My post on the Nevermind Super Deluxe Edition debacle has officially become the most popular post on The Lost Turntable, thanks to it spreading like wildfire on Facebook and being picked up by Fark yesterday.
Of course, with popularity comes criticism.
The biggest complaint of my post was that I didn’t rip the CD myself. Many people here, and on Fark, have claimed that an improper rip can result in a distorted/over-compressed file.
While ripping at a low bitrate can cause distortion and decreased fidelity, it really doesn’t make the waveform LOUDER. But since so many people like to complain (it is the Internet after all) here’s a comparison of “Aneurysm.” One is taken from from my copy of the Super Deluxe Edition, and the other was purchased from iTunes:
They’re identical, and much louder than the original:
Music on iTunes is encoded in the M4A format at 256kpbs. I’m not a fan of the M4A format, but it wouldn’t cause audio compression like that. It’s at the source. It’s on the master.
It’s not even a new phenomenon when it comes to Nirvana recordings. All of the following were taken from my own personal CD collection.
“Curmudgeon” – Original B-side version vs. the With The Lights Out version (which is slightly different, but I believe it’s the same recording)
For some reason I have misplaced my original copy of Breed, and I don’t think you’ll be swayed by my vinyl rip. Here’s how “Negative Creep” looks on the 20th Anniversay Edition. I can assure you that the original CD pressing was not this loud:
As you can see, this is not a new problem with Nirvana remasters. I can assume that the butchered remaster of In Utero is already done and ready to assault our ears in 2013.
If you want a great example showing how bad these remasters sound, check out this video comparing the original version of “Curmudgeon” versus the WTLO remaster from 2004.
My bottom line remains the same: this “remaster” is shit and makes the music sound worse. Don’t buy it. The word is still out on the vinyl version though. My copy is coming on Tuesday, I’ll give you all a full report then.
No new music for now. Hopefully I’ll have a new, non-Nirvana, post tonight.