I understand the argument of "bits are bits", and it depends on how the disc is mastered. But I own quite a few of the SHM cd's and nearly all are a significant improvement over the regular cd counterpart. I listen to them in my car, and all I can say is that it's like removing a layer of gauze from the speakers. Vocals are more intelligible, bass is super tight, and every instrument is clearly audible. It would be nice if the prices weren't so high, I find it's worth it in almost every case. Standouts are the Steely Dan catalogue (AJA in particular), the Zeppelin box set, Kiss Me..-The Cure, the Genesis box set (with Gabriel, especially TRESPASS), the Elvis Costello catalogue, and the Rolling Stones catalogue. SACD's sound just as good, but is primarlily for home listening.
I understand this is a old discussion about CDs, an old and now 'obsolete' media, and while I realize there are all sorts of new media that might replace them; so then did CDs 'replace' vinyl, but lo there are vinyl that I will still listen to (usually digitally recorded) over the CDs that came after them because IMHO that particular mastering, or recording, or pressing, sounds better to me. You can blame the phase of the moon for all I care, but I will switch like a gang whore between media to hear what I like.
I began my musical journey on vinyl and have owned many FSL remasters and loved them on vinyl and repurchased them on CD (some I did not for various reasons). I may buy again if I find the new Man Who Fell to Earth super-crystal is better than my old FSL vinyl, or the CD I bought, IF and ONLY IF the mastering, the data, the stuff on it, when I hear it—or someone I respect recommends it, has some redeeming quality that gets my attention. My final motivation is what the reproduced stuff from the media sounds like.
I'm still unsatisfied with every release of some albums/tracks. I can just hear that there is something better in there someone will eventually tease out.
I hate that there is no list that says here is Album-x the vinyl has these qualities, this many people have rated the FSL Gold CD this way, these are the comments on the SHM-CD and how it compares to the others. That would be great!
I would also love to read some definitive analysis of the mastering process behind the production of the clearly over-hyped little plastic thingies (SHM-CDs) that rip on my computer exactly as well as the ones before them that are not made out of magic-plastic. In a hundred years will the SHM-CD or FSL Gold CD be free from the oxidation that wiped out several hundred of my first CD purchases (or something else equally heinous)? I probably won't care (but yes, I hope to live that long). I buy them, rip them to a loss-less file and put them away. It is unlikely I will ever visit them again unless I grow suspicious of the rip, need a scan/re-scan of the artwork, or the Men in Black knock on my door to see if I really bought all the music I apparently have.
Vinyl is still out there. CDs are still out there. Some of the vinyl are better than anything that has come after it. Some of the CDs are vast improvements over the vinyl and have not been topped since. Some have been significantly topped. There is even some reason to have multiple masterings (I know, not a word, hush) of some things. There are times when all is quiet, the FSL Original Master Recording from vinyl at just the right volume is the sweetest most wonderful sound I have ever heard, but it will be lost in the car. On the other hand, that 'horribly over compressed' SHM-CD is just the thing going down the road and still beats the heck out of silence. My memory will fill in the rest until I can return to the sweet beauty that decorates the silence of a perfect room.
Hi, thank you very much! :-)
I guess I just proved that I'm not a lurker who lacks an opinion. LOL
I was actually just trying to figure out which master of a particular album I want to get and stumbled here. Before I knew it I had posted a comment. A big thank you to who ever mentioned they lost their post earlier. I copied mine to a notepad before posting and, sure enough, I was logged out and had to log back in, paste and post; I think it had something to do with first-time sign-up-log-in issues because now it seems to hold the "remember me" just fine).