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New remastered catalog

Thu May 29, 2003 12:22 am

Hello, Bob here. I just dropped in to ask a few questions and discuss a few things about Elvis and his studio recordings. Unlike many of you, I am a fan of Elvis 1953-1964. For those who severely criticized the 4 remasters that came out in January for sounding the same as the original cd releases, I bought Elvis 56 as a test. Let me explain the major improvements I heard over the original 50's box. If you listen to the original discs out of phase, there is a strange stereo reverb on every master. The new Elvis 56 has been corrected to mono. Also, flat tracks such as Hound Dog, Money Honey and especially I want You sound the best that they ever have with no pop at the end of Hound Dog. Tracks such as my Baby Left Me which always sounded good continue to do so. In my opinion, these improvements are worth the overhaul and I would gladly replace my 50's box to get all mono 50's masters. Can't Help Falling In Love and Heart & Soul should be arriving soon and I will follow up on my report. Thank you for the opportunity to share this with other Elvis fans.

Thu May 29, 2003 2:26 am

Thank you for that interesting post.

A question - does the new Elvis '56 sound better than the previous Elvis '56.

Thu May 29, 2003 2:53 am

I never bought the original E56 but a friend of mine played it for me. Except for the alternate takes and me not having headphones on, it appeared to sound exactly like the 50's box. Also, I was told that the catalog was not remastered every time new Elvis product came out until now. In other words, don't buy the Gold Records series or the 1997 albums expecting to hear different sounding masters. Of course, the alternate takes were a different matter. Perhaps somebody else could comment on the Japanese versions of 50's material? Do they contain that stereo reverb?

Thu May 29, 2003 4:07 am

I can answer that - yes, they do sound better. In most cases, just a bit brighter and cleaner, but in some cases like "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", "I Was The One", and "Anyplace Is Paraddise", it almost sounds like a whole new source has been found.

Very good stuff. I hope they do this with everything. In some cases, I like the sound better than 30#1s - not in most cases but in some. I'm not as crazy about some of the 70s stuff since it's been remixed with some instruments and overdubs almost gone, but they're still great quality.

Of course, I'm a really huge audio guy (hearing, not technical) and I've got a pretty good ear (check out my "Kinda cool thing on Studio B CD" thread), so not everybody will be able to pick it out.

Almost everybody could hear the difference between versions of "Old Shep" from the old and new "Country Songs" comps, though.

In short, they're worth getting, even if you have the originals.

Thu May 29, 2003 4:33 am

I found E1 to be very harsh on a lot of tracks and I did not like the remixes. Also, the sound track songs sound like they were sourced from a film reel or something! Having said that, E1 contains the definitive Jailhouse Rock and tracks such as Too Much and One Night are at the correct speed. I'm still waiting for the correct master of Big Hunk O' Love. Can anybody tell me what version was used on 24 Kerit Hits?

Thu May 29, 2003 4:57 am

I have all 4 versions both new and old. To me they sound much better than the old versions. In my opinion they are the best sounding cd's in my collection besides E1. I think these CD's are selling pretty good in USA. I'm hoping BMG releases Christmas Peace at least with this technology.
Believe me Anyplace is Paradise, I got a Woman, Money Honey, Such an Easy Question, Treat Me Nice never sounded this good before.

Thu May 29, 2003 5:43 am

Actually, I think "Too Much" sounds slow on E1.. I'll have to check that out, thanks!

Thu May 29, 2003 4:45 pm

Besides the fact that this a wonderful box set containing some of the finest rock music ever recorded, The King Of Rock'n'Roll unfortunately is pretty poorly mastered. Okay, so it's 11 years old. That still does not explain why the mastering is so bad.

I noticed that when I replaced my original "Elvis Presley" (1956) CD by a CD-R I compiled from the 50ies box. BTW if you want to hear the difference the box made in the early 90ies listen to the original EP CD. Blue Suede Shoes got its peak at -1.89 dB which means 80% of the possible gain. A rocking title like Money Honey is at -1.29 dB, One Sided Love Affair is at -2.59 dB or 74% and stuff likeTutti Frutti is at -2.95 (!) or 71%. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down is even worse at -3.19 (!!) db or 69%. These are just a few examples. Many Elvis-CDs are terribly mastered.

I wonder how you can put out a 5-CD-box-set of what was/is probably your most important artist ever before you haved finished the mastering. What is the reason for that?

Use a mastering programme, change the gain and you'll listen to totally new material. Of course the 50ies songs still have to be completely re-mastered using original tapes and state of the art hard- and software.