Friday, September 12, 2008

Metalli-Friday Is Here

MetallicaToday is Death Magnetic's official release day, and it will be historical. Partly for the music itself, which is very, very good, but mostly because of the sound quality issues people (including me) have been obsessing over. My latest observations:

Today I got the 320 kbps mp3 files from my Mission: Metallica Platinum account and they are absolutely lower in volume, and, in my estimation, a bit less distorted than the "Day" CD single I have from Hot Topic. I can tell in Hetfield's guitar tone - it's smoother at times because it doesn't have the extra distortion. I suspect the full CD will be at the louder volume of the CD single. If I'm not crazy, the engineering folks realized they pushed the CD too hot, and have compensated for it in the downloadable files. They are by no means perfect, but a little better is still better.

A guy on the Metallica forums swears up and down that the 2 LP vinyl set has no distortion. He insists, "It's no Vapor Trails." Considering what I discovered about the mp3 download, I have hope. It's tough to really judge this stuff, because they all differ in volume.

Although it sort of kills me to do so, I will undoubtedly spent the $10 on the full CD (pretty much the going price everywhere) and $15 on the 2 piece vinyl (Best Buy's price) to hear for myself. I refuse to buy the uber fanboy 5 piece $100+ vinyl set. That money is ridiculous, and who wants to get up nine times to flip the sides?

So if my suppositions hold true, I'll have wasted $10 on the CD, because it'll probably be better quality to simply master the downloadable 320 kbps mp3 files to CD myself. If only they had released them as FLAC...


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