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  1. #1
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    import vinyl/CD: better sound quality?

    Hi, I read somwhere that imported disks are supposed to have better sound quality then domestic. Any truth to this?

  2. #2
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Well, your question does not make any sense because an import is only an import if it's outside of your own country and everyone on this site is from various countries, so how can we answer without knowing where you are from and what you consider domestic or imported.

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    hmm, rather prudish answer. I only assumed that most of us were from N. America since we're speaking the English language. That narrows it down quite a bit I would think. Well, anyone else heard anything about this? I doubt theres any truth to it myself. Thanks

  4. #4
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    They also speak English in Canada, England, Austrailia, and most of the other countries are also fluent or semi-fluent in English, so I wouldn't exactly say that MOST people are going to assume anything.

  5. #5
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Zwieb
    Hi, I read somwhere that imported disks are supposed to have better sound quality then domestic. Any truth to this?
    Short answer: no. There are certainly import disks that sound better than their domestic counterpart, just as their are domestic disks that are better than their imported counterparts.
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  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    It's hard to say. BlueNote's Toshiba Japanese pressing sounds pretty decent to my ears, but 83' French reissueI have is flat out dreadful.
    Well I would stay away from BlueNotes from the 80's no matter where it was pressed.

    Just dont pay twice as much on same albums you can get here.

  7. #7
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Short answer: no. There are certainly import disks that sound better than their domestic counterpart, just as their are domestic disks that are better than their imported counterparts.
    Yup. For some content there have been some mastering and recording techniques (developed largely by japanese companies) that may sound better but they can be hard to get. From what I've heard myself, they usually aren't really any different than what's produced here if care is taken, we just don't have fancy names for it (although certain companies are worth keeping an eye out for).

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The answer to your question will vary by title, depending on how the transfer was done and whether any kind of remastering was done overseas.

    With vinyl, you can definitely have some notable differences in pressing quality with imports. This perception about imports having better sound quality dates back to the 70s when U.S. pressings began using recycled vinyl and going with thinner plats, while Japanese pressings continued to use virgin vinyl which tends to have less surface noise. Plus, the quality control on a lot of U.S. pressings really nose dived during that time as well, and they tended to overuse the stampers resulting in audible distortion on the LPs made after the stamper had already worn down.

    These differences don't matter nearly as much nowadays with new LPs because even major label releases are now outsourced to specialty pressing houses such as RTI, which handle everything from major label releases to audiophile remasters to 12" singles. With used LPs, you have to consider a lot of variables, since sound quality even on identical U.S. album versions can vary depending on which stamper was used.

    The mastering though can really vary, because on some titles the master discs were shipped overseas for replication, while on others the mastering was done over there. With vinyl especially, the mastering engineer plays a huge role with the sound quality on a particular title.

    With CDs, differences I've noticed have been with remasters that were done overseas but not released in the U.S. Otherwise, the differences with CDs from my vantage point are generally less noticeable than with vinyl.
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