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Yes Close to the Edge, Question on Provenance


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So I understand that Steve Wilson remixed Close to the Edge.. It's supposed to be fantastic.. and I'm sure it is. His remixes of the Tull albums and King Crimson are killer.

 

So my question is: I go to HD Tracks and they have Close to the Edge.. but no info on the provenance of the recording all it says is "Flat Analog Transfer" that's so much BS.. Frankly I'd rather have a great re-mastered recording at 16/44 than a HiRes crapshoot... Anyone have any idea's?

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So I understand that Steve Wilson remixed Close to the Edge.. It's supposed to be fantastic.. and I'm sure it is. His remixes of the Tull albums and King Crimson are killer.

 

So my question is: I go to HD Tracks and they have Close to the Edge.. but no info on the provenance of the recording all it says is "Flat Analog Transfer" that's so much BS.. Frankly I'd rather have a great re-mastered recording at 16/44 than a HiRes crapshoot... Anyone have any idea's?

 

The HDT is a remaster of the original analog mix, not a remix. You can buy the SW remix from:

Yes – Close to the Edge (CD/DVDA) – StevenWilsonHQ.com

https://www.burningshed.com/store/panegyric/product/340/5001/

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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So my question is: I go to HD Tracks and they have Close to the Edge.. but no info on the provenance of the recording all it says is "Flat Analog Transfer" that's so much BS.. Frankly I'd rather have a great re-mastered recording at 16/44 than a HiRes crapshoot... Anyone have any idea's?

 

Yes it is a flat transfer of the stereo studio master. It is basically identical to the flat studio master supplied as an extra in the Steve Wilson package, but should not be confused with the SW remix. The flat studio master is usually eq-ed, perhaps compressed, to create a master for CD and download. The flat studio master is a nice point of reference if you have heard lots of versions before, but as you say, its really the starting point for a release of that mastering and not a final product. Still, many prefer a flat transfer of the studio master, to badly done (hot eq and dynamically compressed) masterings for CD.

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So I understand that Steve Wilson remixed Close to the Edge.. It's supposed to be fantastic.. and I'm sure it is. His remixes of the Tull albums and King Crimson are killer. So my question is: I go to HD Tracks and they have Close to the Edge.. but no info on the provenance of the recording all it says is "Flat Analog Transfer" that's so much BS..

 

Well, it's more provenance than you get with the vast majority of HDtracks releases.

 

Frankly I'd rather have a great re-mastered recording at 16/44 than a HiRes crapshoot... Anyone have any idea's?

 

You might also consider the Steve Hoffman version. It is exactly what you say - "a great re-mastered recording at 16/44". But I'd still recommend you go with the Steve Wilson.

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I own the AF SACD and you can skip that. Not worth the $$.

 

Why do you say that? What don't you like about it? And how did you play this? Does your DAC currently support DSD?

 

I consider the AF SACD to be well worth the $$. I may even prefer it to the Steve Wilson re-remix.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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My DAC doesn't support DSD (during the year I'll have it upgrades). I do have the SACD ripped to file for 24/192, 24/384 playback. It is a bit more resolving with a touch more low end but doesn't open the clouds to reveal the heavens: my original UK vinyl did this if my aging memory serves me. It think I've owned about every issue of this including the Japanese HDCD issues and for the money the Diament Atlantic CD or Gastwirt sound pretty great. I'll weaken at some point and get the Wilson version (I have all his Crimson re-mixes and some are eye-openers. His Aqualung re-mix is spectacular). I grow weary of the re-issue train of great albums only to have improvements hardly worth the money. DSOTM a great example orr Eat a Peach for the MFSL SACD. It's a tiny bit better but I'll still take my MFSL gold disc for the Allman Brothers any time.

Furutech GTX-D, GTX Wall Plate,106-D Cover > NCF Clearline >J River 27 > Curious Cable Evolved USB > Chord Hugo TT 2 > Empyrean Copper PCUHD Cable > Meze Empyrean > my ears > audiophile brain

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It is a bit more resolving with a touch more low end but doesn't open the clouds to reveal the heavens: my original UK vinyl did this if my aging memory serves me.

 

I have several very early UK vinyl pressings, that differ quite a bit. It seems like they had a really hard time cutting this right. One pressing, which may be the earliest I own, is completely lacking in bass. The was corrected in a later pressing. None of my UK pressings are that satisfying. My MoFi vinyl pressing was the one that got repeated plays.

 

When I first got the AF SACD, it beat all my vinyl pressings. My phono stage was only a couple weeks old at that point and it was not fully burned in, so I should probably revisit this. I haven't done so because I have just been so satisfied with the AF SACD and haven't felt a desire to reach for the vinyl at all. It's rare that I'm that satisfied with digital. [Just last night while listening to "Moving Pictures in 96/24, I just couldn't help but pull out the vinyl. I was glad I did. My US pressing was so much better.]

 

It think I've owned about every issue of this including the Japanese HDCD issues

 

I have the same sickness. LOL

 

and for the money the Diament Atlantic CD or Gastwirt sound pretty great.

 

Agreed!

 

I'll weaken at some point and get the Wilson version (I have all his Crimson re-mixes and some are eye-openers. His Aqualung re-mix is spectacular).

 

I have most of his Crimson re-mixes. Wilson does a great job of unraveling the mess that was often the case with the original mixes. He makes it easier to hear each individual part, which can be a real eye-opener. I have wondered though if a byproduct of this is that things are left sounding a bit more clinical or artificial. Jury is still out on that. That won't stop me though from buying this: The YES Album - in 5.1 & Hi-Res Stereo - Remixed & Expanded by Steven Wilson (2014) - Yes

 

:-)

 

I grow weary of the re-issue train of great albums only to have improvements hardly worth the money.

 

I hear you.

 

As an aside, I think the AF SACD of "Going for the One" is fantastic. This beats away every digital and analog copy I have of this. I have more different versions of this than any other album as I've long been on the hunt for the holy grail. No version ever impressed me until the AF SACD.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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I own the AF SACD and you can skip that. Not worth the $$.

 

I forgot that the AF version is a hybrid SACD, as I usually play the CD layer that I ripped to my computer, though my Oppo does play SACD. Steve Hoffman always does a great job with the remastering, but the problem is that it's just not an audiophile quality recording to begin with, so the result was not revelatory to me either. But it's probably the best that it's ever going to sound without remixing.

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Steven Wilson did re-mix it. Some say it is quite revelatory.

Furutech GTX-D, GTX Wall Plate,106-D Cover > NCF Clearline >J River 27 > Curious Cable Evolved USB > Chord Hugo TT 2 > Empyrean Copper PCUHD Cable > Meze Empyrean > my ears > audiophile brain

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Steven Wilson did re-mix it. Some say it is quite revelatory.

 

I know. I meant to say that the Hoffman version is probably the best remaster, and if you want a better sounding version you have to get the Wilson remix. I have both, and while I may not go so far as to use the word revelatory for the remix, it is an improvement for sure, and is probably the one I would recommend.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi-

 

Got the DVDA. I started to extract (rip) the hi-res files with DVD Audio Extractor and am a bit confused.

 

The booklet shows 3 stereo versions of the original album on the DVD:

 

2013 Stereo Mix (3 tracks) in MLP lossless 24-96

Original stereo mixes (3 tracks) LPCM Stereo 24-96

Alternate album (3 tracks) LPCM stereo 24-48

 

My problem is that I find 2 different versions of the album in 24-96 LPCM on the disk

 

each has 3 tracks, but the tracks aren't identical lengths for the same track, nor are they the length mentioned in the booklet for the LPCM 24-96

 

one version is listed under the folder "title 4" in the file tree of the DVDA, and the total length of the 3 track album is 37:50

another version is listed under the folder "title 5" in the file tree, and the total length of that version is 38:05.

 

Are either or both of these the flat transfer "Original stereo mix"? The length difference between them seems to just be how much silence is added at the end of tracks. But one set does sound "louder" to me? Anyone understand just what these 2LLPCM versions are?

 

Can anyone help?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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okay, listened. The 37:50 version from LPCM appears to be the same as the 2013 Steve Wilson remix from MLP. Don't know why it is on the DVD in both formats.

 

The 38:05 LPCM files appear to be the original master flat transfer.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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  • 2 months later...

Supposedly the SW remix on the DVDA is a 16 bit file padded in 24 according to the SH Forum. Found this out the day after I took delivery on the DVDA. BTW the Flat transfer is fantastic.

Furutech GTX-D, GTX Wall Plate,106-D Cover > NCF Clearline >J River 27 > Curious Cable Evolved USB > Chord Hugo TT 2 > Empyrean Copper PCUHD Cable > Meze Empyrean > my ears > audiophile brain

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I forgot that the AF version is a hybrid SACD, as I usually play the CD layer that I ripped to my computer, though my Oppo does play SACD. Steve Hoffman always does a great job with the remastering, but the problem is that it's just not an audiophile quality recording to begin with, so the result was not revelatory to me either. But it's probably the best that it's ever going to sound without remixing.

 

 

Steve Hoffman did not remaster the Audio Fidelity SACD, Kevin Gray did.

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Steve Hoffman did not remaster the Audio Fidelity SACD, Kevin Gray did.

 

 

 

I am sorry, the above information is incorrect. I have the Audio Fidelity ripped to my HD, but I was confusing the mastering credits with the Audio Fidelity Rush titles, which Kevin Gray did a very fine job mastering. The Yes titles on Audio Fidelity were mastered by Steve Hoffman. My apologies.

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So my question is: I go to HD Tracks and they have Close to the Edge.. but no info on the provenance of the recording all it says is "Flat Analog Transfer" that's so much BS.. Frankly I'd rather have a great re-mastered recording at 16/44 than a HiRes crapshoot...

 

I would rather have a straight transfer from the Analog Flat Master in hi-res than a "great remaster" in 16/44. Every mastering engineer has their own idea of what a "great remaster" might sound like, and in almost all cases, they need an acquired taste. Steve Hoffman has his sound, and it isn't always something I would gravitate to. (Too cloying.)

 

Furthermore, full out remixes make no sense to me at all. Like repainting the Mona Lisa.

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I would rather have a straight transfer from the Analog Flat Master in hi-res than a "great remaster" in 16/44. Every mastering engineer has their own idea of what a "great remaster" might sound like, and in almost all cases, they need an acquired taste.

 

I would generally agree with this - except in the case of most of the Yes albums. The flat masters for Yes pretty all seem to need the help of good mastering engineer. Barry provides a really good explanation of this in this post and a few others in that thread.

 

I only have a handful of the HDTracks high res versions. I think most are said to be "straight transfers" and most are rolled off on the top end. This was true of my UK original "plum" pressing of "The Yes Album" too. I can't say I really like the HDTracks version, which I think is said to be a flat master.

 

I really like the reissues done by Audio Fidelity. Their "Going for the One" is the best I've heard in both digital and vinyl (and I have many different issues of both).

 

I really like the Audio Fidelity reissue of "Close to the Edge". I like the job Steve Wilson did on his version too. I'd call it a tie between these two, I think, as I'm happy to have both.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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