Customer Review

99 of 113 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Mr. Ludwig for keeping the loudness war alive., October 3, 2011
This review is from: Nevermind [2 CD Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
in a 2009 article Bob Ludwig stated "People talk about downloads hurting record sales, I and some other people would submit that another thing that is hurting record sales these days is the fact that they are so compressed that the ear just gets tired of it. When you're through listening to a whole album of this highly compressed music, your ear is fatigued. You may have enjoyed the music but you don't really feel like going back and listening to it again. It's been really rough, folks, But it can get better and I think it will get better. I'm glad it's going to be over."

This is the same guy who's remastered this version of 'Nevermind' 2 years later to the very same loudness war standard he has criticised and seemed to suggest was reversing.

All the dynamic range on this classic album is gone. Which means there's no punch to the music, every song stays the same volume throughout so when a chorus kicks in it doesn't get louder than the verse and lift the song.

From what i've read over the years, Kurt loved using the quiet verse LOUD chorus technique, so for a band that was obviously about dynamics it's baffling that this remaster even made it onto a commercially available CD/download. A whole new generation of Nirvana fans are going to be robbed of the way this album should really sound as mastered dynamically in 1991 by Howie Weinberg.

UMG don't care, they just want your money, but that's ok, you don't have to give it to them, no matter how big a Nirvana fan you are, you can download the extra content for free 'illegally' after all they're offering you an inferior 'new' product when your original copy of Nevermind sounds perfect -- you just have to use that thing known as a volume knob or volume buttons.

"All the kids will eat it up, if it's packaged properly".
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2011 2:25:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2011 2:27:04 PM PDT
PAC MAN says:
I couldn't disagree with you anymore. Do you have a fisher price sound system? I mean, yes, it's a little louder, but it's 2011, not 1991. Secondly, they left the bass and drums perfectly in tact. Third, I would compare this remaster to looking through a nicely cleaned window where you can see really clearly. It's so clear and crisp. Stop, telling these kids to get the old out dated version from 1991. I've listened to it since 1995 and it sounds inferior compared to this new cleaned up version. People, it's not 1991. If you want it to be 1991 don't buy the re-issue. In fact, listen to the album on a cassette tape so you have even worse quality. This remastering is incredible. Bad remastering would be the greatest hits Nirvana from 2002 where the bass was brought up to high and it sounds like garbage. This, the music is perfectly preserved and cleaned up. Yes, it's slightly louder, but not much. All remasters are slightly louder for the times.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011 3:25:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2011 3:26:04 PM PDT
No i don't own a Fisher Price sound system as i am quiet obviously, not a kid. This remaster even sounds horrible in my car and on my computer speakers. So I'm sorry to read you're deaf but even a non audiophile can notice how shocking this remaster is if they own and have been listening to the original for years.

I put 3 versions of Nevermind in my CD stacker at home. The original 1991 version, the 1996 ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs and this new 2011 version. I listened to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on all 3... and the first 2 leaped out of my speaker, the guitar sliced, the bass thumped, the drums pounded. the 2011 version, was just artificially loud through compression, didn't leap out of my speakers and all the music sounded squished and muddy without definition and when the vocals came in... well the music had nowhere to go so it ducked down and lost even more impact.

I can only assume you work for Universal music and are pretty pissed that some people aren't eating this turd up.

I'm not supposed to complain because this mastering is for the times?? Movies are now available in hi-definition thanks to Blu-ray but music is meant to go backwards?? A dynamic CD is the audio equivalent of high definition.

Yeah it's not 1991 and 2011 but to quote a lyric on this very album 'I'd rather be dead than cool'. They got the mastering right the first time and it doesn't sound dated at all --- how does dynamic range get dated anyway?

Posted on Oct 3, 2011 4:46:20 PM PDT
M. Mcmahon says:
Why would you own thre versions of the same CD? Also, not directed at you, but to "loudness war"casualties in general...why buy any remastered disc? Inevitably the remaster gets hammered for being over compressed and too loud for human ears. It never fails. Why not wait and see what the reviews bring in?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011 4:56:50 PM PDT
Nirvana are my favourite band so when the 'super deluxe' was announced i pre-ordered it as i was pumped to hear a different slant on Nevermind with the 'Devonshire mixes' finally coming out and getting a non bootleg release of the paramount theatre show on CD. Plus i'm always interested in how albums come together through demos etc.

So that's why i own 3 copies of the album. In my grand naivety i assumed record labels would try to avoid ruining albums considered 'classic' with loudness war treatment due to the fact some people tend to notice these things (and Bob Ludwig supposedly being anti loudness war and a veteran mastering engineer).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011 11:44:32 PM PDT
Sure, there is clarity, the mixes sound good on the Smart tracks, but they are indeed squashed. The dynamic range is gone and there is little to no breathing room. I put the original Smells Like Teen Spirit on and it had me bobbing my head "kick kick snare......." and then I put the remastered version on and I just kind of stood there because everything was uniformly loud, no more of that breathing room that is so vital to a band of dynamics like Nirvana. It's a shame really, and when I play the Smart Studio demos on my car I have to turn the bass down really low because the bass is just ridiculously loud.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 8:35:28 AM PDT
M. Mcmahon says:
I guess I'm not that kind of Fan when I get a new version, the old goes out. I have a rack of them ready to go right now. I know people who buy all the different album covers for some releases etc... I was just curious.

Now that I've given the album a listen I don't hear the problem. I say re-mastering is a no-win situation for some buyers, they won't be pleased so they should save their money. Unless of course they want all the other "stuff" that comes with a set like this one. Just put the word re-mastered on a title and even if no additional mastering was performed the loudness war complaints will roll in.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 4:13:50 PM PDT
Benniebo1 says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 10:53:32 PM PDT
Didn't you write this same review on the "Super Deluxe" under a different name? And a 3-Star rating at that?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2011 5:17:54 AM PDT
Same name, slightly different review at the end. Different rating is justified. the super deluxe has a well put together BIG book (the size of a vinyl cover) with more photos and revealing details about the album. The front cover has the baby printed onto plastic but the background on the book, so when it slides into it's case it gives off a 3D effect. So firstly the packaging is better. You get the Devonshire Mixes & Paramount CDs which aren't available separately and they aren't as sonically destroyed as the 2 discs featured in this deluxe edition and you get the Paramount DVD. So it gets higher rating for better content.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2011 4:03:00 PM PDT
Fair enough.
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

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