Tower of Power "Ain't Nothing Stopping Us Now" SACD Quad (Vocalion – CDSML 8523)


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Jim VeNard

New member
Jan 3, 2024
I am an OG TOP fan. Have listened to them since the late 60's and seen them in concert over 30 times. I've been back stage with my wife for our 10th and 20th anniversary. That being said, I am also an audiophile and can't say that the other SACD had any qualities that made it a must have.
I received the SACD yesterday and I was impressed with the sound quality, but not crazy about the mix. I'm not sure, but I am assuming this recording came from a Quad master tape. So here is the problem. The mix includes the front channels mix Lead Singer and horn section to the front L and R. Everything else is mixed to the rear channels.
Luckily with my sub the bass and drums sound ok, but, the rear vocals seemed out of place.
The Stereo version is great and, again, the sound quality is bright and bold. It may be a bit hot, but it is a superior improvement over the CD and LP from days gone by.
As an added note, I have bought many SACDs from Vocalion out of the UK, and the service has been fantastic. Fairly fast shipping from the UK to AZ and packaged superbly.

Hopefully they can release the entire Warner, TOP catalog in SACD in the future.



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Somehow I missed this release or simply passed it up. Reading the comments and sometimes complaints about bass and drums in the rear In the poll thread I'm now all in! I love the bass and drums in the rear. Mixing like that was great for those Q8's played in the car, but sadly would be problematical for encoding to SQ.

Normally bass is recorded as mono on stereo records. Recording out of phase instead produces vertical movement of the stylus, like a record warp. Obviously not a good idea for record cutting. Therefore placing the drums in one speaker only makes some sense. I suppose that they could have placed the drums in stereo across the rear while summing the low bass to mono and mixing it to the front.

Anyway, I'm looking at placing a Vocalion order soon. I passed up the last crop of releases so will be revisiting some of those titles as well!