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Discussion: Billy Joel: Turnstiles

Posts: 17
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Post by Tingman April 21, 2011 (1 of 17)
My SACD of Turnstiles arrived the other day and to say I am underwhelmed is a gross understatement. While I own many SACD titles, this is only my second on the Mobile Fidelity label, the other being "They Only Come Out at Night" by the Edgar Winter Group. The sound on that title is also nothing special, as other posts on this forum verify.

The sound on the Billy Joel title sounds dull and lifeless on most of the tracks. On "New York State of Mind" his voice sounds distorted at times in a manner I have not heard before. There is no presence to the bass and the midrange sounds flat; the high end is tinny.

I have a number of Mobile Fidelity LP's from the late 70's and early 80's, and they were always the standard for great sound in my mind. These two SACDs sound terrible in comparison to 95% of the rest of my collection. I had been planning on buying more of the MoFi SACDs, and would appreciate knowing what others' experiences have been with their SACD product before I put down any more money.

Post by Tetlee April 22, 2011 (2 of 17)
Thanks for sharing your opinion, had been tempted by this release but only thing holding me back was my disappointment with Pretenders II, also on MoFi.

Will give this a miss I think.

Post by rammiepie April 22, 2011 (3 of 17)
Tingman said:

My SACD of Turnstiles arrived the other day and to say I am underwhelmed is a gross understatement. While I own many SACD titles, this is only my second on the Mobile Fidelity label, the other being "They Only Come Out at Night" by the Edgar Winter Group. The sound on that title is also nothing special, as other posts on this forum verify.

The sound on the Billy Joel title sounds dull and lifeless on most of the tracks. On "New York State of Mind" his voice sounds distorted at times in a manner I have not heard before. There is no presence to the bass and the midrange sounds flat; the high end is tinny.

I have a number of Mobile Fidelity LP's from the late 70's and early 80's, and they were always the standard for great sound in my mind. These two SACDs sound terrible in comparison to 95% of the rest of my collection. I had been planning on buying more of the MoFi SACDs, and would appreciate knowing what others' experiences have been with their SACD product before I put down any more money.

Before you dissuade any other prospective buyers from purchasing this title, I received mine today and played it analogue out into my all analogue Parasound P7 Pre~amp into my Parasound A52 amp through Martin Logan's Source speakers at a relatively loud volume and did NOT experience any of the distortion you experienced. Sure the bass is NOT deep (it kicks in where appropriate) but it certainly sounds much better than the Pretenders II (which is not all bad, either).

Tonight I will spin it through my main system which is much more revealing and will post a follow~up.

For a 1976 Columbia title it sounds dynamic enough but also wish it was a mch release.

Of course, the skimpy 36 minute playing time is a turn~off when one considers that for the same price one can purchase the 2~disc blu~ray of CONCERT FOR GEORGE (HARRISON) in DTS 5.1 mch.......

But I suppose, if you want to PLAY then you have No alternative but to PAY!

Post by Nagraboy April 22, 2011 (4 of 17)
rammiepie said:

...one can purchase the 2~disc blu~ray of CONCERT FOR GEORGE (HARRISON) in DTS 5.1 mch.......

The Concert for George is out on BD?!?! Yippee!

Got to go...off to Amazon(again)

(Thanks very much rammie, another top recommendation) :)

Post by Claude April 22, 2011 (5 of 17)
I think the essential question is, how good does the SACD sound compared to the best LP and CD release? You can't blame MoFi for the recording quality.

Tingman seems to compare this SACD to SACDs of other albums, which makes no sense at all. Mofi doesn't release the best sounding recordings, but tries to master popular recordings in the best possible way.

Post by rammiepie April 22, 2011 (6 of 17)
Nagraboy said:

The Concert for George is out on BD?!?! Yippee!

Got to go...off to Amazon(again)

(Thanks very much rammie, another top recommendation) :)

Nagraboy, The Concert for George is a two disc set: one contains the complete concert and the other is the theatrical release.......a veritable cornucopia of riches.....and if you act fast, it's a gold box deal today, only, at Amazon.com. (US)

BTW, just played Turnstiles on my main system. Via the Marantz SA112s into the Meridian 861 v.6, it sounded amazing and I have posted a mini review (under "reviews.")

Disregard the negatives you read about this MoFi release......if you have a revealing system, the dynamics of Turnstiles WILL BE REVEALED and you won't be disappointed.

Post by Blu Falcon April 22, 2011 (7 of 17)
This will be the next MoFi SACD I'm buying. I've been very pleased with all the MFSL SACD releases I've purchased so far. Judging from positive reviews I've read so far, I have no reason to think I won't be happy with this one.

Post by Nagraboy April 23, 2011 (8 of 17)
rammiepie said:

Disregard the negatives you read about this MoFi release......if you have a revealing system, the dynamics of Turnstiles WILL BE REVEALED and you won't be disappointed.

These Billy Joel albums are before my time, but I bought Piano Man as a gamble and thought it was a great album in places. So the Mo-Fi SACDs are the first time I've heard 95% of these songs. They just don't make music like this anymore...

Post by rammiepie April 23, 2011 (9 of 17)
Nagraboy said:

These Billy Joel albums are before my time, but I bought Piano Man as a gamble and thought it was a great album in places. So the Mo-Fi SACDs are the first time I've heard 95% of these songs. They just don't make music like this anymore...

Then you might also want to investigate MoFi's SACD (Stereo, only) of Carole King Live at Carnegie Hall a 1971 Columbia records release which is basically Tapestry done Live in Concert with special guest James Taylor.

IMO, the 60's and 70's were a golden age for Rock/Pop and Carole King who penned a great number of hits for other artists (Up On The Roof, etc) is one of the greatest (also seek out Tapestry, itself, which is available in mch SACD.....an absolutely brilliant album from start to finish). They really DON'T make them like this, anymore........sad!

Unfortunately, a quick check at Amazon reveals that the original mch SONY SACD of Tapestry is commanding $349 new (I paid a paltry $7.99 for mine back in 2007)!

Check the bargain bins in local record stores......it's worth seeking out.

Post by peter58 April 26, 2011 (10 of 17)
I reviewed Turnstiles on Amazon and I stand by those comments. The sound quality of the MOFI release is substandard. There are no highs or lows and the version of NY State of Mind without the echo simply changes the whole effect of the song. Blaming the sound issue on the master recording is a cop out especially when the version of NY State of Mind I downloaded from Amazon.com sounds better than the version on a so called Hi-fidelity CD. Don't try and convince yourself something sounds good because you spent $29.00. By the way, I have a Yamaha s2000 SACD player and Sennheiser HD650 headphones. When a pin drops in the studio and the tapes rollin' I can hear it. The only thing that will be revealed with good equipment is just how bad Turnstiles sounds!

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