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26 of 31 recommend this,
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  Mute Records -
  LCDSTUMM250 (2 discs)
  Goldfrapp: Supernature

Track listing:
  1. Ooh La La
2. Lovely 2 C U
3. Ride A White Horse
4. U Never Know
5. Let It Take U
6. Fly Me Away
7. Slide In
8. Koko
9. Satin Chic
10. Time Out From The World
11. Number 1
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Reviews: 7 show all

Review by jasonfist August 31, 2005 (5 of 9 found this review helpful)
I have to agree with the first review; this surround mix is a wasted opportunity, and not a very exciting listening experience.

A friend of mine bought the ordinary CD album before I received my SACD, and I kept thinking "ah, there are lots of little sounds that will really come to life in the 5.1 mix".

When I did finally listen to the SACD, it's true that the sound quality is better (clearer treble, really crisp), but - as previously stated - the back speakers just seem to carry what the front speakers are doing. Apart from a couple of bleeps in a couple of tracks, there's nothing really going on; it's just a mainly-mono sludge, and you're sitting in it.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a subtle surround mix, I don't always want ping-pong balls whizzing around my living room (yes, I'm talking to YOU Monsieur Jarre), but this surround mix is a gimmick with little point.

What a shame. I really was expecting better.

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Review by oldster April 2, 2008 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is one of the best surround mixes I have heard, it is subtle, the mix between L. front and L. back then R front and R. back seem to have been treated as if they were stereo pairs, so as well as the front stereo mix there is the front to rear stereo mix on each side, this gives a great effect of being immersed in the sound, with sound panning in all directions on some sections where it is appropriate.

In my opinion this works much better than mixes where individual instuments are mixed to come from individual speakers, sometimes the rear ones, giving an entirely false, gimmicky, sound stage.

For me it certainly brings the music to life, adding a pleasant extra dimension.

The music is full of energy, instruments well recorded, puts me in mind of Bjork on some tracks, perhaps a bit more accessible.

You'll probably love it or hate it :-)

as an aside, also in this package is a disc with DTS 5.1 mixes of the tracks, which gives a fascinating direct comparison with SACD .... imho the SACD tracks are crisper and better defined with extended top end and improved surround mix, but they don't seem to include any LFE track, whereas the DTS does. The DTS surround mix and added LFE track would probably suit a party envireonment better ...

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Review by MichaelCPE August 30, 2005 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
I have just got this SACD and thought my initial comments may be useful.

I have just updated this review to include my comments from listening to the Stereo track in detail.

From the cover it is very difficult to tell that it is a SACD, and even less easy to tell that there is a multi-channel mix. But there is.

The multi-channel mix is the worst I have ever heard.

Most of the time the left and right surround speakers are just doing the same as the front left and right. Most of the time the centre is doing almost nothing. So instead of being surrounded by music, most of it is positioned at the listening point.

My first impression is that the subwoofer is just repeating the lowest bass, so the multi-channel mix sounds bass heavy. I suspect that all the main bass is also placed in the surround speakers too.
At first playing I found the recording very hard to listen to. Turning down the bass helped.

A good surround mix seperates the different instruments and makes it easier to hear what is happening. This mix just confuses things.

Changing to the SACD stereo was a major improvement. Greater clarity and I started to enjoy the music.

Listening carefully to the SACD stereo track has clarified the problem with this recording. It has been mixed primarily with the dance floor in mind. Whilst some on the dance floor are in the middle, most people are much nearer to one speaker than the others. A good dance mix will sound complete even if the dancer is next to one speaker. How is this done? Simple, do not mix a stereo (or surround) recording, make it mono instead!

This recording is 80% mono! So even if you are next to a speaker you will hear a good mix of the music (abeit mainly mono).

All of the main vocals, instruments, and percussion are in the centre. The 20% which is not centre is the filling part, and almost all of this has the left and right channel basically doing the same thing, but with a different voice. So if there is a main note played once it is in the centre, and if there is a chord or repeated vocal in the left, then there will be another similar bit of music in the right. Thus a listener standing next to any speaker will hear 90%.

Thus the surround mix is not much different from listening to a mono recording with every speaker playing the same thing! Yes it does surround you with sound. But I want to hear different leading vocals and instuments coming from different positions.

Once I get to know the music better I will do a comparsion of the SACD surround mix with playing the CD layer with All Channel Stereo.

A brief comparision between the CD layer and the Stereo SACD layer showed that SACD was noticably better quality. So I can recommend the SACD for better stereo quality.

I have not yet viewed the DVD, so no comment yet on the DVD extras.

I was very much looking forward to some new electronica in surround, so the surround mix was a major disappointment.

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