HiRez Poll Moody Blues - A QUESTION OF BALANCE [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Moody Blues - A QUESTION OF BALANCE


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JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on the SACD release of this classic Moody Blues album, currently only available in the UK. (y) :phones (n)

If you feel so inclined, please let us know where you got yours and approximatly what you paid - to use as a reference for other members.

THANKS!
 

JonUrban

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I ordered mine from Elusive Disc ($129.99 for the set), and all 5 showed up today (Friday April14). Haven't listened, but here are the scans:
 

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elswinger

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This disc was fantastic. I should get the rest of them later this week. I had never gotten around to buying anything but DOFP and ISOALC on CD so hadn't listened to QOB since I had it on vinyl 20+ years ago. This may be the least dated of the first 5. I hope we at least get the last 2 of the original 7 soon.
 

elmer

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Before I go into detail, let me first state that QOB is an all time favorite - music wise. My rock band in high school was very proud to be the first to play "Questions" at the high school dance - so I know this record pretty well. Overall I give this a "9" - it's nice to hear it in surround and it sounds great. There are several reasons it doesn't get a 10;

1. While the mix is good, it is just OK - there are no new revelations ala Talking Heads Box.
2. This is a wacky hybrid SACD - I have to go into my menu and change the SACD default to 2 ch layer in order to access the bonus content - they should have made the bonus content available on the surround layer even if it was only stereo.
3. Here's the kicker - Questions on the MC layer is a different mix than on the Stereo layer - the voices and mellotron are completely gone from the intro of the MC mix -yet the original version as I remember it is correct on the stereo layer. I've never heard the quad version so I don't know if this is true of that version as well.

There is no mention of any of this on the otherwise well annotated and comprehensive liner notes. Despite these quibbles I still have great fondness for this and the other reissued SACDs from the Moodies and glad to have them. It is rather odd that with all of the obvious trouble they went to with deluxe gatefold glossy digipaks, bonus content and extensive liner notes that there would be so many "pebble in the shoe" errors - it appears they finished the packaging before they finished the masters and figured that the fans would dig it anyway despite the errors - they are right - up to a point.
 

atrocity

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elmer said:
Questions on the MC layer is a different mix than on the Stereo layer - the voices and mellotron are completely gone from the intro of the MC mix -yet the original version as I remember it is correct on the stereo layer. I've never heard the quad version so I don't know if this is true of that version as well.
It is. A similar (identical? been a long time) version also appears on "This Is the Moody Blues".
 

VACamper

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I recieved this yesterday along with "Children" from CD-WOW where I paid 8.75 pounds, or about US $15.67, and free shipping (still waiting on "Threshold"). I think it sounds great - nice discrete mix, clean sound, well balanced, and nice packaging and liner notes to boot! I gave it a 9. It's great to finally get these Moodies discs in high-resolution, multi-channel form!
 

bugdaddy

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After three listens my impression is one of disappointment. It sounds like the life’s been sucked out of it. The vocals and drums in particular seem dull and lifeless. I do not own the original quad reel, but my recollection is that the ethereal moodies glow is somehow no longer there. Be great if someone with the original can report on this - - could be I’m totally off base. In fact, I kinda hope I am. Because I wanted so badly to treasure this release, I’m holding off voting for now. Maybe I just need to listen a few more times.
 

joelee

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I think the multi-channel mix is ok. Why don't they utilize the center channel on this disc??


Thanks,
Joe
 

EMB

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Finally got these in the mail yesterday, but won't be until the weekend I can give 'em a serious listen.

As for the center channel...assuming it's missing(which has been claimed), not sure I would mind at all...at best all that could have been done was come up with some kind of faux center, which if you're familiar with the old Quad, you know really isn't necessary but, by the same token, putting one there wouldn't be all that distracting, the action that matters will be all around you.

ED :)
 

MIDIQ

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I am quite happy with the quality of the MB SACD's. Overall i think they sound great me, there are a couple of songs that sound a little muffled, maybe too much NR. I gave the Quad mixes a 10, and it still sounds like a 10 to me. I suppose it could have been a little better, but i am quite happy. I just hope we get EGBDF on SACD.
 

Cai Campbell

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Probably the second-best sounding quad SACD Moodies release of the four avaible now, right after TOCCC. It still suffers from too much noise reduction and a high-frequency boost, but not as bad as OTTOAD. The quad mix sounds overly diffuse like the other releases... due to bad "mixing" choices or simply a careless transfer from the quad master. Hard to say at this point.

Again, coulda been great... but falls well short of its potential. I'm pretty much going 7 points on all these, except for TOCCC, which stands out from the pack. So, 7 points here as well (coulda/shoulda been 9 points).

[sigh]
 

HiRes_PR

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Cai Campbell said:
Probably the second-best sounding quad SACD Moodies release of the four avaible now, right after TOCCC. It still suffers from too much noise reduction and a high-frequency boost, but not as bad as OTTOAD. The quad mix sounds overly diffuse like the other releases... due to bad "mixing" choices or simply a careless transfer from the quad master. Hard to say at this point.

Again, coulda been great... but falls well short of its potential. I'm pretty much going 7 points on all these, except for TOCCC, which stands out from the pack. So, 7 points here as well (coulda/shoulda been 9 points).

[sigh]
A high-frequency boost? Not on mine played on a Sony ES SCD-C2000ES on full DSD mode. Do you mean compared to the original Quad tapes?

Does the SONY ES SCD-XA777ES player have Bass Management and/or Time Alignment?
 

Cai Campbell

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HiRes_PR said:
A high-frequency boost? Not on mine played on a Sony ES SCD-C2000ES on full DSD mode. Do you mean compared to the original Quad tapes?

Does the SONY ES SCD-XA777ES player have Bass Management and/or Time Alignment?
I'm not speaking authoritatively, since in reality, I have no clue. I'm simply hypothesizing based on past experience.

Yes, I mean compared to the original quad reel tapes I have listened to.

As for time alignment and bass management, yes and yes, although I use equidistant speaker placement as my "time alignment" (rendering SCD-XA777ES channel delay functions obsolete) and my bass management settings are calibrated in the analog domain with a spectrum analyzer.
 

HiRes_PR

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Cai Campbell said:
I'm not speaking authoritatively, since in reality, I have no clue. I'm simply hypothesizing based on past experience.

Yes, I mean compared to the original quad reel tapes I have listened to.

As for time alignment and bass management, yes and yes, although I use equidistant speaker placement as my "time alignment" (rendering SCD-XA777ES channel delay functions obsolete) and my bass management settings are calibrated in the analog domain with a spectrum analyzer.
Oh, ok. I just thought you were using the internal Sony Bass Management and/or Time Alignment. Both send the players to DSD to PCM mode resulting in an extremely bright sound.
 

Cai Campbell

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HiRes_PR said:
Oh, ok. I just thought you were using the internal Sony Bass Management and/or Time Alignment. Both send the players to DSD to PCM mode resulting in an extremely bright sound.
My SACD player is straight analog out into my pre-amp. No internal processing and pure analog from source to speakers.
 

EMB

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A '7' from me, nothing more...the fun in this one is hearing the different segues, the longer fades, etc. But the sound here is a bit arch and unnatural, no way around it. Of course in this format you expect more dynamic range, but I'm not hearing bass boosted the same way the highs are, and not sure why this is. That said, good to have all the same.

ED :)
 

beached

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but I'm not hearing bass boosted the same way the highs are, and not sure why this is.

ED :)[/QUOTE]

Just got this one. I agree with Ed. I had to crank the Sub way up (full) to get the tone to sound full. The lack of centre is no great loss. The DTS Seventh Sojourn still comes out of this comparison pretty well despite its obvious lack of Hi Rez and discretness. Apart from a percieved slight lack of warmth from this 34yr recording its
a great addition. I am now waiting on TOCCC. I love the Moodies but it could be have been better. 8
 

wavelength

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A 4.

After a steady diet of 5.1 for the last 3 years I've come to have certain expectations about how surround sound should sound in my listening room. This disc just doesn't have it. Most importantly, as already pointed out, this is not a 5.1 mix. It distinctly says "5.1 mix" on the back cover. No center and a barely, barely LFE if you max the bass settings. It's 4.0.

Secondly, some of the sound is down right awful; they call that a guitar solo after the first verse of "How Is It (We Are Here)". It sounds like someone blowing through a comb.

Like a lot of you here, this is one of my all-time favorite albums. I expected to hear a treasure christened into sainthood. Instead I got screwed by the star-maker machine. Sorry, don't mean to step on anybody's toes here but they shouldn't have lied about the mix. They should have done it right.
 
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