Sonic Grade: F
This DCC pressing is a disaster, one of the worst releases that Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman ever mastered.
Murky, opaque and compressed: yes, we can agree it has never been an especially good sounding record on anything but the most difficult to find UK pressings [and we know exactly which ones those are now, which only makes this record sound even worse in comparison], but does it deserve this kind of mastering disrespect?
Isn’t the idea to try and FIX what is wrong, rather than to make it worse?
Whether made by DCC or any other label, starting at some point in the mid-’90s many audiophile pressings started to have a shortcoming that we find insufferable these days — they are just too damn smooth.
At collector prices no less. Don’t waste your money.
Is it the worst version of the album ever made?
That’s hard to say. But it is the worst sounding version of the album we’ve ever played, and that should be good enough for any audiophile contemplating spending money on this kind of trash. Our advice: don’t do it.
Here are some of the reviews and commentaries concerning the Heavy Vinyl pressings we’ve played over the years, well over 200 at this stage of the game. Feel free to dig in.
One final note of honesty. Even as recently as the early 2000s we were still somewhat impressed with many of the better Heavy Vinyl pressings. If we had never made the progress we’ve worked so hard to make over the course of the last twenty or more years, perhaps we would find more merit in the Heavy Vinyl reissues so many audiophiles seem impressed by.
We’ll never know of course; that’s a bell that can be unrung. We did the work, we can’t undo it, and the system that resulted from it is merciless in revealing the truth — that these newer pressings are second-rate at best and much more often than not third-rate and even worse.
Some audiophile records sound so bad, I was pissed off enough to create a special list for them.
Setting higher standards — no, being able to set higher standards — in our minds is a clear mark of progress. Judging by the hundreds of letters we’ve received, especially the ones comparing our records to their Heavy Vinyl and Half-Speed Mastered counterparts, we know that our customers see things the same way.