The Police – Around The World – Review (LP, CD, Bluray, stereo, 5.1)

This concert of The Police was recorded during the first world tour in 1979 & 1980. It was until today only available on VHS and Laserdisc, it is since May 20th available on CD, vinyl, DVD and Bluray.

The review includes 4 editions: Vinyl, CD, Bluray stereo, Bluray DTS-HD MA 5.1.

You can also find the review of another album of The Police – Greatest Hits.

Below you will find the description of the different editions, as well as the measurements of each edition in the following chapters.
The synthesis of the review and the samples are available here.

This album in Bluray includes 18 tracks reviewed:

  1. Next To You*
  2. Walking On The Moon**
  3. Born In The 50’s
  4. So Lonely**
  5. Man In A Suitcase
  6. Can’t Stand Losing You**
  7. Bring On The Night**
  8. Canary In A Coalmine
  9. Voices Inside My Head*
  10. When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around
  11. Shadows In The Rain
  12. Don’t Stand So Close To Me
  13. Truth Hits Everybody**
  14. Roxanne**
  15. Walking On The Moon (Live from Kyoto) [Bluray Bonus Part2]
  16. Next To You (Live from Kyoto) [Bluray Bonus Part2] *
  17. Message In A Bottle (Live from Hong Kong) [Bluray Bonus Part2] **
  18. Born In The 50’s (Live from Hong Kong) [Bluray Bonus Part2]**

* Included on CD, ** included on CD and LP

Only on CD and Vinyl
Deathwish – Live from Kyoto

First we will analyze each edition in detail (technical and qualitative analysis), then we will compare the successive editions with their dynamics and assign a final score, and you will be able to listen some samples.

The streaming versions may evolve over time, those presented here correspond to the version tested at the date of publication, or update of the review.

Review of the editions:

Part 1: Presentation of the editions

Part 2 : Waveform and dynamique comparaison

Parts 3 : Spectrum comparisons

Part 4 : Spectrogram comparaisons

Part 5 : Spatialization

Part 6 : Summary, scoring and Sample

Part 1: presentation of the editions

Ed1: Vinyl ref : 60243846642 – 2022
Presentation

This is the transparent blue vinyl of this album .

Label‎Mercury Records
Reference60243846642
Format (speed)LP 33 rpm
TypeBlue vinyl
Masterdigital
Mastering/PressingMixes and Mastered By – Tony Lake and Clark Pardee
Original recordingAnalog
StateEU
Year original1980
Year production2022
Ed2: CD ref 602445205450 – 2022
Presentation

This is the box with the CD released.

Label‎Mercury Records
Reference602445205450
Format (speed)Box CD + Bluray
TypeCD 16 bits 44.1 kHz
Masterdigital
Mastering/PressingMixes and Mastered By – Tony Lake and Clark Pardee
Original recordingAnalog
StateEU
Year original1980
Year production2022

Ed3: Bluray stereo ref 602445205450 – 2022
Presentation

This is the box with the Bluay presented in PCM stereo.

Label‎Mercury Records
Reference602445205450
Format (speed)Box CD + Bluray
TypeBluray Stereo PCM 24 bits 48 kHz
Masterdigital
Mastering/PressingMixes and Mastered By – Tony Lake and Clark Pardee
Original recordingAnalog
StateEU
Year original1980
Year production2022
Ed4: Bluray 5.1 ref 602445205450 – 2022

Presentation

This is the box with the Bluay presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Label‎Mercury Records
Reference602445205450
Format (speed)Box CD + Bluray
TypeBluray DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 24 bits 48 kHz
Masterdigital
Mastering/PressingMixes and Mastered By – Tony Lake and Clark Pardee
Original recordingAnalog
StateEU
Year original1980
Year production2022

Part 2 : Waveform and dynamic comparaisons

Waveform

The waveform represents all the tracks of the album for each version.

The graphs below represent the waveforms of the vinyl versions (Ed1).
This version is dynamic without compression effect.

Waveform Ed1 : Vinyl

The CD (Ed2) and Bluray stereo (Ed3) are compressed, the yellow area shows the effect of the limiter that caps the maximum level.

Waveform Ed2 CD

For the bluray, the concert is cut in two video parts.

Waveform Ed3: Bluray Stereo (part1)
Waveform Ed3: Bluray Stereo (part2)

The Bluray stereo (Ed4) is compressed, the yellow area shows the effect of the limiter that caps the maximum level for left, right and center channels.

Waveform Ed4: Bluray 5.1 (part1)
Waveform Ed4: Bluray 5.1 (part2)

The comparison between CD and vinyl on the sample “Message In A Bottle” shows the effect of the limiter compressor on the CD with a limit for the highest sound levels.

Waveform CD vs Vinyl

Dynamic

Dynamic represents the ability to reproduce a wide range of sounds from the softest to the loudest. The target is to compare the dynamics of the music and not of the media (CD, digital files or vinyl).

For our 4 editions we have obtained the following Dynamic Range (DR) :

 Ed1: VinylEd2: CDEd3: Bluray stereoEd4: Bluray 5.1
GLOBALDR11DR6DR7DR11
MinDR9DR4DR6DR9
MaxDR12DR9DR8DR11

The CD and Blouray stereo versions are compressed with a dynamic range of DR6 or DR7 as confirmed by the waveforms. The loudness war continues. The vinyl has a higher dynamic range like the 5.1 bluray with a DR11.

As a reminder, the scale goes from 0 to more 20, but the dynamics are considered good from 12, quite good between 10 and 11, and deteriorate below 10.

Part 3 : spectrum comparisons

Spectrum

The Spectrum allows to check the tonal balance of the music (balance between treble, medium and bass sounds) and to detect process that may have been carried out during the recording, the mixing, mastering or manufacturing phases. It is also possible to detect frequency interference issues.

The curve represents the average frequency distribution over the sample “Message In A Bottle”.

The interesting features on this curve Ed1 Vinyl 1986 (white) vs Ed2 CD (blue) are the following:

  • A superposition of the curves from 150 to 7 khz
  • A bass attenuation below 150 Hz, with -6 dB for vinyl (green area)
  • An attenuation of the highs above 7 kHz, with -8dB at 20 kHz, while keeping a soft slope (yellow arrow).
  • The purple arrow shows the frequencies above 22 kHz which are due to vinyl noise and distortion of the vinyl playback
Spectrum Ed1 Vinyl (White) vs Ed2 CD (Blue)

The perfect superposition of the spectrum between the CD (Ed2) and the Bluray Stereo (Ed3). The yellow arrow shows the difference due to the sample rate between 44.1 kHz for the CD and 48 kHz for the bluray.

Spectrum Ed3 Bluray stereo (White) vs Ed2 CD(Blue)

The spectrum below represents the 6 channels in 5.1 configuration. The maximum frequency is 24 kHz due to the 48 kHz sampling frequency (yellow arrow). The LFE channel is filtered above 150 Hz.

Spectrum Ed4 Bluray 5.1

Part 4 : Spectrogram comparaisons

Spectrogram

Spectrogram is another representation of frequency versus time of a track. For each channel (right and left), horizontal axis represents time, and the vertical axis represents frequency. The amplitude is represented by the intensity (brightness) of the color of each point in the image.

The spectrogram of the vinyl (Ed1) continues above 20 kHz (yellow arrow). The white arrow shows the distortion due to the playback of the vinyl above 20 kHz.

Spectrogram Ed1 : Vinyl

The spectrograms of CD (Ed2), Bluray stéreo (Ed3) versions are similar, with a limit at 22kHz or 24 kHz (yellow arrow) due to the 44.1kHz CD or 48 kHz Bluray sampling frequency and the absence of signal above 22 kHz or 24 kHz (white arrow).

Spectrogram Ed2 : CD
Spectrogram Ed3 : Bluray Stereo (part1)
Spectrogram Ed3 : Bluray Stereo (part2)

The spectrograms of Bluray 5.1 (Ed4) have a limit at 24 kHz (yellow arrow) due to the 48 kHz Bluray sampling frequency and the absence of signal above 24 kHz (white arrow). The green arrow shows the LFE channel cut-off at 150 Hz.

Spectrogram Ed4 : Bluray 5.1 (part2)
Spectrogram Ed4 : Bluray 5.1 (part2)

Part 5 : Spatialization

Spatialization allows you to define the sound distribution of the music on all the channels. The spatialization indicator and the description of the graph are described here.

The music is distributed over all channels, with a high level of the 3 front channels. The center channel is present, but with a lower level than the stereo channels. We find a beautiful spatialization with a precise front sound scene using the 3 front speakers.

Spatialization : ●●●oo (3)

Part 6 : Summary, scoring and Samples

Ed1: Vinyl ref : 60243846642 – 2022

We find the sound of the vinyl warmer than the digital version, but more dynamic, with less heavy bass. The voice of the singer is also more natural. No problem with engraving quality of this vinyl.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●o (4.0/5)
    • Sound result: ●●●oo (3.5/5)
  • Sample : “Message In A Bottle” 24 bits 88.2 kHz:
Sample Ed1 Vinyl
Ed2: CD ref 602445205450 – 2022

No surprise with the CD, the loudness war impacted this CD with a DR6. This can be heard with a sound lacking in precision and a bit heavy bass. It is all the more sensitive when we go up the volume, the sound lacks life, dynamics, it is a pity for a concert.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●oooo (1/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Sound result: ●●ooo (2/5)
  • Sample : “Message In A Bottle” 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample Ed2 CD
Ed3: Bluray stereo ref 602445205450 – 2022

With a DR7, the stereo bluray does a little better than the CD, but it is not enough to have a sound like a live concert.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●ooo (2/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Sound result: ●●ooo (2/5)
  • Sample : “Message In A Bottle” 24 bits 48 kHz:
Sample Ed3 Bluray stereo
Ed4: Bluray 5.1 ref 602445205450 – 2022

The 5.1 version of the concert is the preferred version for the bluray. The 5.1 brings more atmosphere and dynamics to the concert compared to the stereo version.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Spatialization: ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Sound result: ●●●oo (3.5/5)
  • Sample : “Message In A Bottle” 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 Ed4 Bluray 5.1

The digital stereo versions (CD and stereo bluray) are very compressed and do not allow an optimal rendering of the concert, the vinyl is more pleasant to listen to. Concerning the concert in Bluray, the version in DTS-HD MA presents a better spatialization with the 5.1, it is the version to be privileged to see this movie.

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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)
  • Spatialization :
    • Between 0 and 5 for 5.1 or 7.1 channels configuration
    • Between 0 and 10 for Atmos configuration (7.1.4)
    • For more information on spatialization, you can read the article describing this parameter here.
  • Sound result :
    1. Low quality of the sound mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    2. Average quality of the sound mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    3. Quality of the sound mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Good record.
    4. High quality of the sound mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Very high level disc.
    5. Maximum quality of the sound mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Exceptional disc.

6 thoughts on “The Police – Around The World – Review (LP, CD, Bluray, stereo, 5.1)

  1. This is the best site I’ve found in some time! Many thanks for doing all this! I’ve already told a few audio gear and music nerds about it. You should post over at Audio Science Review. They’d love what you’re doing. Many thanks!

    Like

      1. I shared a link on Audio Science Review. They’re pretty hard core and sold objectiveness folks but several loved the site. Do you know if the Steve Hoffman forum bows about your work and site? This seems up their ally. I haven’t been there in years

        Like

      2. Thanks for sharing a link to Audio Science Review. It is indeed a very accurate and objective forum. Regarding Steve Hoffman’s forum, I have already submitted reviews and discussed with them

        Like

  2. Hope I didn’t duplicate my comments? This is second time entering after logging in twice. Anyway — many thanks for this site and your work! Already told a few audio gear and music needs about it You should post over at Audio Science Review— they’d enjoy this. Again, great job and thanks!! I have a lot of reading this weekend.

    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php

    Like

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