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Question on Japanese CDs

Old 07-20-04, 10:17 AM
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Question on Japanese CDs

Are Japanese CD releases (with OBI strips?) of superior sound as compared to European or US releases? If so, what exactly makes it superior? Is it for ALL releases; does that mean (eg.)a Metallica Japanese release will sound better than a US release?

I have no idea where to ask this question that has been confounding me for a long time.
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Old 07-20-04, 10:37 AM
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No, they are just more expensive. Most Japanese CDs come with Obi strips, though I don't know exactly why. I do know an 'obi' is a robe, though, and it is not convenient to store the strip inside the CD case.

Actually, I think an 'obi' might be the belt part of a robe. I can't remember.
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Old 07-20-04, 10:58 AM
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The OBI strips basically contain information about the CD in Japanese language. It's a small strip that wraps around the left side of the CD. Check this Ray Parker, Jr classic on Ebay. The OBI strip is the vertical white strip on the left side.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...024737819&rd=1

The reason that you see OBI mentioned in ebay auctions, online music stores, is that most collectors want the OBI strip to be included with their purchase, as this is part of the package that was originally sold.

Japanese releases also typically have at least one bonus track not available on releases from other countries. As evitagen said, Japan CDs are more expensive than other countries. Thus, the record companies try to enhance the Japan release with bonus tracks to entice the Japanese market to buy the domestic version over the cheaper import versions.
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Old 07-21-04, 01:24 AM
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I have quite a few Japanese CDs first because I like the bonus material and second because I've become sort of addicted to them (this has its advatages, for example a Japanese edition of Soundgarden's "Louder Than Love" CD that I got came with no bonus tracks but did come with a huge fold-out family tree of grunge bands circa 1990!) even though sound-wise they don't seem superior.

I've found that unfolding the OBI strips and putting them facing out next to the back of the CD tray underneath the spindle piece is a safe place to put them; you could also put them behind the back paper so they don't get in the way of the back paper art but I like to have the on display

With regard to bonus tracks, sometimes it ain't just one or two, for example one Japanese edition of the Throwing Muses "Red Heaven" CD came with 11 bonus tracks which comprised the bulk of a Kristin Hersh solo concert - the only other place to get these tracks was a limited EU double CD release. Good stuff!

-Gunshy
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Old 07-21-04, 03:50 AM
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1 extra bonus track or a remixed version.And a big booklet in Japanese and the lyrics in Japanese.Only these stuff.I buy imported CD's in Japan.Much cheaper.
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Old 07-22-04, 01:38 AM
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I have a bunch of Jap. cds, but most are Japanese artists not issued in the US of A.

The strip does have info and the price.
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Old 07-22-04, 06:28 PM
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From my experience, a Japanese CD doesn't sound any better than the US version. They both use the same final mix of the album.

It is the extras that make the releases "superior" to die hard collectors. Japanese releases often have a bonus track or more, in order for their higher priced domestic releases to compete with lower priced imports (a stupid system really. Why the hell do domestic releases cost more than imports? Higher royalties?). In the old vinyl days, other bonus goodies could include posters, big full colour booklets, etc that easily fit in the 12" sleeves. Such goodies are less common now, considering the smaller CD cases, but mini posters and bookets are also sometimes included.

As mentioned, OBI strips contain the necessary info and pricing in Japanese. And yes, collectors (whether they collect vinyl albums, CDs, laserdiscs, etc) will want the strip in order for the item to be considered complete. Because of my collector instinct, I always keep the OBI (I can usually fit in inside the lid, behind the booklet)
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Old 07-22-04, 08:29 PM
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What's up with those strips. They're on Japanese books too.
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Old 07-22-04, 09:45 PM
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Somewhere, I remember reading a good, logical explanation for the obi strips being on so many products, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was.
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Old 07-22-04, 10:03 PM
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I do have a few Jap. books with those. They contain info about the book and price. Sounds just like the cds!!!!!
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Old 07-22-04, 11:02 PM
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Re: Question on Japanese CDs

Originally posted by blessthemess
Are Japanese CD releases (with OBI strips?) of superior sound as compared to European or US releases? If so, what exactly makes it superior?
you can also make your CD's collection sound superior if you store them in a refrigerator....
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Old 07-23-04, 02:36 AM
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Re: Re: Question on Japanese CDs

Originally posted by Giles
you can also make your CD's collection sound superior if you store them in a refrigerator....
Just like batteries (storing them in your fridge makes them sound superior).
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Old 07-23-04, 09:25 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Question on Japanese CDs

Originally posted by beefjerky
Just like batteries (storing them in your fridge makes them sound superior).
... don't you mean last longer...
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Old 07-26-04, 08:01 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Question on Japanese CDs

Originally posted by Giles
... don't you mean last longer...
No, I think that's food.
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Old 07-26-04, 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by evitagen
Actually, I think an 'obi' might be the belt part of a robe. I can't remember.
An Obi is the wrapping cummerbund kind of thing that goes with a Kimono.
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Old 07-27-04, 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by evitagen
Actually, I think an 'obi' might be the belt part of a robe. I can't remember.
Or the man *in* the belt:





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