So, I hear rumours that the Remastered disks are the wrong way around. Are the digital remasters also named incorrected? The first 11 tracks are the Remaster and the final 11 are the DAT 2006 Remasters? yes? Or no?
This is correct. Disc 1, which the labeling indicates should be a digital version (using the same source material as the original CD with audio levels brought closer to 0dbFS), is in fact pulled from the analog tapes. This means that Disc 2, which is supposed to be the new analogue mix, is actually digital. There is also a significant, audible error in the Disc 1 (analogue) version of "What You Want" that is apparently an error in transcribing the tapes into digital. It's disappointing that given Shields' "perfectionist" reputation and the absurd way this re-release was continuously postponed that there are still such egregious errors in the final product.
How likely is it that the audible error on What You Want will be fixed, and the disc repressed? I'm guessing that if it's a result of a transferring error, and not a disc-pressing error, then the answer is no, and this version is all we will get?
Although if the discs are numbered incorrectly, that would make the error-free version the main CD and the one I (and most people) would probably want to listen to anyway. Perhaps that's why they let it through.
Disc 2 is the error-free copy, practically identical to what people could purchase in 1991 but louder. There is a "roof" to how loud a digital signal can be at 0dbFS. The original record sat far below this limit for the most part. This is why, if you have an old version of Loveless on your iPod, you'll probably have to turn the volume up relatively high to reach an "average" volume level. Disc 2 brings everything closer to zero, which changes the volume and the way that the louder parts of the record are processed by different music players.
The analogue version (which is supposed to be disc 2 but is actually disc 1) is mastered differently, resulting in a slightly different sound. It might be somewhat difficult for people who don't listen attentively to tell the difference, but listening to the side-by side, there is a noticeable difference. The analogue master has a greater amount of stereo separation and a bit more focus on the lower end.
Both versions sound altogether very nice, choosing between the two is really a matter of personal taste (and whether you can stomach the minor analogue error) but the differences aren't going to revolutionize the way you hear the music.
By the way, the error in question is at about 2:46 of the Disc 1 version of "What You Want." It sounds like a short, low-pitched screeching noise in the guitar track.
Yeah, I find the error pretty distracting and if it had been on the disc I intend to play the most, it would be more of a problem. Still not especially pleased that after all this time, they couldn't get it right!
Thank you Eric, I really appreciate the response. I am finding the second disc slightly more 'solid' sounding. It is a great album, just getting into it now, I had (unbelievably) never heard it until I decided to but it, last Sunday, I bought it after reading a superb article in NME and it really intrigued me.
I just bought the remastered records earlier today - there doesn't appear to be any audible glitch on either of the Loveless discs, and it sounds to me like they have corrected the labeling error, so I assume the new batch is all patched up.
I bought it when it first came out. The initial cd had the sound error and was mislabelled. There is nothing on the label's site offering to replace discs, however after doing some 'research' online I recently bought another copy. Tis copy has a different serial number, is correctly labelled and does not have audible glitch. The glitch Kevin Shields talks about in interviews isn't the audible one, its the one you get if you analyse it on a pc. I am amazed the label and/or amazon haven't offered to replace original discs. It is a faulty product and not fit for purpose but it doesn't really seem worth suing in the small claims track over a tenner, something they are no doubt counting on.