Do you prefer special "audiophile" editions of recordings you buy?

Do you prefer special "audiophile" editions of recordings you buy?
Yes, by a long shot
46% (112 votes)
Yes, most of the time
28% (69 votes)
Yes, once in a while
19% (46 votes)
Don't really care
3% (8 votes)
Never buy them
4% (9 votes)
Total votes: 244

Audiophile labels spend a good deal of effort trying to improve the transfer of music from the master tape to CD, DVD, or LP. Is this important to you?

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COMMENTS
Robert Holland's picture

MoFi and DCC generally produce a product that major labels simply don't bother with. It's a shame, but true. The exceptions should be pointed out and encouraged, though. I'm thinking, just off-hand, of the Who and Van Morrison catalogs, which sound pretty fine in their most recent major-label re-dos, and the Kinks reissues on Velvel.

Randy Lert's picture

I would say that 95% of the time audiophile labels have superior transfers and are definitely worth it. I find it greatly improves my ability to enjoy the artist's performance. That's why I built a high-end system, after all.

C B's picture

I have found really good results comparing a "normal" CD with a "audiophile" edition CD, however now and again you find a recording that really doesn't sound much or any better and youre still out the extra $20-$30 + what you already spent on the original CD. Be careful what brands you buy, I would personally rank moble fidelity as the lowest bang for the buck of remastered brands I've tried.

Greg Simmons's picture

If the labels spent the time to make the transfers correctly, then there would be no "audiophile" product!

Graeme Nattress's picture

If the initial transfer is not made with care, your hi-fi isn't going to put it back later on. A decent transfer can make a world of difference!

pierre fridez's picture

There's no use in listening to a crappy record on an expensive high-end audio system. I guess, the manufacturers of high quality audio equipment should welcome any effort in creating audiophile recordings as well, since these recordings are made for their equipment.

Scot Forier's picture

In one way or another, I've had a CD player since Christmas Day 1982. I have never purchased a special audiophile edition of a recording. This is not to say I will never buy one in the future.

Ken So's picture

Actually, I prefer the "Audiophile" versions for the sound but am not usually willing to pay the premium. In some cases, it's double the cost of the "normal" CD. I prefer more good music than less music but better sound quality. In some cases the "audiophile" versions aren't very good music at all.

Roger Lawry's picture

I find that most "audiophile" editions of recordings, on vinyl at least, sound better, but not always. As on everything else in this hobby, listening is required.

Priya N.  Werahera's picture

JVC XRCDs are clearly better than the regular CDs. I did not hear any difference in 24k gold CD versions. Overall sound quality of Chesky CDs are also superior to mass-market products. However, on LPs, quality pressings make a BIG DIFFERENCE. Audiophile editions from Sheffield Labs and 180gm direct-master editions are much better than the regular LPs.

B.  Smith's picture

Yes, very important. Isn't improving the sound what this "hobby" is all about?

Washington Irving's picture

I have recordings that I consider to be audiophile quality, but I do not have any "audiophile-quality" remastered recordings. I usually balk at the price of gold CDs and heavy vinyl. Classical remasters are generally good. The Led Zeppelin remasters were quite satisfying. I also like the remasters of Queen, David Bowie, Elton John, Iron Maiden, and the Faces. I'm still not convinced about the success of the Rush remasters because of the way remastering a recording can create a different listening experience. The different remasters of Jimi Hendrix's catalog did more damage than a right-wing anti-rock'n'roll bonfire. I'm inclined to agree with Neil Young's opinion that remastering is not always a good thing, nor is it always necessary.

Prithviraj M.  Vedpathak's picture

It is always a pleasure to listen to music that is on an audiophile label.

Jeff Loney's picture

I was shocked at the difference between Vinyl and CD "audiophile" editions. This was highlighted during an audio-club comparison of the same pieces of Janis Ian's music on Mobile Fidelity. Try it for yourself—this is one way of clearing up any remaining doubt about vinyl vs. CD! (In my case, the vinyl was as close to perfection as I had ever heard!)

Al Marcy's picture

D'oh! I like recordings which sound good.

John McRee's picture

I buy the "audiophile" versions of LPs when I can find them, as the improvement is obvious. I have tried the CD versions but don't believe the improvement is close to the improvement of direct-to-disc LPs, which seem superior to all other media.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

They almost always cost a fortune-- at least enoughf or me to buy two or more regular editions. I'll buy one, but I really need to hear it first

Eric Scott's picture

Yes, if it's music I like. My days of purchasing classical music just because it sounds good are long gone. Thank God for Mobile Fidelity!!

dcline's picture

Yes it is important but not in isolation to the rest of the factors that make an excellent recording (similar to your stars rating for performance and quality)

Anonymous's picture

If only their selection of music were better!

Kevin Hawthorne's picture

At present, I mostly listen to CDs. Even on a $12,000 system, I don't hear a remarkable difference between regular and audiophile releases on CD. 24/96? That's a different story!

Ron Gamble's picture

want the best recording I can get Still do buy many older CDs and LPs to obtain selections wanted -eg trad.jazz,swing,ragtime.

Nate L.'s picture

Some 'audiophile' releases are special; some are just fancy packaging. I can appreciate the former, but can not tolerate the latter, especially when a price premium is involved. Remember, different does not always mean better.

Mannie Smith's picture

Occasionally, I will buy an "audiophile" disc, but in trying to make up for lost time (I was away from music collecting - mostly classical, some jazz - for many years), I'm buying music too fast to do anything but buy the best of recordings that I don't already have.

Peter Randell, New Zealand's picture

It is generally well worthwhile paying the extra for Audiophile labels and to a lesser extent gold CDs

Mike Andrews's picture

A no-brainer. Only one in 50 of the mass-produced stuff comes close to the limited-edition audiophile stuff.

Kenton Kirkpatrick's picture

I've never heard a radical (italics) improvement from an audiophile re-release. The original recording is what counts. A good recording remains a good recording unless someone goes out-of-their-way to make it bad. Of about 1000 CD's purchased, I count two that have 'De-evolved'. I hope that new technologies, like the 196k oversampling (actually, the improved 'Brickwall' filters) will let the extra care (of audiophile recordings)shine through. KKIRKPA@AOL.COM

E.J.  Hartman's picture

I buy as many as I can afford. Most of the time it is an album I have already owned and liked. I have to feel the remaster is a big improvement.

Anonymous's picture

I dont care for tapes, I'd rather listen to cd in the car and making mixes isnt my thing for the home suytem. When I get a cd-recorder, or cd-r I'm sure I will care though.

Jim Brock's picture

Unfortunately some recordings cannot be improved because of poor original sources. Therefore, reviews are needed to pick out the wheat from the chaff.

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