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Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    Votes: 27 36.5%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 33 44.6%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 12 16.2%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    74

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Universal Music Group "updated" the RPO playlist three days ago.
I am unable to discern what it is that has been "updated."
I know that many are sick of hearing this, and I get it. But some of us are fascinated as to these changes. The digital files on I-tunes have also been updated, and of course I downloaded them (again) for comparison. Wow! I wonder if this is the source for the vinyl version that has finally been (USA) released. Or is it what the UK will hear on vinyl when they get theirs this month?

I have to listen carefully and when I'm by myself to make better comparisons, but I can say that it sounds amazing, even better if that's possible!
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
That will be difficult. Does actual hard-copy (commercially) exist as the updates were made to make comparisons?

One mistake I made was I didn't burn the pre-album release of the songs "Ticket and Yesterday Once More" because when the RPO album came out, these files were updated. The pre- album release versions became history........ I didn't want to tempt myself to listen to them before the album's release. The Internet world has changed the music business.
 
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
On a Mac computer, use Finder to navigate to your iTunes downloaded files (Home/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/artist name/album name). Now, copy the album folder (in this case, the RPO album) to a flash drive, or external hard drive. After the folder copies over, eject the external drive (now you have a copy of the original files, that can't accidentally be deleted by iTunes). Open iTunes. Click on "Library", double click on the RPO album cover. To the right of the artist name, is a circle with three dots in it. Click on that, and the first choice on the dropdown list is "Remove Download". Once you've removed the download and restarted iTunes, you'll be able to download the album again, and you'll get the latest version. Easy peasy! :laugh:
Murray, I was searching for this post and finally found it...it took me a bit because I knew I remembered reading it but I didn't remember what thread it was on..anyway, I finally figured out what you wrote about and as we speak I'm attempting to remove my iTunes download (I saved the original files on a USB as you mentioned) and now I'm going to re download them and see if they are any different from when I originally downloaded them in July. Thanks again for your write up.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
There's something I just noticed on the RPO version of For All We Know. It's actually the same on all the versions, CD and downloads and updated tweaks. At the 1:27-1:28 mark when Karen sings "I knew you well" listen to the word "knew" there is what sounds like a glitch for 1 sec Karen's vocal is not smooth, it's like a start/stop in the tape. It's really noticeable with headphones on.

If you go to For All We Know on The Essential Collection time 1:03 you will hear the same spot how smooth the transition is, it's not this same smoothness, right as she is singing the word "knew" you well, listen to the word "knew"
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
On the replacement white vinyls, one has a rough edge for about 6 inches and the other one has a weird edge...almost a little ledge sticking out.

But both sound very good. No skips and let “pops” than the first set, so I’m not worrying about it.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Jonathan, I'm glad you at least got ones that sound good and you can finally take the time to enjoy them. I got an email that they have requested the warehouse to re ship my white vinyl and I will get another email with tracking. It will be interesting to see if the warehouse ships as online they are showing sold out.

I still can't believe Richard allowed that wobble in her vocal to go through on For All We Know...now I'm going to notice that every time I listen to it. I don't like it.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
I'm amazed that the buzz is still present in the "Overture". It's been there since the first iteration, and I thought surely they could have done something with it.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Murray, I was searching for this post and finally found it...it took me a bit because I knew I remembered reading it but I didn't remember what thread it was on..anyway, I finally figured out what you wrote about and as we speak I'm attempting to remove my iTunes download (I saved the original files on a USB as you mentioned) and now I'm going to re download them and see if they are any different from when I originally downloaded them in July. Thanks again for your write up.
I just reviewed the 2nd download from iTunes I mentioned above and I can confirm they are identical to the 1st time I downloaded them back in July. They are both the tweaked versions and are both the same. Too bad about the 2 glitches we've mentioned above, otherwise it's great.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I just got my black vinyl copy in the mail from Amazon.ca. (It’s an American pressing.) I’m listening to Side 1 now. WOW was it ever mastered extremely low. I’ve got my system at -25db whereas vinyl I usually listen between -35 & -40.

But when I opened it, it looked like there were fingerprints from somebody all over Side 1 and smears of something on Side 2. The Center hole was torn and there was a piece of plastic that looks like something after you’ve taken a drill to a piece of plastic. Did they make the hole to small and then ream it with a drill to make it bigger—-but it fits on my turntable. Also on Side 2 it looked like someone had dropped it on a The head of a nail right by the hole.

It’s interesting but Side 1/2’s label is the brown like the CD, but Side 3/4 have a black label. Also on Side 4 the hole is about 1/4 covered with drill reams.

On Side 1, from the Overture to INTBIL it is pretty noisy, and then, except for right at the end, FAWK is noiseless. On YOM, there is a harp right at the end of the Overture, but it sounds like the Overture and Harp end abruptly, it doesn’t sound like a flaw in the vinyl, but in the master, as if instead of having a continuous flow, there’s a groove of silence and then YOM starts, kind of like how on a CD, if you don’t tell the burning program to segue the tracks, you’ll get a few seconds of silence even if the music is suppose to be continuous.

Also the Sleeve for record 1 was torn inside the cover.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
I seriously believe that Universal should look into their employees at whatever pressing plant they are using it sounds like there is an employee or employees intentionally sabotaging the vinyl process and production line. There is just way too many of these happening from UMe especially now with this release and the prior vinyl collection box set. The jamming of sleeves, fingerprints, scratches, raised knots of plastics and sharp edges, creased LP covers, plastic in the holes, ripped labels and off center labels and holes.

I just went and looked at my labels and there off center and the labels don’t even look like they were cut properly in a circle. It’s all a huge disservice to the Carpenters music.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The jamming of sleeves, fingerprints, scratches, raised knots of plastics and sharp edges, creased LP covers, plastic in the holes, ripped labels and off center labels and holes.
For that to be the case there would have to be a conspiracy across the production line. To me it just smacks of abysmal quality standards across the entire pressing plant(s). What’s the quality of UMG vinyl like across other artists, has anyone looked into that?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The last brand-new vinyl that I bought was “The Beach Boys: That’s Why God Made The Radio” in 2012 and that was 180g vinyl and it was very quiet and still is. The only issue I had with it was the mastering. It sounded like it had been mastered very low and I was only getting half-the-sound when compared to the CD. Of course that was before Universal bought Capitol.
 

Chris Mills

It's just the radio.
All three digital downloads on iTunes have their own unique differences. It's fascinating to compare the differences between each download, even more amazing is the way Richard has embraced this digital technology..................let's have more please!
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I just reviewed the 2nd download from iTunes I mentioned above and I can confirm they are identical to the 1st time I downloaded them back in July. They are both the tweaked versions and are both the same. Too bad about the 2 glitches we've mentioned above, otherwise it's great.
I have a download from 6/29 and the one from 9/1 and the only thing I noticed is the second one is slightly louder. All the times remained the same. So Rick you may be right about this.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
I have a download from 6/29 and the one from 9/1 and the only thing I noticed is the second one is slightly louder. All the times remained the same. So Rick you may be right about this.
Last night and today, I was literally doing side by side comparisons from my July iTunes downloads to my Sept 2nd iTunes downloads. There were times when I thought the Sept downloads sounded a tiny bit clearer and louder than my July downloads. There were actually some songs that made me keep going back and forth because I thought it sounded a bit better on the Sept downloads. I was listening so intensively that I was wondering if I was just listening too much so I took a break and came back later.

Then today I was doing some research and discovered that on Aug 7th Apple launched Apple Digital Masters to replace the prior branding of Mastered for iTunes. So in essence my July downloads were branded as Mastered for iTunes while any downloads through iTunes on Aug 7th or later would be Apple Digital Masters. This made sense now because when I downloaded them back in July I remember seeing in iTunes Mastered for iTunes logo but on Sept 2nd when I downloaded them again I saw the logo changed to Apple Digital Masters.

I'm not trying to say that my Sept downloads are superior sounding to my July downloads just because of the rebranding name by Apple. But it might make sense why I was hearing my Sept downloads were a tiny bit louder and clearer at times. (by louder I don't mean loudness wars loud or harsh)

Here are a few references that Apple Digital Masters released on Aug 7th and a pdf from Apple about this new branding.

 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Given Apple's penchant for making teensy improvements or tweaks to their products and then touting the "vast improvements," I wouldn't put it past them to just turn up the volume a tiny bit and jack up the treble a minute amount and slap a new Apple Digital Masters label on it. The difference would be so subtle that most people wouldn't notice, but just enough to make "golden eared" uber-fans plunk down another $1.29 per song (or whatever they're charging).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Another vinyl comparison: the full, original, version of I Need To Be In Love (with piano intro)
is a superior listening experience when placed against the RPO version.
In every instance I find the original vinyl to be better.
I listened to Superstar, RPO, then the 45-single. I prefer the fullness of the original.
So, I am questioning my hearing, again !
What is it that I am missing when listening to these RPO versions ?
Why am I not as impressed as everyone else ?
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Another vinyl comparison: the full, original, version of I Need To Be In Love (with piano intro)
is a superior listening experience when placed against the RPO version.
In every instance I find the original vinyl to be better.
I listened to Superstar, RPO, then the 45-single. I prefer the fullness of the original.
So, I am questioning my hearing, again !
What is it that I am missing when listening to these RPO versions ?
Why am I not as impressed as everyone else ?
Gary,
That’s easy for me. I love classical music and was inspired in a college course I took and the teacher was an inspiration to me and since that time I have appreciated this genre. So I love Carpenters and love Classical music so for me it’s a marriage of 2 that works for me.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
According to the Billboard Classical chart, last week, the RPO album was at #12, but this week (Sept 7, 2019) it’s at #17. 38 week run.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
As I mentioned in the shipping thread I received my replacement white vinyl and cleaned both LP's on my record doctor machine so I was finally able to hear this recording on LP (it was a long wait)

This is definitely the tweaked final versions meaning it sounds like the same tweaks that I heard from the downloads from iTunes back in July. It is not the same as the CD's. I'm happy about this. The mastering on LP 1 doesn't sound as good to my ears as the mastering on LP 2. I feel that LP 1 was mastered at a lot lower volume and has less highs and sounds more dull or muted. It's not terrible but with a orchestral album it doesn't sound that great. I never thought I'd be saying this about vinyl but I actually prefer the digital downloads or CD version for it's highs and clarity especially when your listening to finer instruments and key spots. Karen's vocal just doesn't pop as bright or clear on LP 1. I will say that it's not consistent across all the tracks either on LP 1 for instance, Touch Me When We're Dancing actually sounds quite good however it's not as good as it sounds on the digital files or CD.

Now LP 2 is a different story, it sounds a lot better to my ears, better highs, Karen's vocal has more clarity and the orchestra has better sonics. I wish that LP 1 sounded as good as LP 2.

As far as noises, yeah it's littered with pops and I'm hoping that with further cleaning with help some. The problem is that LP 1 has more pops and because it sounds lower to hear all the instrumentation throughout the recording I need to increase the volume just a bit more and then you get this POP in your ear that is quite loud. It's not your normal pop it's like plastic is not carved out in the grooves properly and your needle just hit it and POP. I have a lot of vinyl and I've not come across vinyl that is this poor in quality.

So while I'm not super excited about how this sounds, I do like some...Touch Me is great, I Need To Be In Love has no pops or noises (I'm blessed) Baby It's You also no noises. Ticket To Ride sounds absolutely amazing, it's probably the best sounding track on this whole set, sonically speaking.

Because I am a diehard fan and always look for perfection in a quite imperfect world....I ordered the black vinyl too and should have it next week. :shake::agree::laugh:
 
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