Yes - The Studio Albums-1969-1987 (cd release) - quality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bearcat Sandor, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Bearcat Sandor

    Bearcat Sandor Member Thread Starter

    I have this boxed set, and i'm wondering if it's worth getting some of the HDTracks versions instead. Does anyone know what the source of these CDs were? Are they direct transfers like the HDtracks are said to be?

    Anyone have any opinions about the sound quality?

    For what it's worth, i don't care about 24/96 or 24/192. 16/44.1 is just fine for my ears.
  2. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Synthpop, City Pop, and Rock Enthusiast

    United States
    The CD box set does not use the same transfers as the HDTracks version. The CD set includes the Rhino remasters (except for Big Generator, which is the Japanese remaster from 2009). They're not very well-liked by most forum members since they have a little compression and somewhat bright EQ. If you've ever heard any remasters from Dan Hersch and Bill Inglot, then you'll know what to expect. Personally, I actually like the Rhinos (aside from Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Tales from Topographic Oceans, which I thought were too bright). The compression isn't even that bad by today's standards, and I don't recall any of the albums being brickwalled. The CD version also has 66 bonus tracks which are spread across the albums, while the HDTracks doesn't have any. The only things that the HDTracks version has going for it are that the EQ is more balanced and the dynamic range is greater. To put it in perspective, the CD set is usually priced somewhere around $50 (though you can find it cheaper than that if you know where to look), while the HDTracks version is $175 (and that's only for the 24/96 files. The 24/192 version is $234). If you don't mind some slight compression and EQ-ing, then get the CD set. It's cheaper and you'll get more bang for your buck with nice mini-LP replicas and lots of worthwhile bonus tracks. If you're concerned about dynamics and natural EQ, then the original CDs are also a cheaper option than HDTracks.

    Now before anyone accuses me of not having heard any of the HDTracks versions, I have. I used to own the flat-transfers of The Yes Album, Fragile, and Tales that were included in the Steven Wilson blu ray sets, in addition to buying 90125 and Big Generator online. I thought the flat-transfers from the blu rays were pretty good, but I didn't prefer them over the original CDs (or the MFSLs for TYA and Fragile). To me, they were just nice alternatives. As for 90125 and BG, the difference between the HDTracks remasters and the original CDs just wasn't large enough to justify the cost IMO.
  3. Bearcat Sandor

    Bearcat Sandor Member Thread Starter

    Thank you for the excellent reply @Diablo Griffin. I'm a quality over quantity person so i'll grab the HDtracks. I do have the audio/mobile fidelity discs, and i'm wondering how those compare, but i'll take a listen.
  4. cageyc

    cageyc Well-Known Member

    Columbia, MO
    Thanks for this thread: do either of you know whether the Yes Studio Albums HD Tracks set uses the same masters as the individual HD Tracks Yes albums?

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