Remastered or not?

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There are several albums I’ve purchased in a lossy/compressed format from iTunes. I’ve decided to replace these albums with something of higher quality. I’ve already replaced a few with CDs ripped to lossless/uncompressed FLACs and the difference in quality is obvious.

So onto the question. How does one go about picking the “best” version of an CD or digital download? My question stems from the fact that many of the titles I’m replacing have been re-mastered, and I’m starting to think that isn’t always a good thing.

For instance, I purchased on CD the recently remastered versions of the Beatle’s “White Album” and “Sgt.Peppers”. Both excellent sounding recordings. However, I also purchased a few other CDs that advertised as being remastered but I don’t feel like they sounded as good as the original CDs that I had on hand for comparison. They really just sounded more compressed and louder.

An album I’d like to replace is the first Led Zeppelin album. HDTracks has a 96/24 version but gives scant info about the remastering. Qobuz (I’m an early U.S. Qobuz member) also offers a 96/24 version and gives just a bit more info, but are these the same remasters?

Any thoughts? (no industry affiliations, btw)

Answered question


Remember some of these remasters were done so they could get a contract on the new work. Because the old contract for some of these albums did not include any digital. So the fat record companies were making money (still are) and the bands were getting nothing for digital stuff.

The remastering really was taking those tapes and and a good AD and putting them in respectable format for digital.



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