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Surround Albums to AVOID!!!

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edisonbaggins

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Let's give this a try. Maybe it will be an interesting topic.

I'll start with Gary Numan Anthology, by Silerline. Just sounded like bad copies of the fronts in the rears. Sold it after one listen.

 

colman

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A very useful thread... I have a few candidates, in all cases a disappointing to non-existent surround mix, with mostly ambience in the rears:

-Alanis Morissette - Under Rug Swept
-Steve Hackett - Wolflight
-Squackett - A Life Within A Day
 

dr. simple

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I’ve only sold two surround discs that weren’t duplicates in my collection. One of them was the DVD-A of Paul Gilbert’s “Alligator Farm” because the surround mix was so bad. I’d love to tell you why it was bad, but it was well over 10 years ago.
 

edisonbaggins

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I’ve only sold two surround discs that weren’t duplicates in my collection. One of them was the DVD-A of Paul Gilbert’s “Alligator Farm” because the surround mix was so bad. I’d love to tell you why it was bad, but it was well over 10 years ago.
I have it and remember liking it well enough! Will have to check it out again.
 

atrocity

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Let's give this a try. Maybe it will be an interesting topic.

I'll start with Gary Numan Anthology, by Silerline. Just sounded like bad copies of the fronts in the rears. Sold it after one listen.

What really sucks is that Numan seems like such an obvious choice for REAL surround.

Suddenly imagining what could be done with "My Breathing"...
 

kap'n krunch

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Pink Floyd- DSOTM, James Guthrie mix on SACD... couldn´t even finish listening to it...sold it or traded it as fast as I could! Waste of plastic!!! Parson´s mix is an industry standard (if it ain´t "baroque" don´t fix it!). Waters´ neuroses at their worst.

Genesis-Seconds Out. Revisionist/mix Hackett out cause Tony Banks is an insecure wanker...

I know, I know..."c´mon , kap´n...how do you REALLY FEEL?????"
 

sjcorne

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I'm sure I'll think of more, but here's a start.
  • Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
    • Loud, compressed front channels with barely-audible center and rears. Improves slightly when you boost the rears, but on some tracks there isn't even anything back there to boost.
  • Train - My Private Nation
    • Also mixed by Nick DiDia, so basically the same issues as above. The front channels sound like AM radio and the rears are basically silent save for the occasional random isolated bit (a synth blast or guitar overdub) that has no connection to what's happening upfront.
  • Rob Thomas - Something To Be
    • Some cool isolated stuff happening in the rears (dueling rhythm guitars in "Lonely No More", for instance), but again the front channels sound like AM radio.
  • Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard (DTS-CD)
    • If you want to hear how good this quad mix actually is, listen to the remastered version on the Give Me Strength Blu-Ray. Poor sound quality and some front-to-back balance issues on this mastering. I actually think the CD-4 LP sounds better.
  • Wings - Venus & Mars
    • The quad mix is kind of all-over-the-place, but as with the DTS-CD of 461 the real problem here is the fidelity. "Rock Show" sounds downright atrocious.
  • Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day
    • Again, really poor sound quality
Here's a few that aren't necessarily bad, but are rendered obsolete--in my opinion, at least--by a superior second attempt:
  • Rush - A Farewell To Kings (2011 DVD-A)
  • Yes - Fragile (2002 DVD-A)
  • Derek & The Dominos - Layla (SACD) (I wish Scheiner's mix wasn't so loud though!)
 
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Ninecats

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My contribution would be the finnish rock band HURRIGANES ”Roadrunner” album, a so called 5.1 SACD which I happened to find fairly cheap. But damn I sold it within a week, it went to my NAS and I am still not sure I want it to take up space there. The center and rears are low volume of the original stereo sound. My surround decoder on the reciever would do a better job on the stereo than that. Sound quality is OK given the old recording but the surround mix is a joke.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I'm sure I'll think of more, but here's a start.
  • Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
    • Loud, compressed front channels with barely-audible center and rears. Improves slightly when you boost the rears, but on some tracks there isn't even anything back there to boost.
  • Train - My Private Nation
    • Also mixed by Nick DiDia, so basically the same issues as above. The front channels sound like AM radio and rears are basically silent save for the occasional random isolated bit (a synth blast or guitar overdub) that has no connection to what's happening upfront.
  • Rob Thomas - Something To Be
    • Some cool isolated stuff happening in the rears (dueling rhythm guitars in "Lonely No More", for instance), but again the front channels sound like AM radio.
  • Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard (DTS-CD)
    • If you want to hear how good this quad mix actually is, listen to the remastered version on the Give Me Strength Blu-Ray. Poor sound quality and some front-to-back balance issues on this mastering. I actually think the CD-4 LP sounds better.
  • Wings - Venus & Mars
    • The quad mix is kind of all-over-the-place, but as with the DTS-CD of 461 the real problem here is the fidelity. "Rock Show" sounds downright atrocious.
  • Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day
    • Again, really poor sound quality
Here's a few that aren't necessarily bad, but are rendered obsolete--in my opinion, at least--by a superior second attempt:
  • Rush - A Farewell To Kings (2011 DVD-A)
  • Yes - Fragile (2002 DVD-A)
  • Derek & The Dominos - Layla (SACD) (I wish Scheiner's mix wasn't so loud though!)
Nice list, the Devils & Dust tops my thoughts right off the bat. Folks should try the new BD of Bruce's "Western Stars", even though it's a live recording, it's miles ahead of Devils & Dust; and the music is much better also. Bruce really needs to consider some of his more popular studio albums in surround, they'd sell like hot cakes if done right.

Another one that comes to mind for me is John Mayer's Heavier Things, I know some here don't think it sounds that bad, but I found it to be just not too discrete and lack luster all around.

A couple that just sound like bad dirty recordings for me are:
Big Brother and the Holding Company - Cheap Thrills (SACD)
Derek & The Dominos ‎– Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (SACD)


I'm sure there are lots more, those are just the ones off the top of my head.
 

sjcorne

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A couple that just sound like bad dirty recordings for me are:
Big Brother and the Holding Company - Cheap Thrills (SACD)
Derek & The Dominos ‎– Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (SACD)
Two others that fit in this category for me are Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell (though the 5.1 mix is actually quite adventurous) and Oasis' What's The Story (Morning Glory).
 

haikubass

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I’ve only sold two surround discs that weren’t duplicates in my collection. One of them was the DVD-A of Paul Gilbert’s “Alligator Farm” because the surround mix was so bad. I’d love to tell you why it was bad, but it was well over 10 years ago.
To quote myself:
Coaster, beer coaster! The attempt at surround mix is there, but the SQ is outright awful and you have to crank it up +10 db, too. Then you give chance to the 2 Become 1 cover (GTR Spice, anyone?) and it gets much better from there. Still much more listenable than DVD-As by Dokken or Bruce Dickinson.
Well, I still own it, let me check the dts track right now. I remember there might be a brief glimmer of hope there.
 
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