18 responses Add your response
An unfortunate result of the "loudness wars" that is endemic to modern CD.
There are better CD recordings to be had of newer material but not sure how much choice you really get. There are some here with much more knowledge on that score than myself.
Of late I rarely have purchased any newer CD and the last one I did suffered exactly as you describe and was suitable for in car play only.
I stick to older vinyl, cassette and streaming mostly nowadays.
I guess I'm just an old fart stuck in a bygone time. I'm fairly tech savvy, especially when it comes to digital photography and high end image editing and printing....so its not that I'm a Luddite...I just prefer to own my stuff...and for the most part I want that stuff to be real.
When I want to read I buy books. If it is a good book I get it in hard back. When I take a digital image I make an archival print. I'd like my music to be the same. Silly I guess.
There is always HD Tracks but again, that's just 1s and 0s too.
slaw, I’d still like to hear about it. It might not move me to get heavily into vinyl but I’d like to know if newer artists are recording _anything_ in quality fashion.
I mention this because I just purchased Neko Case’s album "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" on CD. Good music. Bad recording. Super loud, just like "Boys and Girls". Fatiguing to listen to. So I went to the dynamic range database...the CD rates simply awful. Among the worst I’ve seen on that site. The HDTracks version is only slightly better. There were no tests results on the vinyl. But multiple reviews of the vinyl complain of low quality pressings with clicks and pops right out of the sleeve.
tdimler, That is truly a shame about Sound and Color because it is the type of album that demands high SQ to make the high level of musicianship stand out. It staggers the imagination that the band would allow an album like that...superb writing, arranging, performing and singing and leave out that last critical piece of the formula...especially on an album that was never going to achieve huge popular success anyway.
And the sad thing about this is bands like Steely Dan recorded high quality CDs in the midst of these Loudness Wars.....so we know it can be done.
Edit: Just checked the DR for the Sound and Color CD. Worse than Fox Confessor with an average DR of 5. (The scale is 0-14+ with 11 and up considered good). The vinyl rates slightly better but still in the unacceptable range.
Sound & Color (Deluxe Edition" is the most dramatic example I have encountered of an LP sounding freaking amazing... just so good... while the streaming version (Qobuz 24/44.1) sounds quite disappointing. It is such a difference, it affects the enjoyability of the album.
Another such example is Abel Selaocoe album "Where is Home": beautiful SQ on LP, not as good on streaming.
This is certainly not always the case, in my eperience: I have compared a number of albums where I have both the LP and CD, or LP vs streaming, and IMO, it is unpredictable which is going to sound better. (I have some albums, both streaming and ripped CDs, that sound flipping amazing on my digital streamer + DAC... so when it sound poor, I know I am hearing a deficiency in a particular digital release.)
Maybe it reflects how the music was originally recorded (analog or digital)?
Or maybe the mastering process is so different for analog vs digital that you can't count on both results being of equal quality. 🤷♂️