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Analog remastering or the new deluxe remastering

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Analog remastering or the new deluxe remastering Was recently watching a YouTube video where the guy was stating that the new Led Zeppelin LPs were digital pressed file onto the LP do you guys consider these new LPs lackluster compared to other LPs that I’ve come out before? 

Do you  guys prefer analog to LP remastering compare to digital file press to LP remastering this guy seems to say the sounding is not very good ?


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Different strokes for different folks. I understand why some people feel the original vintage LPs are the best- the renowned Robert Ludwig-cut 1st press of Zep II, for example, is a pretty unique specimen and really excellent. So too is the original UK Porky Houses of the Holy LP and some others.

But, at the risk if angering some here, I have to say that the whole "all-analogue vinyl is always better than digital vinyl; digitally sourced vinyl is just a giant vinyl CD" argument is not one that I find persuasive in the least. There are plenty of excellent sounding vinyl masterings (and remasterings) out there that have a digital source or a digital step somewhere in the chain. Many all-analogue masterings are very good because much care is taken with them, just like many gold CDs sound great not because of the gold layer but rather because gold CDs were usually mastered with care by audiophile-minded engineers and labels.

The overall problem with the vintage vinyl argument, IMHO, is that it's way too muddy - it is difficult to tell if someone is saying the original vinyl "slays" the new remaster because (a) it really sounds clearly better, (b) they have an emotional need to justify their investment, (c) they have confirmation bias (they expect the vintage to be better so they conclude/feel that any difference they hear must be an improvement), (d) they are posting a public video and they know very well that preferring the vintage vinyl is the "cool"/"right" answer in the vinyl community, or (e) some combination of the above.

Again, I am not saying vintage vinyl doesn't sometimes sound better. But it doesn't always sound better. Even with the Zep albums, I'd put the remasters of Zep III, Presence, and In Through the Out Door up against any vintage version any day (I know my view on III is not necessarily mainstream in this regard). And I think the remasters of I, II, and Physical Graffiti are very good to excellent, even if they can't necessarily top the best vintage vinyl.

Finally, it's worth noting that for most Zep albums, the vaunted 1st and early presses are not easy to find in really good condition and not cheap. So the remasters are better than the vast majority of used Zep vinyl you'll find out there.

Edited by tmtomh
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tmtomh - are you the same person on the Hoffman forum? I recognize Blinky...

As to the Gold disc thing - there's one time that didn't happen - at least in the eyes of the engineer - a funny story about one of the most revered bands by most audiophiles - Steely Dan. The engineer that did it - Roger Nichols - won a bunch of Grammy's for that work.

He hated analog... it was included in his book but was posted well before that: Tho note at the end he states maybe the clicks and pops ain't so bad...


Snap, Crackle, and Pop Music

By Roger Nichols

I originally got involved in recording music because I hated clicks and pops on records. I figured that the only way that I was going to get good quality recordings to play was to record them myself. I could then bring home two-track 15 ips copies to play on my stereo. Much better than the Rice Crispy sound of vinyl LPs.

When the Compact Disc became a reality, I was beside myself. I was also close by the side of any record company exec who could get me any discs to play on my new found CD player. Since CDs preserved all the characteristics of the original master tape, I could now enjoy music without the drawbacks of black vinyl.


The first project I worked on that became a Compact Disc was Donald Fagen's Nighrfly album. I couldn't wait to get the CD in my hot little hands and compare it with the original mixes. When the CD arrived, I ran to my audio system and threw the CD into my player. After about 30 seconds I was ready to throw in the towel. The CD didn't sound anything like the final mixes. Was I wrong about digital audio? Was the Compact Disc truly inferior to the vinyl disc that it was to replace?

I started doing some checking with the mastering facility where we mastered the album. Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk in New York told me that the record company never asked for the 1610 digital master that we'd made. Instead, they had requested a 30 ips half-inch analog tape copy of our digital mixes. They then made the CD master from this analog copy. No wonder my CD didn't sound like the original mixes. After we raised enough hell, new CD masters were prepared and new CDs were pressed. I compared the new one to the original mixes. It matched perfectly. Whew!

This was in late 1982. I figured that there was a necessary learning curve for the record companies to get their act together and realize that digital audio Compact Discs should not be made from second or third generation analog tape copies. Isn't nine years enough time?


In 1982, Donald Fagen, Gary Katz and myself gathered up all of the original Steely Dan tapes (15 ips analog) and transferred them to digital format so that they would not deteriorate any further. This was in anticipation of catalog re-release in the new Compact Disc format. The first two albums to be released on CD were Aja and Gaucho. I listened to the CDs and they were fine.

Mobile Fidelity is licensed to produce gold plated CDs of Aja and Gaucho. They called me up to ask me if I liked the sound of their pressings. I listened to them and compared them to the CDs from MCA. I figured that the only difference I would hear would be the difference between the gold plating and the aluminum plating on the stock CD. I was shocked! They sounded completely different. The gold ones sounded worse. The gold Gaucho CD was even a different speed, about a quarter tone sharper than the original CD from MCA.

A writer I know called me to ask if I heard any difference between the stock CDs and the gold CDs. I told him what I found. He said that he didn't hear any difference. The lightbulb went on in my thought balloon! The stock CDs that I had were produced seven years ago, and the ones that my friend used were just purchased at Tower Records. I jumped in my car and zipped over to the nearest record store and purchased new copies of the CDs in question. He was right, the new stock CDs sounded exactly like the gold CDs, including the pitch shift on the Gaucho CD.

The time we spent transferring all of the original masters was wasted. The record company in their infinite wisdom decided that when they needed new 1630 CD masters to send to the CD plant, that it would be better to use the EQ'd analog copy that had been sitting around for fifteen years instead of the digital tapes that we supplied to them nine years ago for just this purpose. And on top of everything else, they couldn't even make sure that the analog machine that played back the Gaucho tape was going the right speed.

I guess this is all just a part of a grander scheme - make all of the CDs sound worse and worse until we can't tell the difference between Compact Discs and the new Digital Compact Cassette that the record companies are pushing. I went to my storage locker and found all of my old vinyl LPs. I haven't thrown my turntable away yet either. Maybe the clicks and pops aren't quite so bad after all.

Edited by ajawamnet
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I'll add that you just can't generalize any of this stuff.  I have old SP pressings that sounds dull, the same albums pressed at Monarch that sound sparkling clear.  Same with some modern records, U pressings sounding dull and flat yet Palace pressings of the same album crystal clear and dynamic.  Just remember there's a different hands on with each pressing at each plant.

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/22/2019 at 11:36 AM, strombringer101 said:

Analog remastering or the new deluxe remastering Was recently watching a YouTube video where the guy was stating that the new Led Zeppelin LPs were digital pressed file onto the LP do you guys consider these new LPs lackluster compared to other LPs that I’ve come out before? 

Do you  guys prefer analog to LP remastering compare to digital file press to LP remastering this guy seems to say the sounding is not very good ?


What do you mean in the video, signifying a 588 pressing? MHZ? Of course it will sound better compared to something scratched and subpar from 1969. If you refer to Hz:

I've heard that a lot of Led Zeppelin recordings were done on the 528 HZ. 528MHZ is based on a frequency of healing/love as well as other bands used as Pink Floyd, Mozart and John Lennon.

Vinyl will have a warmer sound compared to digital. Thank you, Strombringer101.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While I feel the new releases were a missed opportunity for a last analog hurrah, in reality JP has fuzzed with the tapes so much, not sure how much of the original remained. 

Add to that the age of the tapes - all tapes may not have aged well?

I do applaud the new releases for bringing a low cost product to the public.

And they do have better SQ that many vintage pressings....Zep was popular and anything would sell.

But if one gets the right press, from the right country, and mastered by the right person....well the new just lacks the life/power/rawness of the best all analog!

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