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Reviews: Santana: Abraxas

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Reviews: 7

Review by JW May 2, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Another Santana master piece and their second album, recorded in 1970. Compared to Caravanserai which I also reviewed on this site, it is louder and the rock and blues shines through more than the Latin-Jazz influences. But make no mistake Conga fans, it's all there! The guitar work on this album is exemplary. Overall I would rate the sonics higher than Caravanserai. There is more clarity to the treble and depth to the bass. I have to note here that there has been some discussion on the internet forums about this SACD sounding somewhat bright. In my system is does not, but as always YMMV!

Abraxas of course brought us the hitsingle "Black Magic Woman", orginally written by Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green, and the famous ballad "Samba Pa Ti". Many beginning guitarists have learned to play the main theme of this tune. For Santana connoisseurs and novices alike there is much to discover on this album. Check out Greg Rollie's great vocals on "Mother's Daughter", a song that was also written by him. The interplay between the organ and the guitar is fantastic. This song rocks hard btw. Further gems on this album are "Oye Como Va" and three live bonus tracks "Se A Cabo", the fantastic "Toussaint L'Overture" - which live performance you should also check out on the album "Moonflower" btw - and another performance of "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen".

Jw

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Review by Khorn June 30, 2003 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As a long time fan of the Santana "Trilogy" I love this album. But, (flog me with wet noodles if you will) I find that the SACD, while the best digital incarnation that I have heard so far, is lacking a bit of weight and presence that I have experienced with this recording in the past.

Having said the above, if this is one of your faves by all means purchase it as it has much to offer as stated by previous reviewers here.

I would very much like to see another re-mastering of this title along with the first and third Santana albums. I'll certainly plunk down my "coin of the realm" as soon as they hit the 'on line stores'.

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Review by petermwilson July 15, 2003 (1 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Hi,
Where was Guthrie when you really needed him.
If this album didn't lend itself to the same type of mltich treatment as DSOTM then The Who's "Who's Next" should be the other candidate!!

Peter m.

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Review by duchski March 12, 2007 (2 of 9 found this review helpful)
This album has already been released in multichannel. The original quad mix was available from Columbia PCQ-30130 and.... Sony SOPN-44004. What happened here, SONY?

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Review by analogue May 19, 2009 (5 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A great classic rock album favourite and one of Santana'a best if not their best album.

Problem??? yes...big time. This sacd come out right around the time that Sony was introducing sacd to the world and as was the case with them they cheated their would be new customers. Much like the Boston sacd and the Journey sacd's I really believe that they used a low rez pcm master that was used for the regular cd edition. As such this sacd is brittle and bright sounding.

I have heard descriptions of this album from fans and how it really sounds on vinyl but none of those adjectives apply to this sacd.

Recently I purchased a new power supply for my pre amp which lowered the noise floor considerably. This sacd does not make the cut now as its limitations are more than obvious. The mid range is weak as is any musical presence. There is some three dimensional imaging going on as a plus but the bass while deep is listless and boring. Just a thud really.

Mobile fidelity released a new cd version of this album and I intend to buy that one. The reviews are awesome. To bad they cant make an sacd as well. It would be spectacular.

Not recommended. Another fine example where we say...what could have been.

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Review by gregs1104 January 30, 2010 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a quite mediocre SACD release, from the early set Sony crapped out as part of the format introduction. You want the recent MoFi CD remaster instead.

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Review by passive_preamp December 4, 2013 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The most of the times when a online high resolution music downloads shop offers an album that is available on SACD, many times is obvious that they took the DSD master and downsampled it to 176.4 kHz (24 bit) or 88.2 kHz, and this procedure is not very elegant and sometimes perhaps not the best way to enjoy the DSF files of a DSD remaster. And I don't know if they remastered the analog tapes to dsd or not. But I know one thing. The official "Audiophile 88.2 kHz 24 bit" download of the Santana's album Abraxas SOUNDS AS GOOD THAT IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY. Sounds amazing. So, in this case, you'll be better buying the 88. kHz 24 bit official download of a famous high res music store. Believe me, you will not regret!!! P.D.: My comparison was made burning the FLAC files to DVD-Audio on DVD-R using the free software Burn-OSX and played on a DVD-AUDIO capable SACD player paired with transformer volume control preamp, and class AB mono power amps.

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