Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server

Ahhh… Where Do You Keep The Vinyl Rips and Hi Resolution Digital Files ? ——————————–>Photo Courtesy Of Doc KEYAZA!!!

 

So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases.  The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase.  It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.

All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.

I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes.  In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies.  We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it?  What is the use?

This:

https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub148/pub148.pdf

And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):

http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf

 

Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh?  All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc.  Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).

With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up.  Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms.  Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.

Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what?  With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts.  Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences.  Joy!

 

Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.

  1. We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
  2. Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
  3. It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
  4. The music is only as good as it’s source.
  5. ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
  6. Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
  7. Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
  8. There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
  9. There is more than one type of compression in music.
  10. Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
  11. Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
  12. Good source players are available at many price ranges.
  13. There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
  14. When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
  15. You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
  16. Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
  17. That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
  18. There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
  19. We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
  20. I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be.  It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish.  I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory.  I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
  21. You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly.  Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that.  What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
  22. We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps.  If you’re happy, I am happy.
  23. Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules.  Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design.  Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
  24. Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount.  Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer.  Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate.  The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear.  You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy.  If that’s muddy then it’s all over.  I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
  25. Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉

So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively.  Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point.  I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux.  Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other.  Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”.  In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂

So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome.  I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording.  I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me.  Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty.  I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge.  There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it.  Time well spent!

If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time.  Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash.  I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers.  I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.

Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough.  I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow.  So there will probably be some updates as well.  When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.

From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day.  I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date.  The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium.  One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.

In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really.  I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums.  In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.

In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along.  If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message.  If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back.  Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered.   No disrespect…just being clear.

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support. My Readers Are Awesome!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound : From Dogg Food To Doggystyle… Urban legend #2…

Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound : From Dogg Food To Doggystyle… Urban legend #2…

 

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Snoop Dogg Promotional Placard 1993 Doggystyle ©Christmachine.com

I can remember listening to Dr. Dre’s – The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s – Doggystyle when they were first released and I was blown away.  Truly, just stunned at how captivating they were.  These were brutal skills on display, and despite all the controversy, it was and still is a reflection of the dreams or lack thereof…and realities of inner city minorities in overcrowded cities of the US. The E Funk or aptly rebranded West Coast G Funk Era introduced a whole new generation to the melodies and beats, to the pioneering legacy of the artist George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and many others who had come before.  The main difference, besides sounding timeless, was the resulting crossover to white and latino audiences first in the US and then around the world.

 

One need not look far to find groups like N.W.A and Pubic Enemy, rappers such as Ice T, and farther back to Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Dj Cool Herc, and Africa Bambaataa. How much influence they had on the genre as a whole is undisputed but as to their individual influences on the artists who were at that time on Death Row Records is unclear.  With that said all the artists mentioned here set in place the ground work for all of the hip hop and a lot of the popular culture that we see today.

Old Skool 677b copy

Snoop Dogg Promotional Placard 1993 Doggystyle ©Christmachine.com

When I was living in San Diego, San Francisco, or traveling to Los Angeles or the world touring, I spent a lot of time with friends in San Clemente and San Pedro.  I cannot remember which town I heard the urban Legend in, and at the time did not pay much attention to it but I think it was San Pedro.  The story went that during the recording of Tha Dogg Pound’s 1995 multi platinum selling album Dogg Food on Death Row Records “dog whistles” were used in some of the tracks.  Sounds silly I know, and I’m still not sure I believe it to this day but we all had a laugh at the time at the ramifications of doing such a thing. What would that be? Obviously nothing major, except for the fact if you had dogs in your house going bonkers to the music whenever it was played.

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Snoop Dogg Promotional Placard 1993 Doggystyle ©Christmachine.com

When I first heard this about the album Dogg Food, it actually had not been released yet and I remember the story being told to a group of friends in the context of heavy anticipation for the record.  Anyway when it was released I remember walking down to Tower Records in San Diego and brought it back to my place and put it in the player and began to groove…I loved it right out the gate.  As I was listening to it very loud something strange happened as I was lying on my bed I noticed that there was a lot of dog barking coming through the music.  At first I thought it was random samples on the album but with further listening I noticed that they were not swinging to the beat or completely out of time with the music.

I remember I got up of the bed and walked over to one of the windows in my bedroom and opened it.  I loved that window because right outside set against the backdrop of houses and the setting sun were a few palm, blood orange, and kumquat trees. Breaking the silence was all the neighborhood dogs going absolutely nuts with their aim right at the window I was standing in.  In that moment the rumor about dog whistles in the music came right back to mind.  It was not just two or three dogs but I imagine as much as twenty that I could directly see and more barking in the distance.  Shit was this real?  So my first instinct was to stop the music and see what happens.  Right after I shut off the music the barking began to stop and I watched for about five minutes to see the dogs reaction.  It was obvious they went back to doing whatever they were doing before.  After that five or so minutes, I turned the music back on full blast and within five seconds the dogs were losing it again.  It’s like they had gone rabid, I could not believe it but there it was right before my eyes.

Old Skool 679d copy

Snoop Dogg Promotional Placard 1993 Doggystyle ©Christmachine.com

So I turned the music on and off several times and the same thing happened.  I remembered also hearing that Snoop Dogg had a lot of Pit Bulls at his place so I wondered if he ever had experienced this.  If “the dog whistle” rumor was true he had to know about it as he is featured on the album.  In my opinion it would be a funny gag to pull to have the dog whistles on the tracks but I also know that in the style of all the West Coast Death Row albums there are a lot of crazy sound effects with lots of high and low transients on the recordings that are not supposed to be within the realm of human hearing range.  Really that is what I still attribute it to, but who knows. I would think Snoop, Daz, or Kurrupt…would definitely know.  Whether they would tell us is another story…having an urban legend about someone probably would not be a good idea to clear up if it was not negative, as it would continue to contribute to the myth about the music and the artists as well.

 

So if I ever find out I will post it here.  Try it out for yourself but use the CD because if you use a compressed format or someplace like youtube you will not be getting the same sound that I had and furthermore as we know compressed formats remove a lot of the sounds that we ‘supposedly’ cannot hear.  No need for me to go into a diatribe about that as you all know how I feel about lossless formats. Cheers!

Tha Dogg Pound - Dogg_Food_(Cover)

The Dogg Pound – Dogg Food (Album Cover) 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and for all your kind words and support!

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] [Second Pass Edit 07/02/14]

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

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You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

It’s what I call Guerrilla Listening Sessions…I’m on Fire here!!!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

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The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] Part 1 of 2

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  • Click On Photos To Enlarge:
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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

This first section was written early on, I have returned to edit to make it seemless with part two, no latency here. I do not yet know how this mega post review is going to be laid out yet. I know that sounds strange, but I know what releases make the grade, just not sure how I will lay it out here. So this should be interesting. I have been listening to only Led Zeppelin for two weeks now and I am ready to lay it all on the line. Well almost, I had to listen to other stuff like The Black Crowes first three albums in Hi-res to rest my mind. OMG The Black Crowes in Hi-rez (listening now) & The Black Sabbath Dio Albums as well (I’m In good hands fo’ sho’!!!) Obviously that is not to say that this list did not take many years of listening to compile. I had my favorites, but I had to take into account the Deluxe Reissues released at the beginning of this month. This includes the first three records of the catalog reissues, in all three formats available, including CD’s, 24Bit/96kHz Hi-Res, and vinyl.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

At first I had a very hard time being as subjective as possible because although there are the releases that I clearly prefer. There were also many releases that had decent quality, although I still did not prefer them (or find their sound quality better) over my original favorites… some were close but clearly not superior. Therefore different from the few reviews I have done so far, I decided to add some new factors into my decisions specific for this review based on availability, price, and reputation. Of course sound quality will always be the number one determining factor, but there are releases (especially the Original and early Vinyl) that come very close to the best although they are still inferior IMHO.The thing is many people do not know the difference, so I build this guide with you in mind so you can go directly to the pressings recommended and know you are getting decent sound quality even if you have to settle with sources farther down the list. Still although there is lots of good, the bad is still quite bad…I expose the comparable sources with easier availability at a better price and acceptable sound quality to boot. The Law of diminishing returns is in full effect.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

What it came down to here fundamentally was what sound signature each listener is used to. So I am happy to announce there are a lot of choices for the general listening public, it depends a lot on what you know as “The Led Zeppelin Sound” as well as your budget and dedication to the craft of mastering and pressing. For example some reviews I am able to wipe out a whole swath of choices because say there were no good quality CD releases. That is definitely not the case here, with some searching It is possible to find an excellent quality CD in the used CD bins at any record store (or online) on the cheap, as long as you know what the specific years, mastering, and pressings from which the CD or vinyl for sale was cut.

 

 

Here is the Led Zeppelin Discography Referred to throughout this review:

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Led Zeppelin (1969)
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Houses of the Holy (1973)
Physical Graffiti (1975)
Presence (1976)
In Through the Out Door (1979)
Coda (1982)

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First We’ll Start with the CD’s:

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

For the CD’s there were two early masterings… The Original 1980’s Atlantic Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore’s and the 1990’s Marino/Page Remasters. It does not matter which countries for the Diament/Sidore’s (US, German, Canadian, Japanese, etc.) the specific year of release is more important as it varies sometimes by one or more years depending on country. Although Barry Diament has stated publicly that he can hear a difference in CD sound quality from one pressing plant to the next. You probably will not be able to tell the difference unless you are a super fan and have multiple copies of which to compare, if at all.

Recommended CD’s Original 1980’s Atlantic Diament/Sidore Example:

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Led-Zeppelin/release/895323

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

So my standard recommendations would be to look for any of the 1980’s Original Atlantic Diament/Sidore CD’s, they have the punch and dynamics to be highly recommended here. The only caveat would be Led Zeppelin IV (the only title to be mastered by Joe Sidore only), It is well known that he had a sub par copy of the Original Analogue Masters. You would think that with the importance of LZ IV they would get it right, but he only had access to inferior tape. Then again on the other side of the coin they have never made available the Original Analog Master Tapes of Led Zeppelin IV, or any other release ever from Zep, other than for the Original Vinyl from the Complete Catalog, but that’s another story. This is not a killer for me as I still prefer the 1980’s Original Atlantic Led Zeppelin IV mastered by Sidore. If you’re feeling dangerous then try 1990’s Zeppelin IV George Marino Remaster (cheap used) and compare it against the 1980’s Original. Also the Marino Zep IV’s suffer from early fades, unforgivable by some. Get both on the cheap and compare yourself, you’ll see what I mean.

Overall none of the 1990’s Marino Remasters are recommended here as they Distort when turned up loud. They are a victim of “The Loudness Wars” and they do not have 20974_1074039588034_3176351_nthe same tight punch that the 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s have. One other problem to note on some of the early 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s, from a few pressing plants have the channels reversed, so be aware if you are a long time listener. This is not restricted to CD’s, it affects vinyl as well. Again if you don’t know the difference, just listen and enjoy!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Here we can jump on quickly to the June 2014 digital remasters of the first three records just released this month. All of the formats (24Bit/96kHz Hi-res, CD & Vinyl: All Digitally Sourced) were sourced from  24Bit/192kHz digital transfers of the original analog tapes. They were then mastered, compressed, and dithered down to their respective formats. IMO I still like the 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s over these 2014 remaster CD’s, however they are an acceptable CD pressing (espcially over the 1990 Marino Remasters) and if your not hung up on the sound of the Original 1980’s CD’s you will still get good sound and that is great news for all. Dynamically speaking they are not as good as the 1980’s Originals, you will find an prime example here where a lower DR is not the be all end all for the sound quality. Remember kids it’s all about the mastering!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Coming from the same source as the CD’s, with the added improvement of higher bit depth and sample rate, the Hi-Res 24Bit/96kHz although different in many ways and (IMO) a step down in sound quality from the Original 1980’s CD’s. The 2014 Deluxe Reissue vinyl is included in this, I could not hear much difference between the 2014 Hi-Res and the 2014 vinyl, except for the added warmth typical of vinyl. The 2014 remasters have superior detail over the 1980’s Diament /Sidore’s but I still prefer raw sound of the original 1980’s CD’s. One complaint that I can render from all these 2014 remasters is that they have a more clinical sound signature. So if your a vinyl hound and are not on an endless search for a clean copy of the original vinyls then the 2014 Remastered Vinyl and Hi-Res are a worthy and easily accessible format. With that said I still believe that the 1980’s Diament/Sidore Mastered CD’s are better than all formats of the 2014 Deluxe Reissues. When I mentioned a step down that is subjective opinion on my part, as I said earlier what you make of these 2014 digital remasters will depend on what the “Led Zeppelin Sound” is to you. Many will hear the clarity and detail of the remasters and say they are better. Food for thought.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

The last angle has to do with price and availability. The Original 1980’s Japanese Diament/Sidore mastered CD’s have excellent sound as well, the problem is their availability and price. Add in the Original Red OBI and the price goes up significantly. So unless you are a collector or find one of these CD’s on the cheap I would just go with the other 1980’s Diament/ Sidore’s recommended. One last thought stay away from the 2008 SHM Japanese Releases either in the original box set or separately. Here is an incidence where Japanese does not mean better sound. They are said to be sourced from the 1990’s remasters, and when I heard them, all I got was louder and more compressed in a bad way. They may be no different from the 1990’s Marino CD’s but just a tad louder. You know how I feel about “Louder”. Next!

Recommended CD’s Original 1980’s Japanese Atlantic Diament/Sidore Example:

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Led-Zeppelin/release/3864824

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] Part 2 of 2

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

CD Vs Vinyl Vs Hi-Res Digital Vs. Hi-Res Vinyl Rips…

Read this well articulated piece on Led Zeppelin Vinyl, before reading on…my previous concerns are touched on here as to value and the Law of Diminishing Returns:

Taken From The “Every Record Tells A Story” Blog…Link Below Excerpt,

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

“in contrast to the general rule of record collecting that if you buy an early pressing from the country of origin of the artist, you are most likely to be nearer the source tapes, and therefore the sound ought to be better. It seems Led Zep are an exception: they had such great success in the USA that this generally fairly reliable guideline doesn’t hold true – after the first album at least. I didn’t know it at the time, but my US pressing was pretty early and has excellent sound – probably better than an equivalent UK version.”

http://everyrecordtellsastory.com/2014/03/03/led-zeppelin-a-vinyl-buyers-guide/

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can get back to form with the Original Vinyl as well as the Classic 45 Reissues and others. How I will do this is start by listing each record of the full Led Zeppelin Catalog. With each record I will list in order IMHO what the best pressings / releases are, and I will incorporate the Original 1980’s Atlantic Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore releases as well as the 2014 Deluxe Remasters.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

You can feel safe knowing I’m in the ballpark after listening to no less than 138 Led Zeppelin Vinyl Sources over the last two weeks. I already had my favorites but had to make a few swaps here and there after some aggressive A/Bing as well as some recent acquisitions. ADHD helps in this regard.:) Also I heard someone say in another forum vinyl rips are not the same as listening to vinyl….bullshit, if your sources drivelines and methodology are the best anywhere, whatever is on that vinyl will come through so transparent and quiet with very limited post processing. Therefore I can say with complete confidence that this technology does not just reveal limitations of the source tapes…it enhances them!

 

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin I (1969) Best Releases / Pressings:

L1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (Original US George Piros/Monarch Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (German Strawberry Pressing) Mach5 Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (Original UK Plum LP) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

6. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

7. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

8. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

9. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

This is the list for Zep 1 but as I said before, don’t fret if you can’t get a hold of any original Zep Vinyl…you will go broke. Just reach and search for the pressings/releases farther down the list.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin II (1969) Best Releases / Pressings:

L2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – II (1969) (Original US Robert Ludwig Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2006) (Classic Records 200 Gram Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

4. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

6. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

7. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

The Original US Robert Ludwig Mastered Vinyl Blows all others away. Clarity, Control, and punch…unsurpassed. From which all other Led Zeppelin II’s are judged!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Led Zeppelin III (1970) Best Releases / Pressings:

L3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led zeppelin – III (1970) (Original Canadian Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – III (1970/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) ZxAryMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – III (1970) (Original UK Atlantic) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

6. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

7. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

8. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

I could not find a clean Original US Atlantic Vinyl Rip, if I could it probably would rank high on this list from what I’ve heard from others. Conjecture of course.

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Bron-y-aur!

 

 

Led Zeppelin IV (1971) Best Releases / Pressings:

L4

 

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1. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US Pressing) Mach5 Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US 1841 Broadway LP George Peckham “Porky” PECKO DUCK Matrix) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

4. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (ZoSo) (Rare UK 1st Stamper) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

5. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [HI-RES]

6. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1985) (1985 US Atlantic Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

7. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1985) (1985 Atlantic Japan Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

8. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1994) (1994 Atlantic US George Marino/Jimmy Page Re-Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

As I said earlier that this is the only CD that was Originally Mastered by Joe Sidore only with an inferior copy of the analogue tapes…I still prefer it over the 1994 George Marino Re-Master but others go for this remaster even with the unforgivable early fades, overly compressed, and loud mastering. Uncrankable without distorting and ear fatigue city. Not much choice other than the vinyl and hopefully the coming 2014 Deluxe Reissues. See for yourself.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy (1973) Best Releases / Pressings:

L5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973) (Original UK “Porky” George Peckham Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973) (Original US Robert Ludwig Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3.  Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

 

UK George Peckham Porky Beats out US Robert Ludwig IMHO. This is my favorite Zeppelin album with II right at it’s heels!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) Best Releases / Pressings:

L6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) (Original US Pressing)  Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/2006) (Classic Records 2LP 200gr Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

4. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) (UK) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Swan Song 2XCD Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

If you can get hold of 1987 US Atlantic Swan Song 2XCD Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s it is highly recommended.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976) Best Releases / Pressings:

L7

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976) (German Second Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

3. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

 

Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door (1979) Best Releases / Pressings:

L8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979) (Original US Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

3. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979/1988) (1988 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Coda (1982) Best Releases / Pressings:

L9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.Led Zeppelin – Coda (1982/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin –  Coda (1982/1988) (1988 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

==========================================================

 

 

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Final Verdict Overall: I recommend that if you cannot get a hold of the Early Vinyl, you search out the 1980’s Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s. They are the unsurpassed digital version of the RAW Led Zeppelin “Sound”. As you can see from my rankings all versions of the 2014 Deluxe Reissues fall behind the 1980’s Diament/Sidore Masterings. As I said earlier you may love the 2014 Deluxe Reissues. Whether or not that is the case is up to you. This may be a good time to start to get a trained ear by acquiring different pressings as you probably already have one or two releases. If not and want to just save your cash, you now know which releases to go directly after and enter bliss.

I hope this gives you some reference information. I will be updating it over time as the music continues to evolve. The next batch of Deluxe Issues are slated for Early Fall 2014. Thank you all for you questions, comments, and words of wisdom. Do What Thou Whilt!

End\

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So there you have it…thanks for reading and your massive support.

Bless Bless!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Mirror: The Portal To The Back end Side Of This Site:

http://playlists.christmachine.com/hd-tracks/christmachine-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-12-the-best-of-the-led-zeppelin-catalog-pressingspost-special-second-pass-edit-070214mirror-post-special/

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

 

 

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Beck – “Morning Phase” The Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals CD/HD Tracks…

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 You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

 

Our reviews will not be the normal kind of review that you usually see about an artist release. These will be different as we will be aggregating all sources available…320kbps(Lossy Audio taken from the CD FLAC Rip), CD (EAC Lossless 16Bit/44.1kHz Rip), HD Tracks (Hi-Res Digital Downloads from 24/96 to 24/192), 24/48 ALAC Hi-Res Apple Lossless, Vinyl Rips (Often from different countries & each transferred by different rippers with different set-ups), as well as other high quality sources as the become available such as Pono music. That’s not to say I will not add any subjective commentary(I’ll be open as to what I like and do not) but I will try to remain as objective as possible. As we know music listening is a very subjective, or personal experience, therefore I will try to stick best with theory to give you what I believe is the best format to own of any given release.

Sources:

  • Beck – Morning Phase /  “320 MP3 Vinyl Experience Download” (Provided on the card that comes with the Vinyl Purchase.
  • Beck – Morning Phase / CD ~ EAC Lossless 16Bit/44.1kHz Rip from CD
  • Beck – Morning Phase / 320kbps (Lossy Audio taken from the CD EAC FLAC Rip)
  • Beck – Morning Phase / HD Tracks (Hi-Res Digital Download) Mastered By Robert Ludwig 24Bit/96kHz
  • Beck – Morning Phase / Vinyl #1 (2014) (Original Capitol U.S.Bernie Grundman / German Pallas Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96 FLAC
  • Beck – Morning Phase / Vinyl #2 (2014) (Original Capitol U.S.Bernie Grundman / German Pallas Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96 FLAC
  • Beck – Morning Phase / Vinyl #3 (2014) (Original Capitol U.S.Bernie Grundman / German Pallas Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96 FLAC

To start if you are a noobie then then the 320kbps (Lossy Audio taken from the CD EAC FLAC Rip) and the CD might be fine for you but I will explain why technically these are not the best sources, making a distinction between the “320 MP3 Vinyl Experience Download” that comes with the vinyl and the “320kbps” taken from the FLAC EAC Rip of the CD.

Upon first listening to the CD I find it extremely loud “Search for Loudness Wars”, overly compressed, poor dynamic range (DR 6), and lots of peak limiting w/ controlled clipping. Not Recommended…however I am amazed by the release itself. I believe it is and will remain the best release this year. This is Beck’s best release ever IMO…but I had to find another source. Obviously the 320kbps converted from the FLAC EAC CD is even worse in all the 05 - Stickeraforementioned areas…Ear fatigue city!

Next I’ll review, Beck – Morning Phase / Official “320 MP3 Vinyl Experience Download” (Provided on the card that comes with the Vinyl Purchase). It is called the “320 Vinyl Experience” because it seems to be sourced from the vinyl master and has surface noise just like vinyl.  Also you can hear the run in and out as well as the sound of the needle dropping as if you are listening to the vinyl albeit here in the digital realm. This release even at 320kbps sounds much better than the CD (EAC Riped to FLAC), it is still overly loud but not as loud as the CD. The Dynamic Range is much better (DR 9) but it is also Brickwalled/Clipped…so we are halfway there to a great experience.

Now for Beck – Morning Phase / HD Tracks (Hi-Res Digital Download) 24Bit/96kHz. This release was supposedly mastered by Robert Ludwig and I am surprised that Robert would release this, as amazing at mastering he has been in the past, here he seems as if he’s losing his ear. The Hi-res official format does not breathe, is overly compressed, and is brickwalled as well. It seems as if all of the formats reviewed up until this point are taken from a digital master. If anyone has information on it being from analog tapes please let me know. Regardless, I do not recommend this release in terms of both listening for sound and by sight using a spectrograph analyzer…the files are lackluster. At this point I would only recommend the “Official 320 MP3 Vinyl Experience” Download (Provided on the card that comes with the Vinyl Purchase), and that is tenuous.

label1Last but not least Beck – Morning Phase / Vinyls #1, #2, & #3 (2014) (Original Capitol U.S.Bernie Grundman / German Pallas Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96 FLAC. All the vinyl releases were ripped on different setups…and finally we come to the best sounding release of them all (I’m sure this is not a surprise). Although all 3 vinyl rips are still overly compressed and slightly to loud, there is not any clipping which is the MO usually on vinyl. The Vinyl versions were cut, again as it sounds from digital masters…correct me if I’m wrong and has a better DR (DR 10). Remember though the Vinyl DR often has +1 bump because of the surface noise and it’s conversion. Usually I would review each vinyl release separately but they are all the same pressing. The vinyl was cut by Grundman Mastering in Hollywood (Excellent)…but where it gets dicey is when Pallas does the pressing. Uncharacteristic of Pallas as they are known for superiority, each vinyl release has differing amounts of surface noise and only one of the 3 sounds quiet after some light click repair.

So what I recommend is that you buy the vinyl release and that way you will have the “320 Vinyl Experience Download” and the vinyl for your collection until you either can make your own vinyl rip or find one that a Master Ripper can provide. Both beat out all other formats at the moment…I do not see the that changing until an SACD version becomes available. The reason I say that is because for Beck’s 2002 release “Sea Change”, the SACD was the superior version of that record. I will update this review when an SACD orlabel2 “better source”…possibly the Pono Music is released in the future.

In my Opinion Beck – “Morning Phase” is his Magnum Opus. It is his best album by far and I listen to my best vinyl ripped 24Bit/96kHz every day it seems. It’s great when waking to get into a good mood, when going to sleep as it is super chilled, and still has the content to help a party kick it up a notch. It has all these attributes, I see this as a timeless release and will be seen by future generations as Beck’s genius.

Here’s the lead track called “Morning” ~ Utter Bliss!

You can also see Bernie Grundman cutting the vinyl release @ Grundman Mastering Hollywood in a video [Direct Link] posted a few days ago in “The Playlist Night” part of this site below.

http://playlists.christmachine.com/christmachine/beck-cutting-the-vinyl-for-morning-phase-video/

As you know

I will be posting daily but you can also follow me on Twitter, Scoop.it, and Tumblr if you like. Let me know who you are and where we had contact via PM. Finally I sometimes post up to a day before I publish (Especially in “The Night Playlist Page”) so if you want posts in real time, you can add this site to your RSS feed bar by adding both the Day & Night pages separately (RSS Bookmark found in the lower right hand widget on each page), therefore as I post you will have instant access.

https://twitter.com/Christ_Machine

http://www.scoop.it/u/christmachineandicelandicgurlagenda

http://christmachine.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/CHRISTARMServer

Thanks for reading and happy listening.

Braindamage Inc.

CM

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

Playlist #5 is up & Essential Reading Post #2…Headphone Measurement Datasheets as of April 2014 .pdf …

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Reviews for individual albums or sets will be posted HERE but daily playlists will be posted in the Playlist Feed Blog. Again you can access it from the “PLAYLIST” button in the header menu below the “HOME” button. Or you can get there using the links below.

New Playlist…[Direct Link / Portal to the other side of this site below…

 

 

 

First we have Playlist #5 up:

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Iron Maiden – Purgatory (D. Riggs)

http://playlists.christmachine.com/hd-tracks/christmachine-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-5/

 

Essential Reading Post #2…Headphone Reference Measurement Datasheets as of April 2014…Just do a “find” and search the .pdf for the name brand you want or own. To save .pdf just “save page as”, 43.1 mb’s.

Enjoy

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AllGraphs.pdf

 

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CM

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine