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  1. #1

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    Default Anybody find the quality of Adele - 21 atrocious?

    Seriously - I can't stand this CD because my ears hurt from the ringing, ear-piercing highs and "swirly" mids in which you can't even tell the percussion instruments behind her voice. I don't even know WHAT instruments are being played, as they are so screechy and noisy. I heard this being played over the PA in a record store at the mall and I had to leave the store. It's no better in the car either unless you turn the treble all the way down and keep the bass set to half way to make it listenable. At home let's just say it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    For those who have this CD - can you stand listening to it at 0db on your pre and not get fatigue?

    Please be honest. I have several recordings I can take to +4 and above and it is still listenable.

  2. #2

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    Seriously ?? You don't think at that volume it's more likely the gear than the CD ?

  3. #3

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    I don't think i've ever listened to anything at higher than -14 on my pre...

    Of course... sensitivity, different gear, etc etc etc...
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  4. #4

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    Yeah the recording is garbage. It's digital as hell. You can clearly tell each part of the song was recorded individually and then slammed together. There is no cohesion at all. It's sad because her live performances don't suffer from the same issues at all.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Seriously ?? You don't think at that volume it's more likely the gear than the CD ?
    I've had Polkies here listening to my old rig at +10dB and it was listenable.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    I don't think i've ever listened to anything at higher than -14 on my pre...

    Of course... sensitivity, different gear, etc etc etc...
    Before I got the Denon AVR-5800, I could take Enya's Watermark to +12dB on "Storms in Africa" and "Exile" and not get listener fatigue.

  7. #7

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    I have a small-ish room that's shaped a bit weird. The speakers have no problems overpowering the space well before i get to the +0dB mark.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  8. #8
    Stronzo
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    Great music that's recorded like sh!t. Proof positive that some engineers out there deserve swift kicks to the d!$!.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    I've had Polkies here listening to my old rig at +10dB and it was listenable.
    Thats kiss a tweeter goodby territory.....especially with a receiver. Good luck to you.

  10. #10

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    It's well known on here that I am in a large room with lots of open space. And that I listen to lots of Classical, Jazz, and New Age artists. Which are usually recorded quiet compared to the very few pop recordings I have. For example, I read on another forum that Enya's average recording level is -14dB whereas Metallica is closer to 0dB or maybe even in the red??

    If I have Enya - Watermark in the CDP at +5 and then switch over to something like Green Day or Kelly Clarkson, holy cow! I will get blasted beyond belief if I forget to change the volume level.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Thats kiss a tweeter goodby territory.....especially with a receiver. Good luck to you.
    Mozart, Bolero, etc. needs to be turned up that much to be heard at an engaging level.

    For a pop recording, something like Lady Gaga at -30 would be considered loud (and noisy).

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    I just pulled out the SPL meter and tuned to a local FM station.
    At -23dB, I get 75-76dB average, C-weighted on the SPL meter.

    Then put on "Classical Treasures - The Romantic Piano" which is a cassette tape.
    http://www.tower.com/romantic-piano-...wapi/106047133
    At 0dB, I get 70-72dB peaks, C-weighted and most of the time the meter is to the left.

    This means FM radio is at least 25dB louder than my cassette tapes!

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    YES..it is sub-par. It's definitely suffering from over-saturation, loudness wise, and it's a shame for content of this quality. When I only have to light up 2 led's on my passive pre for a CD to be LOUD---it's dynamics are squashed, without a doubt.

    I noticed this right away.

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    totally agree, it's really bad. It's mastered way too high. It goes back to all these threads about dynamics.

    The same with 19. Really bad...
    design is where science and art break even.

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    Thank you. I was worried that I would be destroying tweeters with my high volume levels, but the aforementioned volume settings are 'normal' for my musical collection (with the exception of a few pop recordings I rarely listen to).

    I did some more tests, FM radio and pop CDs are by far the loudest, while my cassette tapes and classical CDs much quieter. That's why I'm going into the +dB range of my volume knob regularly with my recordings. For the record, with my SPL meter I did have to go up to the 80dB range with the volume at +3dB, on the second track of Shepherd Moons since I really enjoy this recording.

    But at that setting with Adele's Set Fire to the Rain I'd easily be in the 100 dB or more!

  16. #16

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    So I made a video with my volume set around 0dB, playing a quiet recording. I have the SPL meter in the video set to the 70dB setting, Slow response, C-weighted. It varies from around 70-75dB and peaks around 77dB. Nowhere near the level necessary to destroy tweeters, although I agree that if I put on a pop/hip-hop recording I'd blow something at this level.

    The volume control on the Denon in this video is turned way up!!


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    I've never listened to it. If you want to listen to Adele, I highly recommend the Albert Hall disc. Of course, it's still more important to get your setup right!
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  18. #18

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    I know, see the video above. What I am saying is that I can take my classical recordings to 0dB on the volume knob (and above) and the sound is still listenable, but if I did this with Adele - 21 I'd be well into the 100dB range. This is the problem. It's just too freaking loud.

    In the video I have the volume at -1, then turn it to 0, all while achieving in-room SPL's of 70-77dB.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    So I made a video with my volume set around 0dB, playing a quiet recording. I have the SPL meter in the video set to the 70dB setting, Slow response, C-weighted. It varies from around 70-75dB and peaks around 77dB. Nowhere near the level necessary to destroy tweeters, although I agree that if I put on a pop/hip-hop recording I'd blow something at this level.

    The volume control on the Denon in this video is turned way up!!
    I'm glad you used an SPL since saying thing like 'volume st a 0db' means absolutely nothing without an SPL reference.

    If the volume is turned all the way up and you are only getting 77db peaks then there is something wrong. Many times when the volume is turned all the way up you are distorting the amp.

    I just put 21 into the CD player and the first song, Rolling In The Deep, plays in the mid-70db SPL range at my usual setting of -40db. I just took it up to 100db at -28db and it still sounds good.

    I agree the CD, like many others, could be better recorded, but it is a pretty good CD. Not as bad as you are making it out to be. Also, get her Bluray, Live At The Royal Albert Hall. That is also pretty good if you like Adele.

  20. #20

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    BlueFox, the volume can be turned up even higher on my Denon AVR-5800. It can go to +12 no problem and if you look at the video, I did go to +2 for a brief moment but would have to change the SPL meter to the 80dB range. I didn't want to stop the video to change the SPL meter setting so I turned the volume to -1 and then up to 0 so that the level was approximately 77dB. Also, notice when I start the video at around -30dB it is too quiet and you hear the camera's microphone.

  21. #21

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    I'm of the same mind: her CDs are bits of leftovers--if it was mastered better, I'd definitely enjoy it a lot more. How many years until MFSL or someone gets their hands on the recordings?
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Great music that's recorded like sh!t. Proof positive that some engineers out there deserve swift kicks to the d!$!.
    I'd blame the producer before I blamed the engineer. He's the one with the money making those calls.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I just put 21 into the CD player and the first song, Rolling In The Deep, plays in the mid-70db SPL range at my usual setting of -40db. I just took it up to 100db at -28db and it still sounds good.
    Huh? You are getting a mid-70dB SPL range at -40dB on the volume knob, and 100dB SPL at -28dB?

    This makes no sense. 12 clicks shouldn't bring up the volume from around 70dB to 100dB.

    I regularly take my volume past 0dB and in the video, I actually had it at +2 for a moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    Huh? You are getting a mid-70dB SPL range at -40dB on the volume knob, and 100dB SPL at -28dB?

    This makes no sense. 12 clicks shouldn't bring up the volume from around 70dB to 100dB.
    Typo. Make that -22db, with peaks around 110db, on both fast and slow response. Of course, I will never listen to Adele that loud, but it isn't atrocious.

    Out of curiosity, with no input I turned the pre all the way up, and it stops at 0db. I guess I need to get a pre that goes to 12.

  25. #25
    Stronzo
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    Audiocr,

    True. *prepares my boot*

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Typo. Make that -22db, with peaks around 110db, on both fast and slow response. Of course, I will never listen to Adele that loud, but it isn't atrocious.

    Out of curiosity, with no input I turned the pre all the way up, and it stops at 0db. I guess I need to get a pre that goes to 12.
    What happens if you turn the volume to 0dB with an input signal? My system is listenable at 0dB on classical recordings, but at 0dB on a pop recording it's way too loud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    What happens if you turn the volume to 0dB with an input signal? My system is listenable at 0dB on classical recordings, but at 0dB on a pop recording it's way too loud.
    I am not going to find out. At 0db on the pre I will be putting 800W/ch into the speakers, and I'm not anxious to see what happens. As mentioned earlier, the volume setting numbers are only good for your system. They mean nothing to others. Only the actual SPL is valid for comparison. My normal setting for Classical is -40db, and it is playing now. Yes, pop/rock/rap, etc. is louder, so I either turn it down a tad, or if I feel like rocking turn it up some more.

  28. #28

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    OK, just seems strange that there is such a big volume level difference between recordings. Aaron Copland's Fanfare and Ravel - Bolero need to be turned up past 0dB on my system, while Lady GaGa playing on the radio at -30dB sounds like cr*p.

    Kelly Clarkson's Breakway was noticeably bad too. I had to turn it down so much...

  29. #29

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    Yes, volume does vary between CDs. There are so many factors, and the loudness added for marketing does not help. I do not have any problem with Adele 21, however the new Lady Gaga CD drives me crazy. Her first two CDs, Fame and Fame Monster, are actually recorded pretty good. Born This Way is recorded terrible, and, for me, is not playable.

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    Adele isn't the worst I've heard, but it isn't great. The vinyl seems to sound worse than the CD does.

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