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: 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:

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”!

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7 Responses to SHM-SA-CD’s

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    I can’t say I’m a fan of Jon. Astley. His remaster/remix work tends to be sterile to my ears. I’m a big fan of Virginia Astley, his sister.

  2. postpunkmonk says:

    By the way, Jon uses SADIE and CEDAR NR [with a heavy hand]. Pro Tools is for mere mortals.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    I was def. not impressed with the Who’s Next CD, as mastered by Jon Astley.
    Sounded compressed, flat. Funny, my UK LP of it doesn’t.

    The Who SA-CD to get is “Tommy” (Deluxe edition) via Universal USA. Amazing sound.

    The “My Generation” SA-CD is a non-hybrid, so I do not recommend it.


    p.s. coming soon!

    • Plinio Araujo says:

      Hi Ron, need your help if possible…. I just received Wishbone Ash Argus SA-CD UIGY-9046 and the record volume on it is very low. I also bought Caravan SA-CD UIGY-9047 and don’t have this problem. Do you think my Argus came with problem? thanks!, Plinio

  4. postpunkmonk says:

    I have the “Who’s Next”/Astley 90s RM and Astley has never heard compression or NR he didn’t like! I enjoy the disc in spite of the bad sound for the incredible bonus material. The bonus material on the two 90s Who RMs I have [Sell Out is the other] is among the best such material I’ve ever heard. The stuff they didn’t put on “Who’s Next” is better than anything else they released afterward! I don’t care how amazing the sound in on the “Tommy” SA-CD, the material leaves me cold. I consider that album a huge [albeit successful in the marketplace] error for the band and a kind of death knell for them.

  5. ronkanefiles says:

    I agree – the bonus material on “Sell Out” and “Happy Jack/A Quick One” is astonishing. For me the death knell of The Who is “Quadrophenia” – impenetrable!

    Regardless of what one thinks of the material, the SA-CD of “Tommy” is easily the most impressive sounding title by The Who. I don’t think it’s Astley’d.

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