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Reviews: The Doors: The Best of the Doors

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Reviews: 4

Review by Marpow July 2, 2015 (13 of 23 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The Doors: The Best of the Doors, Hybrid SACD, Stereo and Multichannel 4.0.

I have been really nervous about this review as I know there will be others who will be highly critical of my review as The Doors are one of the most iconic rock bands in history. I am confident that I can put out a good review of The Doors as I have grown up with them from inception. That said, I may not be as good as others when it comes to definitions of sonic quality. I have read articles on Quadrophonic early recordings and remastering of such so I feel I get the basics of a complicated subject. I also own the Analogue Productions 5.1 remasters for a bit of comparison, not to mention original LP's, cassettes, RBCD's etc. This recording originally released in 1973 as an LP for Quadrophonic called CD-4 QuadraDisc. Also as a stereo disc,an 8 track and reel to reel Quad formats. My disc # 2339.

Performance: A great Greatest Hits package. All tunes are radio hits and familiar, except for track one which is a very weak cover of Who Do You Love. Who can beat Quicksilver Messenger Service from Happy Trails?

Stereo Sonics: Don't bother. They are flat, narrow sound stage and if you have any stereo version of these Doors tunes you will not be adding definitive versions to what you already own.

4.0 Multichannel Sonics: I believe I am biased with the tremendous reissue of Analogue Productions 5.1 series and in potential defense of others I cannot appreciate this Quad release. It is bright, and I felt ear fatigue listening at 69 decibels. The mix of the 4 speakers takes certain parts, instruments, and parks them in a speaker, but I think this is the point of Quad. I have listened to other Quad discs and the remix is much funner as the sounds move around. There are no gimmicks here and every once in a while an instrument will get parked in a rear speaker and will become irritating to me. The front is mixed very well and Morrison's vocals are always dead center which is great. I guess I felt like I was in a box of 4 speakers and I didn't like it. The sonic quality is beautiful throughout once I turned it down. It would be quite a chore to A/B the entire disc with all the various AP discs but I did A/B Riders On The Storm as you know that has a big stage. The AP 5.1 trumps the AF 4.0 hands down. I listened to the 5.1 at 73.5 decibels and my ears felt better.

Packaging: Plastic jewel case with Audio Fidelity slip cover. Mini paper booklet with limited notes and a few cool pictures. Only on the rear of slip cover there is a credit in small print of our own Brian Moura, "Multichannel Maven: Brian Moura" I do not know what a multichannel maven is but kudos to bmoura for making it on a Doors disc.

In the end: this disc in my opinion is only for The Doors purist, somebody who can appreciate the difference of a Quad vs 5.1 vs Stereo recording. I initially was not going to purchase it but I wanted to further educate myself and believe it or not support Audio Fidelity, but it was a bust for me in the end for multiple reasons.

I hope my review was helpful and if it wasn't then you can email me as that is how I learn.

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Review by oxenholme July 8, 2015 (8 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
It was back in 1967 that I first heard The Doors on a friend's Grundig reel to reel tape recorder.

Since then I've bought numerous releases of the same albums on LP and CD, 24 carat gold CD, remixed CD, the standalone DVD-Audio of L.A. Woman, and the Perception Box. I was woefully disappointed with the Perception box - the sound was not especially wonderful and many of the mixes didn't seem to have a lot going on in the rear channels.

The Audio Fidelity disc is a very different beast. I find it sonically divine - lovely warm tone yet very pleasantly detailed. I reckon Steve Hoffman has done a wonderful job. The quadraphonic mix is (thankfully) nothing like the Perception Box 5.1 mix. Good use of the rear speakers is made on every track. Well balanced, coherent, crankable - it's everything that it should be and a very worthy addition to the Audio Fidelity catalogue.

Highlights for this punter include Love Me Two Times, People Are Strange, Love Her Madly, Moonlight Drive, and Light My Fire.

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Review by Clint Eastwood July 9, 2015 (10 of 16 found this review helpful)
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I grew up with the music of the Doors. Like many other music lovers I have been disappointed with the sound quality of the various formats.I had high hopes for the Perception Set, but although it did provide a comprehensive overview of their catalog, it was a mixed bag in the sound quality department. I felt it was a missed opportunity. Then the Analogue SACD's were offered and I once again jumped on them, even though they were using the same mix as the Perception set. Again the results were mixed.

I haven't listened to the stereo side of this disc, so my comments only apply to the surround version of this title. I compared EVERY song from the Quad mix SACD to the Analogue SACD, one at a time. This involved 10 songs as "Who do you love" was not included.

It didn't take long for my comparison to be one-sided. The vocals on the new Quad mix were so much better. The overall sound was more analog and warm compared to the more digital sounding Analogue SACD version. On the Quad mix you had the feeling that Morrison was right next to you. It's something as a Doors fan I have been wanting for years.

I'm very sensitive to compressed music and avoid it at all costs and I can say with confidence that this disc is not overly compressed. I was able to crank up the volume and not suffer from "ear bleed" as a result. In fairness to others, room acoustics, equipment and individual hearing have a huge impact on sound quality which could result in a different outcome. I've chatted with numerous people about this release and not one of them considered it to be bright/compressed. If you would like to see what the audio files look like you can view them at Quadraphonic Quad forum as Jon Urban(Board Operator) had an advanced beta version prior to the release.

I can now limit my use of several of the Analogue SACD's thanks to this title; it's now the "go to" option when I want to hear the Doors. This is another reason why this disc is so valuable. Where can you get this many hit songs on one disc by the Doors IN SURROUND with the best available sound quality? There is only one place; this disc. The one consistent complaint about this album is the inclusion of Who Do You Love. A poster over at Quadraphonic Quad had an interesting response; maybe they wanted fans to experience a live version of the Doors for posterity. I would have taken L.A.Woman in a heartbeat, but considering how much great content they have given IN SURROUND it's a petty complaint at best.

This disc isn't for the hardcore Doors fanbase; it's for anyone who enjoys great music in surround. Most of these songs played on the radio and are well known. Do yourself a favor and buy more than one of these as I think this will be a very valuable disc in the future. I'm sure people who bought single copies of Avalon wish they would have more than one "back in the day".

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Review by old hippie July 12, 2015 (6 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
It's not my intention to rain on everyone's parade that has found this disc to be so great. I did an A & B check between it and my 2011 Japaneses DSD multichannel of the Doors' debut album. All the tracks from that disc that are on the 'Best of' sound far better to me. My main emphasis in this review is John Desmore's drum sound. On the Audio Fidelity's version, his drums sound muddy. On the Japanese release, the drums are clean and bright. This is most notable on Light My Fire. That song kicks off with Densmore's drum. The Audio Fidelity version sounds like a dull thud, the Japanese version is a crisp crack.

I'll keep this disc only for the remaining tracks because of their 4.0 digital transfer. I had hesitated to buy this disc and, now that I did, I wish I had held on to my original conviction to NOT buy it.

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