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Didital Things
Topic: The Andrew Rose’s “Pristine Audio” and the XR Mastering

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 11-24-2009

Andrew Rose runs his operation for a while. I like what he is trying to do, he has a good sense for “better” music and look like a native interest in those things.

I am not familiar with Andrew Rose personally, I argued with him a few years back, advocating letting to purchase not the crappy 16 bit transfers but original 24 bit row files. It looks like nowadays Andrew allow some of the 24-bit files to be bought, he call it “copies from master files.” The industry idiots rave about the “Pristine Audio” and hams on the Mr. Rose one medal after another…  I have seen the same behavior with Leonid Brezhnev in 70s…

I have purchased a few “Pristine Audio” recordings, in fact now, writing it I am listening the Pristine’s Die Fledermaus by Krauss from 1950. I do find that very first Pristine’s releases 7 years back, the transfers from 78s in mp3 (not in CD) were much better in term of audio quality to what they do today. The reason why Pristine Audio quality went sound is very much the same as with anybody else in audio - in a vacuum of civilized critiques the profit-driven operations tend to produce products to satisfy the lowers possible common denominator. Unfortunately this is how the “Pristine Audio” sounds today.

The “Pristine Audio” employ own idea of XR re-mastering.  I do not want to go into details of it. I think I had argue somewhere about it. In theory it is reading the old course and extrapolation from it how it might be if it was a wider bandwidth, sort of construction of the none-existing HF and LF. In practice it is learning what the most barbaric audio idiots are willing to hear (thankfully for Pristine the do not need to go too far to find them) and supplying them with their demands.

I do not know if Mr. Rose has any grip how miserable his releases sound.  It is highly possible that he has very clear feeling that what he does sonically is garbage. I know many audio industry people who have very clear realization how bad their products/services are but for them it is just a way to pay mortgages and they true do not care what the do. (Of cause their public facade is VERY different). Perhaps for Andrew Rose it is just about mortgages payment or perhaps he has lost any sense of identity hat is right and wrong in sound. The Pristine Audio in a business 7 years and according to my “Rule of the Industry Survival”:  any individual who plugged in audio industry and has good intention in 2 years turns into a brainless zombie.  The 2004 was the time when Pristine Audio did more or less acceptable sound (in mp3 not in CD). Nowadays they are look like in their firth year over the “Rule of the Industry Survival”… Very sad as the idea behind the Mr. Rose classical intention was very potent.

Anyhow, I think the criticism needed to be expressed publically and I do not think it will be coming from the audio/music industry whores. I do not go into details of my dissatisfaction about the XR Mastering – you have you own brain and good educate yourself. Even in the examples that Pristine offer at their  Natural Sound page would give you a perfect learning experience.  If you know what to listen then it would take for you no more than 3 seconds from each clip to discard the XR Mastering

The Cat

Posted by jessie.dazzle on 11-24-2009
I listened to the demo comparing the XR Remastering to both the original master tape as well as the original LP.
Scroll down to "Putting the theory to the test"
I started the comparison using my main system (easy to do as it comprises a music server playing via a Cosecant 3 USB DAC), then, just to be sure, tried it on a new HP xw8600 workstation, first via the monitors, then via a pair of Sennheiser headphones.
Conclusion: Well its nice that Mr. Rose does provide this honest demo. Unfortunately in all cases, all I can say is, oh my... Ouch! The bass is bloated and muddy, the HF is screeching and kind of scratchy. These examples clearly (I mean CLEARLY) demonstrate that the XR Remastering technique destroys the original recording. 

Someone with the nose to relocate to South-western France (beautiful place, amazing food, gorgeous, stubborn women) definitely knows quality. Anyone who's been there might pardon a person for selling crack cocaine, his/her body, or even crap-sound to finance an existence in such a paradise. So OK Mr Rose, you are absolutely right, but now will you please consider offering un-mastered copies of the event, whenever possible, as it was originally recorded? And at a reasonable price S'il vous plaît?


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