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  1. #1
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    Who's Best UK or US recordings?

    Is there a difference between UK/European and US recordings? and I donít mean a US or UK version of the same album I mean the recording source i.e. the master.

    I buy a lot of albums by US artists one of the reasons I frequent this board so much I guess. But I find US artists recordings have a much more relaxed, open, less compressed sound where as UK recordings tend to compress the hell out of them, itís sometimes like listening to am radio even on a half decent stereo. Iím not too up on the actual recording technique but I suppose the damage is done in the mastering to CD not the actual recording.

    There are exceptions of course so Iím talking generally here, but just an observation. Anybody else find this?

    Cheers
    Mike

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Sealed's Avatar
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    Maybe

    I find that the vast majority of pop, hip hop and rock recordings range from abysmal to ok. Very few are excellent.

    I can say however, that the majority of jazz and classical recordings are excellent.

    Pop/rock recording engineers do tend to compress (to sound better on crappy and car systems)

    Companies like Telarc, Mapleshade and Chesky go direct to disc and rarely have any processing or compression at all.

    I'd say that the individuals mastering the product make the biggest difference, not the country of origin.

  3. #3
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    Hard to say on that one, mate.

    For a long time I have always sought european pressings on lp and cd, just because it seems like in general the quality is better.

    But most bands I like anyhow are based out of Europe, so it's hard to say.

    But in general I think mass produced cd's sound qualities can wander all over the map, regardless of where they were made.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    It depends. For example, Genesis' Trespass is owned domestically by a different company than most of the rest of the catalog, so it's still the old, un-remastered CD. So in that case, the import is cheaper. I don't know if it's more compressed, but it definitely sounds muddier. But I'm sure there are American artists who've received the remaster treatment, and their UK release is the old version. Again, just remastering does not necessarily mean improvement (at least not compression-wise), but it usually is an improvement in the area of freqency spectrum.

    Now, in general, as to just production techniques, and which side of the Atlantic goes for which type of sound, I have no idea, but in my head, I associate the British with higher fidelity, so I would have thought that they would compress their recordings less. But that's in my head, I have no idea what the reality is.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Now, in general, as to just production techniques, and which side of the Atlantic goes for which type of sound, I have no idea, but in my head, I associate the British with higher fidelity, so I would have thought that they would compress their recordings less. But that's in my head, I have no idea what the reality is.
    That's interesting because in terms of recordings I always associate the US with higher fidelity. You seem to have a bunch of specialist recording labels Chesky, Telarc and mapleshade as already mentioned and specialised reproduction labels like MoFi and DCC etc. I can't think of any UK equivalents apart from Linn - and they don't do much.

    But in terms of hifi equipment I think we Brits resisted the onlslaught of Far East hifi components in the 70s/80/s like Custers last stand, and equally so when the CD arrived in the early 80's. You would think the phrase 'Flat Earth' was invented by us

    But if you read the magazines back then and now, they still slant towards US recordings as the benchmark of quality and I tend to agree.

    I also agree with the earlier post regarding Jazz and Classical recordings they tend to be pretty good recordings and I would also lump a fair number of blues recordings in there too.
    Personally I would love to hear a specialist label record a good rock band and see what they could come up with, but generally with specialist lables the quality is high but the content is poor.

    Cheers
    Mike

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