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HiRez Poll Santana - SANTANA (Debut Album) [SACD - JAPAN]

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Rate the SACD of Santana - SANTANA (Debut Album)

  • 8

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 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
    60

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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A VERY SOLID and WELL DESERVED TEN! We waited almost 50 years to hear Santana's debut from the original QUAD masters in pristine DSD remastered sound and Sony Japan delivered in spades.

Will become one of my most cherished discs ....... until maybe, ABRAXAS!


See the source image
 
Last edited:

skherbeck

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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I love It! The mix is discrete 4-corner quad which is how I like it. The bass and percussion generally sound strong. I say generally because on Soul Sacrifice I felt like the bass line should be a little more prominent, but I went back and compared it to a stereo recording and the bass just isn't that prominent on the track as originally mixed. The high end is there for the most part, although a couple of tunes still have a dullness that was present on the stereo mixes as well (luckily they're not my favorite tracks). This sounds light years better than the Q8 conversion I had, which was unlistenable for me. In terms of content, this album has 5 tracks that I've always enjoyed, and the fidelity and mix on those 5 tracks are excellent (although the vocals on "Jingo" are more recessed in the mix than I remember) (The tracks are "Waiting", "Evil Ways", "Jingo", "Treat", and "Soul Sacrifice"). I'm going to give this 2.5/3 for the mix, 2.5/3 for fidelity, 2.5/3 for content, and a bonus point for the price/packaging which is an outstanding bargain in these days of Super Deluxe sets, so 8.5 rounded up to 9. This is must-have quad!
 

MikeMonaco

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Apr 5, 2012
Messages
136
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North Carolina USA
Music all over the place, sounds coming from all corners and more. What talent, we're so lucky. These guys made percussion with whatever was laying around convenient to grab. Vocals just blew me away, I had no idea some of the vocals were actually (what appears) to be 2 singers overlaid on top of each other, not just one. This is a favorite for a long while back, and it's now new again. I keep wanting to turn it up louder, and louder, to get enveloped... I am now convinced I need new and better speakers!
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Nov 25, 2008
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estados hundidos
curiously, after hearing this SACD I find that the conversion I did at least 9 years ago using Lucanu's script was not really that far off!
Of course the discreteness is total on the SACD but it's something that I find is a compromise with SQ LPs; the separation is not there totally but it's close enough but at least the fidelity was there, I have very seldom been let down by the sonics on Columbia's SQ vinyl...
 

sjcorne

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Southern NY
curiously, after hearing this SACD I find that the conversion I did at least 9 years ago using Lucanu's script was not really that far off!
Of course the discreteness is total on the SACD but it's something that I find is a compromise with SQ LPs; the separation is not there totally but it's close enough but at least the fidelity was there, I have very seldom been let down by the sonics on Columbia's SQ vinyl...
I think they dialed up the bass a bit on the new SACD. I remember the SQ's of the first three (particularly the third album) really missing that extra 'thump'. "Soul Sacrifice" also benefits from no inner-groove distortion(!).
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
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Messages
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estados hundidos
A VERY SOLID and WELL DESERVED TEN! We waited almost 50 years to hear Santana's debut from the original QUAD masters in pristine DSD remastered sound and Sony Japan delivered in spades.

Will become one of my most cherished discs ....... until maybe, ABRAXAS!


See the source image
for me until III..
.wait..
or maybe
..Caravanserai????
oh, shit...this is just going to be a VERY long 2 year wait....can't wait!!!
Oh-Boy-Facebook-Covers-1103.jpeg
 

PodCat

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Huntington Beach, CA
I think they dialed up the bass a bit on the new SACD. I remember the SQ's of the first three (particularly the third album) really missing that extra 'thump'. "Soul Sacrifice" also benefits from no inner-groove distortion(!).
Think you got it backward. If anything, early SQ albums had the bass dialed back. Almost every CBS SQ with a gold border sounded pretty awful. Later ones were much better. I now assume based on what I’ve read that these were deliberate mastering decisions designed to make life easier on decoders.

Never mind the challenges of quad — just making a decent-sounding stereo record was a bitch. Good thing I had no idea back then of the slings and arrows of record mastering. I’m astounded so many records did sound great. It was hard to make a good record. With quad, near impossible.

And I miss none of that — including your inner-groove distortion. I spent $900 I couldn’t afford on an Oracle turntable so I could hear a cleaner rendering of Toto’s You Are The Flower . It only worked a little. The answer was digital — little shiny flat plastic discs. No more compromises.

God bless digital sound.
 

sjcorne

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Southern NY
Think you got it backward. If anything, early SQ albums had the bass dialed back. Almost every CBS SQ with a gold border sounded pretty awful. Later ones were much better.
The third album was an early gold-bordered title, released as part of the initial CBS SQ launch in 1972. Oddly enough, the quad of the first album wasn't released until 1974.
 

PodCat

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The third album was an early gold-bordered title, released as part of the initial CBS SQ launch in 1972. Oddly enough, the quad of the first album wasn't released until 1974.
That’s right — as you can see from the new SACD, it was a standard cover. Actually, some later CBS SQ’s weren’t very good either. Two of the last pressings, Ferguson’s Conquistador and Wild Cherry’s Electrified Funk have terrible distortion. I’d guess they befell a similar fate as Arista’s last CD-4 as engineers pushed the cutting lathe to more normal levels.
 

steelydave

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Toronto, ON
Despite coming out in 1974, the first Santana album was definitely mixed sometime before early 1972, because tracks from the album started turning up on CBS SQ samplers around that time. It wouldn't surprise me if it was mixed around the time the stereo version came out, given that Larry Keyes (who mixed this one) did the unreleased quad mix for Paul Revere & The Raiders Hard 'N' Heavy (with marshmallow) in February 1969, some 6 months before this album came out.

I think there are two issues at play here, regarding the sound quality of CBS quad releases - the early ones (basically the gold bordered LP releases) often suffer from issues related to the acutal mixing (lack of bass, a generally more tinny sound quality) whereas the issues with the later ones (like the two PodCat noted above, and nearly everything from the '76/'77 era - I'd include Billy Joel's Turnstiles and the Isley Bros. Go for Your Guns in this category) suffer from issues related to poor pressings. The former don't gain as much as the latter do from the jump to hirez, because, as the old quote goes, you can't polish a turd.

When I spoke to Arthur Stoppe, who worked on all the PIR quad mixes at Sigma Sound, he told me that all of those SQ LPs were basically the vinyl version of "flat transfers," with no EQ or compression added because CBS was worried that it would negatively affect the SQ encoding. I've often wondered if the case was the same with CBS in New York, that they were purposely trying to do their quad mixes with the fact that they weren't going to be able to master them after the fact in mind, and rolling off the bass so there would be no "too much bass" issues with the LP cutting. I don't know how widespread the problem was, but there's a famous story that the head of Atlantic Records had Bob Ludwig re-cut the Led Zeppelin II LP because his daughter told him that the album made the needle jump out of the groove on her cheapo record player. It's my understanding that back then "defective product" returns could really cut in to the profit margin for a record company, so maybe CBS were trying to prevent this from becoming an issue.

I don't know what the reason behind it is, if it was equipment upgrades or just a change in procedure, but the sound quality of CBS quad releases takes a quantum leap in sound quality becomes much more "full range" toward the tail end of 1972 - I think the first really good sounding one is the self-titled Jeff Beck album, followed shortly thereafter by Edgar Winter's They Only Come Out at Night and Santana's Caravanserai.
 

PodCat

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I think the first really good sounding one is the self-titled Jeff Beck album, followed shortly thereafter by Edgar Winter's They Only Come Out at Night.
I’ve never thought either the gold-bordered SQ nor the non-Dolby Q8 of the EWG album sounded good — not even in the 70’s. People like the mix because it’s very discrete but the sound quality is definitely subpar. It’s hard to be sure what the master is like until or unless we ever get to hear it. My guess is it will prove a big improvement over either and back my belief that most of that title’s quad release issues lie with the mastering or lack thereof.
 

Titch

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Jul 25, 2020
Messages
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Location
Norway
A definite ten from me. I think all of Santana's first albums are brilliant (Santana, Abraxas, Santana 3, Caravanserai) and hold up very well. They have such a great rhythmic basis and this new SACD quad mix really brings out the thumping, pulsating bass. The band were obviously influenced by Bitches Brew but they are so much more enjoyable (don't get me wrong - I really like the SACD quad mix of Bitches Brew, but I can't really party to that. For me, that's jazz fusion to chill out to).

This is a great new release from Sony Japan and well worth celebrating, because it hasn't been available on a digital format previously. I can't bring myself to repurchase Headhunters for the third time on SACD but I will buy all of the forthcoming Santana quad SACDs - and anything else Sony Japan decides to release. The quality is fantastic. Seems to be only Dutton Vocalion and Sony Japan releasing new digital multichannel mixes in standalone releases now.
 
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