Author Topic: Zooropa Remaster Digital Download - Mini Review  (Read 359 times)

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Offline zooguitar

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Zooropa Remaster Digital Download - Mini Review
« on: August 19, 2018, 11:41:27 AM »
For those of you who read my review of the digital downloaded files of the recently re-mastered POP album, much of what I wrote for that review can be applied to this remaster, unfortunately.

The Zooropa remaster is not as inconsistent as the Pop remaster in terms of varying tones (TLDR: some songs on the Pop remaster benefited from extra treble, while many others suffered from loss in bass depth and warmth), but overall it was probably not necessary. None of the tracks sound noticeably better than the 1993 versions, while "Lemon" in particular is badly done. "Lemon" subverts all the melody and detail from Adam's bass line in order to make the tambourine on the hi hat sound more present in the mix. Perhaps the funkiest bass line in the entire U2 canon, it is neutered here in a dull, flat remaster mix that sounds like it is aimed at low-quality ear bud headphones. If I were Adam, I would be sincerely pi**ed off at the final result.

The consistent thread throughout these 2 disappointing remaster efforts is the fact that they were not supervised by the original mastering engineers, but by the mastering engineer for the most recent U2 album. Given that these were the last U2 albums recorded on analog tape, there should be much room for improvement in a modern, digital remaster if done properly: listen to gold-standard mastering efforts by the Stones and Beatles for comparison.

-NEGATIVE POSTSCRIPT ITEM #1: to get a sense of how unnecessary the Zooropa remaster effort was, there is no discernible difference between the version of "Stay" released on the Best of 1990-2000 compilation vs the 2018 remaster (a visual analysis of both audio files confirms this)

-NEGATIVE POSTSCRIPT ITEM #2: I really hope the CD re-releases of Zooropa/Pop include as much B-side/outtake materials as other U2 CD re-releases. The bonus tracks on the Zooropa remaster vinyl/digital download only turned out to be remixes of Lemon and Numb that were included on the MELON Propaganda CD from 1995. It would have been more interesting to hear remastered versions of actual B-sides and outtakes from Zooropa, in particular "Slow Dancing", "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me", or even the Bono-version of "The Wanderer".



Offline ian ryan

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Re: Zooropa Remaster Digital Download - Mini Review
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 10:09:58 PM »
Thanks for doing this review. What audio equipment did you listened to it on?

Offline zooguitar

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Re: Zooropa Remaster Digital Download - Mini Review
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 06:49:18 PM »
Quote
Thanks for doing this review. What audio equipment did you listened to it on?

Sorry for the long delay in response. I listened on two separate systems for comparison, but with the same pair of headphones each time.

Headphones: Status Audio CB-1s

System #1: Mac Mini, via Dragonfly Black USB DAC at 96 khz upsample.
System #2: Sony Receiver DH550 via fiber optic link to Apple TV playing files direct from my Mac via ethernet cable