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Reviews: Cream: Disraeli Gears

Reviews: 3

Review by analogue December 5, 2013 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I was happy to learn that the Shm Sacd program was not defunct after all. They came out gangbusters and released a staggering amount of discs and then slowly faded away. I hope that during their second release pattern............that they release select sacds in smaller numbers so that we can get them all.

I suspected that the first Cream shm sacd sold quite well which is why we have this new one to listen to as well as another scheduled release by this band later in the month. All is good.

I cant really vouch for the actual master used, whether it is the original master tapes or some other secondary version..but this new Shm Sacd sounds rather good. There is some disparity between tracks but all on all I am very happy with the mastering on this sacd. must be played loud as I'm sure you know by now and it takes several plays before a break in period. Yes I've read over and over again how some people think its simply snake oil or complete absurdity that a plastic disc which simply contains the same zeroes and ones over and over again needs to be broken in when all other regular sacd's and cd's for that matter don't. Well dear friends its because of the lcd plastic that is used on these discs. This is why there is a difference. Its almost as if the laser needs to burn a path on the plasic layer first in order to read the info during subsequent plays. If you've ever spoken to owners of lcd televisions.they will tell you that this is indeed the case. That being said not all discs need a break in. I'm just sayin.

Once broken in tape hiss was finally heard as well as some nice air around the vocals and instruments. Vocals on this sacd are one of its best features whether Clapton or Bruce is singing. Drums are very delicately rendered which really surprised me. Baker can be bombastic but on this release he's mastered in a more centralized way. I dont want to say polite.
Cuts like strange Brew sounded like Ive have never heard it. Simply jaw dropping provided you increase the volume. This entire disc needs to be played loud. Claptons guitar has a visceral feel to it....authentically electric with a nice texture. Its not a digital representation of an electric guitar.....there are the natural harmonic distortions gotten from the amp...and some nice hum.

Ohhhhhhhh on a financial note........... this disc is also a great bargain as you get not only bonus cuts but the entire program in both stereo and mono. Whats not to like when you get 82 minutes of music?

So rather than review each individual song I will simply state that this new Shm Sacd is a very excellent sounding release of this great Cream album.

Highly recommended and very good mastering. Play this puppy damn loud.

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Review by tdunster December 6, 2013 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I've always been a big fan of this album but unfortunately the Deluxe CD Edition I owned sounded distorted and compressed making it tough going at all but the lowest of volumes.

The SACD is a vast improvement which has more detail, a smoother delivery, and no more unwanted clipping.

It's not the greatest SACD I have ever heard but it is good enough to render previous CD versions as obsolete.

Getting both the MONO and STEREO versions of the album is a plus and were I made to choose I'd go with the MONO version every time.

In conclusion, I'm happy to own this one and have no reservations in recommending it to others. If you liked the sound of Wheels of Fire on SACD then you won't be disappointed with this one either.

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Review by Marc - SoundMatters September 8, 2014 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a review of the stereo SHM SACD of the album by Cream, titled "Disraeli Gears". Equipment used for this review included an Oppo BDP-105 (set-up for multi-channel), PSB Synchrony One speakers (7 speakers, no subwoofer), and a Denon 7.1 receiver. Comparison was made to a CD version of this album.

NOTE: Giving a nod to the apparently-unsettled debate about whether or not SHM SACDs need to be "broken-in" to achieve full sonic potential, this SHM SACD was played 10 times before critically reviewing it on the 11th play (not to join the debate, but rather, to render it a moot point).

Background of album:
Originally released as this group's second studio album in 1967 as an LP, the award-winning "Disraeli Gears" was regarded by many as the finest album from this outstanding British trio (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker).

Often described as psychedelic blues/rock, the album's tracks are acclaimed for their guitar riffs, creative lyrics, and superb performances on instruments and vocals ("Blue Condition" being the obvious exception in regards to vocal performance). Standout tracks include "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses", "Swlabr" and "Dance The Night Away".

Sonics (Stereo SHM SACD):
On the 11th play (please see "NOTE" above), this stereo SHM SACD of "Disraeli Gears" was clearly superior to the CD version in terms of sonic performance. Clarity was excellent, and channel separation was clean, with excellent soundstage for a stereo disc. Minor tape hiss was noticeable, but not to the point of distraction. Vocal reproduction was excellent, and the overall mix had no discernible flaws. Overall sonic quality was excellent, though not among that of the very best SACDs ever made (no surprise here, given the age and technology employed in the original recording).

Bottom Line:
This stereo SHM SACD of Cream's "Disraeli Gears" is the definitive digital version of this acclaimed album, and it is highly recommended.

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