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  1. #1

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    Default LED ZEPPELIN Mothership.

    This is a 4lp "Greatest Hits" compilation on 180g Vinyl... I will do a full review after I have a chance to play it through, but the first couple tracks have my jaw hanhing open. This is a MUST HAVE set!!!:D:D
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    Some have reported and I've read others that said this was horribly done, John.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ght=mothership

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ip#post1356613
    Last edited by Keiko; 06-13-2010 at 10:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
    Some have reported and I've read others that said this was horribly done, John.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ght=mothership
    I have yet to give it a full listen, and maybe with the tubes I have in the loop, it takes some of the edge off. I do not even know which version I have, but I figured that with no Zep in my collection yet that it would not be a bad way to start.
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    I have most of the commercial vinyl pressings from the 70's. All of which are good. Shop the used record stores, ebay and musicstack.com. I'm seeing some fair deals and some ridiculously overpriced auctions right now.

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    From what I've heard the Classic Records versions of Zep are the ones to get, but very rare and very expensive. Next to that the very first issues are the best that I've listened to. I've got a Robert Ludwig mastered Houses of the Holy that is superb. I have all the others in 2nd and 3rd pressings and quite honestly I prefer vinyl rips to cd's of them all from first issue vinyl. I've got a cd copy of Mothership and I was extrememly impressed with this mastering. I don't know why some people don't like it, to me it's the best Zeppelin has ever sounded outside of a live show.

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    I have never owned a Zeppelin recording of any kind. I do not find the LP's to be hot or harsh in any way so far, but I have no real frame of reference at this point to make a comparison.
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    The mastering of Mothership is terrible. In fact, it's criminal. Tubes don't help either.
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    I've never heard the vinyl...but I've got it on CD. It sounds AWFUL compared to other Zep recordings I've heard. It's another case of bringing levels up, adding compression...and generally being too hot sounding.


    Sound quality aside though, Mothership is a great "introduction" to Zeppelin, because it takes you through some of the bigger songs throughout their entire career. Track wise, it's a great collection. I listen to it a lot, but mainly only in my car. It doesn't see much play on the main rig...when I crave Zeppelin on the 2 channel...I bust out my vinyl.:)
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    The mastering of Mothership is terrible. In fact, it's criminal. Tubes don't help either.
    Yep John this is a true statement. Very bright and very hot! IMHO!

    If you can ever get your hands on the Classic Records 200 gm pressings, they are the ones that will make your jaw drop but as Kelvin said, they are now very expensive. I have LZ 1 through "Houses of the Holy." I bought them when they first came out so the price was like $29 to $39 a pop. Now you can't touch them for less than $100 if you're lucky.

    I hope the tubes take the bite off of it for you. I can say this you are lucky you didn't buy the CD earbleeder. The LP's a tad warmer but still . . .

    Tony the Vette would love the CD set!!!
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 06-14-2010 at 06:55 AM.

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    Might want to check out these 180g pressings of The Song Remains The Same. I own it and I'm pleased with the audio quality. You get a lot for 60.00 bucks with this box set.

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/80632

    Bonzo's drum solo on Moby Dick literally blew me away. This video clip doesn't do it any justice, but to give you an idea....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52PXF...eature=related

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    My memory of Mothership must be dim because I thought it was well mastered. I'll have to listen again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I have yet to give it a full listen, and maybe with the tubes I have in the loop, it takes some of the edge off. I do not even know which version I have, but I figured that with no Zep in my collection yet that it would not be a bad way to start.
    Good grief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vc69 View Post
    Good grief.

    I knew I would catch a bit of flak for that admission.:);)

    I am having a hard time hearing what you guys are talking about however. The imaging and soundstage presented by the SDA's is amazing, and I detect nothing hot or bright about the recording. I will be looking for another LP to comparee this to, but for now, I do not hear what the rest of you are hearing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fongolio View Post
    My memory of Mothership must be dim because I thought it was well mastered. I'll have to listen again.
    Yes indeed Kel! Either that or clean your ears out as the high finger-nail-on-the-chalkboard sound was probably absorbed!:D

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I knew I would catch a bit of flak for that admission.:);)

    I am having a hard time hearing what you guys are talking about however. The imaging and soundstage presented by the SDA's is amazing, and I detect nothing hot or bright about the recording. I will be looking for another LP to comparee this to, but for now, I do not hear what the rest of you are hearing.
    See how long you can listen to it before listening fatique sets in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    See how long you can listen to it before listening fatique sets in.
    I will be doing that tonight. I have yet to hear a "bright LP".;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I will be doing that tonight. I have yet to hear a "bright LP".;)
    You gotta be kidding me! I have some that make CDs sound like origianal master tapes.

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    Mothership (the cd version) is an atrocity. Give me the original hissy cd releases made in some instances from 2nd and 3rd gen copies of masters over Mothership. Early Days and Latter Days isn't any better.

    The really sick thing is Jimmy was involved in remastering these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
    Might want to check out these 180g pressings of The Song Remains The Same. I own it and I'm pleased with the audio quality. You get a lot for 60.00 bucks with this box set.

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/80632
    That's the one to get! Excellent mastering and pressing!
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    I've read that the Led Zep Box Set is really the way to go if you're going w/cd's. I've read that it's very well mastered.
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    How does Mothership compare to this?

    http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin/d...mus_ep_wlb_dpt
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    Maybe it's just the combination of gear in my stack or perhaps I am loosing my hearing, but I have to tell you guys that I don't hear the brightness that you guys have been speaking about. It sounds fantastic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post
    How does Mothership compare to this?

    http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin/d...mus_ep_wlb_dpt
    That's a decent CD box set. A good introduction to LZ and the mastering is OK. I still prefer my old vinyls though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    Maybe it's just the combination of gear in my stack or perhaps I am loosing my hearing, but I have to tell you guys that I don't hear the brightness that you guys have been speaking about. It sounds fantastic...
    It's because you don't have any other Zeppelin recordings to compare them to. The mastering on Mothership is completely godawful when compared to some of the older versions.

    Get some other Zeppelin vinyl, and you'll see what we're talking about.;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by BottomFeeder View Post
    I've read that the Led Zep Box Set is really the way to go if you're going w/cd's. I've read that it's very well mastered.
    Yes, there are two older (90s) Led Zeppelin Box Sets.

    1) One is the 4-CD set mentioned above.

    http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin/d...6579919&sr=1-1

    2) The other is the 10-CD set called Led Zeppelin: The Complete Studio Recordings (which just as its name suggests has all of the released albums plus some bonus tracks on the CODA CD.

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Studi...6579429&sr=1-1

    Each of these two sets consists of the remasters done by George Marino & Jimmy Page himself. Generally speaking, they are pretty good (not perfect, but pretty good). There are endless debates over whether the original pressed CDs put out by Barry Diament are better or if the Page-Marino remasters are better, but as far as I can tell supporters of each are rather evenly divided. Without a clear-cut winner, it mostly comes down to personal preference.

    About 8 years ago, I wanted to get beyond the two discs I had at the time --Led Zeppelin II and Houses of the Holy, so I ordered the 4-CD set from an Amazon Marketplace seller. They were advertised as Used/Like New but the guy shipped me the 10-CD Complete recordings instead. I suppose I could have sent it back, but that thought quickly vanished once I got to hear them :o

    One of the reasons I ordered the 4-CD set was to get a copy of "Travelling Riverside Blues" which is one of my favorite Zeppelin songs but never made it on to a proper album so to speak. Fortunately, its also included in the 10-CD set "The Complete Recordings" that was mailed to me.

    I don't have a turntable, but just recently I've been getting into needledrops of vinyl copies (some of which are mentioned above...Classic Records and Robert Ludwig mastered vinyl). The convenience of a CD with the warmth and range of the analogue sound...it doesn't get any better than that.

    But going back to CDs, if you don't have any Zeppelin and you want to get a taste of their best stuff pick up the 4-CD set (1990) mentioned above. Not perfect, but definately a better alternative to Mothership for a general introduction.

    After you pick up that, assuming you like it, then move on to How The West Was Won, a great sounding triple-CD live recording compilation from a few concerts in San Bernadino and L.A. in June 1972. I say this because Led Zeppelin live must be taken into consideration to fully appreciate the magnitude and prowess of this band (especially when they were still on top of their game (i.e. before Plant's voice went to crap (1973) and Pagey was strung out on heroin (1977). Like the vikings alluded to in "Immigrant Song," the mighty Zep came to Cali, they saw and they kicked ass!
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    Ok, I have to retract my earlier statement about the Mothership release. Using Audacity I compared the cd version of Good Times Bad Times on Mothership with a vinyl rip of the Classic Records re-issues disk one Good Times Bad Times and the wave forms speak for themselves. The Mothership mastering is extremely "hot". The levels were way to high and it was obviously clipped heavily. On re-listening to the Mothership CD version it becomes obvious. I think I must have been delerious when I first heard and really liked it. I still find it thorouly enjoyable in the car where road noise rattles and wind suck the SQ out of almost anything ("89 IROC). Loud is good there but on the home system, the Classic records vinyl rip wins hands down. Please see attached pics of the wave forms.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fongolio View Post
    Ok, I have to retract my earlier statement about the Mothership release. Using Audacity I compared the cd version of Good Times Bad Times on Mothership with a vinyl rip of the Classic Records re-issues disk one Good Times Bad Times and the wave forms speak for themselves. The Mothership mastering is extremely "hot". The levels were way to high and it was obviously clipped heavily. On re-listening to the Mothership CD version it becomes obvious. I think I must have been delerious when I first heard and really liked it. I still find it thorouly enjoyable in the car where road noise rattles and wind suck the SQ out of almost anything ("89 IROC). Loud is good there but on the home system, the Classic records vinyl rip wins hands down. Please see attached pics of the wave forms.

    I guess I am still missing how the CD version being hot impacts the Vinyl version of the same recording. As was suggested earlier, I will be getting my hands on some other lp's in the near future so I can make a better comparison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I guess I am still missing how the CD version being hot impacts the Vinyl version of the same recording. As was suggested earlier, I will be getting my hands on some other lp's in the near future so I can make a better comparison.
    John, can you see the two graphical wave forms? If so, I don;t understand what your question is. The picture speaks for itself.

    The cd is massively compressed the vinyl isn't. If there was a poor vinyl version that was also compressed when it was mastered then that vinyl version would look very close to the first graph. Not everything recorded on vinyl is great, you can have just as poor or worse recording on vinyl as you can on cd or tape or a digital file. It's not the medium but the mastering.

    H9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fongolio View Post
    "...and the wave forms speak for themselves. The Mothership mastering is extremely "hot". The levels were way to high and it was obviously clipped heavily."
    While that does have the "blast-o-phonic" mastering applied I wouldn't call it extremely hot.

    This (from the new Jeff Beck CD), I'd call extremely hot:



    I have the 4 disc LZ set, the 2 disc LZ set, and all of the original-release vinyl (except Song Remains the Same). These were all released before "blast-o-phonic" mastering became fashionable, so you'd be safe with these box sets.

    But in my opinion, you miss something, style-wise, if you don't have all the separate albums. It's just not the same to listen to mixes of songs across the albums, especially if you're not familiar with the styles on each album. Get the separates if you can swing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubinga99 View Post
    While that does have the "blast-o-phonic" mastering applied I wouldn't call it extremely hot.

    This (from the new Jeff Beck CD), I'd call extremely hot:



    I have the 4 disc LZ set, the 2 disc LZ set, and all of the original-release vinyl (except Song Remains the Same). These were all released before "blast-o-phonic" mastering became fashionable, so you'd be safe with these box sets.

    But in my opinion, you miss something, style-wise, if you don't have all the separate albums. It's just not the same to listen to mixes of songs across the albums, especially if you're not familiar with the styles on each album. Get the separates if you can swing it.
    I'm fatigued just looking at the waveforms!! :p

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

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