Anyone bought the new SHM CD remasters from Japan yet? I got Queen II and I can say with certainty that they are even better quality than the recent UK remasters.
Well worth the extra cash. Stunning really what else you can hear and pick up on in songs. Listening on my HD sound card through earphones is a real treat! link
So this 2011 Japanese release is a different mastering? Seems unlikely given the money Queen would have sunk into the Ludwig masters everywhere else in the world.
If it is different, I'd be steering well clear. Japanese masters in the last 10+ years have been woeful.
I remember hearing the trainwreck that was the ANATO 2004 mini LP. Boy was that bad. Smiley EQed, mids dropped to the point where the vox sounded like an AM radio. Must have been the work experience boy/girl ....or the cleaner.
No it's not a different remaster, from what I've read (and I'm positive others will be far more knowledgeable) the SHM CDs are made differently to allow for better listening, which is really dependent on your playing device. I'm using a new HD sound card which may add to my listening. What I can say without doubt, is it is the best I've heard Queen II in 20 years of listening to Queen, and I can hear FAR MORE than the remaster I already had (played in same device).
Freddie, Bri and Rog's lead vocals are stunningly clear, with far more clarity than before IMO. I really am loving MOTBQ. Instruments are equally as good.
They are more expensive, but if you have the equipment I don't think you'll be disappointed.
That's definitely interesting, but in my experience SHM cds are hype and a victory of marketing over common sense.
If you have a shitty player, then it MIGHT deliver a noticeably better sound. however if you have a quality system WITH a nicely calibrated player, then the sound will be no different.
The CD's, whatever the material they are manufactured in, will carry the same digital information. Now, like I said, if your system is not up to scratch, then your player may access that info inefficiently with a higher error ratio, and that may be improved with a SHM cd or even a gold CD. But there's no changing the fact that bits are bits, the same zeros and ones. ...It's exactly the same info.
The placebo effect. Unless they're actually different masterings (which Japanese labels often do, but not when a specific remaster is being touted), they will sound identical and if you rip them as WAV and compare the wave forms this will prove it. The error correction in any CD player makes the bollocks about a different plastic producing greater sound quality redundant. They once claimed gold discs improved the sound quality too, when apparently it has the opposite effect. Labels in Japan will do anything to try and flog CDs at their greatly inflated prices - Queen CDs often get re-issued with a different OBI at least once a year I believe!
Yes, I too have been buying the Japanese SHM-CDs. Whilst I can see the logic of those who dismiss them, I too think they offer a definite improvement in sound quality (maybe because I only have a Denon budget system and not a top shelf system?).
The first SHM-CD I invested in was the recent Slash album and it sounded WAY better than the standard UK release.
Each to their own I guess.....