Friday, April 25, 2014

John Denver - The RCA Albums Collection Sound Review

So here we go. For the first comparison coming up I'll review the album Back Home Again. I just bought the original CD on ebay and I have had the 2005 remaster for a while now. I'm ripping the RCA collection version as we speak.

Anyhow, I am comparing the original and the remaster at the moment and I'm both disappointed and surprised at the same time. The original CD has all the dynamics I knew I remembered the songs having. The new CD is definitely not bad, and compared to new CD mastering in general it isn't very compressed. However, it is not as open and doesn't breath as much as the original CD. So for dynamics the original wins hands down. However, holy cow, the remaster is cleaner and then some.

There are blurps and durps all over the old CD. The remaster only has a few that they probably couldn't eliminate very easily if at all. However, the remaster sounds newer and less like an old worn tape. Also, the remaster has a very noticeably wider and more balanced stereo mix. The old CD has a sort of strange hollow sounds sometimes, and things almost sound halfway mono. The new CD is wider and more realistic in terms of imaging. So much so, I 'm finding it hard to listen to some songs on the original CD when comparing. But the new CD is a bit more "in your face" or forward. Things don't sound as far away and spacious, which I sort of liked about the original. This is probably due to the compression and EQ applied. Things sound fuller in frequency and more even in dynamics, which makes reverb trails not sound so deep. So they're both a mixed bag. However, neither are bad and neither are amazing. But both are amazing, because of the songs and content. And really thy both sound good for the style of music in general.

Good news. The rhymes and reasons CD is identical to the remaster I have, which I think was a 2000-something year remaster. This is good in my opinion, because I found this a very excellent mastering. I also have a Japanese import version of this CD, and it is better than the US, but only but the very slightest margin, and some people might even find the opposite is true depending on their preferences of warmth vs. "cold" accuracy. But even then, the difference is so small only the most critical audiophiles would probably even hear it. In essence they're the same basic mastering. The Japanese might have used a double speed mastering process and slightly less compression. Needless to say the collection version is identical to the US remaster and is very good. Granted, I haven't heard the true original recording.

However, there is no obvious noise reduction. Things are clear and distinct. Basses and everything are tight and punchy (as far as john denver goes. ;P ) There is no dynamic compression either really (maybe 2% compared to the japanese version, but audibly almost non existent). So in my book this is an audiophile grade john denver release.

More to come as I listen and compare. Stay tuned!...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sony MH1 Recable Update

A quick update on my recable tutorial. I found out how to open the MH1 housing without damaging it or the stress relief! Thank to ZMF for the tip.

Here's what it looks like opened up:


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sony MH1 Re-cable Tutorial

UPDATE: Newer re-cable tutorial is being developed that includes soldering straight to the drivers! (more stable and professional looking). Please look for the new post once it posts soon.

I promised some people over at an audio forum that I'd make a tutorial on how to re-cable the Sony MH1 earphones.  Sorry for the long wait, but here we go...

(Note: This is an incomplete article. See below.)

Before explaining the process, some people might be thinking, why would you want to re-cable an earphone?  There are a number of reasons, and the MH1 seems to have them all.  It is one amazing earphone connected to one horrible cable.  First, they are designed to be worn behind the neck.  This allows you to have the microphone close to your voice and gives you the ability to remove them from your ears and let them rest on your chest (nice during a workout).