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Re: Warning: Do Not Waste Your Money On The Japanese Celebration Day CD

Hi Steve,
I don¹t¹ know if you¹ve been following FBO the last few days, or you were
only replying to my direct e-mail from this morning.   If you haven¹t been
following, then you haven¹t read my previous posts yet (see below).  The
Japanese CD version is not the same at all; it¹s horrible in comparison to
the U.S.A. CD I have, trust me.  (I also have the Blu-ray Audio disc)  It
sounds totally different.  So different in fact, that I think it might be
more than just ridiculous loudness; I think it might be mixed differently.
On my system it¹s basically unlistenable.  That¹s why I¹m so curious.   I
have one already boxed up with your name on it, so if your curious or
skeptical, just send me your address off list and I¹ll send it to you.

Since you brought it up, I¹ve long considered the SHM thing total bunk,
snake oil if you will.   There is no chance in hell the type of plastic is
going to make a CD sound better.  Just like gold CD¹s don¹t actually sound
better just because they are gold.  It may make it easier for a crappy
player to read, hence less errors, and it may last 500 years instead of 100,
but it¹s not going to make it sound better.  Now if someone came out with
some new hi-tech vinyl for LPs, that could make a difference.  But in the CD
world of "reading" 0¹s and 1¹s, no way.  Only the mix or mastering or
volumes etc could make that difference.

Celebration Day may certainly be a victim in the loudness wars, but until
you hear this Japanese CD, you aren¹t hearing the whole ugly picture.
Let me know.

Thanks ---- Kurt

From: Steve Thomson <zeppelin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 18:51:24 -0500
To: "Kurt Rompf (Work)" <RompfK@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: FBO <zeppelin@xxxxxxxx>, Kurt & Susan Rompf <romler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Warning:  Do Not Waste Your Money On The Japanese Celebration
Day CD


Thanks for the kind words. No need to send me a copy. The Japanese
release would be exactly the same as any other country's version at this
point. Sometimes, reissues of old albums are mastered differently for
the Japanese market, and especially for audiophile formats like SHM-SACD
(but NOT SHM-CDs, those are just the same release as elsewhere put on a
special kind of CD plastic that supposedly requires less error
correction. If your CD player is decent at all, they won't make any
difference and if you rip your CDs to hard drive and stream them, etc.,
there's no advantage fo SHM, but I digress... ;)

Celebration Day is another victim of the loudness war. It's not as bad
as some, but it's a non-audiophile general release. Some hard rock these
days sounds pretty good actually even with boosting/compression, but a
lot of other stuff sounds bad. Celebration Day is somewhere in the middle.


Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2012 18:26:31 -0500
From: Kurt & Susan Rompf <romler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Warning:  Do Not Waste Your Money On The Japanese Celebration
Day CD

Typed Friday A.M.
Okay, so now that I¹m more awake, let me elaborate.   I¹m on vacation from
work today so when I got home last night from work it was like Friday night
for me.  So I came home, cracked a beer, put in the Japan CD and started
straightening up a bit.   This was not a sit down audiophile listening
session, more like Zep in the background to start the night off right.  But
whoa, was it a bad start.   Even just while walking around the house I was
like what is this crap?   The sound was so bad that it flat out stopped me
in my tracks.  I HAD to sit down and really listen.

But I couldn¹t.  It was literally hurting my ears.  It was brash, noisy,
messy and overly loud.   First thing I had to do was turn it down.    And
then I tried again.   Whoa, I mean really WTF?   It was completely


Typed Saturday P.M.
Sorry, I had to go Friday morning and I¹m just getting back to this now.

Anyway, everything on this CD is just WAY too loud.  Overly extended loud
and distorted.  There isn¹t any separation; it¹s all one big garbley gook
mess.   And there is this constant whine of brashness behind everything.
It¹s hard to tell if it¹s just loudness by itself, or a combination of
excessive loud and poorly mixed.   All I know it that I absolutely hate it.
It¹s probably the worst sounding CD I¹ve ever heard.   I turned it off.

Later, I had my wife listen to it when she got home and her reaction was
³This is horrible.  Who the hell is that singing because it doesn¹t even
sound like Robert?   And what is that constant noise that¹s over

It took me a bit to really nail it down.   I left it on this time, and
decided to just let it play to see if songs got any better as they went.
Nope.  But I was able to figure it out somewhat.  While walking around I
literally went out in my garage, which needless to say muffles the sound a
bunch.  Usually what gets muffled are the highs, and all you hear is the
bass.  But this was the opposite.  What came through loud and clear was the
hi-hat cymbal crashing over and over and over, like a constant bashing in
your ears.   I think this is the source of the constant noise, but I¹m still
not 100% sure.

But it¹s not just that.  Jimmy¹s guitar just sounds totally out of range of
what is possible.  It¹s just gibberish.  And like my wife said, Robert is
just weird.

I listened to all I could stand and turned it off.  I never even put in the
second disc.  [I guess maybe I should try that eh.   I mean I guess it¹s
possible I got a defective disc?]

But then I was worried about the U.S. CD, which I hadn¹t listened to yet.
Or had my sound system suddenly gone to shit over night?   So I nervously
put it in and sat down.   Whew, was I relieved when it sounded a gazillion
times better.   There wasn¹t time to do a full sit down listening session,
so I just scanned over a few songs and got what I was looking for.

I have always been skeptical about people raving up the Japanese CD¹s saying
how much better they sound.  With Jimmy normally involved in such things,
I¹ve never held much merit that the mixes or mastering would be done that
much better or differently than what is released in the U.S.  I mean why
would that be?  The U.S. is Zep¹s largest market, so why would Jimmy put it
out sounding one way in one country and another way in another country?
Well that was my belief until now.  Since I haven¹t done a full sit down
listening session with the U.S. discs yet, I can¹t say they are awesome or
not so great, or somewhere in-between.  But what I can tell you is the U.S.
CDs are very listenable, enjoyable, and sound at least fairly good.   This
Japanese CD is just down right horrible.   Totally unlistenable.   Whether
it¹s a loudness war disaster, a mixing freak out, or a combination of both,
I don¹t know.  I¹m not a recording engineer and I won¹t claim to be.  I
would love for someone in that profession to have a listen to this thing and
tell me what¹s wrong here.

What ever it is, it¹s just wrong.  Do not waste you money on this piece of
garbage.  It's embarrassing really.

Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:48:35 -0500
From: Kurt & Susan Rompf <romler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Warning:  Do Not Waste Your Money On The Japanese Celebration Day

Very quick, and more to follow......have to go to bed now....

But oh my holy sh* cr*p f*cking g*d, this Japanese Celebration Day CD sounds


Talk more tomorrow.