Rhino Issues "EAGLES: THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1972-1979" Box Set On Six 180gram Vinyl LPs

Rhino has released its long awaited Eagles box set containing Eagles, Desperado, On the Border, One of These Nights, Hotel California and The Long Run.

How big were these guys? The've sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, earning five No. 1 U.S. singles and six GRAMMY® Awards. The band's EAGLES - THEIR GREATEST HITS 1971-1975 album is the best-selling record of all time, with more than 29 million copies sold.

No matter what you might read elsewhere, the reissued vinyl was mastered by Bernie Grundman from 192k/24 bit files. No compression and minimal EQ was applied for this reissue box set. Probably the tapes were too fragile to jockey for an AAA reissue, but then again that's what they said about The Doors tapes and we all know what happened when Analogue Productions offered big bucks to use the tapes at 45rpm. Or as Cyndi Lauper sang "Money Changes Everything".

It's still possible of course that the tapes are not in great shape. On the other hand, Rhino's Hotel California reissue of a few years ago was AAA so why not just use the metal parts already produced?

COMMENTS
Billf's picture

How do they sound? That's what we're here for!

vinyl listener's picture

eagles fans will buy them regardless.

gubarenko's picture

I have hdtracks version of this new Grundman mastering and it sounds very-very-good! But in the discussion of Hoffman forums they've notted that even 24bit is not in fact 24bit.

 

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On http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/hdtracks-news.307430/page-26
in post #647, it is stated that the "JCF Audio Latte A/D converter" is used.

On page 16 of the manual of this converter is stated:

"A note about bit depth: The D/A will make use of all data presented to it (whether it be 24 or 2 bits) from the AES compatible inputs under all conditions. The AES compatible outputs will have 24 bits of valid data in the stream under all conditions except internally clocked 192k. This condition will have 18 bits worth of valid data in the output stream. The lower 6 bits are unmasked will have static junk data in them and can optionally be disregarded. No dither is used in the Latte anywhere."

It's safe to assume the AES output is used to transfer the recordings to a PC. So, if it is true that this DAC is used, than the 192 KHz is actually 18bit. 

It should be quite easy to extract the 6 LSB's, and plot the spectrum, as if it was a 6bit audio recording. If this is white noise, the statement on 18bit is true. 

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J. Carter's picture

It sounds like these are the same masters used for the HDtracks downloads from a few months ago. I have the 24/96 version of these and they sound awsome. Definitely better than I have ever heard them before.

rdh79730's picture

When I was a kid (7 or 8), my step dad owned a shoe store next door to a record store.  I would stock the shelves and he'd pay me cash.  I'd then take that cash and buy records next door.  I bought Hotel California when it was new.  I played that record on my Realistic all-in-one system (turntable, radio, 8-track) a million times...when a Kiss tape wasn't getting eaten by the 8-track.  The poster was proudly mounted on my wall.  Of course as an idiot 18 year old, I sold all my records to make a life in the new world of CD's.  After getting back into vinyl 10 years ago, one of the first records I bought was Hotel California (Simply Vinyl reissue).  I thought it sounded pretty good on my much better analog setup than my old Realistic.  Then I came across a mint original copy with poster.  The cover had a little wear, but not too bad.  Then right as the Rhino reissue came out, I came across an even mintier original with poster.  So I never bought the Rhino, but I still have it on my wish list.  Yes, Eagles fans will buy this, but why do we do such things?  For a band that sold millions upon millions of albums during the hey-day of vinyl, there are tons of these records available on the used shelves.  This box set is also on my wish list.  I have numerous records of which I have bought three copies (Who's Next, The Wall, and others), but I just haven't been able to bring myself to buy four copies.  Maybe the Rhino issue of Hotel California should be the one to push me over the top.  Vinyl...it's a sickness.  Is there a support group I can sign up for?

Biff's picture

I'm very satisfied with both the pressing quality and sonics.

Tullman's picture

If all they have to work with is 24/96 masters, why not make DVDs? A DVD would sound better than vinyl because the extra noise factor is eliminated. 

I won't be buying this box, just like I didn't buy the Beatles box. Maybe, I might buy a separate lp if they are made available.

Biff's picture

Tullman - I'm not convinced that digitally sourced material sounds worse when pressed to vinyl. Or that there exists a reason to just skip the vinyl and listen to the files (either from physical media or a computer). I can't explain why.

I'm sure Mr. Fremer could add to this subject.

Michael Fremer's picture

Like any kind of signal processing--whether it be transferring a digital file to analog tape before mastering to either analog vinyl or digital discs, cutting lacquers from digital sources alters the sound---most often for the subjective "better" for whatever reasons. When digital recording first appeared studio went on a tube microphone, tube compressor buying spree. Why? Because the sterile digital recordings didn't sound warm and inviting like real music. Why? In part because microphones all pretty much suck. They are not "the holy grail." There is nothing 'religious' about recordings. Microphone feeds to analog tape was a form of signal processing that somehow produced a more musically pleasing result than did microphone feeds to digital recording. This has been demonstrated in some informal experiments I've written about before where engineers got to hear 1) live music in a studio 2) PCM and DSD recordings of the mike feed and 3) analog tape recording and playback. The majority of listeners admitted that the DSD feed sounded the most like the mike feed (virtually indistinguishable) but that the analog tape playback sounded the most like the live music they heard in the studio on the "other side" of the microphone. So you have to decide what's your "holy grail": a microphone feed or the subjective sound of live music. If a record cut from digital sounds more like "live" than a "perfect" digital file choose the digital file if "true to the file and/or mic feed" is your objective.

That's my position on this. If you wish to call the resulting LP sound a "euphonic coloration" be my guest. If that sounds more like live music, that's my choice!

I'm sitting here writing this in Manila as probably the largest typhoon in recorded weather history bears down on the country's southern/eastern-most islands. How absurd is life and our audiophile obsession?

Here in Manila it's cloudly and rainy but hardly typhoon -like!

Biff's picture

These Eagles LPs were mastered from the original analog tapes by Bernie Grundman. A good friend of mine works for Rhino and was involved in the project. 

Were you told something different?

Michael Fremer's picture

Yes, the original analog tapes were used. But not to cut lacquers. They were used to produce 192/24 bit files. This information came from Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, in whom we trust. "Dr. Rhino" told a reader that the source was "the original master tapes." TRUE! But that doesn't mean they were used to cut lacquers and they were not.

Biff's picture

I think they sound great!

Rayman's picture

sourced from digital files. So its worth the extra noise. Or clean/maintain your records!

downunderdude's picture

MIkey, I'd be interested to know if the use of digital files for vinyl reissues has become "de rigeur" these days. One set I'm interested in (which I have varying condition original UK & US copies of) is the Fleetwood Mac 1969-1972 Rhino box. Do you know if the same approach was taken for this, as for the Eagles set under comment above?

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