what it is exactly, and I'm probably totally wrong as to my 'guess', but it 'sounds' like the distortion is beating against the huge amounts of ultrasonic noise present with SACD's 1-bit delta-sigma coding, causing the beats to hetrodyne down into the audible spectrum and causing the existing distortion sound even worse - plus, its such a lackluster multi-channel mix to boot. For surround sound listening, I now just play the stereo version of "Tapestry" through the Fosgate Tate II 101A's "Surround" mode - it sounds like 'real' quad that way - and with a more interesting surround "mix".
 

Quad Linda

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Tapestry got a 10 from me. Yes, there are some anomalies, which likely go back to microphones or other equipment. I've owned 7 copies of this, including the Q8. The multi SACD is by far the best. It was mixed well for surround, as opposed to the "hall effect" Q8. The album de-throned "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as the best seller of all time. Several other artists have since surpassed Tapestry's success. The performances are superb and many have become standards. Amazingly, three of them were standards before Tapestry was released, attesting to King's songwriting prowess. The album and cover evoke how it felt to be a young woman in the late 60's/early '70's, with the burgeoning women's movement. Love the bare feet and cat on the cover.

Which songwriter has had songs covered by: Beatles, Byrds, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Monkees, Herman's Hermits, Laura Nyro & Barbra Streisand? Yes, it's Carole King. As acclaimed as she is, she may still be underrated.

Linda
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Disclord

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Tapestry got a 10 from me. Yes, there are some anomalies, which likely go back to microphones or other equipment. I've owned 7 copies of this, including the Q8. The multi SACD is by far the best. It was mixed well for surround, as opposed to the "hall effect" Q8. The album de-throned "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as the best seller of all time. Several other artists have since surpassed Tapestry's success. The performances are superb and many have become standards. Amazingly, three of them were standards before Tapestry was released, attesting to King's songwriting prowess. The album and cover evoke how it felt to be a young woman in the late 60's/early '70's, with the burgeoning women's movement. Love the bare feet and cat on the cover.

Which songwriter has had songs covered by: Beatles, Byrds, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Monkees, Herman's Hermits, Laura Nyro & Barbra Streisand? Yes, it's Carole King. As acclaimed as she is, she may still be underrated.

Linda
Quardafeminist
I didn't give a 'vote' in the pole because there wasn't a choice for 'superb songs, superb album but terrible vocal recording'. Tapestry is one of those rare albums that is brilliant from start to finish. Every song was either a hit or should have been or sounds like one. It's just the vocals that are recorded badly - everything else is wonderful. The only other album that I consider to be like Tapestry - in that every single song is good and the whole album just 'works' as a single piece of art, is Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. Of course, it's very different music - New Wave Synth with a slightly 'seedy' side to the lyrics, but it's like Tapestry in being just jaw dropping in its excellence. I always hoped it would receive a surround remix - considering all the synth effects and such, it would make an incredible full surround album.

I didn't know the Q8 of Tapestry was just a hall-type surround mix. Was the QS LP release like that too? I do think the SACD surround mix is way too blended - it just sounds like 'double stereo' to me, and Carol's voice seems to be pretty much in the center of the room which makes it sound like non-logic SQ. And I'll resist the urge get on my soapbox and complain about the non-usage of the center channel on modern surround recordings and remixes.:)
 

Quad Linda

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I've never heard Tapestry on QS. I don't recall seeing the QS in a store, but am told it exists. I'd assume it is the same mix as Q8, as was the norm in those days.

Like video and computer equipment, I have a love/hate relationship with the center channel. The center can pinpoint vocals or speech. Yet, as described in another post, it is ludicrous to have someone on the far left on the screen speaking at dead center. Those with large, full range speakers don't have the exact same speaker for the center, as left or right. The speaker itself makes concessions for size and footprint. Nearly all centers are coupled with TV screens, so a large, floor standing cabinet isn't an option. A floor speaker would become either a left-center or right-center.

I feel the same way about Dolby D's use on TV programs. So many TV programs in Dolby D have the sound coming from only the center for the whole show. Isn't that mono? Or, they only utilize the front left and right channels. That becomes regular stereo, which is a comedown from broadcasting in stereo, then synthesizing surround sound or running identical information to the rears, which are preferable to two or three front speakers only.

Hope I haven't hi-jacked the thread.

Linda
Queen of QS

I didn't give a 'vote' in the pole because there wasn't a choice for 'superb songs, superb album but terrible vocal recording'. Tapestry is one of those rare albums that is brilliant from start to finish. Every song was either a hit or should have been or sounds like one. It's just the vocals that are recorded badly - everything else is wonderful. The only other album that I consider to be like Tapestry - in that every single song is good and the whole album just 'works' as a single piece of art, is Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. Of course, it's very different music - New Wave Synth with a slightly 'seedy' side to the lyrics, but it's like Tapestry in being just jaw dropping in its excellence. I always hoped it would receive a surround remix - considering all the synth effects and such, it would make an incredible full surround album.

I didn't know the Q8 of Tapestry was just a hall-type surround mix. Was the QS LP release like that too? I do think the SACD surround mix is way too blended - it just sounds like 'double stereo' to me, and Carol's voice seems to be pretty much in the center of the room which makes it sound like non-logic SQ. And I'll resist the urge get on my soapbox and complain about the non-usage of the center channel on modern surround recordings and remixes.:)
 

EMB

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For what turned out (in my part of the world) to be a very hot summer, the breezy, light but sometimes intense TAPESTRY was a perfect compliment, warm and tender and tough, too. Some of it's been overplayed through the years (true of most best-sellers), but some of it also remains wondrous (like the title track, "Way Over Yonder," "A Natural Woman").

I'd have to look up where it was recorded to be sure, but whatever anomalies (like distorted vocals) are evident didn't stop the Lp from selling millions, nor did anyone hear a particular problem at the time. But being a pop album with (generally) light, sometimes sparse, instrumentation, it's understandable that one would hear things that would have been buried in the mix of a hard rocking album, or a pop album where the vocals would be the chief focal point.

As for WHAT caused any inherent distortion or overmodulation, as we know there are several possibilities, but whatever's inherent to the recording apparently didn't bother Carole or her producer, Lou Adler. Like many artists and producers they were going after atmosphere, effect and emotion, with sound quality not of the same import it would have bern with a classical or jazz recording. That many of us are still listening and caring forty years later speaks for itself.

ED :)
 

Disclord

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I've never heard Tapestry on QS. I don't recall seeing the QS in a store, but am told it exists. I'd assume it is the same mix as Q8, as was the norm in those days.

Like video and computer equipment, I have a love/hate relationship with the center channel. The center can pinpoint vocals or speech. Yet, as described in another post, it is ludicrous to have someone on the far left on the screen speaking at dead center. Those with large, full range speakers don't have the exact same speaker for the center, as left or right. The speaker itself makes concessions for size and footprint. Nearly all centers are coupled with TV screens, so a large, floor standing cabinet isn't an option. A floor speaker would become either a left-center or right-center.

I feel the same way about Dolby D's use on TV programs. So many TV programs in Dolby D have the sound coming from only the center for the whole show. Isn't that mono? Or, they only utilize the front left and right channels. That becomes regular stereo, which is a comedown from broadcasting in stereo, then synthesizing surround sound or running identical information to the rears, which are preferable to two or three front speakers only.

Hope I haven't hi-jacked the thread.

Linda
Queen of QS
If we've hi-jacked (how about Quadra-jacked?) this thread, maybe someone will move it for us?

Television/DVD mixing is nuts sometimes - the local news stations don't seem to monitor the LFE channel and I end up having to turn off the sub because it just gets fed with huge amounts of annoying rumble. There's no excuse for that to happen - not nowadays. And stereo remixes of shows on DVD can be downright terrible - the DVD's of the original Battlestar Galactica are 5.1 channel stereo - well, the music is 3 channel stereo up front, but all the effects and dialog are mono, and instead of running it to the center speaker, they've placed all the dialog and sound effects in the left and right fronts only, so it's supposed to phantom image at the center - which works unless you are seated off to the side - then all dialog and effects come from the nearest speaker, while music sounds correct and wonderful. I won't listen to them that way so I set my DVD player to output 2-channel PCM and decode them with Pro-Logic II or DTS Neo:6 - that way, dialog and effects come properly from the center speaker while music is spread out and given some surround effect due to the random phases picked up during the original stereo recording. It sounds a hell of a lot better than playing the discrete 5.1 mixes.

Are you familiar with the theatrical Perspecta sound system from the 50's and 60's? It used 3 low frequency tones of 25, 30 and 35 Hz to steer a mono optical track among 3 screen speakers. The levels of the tones were detected too, so the level of each speaker or the entire soundtrack could be increased or decreased as desired - sometimes it was used to give a slight noise reduction effect by lowering the volume during silent scenes. Dialog was ALWAYS panned among the 3 speakers and because it was a composite mono track, any incidental sounds or music would get moved right along with the dialog - but here's the kicker - the Perspecta mixers would do little 'tricks', like panning sounds slightly less if there was music present - that way, the sound was still directional, but wandering of non-dominant sounds wasn't noticable. The reduced 'width' of the panning wasn't noticed either because the audience still heard the dialog moving with the actors - and the minute an actor stopped speaking, the speaker or speakers the background sounds belonged in were brought back up in volume. While a really primitive process, Perspecta was so impressive that modern showings with a true Perspecta Integrator have made many audiences question why movies don't sound as good anymore? And Dolby has done a lot to hurt Perspecta's reputation - they had a decoder module that replaced the Cat-150 Pro-Logic decoder in Dolby theater processors, but it didn't implement the level changes and such - it just did quick switching between the 3 speakers - the real Integrator had a smooth, constant power, panning effect, so all volume changes and directional changes were accomplished smoothly and unobtrusively. Audiences who heard those (rigged) Dolby-sponsored demo's came away thinking that Perspecta was an inferior process compared to Dolby Stereo. Yet it was used to make Gone With The Wind into stereo in the 1950's (it was NOT used for the 70mm blow up travestry), and you can hear how it truly sounded on the LaserDisc of "Gone With The Wind: The Making Of A Legend" - the DVD of that program does NOT have the same audio - it has the sounds all out of phase, destroying the directionality, but the LD release lets you hear clearly how well the system worked - the producers of the program used the Perspecta stereo master from the 1954 mix and it sounds like you're hearing true directional stereo on the GWTW clips they show. Chase Stereo labs did a stereo remix in 1989 and they used the Perspecta mix and matched its dialog panning - unfortunately, the video division of MGM elected to issue the film in mono only, and the 1998 reissue and current DVD and Blu-ray don't use the 1989 panned Chase Stereo mix. Criterion issued a DVD of a Japanese film that was originally released in Perspecta and for the DVD they fed the master through one of Dolby's Perspecta units, but they didn't understand the process and mixed the 3 tracks back together, thinking that the control tones somehow tricked the brain into thinking it was hearing stereo - again, they didn't understand the system at all - so the resulting DVD is a big fat mono! That lead reviewers of the DVD to claim Perspecta as a fraud. But I've heard true Perspecta sound played via a real tube-based Altec Perspecta Integrator - it was a print of Forbidden Planet and sounded wonderful - interestingly, the french soundtrack on the DVD of Forbidden Planet still has the Perspecta control tones - if you have a subwoofer, you have to turn it down, otherwise you'll hear the constant throbbing of the 3 low frequency control tones. The english track is a (bad) Dolby Stereo remix of the original 4-track magnetic sound - and all the directional dialog has been turned into mono too. Apparently, the Blu-ray used the original 4-track mix without any remixing of the dialog but I haven't gotten around to buying it to try out yet.

The movie "Around The World In 80 Days" used the Perspecta process on its surround track, to create 3 surround channels - the DVD release duplicates it if you have a Surround EX setup - I was amazed that Warner's sound mixers went to the trouble to mix the surround correctly. A few Cinerama films also used Perspecta to expand the number of surround channels and Fox was considering using it for CinemaScope 55 as a surround extender and to provide 'overhead' sound, but they abandoned the CS-55 process before they ever did anything with Perspecta. MGM released a huge number of cartoons in Perspecta and Paramount used it on most of their initial VistaVision films - in fact, Perspecta was the 'official' stereo format of VistaVision. Toho in Japan used it for the longest time - through the mid 1960's, but unfortunately, none of the films have been transfered to video with their Perspecta stereo intact. Mothra, Atragon, King Kong VS Godzilla were all theatrically released in Perspecta. Now that we have dts and Dolby Digital, it would be easy for studios to decode the Perspecta and feed the output of the Integrator to the appropriate channels of dts or Dolby Digital. Perspecta was planning on adding a fourth tone to allow for surround effects, but most studios had dropped the process by that time, so it never got implemented. While Perspecta was supposed to be a low-cost process, it wasn't for theaters because they still had to install 3 matching screen speakers and amplifiers - and once they did that, they might as well add a magnetic head to the projector and have true 4-track magnetic sound.

While some people may claim otherwise, Perspecta was not a gimmick.

Here's something I discovered last night - on the LaserDisc of the widescreen version of Midway, the trailer (and only the trailer) is in un-decoded Mod-II Sensurround! I always thought the trailer was very noisy and 'harsh' sounding, but trailers often are since they aren't taken good care of usually. Well, I fed the sound of the trailer through my dbx II decoder and WOW - full Sensurround! It decodes perfectly, with incredibly deep and loud bass and the soundtrack was restored to excellent fidelity. I think I've played it about 10 times today. I just need another subwoofer for the back of the room and a way to pan the sound between front and back!

With all the advanced DSP power in receivers nowadays, it would be trivially easy to include decoding modes for systems like Perspecta and Sensurround. Wouldn't that be cool?
 

leevitalone1

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The 5.1 version is day and nite re: the stereo sacd. I just can't get over the "missing" instruments in the 5.1 that are not present in the 2 channel
 
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