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Nirvana / “Nevermind” High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray audio
This is a horrible release. The audio quality is horrible. Official release description sounded promising, throwing claims that made you believe they realized how wrong it was to compress the whole life out of the recording and thus went back to the original master tapes and mastered this record properly this time. After a really good “In Utero” remaster, it seemed like a very real possibility. But anyone who will spend their money on this Blu-ray audio disc, and who is not def or snobbish, will realize they’ve been shamelessly tricked into spending their money on a useless disc, contents of which they already had (I’m sure most of those who are interested in this Blu-ray
disc already have this record in some form). They used their 2011 remaster for this release. That’s everything you need to know about this release to keep you away from it. But for those who are unaware what I mean by that: 2011 remaster was horrible. It was ompressed to death (by Bob Ludwig) losing its original power and listenability. Original CD may have had its flaws in regards to mastering, but compared to what the remastered version sounds like, you couldn’t say there was anything wrong with the original CD. They also released an HDTracks high resolution digital download version 2011 using the same remastered source. And that is what you get here on this Blu-ray audio disc. It’s an HDtracks version released on a Blu-ray disc. And that is after they have done a successful remaster of “In Utero”. Those who might think that this release being of “high-resolution” still offers some kind of an improvement over the standard CD released in 2011, should realize one thing: the difference between a standard and high resolution of a recording in digital form makes much less difference than an actual mastering. A recording ruined by horrible mastering cannot be saved by using the highest resolution possible.
Second thing is, a Blu-ray disc has a very high capacity, so a lot of audio material can be fit into it. Regardless of the mastering work, 2011 CD reissue had lots of bonus material. This Blu-ray disc, instead of providing all that additional material (at least so that you didn’t have to switch between the discs), gives a listener three identical audio tracks of the original album, presented in different LOSSLESS stereo audio formats. All three formats are lossless, therefore if you have a PCM track on it, you don’t really need compressed tracks like DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD (which are in essence PCM, because that’s what they are when they are decoded), which were
designed due to space limitations, to be used when a PCM track cannot be used on a disc due to its large uncompressed size. But they decided it’s better to give a superstitious listener the choice of “different” audio codecs than include all the bonus material and make it a complete Nevermind 20th Anniversary set on one disc, in high resolution. By the way, the size of this disc with three identical audio tracks is around 10 GB, and that’s out of 23.3 GB. Why did they waste the capacity of a Blu-ray disc? That would be an important question if the they hadn’t used that horrible 2011 remaster. Because frankly, who cares as long as this disc offers absolutely no legitimate excuse to buy it?
Shame on Universal Music and on those responsible for the release of this Blu-ray disc. And don’t be naive: there is absolutely no reason for them to make different remasters for different regions, like they used to do in the old days. In music business, they use the same master for all regions these days (make it once and then distribute digital copies), so don’t expect that Nevermind Blu-ray from other regions can sound better.
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