• Shine A Light On Let It Bleed

    Shine A Light on Let It Bleed. Sound confusing? Well, that is exactly what I'm going to do in this article, as well as promote a documentary that has me very excited. Let is bleed is one of my favorite Stones albums. Everyone and their mother has heard most of the songs and really doesn't need another album review on this one. So, I will be comparing the ABKO SACD/CD remaster to the MusicGiants 24/88.2 Super HD download. Then as I mentioned above, I'd like to promote the new Martin Scorsese documentary Shine A Light. I've been waiting for this release ever since I watched the 1080p HD trailer on Apple's website. It looks fabulous and is even coming to IMAX theaters. Read more for all the details and videos.
    Let It Bleed

    I was originally going to review Let It Bleed by itself as it is a great Stones album. Then I thought to myself that no audiophile would admit they haven't heard this album. So, I'm going to compare the ABKO remaster redbook CD layer and the MusicGiants Super HD 24/88.2 download.

    This comparison was done on a MacBook Pro using Boot Camp, running Windows XP sp2. Since the MusicGiants download was wrapped with DRM I had to use Windows Media Player for my listening sessions. The Super HD downloads are protected WMA lossless files. I compared these to my AIFF 16/44.1 ripped version of the album. I made no attempt to bypass the Windows KMixer or use and plug-ins or other media players. There certainly is a lot going on here and the conditions are less than ideal. But, I played back both files through WMP and did what a normal Joe Sixpack listener would do. I listened to the music over and over and noted my thoughts on it all.

    Some specs on the MG download:

    Windows Media Audio 9.2 Lossless
    VBR Quality 100, 88 kHz, 2 channel 24 bit 1-pass VBR
    Bit rate: 2.94 Mbps

    I'm sure everyone wants to know the answer to the big question. What sounds better? I'll be honest, I really like MusicGiants and the content they offer. They even provide us with free music downloads. But, the AIFF uncompressed DRM-free version of the album sounded better in my opinion and under these circumstances. How big was the difference? In many cases there was no audible difference and in others I heard a clear difference between the two versions. For someone who doesn't own this album I think they will be more than satisfied with the very high quality of the MusicGiants download. My situation is a little odd in that I already own this album. No right minded person would purchase another copy of this album when all they need to do is rip it to their hard drive. If the MG version of the album was my only copy I can guarantee I would have been very happy with the sound and recommended it to all the readers of CA.

    The main audible difference that I couldn't get over was in the song Live With Me. The opening bass line in the AIFF uncompressed version was noticeably better. The bass extension was better and the sound was fuller. When the drums kick in at 0:05 there is much more air around them on the AIFF version. Along with these specific examples I often felt the MG version was thinner sounding. The cymbals and Mick's voice really stood out to me as being different on the MG version. The difference was subtle but noticeable every now and then on the whole album.

    As I said earlier, I was able to compare both the AIFF version and the MusicGiants version back to back and listen to both for long periods of time. Without this ability I would have been satisfied with the quality of the MusicGiants Super HD 24/88.2 download. If you don't own the album go ahead and download it from MG. If you own the album I'm sure you've already ripped it to your library so there is no need to discuss it any further. In the end it should be all about content. This album is a classic and contains two of my favorite Rolling Stones songs of all time, Gimme Shelter, and You Can't Always Get What You Want. Just add it to your cart you won't regret it.




    Rolling Stones Let It Bleed


     

    Shine A Light

    If you don't know already, the Rolling Stones documentary Shine A Light comes out Friday April 4. The soundtrack will be released on Tuesday just like all albums today. There are some great guest stars playing with the Stones as well as some stars in the audience. I won't recap anything else here because the videos on the next pages are fabulous and cover it all.

    FYI - I'll be at my local IMAX on Friday for this one.

    Click here for the 1080p Apple HD Trailer

     
















    Comments 11 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      check out movietickets.com and you should find it around your place. That's where I found it.
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      ....for a while apparently. I even checked San Antonio. It will be at least a month before I can see it the 'tight' way.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks for the link. I was getting NOTHING from my stuff.<br />
      <br />
      markr
    1. TimH's Avatar
      TimH -
      Thanks Chris for the audio comparison (very interesting) and the movie heads up. It's only rock and roll...but I like it.<br />
      <br />
      Tim<br />
    1. digeri's Avatar
      digeri -
      I am very familiar with this process and have to think that the 44.1 version you heard was not ripped from the SACD hybrid disk of Let It Bleed. What you are describing sounds like a CD version of this album made from an older CD which is not representative of what The Stones consider proper. Please compare the MusicGiants 88.2 version to the original 45 disk or the SACD version. The SACD was made to represent how these tunes sounded on their original release.<br />
      <br />
      We did compare all the current versions of 22 Stones albums to the MusicGiants files and they all compared favorably. This was done by a representative of ABKCO.<br />
      <br />
      digeri
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Digeri - The 16/44.1 version I used was definitely ripped from the redbook CD layer of the hybrid SACD (18771-9004-2). I think if I used the SACD layer for this comparison the difference would be even more pronounced. My goal with the article was not to do a scientific test. Rather, I used what the average audiophile would use when listening to this.
    1. digeri's Avatar
      digeri -
      When we compared the SACD on a Sony 777 to the MG files coming off an HP server, the differences were minuscule. The comments we got were that this is a great way for consumers to hear file based music, specially since the SACD disks are no longer available. I have no idea about how you did your tests, but I stand by my opinion that you did not do an apples to apples test.<br />
      <br />
      send me your 44,1 file and I will be happy to compare it to what we have here<br />
      <br />
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      In one sense I agree with you 100%. This is a great way for people to hear high resolution downloads.<br />
      <br />
      But, I sense a somewhat argumentative tone from you over my opinion and I feel a push by you to discuss some sort of testing methodology. Not everyone is going to hear the same thing and there are many many variables involved in every listening session. I have no problem with your opinion and I won't attempt to delve into how you arrived at it. It really doesn't matter to me, there is no right or wrong here.<br />
      <br />
      Your opinion that I did not do an apples to apples test is really stating the obvious and something that is readily apparent to everyone reading the article. A 24/88.2 DRM WMA version compared to a 16/44.1 AIFF uncompressed version and both going through the KMixer is hardly a "test." As I stated previously I listened to each album like the average consumer would through Windows Media Player because the DRM version was limited to WMP. I really have no desire to do some sort of apples to apples test as this wouldn't really do anything for anyone. People should listen to things themselves and arrive at their own opinion whatever way they chose.
    1. digeri's Avatar
      digeri -
      Thank you for for supporting the basic notion that MusicGiants provides a great way to hear high resolution audio.<br />
      <br />
      I agree that people hear what they hear when they push play on their systems. You talk about k mixer. Everybody was thrilled when MSFT finally got to kill K-Mixer. It is not in Vista which is a much better listening platform than XP. When you get the time, I suggest you put vista on that boot camp machine.<br />
      <br />
      digeri<br />
      <br />
    1. Innertuber's Avatar
      Innertuber -
      We have two Imax in town. One as I recall is a really big rectangularish screen. The Stones flick was at our science museum that has a dome theater. I'd never been there before last night in the pouring rain. The movie was certainly a WOW. We really liked it, even looking up Mick's nose. Where does that guy get his energy from? It was shot differently than most rock DVD's and I'd say it challenges concert footage to kick it up a notch to keep up, Imax or not. See if you catch where Keith gives away his guitar. I find Christina A. just plain smoking hot. The surround system was really great. They said they link three CD's of music together. I dunno, but I'd hear roaring applause and think it was the theater crowd. I'd look around and see a bunch of old hippies not moving. Haaaaaa. What a great show!
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      I agree, it was a pretty cool experience. I'm glad I went to an IMAX to see it. Along with the picture, the sound is pretty good as you said. <br />
      <br />
      If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it. This one won't be the same on DVD at home. Plus there won't be any hippies in the back row at home ... or ... maybe there will :-)
    1. autom616's Avatar
      autom616 -
      <a href="http://www.google-r.com/697921">Test</a>