'Unlistenable' early digital recordings?


Obviously, today’s engineering of digital masters is far superior than the early years. Some say that many CD’s from the early years are ’unlistenable’. I used to agree. But, over the past couple of years, I’ve spent considerable effort to clean up the power to each of my digital components. Now, early CD’s are quite listenable. They might not be ’audiophile quality’ but the music comes across just fine. No more digital nasties. No more glare or etch in the HF. No more excessive boominess in the LF. I’m definitely a clean power convert. So much so, that I recommend cleaning up the power before upgrading to a new DAC. What’s your experience?

steakster
My favorite Organ Symphony is the old Paray/Detroit version.
Many DG recordings were indeed hard to take in their early digital incarnations, especially Wilhelm Kempff records, but I still prefer them to vinyl.
On the whole, early CD remasterings for Classical blew away the lps.  Sony alone saved Bernstein, Szelk and Ormandy from the sonic graveyard.  Bernstein Mahler 7 would be Exhibit A.  And RCA lps had become unlistenable by the 1970s due to the exceptionally poor vinyl.  At least the first CD remastering lacked surface noise and tracked 
Telarcs are an excellent example of early digital that showed off dynamics but tended to sound rather hard and metallic sometimes, but some are great. It depends. The Terminator and Robin Hood CD is pretty amazing. And many others, too.
Mahler123 - thanks for the suggestion on the Organ Symphony. I’ll look into it.

Best,
mgrif
I've had a Tice Power Block III Signature for about 25 years and it seems to do a good job of cleaning up the power. I also live in a semi-rural area where my power is pretty good to start with. As far as early digital recordings there were indeed some bad ones. My vote for the winner in the Digital Recording Hall of Shame is Devadip Carlos Santana's "The Swing of Delight." This was one of the first all digital recordings done in 1980 and it sounds unbelievably bad. It's thin, flat, and harsh. I wonder what they were thinking when they released it.

Ironically, I consider the 80's to mid 90's the golden age of recorded music. This was when tape and mixing console technology hit their strides and it was before the loudness wars. Most of the best sounding CDs in my collection were recorded and mixed on tape during this period. The CD of Anita Baker's Rapture (1986) for example sounds gorgeous. I also have the vinyl version and, at least on my system, the CD completely holds its own in SQ. 

A note about HDCDs. One of the main advantages of this format is that the master tape was converted to digital using a Pacific Microsonics workstation. At the time this was pretty much the best sounding digital transfer you could get and the studios that had them tended to be more meticulous about their digital masters. Pflash Pflaumer, one of the main designers of the equipment, has gone on to make highly regarded D/A converters under the Berkeley Audio Design label. I've gone out of my way to buy HDCDs and I believe that they are some of the best sounding digital transfers of the period. I have become extremely leery of "Remastered" recordings because usually they have been slammed with a limiter to make them louder and they absolutely sound worse than the original.