I love the integration of Tidal with my own music collection and have found some great new music via forums, Radio Paradise, this community and Roon’s discovery, all of which I’ve added to my library and playlists that I’ve created. Tidal is certainly a great resource.
There is one fundamental problem with Tidal though.
Having lived through the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and collected CDs as they were released I’ve come to own and love some great sounding albums. I haven’t got round to ripping them all yet, but I’m getting there.
The other day I remembered the track by Michael Jackson - Black Or White, and thought I’d put it on.
I remember, back in the early 90’s playing the second half of that CD (Dangerous) over and over in my University Digs on my old Marantz CD Player, Mission 760 Speakers and Kenwood KA 3020 amp. It sounded pretty special as I recalled. (Never liked the first half of that album, but… hey ho)
As I hadn’t got round to ripping it from my collection, I just added the Tidal version to my library and sat back and played it from Track 8 as I always used to.
What I was presented with was unfortunately lacking somewhat and left me cold. I skipped through the tracks to the end and thought… oh well… my system is much more revealing now, it’s showing that what I thought was a well recorded CD in the 90’s falls short today.
However… I then thought… I’ve fallen into this trap before… The version on Tidal, is most likely a newer - ‘remastered’ version.
I immediately grabbed my dusty 1991 CD off the shelf and ripped it. Stuck it on… what a difference!! Dynamic, more realistic, more engaging… just better! How I remembered it!
As I say… I’ve had this happen before… I once downloaded a SACD version of Thriller and was unimpressed. This was an album I’d originally enjoyed on Cassette, then CD when it came out, however, unfortunately it was stolen from one of the houses I was staying in at University and I didn’t replace it until 2001, but I replaced it with the ‘Special Edition’ CD that had just come out.
I played it a bit, but wasn’t impressed or ‘engaged’ with that either. The SACD version was slightly better, but still not how i remembered it.
It was when I read about the ‘Loudness War’ that I began to realise what the problem was.
I recently ordered the original Epic version of Thriller 2nd-hand off Ebay. Ripped it… Loads better!!
Another example is Paul Simon’s Graceland, the original sounds loads better than the Tidal version.
So… I guess my point is… Tidal is a great resource, but it’s truly a shame that for some of the great sounding albums of the 80’s, 90’s etc. the version on Tidal falls far short of the sound quality of the original recording due to Dynamic Range Compression.
Eventually, many years from now, those dynamic, well recorded masters will be lost for ever!
Has anyone got any other examples of fine sounding albums that sound far better on original master than on Tidal?