Text Box: From The Four Seasons UK Appreciation Society 
Text Box: Sound Evaluating Your CD’s

Sound Evaluation Guide


The New DR Tool available from ‘Pleasurize Music Foundation’ has enabled us to update the evaluation of the Four Seasons CD Discography and rate the sound quality scientifically and subjectively and to put together our own informative test for all fans to assess their current and potential CD collection.


Each important CD will be evaluated and COLOUR scored as ….

You’ll find the colour code in the CD number box on the right hand side of our web pages for those CD’s currently assessed, and if you click the CD cover image on the left hand side you’ll be able to download the Sound STATS sheet with details of the assessment.


The STATS cover the following….


1. The Dynamic Range Measure.


 The ‘Pleasurize Music Foundation’  has pioneered a way of addressing the problem of Loudness in CD production. They say on their web site….“The problem of gradual but ongoing dynamic reduction in contemporary popular music has very subtle effects on listeners, while it affects at the same time so many areas of a multi-layered audio industry. Therefore, the solution to this problem can only come about through a holistic approach…Only music that provides a positive musical listening experience has real market value…We are not surprised by the fact that music listeners are losing the willingness to legally acquire music, because of the fact that contemporary releases are mercilessly over-compressed – a situation that turns off even the biggest music fans. For those who are not familiar with this term, here's an explanation: the Loudness War designates the senseless competition between record companies which involves releasing music with increasingly high amounts of dynamic compression (the "compression" of dynamic levels so that originally quiet passages are as loud as the loudest parts of a song)” We’ve used .. their DYNAMIC RANGE METER  which “displays the inner dynamics of a recording in whole numbers or more precisely the inner grade of compression. The DR value represents the grade of compression of released music in an easy to understand and standardized whole number system.  


2. Evaluation    

We’ve assessed the  Four Seasons CD’s against the suggested Minimum Dynamic Range   figures for pop music which should not be higher than 8 (on a descending scale from DR 14 to DR4). The table below shows how ‘pop’ CD’s could be in a range from DR4 to DR14 with the recommended levels from DR12 to DR14.


Our Logs show the result for each track and can be coded against this chart.




This is a term used to describe a track that has had it’s peak sound levels ‘normalised’ above the recommended level for CD/mp3 players etc. Levels above -0.30db run a RISK OF DISTORTION when played .  A detailed explanation of this is available here.


The level meter below shows the vinyl levels of ‘Sherry’. Current CD’s have peaks for this track as high as -0.01db




Scoring the Sub Categories

The Notation/Score will appear in the Log


A: Master Transfer Quality:

either1, 2, or 3

B: The Sound Stage

either1, 2, or 3

C: Frequency Content

either1, 2, or 3



Our final COLOUR code assessment will be confirmed at the end of the LOG


And in our remarks column on the main web page you’ll find details of the CD and notes examining..


If they contain track info….session info etc

Any info on versions/mixes

Any unique/special aspect of the notes

Listing of key tracks/mixes

Review notes from the internet

Special reviews contributed by fans

Track by track fan assessment on key releases.


 Enjoy your CD’s


Click here to go to the CD Discography to see examples

But compressed or ‘loud’ tracks which have a high RMS value will make this even worse as the Foundation explains.


We assess this risk in our evaluation. This is not a totally negative factor as it is in some cases correctable if using an adjustable digital ‘out’ connection on your equipment.


4. Our next assessment is in 3 Sub-categories……


Sub-catagories explained;


Category A: Master Transfer Quality:


The master transfer itself: an assessment of the level of any distortions, noise, major tape defect which are audible, questioning whether it was taken from vinyl or tape? Clicks, crackle, etc. are looked for to see if any are audible?

(below….visible (audible) clicks in a vinyl track)


Category B: The Sound Stage

An assessment of the stereo field and/or mono sound (phase) ?  The healthy Stereo image is a football shaped sound shape in the Stereo-Meter. Distorted shape indicates a poor sound-stage. We covered this in a past blog note on chameleons blog and as we say in our Sound Archive section, ……


Stereo images are best assessed on headphones. You have to listen. Wide is 120 to 180 degrees, anything between 60 and 30 degrees is small, 60 to 120 is normal (90 degrees as usual). We haven't found any meter / display that can show this.


So we have listened to the tracks.

Category C: Frequency Content


An assessment of the sound frequencies present. At best …..good levels of frequency from bass to treble …….down to low treble and high bass as found with an old tape cassette recordings


Healthy levels are shown below of the vinyl ‘Sherry’ .( Bass left…Treble right)


2006 to Present


1996 to 2005


1992 to 1995


1987 to 1991

Good (or more or less satisfying)



Some minor flaws



Problems detected, but overall listenable



Major problems, might not satisfy most listeners




2006 to Present


1996 to 2005


1992 to 1995


1987 to 1991