Wasted Years 2013 Picture Disc and 1986 USA Edition Comparison

Hello, I'm from México and I recently got the new edition of Somewhere in Time on picture disc, but when I listened to it I noticed it had a lower audio quality compared to the 1986 edition and I decided to make a video. In this video you can hear and realize that the 1986 edition of Somewhere In Time sounds better and has a better sound quality than the new 2013 edition. I didn't do any audio alterations between the two vinyls.


Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
Picture discs tend to have lower sound quality than normal records. It has nothing to do with the years they were released. Just because the picture disc came out this year, doesn't mean it will sound better than the original 1986 record. Pretty much all picture disc quality is like this. A lot of the time, people purchase picture discs as more of a collectable and not for playing purposes which is completely absurd if you ask me. Hope this helps. :)


Ancient Mariner
Earendil, if you could find an old picture disc, you might try this comparison:
Picture discs do have better sound now then they used to. They used to be total crap, they are still not as good as black vinyl (IMO), but they have come a long way.
This is because almost certainly the 2013 record uses the remastered Somewhere In Time (1998) as the source.
It is notoriously bad, a severe casualty of "the loudness war."

Almost any discussion of the SIT remaster anywhere revolves around this.
Check out the discussion below, complete with audio waveform comparisons of the original to the remaster.

Thanks for your replies guys! Yeah I don't know why Iron Maiden decided to release their albums on picture disc since Brave New World they don't sound as good as normal black or colored vinyl. Too much surface noise and ticks and pops. And whoever mastered these albums should have listened to the originals to keep the audio close to that perfection.
There has been a problem since the late '90s with mastering, ever since the release of the Waves L2.

Waves is a digital audio company, who makes what are known as 'plugins' for audio recording and mastering software. The L2 is a Loudness Maximizer, which lets engineers crank up the volume with a single level fader. Any idiot can use it, and therefore, many idiots do.

The problem with cranking it up is that music can only be so loud in digital format - it's called 0db. There is none louder. So instead, as you turn it up more and more, more and more of the recording has the same very loud volume. Loud parts, quiet parts, in between parts - it's all loud, which means it lacks depth and dynamics. It starts to distort and break up. It's just one ill-defined fatiguing mess.

So why do they do it? Because the last loud album did it, and they want to be louder than the last guy.
Stupid, isn't it? Instead of mixing so the listener turns up their volume (which anyone with a stereo can totally do), They think they need to turn it up in the mastering process, which results in what is known as "ear fatigue" where everything just starts sounding flat and the same and sonically uninteresting, if not outright annoying. Ear fatigue leads the listeners to either turn the music down, or off completely. So these mastering engineers are actually having the opposite effect. But it's not their fault entirely - there is some record exec or A&R guy (or maybe even the someone in the band - probably the drummer!) saying "yeah, make it one louder than that other guy!" with apparently no awareness or concern that they are destroying the integrity of the music.