1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Streaming: Remastered vs. General/Original recordings…

Discussion in 'audio' started by mellow_yellow, Oct 17, 2022.

  1. mellow_yellow

    mellow_yellow pfm Member

    Was updating some of my Spotify Playlists at the weekend and noticed a small difference between general/original recordings vs. remastered. These were the tracks I specifically noted:

    The Doors
    Riders on the Storm (1971 Album “L.A. Woman” vs. 2021 Album “L.A. Woman [50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]”)

    Pink Floyd
    Wish You Were Here (1981 Album “A Collection of Great Dance songs” vs. 2011 Album “Wish You Were Here [Remastered Version]”)

    George Harrison
    My Sweet Lord (2018 Album “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 bars [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]” vs. 2014 Album “All Things Must Pass [Remastered 2014]”)

    To my ears, in my system/room, the general/original recordings sounded “better” than the newer remastered versions which I wasn’t expecting. Slightly more dynamic/analogue sounding. Might simply be the tracks I chose but was wondering if anyone else had examples of streaming general/original tracks sounding better than remastered versions. The great thing about streaming is you can compare back-to-back very quickly from your armchair!

    (P.S. Streaming using Spotify via Bluesound NODE 2i)
  2. r0dd3r5

    r0dd3r5 Active Member

    I agree. Have a look at
    darrenyeats likes this.
  3. mellow_yellow

    mellow_yellow pfm Member

    Interesting website...
  4. davea

    davea pfm Member

    Not surprised the original sounds better. Remastering can't add any information that wasn't in the original it can only mess with it.
    psd122 likes this.
  5. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    Well perhaps. If the original mastering 'messed with' what is on the original, then remastering to undo that, is a good thing, surely?
  6. davea

    davea pfm Member

    I guess it is possible if there is actually an original recording to revert to. However I wonder if that is usually the case or if "remastering" is just marketing spin and the process starts with the first master.
  7. bravem01

    bravem01 pfm Member

    To me re mastering means add lots of compression typically, ie ruin it
    darrenyeats, RJohan and psd122 like this.
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    Yes, no further information. However, my experience of re-mastered releases of reasonably recent vintage classical music recordings (e.g., 1950s-1960s opera) is that sensitive modern re-mastering techniques can remove annoying defects from the time without introducing too much of their own signature; and can reveal remarkable elements hidden in the original recording.

    I have, however, heard recent re-masters of 1950s classical music that IMHO go too far and either introduce their own signature or reveal defects that might better be left submerged within a benign noise floor.

    But in non-classical music the DR database reveals a lot of level compression that to my ears is highly undesirable. So, IMHO it depends. You have to pick your sources carefully.
  9. Avon

    Avon pfm Member

    I basically stopped listening to new “pop” music with the advent of Oasis and Blur in the 1990s. Probably not because I was getting older, but because that was when compression really seemed to kick in. Their songs sounded better on a cheap radio than they did on my hi-fi. Just a wonder wall of sound with no dynamics.

    The problem with streaming on (say) Qobuz is that you only seem to get the latest remaster and not the original. Recordings which sounded good in the 1970s are remixed into a wall of noise. The band Genesis is one example of this. However, some remasters can be better e.g. Jethro Tull, but that’s just a matter of luck. Classical music was never subjected to compression fortunately, though some can be e.g. the Philip Glass Ensemble. Streaming companies I would guess have no say in the matter.

    When I’ve demonstrated this to people, if they care I may hear “I prefer the remix, because I can hear the background instruments better” i.e. everything has been brought up to the same level.

    So there’s no pleasing everyone, especially me.
    r0dd3r5 likes this.
  10. Juancho

    Juancho pfm Member

    If you are only using Spotify then you're maxing out at 320 kbps so I don't think there's necessarily much relevance to full hd quality
    Colin L, kensalriser and Dozey like this.
  11. mayebaza

    mayebaza pfm Member

    My understanding is that the record companies are releasing pseudo masters to the steaming services to ensure their market segregation when they charge high premiums for hard copies
  12. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B for more years than I care to remember

    As in a guy down the pub told you, or the MD of Sony/Columbia told Bob Dylan and he told you ?

    Mynamemynaim and serendipitydawg like this.
  13. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

  14. mellow_yellow

    mellow_yellow pfm Member

    In the past I’d simply assumed remastered versions would always sound better and added them to Playlists without checking the difference. As you say, obviously pays to pick your sources carefully. Thank you.
  15. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    Basically agree with you. But. In the 1960's Barry Gordy of Motown listened to every record (at least the singles) before release via a cheap transistor radio. That was what the buyers had. So, we are back to that sad state...
  16. mayebaza

    mayebaza pfm Member

    No not quite, check out the Tidal controvacy.
  17. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    Remastering can't technically add anything but it can improve EQ balance. If there is no point in remastering then there's also no point in mastering at all.
  18. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill pfm Member

    I have heard better and worse remasters.

    An historic album that was a part of my childhood was Nancy and Lee by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. I bought the CD, which was poor. The new HiRes version which became available on Qobuz a year or so ago is better .....BUT, my parents very old, much mis-used LP is just SOOOOO much better, despite the surface noise.
  19. nostromo

    nostromo pfm Member

    I agree with you. Most chart music these days is just 'brickwalled' no dynamics, everything is maxed out. Sounds just great on the car radio, but very dissapointing when brought to the hifi. I think that was true of a lot of 7" singles back in the day too, so it's being going on forever.
  20. Pixel299

    Pixel299 Member

    Interestingly a friend of mine was involved in the remastering process of that album. He said that firstly that it felt like absolute sacrilege to be doing such things, but ultimately his mortgage wasn't going to pay itself. And secondly that at the end of the project, no matter how much love they put into it the team still thought the original was significantly better. But what the record company is paying for, the record company gets...
    nostromo and RJohan like this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice