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Was Norah Jones' SACD a low-res disc?

 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 237
Registered: Jun-04
As Ben James reported in the "rate your hi-rez disc here thread", Stereophile magazine has claimed that the SACD release of Nora Jones "Come away with me" was based on 44.1KHz/16 bits source material.

A search on other forums reveals that there has been some discussion going on. But so far I have not seen that much of claims backed up with references.

I checked the web-site of the studio where the original recordings were made:

http://www.sorcerersound.com/

They actually have a couple of pages about the making of this album. Seems like original recording was analogue. Also, they apparently use 48KHz/24 bit capable Pro-tool for digitalizing.

So, did Bluenote discard these sources when editing the SACD? Any info appreciated.

Hasta pronto
AL
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 309
Registered: Feb-04
What is all the fuss about the Snorah Jones recording? Aren't most hi-def discs based on sonically limited source materials? The remasters of DSOTM, Avalon, Pet Sounds, etc., in hi-def sound great and improved. The old Blue Note recordings engineered by Rudy Van Gelder from the 60's also sound great. It seems sound quality is more than measured frequency range and bit rates.

This whole thing seems like geeky Stereophiliac obsessing over measurements rather than music listening. Would Snorah Jones recorded in 96kHz/24 bits make her sound more exciting? I doubt it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1007
Registered: Aug-04
Two Cents

Exactly!

That was a good two cents worth :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1751
Registered: Dec-03
I can understand both sides of the issue!

if we buy a hi rez disk shouldn't it be recorded in hi rez?
or are we being jipped? why not just get a cd?

but also like i said if you want to rate a recording and it sounds
great does it matter how it's recorded? meaning would you
rate it higher just because it's recorded on hi rez material?

to me these are two different issues?

I would like to know my hi rez is actually hi rez!

but if the music sounds great i'm not going to rate it any
better or any worse because it's hi rez or not!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 240
Registered: Jun-04
IMO it's still an interesting case. It can reveal something about our equipments, i.e. playback circuits.

I'll do some listening comparisison on CD and SACD 2-ch layers. Hypothesis: SACD based on 44.1/24 source would:

- Take out SACD's advantage regarding detailedness in mid-frequency range.
- Bring about difficulties when converting PCM to one-bit stream for high-frequency range.

Cheers
AL
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 183
Registered: Dec-03
Bit rates on 60's material??? A lot of the older reissues go back to the original analog masters (or as close as they can get). There you can sample as much as you like. What the ideal bit rate is for 60's and modern recordings is not the issue.

I don't think there is any debate over the recording quality of the Jones CD...it was well done. If they used the 16/44.1 PCM master to make the SACD, that tells me that most people are better off with the cheaper CD version.

I am not a fan of record companies using the 16/44.1 master to press LP's either.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 314
Registered: Feb-04
When CDs were first introduced, a lot of recordings were re-issued after being digitally remastered. They had the "ADD" symbol on the CD. Many of them sounded horrible, especially compared to the analog versions. Also, many of the then new digitally recorded CDs ("DDD") didn't sound as good as some older analog recordings. The old Blue Notes, Mercury Living Presence, RCA Victors, et al., sounded great without the "benefit" of being recorded digitally. Using new technology doesn't always result in improved sound.

This is an old debate that really won't end because it's so subjective, just like the tubes vs. solid state electronics debate. I'm with Kegger about each person finding what sounds great to him/her.
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 185
Registered: Dec-03
A lot of the original cd's wern't taken from master tapes. What you got was a record company taking the LP master, reversing the RIAA EQ and digitizing the result.
 

LB
Unregistered guest
I read the Stereophile article. The complaint, in my opinion, is a valid one.

Simply put, the issue here is fraud by the record industry. Charging extra for the high resolution version of a recording and then delivering a CD quality version. It's not the first time it's happened. I've read that this is a fairly common occurrence with many SACD albums. Seems like it's wide spread. They should be held accountable for the delibrate act of defrauding the consumer. Now for an industry crying about getting ripped off, they deserve what they get.

 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1083
Registered: Aug-04
I read the article also - yes it is wrong to be sold something under a misconception. However, I have purchased many cd's over many years that had absolutely crap sound mixes. That's not an excuse but sheeet happens!
 

LB
Unregistered guest
This just isn't s#$@ happens. It's a deliberate act. Just goes to show, the record industry doesn't care about quality. They never did. I believe their only objective is to force-feed us a highly secure copy-proof format regardless of quality. They can't wait for CD's to become extinct.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 255
Registered: Jun-04
But has anyone actually confirmed it? Isn't Stereophile rather keen on believing any rumour about SACD flaws?
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 335
Registered: Mar-04
And further more, is it even perceptible? Personally, I guess I don't care what the numbers are as long as I'm satisfied with the sound I'm hearing. Porcupine Tree's In Absentia DVD-A is a 24-bit 48kHz mix, but sounds great. In fact, quoting highfidelityreview dot com, "the original record was tracked at 48kHz it is the more honest approach, and the album is so well recorded that there is very little to remind you that this is not a 24/96 mix -- it is such an accomplished and enjoyable one that you simply forget about matters of resolution."
In this case, the label, DTS Entertainment, makes no pretense as it is clearly stated on the back cover what the disc was is capable of.


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1105
Registered: Aug-04
Sem,

Purchased Porcupine Tree's "In Absentia" and totally agree with your comments. It shows no real lack of hi-res quality due to the 48/24 mix staying true to the original and Elliot Ssheiner's abilities. If one did not know the figures one would not wonder about them listening to this fine classic/alternative/rock example.

As far Poor Norah's SACD goes, I still think the DSD mix adds something to the recording to give it 'atmosphere'

 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 337
Registered: Mar-04
My Rantz,
My, you certainly have been on a Hi-res buying frenzy lately!! :-)
I scanned the "Rate your Hi-res discs here" topic and didn't see your thoughts on In Absentia, unless I missed it. I am interested in reading what you think of it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1109
Registered: Aug-04
Sem,

I've only listened to the Porcupine Tree disc once - so stay tuned. I've been buying a hi-res recording almost weekly, this includes on-line purchases where I order at least 2 at time for free shipping. And I do still buy the odd CD as well.

I don't see the sense in spending big money on equipment and only having a meagre library to appreciate it all.

But don't worry, once we have built a decent collection we'll slow down with the purchases so we can buy some food, pay some bills, put some clothes on our backs and so forth. But you know only too well - music comes first.

:-)



 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 81
Registered: Aug-04
I think it is also somewhat curious that the regular CD and SACD hybrid versions of this recording sell for almost the same price ( about a dollar difference) at most stores.

Why even bother with making the basic CD version anyway?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 82
Registered: Aug-04
Actually, at dvdempire.com, the SACD version sells for less than the standard CD.

Go figure?
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 375
Registered: Mar-04
Just saw this over at the audioholics site...


"Norah Jones SACD Refund

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I noticed a few complaints on this thread about the Norah Jones SACD. You guys need to check out this months (or last months I'm not sure) issue of Stereophile. One of the reviewers was extremely disappointed with the SACD mix...so much so that he investigated the process by which the formats were tranferred and discovered that something was done in error and as much was eventually admitted by the record company. The article implies that it was done intentionally as a cost cutting measure.

I won't bore you with the technical mumbo jumbo but the punchline was that the SACD was remixed and reissued and they are offering an exchange for anyone who has the incorrectly mixed version of the SACD.

The article goes into full detail about the sonic shortcomings and why they exist as well as how to tell if you have a tainted disk."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 89
Registered: Aug-04
Sem-

Is there a link for this article? I took a quick look around, but couldn't find anything.

In particular, I'd like to know how you can tell you've got the real SACD version. I haven't bought this disc yet, but plan to.

Thanks...
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 383
Registered: Mar-04
Sorry no, there was no link listed in the original post. I did find this
http://www.stereophile.com/digitalsourcereviews/1104fifth/index.html
No time to further right now though...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 90
Registered: Aug-04
I saw the same thing. I also went to the Blue Note website, but couldn't find any mention of it there either.
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