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Jimi Hendrix & Led Zeppelin - Remasters or Original CDs?
Old 11th December 2009
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Jimi Hendrix & Led Zeppelin - Remasters or Original CDs?

I've never got round to buying these classic albums...what would you go for and why? I don't know how to look at it - whether the original is just how the album should be or whether the remaster just improves quality and there's nothing wrong with that. Anyway as I guess a lot is subjective and depends I chose these two artists back catalogues as these are the ones. Also considering the Beatles remasters (I only own greatest hits at the moment lol). As a side point I never know whether to go for vinyl and rip to 24 bit - I like to hear the music not the format as far as possible (crackles, hiss ect).

Led Zeppelin - The Complete Studio Recordings (10xCD, RM + Box) at Discogs
Old 11th December 2009
  #2
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Franco's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames ➑️
As a side point I never know whether to go for vinyl and rip to 24 bit - I like to hear the music not the format as far as possible (crackles, hiss ect).
I have digitized my vinyl over time with all of the little crackles and hiss just because that's what I grew up listening. The turntable I have does 16/44.1 transfers over SPDIF and that's perfectly fine with me; there's just something nostalgic about crackle on vinyl to me, it's right there with the sound of a fireplace.
Old 11th December 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 
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I have the purple box set of Hendrix re-masters which includes a lot of out takes, and would recommend those, Amazon.com: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi Hendrix: Music - not a big fan of the Zeppelin remaster's that I've heard.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 15 years
I haven't done any Hendrix listening comparisons but I far prefer the Zeppelin remasters to the original CD releases.. for the most part they're better (1st gen) A-D transfers and minimal EQ (though not the more recent 'Mothership' compilation which sounds shockingly thin & flat).
If you really want to blow your mind get the Zeppelin 'BBC Sessions' double disc – raw musicianship at its finest.
Wow.. the 'Rock and Roll' live in Australia video (film) just appeared on tv as I write...
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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The recent Mothership Zeppelin remasters are quite good, better than the originals and they didn't overdo the limiting thank God.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY THE RECENTLY REMASTERED HENDRIX STUFF. You know, this is the "authorized by the Hendrix 'family'" crap. The Hendrix "family" is his sister whom his father adopted when he married her mother, after Hendrix became a star (can you say gold digger?). She is not genetically related to Jimi Hendrix. She has cut Jimi's genetic brother Leon completely out of all decisions and profits related to Jimi's music.

She is primarily responsible for the extreme limiting (to increase sales by making them more "modern") which basically rapes Hendrix's original dynamics. What used to be soft intros to songs are now at equivalent volume to the rest of the track, so there is no impact when the band starts after the intros. The long slow jam of Voodoo Chile is a very dynamic song that goes from very soft to blazingly loud several times. All that dynamic interaction between the players has been removed. And the recordings have digital distortion from all the limiting. How Eddie Kramer ever allowed his name to be put on this crap is beyond me.

I've checked every version of the Hendrix stuff I can find. The MCA stuff mastered by Joe Gastwirt is the best. This stuff was done right before Janie Hendrix gained control of the Hendrix material. People like to bitch about Alan Douglas' treatment of Hendrix's legacy with good reason, but at least he got the remastering right by choosing Gastwirt. Also some of the German CDs have better tranfers of the original recordings, and they are worth getting if you can find them.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot ➑️
The recent Mothership Zeppelin remasters are quite good, better than the originals and they didn't overdo the limiting thank God.
Have you tried level-matched comparisons? The detrimental difference was immediate to us in the mastering room.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot ➑️

She is primarily responsible for the extreme limiting (to increase sales by making them more "modern") which basically rapes Hendrix's original dynamics.
Are you referring to these?:Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix (Remastered)
There's no heavy limiting on the box set.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco ➑️
I have digitized my vinyl over time with all of the little crackles and hiss just because that's what I grew up listening. The turntable I have does 16/44.1 transfers over SPDIF and that's perfectly fine with me; there's just something nostalgic about crackle on vinyl to me, it's right there with the sound of a fireplace.
Lol, isnt that just nutty? Cuz its so true. That was excellent audio, vinyl etc. With all the X-Noise plug-ins and noise removal these days makes ya wonder if we're overdoing it or missin' the boat so to speak.

I think its fair to say the "Snap, Crackle n Pop War" was over a while ago and has been replaced with a new crusade, haha. Yeah, the loudness one. Its like a big Lord of The Rings epic battle....only with ME's. heh
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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6 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey ➑️
Have you tried level-matched comparisons? The detrimental difference was immediate to us in the mastering room.
Actually, I hadn't tried that (though I should have before I weighed in on this). I just did and I think you're right. I prefer the original too.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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6 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering ➑️
Are you referring to these?:Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix (Remastered)
There's no heavy limiting on the box set.
I'm referring specifically to this:

Amazon.com: Electric Ladyland: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Music

Scroll down to Voodoo Chile (cut #4). I have three versions of this. This one linked above is the "Experience Hendrix" version: the most recent AFAIK. Then there is the original CD which beats the Experience Hendrix because it's not compressed/limited whatever. The depth is better, the dynamics have feeling, the drums aren't nearly as distorted, the echo on the guitar isn't overemphasized, etc. etc. And the best one is the MCA 1993 version mastered by Joe Gastwirt which sounds very much like the original except smoother and more musical.

The original and the Gastwirt version sound better and very similar in contrast to the Experience Hendrix which sounds like modern mastering. The Experience Hendrix version is obviously the one that's been manipulated the most and NOT in a good way. A lot of the stuff I like about that tune is gone in the Experience Hendrix version. If you go through and compare these three version of all the albums (which I've done) you will hear for yourself what a wipeout the Experience Hendrix remasters are. And yes, I have volume matched when I checked these. I bought a bunch of Experience Hendrix remasters because I believed the Eddie Kramer hype. Silly me. Would you hype up a Monet with more modern colors when you do the restoration? That's basically what's happening with Hendrix and his art doesn't benefit from it.
Old 13th December 2009
  #11
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames ➑️
I've never got round to buying these classic albums...what would you go for and why? I don't know how to look at it - whether the original is just how the album should be or whether the remaster just improves quality and there's nothing wrong with that. Anyway as I guess a lot is subjective and depends I chose these two artists back catalogues as these are the ones. Also considering the Beatles remasters (I only own greatest hits at the moment lol). As a side point I never know whether to go for vinyl and rip to 24 bit - I like to hear the music not the format as far as possible (crackles, hiss ect).

Led Zeppelin - The Complete Studio Recordings (10xCD, RM + Box) at Discogs
Get the vinyl. I have been going back and listening to this stuff on vinyl and I am amazed. A very clean record will sound better than any digital format.

My favorite example of why remastering gone wrong is ZZ Top Deguello - not because the remaster is bad but because the original Bob Ludwig LP is mastered so beautifully.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Larry Mal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A lot of the first generation CD versions of albums really suffer from poor A/D conversion, as well as in a lot of cases they didn't use the master recordings but copies, sometimes very degraded copies.

In short, I certainly would buy something that advertised itself as having better sound rather than not, as a rule of thumb, but as has been mentioned it's not 100%.

I was listening to Bitch's Brew the other day and was shocked by how bad it sounded- I was really wishing that I had a remastered version of that. The first double disc set is just horrid- I probably bought it in 1991 or something. The technology has improved a lot since then, and engineers know how to transfer analog better as well.

But don't sweat it- I learned to love those songs on cassette tape. Cassettes that I had copied. From a friend who had a copy, that he'd made from another cassette. And I might not have had any high bias cassettes- forget about the metal ones! I may have only had a normal bias cassette that day- you had to act fast, you weren't always around a double cassette player and a copy of Led Zeppelin's Coda- your whole day would be spent making cassette copies.

Then I would have to churn the butter- well, it's just good that you kids inherited a better world through our sacrifices.

If the songs are great, then it really doesn't matter to me how I hear them.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot ➑️
I'm referring specifically to this:

Amazon.com: Electric Ladyland: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Music

Scroll down to Voodoo Chile (cut #4). I have three versions of this. This one linked above is the "Experience Hendrix" version: the most recent AFAIK. Then there is the original CD which beats the Experience Hendrix because it's not compressed/limited whatever. The depth is better, the dynamics have feeling, the drums aren't nearly as distorted, the echo on the guitar isn't overemphasized, etc. etc. And the best one is the MCA 1993 version mastered by Joe Gastwirt which sounds very much like the original except smoother and more musical.

The original and the Gastwirt version sound better and very similar in contrast to the Experience Hendrix which sounds like modern mastering. The Experience Hendrix version is obviously the one that's been manipulated the most and NOT in a good way. A lot of the stuff I like about that tune is gone in the Experience Hendrix version. If you go through and compare these three version of all the albums (which I've done) you will hear for yourself what a wipeout the Experience Hendrix remasters are. And yes, I have volume matched when I checked these. I bought a bunch of Experience Hendrix remasters because I believed the Eddie Kramer hype. Silly me. Would you hype up a Monet with more modern colors when you do the restoration? That's basically what's happening with Hendrix and his art doesn't benefit from it.

Totally agree with MarsBot,

A friend of mine and I loaded up the 1993 Gastwirts VS the Eddy Krammer mastered Exp Hendrix versions into a DAW about 4 years ago and the Gastwirt's have way better dynamics and low end. I find the new ones way too bright and fatiguing.

What is really sad is that the Purple Box set with live tracks and outtakes blows away the actual albums.

As for the Zeppelin, the 10 Disc box is awesome. Like others said it is before the over compression wars and sounds fantastic.

XJ
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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6 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mal ➑️
A lot of the first generation CD versions of albums really suffer from poor A/D conversion, as well as in a lot of cases they didn't use the master recordings but copies, sometimes very degraded copies.

In short, I certainly would buy something that advertised itself as having better sound rather than not, as a rule of thumb, but as has been mentioned it's not 100%.

I was listening to Bitch's Brew the other day and was shocked by how bad it sounded- I was really wishing that I had a remastered version of that. The first double disc set is just horrid- I probably bought it in 1991 or something. The technology has improved a lot since then, and engineers know how to transfer analog better as well.

But don't sweat it- I learned to love those songs on cassette tape. Cassettes that I had copied. From a friend who had a copy, that he'd made from another cassette. And I might not have had any high bias cassettes- forget about the metal ones! I may have only had a normal bias cassette that day- you had to act fast, you weren't always around a double cassette player and a copy of Led Zeppelin's Coda- your whole day would be spent making cassette copies.

Then I would have to churn the butter- well, it's just good that you kids inherited a better world through our sacrifices.

If the songs are great, then it really doesn't matter to me how I hear them.
Just so you know, most of the important Miles Davis stuff got remastered and it sounds a lot better. I'm pretty sure I have the remastered Bitches Brew somewhere. I know I bought the remaster of Get Up With It which I'm really fond of and the difference is amazing. I found these in used record stores. They are clearly labeled as being remasters and whoever did them did it right as far as I'm concerned. When you A/B it's like night and day.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Larry Mal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, there's been reissues of Miles' stuff for some time now, but I bought all mine before that. I haven't been listening to him much except recently, and I hadn't really ever noticed the poor sound.

I am also a little surprised to hear the Zeppelin stuff being compressed in the remasters. I don't know why they would do that, except as a sop to what people think is correct mastering these days. That's depressing.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Jimi Hendrix & Led Zeppelin - Remasters or Original CDs?
Both! ...and the vinyl.

I really like the George Marino remasters.

Still have all my original LPs from back in the day.

Huuuge Miles fan here as well.

Still have my original release of the "Kind of Blue" LP.

JT
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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8 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb ➑️
Both! ...and the vinyl.

I really like the George Marino remasters.

Still have all my origianl LPs from back in the day.

Huuuge Miles fan here as well.

Still have my original release of the "Kind of Blue" LP.

JT
Definitely no limiting on the George Marino re-master right?
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Franco's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RasCricket ➑️
Lol, isnt that just nutty? Cuz its so true. That was excellent audio, vinyl etc. With all the X-Noise plug-ins and noise removal these days makes ya wonder if we're overdoing it or missin' the boat so to speak.
Man, some people are DEFINITELY missing the boat. Someone I did a job for a while ago told me that his previous ME filtered out the vinyl crackle he had on his samples, which goes to show that with music, you go with people who understand your music, not some cat who has absolutely no clue.

The nerve, the guy completely missed the bus and instead of asking the client at the very least "is this intentional", went ahead and assumed the client was an idiot and that he must have "missed" the vinyl crackle and that it needed to be filtered out.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot ➑️
I'm referring specifically to this:

Amazon.com: Electric Ladyland: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Music

Scroll down to Voodoo Chile (cut #4). I have three versions of this. This one linked above is the "Experience Hendrix" version: the most recent AFAIK. Then there is the original CD which beats the Experience Hendrix because it's not compressed/limited whatever. The depth is better, the dynamics have feeling, the drums aren't nearly as distorted, the echo on the guitar isn't overemphasized, etc. etc. And the best one is the MCA 1993 version mastered by Joe Gastwirt which sounds very much like the original except smoother and more musical.

The original and the Gastwirt version sound better and very similar in contrast to the Experience Hendrix which sounds like modern mastering. The Experience Hendrix version is obviously the one that's been manipulated the most and NOT in a good way. A lot of the stuff I like about that tune is gone in the Experience Hendrix version. If you go through and compare these three version of all the albums (which I've done) you will hear for yourself what a wipeout the Experience Hendrix remasters are. And yes, I have volume matched when I checked these. I bought a bunch of Experience Hendrix remasters because I believed the Eddie Kramer hype. Silly me. Would you hype up a Monet with more modern colors when you do the restoration? That's basically what's happening with Hendrix and his art doesn't benefit from it.
I bought an MP3 of "All Along the Watchtower" recently in a pinch to learn it for a jam session, and was shocked at how crappy it sounded. Loud as hell, drums sound bad - just not an enjoyable listen.

Having read this thread, I just checked my mp3 player, and sure enough, it's the "Experience Hendrix" version.

This thread brings up an intersting dilemma I'm being faced with consantly - which version of things to buy. I recently bought a remastered version of Rush's "Fly by Night," and I'm not digging it. Too compressed. There are certainly more egregious examples of brick wall limiting out there, but still - the original has more power and detail.

Sigh.
Old 17th December 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone ➑️
Definitely no limiting on the George Marino re-master right?
I'll have to check, when time allows...

JT
Old 17th December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
if you can, get the vinyl (orinigal press, there's a bunch of superthin, super-crappy re-presses out there you have to avoid), if you can't get the first CD editions and copy them to your computer as they won't last long anymore.
I bought the latest remastered LedZep compilation, it is pretty smashed in my opinion, i still like my old cd's better. And the vinyl is a must, naturally!
Old 17th December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Beyersound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xj32 ➑️
Totally agree with MarsBot,

A friend of mine and I loaded up the 1993 Gastwirts VS the Eddy Krammer mastered Exp Hendrix versions into a DAW about 4 years ago and the Gastwirt's have way better dynamics and low end. I find the new ones way too bright and fatiguing.

What is really sad is that the Purple Box set with live tracks and outtakes blows away the actual albums.

As for the Zeppelin, the 10 Disc box is awesome. Like others said it is before the over compression wars and sounds fantastic.

XJ
+1 Joe Gastwirt is the man, and definitely the remaster king! His Neumann console, hotrod Ampex 2 tracks, A/D conversion, amazing ears and knowledge always make his work the real reference.
Old 17th December 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spasm_dtc ➑️
if you can, get the vinyl (orinigal press, there's a bunch of superthin, super-crappy re-presses out there you have to avoid), if you can't get the first CD editions and copy them to your computer as they won't last long anymore.
I bought the latest remastered LedZep compilation, it is pretty smashed in my opinion, i still like my old cd's better. And the vinyl is a must, naturally!
If you're a Hendrix fan... the Rykodisc 1988 "Radio One" album of Jimi's BBC sessions was mastered pretty well. It was issued on compact disc and also a double-LP (3 sides of music!) record release on clear see-through vinyl.

And I second whoever said the BBC Zep CD album rocked... yes it does.
Old 21st December 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Dee ➑️
If you're a Hendrix fan... the Rykodisc 1988 "Radio One" album of Jimi's BBC sessions was mastered pretty well. It was issued on compact disc and also a double-LP (3 sides of music!) record release on clear see-through vinyl.

And I second whoever said the BBC Zep CD album rocked... yes it does.
ooooh yes i am!!! thanks for the tip Jay Dee, i'll go discogs-hunting right away
Old 21st December 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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aleatoric's Avatar
 
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31 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I have the 1993 Led Zeppelin complete studio recordings remastered box set, sounds great to me, mastered at Sterling in 1993 and not smashed:

Amazon.com: The Complete Studio Recordings: Led Zeppelin: Music

I think the latest box set is the smashed one. I have not heard it but remember reading others sayings its over the top with limiting:

Amazon.com: Definitive Collection (Mini LP Replica): Led Zeppelin: Music
Old 31st December 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spasm_dtc ➑️
ooooh yes i am!!! thanks for the tip Jay Dee, i'll go discogs-hunting right away
PS: I looked at the record jacket credits and Joe Gastwirt mastered it (Radio One).
Old 31st December 2009 | Show parent
  #27
LFF
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
For LZ, there are only 2 choices:

1) The originals on CD are far better than any other digital release. They aren't squashed and sound great as long as you turn your volume up. You can always remaster them to your liking if you don't like the original EQ choices.

or

2) The recent vinyl re-issues from Classic Records. Nice, warm analog sound. heh
Old 13th January 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Unreleased Hendrix recordings set for album

To me the Led Zep remasters (the first ones, not the ones since) are simply better transfers. Compare level-matched.

Also fwiw:
'Unreleased Hendrix recordings set for album'
Quote:
January 13, 2010
An album featuring previously unreleased recordings by rock great Jimi Hendrix will go on sale next month, almost four decades after his death.

Valleys of Neptune will go on sale March 9 featuring 12 fully realised studio recordings, more than 60 minutes of music" that has never been commercially released, the company Experience Hendrix said in a statement.

The album "provides an essential, compelling, and up-till-now largely unseen view of what Jimi Hendrix was up to musically in the critical period between the release of Electric Ladyland in October 1968 and the 1970 opening of his own Electric Lady Studios."

Janie Hendrix, the sister of the musician and CEO of Experience Hendrix, said "his brilliance shines through on every one of these precious tracks."

The album is produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott and Eddie Kramer.

It launches a series of projects marking 40 years since Hendrix died, aged 27, on September 18, 1970.
- AFP


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Dee ➑️
And I second whoever said the BBC Zep CD album rocked... yes it does.
thumbsup
Old 14th January 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mal ➑️
A lot of the first generation CD versions of albums really suffer from poor A/D conversion, as well as in a lot of cases they didn't use the master recordings but copies, sometimes very degraded copies.
I have an unbelievable true story.
Years ago, I purchased on amazon.com a CD of a pioneering Long Island metal-core from the mid-80s called The Crumbsuckers. (their music had nothing to do with what is denominated "metalcore" nowadays)
The band was signed to a somewhat well know metal label at the time called Combat Records.

The album, "Life Of Dreams" had (at the time) never been issued on CD, and the LP had long gone out of print, so when i saw the CD i purchased it right away to replace my original tape, thinking it was some kind of great remastering job.

When i started listening to the CD, i noticed crackles and pops on the music.
At the end of what should have been the last song of side A, there was about one minute of the sounds of a turntable needle bouncing off the end of the record!!!

The whole CD was badly recorded off an LP, without any kind of attempt to disguise that fact.... with no mastering or editing.. a chop job to make some quick money. I could have done a better job with my tape and Sound Forge..
When this thing was released, Combat records had long gone out of business and the band didn't exist, so who knows who was behind this CD..
Old 15th January 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Original versions, sure.

I hate when I am buying a Cd and is written "Digitally Remastered".

Please, don't touch them. Let the original recordings to live in peace.
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