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Do remastered records really sound better? Well, it depends.

Record labels are always reissuing new versions of old music, sometimes hyping them as being “remastered.” What does that mean? And are they worth buying? This article from answers those questions and more.

“Why would you want to remaster an album? “Maybe the first time, it was mastered for a CD but poorly and now they want to get it right,” says Katz. For vinyl albums, you’re trying to add back the technical elements that were lost when the first record was pressed.

“Older records in the Sixties and Seventies don’t have a ton of deep bass. To fit more on the album, they cut everything off at 40 or 50 hertz,” explains [mastering engineer Bob] Katz. “Audiophiles today are more critical, demanding a response down to 20Hz. It takes more skill to fit that low-end material on a record.” Other remastering reasons include the pitches were originally wrong, adjusting levels that weren’t perfect, and reducing noise. “If the original was hissy in an annoying way, we can reduce that without a sonic compromise,” shares Katz.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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