brians wig wrote:
The BIG question to those of you with decent ears is....
Does it actually sound any better/clearer than the original vinyl press or even the 2011 remaster, or is it just a massive gimmick?
I've got two similar record players connected to my amplifier. One of them has a built-in pre-amp the other one is connected to the phono input, so the signal paths are not exactly the same, but this setup allows me to play two vinyls at the same time and switch between the inputs for a direct comparison. And of course you can switch the vinyls from one player to the other to check your results and exclude differences like the signal path or the needle.
Verdict: I have to admit that I prefer the coloured vinyl from the Box Set to the AAA cut, as the AAA cut sounds flatter and less voluminous. BUT: the differences are really small and it's really difficult to say which version you're listening to if you're not doing a side-by-side comparison.
I did a small comparison between Studio Collection and AAA.
I'm a big fan of many of the SC LPs because I think they sound highly detailed and fresh in a way. But with NOTW I think that many details are very covered in the heavily compressed (original) production - on the other hand this compression is also what gives the album it's fantastic "power pack" sound. So for me the SC version does not stand much out from other older pressings in terms of sound quality. But in terms of mastering and pressing quality I think it's really great.
The AAA is also a great sounding pressing without any annoying issues like sibilance or inner groove distortion. But a couple of the tracks sound a bit dull to me. For example SYW, which I feel never really comes alive. On the other hand my overall impression is that it is all very alive and dynamically well-crafted.
Not many conclusions here, I'm afraid. But if I have to make one, it will probably be, that the AAA does not stand out from the SC, so I will probably listen to them in turn from now on.
So. My conclusion then is it's a massive gimmick and one which we've all unnecessarily had to pay for.
The AAA vinyl is about as useless as the tour pass lanyard - and that's even to people who DO a have the equipment to play it on...
A vinyl with the Raw Sessions on would have been much more preferable, or better still another CD of sessions or a live concert.
Ultimately the only item of worth in the £100 boxset is the Raw Sessions CD. The rest of it is just "tat" used as filler to "justify" the extortionate expense.
Mr. Wig, it seems to me that you had this view all along.
I can see why you think the price is silly, if you only feel that you are paying for the Raw Sessions. But a separate release of what is obviously bonus material-material is unlikely and seldom seen.
Even though I can enjoy most content of the box I think the price is too high - but not that much really.
If one thinks every single one of the five disks is worthwhile ... that's $27 per disc ... Very overpriced as Rainbow was $16 per disk.
However $135 for one and a half useful CDs plus a DVD ... that's basically $54 dollars per useful disk. Rainbow had three useful disks ... $21 per useful disk.
Anyway you slice it, the NotW box set is "extortionately" priced.
As much as I would like to have the "Raw" disk, I cannot stomach the feeling of being fleeced ... and I will not purchace (nor download) the box set.
I listened to it on my Rega RP6 w Rotel A12 amp. Not extravagant but does the job. The vinyl is not as harsh sounding as the ludwig master was. However, there is virtually no difference to the avg ear compared to the original vinyl (I have a Canadian and Japanese pressing)...
So yes, it is superior to the 2015 but more or less the same as an original un remastered copy. Basically equal sounding to a used 5$ common pressing found in a used record store.
The difference is that you're basically getting a brand spanking new version on superior (supposedly) quality vinyl.
Anyone buying the box to get this vinyl is an idiot. I bought it to get the package that commemorates my absolute favorite album of all time. I do have the means to purchase the rest of the Queen cannon should they do it this way, but agree that it's overpriced for what you get. Not saying what you get is shit. But that they could have charged a more competitive price on day 1. I believe the Zeppelin sets were more reasonably priced - however even there, you essentially only get 1 disc of new material. However, they did give you the choice to purchase all the unreleased material in a double disc format (ie. deluxe album package)... and that's where Queen failed.
For more "idiot" vinyl, lookup Donald Fagen's the Nightfly released on MoFi link