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Reviews: Eagles: Hotel California

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Reviews: 13

Review by sonnysin168 August 21, 2011 (13 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
My disc arrived late afternoon (from HMV Japan) on 19 August and I hurried home from work to give it a listen and at the same time compare it to my German edition DVDA. After properly warming up my tube preamp and the rest of my gears for about an hour, I set out to listen. In stereo, this sacd's bass sounds fatter and fuller, the drums seem to have more slam and guitar solos stand out. It seemed more dynamic too. The vocals are a bit more forward than the dvda. Is it because the sacd was mastered louder?

The next day I listened to multichannel in my ht set-up, again properly warming up the gears for one hour. The sacd is a bit louder than the dvda too (though not as much as in stereo) and the bass is also more robust and overall more dynamic than the dvda.

I owned the dvda for some time and admired the sonics for being balanced and excellent. In my opinion, the dvda is more detailed and the highs are more smoother than the sacd. Could it be because it has a leaner bass so that the details can be readily perceived? This is not to say that I don't like the sacd, in fact I like it too (very much indeed) and currently am torn between picking which of the two is the better version. I guess I have to get used to the sacd sound more to make a much better assessment. Some people suspect and/or speculate that this sacd was based on the dvda masters. Hearing them alone, without measurements, may reveal similarities but also not so subtle differences. Hence, in my opinion, they may be similar in some ways but clearly not identical.

If you don't have the dvda version and don't want to purchase it because it's expensive, being out of print, I'll gladly recommend this sacd. If you already own the dvda but is still curious about this Warner Japan release and willing to spend additional dough, I'll leave it to your better judgment.

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Review by danfaz August 23, 2011 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I am very pleased with this SACD. Bass is nice and tight, surrounds are nicely placed. Wasted Time (reprise) has a very nice multichannel mix. It might be a bit bright in spots. I never had the DVD-A, so can't compare. Packaging is a standard jewel case with small obi, so not nearly as ornate as the Universal SHM-SACDs - but it's cheaper. Thumbs up!

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Review by Quint September 5, 2011 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I listened to this SACD a few days ago and wanted to post some brief thoughts.

I used to have the DVD-A, and in some ways regretted selling it, but I got a fabulous offer and decided to let it go. After hearing this SACD, I no longer regret my decision. Though it’s more forward than I remember the DVD-A being, and definitely more forward than my (IMO) decidedly laid-back DCC gold redbook, it’s got better dynamics and presence than even the vaunted DVD-A. The album comes alive in a way it just doesn’t with the DCC or DVD-A. After listening to the explosive beginning of “Victim of Love,” I sat back in my chair and said, “Wow.”

Personally I don’t mind the extra forwardness of the SACD, as I don’t consider it bright in any way. Immediate and present, yes; bright, no.

To summarize, I consider this one a winner. I have my doubts about the upcoming “Doors,” but I’m happy about “Hotel California.”

Frankly, I’m disappointed with the packaging of these hybrids. They deserve far better than standard jewel cases. I would have expected the deluxe treatment given Universal’s SHM-SACDs, but alas no.

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Review by Discspinner September 5, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I was pretty excited to receive this the other day, so much so I could not wait to give it a listen along with Chicago 5. More on C5 later. My system is stereo so sorry no MCH.

While I am not blown away by the sound, I do think it is a very solid presentation of a classic mid 70s album. The standout tracks to me are Victim of Love, Try and Love Again and The Last Resort. They're all good though. The vocals overall were very well done. On the negative side, the bass seems a little overstated.

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Review by pjg12345 September 21, 2011 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Hotel California is my favorite Eagles Album. Not just for the title song but for some of the others, particularly "Wasted Time" and "Victim of Love" are the standout cuts for me.

I have compared this SACD to the DCC Gold Disc. The SACD is a lot louder. It is a lot louder than all of the SHM SACD's that I have also. It was not mastered from the original analog tapes but from the 24/192 master. It appears to be slightly bass heavy at the expense of extension and air around the highs. Still a great pressing with lots of detail. It is a toss up between the DCC disc - more air, not compressed and the SACD with slighty better detail.

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Review by benalaur_1 October 4, 2011 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The DVD-A of Hotel California was the first "high resolution" disc I ever purchased back in 2004. It is also one of my favourites and gets played quite often.
I have recently purchased the SACD. Many of my comments use the DVD-A as a baseline.

Multichannel tracks: The SACD is more foward in presentaion even compensating for the difference in loudness (SACD louder). The SACD sounds wonderfully smooth. Don Henley's voice has a richness with extra texturing I don't hear on the DVD-A. In general instruments are more clearly defined.
Strings, piano and acoustic guitar all sound better on the SACD with more textures and layering present. Cymbols have a shimmering resonance on the SACD that is absent on the DVD-A. Bass is solid but is not as punchy and thumping as the DVD-A.
The SACD is VERY engaging and I found I wanted to listen to each track right to the end. The multichannel SACD tracks in my opinion make this disc a great one.

Stereo tracks: The SACD sounds alot louder. The bass on the SACD is overdone and too prominant and spoils the sound a bit fore me. Apart from the bass issues there is very little separating the stereo tracks of the DVD-A and the SACD.

I would thoroughly recommend the SACD of Hotel California, especially for the multichannel tracks (even if one already owns the DVD-A)

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Review by elbicho October 21, 2011 (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Fantastico!!! Appena ho messo su il SACD ed ascoltato la prima canzone, ho sentito subito la qualita'!! Ho ordinato il disco dal Giappone, solo 33 euro!!! Sono soldi spesi bene!!!

Ho la prima e la seconda raccolta degli Eagles su CD(registrazione molto ben fatte), ma tutte le canzoni ascoltata dal SACD hanno una dinamicita' incredibile!!! Uno dei migliori SACD che ho!!!
Consiglio a tutti l'acquisto anche solo se vi piace "Hotel California", vale comunque la pena!!! Un acquisto obbligato per tutti i possessori di un lettore SACD!!!

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Review by Eyolf December 2, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:  
Great album with great sound. It betters the previous remaster with better fuller bass, more punch, the drums sound more alive and kicking, better clarity and instrument separation and better treble. The sacd sounds more dynamic. Expencive sacd, but very good. I do find it curious that cds should have this price today. Anyway it is very nice to have such a great album with such improved sound. Highly recomandable.

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Review by tdunster December 1, 2012 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I own this on mutiple formats and each format has it's pros and cons. The SACD version here is very similar to the DVD-A version although could be described as a touch brighter.

In comparison to the original RBCD the SACD is both louder and brighter. It's not what I would call brickwalled or indeed overly compressed but it's by no means soft either.

People that like the Fleetwood MaC Rumours SACD or indeed the Dire Straits 2005 Brothers in Arms SACD will indeed enjoy this one. Those that don't might want to have a listen first before handing over their hard earned.

That being said, it's a very good SACD which would have grabbed five stars seven years ago with ease. However, the quality of SACD releases in recent times has greatly improved and this ones just a little short of the best available.

Recommended.

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Review by cooltype937 August 17, 2013 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I was never an Eagles fan. When "Hotel California" came out in 1977, I was into punk rock and alternative music. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to recognize that "Hotel California" was a great album and above all I love great music. That said, "Hotel California" is the only Eagles album I've ever earned and this sacd does it justice. After one listen to the multi-channel tracks I knew this disc would be another reference disc to show off my system. Superbly recorded, right up there with "Aja", the sacd belongs in the collection of every audiophile. i wouldn't be caught dead without it.

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Review by JJCP October 27, 2013 (3 of 8 found this review helpful)
A true classic album, and the songs really shine in 5.1 sacd! I can only say that this is a must have for every Eagles fan!

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Review by Solo man October 3, 2014 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is my favourite album and the song,"Hotel California" is my favourite song of all time. This is one of the songs that I tried to recreate. I have this album in different versions from CDs, SACD, DVD, High Res and iTunes. If you are comparing this to the CD and wanting the SACD to sound better. IMO, it sounds better and not as harsh. The decay of the instruments is more natural with the sibilance smoothed out. The bass is not harsh but still a little overwhelming.

I am in between this SACD and the K2HDCd "Hell Freezes Over" as some of the songs from the album are included in the K2 CD. Their is no veil and more air in the production of "Hotel California" in the K2 version. Also the bass is more detailed and smooth in the K2 version of this particular song. The SACD also sounds better to me than the DVD in multichannel. I just wish they improve the bass and added more air in this SACD. I feel this SACD is worth it though because it is smoother and softer than the CD version. Don Henley's vocal is incredible in "The Last Resort" and will go down in history as one of the best male vocals for rock.

For those interested in the artwork, there is a negative in which it looks like they darkened it. The blacks are pitch black and seems like somebody darkened the gamma. There is less dynamic range and they cropped the back picture from the cd version. I guess they cropped the back picture, to focus the band more but IMO, ruined the composition of the shot. One thing they did get right, they show Don Felder first in the credits with Hotel California in both CD and SACD whereas the K2HD version they show Don Henley first. Battle of the Dons.

Get this SACD as it is one of the last great classic albums.

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Review by dmonds June 4, 2015 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I'm slowly (too slowly) building up my SACD collection and Hotel California has been on my wish list for some time.

I own the vinyl and the CD but alas not the DVD-A.

I borrowed a friend's SACD of this album some months back and recall that whilst it was ok, I wasn't blown away.
I finally got my own copy last week and have been waiting until I had the house to myself to give it a listen.

Perhaps it's beacuse I wasn't expecting too much, however I can honestly say the 5.1 multichannel mix on this SACD is much better than I recall from my friend's copy. It is very well balanced from a surround perspective.

As one of the reviewers above has said, it is a very engaging album and not one song is tiresome.

Everyone probably knows the title track the best, and it is very well presented here.
It's the rest of the album, however, that both surprised and delighted. Hearing little bits and pieces I hadn't notuced before.
New Kid in Town, in particular grabbed me from the beginning and the solo in the middle really stood out, enough to ensure I paid attention to the rest of the album. Right through to The Last Resort, the beginning of which gave me goosbumps!

I thoroghly enjoyed this album and recommend it heartily.

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