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Kirk

Raspberries 180 Gram Vinyl Review

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Kirk   

I got my copy of the 180 gram vinyl re-mastered Raspberries debut album today.  At first handling I could tell it is heavier than the vinyl used on the original album.  The graphics are the same; right down to the scratch-and-sniff sticker, except, this sticker is just for looks.  Both of my original copies of this album still smell like Raspberries!

Onto the turntable…I picked a couple of songs that were not as heavily orchestrated to compare this re-mastered album to the original.  I took my back-up copy of the original album that has only been played a couple of times to use for this comparison.  Too bad I only have one turntable- an A-B comparison would have been helpful.  The reason I chose to compare a couple of the lighter production numbers was to try and nullify the heavy compression used on the original master tapes.

First song to compare was “Waiting”.  I could detect some clarity in Eric’s voice and the upper registers of the violins. 

The second song I compared was “With You In My Life”.  This song was cleaner overall, also.  I’m not talking about huge differences here.  Maybe a 10% difference from the original.

Songs like “Go All The Way” still suffer from heavy compression.  This entire album would benefit from a re-mix.  However, I will take this album and proudly add it to my collection.  New vinyl- Yay!! 

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Batman   
21 hours ago, Kirk said:

I got my copy of the 180 gram vinyl re-mastered Raspberries debut album today.  At first handling I could tell it is heavier than the vinyl used on the original album.  The graphics are the same; right down to the scratch-and-sniff sticker, except, this sticker is just for looks.  Both of my original copies of this album still smell like Raspberries!

Onto the turntable…I picked a couple of songs that were not as heavily orchestrated to compare this re-mastered album to the original.  I took my back-up copy of the original album that has only been played a couple of times to use for this comparison.  Too bad I only have one turntable- an A-B comparison would have been helpful.  The reason I chose to compare a couple of the lighter production numbers was to try and nullify the heavy compression used on the original master tapes.

First song to compare was “Waiting”.  I could detect some clarity in Eric’s voice and the upper registers of the violins. 

The second song I compared was “With You In My Life”.  This song was cleaner overall, also.  I’m not talking about huge differences here.  Maybe a 10% difference from the original.

Songs like “Go All The Way” still suffer from heavy compression.  This entire album would benefit from a re-mix.  However, I will take this album and proudly add it to my collection.  New vinyl- Yay!! 

I remember buying the Japanese import mini-LP CD of the first album, fantasizing about how those finicky Japanese engineers must have cleaned up the masters. When I played it, however, it sounded no different from my Capitol-issue CD of Raspberries greatest hits. I think this is as good as it will ever be. I agree totally with you about the heavy compression, Kirk.

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Batman   

Interestingly, I still have an original (mint condition) 1972 45rpm single of GATW which, when played on my high-end audio system, sounds as good as any CD release! This to me is astounding. Not that the 45 had such great sound, but that the recording has so little dynamics, which were most likely lost in compression. Not being an audio engineer, it is only my guess that the original tapes need to be remixed and remastered using 21st century technology in order to get a really "clean" version, but we must be careful what we ask for...the result may sound significantly different than what our brains remember from 1972 AM radio!!!  Newer may not actually sound "better" !!! Remember, this was early 1970's Power-Pop, not Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops!!! Not really audiophile criteria!  Shades of RCA Red Seal!!! :P

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Kirk   

Good points.  The thing to remember is the song was originally mixed for AM radio...if you listen to the Starting Over album (which had FM in mind), the dynamics are totally different.  If those master tapes are ever found, I'll bet they could be mixed without the compression and with more frequency range on both ends.  I, for one, would welcome that version of the song with open arms!!  The original would do for '72, but I'm ready a sonic surprise in '16!  

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Billy K.   
On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎6‎:‎52‎:‎09‎, Batman said:

Interestingly, I still have an original (mint condition) 1972 45rpm single of GATW which, when played on my high-end audio system, sounds as good as any CD release! This to me is astounding. Not that the 45 had such great sound, but that the recording has so little dynamics, which were most likely lost in compression. Not being an audio engineer, it is only my guess that the original tapes need to be remixed and remastered using 21st century technology in order to get a really "clean" version, but we must be careful what we ask for...the result may sound significantly different than what our brains remember from 1972 AM radio!!!  Newer may not actually sound "better" !!! Remember, this was early 1970's Power-Pop, not Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops!!! Not really audiophile criteria!  Shades of RCA Red Seal!!! :P

It's kind of a "Catch-22" when it comes to "Go All the Way".....the compression was indeed part of the sound we remember. Could we find a
"happy medium" and get something with less compression and more clarity? It's certainly within the realm of possibility, using today's technology. Perhaps some EQ adjustments? Or a very very small reduction in echo, too, along with a remix.

Speaking of symphony orchestras, we in the USA generally tend to record it wrong. Much rather listen to classical orchestras recorded in Europe or Japan, because they seem to know what works appropriately.

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Say what you want about the first record, but does anything sound as good as hearing "Go All The Way" on an AM radio? maybe I am just relishing my youth, but man, it's a cranker in the car when it pops up even today!

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