2015 Remasters on CD

srfc

Ancient Mariner
So they are, I didn't even think to consider that Live After Death wouldn't be included in a re-issue campaign. Maybe they will do something special with it at a later date ... hopefully.
It's a shame as the full version of LAD is not available on CD from the original masters, side 4 is missing and there's only an edited version of Running Free. So the only full digital version of LAD will be the 98 masters, which are otherwise inferior to the originals.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Mine arrived today and making my way through the first album as we speak. Sounds good, I may be imagining it but the backing vocals seem clearer as does the snare, although the bass sounded a bit too dominant on the widdly widdly section of Phantom.

I can't be arsed getting some of the old masters out to really compare and nitpick. I think I heard an extra bass note in the ad lib crash ending of Transylvania just before the clean tone guitars.

There's some extra pics in most of the booklets except number of the beast but otherwise they closely resemble the style and content of the original releases.

Best point: The "torture me back in your lair" repetition at the end of Phantom has returned!:edmetal:

Worst point: the number of the beast box is a bit shit as a whole, not great cardboard, hard to open, the model holds no interest for me and I can't be arsed opening the package for the patch. Not worth paying 30 quid for unless you're into all the big bang theory stuff.

I'd have much preferred a big heavy quality box like Best of the Beast or The Book of Souls that you could fit the other 3 albums in.
 

Cosmiceddie

Back From The Edge
The new 2018 remastered Iron Maiden CD sounds the same as the 1998 remaster. I don't hear any difference whatsoever.
The new 2018 remastered Killers CD sounds slightly clearer than the 1998 remaster.
The new 2018 remastered The Number of the Beast CD sounds muffled and lifeless compared to the 1998 remaster (very disappointing).
The new 2018 remastered Piece of Mind CD sounds much clearer and fuller than the 1998 remaster.
 
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Luisma

Years Wasted
Mine arrived today and making my way through the first album as we speak. Sounds good, I may be imagining it but the backing vocals seem clearer as does the snare, although the bass sounded a bit too dominant on the widdly widdly section of Phantom.

I can't be arsed getting some of the old masters out to really compare and nitpick. I think I heard an extra bass note in the ad lib crash ending of Transylvania just before the clean tone guitars.

There's some extra pics in most of the booklets except number of the beast but otherwise they closely resemble the style and content of the original releases.

Best point: The "torture me back in your lair" repetition at the end of Phantom has returned!:edmetal:

Worst point: the number of the beast box is a bit shit as a whole, not great cardboard, hard to open, the model holds no interest for me and I can't be arsed opening the package for the patch. Not worth paying 30 quid for unless you're into all the big bang theory stuff.

I'd have much preferred a big heavy quality box like Best of the Beast or The Book of Souls that you could fit the other 3 albums in.
Wasn't the "torture me back in your lair" in the 2015 vinyl release also?
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
These remasters are fantastic, IMO. I agree with Steve that these are the best Maiden's records have ever sounded. They've been my go-to versions of Maiden for quite some time now. Every remaster is an improvement, though the most notable are the debut, Piece of Mind, Powerslave and Dance of Death.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
These remasters are fantastic, IMO. I agree with Steve that these are the best Maiden's records have ever sounded. They've been my go-to versions of Maiden for quite some time now. Every remaster is an improvement, though the most notable are the debut, Piece of Mind, Powerslave and Dance of Death.
I've only listened to the first album and Killers so far but I'm impressed. I'm looking forward to hearing the albums that haven't been remastered yet, especially Dance of Death which suffers from a poor original release.
 

Jer

I’m not a fish, I’m a man
These remasters are fantastic, IMO. I agree with Steve that these are the best Maiden's records have ever sounded. They've been my go-to versions of Maiden for quite some time now. Every remaster is an improvement, though the most notable are the debut, Piece of Mind, Powerslave and Dance of Death.
An improvement compared to the originals, the 1995 Castle re-issues, the 1998 remasters, or some or all of the above?
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
An improvement compared to the originals, the 1995 Castle re-issues, the 1998 remasters, or some or all of the above?
The 2018 CDs use the identical mastering used in the 2015 Onkyo and iTunes releases, so if you already have those, don't buy the new CDs. They are a definite improvement over the '98s, as they eliminate the clipping and distortion that made the '98s unpleasant and fatiguing. They are NOT an improvement over the original CDs or the vinyl reissues from 2014, IMO. They are too loud and compressed, so that the the peaks (particularly the percussion) lose their oomph. The bass is boosted in the new remasters though, so some may prefer that. Because the new remasters are louder, one may think they sound better -- that is the fallacy of the loudness wars -- until you compare them to the originals with the volume cranked up. There should be added clarity in the new remasters, due to the use of a better source (the original 2-track master tapes), but the compression muddies things unfortunately.

The best sounding (#1 ranked) releases of all are, IMO, the 2014 180-gram vinyl LPs.* The 2014 LPs are much, much better mastered than the 2015/18 digital product. Like the 2015/18s, they were mastered using the original 2-track master tapes. But they are not nearly as compressed as their digital counterparts, and thus sound worlds better -- too bad, because a well-mastered CD or hi-res digital product using that original source tape SHOULD have been the best version. The LPs have improved clarity and separation, and they are much more dynamic, packing a real wallop when turned up loud. They are the go-to, archive-quality versions of these albums. If you own a decent turntable, then run, don't walk, to buy those before they go out of stock. (Note: I had heard that the UK releases of the LPs used a better pressing plant than the US releases, so I bought the UKs. I cannot speak for the US versions, but the UKs are well pressed with little to no surface noise, and they sound fantastic.)

I rank the original CDs a close #2 (and the best digital versions).* They are very dynamic and have a rich, warm, natural sound, though the bass on Piece of Mind seems a little thin. The 1995 Castle CDs used, I believe, the same digital masters as the originals, so they are tied at #2. I'll rank the original LPs #3, though my copies are so heavily played and not very well maintained (hey, I was a teenager) that they have a lot of surface noise, which makes it hard for me to fairly judge. A cleaner copy could be as high as #1. But don't spend too much time or money hoping to find a near-mint version of the old LPs -- just get the 2014s and you'll be happy. The 2015/18 digital versions are ranked #4. And the '98s are a distant #5 -- they are hideous garbage and should all be destroyed. So, if all you currently have are the '98s, the new remasters are a significant improvement. But you are much better off getting the 2014 LPs (new) or the original CDs (used), though they are going to be a bit more expensive.

* Footnotes: [1] I actually prefer the 198x U.S. Capitol CD over the 2014 LP for Number of the Beast. [2] To be precise, there were multiple masterings of certain original 1980s CD releases. While they are not identical, they all sound pretty close for the most part. There is a whole thread on this stuff in the Steve Hoffman forums if you really care. I think you're fine with whatever you can find from back then, but I do recommend the U.S. release of the self-titled debut over the European or Japanese releases, as it sounds better and has "Sanctuary." Don't spend a ton on the Japanese "Black Triangles" other than as a collector's item, as they sound pretty much (or exactly) the same as the US versions.

Happy Thanksgiving,
CFH

P.S. @Forostar : I cannot find your poll in which you asked people to vote whether the new remasters are the best versions. But my vote would be "no" in the poll for everything EXCEPT Brave New World and Dance of Death -- the 2015s sound better on those.
 
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Jer

I’m not a fish, I’m a man
Thanks for all the details. I’m half tempted to get the Dance Of Death remaster because the original is so muddy. I’d get the AMOLAD remaster if there was any noticeable improvement, too. And I suppose I’d consider Piece Of Mind with bass boost...
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
The 2018 CDs use the identical mastering used in the 2015 Onkyo and iTunes releases, so if you already have those, don't buy the new CDs. They are a definite improvement over the '98s, as they eliminate the clipping and distortion that made the '98s unpleasant and fatiguing. They are NOT an improvement over the original CDs or the vinyl reissues from 2014, IMO. They are too loud and compressed, so that the the peaks (particularly the percussion) lose their oomph. The bass is boosted in the new remasters though, so some may prefer that. Because the new remasters are louder, one may think they sound better -- that is the fallacy of the loudness wars -- until you compare them to the originals with the volume cranked up. There should be added clarity in the new remasters, due to the use of a better source (the original 2-track master tapes), but the compression muddies things unfortunately.

The best sounding (#1 ranked) releases of all are, IMO, the 2014 180-gram vinyl LPs.* The 2014 LPs are much, much better mastered than the 2015/18 digital product. Like the 2015/18s, they were mastered using the original 2-track master tapes. But they are not nearly as compressed as their digital counterparts, and thus sound worlds better -- too bad, because a well-mastered CD or hi-res digital product using that original source tape SHOULD have been the best version. The LPs have improved clarity and separation, and they are much more dynamic, packing a real wallop when turned up loud. They are the go-to, archive-quality versions of these albums. If you own a decent turntable, then run, don't walk, to buy those before they go out of stock. (Note: I had heard that the UK releases of the LPs used a better pressing plant than the US releases, so I bought the UKs. I cannot speak for the US versions, but the UKs are well pressed with little to no surface noise, and they sound fantastic.)

I rank the original CDs a close #2 (and the best digital versions).* They are very dynamic and have a rich, warm, natural sound, though the bass on Piece of Mind seems a little thin. The 1995 Castle CDs used, I believe, the same digital masters as the originals, so they are tied at #2. I'll rank the original LPs #3, though my copies are so heavily played and not very well maintained (hey, I was a teenager) that they have a lot of surface noise, which makes it hard for me to fairly judge. A cleaner copy could be as high as #1. But don't spend too much time or money hoping to find a near-mint version of the old LPs -- just get the 2014s and you'll be happy. The 2015/18 digital versions are ranked #4. And the '98s are a distant #5 -- they are hideous garbage and should all be destroyed. So, if all you currently have are the '98s, the new remasters are a significant improvement. But you are much better off getting the 2014 LPs (new) or the original CDs (used), though they are going to be a bit more expensive.

* Footnotes: [1] I actually prefer the 198x U.S. Capitol CD over the 2014 LP for Number of the Beast. [2] To be precise, there were multiple masterings of certain original 1980s CD releases. While they are not identical, they all sound pretty close for the most part. There is a whole thread on this stuff in the Steve Hoffman forums if you really care. I think you're fine with whatever you can find from back then, but I do recommend the U.S. release of the self-titled debut over the European or Japanese releases, as it sounds better and has "Sanctuary." Don't spend a ton on the Japanese "Black Triangles" other than as a collector's item, as they sound pretty much (or exactly) the same as the US versions.

Happy Thanksgiving,
CFH

P.S. @Forostar : I cannot find your poll in which you asked people to vote whether the new remasters are the best versions. But my vote would be "no" in the poll for everything EXCEPT Brave New World and Dance of Death -- the 2015s sound better on those.
Interesting you find the original TXF better than subsequent remaster(s). Would you elaborate on that? So many people complain about the TXF production. A master might have improved matters?
Current standings TXF: 5 say yes: latest remaster sounds better, 1 says it does not.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Interesting you find the original TXF better than subsequent remaster(s). Would you elaborate on that? So many people complain about the TXF production. A master might have improved matters?
Current standings TXF: 5 say yes: latest remaster sounds better, 1 says it does not.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the sound engineering on the x Factor, it's actually very good. The problems with it are the wimpiest guitar sound of all time, and maybe some arrangement choices, a remaster or remix wouldn't alter any of that.
 
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