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Reviews: The Who: Tommy

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Reviews: 5

Review by analogue June 1, 2012 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I was a huge fan of the original sacd as it was the disc that forced me to go hirez. For its day it was a great release but as sacd quality has improved over the last 8 years the sound quality has grown long in the tooth as it were. Its obvious that some of the re Mastering TRICKS OF 90's CD TECHNOLOGY REARED ITS UGLY HEAD WITH THIS FIRST DISC. it WAS BRIGHT TO BE SURE AND HAS A CRACKLY AND BRITTLE TOP END. iN ADDITION IT WAS overly compressed and excessively loud. Lastly it was merely a 24/96 pcm transfer.

Now Jon Astley has remastered this famous rock classic from the original tapes but with a pure DSD transfer from the master tapes and no tinkering of the sound. And this new disc is pretty remarkable and clearly superior to the original release in every category of judgment. For starters it is extremely transparent with an open treble region that is awesome to hear. Vocals float beautifully and the dynamic range is gorgeous. On some systems the treble may be to hot or bright but its part of the recording.

The original recording is very good but cannot compete with the subsequent 70's sound as Glyn Johns was one hell of a studio tech. There are some fairly obvious limitations with the panning Moon.s drums to either one speaker or the next. Also some tracks are recorded lower that others. But by and large the sound on this sacd is amazing and to my ears Tommy has never sounded better. The bass is not overblown and exaggerated as it was before and is now very organic and full of tone. Moons drums sound like he is hitting skins this time around. Cymbals shimmer.

Although Universal Japan will not allow any remixing or fussing about this new Shm sacd sounds remarkably like the older disc as far as the actual mix is concerned. There were no shocking changes.just organic and terrific sound.

This disc is very crankable and turning it up loud is the way to listen whereas the older disc is far to loud and boomy to really enjoy at top levels. The organ, acoustic guitars and moons drums sound realistic and faithful to the recording. But Townsend's electric guitar can be felt very organically and powerfully just as he played it in 69. It has a very abrupt and kinetic energy that must be heard to be believed. The layering of the individual instrumentation is very impressive also.

Some of the standout tracks like Its a boy feature a very organic acoustic guitar and likelike vocals as does Daltry's voice in Welcome. I could go on and on but I suspect you are familiar with this album if you are reading this review. This disc is just more analog, more musical and just plain awesome.

There are also better life like timbers on this release and more natural 3 dimensional vocals and sound. The many overdubs can be better gleaned on this disc as well. The sound is very effortless, lifelike...just glorious really.

Play it loud.

A masterful job by Jon Astley. I don't want any one else mastering the Who's discography. I know we have been critical of him in the past but with sacd he really shines.

Highly recommended. An "Amazing Journey."

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Review by MacClaus June 1, 2012 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The best digital pressing. I never heard a better Tommy CD.

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Review by Sergey June 28, 2012 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
From playing the disc is simply breathtaking. Many modern artists would envy such a quality record. This SACD-SHM discs just a new level of sonic performance previously unattainable!

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Review by tdunster December 3, 2012 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This will be the last version of Tommy you will ever need to buy.

Analogues review above is right on the money and I can only endorse his and others enthusiasm for this wonderful disc.

Highly Recommended.

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Review by Tape to DSD128 June 3, 2014 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Natural & organic the music soars with a transcending alive analog beauty

When you listen to this disc it frees you from being Analytical & always judging just like a good analog tape its easy to just enjoy & be swept away totally transfixed & swept along with this great music.

This disc gives me Tommy like its the first time, it seems to have been made real
Its alive breathing organic & real.

please remember that this transfer is of the original masters & thus the original stereo mix from 1969, its not PCM multitracks remixed,over processed & tweaked with DSP to give you an instant wow factor that soon falls away & you don't even look forward to hearing it again, No this disc fills me with joy always gladly looking forward with pleasure to the next listen.
One can only imagine what a 5.6448Mhz DSD128 transfer of this master tape would be like?

Hats off to Universal japan for having the guts & foresight to release direct analog to DSD discs
Remember your hearing the master tape warts & all, Sure they could have converted DSD to PCM ( & back again) to apply EQ,& all the DSP manipulation currently being used to give one more of a HiRez illusion in the short term ending quickly with no genuine lasting affection.

Analogue wrote: "A masterful job by Jon Astley" LOL
Yes he does his best work on flat transfers!, other tape ops are left in the dust,
Jon Astley operates the deck like its a woman coaxing taking the deck close to the edge to obtain the best transfers then a contemplative smoke is shared in the glorious post transfer quiet time AH..

to me the PCM illusion does not fool the subconscious mind into the same feelings as analog & DSD
its like the mind senses that multi bit with limited sample rate is an artificial, altered reconstituted new entity that the flight or fight part of our brain flags to keep analyzing the strange time domain gaps, you cant fool the subconscious survival instincts which are finely tuned alerting us to whats real & whats illusion
So for me Analog & DSD is worthwhile its a feeling, a good feeling & real connection , PCM never touches me in the same way.

This disc has been a revelation to me it has shown me the path to audio enlightenment keeping music pure & away from PCM decimation so for me that means analog & DSD are the only formats worthy to do the music justice, I will not waste any more time with PCM always judging it, telling myself that it sounds good when all along my feelings were telling me ijust cant be happy with this perfect sound forever, for me PCM listening requires constant judging & evaluating where real music analog & DSD i just find infinitely more rewarding on many different levels.
Remember pre digital you could totally lose yourself in the natural analog music you really loved your LPS a real godsend, a tonic for the soul-when you connect with the music you are free, for me PCM robs music of something very very special & its a feeling & you cant really explain it.

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