Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hack mastering job- RUN FOR THE HILLS!!, May 18, 2009
This review is from: Citadel (Audio CD)
This review is for the audio quality of the 2009 Rock Candy Records reissue of Starcastle Citadel, or lack thereof, and not the music. The music on this album has been jacked up in volume to insane levels. The music distorts during ALL loud passages. I'm left to wonder if Jon Astley (Close to the Edge Mastering), who for some reason wasn't ashamed to take credit for mastering this piece of garbage, ever listened to the final result. It's as if he didn't even bother using a limiter to do his brickwalling, he just turned everything up to 11. And not that it matters, because it's unlistenable anyway, but he also went nuts on the noise reduction. I feel like I've been ripped off, I wouldn't unload this disc on my worst enemy, so I'm stuck with it.

If you like this album my suggestion is to get the Renaissance CD, which blows this "remaster" away. Or go to your local shop, pick up the oldest, most beat-up copy of this album on vinyl, tie it to your car's bumper, drive home through cornfields, slap it on your Radio Shack turntable and enjoy the sonic bliss that this hack mastering job can't come near.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 8, 2009 12:03:25 PM PDT
M. Armstrong says:
All I can say is get a decent hifi, enough said.

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 11:47:57 AM PDT
Sean Eddy says:
Thank you for warning, I may have considered getting this if it improved a lot on the Renaissance version which also distorts but is not bad.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 3:23:25 PM PDT
M. A. Sink says:
Well that sounds discouraging!! I'll just ask, as another implied, are you sure the distortion isn't due to having an old system/receiver that can't handle the volumes that cds have gotten to in recent years? ...My receiver is circa 1993 and I hope, when it breaks down and forces my hand, that a new model will be able to handle the seemingly insane levels of most new cds. ...Just thought I'd ask.

Posted on Jul 31, 2012 5:08:10 PM PDT
Mark Boltin says:
This reviewer does have a way with words. I'm old enough to have seen Starcastle when they were touring (opened even for Peter Frampton). They always got screwed on the mix being usually the 3rd opener on the show. So it's not surprising to hear this.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 7:21:51 AM PDT
N. Kokoshis says:
Is this the same as the 24 bit remaster Japanese pressings? I have two Japanese Starcastle album, Fountains of Light, and their debut album, but not the Citadel release.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2014 11:07:05 AM PDT
David says:
I've only heard the Rock Candy Citadel. It is not the same as the Japan CD on Airmail. I don't know if those are the ones you mean. Those actually are pretty good IIRC. I know they don't always do good work. A little bright maybe but not compressed or limited in any way. I haven't listened to the Airmails in a while but I'll try and find time for that and report back. BTW there are two versions of the Renaissance CDs. The later one is the same mastering with some eq applied, I assume, to address the dullness.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 3:21:00 PM PDT
David says:
I may have been wrong about the Airmails not having any compression, the Airmail CD of Citadel sounds like it *might* have some very light compression compared to the original CD issue. And if Algorithmix dynamic range meter can be trusted, it did score lower than the Renaissance CD. No limiting though. I compared Why Have They Gone from the ESCA7739 japan CD from the 90s, which I believe is identical to the Renaissance, and the 90s disc scored a 12 and the Airmail an 11. It could be due to EQ differences.. No noise reduction on the Airmail CDs or the Renaissance CDs as far as I can tell. The original Renaissance of Fountains of Light sounded like a blanket was over the speakers, no wonder they EQ'd it and re-released it. So I would recommend the remastered Renaissance CD or the Airmail CD over the original Renaissance CD. I think I prefer the EQ choices on the Airmail Starcastle discs, it's a subtle difference though. At any rate, I'm never buying another Rock Candy CD unless I someone tells me it is not like this one.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 7:00:46 PM PDT
N. Kokoshis says:
Wait a minute. Now you are saying there are two pressing from the Renaissance label? And the second pressing is remastered? How would we know the difference if we are buying them online, often used copies at that.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2014 7:54:39 PM PDT
David says:
This was about 4 or 5 years ago, but I think so, yes. I know there are two and I think they must have both been Renaissance because I emailed Renaissance with some questions. I was told the transfer was from the master tapes. I am talking about Fountains of Light on Renaissance. I do not know about Citadel having more than one pressing from Renaissance. Anyway, that is a good question, how to tell them apart, as I think they may have the same catalog number. I know it seems a little unusual, but I clearly remember testing the two pressings and they lined up sample for sample, but one had a much different EQ..Upper midrange was boosted a little on the newer one. I don't remember what led me to know that they would be different. I'll try and figure that out and check back. I seem to have kept only one of the discs but I think I have some notes or an email...There may also be more than one Citadel from Renaissance, that I don't know.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2014 11:04:16 PM PDT
N. Kokoshis says:
Here's a photo album I've put together to celebrate, in part, Starcastle:
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