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SnapperMike

Qobuz: shocked at the varying sound quality

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I've just purchase one album from Qobuz. The album I wanted came in 3 different issues from differing record labels.

One cost £3.19, the other two were both £11.99.

Listening via streaming, the cheaper one sounded quite good, not quite as good as one of the more expensive ones. One of the expensive ones sounded really bad...with a very boxed in sound. I ended up paying the extra for the better higher priced one.

All 3 recordings were on different labels which accounts for the differing price and recorded sound quality.

I'd suggest listening before buying if there's more than one option of an album, which invariably there is!

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29 minutes ago, SnapperMike said:

All 3 recordings were on different labels which accounts for the differing price and recorded sound quality.

Yup. Used to be he same with CDs, and records before them. There's really no excuse with digitally-recorded albums, but back in the day when everything was recorded on tape, it really wasn't unusual to find the sq differed tremendously depending which pressing of an album you bought. That's why some pressings of certain records and CDs are valued higher than others, that and the rarity factor.

Edited by BillShatnersToupee
cannnooot tpye
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...and then when you bought one of the 20-track compilation albums on K-Tel / Ronco / etc, the songs sounded even more different, because commonly they had all been re-EQ'd to help facilitate a 30 min per side playing time. Oh and the cuts were so quiet the surface noise was about the same level as the recorded music.  

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53 minutes ago, BillShatnersToupee said:

Yup. Used to be he same with CDs, and records before them. There's really no excuse with digitally-recorded albums, but back in the day when everything was recorded on tape, it really wasn't unusual to find the sq differed tremendously depending which pressing of an album you bought. That's why some pressings of certain records and CDs are valued higher than others, that and the rarity factor.

I really wish that Qobuz would be more discerning on the quality of the music that they add to their library!

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True, but assuming you can stream it first, it does give you a chance to 'try before you buy' instead of wasting the purchase price of a CD/record/download on something which sounds sub standard.

I recently found a copy of Sky's eponymous first album in a charity shop for £1. I already have one of the original CD pressings on Ariola, this one is on Merlin Records (no me neither), but I bought it because it has a bonus track called 'Dies Irae' which wasn't on the original album. Compared to the Ariola CD, the sound quality is shocking: bass is rolled off, the midrange is harsh and prominent, and it sounds to be from tapes at least two generations removed. In short its sound typifies that which vinylphiles hated about CDs. I only spent £1 on it, but some poor bugger bought this new.

Edited by BillShatnersToupee

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2 hours ago, BillShatnersToupee said:

True, but assuming you can stream it first, it does give you a chance to 'try before you buy' instead of wasting the purchase price of a CD/record/download on something which sounds sub standard.

I recently found a copy of Sky's eponymous first album in a charity shop for £1. I already have one of the original CD pressings on Ariola, this one is on Merlin Records (no me neither), but I bought it because it has a bonus track called 'Dies Irae' which wasn't on the original album. Compared to the Ariola CD, the sound quality is shocking: bass is rolled off, the midrange is harsh and prominent, and it sounds to be from tapes at least two generations removed. In short its sound typifies that which vinylphiles hated about CDs. I only spent £1 on it, but some poor bugger bought this new.

Yes, I will be taking time to listen to every version available before buying. I'm actually spending more and more time in charity shops myself searching for CD's to rip...there's never been a better time to find cheap unwanted CD's now that the vinyl come-back is in full swing. I remember spending £15-£20 on a new CD at Tower Records back in the late 80's. It's the local Oxfam shop now for me!

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