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  • Originally posted by ronn View Post
    Doc does listening sessions with Bob Stuart the creator of MQA, he may even be with him tonight? Meridian audio.
    Doc is more of a purist when it comes to sound, so not sure how much of a fan he is when it comes to streaming music
    Bob is a great guy .... Has been involved in recreating the live experience at home and in studio forever now , and at the highest level , responsible for some of the most revolutionary improvements in sound reproduction the world over.

    I don't agree with a lot of his ideas ,, because my ear tells me otherwise , but my goodness the man is a genius.

    About "the ear" , and the way it hears - it's impossible to evaluate sound reproduction properly in any way shape or form through a pair of headphones .... even the great 'Sennheiser Orpheus' falls short in true musical evaluation ,,, to compare an acoustic or electric instrument as a live event through a pair of headphones makes about as much sense as an elephant in a mousetrap.

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    • Originally posted by IRON-MaN View Post
      Yes , I totally agree those Black Box versions sounds a bit compressed and harsh on the ears when really played loud , and just to be clear , I do enjoy all versions one way or the other and they're quite comparable in many different aspects , I do own many 96' castles but none of the 1986 Japanese versions you've mentioned ! Also it have to be clear that the MQA versions sounds extremely close to those amazing Vinyl 2012 Box Set versions (and which were my favorite till I've heard those new ones) , also the differences is minor and definitely none would really ruin any listening experiences , with that been said , and at very high volumes I felt the MQA sound saturates really nicely and warmly , the whole sound doesn't get distorted or muddy while the clarity and separation of each instrument is quite impressive and quite comfy to the ears as well.
      The '86 Castles are HIGHLY recommended for:

      S/T
      Vol. 4
      SBS

      These were released in the UK. Whether pressed in Japan, France or the UK, they are identical. The NELCDxxx catalog versions contain a bonus track on each album but they are just taken from Live At Last. The CLACDxxx catalog versions are identical to the NELCD versions but no bonus track.

      Personally, I would not be surprised if the same tapes used all the way back at the time these were issued are still the best tapes available in the UK.
      "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
      -WTB

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jeff View Post
        The '86 Castles are HIGHLY recommended for:

        S/T
        Vol. 4
        SBS

        These were released in the UK. Whether pressed in Japan, France or the UK, they are identical. The NELCDxxx catalog versions contain a bonus track on each album but they are just taken from Live At Last. The CLACDxxx catalog versions are identical to the NELCD versions but no bonus track.

        Personally, I would not be surprised if the same tapes used all the way back at the time these were issued are still the best tapes available in the UK.
        Thanks ! Will probably add those to my collection in the near future.I also got to test those MQA versions on a friend's Klipsch home theater that is worth 5,000$ and I've got to say , its truly a heavenly experience ! Unfortunately I didn't get to compare any other versions on the spot , I've tried 2012 Vinyl versions on the same system a few years back and it was such a revelation as well ! Fingers crossed I'm planning to get my own system when I move to a new place later this year , words can't tell how its like to hear those albums (and any other music to be honest) on such high quality music system !

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        • I'm not a big audiophile like you guys if it sounds good and I love the music like I do Sabbath, then it all sounds good, I guess that's why the production of Born Again never bothered me.
          "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
          "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
          ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jeff View Post
            Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Quite interesting!
            IMO, Black Box if of little help in any comparison. Just too much compression and in some cases the EQ is way over the top to my ears. Vol. 4 especially was a bit of a screechy mess in my view.
            Do you have the JAPAN SACDs? The 1986 (not '96!) Castles? These would seem to me to be a much better basis for comparison for Vol. 4 and SBS.
            Fully agreed of course. Black Box and most of the 1996 Castle remasters are rubbish. Everything that does not hurt your ear after more than a few minutes of listening would be an upgrade over those. :-) In order to appreciate whether the 2012 remasters (and the releases based in them: 2012 vinyl, 2014 hi-res downloads, 2016 Rhino/Warner CDs, 2017 MQA and vinyl) are upgrades or not, we need to take into account the best earlier versions - which, at least for the first 5 albums, means: Japan SACDs, 2009 Sanctuary CDs, 1986 Castle CDs.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by IRON-MaN View Post
              Thanks ! Will probably add those to my collection in the near future.I also got to test those MQA versions on a friend's Klipsch home theater that is worth 5,000$ and I've got to say , its truly a heavenly experience ! Unfortunately I didn't get to compare any other versions on the spot , I've tried 2012 Vinyl versions on the same system a few years back and it was such a revelation as well ! Fingers crossed I'm planning to get my own system when I move to a new place later this year , words can't tell how its like to hear those albums (and any other music to be honest) on such high quality music system !
              Thanks for keeping us updated. Since you compared the MQA files to the 2012 MP3, keep in mind that the difference you hear might easily be due to the well-known limitations of MP3. In order to appreciate if MQA actually sounds better than the same mastering on a redbook CD or even hi-res file (something which Alex and me seriously doubt), you would obviously have to compare to those - and, again, in a double-blind setting, in order to avoid the interference of what might compared to a placebo effect.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                The '86 Castles are HIGHLY recommended for:

                S/T
                Vol. 4
                SBS

                These were released in the UK. Whether pressed in Japan, France or the UK, they are identical. The NELCDxxx catalog versions contain a bonus track on each album but they are just taken from Live At Last. The CLACDxxx catalog versions are identical to the NELCD versions but no bonus track.

                Personally, I would not be surprised if the same tapes used all the way back at the time these were issued are still the best tapes available in the UK.
                Originally posted by IRON-MaN View Post
                Thanks ! Will probably add those to my collection in the near future.I also got to test those MQA versions on a friend's Klipsch home theater that is worth 5,000$ and I've got to say , its truly a heavenly experience ! Unfortunately I didn't get to compare any other versions on the spot , I've tried 2012 Vinyl versions on the same system a few years back and it was such a revelation as well ! Fingers crossed I'm planning to get my own system when I move to a new place later this year , words can't tell how its like to hear those albums (and any other music to be honest) on such high quality music system !
                Jeff, do I remember correctly that the 1986 Castles CDs use pre-emphasis? You can explain that stuff much better than me - I guess it would be good to explain the problems that might potentially arise from that fact (e.g. in case IRON-MaN will rip them to PC). Also, I'd like to offer to send IRON-MaN and other interested persons FLAC audio samples from those CDs (I think it's better to first have a chance to listen before starting to buy multiple used out-of-print CDs); however, de-emphasis means that I have to edit them with SoX in order to sound right, is that correct?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sabbabbath View Post
                  Jeff, do I remember correctly that the 1986 Castles CDs use pre-emphasis? You can explain that stuff much better than me - I guess it would be good to explain the problems that might potentially arise from that fact (e.g. in case IRON-MaN will rip them to PC). Also, I'd like to offer to send IRON-MaN and other interested persons FLAC audio samples from those CDs (I think it's better to first have a chance to listen before starting to buy multiple used out-of-print CDs); however, de-emphasis means that I have to edit them with SoX in order to sound right, is that correct?
                  Yes, they do have PE.

                  Most CD players will decode it correctly, but not all. If they sound treble heavy, the PE is not being decoded correctly.

                  Also, keep in mind that on 1986 MoR, the pre-emphasis flag was set wrong, so you actually need to manually change it to "No" and burn a new CDR if you want to play it back in a CD player that is set up to correctly decode it. If you change the flag on MoR, it sounds similar to Pearce's Deluxe or the Japan SACD (brighter than both, but not by that much).

                  These days, I believe programs like Foobar will decode it automatically if one listens via computer.
                  "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                  -WTB

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                    Yes, they do have PE.

                    Most CD players will decode it correctly, but not all. If they sound treble heavy, the PE is not being decoded correctly.

                    Also, keep in mind that on 1986 MoR, the pre-emphasis flag was set wrong, so you actually need to manually change it to "No" and burn a new CDR if you want to play it back in a CD player that is set up to correctly decode it. If you change the flag on MoR, it sounds similar to Pearce's Deluxe or the Japan SACD (brighter than both, but not by that much).

                    These days, I believe programs like Foobar will decode it automatically if one listens via computer.
                    Thanks Jeff! As for MOR, right, I remember there was something strange going on with the Castle 1986 CD. Anyway, IMHO the SACD and the 2009 Sanctuary release of this album are so good that we don't need to bother with the Castle anymore.

                    I am not sure if Foobar will automatically decode pre-emphasized CDs correctly - I have none of those CDs here physically, so I cannot check. I am pretty sure that Foobar does NOT do it automatically for audio files ripped from pre-emphasized CDs - a specific component still seems to be needed <http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_dsp_deemph>, and a tag has to be added to the file (or maybe EAC adds it automatically when ripping).

                    IRON-MaN, you see, the 1986 Castles can be a bit tricky, but the ones that Jeff recommends (S/T, Vol4, SBS) are nevertheless worth checking out. Not necessarily the best versions available - I tend to prefer the SACDs, though the S/T SACD has a tape problem during "Evil Woman" if I remember correctly, and it is missing "Wicked World" which should be added from one of the releases based on the 2012 mastering -, but definitely among the better ones.

                    Comment


                    • I first fell in love with this band on cassette tape.
                      "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                      "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                      ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
                        I first fell in love with this band on cassette tape.
                        OID , absolutely great post


                        Originally posted by Sabbabbath View Post
                        Thanks Jeff! As for MOR, right, I remember there was something strange going on with the Castle 1986 CD. Anyway, IMHO the SACD and the 2009 Sanctuary release of this album are so good that we don't need to bother with the Castle anymore.

                        I am not sure if Foobar will automatically decode pre-emphasized CDs correctly - I have none of those CDs here physically, so I cannot check. I am pretty sure that Foobar does NOT do it automatically for audio files ripped from pre-emphasized CDs - a specific component still seems to be needed <http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_dsp_deemph>, and a tag has to be added to the file (or maybe EAC adds it automatically when ripping).

                        IRON-MaN, you see, the 1986 Castles can be a bit tricky, but the ones that Jeff recommends (S/T, Vol4, SBS) are nevertheless worth checking out. Not necessarily the best versions available - I tend to prefer the SACDs, though the S/T SACD has a tape problem during "Evil Woman" if I remember correctly, and it is missing "Wicked World" which should be added from one of the releases based on the 2012 mastering -, but definitely among the better ones.
                        Linda , listen to "Sabotage" on CD , the original WB 86/87 ,, and see what your ears tell ya .... I'm curious to what happens ....


                        Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                        Yes, they do have PE.

                        Most CD players will decode it correctly, but not all. If they sound treble heavy, the PE is not being decoded correctly.

                        Also, keep in mind that on 1986 MoR, the pre-emphasis flag was set wrong, so you actually need to manually change it to "No" and burn a new CDR if you want to play it back in a CD player that is set up to correctly decode it. If you change the flag on MoR, it sounds similar to Pearce's Deluxe or the Japan SACD (brighter than both, but not by that much).

                        These days, I believe programs like Foobar will decode it automatically if one listens via computer.
                        Brother Jeff , has your gorgeous set reached your hands yet ??


                        God Bless all you Sabbath maniacs

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
                          I first fell in love with this band on cassette tape.
                          me too, a long long time ago. it was a born again K7.
                          love at first hearing.
                          my absolute favorite band since that day (all eras, i must say).

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
                            Brother Jeff , has your gorgeous set reached your hands yet ??
                            It did. But it arrived with a huge gash in the side of the box. I noticed the box it was mailed in had a pretty big dent but didn't expect it had gone through to the box of the set itself. Well, it did. :(

                            I returned it for a replacement. It was just a freak thing. The Seller is a reasonable guy. I hope to have the replacement very soon.

                            You're the best, Doc! Will post a picture here when I receive it!
                            "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                            -WTB

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
                              OID , absolutely great post
                              Thank you BTE.

                              Originally posted by Geelerm View Post
                              me too, a long long time ago. it was a born again K7.
                              love at first hearing.
                              my absolute favorite band since that day (all eras, i must say).
                              Mine was the eponymous debut, I had heard Mob Rules before at a friends house on record, but the self titled I bought myself with money I earned from I job I had back then and continued to buy the whole catalog after that.

                              Not trying to derail this thread, the point I'm trying to make is, I don't get all this technology, it's great I'm sure, but something as simple as cassette tape was good enough for me, maybe some day when I have the time and money I can buy me a nice system, I'm happy with the way my Sabbath sounds to me now.

                              Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                              It did. But it arrived with a huge gash in the side of the box. I noticed the box it was mailed in had a pretty big dent but didn't expect it had gone through to the box of the set itself. Well, it did. :(

                              I returned it for a replacement. It was just a freak thing. The Seller is a reasonable guy. I hope to have the replacement very soon.

                              You're the best, Doc! Will post a picture here when I receive it!
                              Sorry to hear that Jeff, I hope you get your replacement soon.
                              Last edited by OzzyIsDio; 11-26-2017, 09:50 AM.
                              "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                              "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                              ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

                              Comment


                              • I have received my box!

                                This set is absolutely gorgeous. The book is fantastic! So many memorable quotes from other musicians. Probably my very favorite was seeing Nick Mason give them so much credit, because of course Pink Floyd (well, mainly Roger Waters) were critical of Sabbath way back in the early days. To see that sort of come full circle was heartwarming, because it made me think about all these guys have been through.

                                The reproduction of the '78 Tour Book is sensational! And the reprint of the '78 Promo Press Cartoon Magazine is a real gem! I used to own a copy of the real thing many years ago, but at some point I think I sold it or put it away somewhere, but now I have it again for sure. That magazine is a real treasure. Sabbath's PR Team were clearly trying to convert some non-believers in the late 70s. Who can blame the band for being on board after so much criticism by ignorant, musically inept writers. They wanted to survive and expand their reach. And whatever some people think of TE and NSD, they did survive and even thrived.

                                To have Mint copies of all the UK covers is a real joy. I am not going to get into debates about sound on this set. I don't expect it to replace my favorite vinyl pressings, but I don't even care about that.

                                My limited number is 2561. It was worth the wait. Even this set arrived with just a very minor nick, but no big deal. I am happy.

                                I want to again thank Doc for being so generous. It was a great contest! Thanks to everybody. Truly!

                                Sabbath Forever!

                                -Jeff
                                "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                                -WTB

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