Worst audio threat of all times ... (WOATOAT)

Have you ever compared your original recordings on CD with "remaster" versions?

Most of them are ruined using compression/limiting the signal! (reducing the dynamic range)

Here is one example :

Now the remaster :

They are literally killing our beloved music! (Alan Parsons , Led Zeppelin, Roger Waters , GONG ... just to name a few)

It's like your are listening to the music being using an overdrive!

Quieter parts are lost and be now in the foreground!

Louder parts are now overloud!

The original balance of the music is lost ... what a tragedy!

Uh - little mistake in the headline I wanted to write THREAT but one character went to digital dust ...
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Joined 2004
Paid Member
I listen to a lot of music on Tidal, when I find a recording I like I usually try to get the original and not a later remaster. Sometimes this results in significantly wider dynamic range than the Tidal offering, but sometimes I end up preferring the Tidal version.

I don't have a lot of remasters, but I have noticed the same thing when I have been able to compare.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

The first 5 tracks are all wonderfull !!

As far as I know this old analog production was never released on CD in the eigthies , all stuff on CD that I have tested have the same amount of compression!

A friend made me a digital copy of my original LP which I burned on CD .

Every time I listen to these AAD tracks I have a wide grin on my face knowing all these guys out there cranking up their stereo will never experience the real richness of these sounds!
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
It depends: some are good, others bleah.

I really like the 'new' Giles Martin Beatles re-masters, the Bernie Grundman Hendrix remasters such as Electric Ladyland and Cry of Love, but the newer Stones and Dark Side of the Moon CDs don't do it for me. The 2001 All Things Must Past issue, supervised by George himself, was an improvement on the sometimes muddy sound of the original CD release.

The Sony Dylan releases with black stripes stripes on the CD spine label and yellow stickers sound great, at least those I've bought: Blonde on Blonde, New Morning and Highway 61 Revisited. They sound much fuller with better bass than the old releases.

Have you ever compared your original recordings on CD with "remaster" versions?

Most of them are ruined using compression/limiting the signal! (reducing the dynamic range)
The Loudness War has of course been going strong since ~1991 (~32 years ago), when multiband compressor plugins hit the market, about 9 years after the introduction of the compact disk format.

About 10 years ago, I did some analysis of the DR Database data (linked above by Mr. Shurv) and found some interesting trends at that time: "Loudness War" and the Dynamic Range (DR) Database - some observations.

About 7 months later, there appeared a JAES article on the same subject.

I then started demastering my digital music tracks in January 2015 using the freeware tool Audacity to recover some of the apparently lost dynamic range and to reverse some of the mastering EQ applied to the tracks, and have been demastering tracks for ~8 years now (~25,000 music tracks thus far). I believe the skill developed in demastering tracks is now something that all hi-fi audio enthusiasts should learn and keep in their ready skill set. It's quite handy.

  • Thank You
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
Yes, the remasters are often horrible, and with software based mixing and plugins making it easy to abuse compression effects and master to be the loudest on the radio, I’m not sure when it will slow down.

I’ve barely cleansed my memory of the remaster of Hall & Oates “Maneater” album, wherein an attempt was actually made to increase the dynamic range, but they made the music sound worse. Artificial dynamics were added to the percussion and synths were cranked, while much of the rest of the mix was still compressed.

Then we have ABBA Gold suffering a catalog number identity crisis, as a series of reissues were remastered half a dozen times, but shared the same ID number. Having the 1999 pressing, I tracked down an unopened 1992 version as a replacement and it has far less treble glare. The Jon Astley remasters could peel the paint off the walls.

My sibling liked Celine Dion, and it’s fascinating to listen to the original CD pressings and hear how later albums (around year 2000) started to take on the aggressive treble and loud sound.

I also noticed later albums from most artists have less bass and treble extension at the extremes of the format. It became like listening to someone with CAPS LOCK stuck on.

I had the chance to hear some of The Weeknd in vinyl and it actually sounds better than the digital, simply because of the mastering. With all the technology we have at our disposal, it’s ridiculous what goes on CD is actually worse than the mechanical version.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I don't understand why recordings are still produced with massive compression. Since the start of the loudness war there were some changes in the way people listen to music. Compressors could now easily be built (i.e. programmed) into smartphones and the like (car radio for instance), so the listener could choose whether he/she wants overcompressed music or not.


  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I don't understand why recordings are still produced with massive compression.
These go to eleven!

That's probably how much thought - if any - your average music listener will give this topic. It's unfortunate, but here we are. On a positive note, Dolby Atmos remastering seems to be going nowhere. The last thing I need is a spatial audio remix that makes the drums fly around in circles in my head when listening to headphones.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Last edited:
Remastering.just another marketing tool to resell the same music product to gulliable people/audiophiles who think it will be better this time round. It might be different but remastered.what non sense. We should not mention mofi and there pure ultra analog pressings/opps i mean digital slash ultra analog pressings.so relax. Enjoy the music.