Spring 1990 (The Other One) Box
•144-page paperback book with essays by Nicholas G. Meriwether and Blair Jackson
•A portfolio with three art prints by Jessica Dessner
• Replica ticket stubs and backstage passes for all eight shows
•8 complete shows on 23 discs
•3/14/90 Capital Centre, Landover, MD
•3/18/90 Civic Center, Hartford, CT
•3/21/90 Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario
•3/25/90 Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY
•3/28/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
•3/29/90 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (featuring Branford Marsalis)
•4/1/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA
•4/3/90 The Omni, Atlanta, GA
Recorded by long-time Grateful Dead audio engineer John Cutler
Mixed from the master 24-track analog tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir's TRI Studios
Mastered to HDCD specs by David Glasser
Original Art by Jessica Dessner
Individually Numbered, Limited Edition of 9,000
Announcing Spring 1990 (The Other One)
"If every concert tells a tale, then every tour writes an epic. Spring 1990 felt that way: an epic with more than its share of genius and drama, brilliance and tension. And that is why the rest of the music of that tour deserves this release, why the rest of those stories need to be heard." - Nicholas G. Meriwether
Some consider Spring 1990 the last great Grateful Dead tour. That it may be. In spite of outside difficulties and downsides, nothing could deter the Grateful Dead from crafting lightness from darkness. They were overwhelmingly triumphant in doing what they came to do, what they did best — forging powerful explorations in music. Yes, it was the music that would propel their legacy further, young fans joining the ranks with veteran Dead Heads, Jerry wondering "where do they keep coming from?" — a sentiment that still rings true today, a sentiment that offers up another opportunity for an exceptional release from a tour that serves as transcendental chapter in the Grateful Dead masterpiece.
With Spring 1990 (The Other One), you'll have the chance to explore another eight complete shows from this chapter, the band elevating their game to deliver inspired performances of concert staples (“Tennessee Jed” and “Sugar Magnolia”), exceptional covers (Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and the band’s last performance of the Beatles’ “Revolution”) and rare gems (the first “Loose Lucy” in 16 years) as well as many songs from Built To Last, which had been released the previous fall and would become the Dead’s final studio album. Also among the eight is one of the most sought-after shows in the Dead canon: the March, 29, 1990 show at Nassau Coliseum, where Grammy®-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis sat in with the group. The entire second set is one continuous highlight, especially the breathtaking version of “Dark Star.”
For those of you who are keeping track, this release also marks a significant milestone as now, across the two Spring 1990 boxed sets, Dozin At The Knick, and Terrapin Limited, the entire spring tour of 1990 has been officially released, making it only the second Grateful Dead tour, after Europe 1972, to have that honor.
Now shipping, you'll want to order your copy soon as these beautiful boxes are going, going, gone...
Listening Party: 3/29/90, Nassau Coliseum With Branford Marsalis, Set 2
Enjoy the 2nd set of 3/29/90!
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Yes, thank you. That was added after my original post and email to dead.net requesting clarification on the hi-res downloads.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this marks the return of the slower tempo Eyes of the World. I wonder what the genesis of the change was. Was it something that had been discussed for years? They open the second set with it, a rare thing in and of itself. The 3/19 show has the up-tempo Eyes of the World. Does anyone know exactly when the faster tempo Eyes of the World was introduced? Perhaps it was a gradual thing, but it sounds to me they started increasing the beat on the first leg of the Spring '78 tour and things just started getting faster from there. (4-12-78 Duke to be precise.)
I was a guilty fence sitter for quite a while but now am now a fully satisfied owner. Sound wise, is as everyone has praised, with the sort of distinctive clarity usually only found in studio recordings. My preference for listening actually tends to be top-spun audience pulls (which was partly to blame for the hesitation) but having the opportunity hear perfectly balanced levels, being able to cue into the goings on of any one of our six psychedelic minstrels... well, just too much to pass up.
And what a great tour for this. While maybe not quite hitting those X factor peaks that can push the sweat out from the soles of your feet, I’m not sure there are other tours where the band moves as fluidly as a collective unit as they do here. The music simply rides on an effortless wabi-sabi of intuitive inspiration and leaves the show boating to the Knicks. Probably the most democratic mode the band ever found themselves in.
The other reason for my purchase was the artwork. As much as I will always connect to the standard iconography (yes, put a bolt on it, indeed!), how lucky we are to have an entirely fresh visual expression for the GD ethos. And to this head, Dessner’s work is as much of a natural fit as say, Mouse’s efforts for the original Europe ‘72 release. It works.... perfectibly! Besides that, with the release limited to 9,0000, who knows? The box set might just appreciate value for this aspect alone. Impossible to predict though as finicky as the art world is. Although, when I spread all the discs out upon my coffee table, or catch a glimpse of the carousel skeleton riding dandy in the bookshelf, proudly between Mark Twain’s Library of Humor and Cormac McCarthy‘s The Crossing, I understand without a doubt the contribution that has been made to my home (and I live in a bitsy house, mind you).
So maybe that will persuade others to close this one out. And don’t worry, I don’t work for Rhino. Am only one of the many many out there that still finds himself amazed that he can listen to this great great band with the same enthusiasm as he always has year after year, decade after decade.
Listen to Brent's work on Stella Blue on 4/1 at the Omni. Really beautiful. There are so many examples in Spring 90 of guys just being totally in the moment and playing creative runs and fills. These are truly great shows.
Musically speaking, I think Brent brought a lot to the table. He added a new dimension and some innovative sounds. It is quite obvious that Jerry really enjoyed playing with him. As for his vocals, I love him as a background singer and not so much as the lead singer. I do really like Just A Little Light and Blow Away from the first Spring '90 box are great too.
I totally hear you guys on not liking Brent's sounds or Jerry's midi sounds in this era of the Dead. How can it compare to earlier versions? Etc.
I had that exact view for no less than 20 years. My two times seeing them with Jerry was 7-2-89 and 9-24-91, or basically a year or so on either side of Spring 90. The 89 show was awesome, the 91 show not bad, but with both I was really wishing that I was seeing the version from 20 years back.
I came close to SELLING Without a Net at one point! Always liked Dozin, but could not understand the Terrapin Ltd, the Warlocks set, Nightfall of Diamonds.
Now, I have come around. I think it was hearing a friend's copy of the first Spring 90 set that did it. This stuff is really superb, just different. I really think this was a high point of their career. Yes I love 68-74, and 77 and other choice moments in their timeline. No question. But as you keep listening to this stuff over the years, you start to appreciate more that quirky stuff that sometimes came to the table during this era. It brings a little variety. And the band is playing rock-solid in the meantime. I appreciate Brent more than ever - he was the right guy for them at this particular point in time. Anyway.... just saying give it time, you'll probably be just as happy to hear this stuff as any other era.
Edited to add: Brent's songs, OK, still not usually the highlight but for the most part I listen to them now - never did before -and some are quite good - Blow Away, JALL...
It says right here on this page in the Digital Download section:
"HD FLAC Available in 192kHz/24bit"
I'm still looking for that RT bonus disc for you... it's a tough one to find.. I haven't come across it yet. But eventually I will.
Thanks again for the shout outs. I appreciate that!!
BTW.. since this is the Spring TOO forum..
let me say, I'm on my 3rd listen through the box set.
I haven't even cracked open the book to read it yet. The music is amazing.
I go concert to concert... then start over.
LOVE THIS STUFF!
I got a couple of items I wanted from him on ebay as well for a very fair price. Still looking for my white whale, the Road Trips 2011 bonus disc, but in the meantime his prices on other cds are very, very good.
I have read SO many people saying how Brian can find CDs and offer them at the lowest price. Well count me to that list of happy customers.
I saw a great deal on DP 14 at ebay and jumped on it as quick as i could. Turns out it was an offering from Brianhahne!
A friend of mine also told me he was very honest and found stuff that was really tough to find. How he does it? No idea, but im happy he did on this buy.
Just wanted to throw that out there as you can feel weird about the web and all. Honestly thou, DeadHeads are the best!
Rock on Good People......
Check PM. Maybe I can help...
I'm with you as well. Amazing sound quality. But I have not had my jaw hit the floor with the playing. I listened to the first 3 shows and took a break. Overall it is a great release and love all eras.
"Has remastering specifications re the newly available HD FLAC files for Spring 1990/ Spring 1990 TOO been published?
The "more info" link is simply an FAQ; absent anything relevant to the file mastering. Note that the "Wake Up to Find Out (3/29/90)" digital files via dead.net are also missing the bit-depth/sample rate specs. The latter is available in both 24/96 and 24/192 downloads at HD Tracks. Will purchases made through dead.net provide the same options? As there is only one price for the download via dead.net, it's doubtful. Clicking through the ordering process does not reveal any more information and would be quite a financial gamble if you're hoping for a specific resolution.
Can any one shed light on this?"
I already bought 3/29 and it was WELL worth it. Will LD.com/Dead.net offer this bundled in 24/192? I REALLY want it. I emailed and have yet to hear a reply and my credit card wants to be used ;-)
Thank you for finally saying something less then praise about Spring 1990 Too. I have been listening to this box and thinking to myself, "no goosebumps, no x-factor". Yeah it sounds great but it does not get the endorphins flowing. It is a bunch of Dead songs played well that sound great. That's not what I am used to listening to.
I mean no disrespect to the people who put a lot of hard work and time into this production I am passionate about this band and it helps to say something. Thanks for reading.
Almost finished listening to Spring 1990 TOO and wow no regrets in buying this its incredible soundwise,contentwise its all very good indeed. Although i gather the Vol 1 set is not as good soundwise as this one i still regret not getting it and so searched ebay. Yikes have you seen the crazy prices $800, $1000 for Vol 1 and even high prices for the TOO box despite the fact its not even sold out. So my question to the community is does anyone know of a good location to buy the limted dead disks such as Vol 1 Spring and Daves Picks etc. Seems like so many people are buying these just to resell on ebay at enourmous profit at the expense of those of us just into the music. Not really a download guy and not in the more money than sense camp either!! Yeah i know not going to happen but on the basis of i need a miracle...
Fall '73 Tour. One of Dave's personal favorite tours and the only one that he listed as meriting full release that has not yet seen the light of day.
Just read the Relix interview with David about Spring '90 TOO (see, it is a little bit on topic).
In it, he says:
"What we have planned for 2015 I think is the coolest thing we’ve done yet and that’s not hyperbole and that’s not the blowing of smoke. That is true. Well, we’ve known the 50th was coming along for the last 49 years. More specifically, the last three years we’ve really known that we want to do some special things and we’ve been working towards them to make sure that they could happen and that’s where we are now is making them happen so that when 2015 rolls around, which means for the 12 months of 2015 we’re going to have a lot of very cool things happening. In terms of big things we certainly have big things planned that I think are certainly some of the cooler things we’ve ever done and, again, we’ve done some cool things."
So what things do you think they've got in mind? I'm not saying these are the things, but these are few possibilities I'd be interested in:
* Box set built around 1980 acoustic shows, including 2 NOLA Sanger Theater shows (I'm aware that some or all of the Radio City shows have been recorded over)
* Box set built around remaining unreleased Spring '77 shows, including Barton Hall performance (I know, it's not in the value and who cares, everybody has it already, and of course it is overrated, but a cleaned up, remastered Betty Board is always a possibility if the show makes its way back to the Vault)
* Box set built around unreleased 65-67 shows
* Box set built around Alpine '89, including audio and video
* Box set built around Euro '90 (seems unlikely given the attention to '90 this year, but I'd be interested)
* Box set built around returned tapes from MG (seems more likely that these will happen through Dave's Picks)
* Watkins Glen '73 Release
* A better Dylan/Dead Release
* Unreleased Pigpen Solo Album
* Unreleased Brent Solo Album
* Rerelease of Donna & Keith (kidding, right?)
* '93 MSG or Boston Garden Box Set
* Monthly Download Series throughout 2015 (like 30 days of dead but for money)?
* Some kind of subscription service through a smartphone app?
Those are just off-the-cuff.
Finally listened to all 8 shows. First off, like everyone else said, the sound is excellent, probably the best out of all the
the 80s and 90s releases.
Howewer, I have mixed feelings about the music; there is a lot great stuff in there, but I just can't seem to make it past Jerry's MIDI and Brent's over-processed
keyboard sound. Overall, I don't understand the hype...one of the best tours ever? Maybe the best 90s tour, but in my opinion I don't see how one could rate this tour above
70s and 80s tours(December 1971, summer/fall 81, fall 79, etc.)
Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets purchasing this set, I just don't think it's as good as what the majority of posters here have written.
Everyone is raving about this box but it still has not sold out. I think this is due to the fact that downloads are available. I myself always want the physical product but I realize that many are just as happy with the music only. I think TPTB will realize that and I think the number of units offered on future box sets will decrease. Especially when the box carries such a hefty price tag. Per disc, the price for TOO is very good, but times 23 discs and it does move the price tag higher then some wish to pay.
I am as happy as anyone else about the sound of this release! ( ... in my ears only Go to Nassau and Terrapin Limited are sonically comparable.)
However, as an international customer I am less excited about the shipping costs. Earlier big box sets (E72 box, Spring 90 box, May 77) have been shipped to European customers through an arrangement without customs tariff (these boxes where shipped from inside the EU, from Rotterdam I think). This time around I ended up paying 152 dollar for shipping and custom.
I may have been ok with that, wasn´t it for the last surprise ...
Today, two weeks after the delivery of my box, UPS try to charge me an ADDITIONAL 110 bucks for custom and shipping that I have already payed them weeks ago. UPS got a bad reputation over here, so I am not really surprised that they are trying these kind of things ... but still I would prefer them to keep to civil business standard.
So: For the next box release please return to the old shipping arrangement without customs tariff, and where you as a customer did not run the risk to become harassed by UPS
....the Royals take it. Nice shot of Brett in the suite.....pine tar my ass....
...4/1 still gets my nod though....taking a break and dusted off Dylan's Modern Times. Soothing to say the least. Enjoying the A's and Royals marathon in the background. Take me out to the freaking ballgame....
I appreciate the discussion on hi-res audio. I had not seen the science before, and I do believe in science. Part of me wants to think that digital audio is just bad for the soul, and the lower res, the more it ruins you. But I really don't buy that. There is a format for every occasion. I even enjoyed some mp3s the other day, listening in my truck cab with a newly-installed sub-woofer. Between the road noise, the engine, etc., it might as well have been a 24/96 master. It sounded great. I will typically err on the side of higher res, just to get as close as possible to analog, in case the coarser bits are wearing down my brain somehow.
But the real reason I wanted to post is to say that the American Beauty and Workingman's Dead DVD-Audio discs are worth seeking out to hear Mickey Hart's re-visited stereo mix. He brought in parts that were muted in the original mixes, panned things in an interesting way, and it's like listening to a quite different version of those 2 albums. Is it like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa? No, because you can always revert to the original mix if you are in the mood. I liked them so much I transferred them to my Mac and made regular CD copies to listen to on the go. I wish folks could just buy downloads or CDs of these mixes.
More will follow on 10/06 Video chat >
If you are at all curious about our fourth and final 2014 Dave's Picks release, then you will most certainly want to tune in on October 6th when we chat live with David Lemieux. All will be revealed at 4PM PT so log on to www.ustream.tv/Grateful-Dead or www.facebook.com/gratefuldead and click "Live Chat" at the top of the page to watch the chat and ask your questions live.
Both Workingman's and American Beauty DVD-A's are superb. Hard to find, sometimes I see them on Ebay. Definitely Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here for SACD. Also, Wings-Venus and Mars. Real tough to find that one now. The original fat PS3 plays both formats.
So, PTB, now that this box is rolled out and the majority sold, any chance we can scale back the "Product Details" box above to avoid the lengthy track listing and scrolling required to get down to the messages?
Here here, re: 3/14's Big River. Worth calling out, indeed. That jam epitomizes how fun the Dead could be.
Funny, then, that I think good ol' Big River is the one weak link in 4/1's stellar first set. Brent's solo atypically lands behind tempo a couple times (though I appreciate the complexity of what he's attempting), and Bob cuts off the "big" final jam before Jerry even (or barely just) gets started. Not a clunker version, certainly, but rather perfunctory in the scheme of Big Rivers.
The song portion of Copps' Victim Or the Crime may be tighter (and a fine jam ensues), but Jerry's solo on the outro jam of 4/1's is just wicked. And his vocal delivery on "to tell swee-ee-eet lies" is sweet indeed to close out the verses on To Lay Me Down. Music Never Stopped is really hot, great call after To Lay Me Down. The drummers are inspired, and the big jam here is a case where the MIDI sounds great on Jerry's lead, IMO. I'd forgotten the rearranged outro dated back this early.
Great Drums on the Copps show, by the way. And the pre-Drums sequence (Pocky Way, Crazy Fingers > Cumberland > Estimated > He's Gone)...wow. Both Copps shows feature inspired pre-Drums song sequences.
Mustin, I *think* what's happening there is that the synth has a slow attack setting, in other words you hit the key and it takes a second for the volume to get all the way up. So when Brent plays the faster notes, sometimes you never get to hear the synth.
If the synth sound had an instant attack setting, say like a bell, organ, etc... then you'd hear all the notes of both.
Edited to add: I notice that Jerry starts a solo in Row Jimmy at 4:15 where it sounds like he's doing the midi version of the reverse instrumentation that Brent used in Big River. Instead of a piano with a controlled horn sound, it's a guitar-midi horn sound with a controlled piano sound. I bet they were messing with each other!
I was wondering if it was just MIDI added on top but the melodies are different and Brent is playing way more notes on the piano...I don't know a whole lot about MIDI, maybe I just need to listen again. Which won't be a problem.
Regarding Brent and Big River 3/14, I'm thinking Brent may have had a little midi switch that links the synth to the piano, so he plays the piano and it also triggers the synth.
I also thought the playing on 3/14 was super-hot. I think that it and 4/1 have the hottest playing in this box. The 3/14 show is hot from the beginning, but it was at the Big River where I really began to realize how hot this show was getting, and couldn't keep still. Brent's playing is inspired, prominent and FUN, and they're all listening well, as they are playing off of each other brilliantly throughout the show, kicking musical ideas off of each other in a polyphonic blaze of glory. The Loose Lucy the follows the Big River is the hardest rocking of them, Dylan's SIOMWTMBA and then Jimmy are sublime (check out Phil in both of them) and in Let it Grow checkout the interplay between Jerry, Bob, Phil and Brent. Of course, the Rhythm Devils are just exactly perfect. The second set take the energy level a notch higher and in a different way. Fingers is a treat, but it is in Playing that you find yourself again in a creative wonderland of sound. Uncle John is beautiful and I LOVE the little jam section that follows it. Drums and Space are both creative and different than what they were doing in '89 - takes you to some very enjoyable places. I've never been a huge Miracle fan, but this one cooks and is a perfect foil for Peter, where we get a VERY intense rendition of this song - if they always played Peter with this much umph I would have looked forward to it more throughout the years. Lovelight to close and Muddy River to end are sweet icing. This show will get many plays.
I am about halfway thru this set-I'm taking my time and not going for a marathon binge. I am really impressed with this box-the sound is amazing and the playing is the apex of late era Dead, IMHO. It was a different band in those days as many have commented upon-the exploratory jams are gone but the nuance/detail epiphanies are still certainly there and the presentation is more "pop"-but a good "pop".You know, that eclectic, Dead style take on all things musical in a more accessible way, I guess. I also love the Jerry Band stuff during this time period. He is articulate in his vocals, has thoughtful delivery and some really tasty solos.
On SACD, HDCD, etc-my opinion is that it all goes back to the original mix and recording. I don't think hi-res will improve bad source material-it will just make more transparent bad source material. S...in, S...out.
I have quite a few SACD's and DVD-A. My favorites are SACD of Dark Side of the Moon, DVD-A of Blood on the Tracks, and lots of my classical music SACD's. They sound absolutely fantastic.
However, they aren't really like HD tracks. Although they are "high resolution" like HD tracks, I found that in each case, with my SACD's and DVD-A's, they actually did different mixes from the original masters that highlight sounds in different ways AND most of them have more than two playback trakcs, like 5.1, which my system plays back beautifully.
In several of the studies I referenced in the below posts, many of the test subjects involved were musicians, audio professionals, and other audiophiles (along with lots of other people), and in EVERY scientifically conducted study to date, when placed in a double-blind study where they didn't know before-hand which recording was which, and where the "high resolution" music tracks used were made from the EXACT same masters, mixes, volume levels, etc. it turns out that NONE could distinguish which were high resolution files versus CD (16/44.1) at anything over chance (50%).
I LOVE SACD (I have more of those than DVD-A) - I love surround sound (my car plays these as well) - they sound deeper, and richer, etc.
But, don't make the mistake that high resolution is the reason. It's all the other factors. The high resolution alone is apparently not distinguishable from 16/44.1. Please see the studies I referenced below. Those audiophiles were sure they would be able to tell the difference also.
If you try to do testing home YOU NEED TO START WITH HIGH RES (24/96 OR 24/192) FILES, have them PROFESSIONALLY BROUGHT DOWN TO 16/44.1 by a professional who knows how to properly dither due to bit size drop and who knows how to determine that the final result is identical in playback volume. THEN, you need to design a way (which will be much easier with assistants) to test listening to each of them at least a couple of hundred times in a double-blind fashion where NEITHER YOU NOR THE ASSISTANT has ANY way of knowing which recording is which when you listen to them - you should only be able to see which was which AFTER the testing. You can't just go back and forth between them - which one you are listening to each time needs to be entirely RANDOM. There are lots of other factors I'm leaving out. You can read about the many other pitfalls that people run into during testing that will bias the results as well.
Until that is done, you don't really KNOW whether you can tell the difference because comparing an SACD to the CD is NOT the same.
I'm assuming that the HD downloads of the 1990 box are from the same master recordings, so you could test using those. However, you would need to get BOTH the CD quality downloads (or make your own) and the HD downloads AND (this is critical) you would need to use professional quality software to bring the files to the same playback volume (it is VERY unlikely that they are the same in this regard as the process used to bring 24-bit files to 16-bit files changes the volume level a little). Again, without doing all this and then ensuring a truly unbiased style scientific double-blind testing process and setting, you're not really comparing apples to apples and you won't KNOW that you can tell the difference. In scientific studies to date, NO ONE has been able to.
Brent's solo in the middle of the song, he starts playing a really nice piano solo, then halfway through the solo he adds an amazing synth part on top of the awesome piano part. Not sure how he does it, but I love it!
Anyone here have any SACDs or DVD-As? They are similar to HD tracks. MOFI is currently making an SACD of "Workingmans Dead" and "American Beauty". You hear so much more detail on a good SACD. You have to have a player that will play SACDs, they have players that go up to 5,000. I have a 200 dollar multidisc player that plays DVDs, DVD-As, SACDs and HDCD. Anyways, I just reviewed a MTB release, the one where they opened for the Dead on 9/3/77 , sound is just plain bad. DPs 15, The Dead on same day sounds awesome.
The post I was specifically referring to has been modified
Its all fun and games until ?
This Box Set Flat Out Kicks Ass !
That's cool you like the box set and the music, but why boast about rushing the stage ?
For quite some time I viewed the Without a Net release as showcasing an era I was not that interested in hearing. I was into the 1969-73 version. 90s wasn't entirely lost on me, but I never played it. It took awhile for me to come around. This set makes the case that they were on their game big time.
I just thought of one caveat to my issues with HD audio. If they were offered at the same price (as the Hyperion label frequently does) as the standard 16/44.1 files, then I'd say GREAT! There's certainly nothing WRONG with getting higher resolution files. It just doesn't make sense to pay more for them when it appears virtually no one can really tell the difference. Maybe in the future, with bigger storage capacities, higher bandwidth, etc., higher res recordings will be the only thing available. Again, as long as you're not paying more for them, then great! More expensive then 16/44.1, then silly.
Thanks for the kind words Dantian.
I guess the "one last time" is because I think that after the latest barrage of links, and my lengthy post, if I go back to this issue it'll seem like I'm on a campaign of sorts. I'm not. I just don't like seeing people plop extra money down when what they will get with the CD quality download (or the CD's themselves) is sonically equivalent to people. ESPECIALLY this release where the CD's sound so unbelievably fantastic to begin with.
I think that discussions of the music are far more important, along with discussions of why and how music, and in particular this music, has such a profound affect on us. I know someone for whom the kind of experience he often had at GD shows was so personally profound that it formed one of the reasons he chose to get a doctorate in religious studies and look at what these experiences were and why they are important.
Nice posts, but why "one last time?" Keep posting your very reasonable position, backed by scientific evidence, whenever this issue comes up, as many people may not be aware of the studies that have been done.
I also have no problem if people want to pay more for what amounts to a placebo effect, that is their choice. But I would hate to see someone who already owns the physical box spend an additional $200 for the downloads because they were misled into thinking they are necessary for that super-duper listening experience.
huh - this pages says there are still "Less" than 1500 copies left (argh, FEWER!) but it also says "temporarily unavailable."
A discussion about the Archimago study titled:
Well-Crafted Study Shows Listeners Cannot Distinguish Between CD-Quality and High-Resolution Music Files
Here's one from someone who feels there IS a difference, but it's not until you get to the end where he tells you why (and it matters):
"Nevertheless, there could still be value to high-resolution audio, and the Boston Audio Society study offers a clue as to why. Toward the end of the paper, the authors suggest that sound engineers often put more care and attention into higher-resolution recordings than they do to mass market CD releases.
Dr. Sean Olive, President of the Audio Engineering Society and Director of Acoustic Research for Harman international, agrees. “I’ve heard some wonderful CDs, but I’ve also heard some wonderful 24/96 files,” Olive said. “I really think the difference is how well they’re recorded and mastered.”
I submit that since the HD files (vs 16/44.1) files that dead.net are making available for download ARE FROM THE EXACT SAME MASTERS, then the explanation given why HD might sometimes sound much better makes the argument for why it is a complete waste in this case to pay more for the HD file.
Here's a link to a very technical article on high res audio files. It's worth reading, but here's the end:
"III. Conclusion - Expectations for High-Resolution Audio?
So, let's try to answer the question posed above of what to expect from high resolution downloads in conclusion... I think the answer is simple: Not much if anything compared to a technically good 16/44 version or CD of the same mastering."
Paper titled: 24/192 Music Downloads..and why they make no sense
Here is a link to a detailed 2-page discussion of the Audio Engineering Society study:
I feel I should post about this one last time. Let me preface this by saying that anyone who wants to pay more for the HD files over standard CD quality (16/44.1) downloads is obviously totally free to do so, and if it makes them happier, than more power to them.
However, for those of you unsure, I post this. I am NOT attacking anyone for their preference. Just stating certain facts and opinions.
I have posted other links in the past about this:
This link is the abstract to yet another scientifically done study - this one by the Audio Engineering Society. It goes into the methodology in detail (you have to pay for the detail, though).
I feel the need to basically point out that although lots of facts and opinions abound about this topic, I am personally unaware of ANY study done using accepted scientific methodology and accepted by the scientific community (and there are at least over a hundred by now done by institutions like the above, as well as many universities - with a little googling you can find many of them online) that shows that humans can reliably detect the difference between CD quality audio files (16/44.1) and higher resolution audio files (usually 24/96 or 24/192).
There have been LOTS of unscientific tests done by individuals where they swear they can hear the difference. Many of the scientific studies point out the MANY pitfalls in doing these tests yourself - everything from using files mastered from different sources to not doing the tests double-blind and many others.
Again, I have read the detailed results of dozens of scientific studies and in NOT ONE of them were test subjects able to tell the difference between the HD files and CD quality files at anything over random chance.
Also, there has been quite a bit of confusion on this site, with some people confusing the lossy compressed (i.e. mp3) vs lossless (flac, alac, etc) issue with the issue at hand which has nothing to do with lossy vs lossless files.
There has also been some confusion about the difference between 24-track vs 2 track, and the debate at hand which refers to the 24-bits vs 16 bits used in HD vs CD quality audio files. The fact that the number 24 comes up in both issues is coincidence as they don't have anything to do with each other.
If anyone finds a study which shows people being able to tell the difference between CD quality files and hi-res (HD) audio files I am more than willing to check them out. I would actually be excited to do so, and if it pans out would look forward to investing in whatever I can afford to enable me to take advantage of the fact.
However, even if one does not accept the results of ALL of the studies that I am aware of to date, it is clear that the difference to human ears, if not zero (which it looks like it is to me) is at least small enough that if you haven't already invested VERY significantly in higher and higher end audio equipment (speakers, amps, phones, quality of DAC, cabling, etc.) I submit that doing so has FAR MORE immediate impact on the experienced audio quality then HD vs CD audio files.
While it is COMPLETELY clear that upgrading your speakers or phones to higher end ones that sound better to your ears (exact choices obviously subjective) - no one disputes that almost everyone can IMMEDIATELY tell the difference in sound quality as they move to better speaker systems - why on earth would you bother with HD vs CD audio files unless you already have the highest level of audio equipment available? And, if you already have the best you can afford, why are you paying more for HD files instead of saving the difference so you can afford better audio equipment with an IMMEDIATELY recognizable improvement in audio quality.
While I submit that it IS significant that EVERY scientific study (that I have found) has come to the same conclusion (the test subjects can't tell the difference between HD and CD quality files), even if you don't agree (for whatever reason), isn't the fact that other factors clearly matter so much more an almost CRITICAL consideration into where you are putting your hard earned money - better audio equipment vs hi res files?
One last thing - I notice that on EVERY site where people DO hear a difference (I'll include a link for one of those below also), the testing is NEVER done scientifically with double-blind testing, massive number of listens spread over large variety of equipment and environments, various control sets to offset variables like age, type of music, and a million other factors). Here is a link to one of the many of those:
You will notice that (as usual) in this "test", the participants were aware of which files they were listening to as they were judging them (one of the most glaring errors in methodology) allowing expectations to influence the results. It appears they used a VERY few number of audio samples, very few people involved, and it would also appear that they used commercial CD's vs 24-bit studio masters apparently without any verification that the CD's were from the very same masters. This is typical of EVERY "study" I have seen where people swear they hear the difference. Usually they swear a VAST improvement in warmth, depth, clarity, etc. I find the vast improvement idea particularly unbelievable, or there would be at least SOME ability to discern the difference in a scientific setting. In my opinion, it seems reasonable that if the differences are VAST then SOMETHING should register in the scientific studies however small those difference might be. This has not been the case.
Those of you thinking TPTB may remix the first box set using the 24 track tapes ($$$$$) and send new discs to all 9000 buyers of that box for free ($$$) are dreaming.
Hey, maybe the next box set of slightly different Bob Marley tracks or Beatles re-re-re-releases will be given away on iTunes like the new U2 album! ;-)