Tuesday, 13 September 2022

On the Town (1949)

1988 MGM/Turner Hi-Fi VHS: Detailed and natural.

2008 R1 Warner DVD - Frank Sinatra Collection: More muffled due to noise reduction.

2015 Warner Blu-ray: Like the DVD but with a treble boost. Also a lossy transcode.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

The Stranger (1946)

1998 Image Entertainment LaserDisc [ID8631TU]: Quite muffled and bass-shy, but not much more than the average modern release. I believe this was the film's second non-public domain home video release, after the 1992 Turner VHS tape.

2007 R2 MGM DVD: So much noise reduction that warbly artefacts can be heard throughout.

2013 Kino Lorber Blu-ray: Most of this audio track is an unadulterated transfer of a 35 mm print from the Library of Congress, and it sounds excellent. However, a few sections (the longest running 5:20) resemble the MGM DVD.

2017 Olive Films Blu-ray: Less noise reduction than the DVD but more than the LaserDisc.

Friday, 26 August 2022

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

1984 CBS/Fox Hi-Fi VHS: Very clean and free of distortion and other artefacts, but this lacks high-frequency detail.

1988 Warner LaserDisc [NJEL-99206]: Similar to the CBS/Fox VHS, but mushier and with even less high-frequency detail.

1990 MGM LaserDisc [ML101741]: Very detailed and quite natural-sounding, with no obvious heavy-handed mastering. Every subsequent mono track resembles this one.

1992 MGM Hi-Fi VHS: Brighter than the 1990 LaserDisc but otherwise similar. The 1990 LD can be EQ-matched to this pretty easily.

1993 Warner LaserDisc [NJEL-52732]: Like the 1990 LaserDisc.

1993 MGM LaserDisc [ML104539] - Connery Collection: Identical to the 1990 LaserDisc.

2000 MGM DVD - Special Edition: Slightly different EQ than the 1990 LaserDisc.

2006 MGM DVD - Ultimate Edition: Slightly different EQ than the 1990 LaserDisc, possibly with further noise reduction. The end credits sound significantly worse and have been made much louder.

2012 MGM Blu-ray: Slightly different EQ than the 1990 LaserDisc. I think it fares quite well (certainly much better than the previous film's BD mono track), but the LaserDisc sounds marginally more natural. A ~3-minute segment about an hour in is much louder than the rest of the film.

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Ulzana's Raid (1972)

1991 MCA LaserDisc: This sounds a bit muffled. Having been released in the early '90s, it was probably subjected to some form of digital noise reduction.

2003 R2 Universal DVD: Strong noise reduction. The worst among these.

2020 Kino Lorber Blu-ray: Segments with music have less noise reduction than the rest of the film - and indeed less than the LaserDisc. They sound substantially more detailed here. Dialogue-centric scenes are slightly more muffled than in the LD mastering.