Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Definitive Collection of Mini - Lp Replicas
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock & Metal
The Best Zep Yet....
Richard R. Byers | California, USA | 09/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so you thought you already owned Zep and had the best, if they ever do remaster and remix the whole shootin' match like Jimmy Page did for the Mothership set. Since there are as many reviews that pan the Mothership set as there are the love it, it seems to me that it is not the universal Zep panacea one would have thought. To me, it is "in your face", mixed/mastered at way too high a gain level that clips off dynamic expansion critical to rock and roll, and hides the small nuances of the recordings. You may love that. Fair enough. Then enjoy.
Having owned the 1993 complete studio recordings box set and the remix from that, I felt I had probably owned the best sounding versions on CD. That is, until I purchased a few of the 2005 Japanese mini LP releases from the Japan remasters in 2003. The 2003 masters were taken from the 1993 mixes, so they are not new mixes. However, the 2003 masters, as pressed in 2005, sounded more full, sweeter, cleaner and, well, more involving. Same mix from 1993, just a better mastered pressing, plus the venerable Japan perfection in their pressing plants. Lower jitter, finely milled edges to the discs, etc. Nice. Plus, having the mini LP style jackets - based off the USA original releases, was very fine, indeed.
Along comes an all new, completely redone box for 2008. Using the same 1993 mixes with the 2003 Japan masters, the discs have been pressed in the SHM CD format which is NOT available in the USA on USA pressed discs. These are only available from Japan pressings and boy are they some of the best sounding CD's I own in my vast collection. Very nice, indeed.
The SHM pressings allow for a much cleaner, and very dynamic performance to come through. Plant's vocals are nice and focused, more up front and "there". Impressive, since they are the same 1993 mixes and masters used prior. So, the SHM pressings allow for a much more involving Zep experience. Simply the Sin Quo Non right now on CD for Zep.
If you want the best Zep on CD, this is it. Expensive, to say the least (I bought mine from CD Japan direct and it was $286 including EMS shipping from Japan).
The box is simply superbly produced, as are the mini LP jackets, this time based on the UK original pressings and releases along with th UK reproductions of the center labels from the records. Marvelous. Extra bonuses include additional jackets, alternate jackets, etc. from a two of the original albums.
There is nothing like this produced in the USA.
For those who are Zep fans and keep waiting for Page, etal, to remix/master the catalog again, it is not worth waiting for. To be honest, if they mix it like they did Mothership, that is simply not Zep the way I want to hear it. Maybe you do and that is fine. Your ears are your ears.
But, for me, this is the ultimate Zep possible in redbook CD digital. If you have an upsampling DAC or player, look out. You are in for a real treat.
Japanese SHM CDs sound great
Greg | 08/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have compared the Japanese SHM CDs to the old CDs and I believe I can tell the difference. The SHM CDs just have better sound. It's hard to explain why but they do. We did a blind listening test with some buddies and almost all of us said the SHM CDs were better."