Most anybody who knows me well knows that I am an advocate of SA-CD (Super Audio CD). My preference is to recommend domestic SA-CD that are hybrid discs to people – discs that can be played on ordinary CD players.
Last year, Universal Japan started issuing expensive (base cost US$54. ea. – before shipping) limited editions of SHM-SA-CD’s – see ‘em all here: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/u-pop/special/sacd/rock_pops.html They are doing jazz and classical titles as well – check ‘em out!
I ordered from Japan several of the ones that had never previously been made available as SA-CD’s:
UIGY-9022 THE WHO – Who’s Next
UIGY-9031 BLIND FAITH – Blind Faith
UIGY-9033 10cc – The Original Soundtrack
UIGY-9034 BLACK SABBATH – Paranoid
UIGY-9043 JOHN MAYALL with ERIC CLAPTON – Blues Breakers
UIGY-9047 CARAVAN – In The Land of Grey and Pink
UIGY-9049 TRAFFIC – John Barleycorn Must Die
UIGY-9057 GENTLE GIANT – Octopus
Caravan and John Mayall / Eric Clapton were mastered by Kevin Vanbergen at FX Copyroom in England – read about them here: http://www.fxgroup.net/Copyroom
Definitely read the Sound on Sound article at the bottom of their page. Interesting stuff!
It begs me to ask the question: Was there any problems with the master tapes for Caravan or John Mayall / Eric Clapton? Why weren’t they mastered in Tokyo like everything else (but The Who)?
How do these sound? If there’s hiss on the master tape, it’s on this disc – along with the true sound of the master tape. Probably the best sounding disc here is the10cc, as it was recorded very, very well. The biggest improvement between a regular issue and an SHM-SA-CD would be either Blind Faith or Black Sabbath (Traffic comes a close second, to these two). Really only The Who is disappointing; I previously obtained the SA-CD of “Tommy” and it sounds amazing, so I expected more from “Who’s Next”? The SHM-SA-CD is mastered by Mr. Astley, and sounds like it may have been Pro-tool’d to death (to my ears).
And Universal Japan continues to issue SHM-SA-CD’s! Coming up at the end of May, 2011 – Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers”! I think I have an MFSL half-speed mastered LP of that one around here somewhere! But, let’s hope it’s a mighty sounding SA-CD, like Black Sabbath “Paranoid”!