With a Sound I’ve Grown to Detest
I really liked the Nat King Cole albums on DCC when they came out back in the ’90s. Thought they were a revelation as a matter of fact.
Now I find them insufferable. Here are some of my reasons for not liking Hoffman’s remix.
Nat’s voice is much too forward and loud in the mix; consequently the orchestra is too soft. The balance is off. At least on my stereo, at the levels I play the record at, the balance seems off. You surely have a different system, in a different room, and may not feel the way I do.
But without a top pressing to compare, how do you know the mix is right or wrong? Like everything in audio, it’s relative.
The balance problem is bad enough, but what really sets my teeth on edge is the fact that the Nat King Cole record on DCC doesn’t sound remotely like any Nat King Cole record I have ever heard, outside of the ones Hoffman worked on of course.
Where is all the Capitol reverb? Nat’s records all have it, and although the reverb may be a bit excessive or unnatural in some ways, at least to some people, when you take it away you end up with a sound that never existed before, and, to my ears, it’s a sound that’s just wrong for the music.
The more I listened to the DCC the less I liked it.
The first full-length commentary I ever wrote in my record catalog in 1994 took Analogue Productions to task for remastering Way Out West and giving it a “new sound,” a sound I had never heard coming from any Contemporary pressing, from any era.
I didn’t like what Doug Sax did with Way Out West, Jazz Giant, Waltz for Debby and many, many others, and I don’t like what Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray did to Love Is the Thing, The Very Thought of You and Just One Of Those Things.
I have tried to listen to the Gold CD in my car, but even in the car I found the sound boring and insufferable.
Is this the kind of sound you hear on your DCC Nat King Cole records? If it is, we recommend you try a Hot Stamper. If it doesn’t kill your DCC you get your money back.
At the very least it will show you some of the things your DCC is doing differently, and, we think, wrong.