Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms (Vinyl japanese, remastered, Mofi, Abbey Road Studio, CD, SACD, Streaming)

Notation/Rating/Samples:

Ed1: Brothers in Arms . Japanese Vinyl label Vertigo ‎ ref : 28PP-1005, 1985.

Very nice Japanese pressing from 1985, with very good dynamics and very precise highs. The background noise is very good. Only one regress, the duration of the tracks is shorter than on the CD or double discs vinyls.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed1
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed1
Ed2 : Brothers in Arms . Vinyl label Vertigo ‎ Back To Black ref : 3752907 remastered in 2014.

Version remastered in 2014 on 2 disks.
The tracks have the original CD length. The disc has more attenuated highs with less dynamics, which gives a slightly different balance with less detail at the top of the spectrum. 

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic:  ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●oo (3/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed2
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed2
 Ed3 : Brothers in Arms . Vinyl label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab‎ ref : MFSL 2-441 remastered in 2015.

Version remastered by MOFI in 2015 on 2 disks in 45rpm.
The tracks have the original CD length. The disc has the most precise highs of the 3 editions with a very high dynamic range.
The pressing is very good, with a very low surface noise. The best vinyl edition for this album.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed3
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed3
 Ed4 : Brothers in Arms . SACD  Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab‎ ref : UDSACD2099 remastered in 2013. 

The MOFI remastered SACD version is very similar to the 45rpm double vinyl version.
It does not have the small 2dB increase of the vinyl between 40 and 60 Hz, which gives it an even more dynamic listening experience.
Certainly the best digital version for this album with the original Vertigo CD edition of 1985.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●● (5/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed4
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed4
Ed5 : Brothers in Arms . CD  label Vertigo ‎ ref : 824 499-2, 1985. 

Original edition of the CD very well remastered.
Very good sound rendering that exploits well the recording made in pure digital.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed5
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed5
Ed6 : Brothers in Arms . CD  label Warner Bros. Records‎ ref : 9 47773-2, USA , Remastered SBM in 2000.

This remastered version has been worked very well. In spite of a lower dynamic range, the sound level is higher and the treble is still present. The listening remains pleasant but less detailed than the two other digital supports.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●oo (3.5/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed6
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed6
Ed7 : Vinyl Universal Music Abbey Road Studio ‎– ref ARHSDLP004 remastered in 2021

Version remastered by Abbey road Studio in 2021 on 2 disks in 45rpm.
The tracks have the original CD length. The disc has a very high dynamic range like MOFI.
The discs are of very high quality, with a balance and sound precision a little different from the MOFI version.
The rendering is a bit warmer, less digital. The pressing quality is nearly perfect but with little more surface noise than the MOFI version.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed7
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed7
Ed8 : Streaming HD Album, Stereo, 16bit 44.1kHz, 1985

The streaming version is dynamic, precise with finesse of the voice and instruments.
It overcomes the CD (Ed6) in terms of quality, but it does not rival the MOFI versions in quality. It is difficult to know precisely the origin of this edition and master.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Two samples : “SO Far Away” (Sample1) and “The Man’s Too Strong” (Sample 2) 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample 1_BrothersInArms_Ed8
Sample 2_BrothersInArms_Ed8

The choice between the 8 versions will depend on what you are looking for (Update with the vinyl remastered by Abbey road). If you are looking for an original version the Japanese vinyl (Ed1) and the CD Vertigo (Ed5) are the best choices.
If you are looking for a remastered version that makes the most of the rendering and dynamics, in digital format, the MOFI SACD (SACD Ed4) is for you. The Streaming version gives a better result than the Ed6 CD. But does not have the same mastering quality as the MOFI version.
Now, if you are looking for the best remastered vinyl, you have the choice between the MOFI or Abbey Road Studio release.They are both very nice versions, with the Abbey Road Studio Release (Ed7) being a little warmer and cheaper, and the MOFI release (Ed3) being a little more detailed in the high and low frequencies, with less surface noise.
The album being entirely digital, the choice of a digital version is very relevant to find the closest possible the original rendering.

Detail of the ratings :

  • Dynamic :
    1. Significant dynamic compression, DR less than 7
    2. Compression of the present dynamics, DR between 7 and 9.
    3. Correct piece DR >=10
    4. No dynamic compression (DR >12), dynamic rendering
    5. No dynamic compression, high DR and very dynamic sound rendering
  • Spectrum :
    1. Spectrum cut and less than 15 khz
    2. Spectrum cut at 15 khz
    3. Spectrum not conforming to the original and cut (not HD) or original but limited bandwidth (but less than 20 kHz)
    4. Spectrum conforming to the original (but not HD)
    5. Spectrum conforming to the original with HD resolution (higher than 24kHz)
  • Surface noise (only for vinyl):
    1. Continuous audible noise
    2. Audible surface noise except on passages with a high level of noise
    3. Reduced surface noise, barely audible on low level crossings
    4. Low surface noise, very good quality
    5. Very low surface noise, no defects, almost inaudible on the quiet passages (exceptional disc)
  • Restitution :
    1. Low quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    2. Average quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    3. Quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Good record.
    4. High quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Very high level disc.
    5. Maximum quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Exceptional disc.

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