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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:10 am 
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Since we've been on a tangent lately in the YAWYI thread about the quality of the various vinyl pressings vs the various CDs I figured I'd start a thread about it because today I.....................

Just compared the 1995 Ryko FZ approved remaster CD of Chunga's Revenge to my pristine US Bizarre records LP. I must say....

this fucking CD sounds like 37 cats fucking and farting and shitting and pissing in my face all at the time compared to the original LP. The LP is nice and warm with great stereo separation. The CD sound is full of warble and that shitty digi-verb FZ was ODing on in the late 80s-early 90s. WTF!!

Oh....
I want real opinions in this thread, no "fan-boy, made up, I read it on Wiki and The Zappa Patio but never really even heard the fucking thing" Disco Boy bullshit opinions!!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Crap. I don't have the fucking guts to send a bad ass motherfucker answer before I've listened to the cd and vinyl again. Fuck that shit ! My vinyl is an English WEA copy. Does it count, too ?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:20 pm 
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I haven't set up my fucking turntable to my cocksucking stereo, so I can't compare shit. But vinyl generally is the fucking best. I agree on the fucking digital reverb thing. It was a fucking disaster of the 19-fucking-80's

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:37 pm 
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jaypfunk wrote:
Since we've been on a tangent lately in the YAWYI thread about the quality of the various vinyl pressings vs the various CDs I figured I'd start a thread about it because today I.....................

Just compared the 1995 Ryko FZ approved remaster CD of Chunga's Revenge to my pristine US Bizarre records LP. I must say....

this fucking CD sounds like 37 cats fucking and farting and shitting and pissing in my face all at the time compared to the original LP. The LP is nice and warm with great stereo separation. The CD sound is full of warble and that shitty digi-verb FZ was ODing on in the late 80s-early 90s. WTF!!

Oh....
I want real opinions in this thread, no "fan-boy, made up, I read it on Wiki and The Zappa Patio but never really even heard the fucking thing" Disco Boy bullshit opinions!!


I know you fucking have selective reading issues...but here's my motherfucking response to the above in the aforementioned thread for you AGAIN, cocksucker:

I have heard and even own some of them, Cybil. I was just backing up my initial statement on this issue with the patio site's info.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Fritz and HJ, you're such cards, I had to chuckle. And Disco Boy, why waste your breath?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:05 am 
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polydigm wrote:
Fritz and HJ, you're such cards, I had to chuckle. And Disco Boy, why waste your breath?


Just having some fun too... :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:26 am 
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jaypfunk wrote:
Just compared the 1995 Ryko FZ approved remaster CD of Chunga's Revenge to my pristine US Bizarre records LP. I must say....

this fucking CD sounds like 37 cats fucking and farting and shitting and pissing in my face all at the time compared to the original LP. The LP is nice and warm with great stereo separation. The CD sound is full of warble and that shitty digi-verb FZ was ODing on in the late 80s-early 90s. WTF!!

Yep, when I got my hands on a vinyl copy in the late 90s, the first thing I noticed was how much drier it sounded compared to the CD. It's particularly noticeable during Ian's sax solo on the title track. Boy did Frank love that digital reverb.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:45 am 
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madcow1515 wrote:
jaypfunk wrote:
Just compared the 1995 Ryko FZ approved remaster CD of Chunga's Revenge to my pristine US Bizarre records LP. I must say....

this fucking CD sounds like 37 cats fucking and farting and shitting and pissing in my face all at the time compared to the original LP. The LP is nice and warm with great stereo separation. The CD sound is full of warble and that shitty digi-verb FZ was ODing on in the late 80s-early 90s. WTF!!

Yep, when I got my hands on a vinyl copy in the late 90s, the first thing I noticed was how much drier it sounded compared to the CD. It's particularly noticeable during Ian's sax solo on the title track. Boy did Frank love that digital reverb.


Thank you. Finally a real post that's on topic.

Yeah... those Ryko CDs really bug me because to me the original LP mixes are just how they should be, period. The other thing is that maybe a lot of new fans think this is how they really sounded and might get turned off.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:02 am 
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Günter Pfanz is THE man. In the seventies WEA Music Germany did their own disc cutting from the original mastertapes for the german pressings. Most of the Discreet era records were done by this independent mastering studio owner Günter Pfanz in Hamburg. You can tell by the "PF" scribbled near the matrix numbers on the records. Especially the sound of the Studio Tan/Sleep Dirt/Orchestral Favorites-trilogy is phenomenal. The CDs sound ok, too (Sleep Dirt doesn't count ;-)). But they are somehow flat and neutral and don't bother anybody. The "PF" vinyl versions have dynamics, transparency AND punch, that blows you out of the window. Terry's drum sound on OF is especially fat and rich and is best captured on the vinyl version. If you can get hold on one of these, you are in luck. Don't believe what Frank said about those records sounding all wrong. Complete nonsens! Sometimes, like anybody, he was an idiot. And talking bad about his own product was part of his fight with Warner Bros. back then.

I think all those Discreet vinyl records really stand out of the rest, anyway. That seems to be an era, where people were at work, who knew what they were doing.

Though, on the other hand, when listening to OSFA on vinyl after a long time recently, I was surprised about the segues between the songs. Those seem to be smoothed out on the CD. On the LP they sound much harder like hard edits with almost little gaps between the titles (no crossfades). Maybe we are used to the smooth digital editing possibilities so much, that older razorblade tape edits sound hard now.

If you have the original Zoot Allures vinyl issue you are in luck, too. It is difficult to appreciate the quality of this album if you only have heard the CD. I made a careful digital transfer from my scratchy original german pressing and keep that together with the ZA CD-reissue. I never listen to the official CD. That is the most extreme case in Frank's catalogue where a CD version doesn't work at all.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:50 am 
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I agree Thinman. The Germany pressings are amazing I have a few and am slowing getting them all.

The problem I have is I tend to go on tangents collecting a certain LP from EVERY country I can get my hands on (fetishist mental illness ex: I have 9 copies of OS and 7 copies or Apostrophe )instead of maybe getting all the German pressings of every record.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:55 am 
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i have 2 US pressings of Zoot. One WB palm tree label and the vinyl is thicker, the other is the later white WB label pressing and the vinyl is much thinner. i know both def sound 1,000x better than the shit CD but I need to compare them to each other

I also hear that the Canadian WB pressings are very good. The only one i have is Hot Rats and i don't remember how it is

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:04 am 
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There is a great book on Zappa vinyl: http://www.schwarzkopf-verlag.de/musik/schoene-bildbaende/grand-zappa.php
And though it is in german it might give you some useful information because it has lots of vinyl issues pictured via their labels and gives info on matrix numbers/scribblings. It is helpful to identify counterfeits, too. Scroll down on that page and you will see previews of the book content.

It should be available per Amazon worldwide.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:46 am 
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jaypfunk wrote:
... those Ryko CDs really bug me because to me the original LP mixes are just how they should be, period. The other thing is that maybe a lot of new fans think this is how they really sounded and might get turned off.
Yes it is cheaper too buy second hand LP then New ryko CD.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:50 am 
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jaypfunk wrote:
Yeah... those Ryko CDs really bug me because to me the original LP mixes are just how they should be, period. The other thing is that maybe a lot of new fans think this is how they really sounded and might get turned off.

Another shocker was hearing Uncle Meat on vinyl for the first time. All those snorks sound like they're right there in your living room. I think I read somewhere that Frank added reverb to the CD to hide some tape defects, but who knows. I think he was just thrilled to have a bunch of magical effects at the touch of a button and he got carried away.

I haven't explored too much into the non-American pressings with the exception of my CBS Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar box and Canadian (I think) Overnite Sensation.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:15 am 
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madcow1515 wrote:
… I think he was just thrilled to have a bunch of magical effects at the touch of a button and he got carried away. …
No. Back in those days when the CD medium was new, nobody was interested to have reissues that were identical to the vinyl records they already owned. It was considered to be a bonus to have: remixes, additions, tweezed sonics, longer versions, different playing order of tracks, etc. This way it was made sure that people would buy the albums one more time and they would get something different.

I remember that back in those days ALL FZ reissues on CD were considered superior to the vinyl versions when they came out. No one complained about rerecorded drums and bass. It was considered an improvement just like Frank viewed it.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:40 am 
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Actually I remember reviewers in CD magazines back then saying the new bass and drums were a mistake. If there had been an internet then (or much of one, at least), who knows what would have happened.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:48 am 
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Maybe some people were smarter. But the generality of Zappa fans were IGNINTS and thought that everything he did was right. Only much later did we grow up.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:54 am 
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Thinman wrote:
I remember that back in those days ALL FZ reissues on CD were considered superior to the vinyl versions when they came out. No one complained about rerecorded drums and bass. It was considered an improvement just like Frank viewed it.

Th.

From my own experience I'm pretty sure that one reason is that back in the day when everybody played vinyl, there were a lot of bad systems out there, so the average listener really didn't get the full hi-fi LP experience. Most CD players would be an improvement on the average, cheap gramophone. I still don't have very expensive equipment, but when I changed to an Ortofon pick-up, I suddenly discovered whole layers of sound in my LPs that the old shitty pick-up hadn't.

But I disagree - or remember differently - on your other point. As I recall, the "drum 'n' bass versions" of Money and Ruben were instantly hated by the majority of listeners and critics. I even remember one critic (Yan Friis) complaining about the revamped Money, saying something like "ok, you get Lumpy Gravy as a bonus, but anyone who's ever listened to that album more than once is a nutcase". - To add insult to injury, every twofer of Money and LG that I've ever come across has suffered from all sorts of digititis, with skips and and the like.

I enjoy the drum 'n' bass Ruben cassette in the car, btw - there's some beautiful playing there. Same with Sleep Dirt cassette, although the remixes can never replace the originals. Reworking stuff from another era is a dangerous business. It's hard to get everything right the second time, with a different focus and other things on your mind. Think about George Lucas and Star Wars.

On the subject of version - I have a Japanese YAWYI LP - it's probably the best version that album I've ever heard. Very crisp and full sound. I also have the Japanese Apostrophe('), but haven't listened carefully to that one yet.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:06 am 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
… "ok, you get Lumpy Gravy as a bonus, but anyone who's ever listened to that album more than once is a nutcase". …
This uttering disqualifies that person for sure and for all time.

All my rememberings can be wrong, of course, BTW. It is a LONG TIME ago. No guarantee. And before the days of the internet you would get only a small portion of the general global opinion.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:24 am 
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Thinman wrote:
Dark Clothes wrote:
… "ok, you get Lumpy Gravy as a bonus, but anyone who's ever listened to that album more than once is a nutcase". …
This uttering disqualifies that person for sure and for all time.

That's true, but you can't blame him for complaining about the WOIIFTM UMRK remix - it really is a strange and uncharming anachronism... Which some critics picked up, because Money is so much more a part of mainstream rock 'n' roll lore and culture than albums like Lumpy Gravy or Uncle Meat.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:43 am 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
… the WOIIFTM UMRK remix - it really is a strange and uncharming anachronism …

It must be the 80s. A decade of many mistakes. ;-). The more time passes the more problems I have with most of the things FZ did in the 80s. I completely lost my fondness for the '88 tour, for instance.

My theory is: There seems to be a decrease of "importance" in his output from the early eighties on. This may be a reason that people get more and more interested in the vinyl-era-Zappa recently. It could not only be the vinyl, but also the more essential years in Zappa's career that draws the main interest. Which brings us back on topic.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Thinman wrote:
No. Back in those days when the CD medium was new, nobody was interested to have reissues that were identical to the vinyl records they already owned. It was considered to be a bonus to have: remixes, additions, tweezed sonics, longer versions, different playing order of tracks, etc. This way it was made sure that people would buy the albums one more time and they would get something different.
Th.

I don't have any memories like that. I bought my first CD-player in the end of 85, shortly before i became a FZ-Fan. I had to explain to visitors, what this strange machine was, one of them complained, that the clock was going wrong. Then suddenly everyone bought one, but no one in those years expected to get something different, when he got a CD, that he already had as vinyl. It was simply the advantage of the digital system, why everybody bought his albums again: small sound carrier, easier to use, no noise, long playing time, stunning dynamics.
And so it was a shock for me to find out, that a CD can be different to the vinyl. I learned to know WOIIFTM in the new version of the 2fer CD, i hadn't any idea, that it was completeley reworked, since the booklet didn't provide any information about that. It was finally an advertising inlay from ryko, where they wrote about new recorded drums and bass, that i learned about the changes. I didn't have too much problems with that, it just made me more curious on the other versions. For me is every listenable different version a little bit like an additional album, no reason to complain about.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 am 
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At the beginning of the CD era those Verve vinyl albums had been out of print for years. So most people didn't have a chance for comparison anyway. WOIIFTM in particular was VERY rare from the mid-seventies on. You could only listen to it if you knew someone a few years older who owned an original worn out copy that didn't sound good anymore. Or a cheesy cassette copy. Or a counterfeit which would be really bad sounding. So any reissue (CD or Old Masters vinyl) was an advantage.

Th.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:05 pm 
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I have the 3 record Barking Pumpkin box version of Shut Up and Play yer Guitar, the 2 CD RYKO version and the Japanese papersleeve 3 CD version - VACK 5112/13/14, which I assume is the same as the '95 RYKO. To my ears, the VACK 5112/13/14 version is the best version. To me, the vinyl version sounds mushy in comparison, and the RYKO sounds like another "bad batch" casualty. I'm assuming that the EMI version is the same as the vinyl, though I've never heard it. Any differences between the 3 LP Japan or UK versions in comparison?


Since the release's of Lumpy Money and Greasy Love Songs, I have a new appreciation for the '80s remixes of the three albums. Prior to those being released, I only had (and still have) an original near mint condition 8 track version of Lumpy Gravy that I played only a handful of times. I've never owned vinyl versions of these 3 albums. In the case of Sleep Dirt, I grew up on the vinyl version and that will always be my prefered choice. If any album needs to be rereleased in it's original vinyl form with a modern remaster, I'd welcome that enthusiastically.

I started buying vinyl records late in the game, when I was around 10 years old, around 1977ish, and used record shops seldom had Zappa titles older than Uncle Meat, though I did manage once to score a pristine original Verve copy of Absolutely Free V65013 (stereo) for what at the time was an exhorbitant price of about $30 back in the mid '80s. I played it once to make a cassette copy, then stored it away never to be played again, which I did with all of my records.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:02 am 
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SPACEBROTHER wrote:
I have the 3 record Barking Pumpkin box version of Shut Up and Play yer Guitar, the 2 CD RYKO version and the Japanese papersleeve 3 CD version - VACK 5112/13/14, which I assume is the same as the '95 RYKO. To my ears, the VACK 5112/13/14 version is the best version. To me, the vinyl version sounds mushy in comparison, and the RYKO sounds like another "bad batch" casualty. I'm assuming that the EMI version is the same as the vinyl, though I've never heard it. Any differences between the 3 LP Japan or UK versions in comparison?


One more time for the world...

The EMI SUNPYG 2CD is probably the CD version that is closest to the LPs, but it's not identical. The speed issue differentiates, in addition to inherent differences between the LP and CD media.

I think it's drastic to call any SUNPYG "bad batch". I haven't heard the maligned YAWYI 1993 approved master, but I can't recall anything deserving that kind of criticism from my old ZAPPACD19, which I gave away when I got the CBS LPs.

The CBS LPs don't sound mushy at all - they're very clear and punchy.

The Ryko 3CD is fine, but as Thinman has demonstrated, probably slightly compressed. The master volume is louder than the EMI 2CD, and the sound is not as clear.

I wonder who fixed the mix for the 3CD, btw. Could it be Spence Chrislu on a similar assignment as the uncredited 1998 YAWYI?

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