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Discussion: Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells

Posts: 9

Post by windhoek July 15, 2012 (1 of 9)
I just bought the 2009 CD/ DVD digipack for the 5.1 mix. I've never heard the 2003 SACD 5.1 mix, or the DVD-A 5.1 mix, so can't say how it compares, but on the whole, I'm ambivalent about it.

It's clear that this album has great potential to sound great in 5.1, but as the 2009 edition isn't hi-res and is apparently a new 5.1 mix, I didn't entirely enjoy listening to it. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel that I've bought the un-definitive 5.1 version and until I hear the SACD in 5.1, I'll always feel like I've bought the wrong version. If it hadn't been released in SACD already, I'd probably be satisfied with it.

Has anyone heard both and can comment on this?

Post by Epsilon July 15, 2012 (2 of 9)
The hybrid multichannel SACD is actually 4.0 containing the original quadrophonic mix. It sounds superb, I love it. Recently, this title has been released as a Japanese SHM-SACD also (stereo only), which has great reviews and I tend to beleive them as I bought Ommadawn in the stereo SHM-SaCd format and that one has wonderful dynamics and an overall warm sound.

Post by Kveld-Úlfr July 15, 2012 (3 of 9)
I am in the same case than Epsilon and I totally agree with him.

Post by windhoek July 15, 2012 (4 of 9)
There's no doubt that SHM-SACDs can sound terrific (I've got Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder and they sound superb) so I wouldn't be surprised to hear anyone say that the Tubular Bells SHM-SACD is the best stereo edition ever.

I also bought Ommadawn and Hergest Ridge CD/ DVD digipacks but haven't listened to them yet. As I've never heard either of these two albums, it'll be interesting to see how enjoyable they are in 5.1 DD/ DTS. Fwiw, all three Mike Oldfield CD/ DVD digipacks were £10. I think that's why I bought all three because compared to the prices of some OOP multi-channel SACDs, £10 for a CD and 5.1 DVD seems quite cheap.

Post by Epsilon July 15, 2012 (5 of 9)
windhoek said:

I also bought Ommadawn and Hergest Ridge CD/ DVD digipacks but haven't listened to them yet. As I've never heard either of these two albums, it'll be interesting to see how enjoyable they are in 5.1 DD/ DTS. Fwiw, all three Mike Oldfield CD/ DVD digipacks were £10.

Back then, when they were released in that set, I was also considering buying HR and Ommadawn but the 5.1 mix on the DVD is Dolby Digital only, which is no good for music at all. I don't know what made MO and his managers choose this lousy way to present a meticulously fabricated surround mix to the fans.
Right now Platinum and QE2 are getting re-released in box sets but this time no 5.1 mixes are included in any format.

Post by Claude July 16, 2012 (6 of 9)
windhoek said:

I also bought Ommadawn and Hergest Ridge CD/ DVD digipacks but haven't listened to them yet. As I've never heard either of these two albums, it'll be interesting to see how enjoyable they are in 5.1 DD/ DTS. Fwiw, all three Mike Oldfield CD/ DVD digipacks were £10.

BTW, the stereo part on those reissues is remixed as well and sounds quite different from the original mix.

Post by Kutyatest July 16, 2012 (7 of 9)
windhoek said:

I just bought the 2009 CD/ DVD digipack for the 5.1 mix. I've never heard the 2003 SACD 5.1 mix, or the DVD-A 5.1 mix, so can't say how it compares, but on the whole, I'm ambivalent about it.

It's clear that this album has great potential to sound great in 5.1, but as the 2009 edition isn't hi-res and is apparently a new 5.1 mix, I didn't entirely enjoy listening to it. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel that I've bought the un-definitive 5.1 version and until I hear the SACD in 5.1, I'll always feel like I've bought the wrong version. If it hadn't been released in SACD already, I'd probably be satisfied with it.

Has anyone heard both and can comment on this?

I'm not exactly able to provide you with a definitive answer, as I don't own the SACD version of this album - so apologies in advance.

I do own the DVD-A version though, which happens to be one of the first DVD-As I bought. That was back in early 2005 (I think) - but definately before I owned a DVD-A (or SACD) compatible player. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but the DVD-A version is not the original Tubular Bells, but a remake - hence the name of the album "Tubular Bells 2003". For that reason only, I sort of wish sometimes I had also bought the SACD version at the same time - or at least before prices had reached where they are now. I'm very happy with the DVD-A version - and have no regrets whatsoever that I bought it. Apart from the fact that back then (i.e. early 2005), I had only just discovered what DVD-A was, and SACD was still unknown to me - I was so impressed with multi-channel audio - by the time I found out about SACD (and realised that I would only have been able to play the CD part of the SACD anyway) - I just stuck with the DVD-A, whilst prices for the SACD were steadily creeping upwards. I used to listen to the original LP version years ago, and then later the HDCD version, but am now no longer able to compare the DVD-A with anything. Purely from memory, in its general form, it's played like the original, the biggest difference being the "narration", which is done by John Cleese on the DVD-A.

Post by Coughcool72 September 23, 2012 (8 of 9)
Hello all :)

I'm new to SACD, only have two channel player (Sony DVP-S9000ES).

Only have one SACD - Dire Straits Brothers In Arms. The sound is very clear, crisp and clean, and loud. For reasonably loud ordinary listening, amazingly my receiver only needs to turn to 1 on the volume, whereas for the same volume on a regular CD it would be on normally be on 3 or 4.

I'm interested in the Tubular Bells SACD, I have been researching it but have now discovered the SHM version.

I'm generally happy with regular CD sound, but of course can appreciate the difference and improvement afforded by SACD.

My question would be does anyone have, and can anyone compare, (the stereo track component of) the Tubular Bells Hybrid MCH SACD and the newer SHM SACD?

Given that the SHM version is 2 channel only, would this sound (noticably) better than the 2 channel component on the regular SACD version? And would this justify the higher price of the relatively rarer SHM SACD, or is this subjective and dependent on one's system?

FYI I'm a Sony (ES) diehard with a somewhat antiquated but perfectly good system / mini home theatre that gives decent enough sound and picture for a small set up.

SONY DVP-S9000ES
SONY KV-HR36M31 (picture via component input from HD STB as clear as any modern LCD/LED/Plasma I've seen) :)
SONY DA777ES
PIONEER DV-717

Post by Epsilon September 23, 2012 (9 of 9)
Coughcool72 said:



My question would be does anyone have, and can anyone compare, (the stereo track component of) the Tubular Bells Hybrid MCH SACD and the newer SHM SACD?

Given that the SHM version is 2 channel only, would this sound (noticably) better than the 2 channel component on the regular SACD version? And would this justify the higher price of the relatively rarer SHM SACD, or is this subjective and dependent on one's system?

You can read all about the differences here on the SHM SACD page: Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells

When we talk about rare releases, I think the hybrid MCH SACD of Tubular Bells is rarer and can be found at even higher prices than the stereo only Japanese SHM version.

I do not have the SHM of Tubular Bells, I am perfectly happy with the quadrophonic mix of the hybrid SACD, but I bought the SHM SACD of Ommadawn, which is really amazing even in stereo. And those who have both titles by MO on SHM say that they are in the same league.

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