Eric Clapton ‎– Unplugged (Vinyl, CD, DVD stereo, DD 5.1, Streaming) Review

Notation/Rating/Music Samples:

Ed1 : Vinyl ref 9362-45024-1 – 1992

The vinyl has a pressing with a good dynamic range. The pressing is of good quality without any problem of surface noise. One finds all the smoothness of the guitar. This vinyl is a little less dynamic than the Ed2, but it remains very clean. On the other hand, it has only 14 tracks, it misses “Rollin’ And Tumblin'”.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 24 bits 176.4 kHz:
Sample Ed1 Vinyl
Ed2 : Vinyl double ref 468412-1 – 2011

The vinyl has a very good pressing with a very good dynamic range. One of the best dynamics of this review. The pressing is of very good quality without any problem of surface noise. We find all the finesse and dynamics of the guitar. This double vinyl, pressed in Pallas contains the 15 tracks of the album.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic:  ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 24 bits 176.4 kHz:
Sample Ed2 Vinyl Double 2011
Ed3 : Cassette ref 9362-45024-4 – 1992

The cassette with the recording in Dolby HX PRO allows to have a good dynamic with a DR13 like 2 CDs. The recording is clean with a little more bass. The cassette can always surprise us with its analog sound, but, it cannot obtainthe quality of the vinyl’s rendering.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●oo (3/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 24 bits 96 kHz:
Sample Ed3 Cassette
Ed4 : CD ref 9362-45024-2 – 1992

The CD remains very dynamic with a DR13, we even find a track with a DR17. Here, not of excess of compression and it is so much better for the retranscription of the concert. The rendering is very dynamic and the attacks of guitar very sharp. A CD which resists to the loudness war.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample Ed4 CD
Ed5 : CD Deluxe Edition ref 8122796366 – 2013 

This reissue is very similar to the 1992 CD. We find a DR13 for the dynamics, but with a maximum of DR15 instead of DR17. That remains very dynamic, not of excess of compression and it is so much better for the retranscription of the music and the guitar. A CD which also resists to the loudness war0

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample Ed5 CD Deluxe
Ed6 : DVD Stereo ref 7599-38311-2 – 1998 

This Stereo version of the DVD is the most dynamic digital version with a medium DR15 and a maximum DR19. The rendering is very clean, very dynamic and much more delicate than the 5.1 version compressed in Dolby Digital.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 24 bits 48 kHz:
Sample Ed6 DVD Stereo
Ed7 : DVD 5.1 ref 7599-38311-2 – 1998

This 5.1 version of the DVD is also very dynamic with an average DR14 and a maximum DR17. The rendering is very clean, with a good 3D representation thanks to the 5.1. But the Dolby Digital lossy compression does not allow to keep all the finesse of the music.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●oo (3.5/5)
  • “Before You Accuse Me” 5.1 24 bits 48 kHz:

The sample is in 5.1 wav format, if you can not play the sample in your navigator, you can save it, right button menu and “Save Audio As…” and play it with an external player.

Sample Ed7 DVD 5.1
Ed8 : Streaming Amazon Music HD – 2021 

The streaming version with its DR14 sound is more similar to the stereo DVD version than to the CD version.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Before You Accuse Me” 24 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample Ed8 Streaming

Very nice concert on the different supports. The digital and the analog are equal for the dynamic. The vinyl brings a sound a little bit warmer but very dynamic. The CD is little compressed, but there is no problem of loudness war. If you prefer vinyl, the pressing at the Pallas factory is the best edition with all 15 tracks. For the digital, the CD version keeps here all its legitimacy compared to the streaming, in particular for the version of 1992. If you want to add the image to the sound, the DVD has a very good stereo track, finer and more detailed than the more spacious compressed 5.1 version. It is too bad that the 5.1 mix is limited by the DVD with a lossy format.

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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