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Article: The Best Version Of… Crosby, Stills & Nash Self-Titled Debut

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Really interesting. Didn't realize they had done much of it in one take. Impressive. 

Looking for the Gastwirt version, as that's the one of the five I don't have; it's numbered 82522-2.

 

The next year I see they came out with 82651-2: is that the same mastering?


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Side two of Crosby, Stills, and Nash open with what is sonically one of its most compelling songs and lyrically one of its most cringeworthy.

 A little strong, I think. Mainly I think it's obtuse. I don't think anyone would have any idea what it's really about if no one told them how to understand it. Lots of bands have songs like that. Certainly The Beatles, Cream, Hendrix and the Who did.
That's  part of pop music. The songs certainly aren't essays, and aren't even intended as "poetry" in lots of cases. Lyrics often have unclear meanings. Would better lyrics make it better?  Sure. But that doesn't make it "cringeworthy". I can think of lots of songs that are, this one's not that way.
 

Yes it's sonically compelling, and I remember people wanting to sing along with it. I've always liked it, even when I had no clue what it was "about". I don't remember anyone calling it cringeworthy back in the day. Sounds like the kind of thing critics write who are a little to judgemental and expecting every song to be some kind of masterpiece and statement. 

 

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doesn’t accurately reflect the quality of the download, which is significantly over-compressed, as astute fans on Audiophile Style have noted

Yep. It's too bad, because the DL has some good qualities: the tone is good and you can hear each instrument clearly - there's space. Too bad they didn't use more moderate volume compression in trying to make it sound "modern". All those songs rated 8 or 6 would have probably sounded fine if they were a 9 or a 10 (as opposed to the origininal 11 or12) and it would still have sounded "modern".  As it is, it's hard to listen to. I pretty much never put it on. A real disappointment. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Thanks, Josh!

 

Now I have to try and figure out which version I have...

 

Anybody know how to "back-calculate" from the code A2  19117 to the mastering?  Discogs tells me that SD 191117 is a USA release, but not the mastering.  No info about 'A2'


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

This would appear to be the real McCoy (aluminum version of the 1993 gold disc):

 

Crosby Stills & Nash Original recording remastered Edition by Crosby Stills & Nash (1994) Audio CD

Discogs seems to have the same version of the album available for much less. Hopefully Josh can tell us which ones are the Gastwirt version. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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55 minutes ago, firedog said:

Discogs seems to have the same version of the album available for much less. Hopefully Josh can tell us which ones are the Gastwirt version. 

 

The date 2006 and Rhino label are a dead giveaway on the Grundman version, as well as the presence of Bonus Tracks #11-14. It was also an HDCD if I'm not mistaken.

 

The Atlantic label version (1993 gold disc Gastwirt mastering) that was then released as an aluminum CD in 1994 will only have 10 tracks, the original album line-up, no bonus tracks, not an HDCD, not Rhino.

 

3 hours ago, firedog said:

The next year I see they came out with 82651-2: is that the same mastering?

 

Thats a good question.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

The date 2006 and Rhino label are a dead giveaway on the Grundman version, as well as the presence of Bonus Tracks #11-14. It was also an HDCD if I'm not mistaken.

 

The Atlantic label version (1993 gold disc Gastwirt mastering) that was then released as an aluminum CD in 1994 will only have 10 tracks, the original album line-up, no bonus tracks, not an HDCD, not Rhino.

 

 

So anything prior to 1993 cannot be the Gastwirt mastering ??


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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5 hours ago, austinpop said:

Wow - amazing article. I'm in awe.

 

Can anyone supply a purchase or streaming link to the Gastwirt CD?

 

Rajiv, searching on Tidal (via Roon) for Joe Gastwirt, they have one version of this album attributed to him as engineer (10 tracks, etc)  I can't confirm that is the version that Josh heard, but it looks promising.

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

So anything prior to 1993 cannot be the Gastwirt mastering ??

 

Correct, older than 1993 is the Diament mastering, with the possible exception of the original 1987 Japanese CD release of this title (credited to Bernie Grundman and Stanley Johnston).


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, firedog said:

The next year I see they came out with 82651-2: is that the same mastering?

 

Looking more carefully at the Discogs listing for this release, it does appear to be the Gastwirt mastering, the Credits and Notes list him, as well as Ocean View Digital as the mastering studio.

 

2026723251_CSN.jpg.c252ec9ce292850d8ffa4210c09844c9.jpg


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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I love these comparisons Josh! Great reading again for another big recording. Sweeter for me is I own the Gastwirt and always stuck to this as my favorite.

Thank you again for a great read and information.


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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9 hours ago, firedog said:

Really interesting. Didn't realize they had done much of it in one take. Impressive. 

Looking for the Gastwirt version, as that's the one of the five I don't have; it's numbered 82522-2.

 

The next year I see they came out with 82651-2: is that the same mastering?

 

1 hour ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

Looking more carefully at the Discogs listing for this release, it does appear to be the Gastwirt mastering, the Credits and Notes list him, as well as Ocean View Digital as the mastering studio.

 

2026723251_CSN.jpg.c252ec9ce292850d8ffa4210c09844c9.jpg

 

Yes, all of the Gastwirt masterings (gold or silver) should have his credit on the back.

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7 hours ago, austinpop said:

Wow - amazing article. I'm in awe.

 

Can anyone supply a purchase or streaming link to the Gastwirt CD?

 

Any of the 1993 or 1994 CDs on Discogs. They can be had for $5.

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6 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Thanks, Josh!

 

Now I have to try and figure out which version I have...

 

Anybody know how to "back-calculate" from the code A2  19117 to the mastering?  Discogs tells me that SD 191117 is a USA release, but not the mastering.  No info about 'A2'

 

That's the Diament. 

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6 hours ago, firedog said:

Discogs seems to have the same version of the album available for much less. Hopefully Josh can tell us which ones are the Gastwirt version. 

 

5 hours ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

The date 2006 and Rhino label are a dead giveaway on the Grundman version, as well as the presence of Bonus Tracks #11-14. It was also an HDCD if I'm not mistaken.

 

The Atlantic label version (1993 gold disc Gastwirt mastering) that was then released as an aluminum CD in 1994 will only have 10 tracks, the original album line-up, no bonus tracks, not an HDCD, not Rhino.

 

 

Thats a good question.

 

3 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

So anything prior to 1993 cannot be the Gastwirt mastering ??

 

2 hours ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

Correct, older than 1993 is the Diament mastering, with the possible exception of the original 1987 Japanese CD release of this title (credited to Bernie Grundman and Stanley Johnston).

 

There are non-gold Gastwirt versions available for less than $10. They will all have his mastering credit on the back, below the track list. Nothing before 1993 will be his mastering.

 

A Hoffman forum member was supposed to mail me his '87 Japan CD to test. I haven't received it yet, though. I've read claims that it's the Diament CD, and that makes the most sense. The Grundman/Johnston credit on Discogs is probably incorrect, since one Gastwirt Japan CD is given the same erroneous credit on Discogs.

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2 hours ago, ray-dude said:

 

Rajiv, searching on Tidal (via Roon) for Joe Gastwirt, they have one version of this album attributed to him as engineer (10 tracks, etc)  I can't confirm that is the version that Josh heard, but it looks promising.

 

I believe that's the Grundman version without bonus tracks. (There are a few later Japan CDs that are the Grundman without bonus tracks, too. I made the mistake of paying big bucks for one. Fortunately the Ebay seller was willing to take the return!)

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2 hours ago, bobflood said:

Incredible article Josh!

 

It took me back to the summer of '69 when I was a directionless 19 year old college drop out. I had just enlisted in the USAF hoping to stay out of Vietnam (worked). This was a tough time and this brought back many memories, some good and others not so good. The thing that strikes me the most is just how much of a mess my generation was, but looking around now it is painful to see how precious little has changed.

 

I had the vinyl album and several of the CD versions but I can no longer listen to the music of my youth without some sadness so I just don't do it. That was then and this is now as the saying goes. I found my direction in life after leaving the service and left that era behind although one can never truly leave it totally behind. My worst fear then is that I would not live to see 21 but here I am on the cusp of 70 and happy so it did all work out for me. I still mourn for all those of my generation who needlessly perished.

 

Thanks for the trip down memory lane and keep up this great series.

 

Bob Flood

 

Bob, Wow! Thank you for the wonderful, heartfelt reflection. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I'm very glad you're here on the cusp on 70, too!

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By the way, I just updated the article to fix the footnotes and change the location of the tape box photo. (I sent Chris the wrong edit!)

 

The new footnote I added mentions that there's also a digital (in my belief) glitch on the Hoffman CD, which is another mark against it in my book, even if it's far from the deciding factor. (The Gastwirt is better on many more fronts, as I hope the article makes clear.)

 

One other thing I didn't mention is that the Grundman CD cuts out Crosby's ad-lib from "Come On in My Kitchen" before "49 Bye-Byes" for some odd reason. The Grundman CD was down far enough in my rankings that it didn't seem worth mentioning as another negative, though. 

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2 hours ago, JoshM said:

 

Any of the 1993 or 1994 CDs on Discogs. They can be had for $5.

 

Thanks Josh! I just ordered one.

 

4 hours ago, ray-dude said:

 

Rajiv, searching on Tidal (via Roon) for Joe Gastwirt, they have one version of this album attributed to him as engineer (10 tracks, etc)  I can't confirm that is the version that Josh heard, but it looks promising.

 

Thanks Ray, but every version on Tidal and Qobuz says Gastwirt in the credits, which is suspicious.

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