Why Tape Hiss is Music to My Ears

So I’ve been hearing a familiar sound on some of the very best repressed quality vinyl recordings of music from the 70s…  Tape hiss.  It shows up in the quiet passages of familiar albums and is a very distinctive and welcome sound.

Welcome, you may ask…  why would it be welcome?  The answer is that it means when they remastered the album for the re-release they left it in the analog domain, and didn’t ruin it with digital mixing, which would make it easy to remove the hiss of course, along with much of the music.

And…  the corollary is also true.  I’ve been very disappointed in some of the “digitally remastered” vinyl re-releases, such as The Cure’s “Disintegration” (What a pity) and Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.  I’m not familiar with the original vinyl release of “Disintegration”, but I am certainly familiar with the MFSL (Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs) Original Master release of GBYBR and I’m here to tell you…  digitally remastering it for the 40th anniversary edition to vinyl totally rained on the parade.  Look for the original from the 70s (complete with tape hiss in the quiet sections, along with all the goodness on the original tapes) or just go get the SACD and have fun with the 5.1 surround mix, which is fantastic!

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