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HiRez Poll Santana - ABRAXAS [SACD-JAPAN]

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Rate the SACD of Santana - ABRAXAS

  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    59

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
2,352
Location
New Joisey
Such an improvement on DTS disc in terms of the heft and presence of the overall auditory impact. But it didn't quite knock me off my seat in the way the Santana disc did. In fact, Abraxas in quad doesn't didn't quite hang together as well at that version of the first album. And, sorry, but the quad mix of Samba Pa Ti remains such a disappointment. The guitar sounds like it was recorded, badly, in another room with the doors closed, and where's the bass? Better than the DTS disc, but it still doesn't gel the way entire first album balances discreteness with integration throughout. Compare the quad Samba Pa Ti with the stereo version on the new disc - the latter blows the 4 speaker version away on every level. So an 8 from me overall.
I noted the same thing on Samba Pa Ti. The guitar solo sounds like it was recorded years before...almost during the heyday of 78’s. ;) It sounds like that way on the MoFi SACD also. (I haven’t listened to the stereo layer on this new SACD as of yet.)

With this particular recording, I find some tracks preferable in quad, such as BMW, some with PLIIx, some with Surround Master, and none with Logic7. (Can you imagine that? Me unpleased with something played through Logic7. That’s even more earth shattering than Trump showing displeasure with Fox News. ;))

Anyway, I still give this release a 9 because it is superior to all previous official releases of this quad.
 

zimmy

Well-known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
164
Location
Sweden
Mine finally came today and it really sounds as good as most people have said. At the same time i must add that i have enjoyed the DTS disc that most people seems to hate. Even after comparing it to an Quad reel i think the DTS-disc sounds fine. Just for fun i will continue with comparing all tracks with the SACD just to find where the DTS-disc is so much worse.
 

oxenholme

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
479
Location
NW England
Mine arrived today from jpc.de (Germany).

What a remarkable disc! I bought the DTS disc when it was released but it never did anything for me. This is completely different. It's not often that I listen all the way through then go straight back to the start for another listen.

Material - full marks
Mix - full marks plus extra marks for the wonderful panning at the end of Black Magic Woman
Sound - full marks, absolutely no problems with bass levels
Presentation - full marks

10 doesn't seem enough.
 

zimmy

Well-known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
164
Location
Sweden
Mine finally came today and it really sounds as good as most people have said. At the same time i must add that i have enjoyed the DTS disc that most people seems to hate. Even after comparing it to an Quad reel i think the DTS-disc sounds fine. Just for fun i will continue with comparing all tracks with the SACD just to find where the DTS-disc is so much worse.
Well i have started the comparing with more tracks and the difference was bigger to what i had thought first. The first track on the album i think sounds quite fine on both discs. When i now played Black Magic woman on the DTS-CD i felt that it also sounded as good as the first. But now i put on the SACD and the difference was remarkable. Now i have more understanding for the remarks on the DTS-CD. But still i have enjoyed it when it was the only one i had. But it is fantastic to now get it in this quality. Let´s just hope they coninue with Caravanserai. That one would sound fantastic like this!
 

James Jay

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Minnesota
Mine arrived today from jpc.de (Germany).

What a remarkable disc! I bought the DTS disc when it was released but it never did anything for me. This is completely different. It's not often that I listen all the way through then go straight back to the start for another listen.

Material - full marks
Mix - full marks plus extra marks for the wonderful panning at the end of Black Magic Woman
Sound - full marks, absolutely no problems with bass levels
Presentation - full marks

10 doesn't seem enough.
It’s funny how people hear things differently. I thought the Abraxas quad didn’t have nearly enough bass and I also thought the panning was excessive on Black Magic Woman. Different strokes. JMHO
 

François

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
324
Location
France
It seems to me that the bass is better on the second half of the album and I agree that the panning on Black Magic Woman is ridiculous, and the bass is severely lacking on this song: there’s an incredible bass line but you can hardly hear it in the quad mix. Black Magic Woman is one of my favorite song of all time, and I find the quad mix disappointing. Thankfully the rest of the album has quite a good quad mix!
 

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,327
Location
Southern NY
*Edit* Back channels are swapped on "Oye Como Va" as well. Going to assume the whole disc is incorrect.
I compared three versions of this track (Q8, DTS-CD, SACD) and they all have the same channel layout. Each speaker is added sequentially starting with the organ in FL, bass in RR, percussion in FR, and guitar in RL.

Q8:
Oye Q8.jpg

DTS-CD:
Oye DTS.jpg

SACD:
Oye SACD.jpg
 

shakti

Well-known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
109
Location
Norway
I got two full rounds with this one last night. It does not disappoint. At its best, it was a really transportative experience, just like the best multichannel mixes are. But it doesn’t quite hit the 10 mark for me. I try to stay as objective as I can, even in the excitement of finally getting these long-awaited mixes of albums by one of my all-time favourite artists.

Abraxas is a great album, it shows the band progressing a lot from their debut and fine-tuning their sound, but that would be a continuous development and I think they hit their peak in 1972-74. The album has always felt a bit lopsided to me - the whole of the first side is classic, and you get Se A Cabo and Samba Pa Ti on side 2. The rest has more of a filler feel. As with the content, I find the mixes to be slightly uneven too.

The opening is stunning - Singing Winds, Crying Beasts is a made-for-surround type track, and it does not disappoint. Same thing with Black Magic Woman, it is discreet and opens up new things in the mix, while taking advantage of the opportunity to swirl things around a little. All the while it feels like the same album as the stereo mix. Incident at Neshabur opens it up to an extreme though - there are lots of keyboard flourishes either buried in the stereo mix or not even present, while the guitar sounds very different either due to mixing or perhaps even different takes. This one is so different from the stereo mix that it really feels like a completely different take. I still like it a lot though. Samba Pa Ti has been singled out and I really understand why. The guitar really does sound distant and a little odd placed firmly front right. It’s so central in that song that the whole mix feels detached when it’s mixed like that.

So all in all, I find the mix slightly inconsistent and there are a couple of moments where I don’t feel it holds together entirely, but I am being deliberately critical here to avoid gushing over it due to the excitement of finally hearing this. It’s a great surround mix of a great, but not quite masterpiece album. It will get better still with III, Caravanserai, Welcome and Borboletta. Fidelity and packaging is top notch of course.

So it’s a 9 for content, 10 for sound and 8.5 for mix....overall a 9 from me.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,017
Location
NW Ontario
Not much to say about this, just great sound. Strong solid bass nice top end, not harsh like the DTS. My only observation (not really a complaint) is that the mix at times is too discrete. The panning effects seem to jump from speaker to speaker rather than move in a smooth panning motion. Still I have to give it a ten.
 
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BJMarsh

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
47
Location
Brogue, PA USA
OK, got mine yesterday. Very happy to have it. First class package. Obviously, the music is great. The surround mix has some wonderful moments and some missed opportunities. A couple of tracks have isolated instruments in one channel but beautiful ambience in the other channels - a great sense of surround. On the other hand, there are isolated instruments with the reverb only in that channel. That’s a missed opportunity. At other times there are swirling instruments - that’s a gimmick in my opinion. The good FAR outweighs the not so good. Still highly recommended.
 
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