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#35344 - 02/28/04 08:50 AM "digitally remastered" CDs
Michael_A Offline

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
I think my last girlfriend ended up with most of my CD collection. I'm missing most of my favorites. I went to best buy at lunch to see which ones I could find. Nearly all of the ones I wanted were in stock, but almost every one of them was labeled "digitally remastered" in large letters on the jewel case. Even the art on the insert looked different than my old "original releases".

All of the Rush albums were like that. Would the "remastered" 2112 sound noticeably different than the original 2112? I'de hate to plop down twelve bucks to find out that I didn't like the new sound engineer. I wonder if the original ones are still out there somewhere. Jeesh. All I wanted was to replace like for like....

Has anyone tried any of these digitally remastered CDs? If so, has anyone been disappointed with them?

M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

#35345 - 02/28/04 11:50 AM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Somre are much better, others are not much better. To pull out my usual, tired band (yes, I do listen to other things!), there is a vast difference between the digital remastering of Metallica:Ride the Lightning ('84) on DCC Compact Classics/24 Carat Gold Disc (whoo!) and Metallica:Master of Puppets ('86) on the same label. Ride is pretty much the same as the original, but the remaster of Master is head and shoulders above the original. I think it may have to do with the original tapes and the quality thereof.

I can't speak to the remastered Rush albums, but I have read an article that says that the Rush albums have been moving towards worse and worse mastering as time goes on, so the remasters of the old ones could be quite good, or they could have been ruined.

Try going to a shop with used CDs to find the old ones. I've only had to return used CDs a couple of times; the rest of them have worked really well.

I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#35346 - 02/28/04 12:01 PM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
oldskoolboarder Offline

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
OT: Ride the Lightning? Man I haven't heard that album in years. I saw Metallica in concert in 83 (?) at the Stone in SF when Kill 'Em All was out. They opened for Motorhead. Those were the days. Bang that head that doesn't bang...

#35347 - 02/28/04 03:23 PM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Hey, another Rush fan! My current favorite song is The Camera Eye from Moving Pictures. Sounds awesome blasting at very high volumes.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#35348 - 02/28/04 04:20 PM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
nowave Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/14/02
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
I had a couple of the re-mastered Bob Dylan 24k gold CDs a while ago. The regular CDs of his classic stuff sound like absolute crap, especially compared to the LP. I'm definitely biased towards LPs, but this was a difference a deaf person could hear.

They were much clearer than the original CDs, but in the re-mastering process, they over-emphasized the bass - making it all just sound "off." It's like they took the original recording and made it sound how people would like to listen to it "now" rather than how it was recorded. It just felt wrong that they altered the original sound... I can live with listening to the stereo version over the original mono, but this just seemed heretical... it lost some of that "wild, mercurial sound" that he was known for.

Long story short, I think the re-mastering process for old CDs definitely has some credence, but a whole lot depends on the person at the helm.

If the original CD master was less than stellar, I think it's definitely an improvement, regardless of editorial adjustments. Almost anything produced before the early nineties would probably benefit from this kind of treatment. Just be warned that there may be "improvements." Now, the Dylan CDs I mentioned earlier retailed for almost $30, so if you are paying $12, then they probably didn't pay a guy a lot of cash to screw it up

Now I 'm going to get on my soapbox... if you want to hear the real original album the way you remember it, pick yourself up a good turntable for ~$300 US, and then a copy of the record at a thrift store for $1. After a good cleaning, it will sound better than the CD ever did.

#35349 - 02/28/04 08:30 PM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
joema Offline

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Nashville, TN
Often remastered CDs don't sound that much different -- after all, they aren't remixed. The goal is usually to obtain the highest quality master tapes possible and use current digital techniques to clean it up without changing the sound.

By contrast remixed releases such as multichannel DTS, DVD-A, and SACD can sound significantly different. I've read that Rush - 2112 is planned for multichannel remix, but I don't think it's yet available. If you have surround speakers, get a couple of DVD-A albums and try those. They will play on most DVD players. Here's two sources:,

#35350 - 02/29/04 12:21 PM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
Monstermile Offline

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 111
Loc: Delaware
Honestly I have never paid much attention to labels that say if they are digitally remastered or not. One I know I did pick up was Iron Maiden Powerslave. Can't really tell the difference.

#35351 - 03/01/04 11:47 AM Re: "digitally remastered" CDs
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Los Angeles
Basically remastered CD's will sound better, or nearly the same. You'll rarely find a remastered CD that sounds worse.
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama


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