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Reviews: Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

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Reviews: 16

Review by MattMan657 November 9, 2011 (31 of 32 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Just finished listening to it. Unbelievable. Every fan of multichannel audio should have this SACD. The best two tracks in my honest opinion, in terms of how they were mixed, not in song preference, are Welcome To The Machine and Have a Cigar. All the crazy effects in Machine are placed so well and balanced, tons of action in the surrounds but do not take away from the fronts AT all.

The mix honestly feels so natural, unforced, as if it was originally recorded with the purpose of being listened to in multichannel. The front soundstage sounds so full with unbelievable separation.

Now to listen to the original quad! I've never heard it but I really cannot imagine it is better.

The packaging is easily the nicest out of any SACD I own. Hands down. I have a bunch of SHM-SACDs and those have great packaging with the foldouts but they don't compare to this. The artwork is top notch with postcards of the original artwork for the album on it.

The whole thing is unreal. I can't recommend it enough. Any fan of multichannel audio needs to be buy this.

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Review by Blu Falcon November 11, 2011 (23 of 24 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I would have to agree with the first reviewer on all accounts. I also splurged on the Immersion set which includes both the 5.1 and 4.0 (quad) mix. This multichannel mix on this release can be both subtle and aggressive at times, but the balance is just right and not overbearing to either extreme. Some of the more interesting moments occur during Welcome to the Machine where the sound effects in the song's intro really come to life in a way I've never experienced. Simply phenomenal surround effects! The transition between Have a Cigar and Wish You Were here is equally compelling. If possible, I recommend playing this above standard listening levels in order to become completely immersed in the sound and get the most out of the surround effects. The music is not harsh or strident in the least, but rather a nice organic sound with plenty of depth and a well extended low end. The music just seems to come to life like never before and I can't imagine a better way to experience one of the greatest albums of all time. Sonic euphoria. Highly recommended.

After listening to the redbook layer I feel I should add my impressions on it as well (initially posted on SHMF). Up until today the Mastersound was my go-to redbook. I compared it to the redbook layer of the AP SACD and came away preferring the SACD mastering overall. It just seemed more natural to me. Very smooth sounding and easy on the ears. I was never displeased with the Columbia 5 track or any other redbook CD I have of this album (Shine On, OBTW box, 2011 remaster), but this SACD essentially negates the need to own multiple versions of this album. You get an incredible MC mix, 2 ch stero mix, and a first class redbook layer. I could sell every other incarnation I have of this album and be plenty satisfied with just this SACD alone. This release is a winner on all levels. $35 today will seem like chump change when this limited edition release is out of print and demanding ridiculous prices in the used market. Better grab it while you can.

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Review by xrayjames December 11, 2011 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I can only echo the expressions of the previous two reviewers. I did not actually own a redbook copy of this CD (only the original vinyl); I was holding out for a good remaster long before I got into SACD. In some ways WYWH is my favourite Floyd album, so I was seemingly awaiting this moment for a long, long, time!
I have a stereo set-up, so I cannot comment on the multi-channel layer, but the stereo mix is fantastic. I always believe that a remaster or an SACD should make the music sound 'fresh', like this is the first time hearing it, and this version does not disappoint. This is especially so on the title track (which happens to be my favourite cut). For the longest time, I thought this was an acoustic guitar & vocals only recording, so imagine my surprise when the drums & bass kick in. Ear-opening, if not eye-opening!
Like the reviewer above says, get it at this great price while you can.

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Review by Croc December 18, 2011 (2 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Fantastic quality.
Well over RBCD.

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Review by analogue January 24, 2012 (24 of 40 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I will be in the monority here but I was not impressed nearly as much as the other listeners with this new Pink floyd sacd. Oh yes...its ultra smooth and refined but this does not mean its a great sounding disc. I will try to explain why I feel this is so.

The first hint that something was amiss was that absolutely no tape hiss was heard on this disc. The alarm bells started going off immediately. A perfect example of the deadened sound on this sacd was the introduction to the drum kit on the first track. In all other versions it had far more body and a much deeper bottom end. This time around however.....it attained a certain heaviness but stopped short of full bodied sound. It never reached its full sound density.
Time and again there are so many examples of this negative quality on this disc. Almost as if a veil or soft blanket was placed over the speakers preventing the full saturation of sound.

I have head this album many a time over the years but never this dull or soft bodied. Increasing the volume may help a bit as there is no compression but unlike many sacd's that do pop into focus this one never does. The increase in volume only highlights the negative traits on this disc.
There are times where the bass is very much lacking. Pink Floyd were fantastic studio musicians and they make great recordings. This album should have sounded much better than what we are hearing. There is nothing dull on this album until now.

Each and every time I listened to thids sacd I was struck by how restricted the dynamic range really is on this sacd. There was always something negative that prevented me from connecting emotionally to the music on this disc. In comparison to the Doug Sax mastering cd from the early 90's this new sacd falls short on many levels. Namely a restricted sound stage both from back to front and especially side to side.
Compared to the cd it is limpid in the dynamic range area. Nothing really sticks out in the usual 3d holograghic sense. And as I said previously this is the first time I have heard this album dulled down as it is. A very unfortunate happening. I hate to say it but the cd is the preferred listening experience. While the cd is not as smooth as the sacd..even though it lacks the focus of the high rez counterpart.........it has the better dynamic range and 3d character of the tapes. When hearing the regular cd this dsic captures more of the effects that Floyd were after and it offers the better emotional connection and feel. And believe me..it hurts to say this about a cd bettering an sacd.

Whatever instrument is heard on this sacd sounds ever so slightly muffled and restricted in sound. Instruments never bloom and there is no air around them. On the cd they spring forth in a more believable way. Even the sax on certain tracks is very flat and dull sounding on the sacd wheres the cd offers a more covincing sax sound..

Welcome to the machine was a tragic example of what Im talking about. Throughout the years..whenever I heard this track..the sound effects were extremely palpable. The layered syths breathed with organic life.......the acoustic guitars.... the laser beam sounds....vocals were so lifelike. The song had mystery and a scary detachment....but now its just plain boring. Nothing grabs the listener. This song used to be a force of nature...it used to build up into almost frightening cresendos but now it had been reduced to a flat...very emotionally reduced mess. Whenever I expect to be uplifted I am simply unmoved by the content.

Another great example is WISH YOU WERE HERE. This song always had a very poignant and sad feel to it but not now. In previous versions the acoustic guitar sounded so lifelike and had so much air around it...and the vocals were so much more rich and full. But now they have been flattened and the song is yet again....lacking in the real feeling it once had. Even when the drums kick in.....the bass drum is almost non existant. The cresendo on this song flat lines.

Where is the air and the upper octaves that I know exists on this disc???? This sacd is so dry. Even the vocals are flat and two dimensional. I hate to say it but if the listener is honest with themselves they will admit a few things. Namely this...that this disc really doesnt do anything extremely well. The mid range is average.....the low end not really low or deep...and the 3d imaging is so lacking that we need to admit such things.

So what if this classic album has finally been relaesed........it is a great disappointment to me.

In summation I have to admit that this new sacd is by no means a great success. Something happened in the transfer process. The dynamics have been spripped away. There is no air and tape hiss to be heard. Some of us remember back in the day when we would press the Dolby noise reduction button on our stereos. Suddenly the objectionable tape hiss would be removed. But with that removal....the music suddenly died and any semblance of musicality was removed. While this disc isnt nearly that bad.......it still sort of sounds like that example. Its very subtle but its there.

To some listeners this sacd might SOUND like the album they have always loved but to me it sure doesnt FEEL like the great album I always loved. This disc doesnt sound bad. Not at all. But it certainly doesnt sound very good either. Its been tamed to death. It could have.....should have been a killer.
Its so damn polite..so smooth and refined......and so damn boring.
Treble anyone????

Recommended only for a much lower price.

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Review by Goodwood January 30, 2012 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Wish You Were Here is essentially a Gilmour album and SACD was always going to make the sound more theatrical.

Just two of my preconceptions after years of owning this album in several formats and versions.

This is an amazing mastering which has made me completely re-evaluate this album. It does not make the album significantly more dynamic and it does not throw Gilmour further into the spotlight.

For me it, rather surprisingly, does the opposite. It brings out a million nuances in all of the performances and first time for me made me sit up and take notice of Richard Wright's enormous contribution.

I'm not going into a bar by bar account I will just say that the music shines in a way it hasn't before.

I have always said that Animals is terribly mixed and no mastering will ever make it sound good. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe with the same treatment it could also realise it's potential.

To sum up - brilliant!

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Review by progboy February 4, 2012 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
WOW ! I got the same wow-factor when I heard the SACD version of Dark Side ! The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I smiled ear to ear ! Really!

This recording is far superior to the redbook standard CD version IMHO. You are presented here with a high res - high depth recording where you will hear things you never heard before...and if you are like me then feel things like you never felt them before.

Two things that did take me a few listens to absorb and get used to are both the vocals vs the instrumentation and the placement of the really low bass frequencies. The vocals are sometime not where I would have expected them and i find them a bit less pronounced than I have heard in the past. This took me a bit to figure out...i don't know why but it just was not what i was used to i guess. For example, the vocal placements are in sharp contrast to the Nat King Cole AP SACD releases which take center stage and almost sit on your lap. The second difference is the insertion of the low bass frequencies. Those beloved deep low bass gut-wrenching frequencies are used sparingly and are highly noticeable when they kick in versus being on all the time. I found myself almost waiting for the low end to really kick in and wondered where they would happen. I have the same thing when I listen to the dark side and other SACD's too. The truth is I learned a lot about this recording as I did the Dark Side from the SACD version.

Sonically Guthrie and team did a wonderful job, but It will take your brain a while to get used to this version.

Hate to say it but pretty much an essential buy if you are a fan of Floyd !

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Review by montejay February 5, 2012 (2 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I think Analoque's review nailed it for me.
This is what I wrote on another forum yesterday in regards to the sound quality of the SACD layer. This has long been my favorite Floyd album.

Two channel only
I just received the SACD a few days ago and played it at several volumes about five times. My only other version is an early US CBS CK33453 dadc didp 50004 51A9. I assumed the SACD would be an improvement was excited to get it.

Today I pulled out the old cd and played it. I was shocked. It sounded much better in the mids and had better dynamics. It was obviously better to me on my system. IMHO

The SACD lacked any of the organic and musical feel the old disc had. My Esoteric does do both formats very well.This is for 2 channel only so multi channel may be a totally different and better experience.I'll keep it because I'm a fan and the packaging is wonderful.
YMMV of course

Regards,

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Review by FullRangeMan February 11, 2012 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
SACD released in 1999 and we are in 2012, so took 13 years to see two PF albums to the SACD fans.
Any chance we get Live at Pompeii in 2020?? Looks no.
This album had a better treatment than the DSotM, mainly in the cover/package, a large hardcover book, first class!
The sound quality are great, au pair with the DSotM, or even better.
Time is 44:13 BarCode 5099952243325 only the regular 5 tracks, no bonus track.
I would like dedicated these brief words to Syd Barret and Rick Wright, both extraordinaire musicians.RIP

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Review by SnakeCained February 21, 2012 (9 of 17 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Ok, I ain't normally no type to write reviews but I have listened to this WYWH SACD a few times now and I had to check out what others were saying.

I looked at some of the reviews here and found there were others....

Basically I was worried. Either I was loosing my hearing or something was wrong on the playback system. Surely the disc could not be at fault? This was it, the Holy Grail, the right band, album, production team, hell even a high end retailer.

I compared with a variety of other material which I was familiar with. No, the expected immersive high quality experience was still there as it should be. I tried Dark side, some Beck, classical etc.

Back to WYWH.

No, the first Shine On still sounds weird.

Other people comments about the lack of "breathing", "air" and the like around the sounds are true.

Its almost like there's high end jitter on the sounds providing a sort of cloaking "blackness" that may contribute to the above.

The EQ sounds odd, like a lot of high and low pass filtering has been used over individual sounds; reverb choice seems eccentric in vocals, a friend commented there was either too much compression on things or not enough.

Basically the mix balance is odd.

I say this as a professional in the audio business and mixer of some reasonable SAD and high res material in surround. I love this format and the scope offered by 5.1, and James Guthrie (mixer of this) is a personal legend of mine.

Good news other tracks on the disc don't suffer so badly. Machine is good fun, the title track enjoyable. Have a Cigar benefits from a more conservative soundscape and the last part of Shine on has the funk soundscape you expect.

Yet even a quick listen to a QUAD 8-track version, despite hiss, yielded a more enjoyable sound.

Standard issue CD? Yeah fine for what it is.

So to conclude were the expectations too high. Partially.

Does the opening salvo of one of the greatest, and this authors favorite albums, on his favorite format disappoint? Yes sadly it does. Does the rest of it make up for that. I'll keep trying.

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Review by SnaggS March 30, 2012 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This disc really has that natural analogue sound you get from Vinyl, exquisite detail without glare. The acoustic guitar strings on Wish You Were Here have body, the background vocalists can be heard as sperate voices, I've never heard their voices as a whole before, and its been achieved without an artificial treble boost that one reviewer here seems to be missing. As a fan of analogue syntherises, Im glad to hear the oscilators warbling like they do on the Tangerine Dream SACD.

We all have different tastes, but if your one of the digital hold-outs who, like me, embraced SA-CD for its analogue sound you will be very happy. Sounds like a 40k turntable or being plugged into the mixing desk. Big thanks to Acoustic Sounds who made this release happen.

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Review by pvcmusiclover April 11, 2012 (1 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I agree with the above reviewer.

The sonic texture is great - very netural and un-forced. There is, however, a little bit of an edge missing though.

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Review by Gragra September 24, 2012 (3 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I have to agree with Analogue. I was very much looking forward to hearing this disc and was going to purchase it as a matter of course, because it's my favourite Pink Floyd album. I used to love playing my vinyl version of it way back when. However, the SACD sounds lifeless, flat and dull. All the dangerous excitement has gone, where acoustic sound appears from nowhere and grabs you by surprise. It sounds over-processed to me. Yes, there is on one hand more detail coming through than I get off the vinyl, but it's not firing me up at all. I emphasise that I'm only listening to it through a two-channel system, not surround sound, and maybe a lot of effort went into the 5.1 mix. However, at least for stereo, a layer of tiny 'acoustic' triggers seem to have gone missing that lessens my enjoyment of this great album. If that sounds contradictory, that I'm hearing more detail but less acoustic realism or involvement with this SACD compared with the vinyl, then that's just the curious way it is.

So yes, it is interesting to hear the extra informational-type detail coming through, but as a listening experience it is disappointing. The SACD rendition seems to be some distance removed from what i imagine the original recording to sound like, not closer.

The book-style presentation with postcards makes this release instantly collectable, but I think I'll stick to the vinyl. The price is too high for the sonic experience being delivered. That's unless I can pick up a second-hand copy.

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Review by Bicman January 29, 2013 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I read all the reviews here and have to disagree with some.
I listened to this a couple of times now, both on headphones, (Grado), and through my speaker system and I find the quality to be outstanding. The lower frequencies are present when and where they should be, not over-powering or over-blown. It's with the midrange and especially the treble that this SACD shines. I love the snap of the cymbals and the sweet melody of the synthesizers. I am really excited over this CD. I am looking forward to many listens. On the headphones when the wife is home, and through my Entertainment Centre, cranked up of course, when the wife is gone.

I highly recommend this SACD and after paying big bucks for some of the SHM and Hybrid SACDs, (I can't believe how much Roxy Music's Avalon is, wow), the price of this SACD is an easy pill to take.

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Review by audiogirl April 9, 2014 (5 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The stereo portion compares favorably to the original LP (UK). Natural, un-tweaked sound.

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Review by keith December 29, 2014 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I have had this SACD for a while, and had to delay the listen due to issues known as life.
I finally got some free time to go through things, and was reading the reviews on the new SACD WYWH and was so bothered with all of the bad reviews. I knew I had this SACD and had to find it. I found it. It was still sealed. I opened it, and put it on. It's perfect. It's better than perfect. It's absolutely stunning. The sound is beautiful. It's why I love SACD. I can only guess those of you who seem to be disappointed with the quality of the audio might not be enjoing true SACD through analogue input/ output, but might be using HDMI or digital audio. You aren't enjoying SACD to it's full potential. I would imagine if someone was on this site, they would go the extra mile, and correctly hook up their system, but, I suspect otherwise.

This SACD of Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" is truly perfect. The hi and low sounds are all there in there crunchy goodness.

I wish I could invite you over, get you a drink, have you sit in the sweet spot, and just listen to this SACD multi channel 6.1 version of Wish You Were Here. It will make you cry. It's that good.

Come on over.

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