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Discussion: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique - Munch

Posts: 18
Page: 1 2 next

Post by hiredfox August 2, 2011 (1 of 18)
Caveat Emptor!

My copy of this disc was returned to the supplier as faulty. With both channels of my system evidently working correctly the RH channel of this disc was recorded about 2dB(A) louder that the LH channel with the effect that the stereo image was constrained to only the right half of the sound-stage. To cap that the upper strings were recorded as little more than an ear piercing screeching noise - frankly, un-listenable too! [ETPG]

The supplier claimed that "he could hear nothing wrong with the disc" after it's return but refused to send me another and offered a refund which I took.

In my view it is very unlikely that this was a single disc issue for reasons which most of you will fully understand so regrettably it has been necessary to post this warning so that other intending purchasers are aware of my concerns.

Post by Jonalogic August 2, 2011 (2 of 18)
hiredfox said:

Caveat Emptor!

My copy of this disc was returned to the supplier as faulty. With both channels of my system evidently working correctly the RH channel of this disc was recorded about 2dB(A) louder that the LH channel with the effect that the stereo image was constrained to only the right half of the sound-stage. To cap that the upper strings were recorded as little more than an ear piercing screeching noise - frankly, un-listenable too! [ETPG]

The supplier claimed that "he could hear nothing wrong with the disc" after it's return but refused to send me another and offered a refund which I took.

In my view it is very unlikely that this was a single disc issue for reasons which most of you will fully understand so regrettably it has been necessary to post this warning so that other intending purchasers are aware of my concerns.

Thanks for warning! Regretfully, I cannot confirm since my power amp is currently in service. But I have, unfortunately, bought the thing.

Nothing surprises me any more with these releases. The comnpanion Bizet disc Esoteric launched contemporaneously with this also underwhelmed.

Oh dear.

Post by hiredfox August 2, 2011 (3 of 18)
Jonalogic said:

The comnpanion Bizet disc Esoteric launched contemporaneously with this also underwhelmed.

Oh dear.

Indeed it did. Transfering old analogue tapes to DSD isn't that unusual anymore so difficult to understand how they screw it up so often. A pity, at outset their project was full of promise.

The best ever transfers in my experience were the old Vanguard recordings from the US, bar setters if ever there was one. Now they are collector's items costing a smallish fortune.

Post by Jonalogic August 2, 2011 (4 of 18)
hiredfox said:

Indeed it did. Transfering old analogue tapes to DSD isn't that unusual anymore so difficult to understand how they screw it up so often. A pity, at outset their project was full of promise.

The best ever transfers in my experience were the old Vanguard recordings from the US, bar setters if ever there was one. Now they are collector's items costing a smallish fortune.

Yep, indeed. Do you mean the MoFi transfers in particular?* If so, amen to that. They are stupendous - and still well worth seeking out.

Sound Mirror also did a grand job with many Living Stereos.

So Esoteric's recent serial botching of vintage EMIs is simply inexcusable; they can do it right, as evidenced by such gems as the Decca/Maazel Sibelius 1.

But their recent efforts are just going from bad to worse.

Their selections are erratic, to put it mildly, and when they do - by chance - settle on something worthy, they almost invariably blow it.

Bummer.

* on vinyl - of course - we had various Athena and RR recuts, also startlingly good.

Post by rammiepie August 2, 2011 (5 of 18)
I will make no bones about it. I don't own a single Esoteric remaster despite all the hoopla!

When small companies like Analogue Productions, MoFi and Pentatone can access ORIGINAL analogue mastertapes and to its credit the SHM~SACDs from Japan use the analogue masters, whenever possible, why a company like Esoteric must content themselves with 96/24 knock offs and continually LIE about it.... when does one get the point?

Fancy packaging and lackluster product is NOT my idea of plunking down upwards of $70 for a disc when AP, MoFi and Pentatone can do the job for a fraction of the cost.......and better.

I currently own 21 SHM~SACDs and except for one, I have been EXTREMELY happy with the sound quality.

Post by flyingdutchman August 2, 2011 (6 of 18)
And I am happy with the 2 Esoteric I have: the Dvorak 9 with Kertesz and the Tchaikovsky 4-6 with Mravinsky.

Post by rammiepie August 2, 2011 (7 of 18)
flyingdutchman said:

And I am happy with the 2 Esoteric I have: the Dvorak 9 with Kertesz and the Tchaikovsky 4-6 with Mravinsky.

Good for you, FD!

Post by Jonalogic August 3, 2011 (8 of 18)
Arnaldo said:

I own and enjoy all the MoFi classical SACD transfers. But while listening to Sony's Copland: Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid etc. - LSO/Copland and MoFi's Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky, Lieutenant Kije - Slatkin, I noticed that the former had quite a bit more air around the instruments than the latter. Although it could be just a result of mic placement, it left me wondering if the advent of Dolby and DBX might have robbed analog recordings of some natural breathing space, or even if MoFi's GAIN 2 mastering process could perhaps have reduced the retrieval of low ambiance from the original tapes.

Me, too! I must confess, though, I find no lack of air on any of MoFi's Elite Recordings releases - quite the contrary, in fact!

I have no idea whether Aubort/Nickrenz used Dolby - if so, it would have been the pro version (Dolby A): when I was working in the BBC, this sounded pretty transparent to me - albeit with equipment available there; but my ears were still 'golden' then, as compensation...

Of course, with the benefit of decades of hindsight, any such substantive signal processing in the analogue domain is - by definition - BAD NEWS.

Parenthetically, I do wish MoFi would return to releasing even a little classical material on SACD! Ditto Sony- they are sitting on a goldmine...

Post by Jonalogic October 22, 2011 (9 of 18)
Hiredfox Hi

I thought you might, perhaps, be exaggerating a tad about the general degree of nastiness of the sonics on this disc.

Not so. In fact, I agree totally - see my review.

How this got released is beyond me.

The treble, in particular, can be recommended to S&M afficionados only.

Oh dear, how did they get it THIS wrong?! Do they not listen to their products?

Cheers

Jon

Post by hiredfox October 22, 2011 (10 of 18)
Jonalogic said:

Hiredfox Hi

I thought you might, perhaps, be exaggerating a tad about the general degree of nastiness of the sonics on this disc.

Not so. In fact, I agree totally - see my review.

How this got released is beyond me.


Jon

Hi Jon

Your findings do not surprise me at all, despite the dealer inferring that my rig must be faulty after the recording had been returned to him. Not for one moment did I honestly believe this was a one faulty disc issue, mass production doesn't work like that.

What concerns me more is that this dealer carried on selling these discs to hapless people who might now be trying to up-grade their systems to eliminate 'a system fault'.

No more of these for me that's certain.

John

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