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Santana: Abraxas

Santana: Abraxas

Sony Music  SICP-10135

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Pop/Rock


Santana

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Comment by David Block - December 15, 2020 (1 of 5)

Abraxas is hands-down one of Santana's best albums. I received the new Japanese SACD containing a 4.0 and a stereo version. The stereo version is excellent sounding, but I bought this high-priced disc to listen to the audiophile, quadraphonic mix and that's where the problem lies. There seems to be some extraneous audio artifacts in the mix. The worst offender is a vinyl-type "pop" that can be heard in the first few seconds of an otherwise incredible version of "Black Magic Woman." In a couple of other points in the album, I swear I hear a bit of "static," but it's not as obvious as the popping sound during "Black Magic Woman." So maybe the "static" is something else, but I can't determine exactly what it is after repeated plays.

The artifacts are not heard in the stereo version or on any other Abraxas disc that I've ever heard. If it was in the original quadraphonic mix, why didn't the audio engineers remove the artifacts in the new mix? It doesn't seem possible that they didn't hear these artifacts as that "pop" really stands out.

Sony did a great job on similar releases of Lotus and Santana but they've come up short here. I've contacted Sony about the issue, but I can't imagine that they'll fix the issues and recall and replace all the discs currently out there. I'm going to be frustrated every time I listen to this SACD so I may try to sell it to recoup some of my money. If I wanted just a stereo version, I would have bought MOFI's Abraxas SACD for less than half the price.

Comment by Downunderman - December 23, 2020 (2 of 5)

....Do you have a preference between the MoFi stereo SACD and the stereo JSACD? I'm imagining that they will sound a little different.

Comment by David Block - December 27, 2020 (3 of 5)

Downunderman, I really don't have a preference between the MoFi version vs. the JSACD version as they both sound good. If you're not interested in the quadraphonic layer and the fancy packaging, I'd recommend the MoFi version as the better value.

Comment by David Block - December 27, 2020 (4 of 5)

Update: I received a replacement Abraxas disc. It contains the same audio error as my first copy.

Comment by Trond H. Bergli - January 25, 2021 (5 of 5)

I have a disc made from a original quad reel source and it have the same "pop" on Black Magic Woman.