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Best Led Zep remasters?


Ralf11
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Those are 96/24 so I've put them on my "non-iTunes" machine running JRiver and A+. I don't think they are Copy-protected ala DRM.

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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There's a lot of debate about the best-sounding Zep albums. There's a lot of affection for the old 1980s Barry Diament-mastered CDs, and some are quite good, but others not so much IMHO. For many albums, I prefer the 2014/2015 John Davis remasters.

 

FWIW, here's my list of the best-sounding when it comes to CD/digital versions:

 

Zep I: Toss-up - Davis or Diament. Davis is clearer and cleaner, Diament a bit rounder sounding with more resonance in the mid-bass. The heavier tracks kick your ass a little bit more on the Diament, but the acoustic ones just sparkle on the Davis.

 

Zep II: Davis. The Diament is renowned for its huge bass, but it's actually a bit bloated. The Lemon Song, for example, is a bit of a sonic trainwreck on the Diament. The Davis is tight, clean, and well-balanced. The one big plus of the Diament, though, is that this album is full of tape overload because of how it was originally recorded, and the less refined sound of the Diament masks that a bit.

 

Zep III: Davis, by a country mile. Clean, clear, full high-end extension. The Diament is a bit dull and lifeless by comparison.

 

Zep IV: Davis. (1980s CD for this album was mastered by Joe Sidore, not Diament, and reportedly mastered from a west coast copy tape. It's not very good sounding)

 

Houses of the Holy: Diament. The Davis is nice, but this is without a doubt the best-sounding of all the 1980s Diament CDs, and it's just gorgeous.

 

Physical Graffiti: Toss-up. Unlike Zep I, the Davis and Diament sound very, very different from each other. The Davis is clearer - The Rover has never sounded better - but depending on your taste and your system, the mid-treble can sound a bit messy when it's cranked up. Diament's is duller and not as clear, but the drums sound more organic. I go back and forth on this one.

 

Presence: Davis, no contest. Much clearer, full of muscle, and the Diament is dull and lifeless.

 

In Through the out Door: Davis. Best this album ever has sounded, including the vintage vinyl pressings (IMHO of course).

 

Coda: Davis, same reason as Presence.

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