On August 11, 2018 at 08:58, highfigh said...
The reviewers didn't mention it because they didn't know about it until later- they preferred to try to be cork-sniffers. Also, the sound of most CDs sucked because the masters used were for LPs, they weren't mastered for CD- if they had been, the sound would have been very similar to the master, to the extent that they could be.
Some of the reviewers were technically qualified and were aware of the issues, but kept quiet.
And, the early CD producers were "purists" in the sense that they didn't want to use preemphasis or dither (adding "noise" -- horror!) The LP masters were transferred directly to the CD master. This is the "pure" way to go, right? Unfortunately, these masters were much too "hot" because they were anticipating the LP pressing losses.
In fairness, the pressing plant already had negotiated rights to the LP transfer master. If they wanted a better master, there would be fresh negotiations. There was a "back and forth" period over this issue. The copyright owner was thinking "LP" and the plant was thinking "all media".
They didn't want to use dither until it was proved to work.
Some of the first 25 CDs released by Columbia sounded pretty good, but so much time has passed since that time that it's hard to be sure exactly why we, at the store where I worked (one of the first 50 Sony dealers to get the CDP-101), thought they sounded so good. Two of them, 'Sketches Of Spain' and 'Kind Of Blue', were recorded in Mono and the CDs were Mono, so the noise level was particularly low.
They brought a CDP-101 around and my comment was "if this is the way that CD's sound, the format will be a failure." Obviously, we were not scheduled to be on that 50 list. A few weeks later other players became available that sounded better.
For a (short) while, we could have the whole universe of CD's for sale from our shelves.