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Reply #30 posted 09/25/20 7:30am

lurker316

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I'm listening to the digitial download from iTunes. In the song Sign O' the Times I hear a hiss, like a tape hiss or the crackle you get from vinyl. Anyone else hear that? I never noticed it on the original version.




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Reply #31 posted 09/25/20 11:29am

thefrog

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So far I've listened only to the remastered album. It's majestic. The clarity of the mixes is joyous. I'm so pleased. And the book - the whole packaging is beautiful and feels...like proper care amd attention was given to it. Let all future deluxe versions, if we get them, be like this.
[Edited 9/25/20 11:30am]
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Reply #32 posted 09/25/20 11:42am

billymeade

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The bass on Play in the Sunshine! Guitar stabs on Hot Thing! The complete slam of Strange Relationship! Slow Love coming alive! The Cross!? This mix is incredible.
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Reply #33 posted 09/25/20 12:18pm

Rimshottbob

I haven't listened yet.... just picked up my 13LP set from the record store and laughed out loud when I saw the size of the shipping box it came in!

AND - love that the shipping box had the 'O' peace sign printed on both sides of it. The guys at the record store got a kick out of that...

It's properly, solidly packaged which is great to see.... no F ing around. Sounds like the same no nonsense approach was taken on the contents to... Looking forward to hearing it soon....

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Reply #34 posted 09/25/20 12:18pm

funkaholic1972

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Now listening on Tidal, this is a great remaster. Every song sounds fuller, more detailed and punchy, without being overly bright or going over the edge as far as compressing/limiting is concerned. Gives this wonderful album a new lease of life, most of the songs sound stunning! A huge improvement over the original CD's IMO. One happy customer here, can't wait for the CD set and the book to arrive in a few days! cool

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #35 posted 09/25/20 12:39pm

Doozer

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SO HAPPY to have his best record not in the crummiest weak and tinny mix from the original CDs now.

I can find nothing but PERFECTION in this remaster. I'm picking out guitar parts in the title track, SLAMMING BASS but not overdone throughout…finally Housequake has a QUAKE to it. This was done with the care and attention it deserves.

I'm just thrilled with the remaster. 2020 isn't complete and utter shit after all.

Check out The Mountains and the Sea, a Prince podcast by yours truly and my wife. More info at https://www.facebook.com/TMATSPodcast/
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Reply #36 posted 09/25/20 1:16pm

slyjackson

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.

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Reply #37 posted 09/25/20 1:29pm

Wolfie87

slyjackson said:

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.



Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?
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Reply #38 posted 09/25/20 2:23pm

Rimshottbob

I guess a lot of people use Spotify's crappy lossy streams to listen to music, but it's maybe not the best way to compare audio quality of past/current version.... Just sayin'.... smile

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Reply #39 posted 09/25/20 3:14pm

Dandroppedadim
e

Anyone heard the very strange 'rolling echo' at the end of IIWYG (album version)?

Not sure if was on the original album (I've never heard it before). seems to then bleed into Strange Relationship fairly well, so maybe it's part of the master?

I can only guess I'm listening with clearer versions and also in a concentrated state of mind, so these things pop out a bit more.

[Edited 9/25/20 15:15pm]

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Reply #40 posted 09/25/20 4:20pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Wolfie87 said:

slyjackson said:

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.

Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?

Didn't Tidal have the wrong files like a week ago causing a huge org debacle? You sure they got the right ones now? We're still going to use them as some kind of streaming authority on mastering issues?

Verify you got the correct files then A/B... at the very least the levels should clearly be different...

[Edited 9/25/20 16:22pm]

[Edited 9/25/20 16:22pm]

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Reply #41 posted 09/25/20 4:37pm

ThePersian

WARNING! This is just my opinion that is based on my listening to the CDs and lossless rips of said Remasterd CDs.

Just to be sure, I also streamed the 44.1 / 24 versions from Qobuz to triple check.

The gear I have used is an abundance of high-end IEMs sourcing from a Naim Uniti Star and a Sony WM1A (with the volume limit hacked).

I did some floorstanding speaker listening too, but there are too many factors that affect the SQ with that set-up to talk about here.

I listen loud too. And I don't want the neighbours to hate me any more than they already do!

I feel it necessary to list the kit because as there might be a query on SQ source otherwise.

I'm not tryin to promote my bling. Honest, guv.

And it's rather to show sound signatures - Naim have always prided themselves on a very neutral & balanced sound signature which makes what I've heard all the more confusing.

The main difference between the original and remastered version is that there has been a bass / sub-bass boost applied pretty much across the board to both discs.

The worst victims of this are It and If I was Your Girlfriend.

The bass on It makes the song dynamics change too much. The bass now becomes intrusive rather than a beat, now drowning out the soundscape of the song.

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just the IEMs that I use most of the time that was making the bass more pronounced, so I dug out my old Shure 535's, legendary in IEM circles as having the shittest bass ever (for a once premium headphone). And even with them the sub-bass beat in It still remained intrusive, albeit sounding flat as a pancake.

I really don't understand the decision on this track to apply such a bass boost. The track is not about the bass. For me It Remastered is totally unlistenable.

Now If I Was Your Girlfriend...

Or rather just stick a 90's house music beat on top of it.

Well you might as well have.

Ok it's not that bad.

But I'm angry.

The bass beat has been boosted so much that is now smoothers out the beautiful gnarly guitar and quirky keyboards. If you do a quick swap with the original version with any semi-decent kit you will hear it. Yes, the original is murky and hollow but just turning up the bass beat isn't the answer.

Going from one extreme is silly.

Yes, I know it's complicated in that the source material isn't the best either, audiophile-wise.

But it would be good to hear from Bernie et al as to why these choices have been taken.

The two worst sounding tracks on the (original) album, Housequake and Play In The Sunshine sounded so compressed back then and have odd dynamic ranges, that the bass boost makes those discrepancies less noticable.

So I guess winner, winner, Chicken dinner (or Quorn for vegans!). Not a fan of either so don't really care that much.

Slow Love has so much bass now I thought I was listening to Do Me, Baby.

Forever In My Life suffers from the bass-beat-boost becoming too instrusive.

Pattern appearing?

On the good side Sign O The Times sounds ok. They didnt apply such a bass-boost to the kick drum at the start so there's no bleeding of that sound into mix. But they do apply a touch too much bass boost onto the main bass-keyboard riff. It's just about bearable though.

That's the worst stuff out of the way.

Disc 2 generally fairs much better.

U Got the Look needs the bass boost even though the cool, eerie keyboards take a step back in the sound stage. Strange Relationship sounds warmer and so does I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man.

(As a momentary aside - is Side 3 the best side of any album ever?)

The Cross sounds significantly warmer than before - is that good or bad? I don't know. Would be good to hear other thoughts on this one.

It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night again sounds warmer but being a mix of live and studio stuff the bass boost is not intrusive.

Adore. We all adore Adore. Even in it's original, slightly hollow, echoey version. Well this version has big hairy bass balls. The kick drum is slightly too warm for my liking but it's nice to hear warmth on the bass from around 4:15 onwards especially. Yes, I said something positive.

It could have been better, it could have been worse. But why so much bass?

P.S sorry about any typos - it's late.

The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
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Reply #42 posted 09/25/20 4:56pm

funkaholic1972

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Wolfie87 said:

slyjackson said:

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.

Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?

Yes, you should! lol

Seriously, investing in a decent headphones or/and good quality speakers is a pretty safe investment if you ask me, especially if you listen to a lot of music (like I do).

Better quality audio gear usually gives you a precise, open, revealing sound compared to cheaper gear which tends to be more 'blurry' sounding. So yes, if you are interested in enjoying the differences between the old and the new CD master, you should bite the bullet. smile

Decent headphones start around 150 euro (IMO) and you can get a decent set of speakers starting from 300 to 400 euro. But beware, the higher your budget, the better sound you usually get. Make sure to listen and compare before buying. Best order a few online (if you can afford of course), try them out and keep the ones you like best. They will provide years and years of listening pleasure. Your life will be better for it. cool



RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #43 posted 09/25/20 4:59pm

funkaholic1972

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ThePersian said:

The main difference between the original and remastered version is that there has been a bass / sub-bass boost applied pretty much across the board to both discs.


I agree that some songs seem to have a little bit too much bass boosted. But mostly I think they did a pretty good job with this remaster.

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #44 posted 09/25/20 5:12pm

kremlinshadow

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ThePersian said:

WARNING! This is just my opinion that is based on my listening to the CDs and lossless rips of said Remasterd CDs.

Just to be sure, I also streamed the 44.1 / 24 versions from Qobuz to triple check.

The gear I have used is an abundance of high-end IEMs sourcing from a Naim Uniti Star and a Sony WM1A (with the volume limit hacked).

I did some floorstanding speaker listening too, but there are too many factors that affect the SQ with that set-up to talk about here.

I listen loud too. And I don't want the neighbours to hate me any more than they already do!

I feel it necessary to list the kit because as there might be a query on SQ source otherwise.

I'm not tryin to promote my bling. Honest, guv.

And it's rather to show sound signatures - Naim have always prided themselves on a very neutral & balanced sound signature which makes what I've heard all the more confusing.

The main difference between the original and remastered version is that there has been a bass / sub-bass boost applied pretty much across the board to both discs.

The worst victims of this are It and If I was Your Girlfriend.

The bass on It makes the song dynamics change too much. The bass now becomes intrusive rather than a beat, now drowning out the soundscape of the song.

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just the IEMs that I use most of the time that was making the bass more pronounced, so I dug out my old Shure 535's, legendary in IEM circles as having the shittest bass ever (for a once premium headphone). And even with them the sub-bass beat in It still remained intrusive, albeit sounding flat as a pancake.

I really don't understand the decision on this track to apply such a bass boost. The track is not about the bass. For me It Remastered is totally unlistenable.

Now If I Was Your Girlfriend...

Or rather just stick a 90's house music beat on top of it.

Well you might as well have.

Ok it's not that bad.

But I'm angry.

The bass beat has been boosted so much that is now smoothers out the beautiful gnarly guitar and quirky keyboards. If you do a quick swap with the original version with any semi-decent kit you will hear it. Yes, the original is murky and hollow but just turning up the bass beat isn't the answer.

Going from one extreme is silly.

Yes, I know it's complicated in that the source material isn't the best either, audiophile-wise.

But it would be good to hear from Bernie et al as to why these choices have been taken.

The two worst sounding tracks on the (original) album, Housequake and Play In The Sunshine sounded so compressed back then and have odd dynamic ranges, that the bass boost makes those discrepancies less noticable.

So I guess winner, winner, Chicken dinner (or Quorn for vegans!). Not a fan of either so don't really care that much.

Slow Love has so much bass now I thought I was listening to Do Me, Baby.

Forever In My Life suffers from the bass-beat-boost becoming too instrusive.

Pattern appearing?

On the good side Sign O The Times sounds ok. They didnt apply such a bass-boost to the kick drum at the start so there's no bleeding of that sound into mix. But they do apply a touch too much bass boost onto the main bass-keyboard riff. It's just about bearable though.

That's the worst stuff out of the way.

Disc 2 generally fairs much better.

U Got the Look needs the bass boost even though the cool, eerie keyboards take a step back in the sound stage. Strange Relationship sounds warmer and so does I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man.

(As a momentary aside - is Side 3 the best side of any album ever?)

The Cross sounds significantly warmer than before - is that good or bad? I don't know. Would be good to hear other thoughts on this one.

It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night again sounds warmer but being a mix of live and studio stuff the bass boost is not intrusive.

Adore. We all adore Adore. Even in it's original, slightly hollow, echoey version. Well this version has big hairy bass balls. The kick drum is slightly too warm for my liking but it's nice to hear warmth on the bass from around 4:15 onwards especially. Yes, I said something positive.

It could have been better, it could have been worse. But why so much bass?

P.S sorry about any typos - it's late.

Although there is a bit more clarity, there is not much of a difference from the Japanese 2009 SHM-CD, just the bass boosted as you mentioned. I was enjoying the 24bit files regardless, but after a while I understood what people describe as ear fatigue, especially on the busier tracks.

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Reply #45 posted 09/25/20 6:08pm

1nonly

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Dandroppedadime said:

Anyone heard the very strange 'rolling echo' at the end of IIWYG (album version)?

Not sure if was on the original album (I've never heard it before). seems to then bleed into Strange Relationship fairly well, so maybe it's part of the master?

I can only guess I'm listening with clearer versions and also in a concentrated state of mind, so these things pop out a bit more.

[Edited 9/25/20 15:15pm]

Nope, you're not alone on that. I heard it too listening with headphones. It threw me off and I had to rewind it to hear it again. Interesting and odd.

Walking alone in the dark, I see nothing u see
I can be in a park, or flying in the…in the deep sea
I wish u’d hold my hand; then everything could b
There’s nothing strange, we’re not deranged
We only want everyday 2 b a Cosmic Day
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Reply #46 posted 09/25/20 6:54pm

LoveGalore

Wolfie87 said:

slyjackson said:

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.



Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?


Why would that not be the expectation? Yes, if you want music to sound great then you will need to invest.
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Reply #47 posted 09/25/20 7:17pm

ForceofNature

Wolfie87 said:

slyjackson said:

I'm listening on Spotify and hear no difference between this and the regular version, pretty sure it's me or my cheap headphones.



Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?

I would say decent gear is the only real way to enjoy the difference in masterings in a general sense, so decent cans would be IMO a good investment for any devoted music listener.
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Reply #48 posted 09/25/20 7:35pm

JoeyCococo

I agree with most that the low end has really been filled out, similar to how they added a little something on the low for 1999. It is fantastic. I did also read that gentlemen's comment about too much bass in It. To me, this album had nearly zip in terms of low end so this is a great improvement. The roar of the guitar in I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man just takes the song to another stratosphere of enjoyment. Adding bass oomph on If I Was Your Girlfriend really anchors the song better. However, it is also the details that this remaster has revealed that really has my attention...some particulars..

The following are specific of what I heard that were obviously more then before. However, there is a lot throughout the album that is not easy to describe but I sense that is a huge improvement over the previous cd.

If I WAs Your Girlfriend - it may be mid range but the synths throughout are far more clear. It adds to an isolated feel to the whole song...almost like a sinister soundscape. THroughout my listening, I was amazed by the vocal details brought out...often in the backgrounds. When he sings in the altered low voice the backgrounds, it is so so clear.

House Quake - again, vocals...there are so many bits and pieces...so many backgrounds that are more clear. You can distinguish several voices making up the backgrounds better then before.

Ballad Of Dorothy - bass...for sure, much better.

Starfish and Coffee - the cymbals were what i noticed right away. You can hear the tapping of each hit..not a haze. I also noticed a backward playing throughout the whole song...much more clearly. I guess I knew something odd was there before, but not so clearly. I can also make out the female vocal better (Susanah?)

Slow Love - i was not expecting much here but this is the one that surprised me. I could hear th ekeyboard twinkles for the 1st time. I could strings...the bass guitar was more articulate. All combined made for a much more interesting listen. I'll revisit soon.

Hot Thing - Vocals...when he sings "tell'em you've found a new, baby doll'. There is another vocal by Prince saying the same thing but it's so clear...almost singing it right beside the lead. I just can not clearly remember this before. Is there a cowbell in this song?

Forever In My lIfe - oh the backgrounds...i can hear his every nuance. I just never heard it that clearly. The background always competed wth the lead on this song but here, they almost take over. Wow... That springy beat also has a longer decay or something...the sound just rings out a bit longer at every beat...

U Got The Look - hardly a fav of mine but i noticed some sub woofer action occasionally that was missing before. I also heard a very odd keyboard line when he sings 'well here - we - are, ladies and gentlemen..the world series of love....' .

If I Was Your Girlfriend - i mentioned some points above but where he sings 'not that your helpless'....i hear an odd clink or something in the left speaker. Never heard it before.

I Could Never- guitar roars!!

The Cross - so clean. The drums sound as clear as the International Lover take 2 on the 1999 set.

Adore - well, I got interupted by the kids. I'm going back to it.

All in all, this remaster was done by a PRO. Surely I would not have minded if the boosted the bass a little bit more to get my sub to rock. However, the clarity they squeezed out of this recording is miraculous. To me, this is a whole new listening experience.

Finally, today was the 1st time in years I listened to the album all the way through (almost). It truly deserves every accolade that it has and continues to receive.

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Reply #49 posted 09/25/20 8:19pm

controversy99

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This sounds amazing! Like somebody said, Prince’s best album finally is sonically on point. I brought out my old-fashioned head phone for this, not just the earbuds. biggrin biggrin But I can enjoy this on my simple iphone speaker—it’s just that good. So happy cool
"Love & honesty, peace & harmony"
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Reply #50 posted 09/26/20 5:40am

Dandroppedadim
e

The 'joins' between songs seem to be much improved over my original cd versions. I personally can't hear much difference when I compare old with new; reduction in hiss and a bit more bass heavy. I guess they aren't re-mixes, but they just used the final album masters to remaster them, so not a great deal they can do I guess as they are using flattened files to use a photoshop analogy!

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Reply #51 posted 09/26/20 1:51pm

TakEpri

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WhisperingDandelions said:

Wolfie87 said:

slyjackson said: Same on Tidal. So now I have to buy a 200$ brand headphones to enjoy the experience? If even that helps?

Didn't Tidal have the wrong files like a week ago causing a huge org debacle? You sure they got the right ones now? We're still going to use them as some kind of streaming authority on mastering issues?

Verify you got the correct files then A/B... at the very least the levels should clearly be different...

[Edited 9/25/20 16:22pm]

[Edited 9/25/20 16:22pm]

TIDAL has now correct files for SDE. The files are MQA studio 44.1kHz/24bit, which were not before the SDE release.

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Reply #52 posted 09/26/20 2:16pm

Nikkie

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This remaster is amazing. I'm hearing things happening in Starfish & Coffee and Strange Relationship I never heard before. And those backing vocals in If I was your girlfriend, wow. Even Slow Love, the subtle strings in the back are much clearer. It's all quite overwhelming. smile

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Reply #53 posted 09/26/20 2:29pm

Nikkie

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I'm not really bothered by "It". The kick is clearly louder, especially when it sounds together with the snare. But it's not distorted in any way. I think I will get used to it. It does slam now, in a way. And in IIWYG the groove just got more dynamic and delicious to my ears (listening through a nice pair of Beyerdynamics).

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Reply #54 posted 09/26/20 2:34pm

IanRG

Nikkie said:

This remaster is amazing. I'm hearing things happening in Starfish & Coffee and Strange Relationship I never heard before. And those backing vocals in If I was your girlfriend, wow. Even Slow Love, the subtle strings in the back are much clearer. It's all quite overwhelming. smile

.

Still waiting on my delivery, but based on the online versions, the experience is more complete than ever before

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Reply #55 posted 09/26/20 2:39pm

databank

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How are there 140+ pages of discussion on Steve Hoffman and 3 here? eek
A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #56 posted 09/26/20 3:07pm

wasitgood4u

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I've only heard streaming on shit gear so my comments aren't really relevant but I obviously didn't hear a big difference (with PR the effect seemed much more glaring). I though Beautiful Night was much clearer.
After listening I popped on my original 33 y.o. 33 RPM. Sounded way better. Is this still the best way to listen? Are the new LPs better? I think I'm happy to keep spinning the OG for the 500th time...
"We've never been able to pull off a funk number"

"That's becuase we're soulless auttomatons"
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Reply #57 posted 09/26/20 4:31pm

BanishedBrian

I'm enjoying the remaster on first listen (glad I lived to see it released), but must agree about the bass on It being too intrusive - that mix in particular just jumps out in a bad way. I enjoy it nevertheless, but it definitely gives a different texture to the song.

[Edited 9/26/20 16:35pm]

No Candy 4 Me
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Reply #58 posted 09/27/20 2:16am

Nikkie

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I'm wondering if anybody ever noticed this: I listened to the title track on the remaster. At 30 seconds, when Prince sings 'died', there is a clicky sound. I heard it first in the mp3, then checked Spotify, it's there too. I'm thinking this can't be! An ugly click on the remaster!

Then I checked the original release, it's there as well. Which in some way is a relief. But at the same time, could they have fixed this? It obviously is on one of the master tracks. It's nothing major, especially since I never noticed this on the original recording to begin with.

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Reply #59 posted 09/27/20 4:10am

SanMartin

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Holy shit, Slow Love is transformed. If you told me this was an alternate take with a proper orchestra added instead of blurry background synths, I'd believe you. Slow Love was always the song I felt I probably wouldn't give the time of day to if it weren't on SOTT, but it's completely rejuvenated here. Yesterday I put it on out-of-sequence because I really wanted to hear it again. That's never happened before.

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Sign o the Times Remastered Album (LP 1 & 2) discussion