Monday, June 13, 2011

June 4, 2011 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH Sources Review

This was the first of two shows I caught on the first leg of summer.  If anybody has an extra for any of the nights at UIC, hit me up, because after catching these shows, I have to see some more.  There are eight sources available for this evening, and many of them sound just fantastic.  Thanks to all the tapers who captured this magical night and shared their recordings with us.

Source 1 (hereafter MK4v source)
Source: Schoeps mk4v> KC5> M222> NT222> Lunatec V2> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz)
Location: Section 35, Row A, Seat 11, DFC, DIN, 7' Stand
Transfer: SD 744t> Samplitude SE 9.1.1(dither/resample)> CDWave> flac(16/44.1)

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter DPA source)
Source: DPA 4023>Sonosax SX-M2>Sound Devices 722 (24/96)
Location: DIN/OTS/DFC 6.5' extension pole clamped to rail
Transfer: 722>Firewire>Macbook>Sound Studio 3.6(fades, normalize peak, +gain, track)>
Wave Editor (iZotope Resampler/MBIT+ Dither)>
xACT 2.12(align on sector boundaries, encode, tag, fingerprint)>flac16 (level 8)

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 3 (hereafter MBHO source)
Source: MBHO KA500HN[DINa] >>> Hi Ho Silver Actives >>> MBHO MBP 603A >>> Darktrain Silver Interconnects >>>
Naiant LittleBox[Output Transformers] >>> Darktrain Silver Interconnects >>> Sony PCM-M10[24-Bit/44.1kHz]
Location: Official Tapers Section / DFC
Transfer: Sony PCM-M10 > WaveLab 6[Gain Added/UV22HR Dither] > CD Wave 1.98 > CKRename >
Traders Little Helper v.2.6.0[Encode To FLAC/Level 8/Align On Sector Boundaries]

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 4 (hereafter MK41 source)
Source:Schoeps Mk41(dina) > Kcy > Sonosax SX-M2/LS2 >Mytek 192 adc aes/spdif>R44(OCM) 24/96
Location: Section 35, Row A, Seat 11, DFC, DIN, 7' Stand
Transfer:SDHC>Audacity 16/44 >Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 5 (hereafter KM140 source)
Source: Neumann KM140 > Canare XLR's > Sonosax SX-M2 > Edirol R-44 [24/48]
Location: Section 35/Row A/Seat 13, centered, 7' high, spaced ~30cm, PAS
Transfer: SD card > Wavelab 6(Pan normalizer,fades,Crystal Resampler,UV22HR) > CD Wave > TLH

16 bit source

Source 6 (hereafter CCM4 source)
Source:Schoeps CCM4(din)>Vms52ub>R44(OCM) 24/96
Location: Section 35, Row A, Seat 11, DFC, DIN, 7' Stand
Transfer:SDHC>Audacity 16/44 >Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 7 (hereafter KM150 source)
Source: Neumann AK50/LC3/KM100 > Apogee Mini-Me > spdif > Edirol R-44 [24/48]
Location: Section 35/Row A/Seat 13,centered, DINa config @ 6.5' high
Transfer: SD card > Wavelab 6(fades,Crystal Resampler,UV22HR) > CD Wave > TLH

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 8 (hereafter CCM41 source)
Location: Section 35 Row A Seat 12
Source: Schoeps ccm41 (DIN) > Lunatec V2 > Sound Device 702 @ 24/48
Transfer: Wavelab 6.0 > CD Wave > Traders Little Helper > Flac 16/44.1

16 bit source

Phish - 6/4/11 "Possum" from Phish on Vimeo.

There are some seriously fine recordings among this bunch, and frankly for the best of them, it is really a toss up.

The MK4v source, as it has been all tour, is really great sounding.  The bass is up front and it really kicks my subwoofer.  However, at times, the bass overwhelms the other instruments.  Notice at the beginning of Ocelot, Page's piano work, in the lower registers, is lost somewhat, at least compared to the DPA and KM150 sources.  For this reason, I am passing on this source for this evening.  However, if forced to rank them, this would be the 3rd best.

The DPA source is very punchy, but it doesn't overwhelm the way the MK4v source does.  Many nuances in lower registers are clear on this source, where they are lost in the MK4v and CCM41 source.  I find it basically impossible to choose between this and the KM150 source.  They are both excellent, they have very similar bass response and they are both available in both 16 and 24 bit sources.  Take your pick, this one or the KM150 and you won't go wrong.

The MBHO source is very thin compared to the other sources.  The bass just isn't really there.  Unless you don't care about Mike at all, this is not a source to grab.

The MK41 source is very similar to the CCM4 source, perhaps with a touch more bass.  It just doesn't punch like the other sources.  Also, there seems to be some muddiness in the low-mids, in that Page and Trey's work in the same octave aren't well separated.

The KM140 source suffers in comparison to the DPA, MK4v, and KM150 source in that it just doesn't punch the way those other sources do.

The CCM4 source, like the MK41 source has a bit of muddiness in the low-mids and again, just doesn't have the bass response of the better sources.

The KM150 source, like the previous night, provides the right balance of bass punch without overwhelming the other instruments in the lower registers.  The highs are also excellent.  As I stated above, I found it basically impossible to choose between this and the DPA source.  I will be adding this source to my hard drive, but for no real reason other than I like its warmth a hair more than the DPA.  If you already have the DPA source downloaded, by all means keep it, this one doesn't really improve on it.

The CCM41 source is probably the 4th best source of the bunch.  It has nice bass and better definition in the low-mids than the CCM4, KM140, or MK41 source.  However, it doesn't have quite the separation of the 3 higher rated sources.

Happy listening!

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