AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hollywood, U.S.A.
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
I received this today and listened to the 5.1 mix. It's OK, but not spectacular. The first side is quite compressed and the mix on the drums is really dull. The cymbals sound crunchy and filtered. Steven Wilson does MUCH better with percussion than this. Lead vocals tend to be rolled off on the top a bit, especially compared to backup vocals. When I say compressed, I don't mean overall. There are loud and quiet parts. But the original mix had dynamic swells and spikes on drum hit, even in quiet passages, but this mix is evened out to being either quiet or loud. The rear channel has lots of fun stuff going on. In fact, the rear channel sounds more present than the front ones... especially the choirs and background vocals. The second side is a little more dynamic with all the orchestral stuff, but it seems that the orchestra was recorded in stereo. The only rear channel stuff going on during those passages is VERY heavy digital reverb. Occasionally the orchestra bunches up into a solid mass with no transparency. I'm guessing that's how it was recorded and they're stuck with it. It's been the same on every release I've heard. I did notice a couple of places where there seemed to be pitch variation along with dips in volume. Perhaps the master was damaged.
Generally, a good 5.1 mix will trounce the best stereo mix, but in this case it's just a little bit better. I think they spent more time finessing the stereo mix. Glad I got this, and maybe it's the best we'll ever get. But I can't help thinking it could be a little bit better.
Last edited by sworth; 01-10-2017 at 11:58 PM.