Grateful Dead

Spring 1990 (The Other One) Box - SOLD OUT

Digital Download

What's Inside:
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!

Listening Party, Part 2

Enjoy a track from each show!

Listening Party, Part 1

Enjoy a track from each show!

Seaside Chat: David Lemieux On The Branford Show

Unveiling Spring 1990 (TOO)

Talkin' Spring 1990 Too With Bob Weir, Jeffrey Norman And Branford Marsalis

David Lemieux on What’s Inside Spring 1990 (The Other One)

Product Details

Show #1
Capital Center, Landover, MD (3/14/90)

Disc 1
4. MAMA TRIED> [2:31]
5. BIG RIVER [5:21]
6. LOOSE LUCY [6:56]
8. ROW JIMMY [10:17]
9. LET IT GROW [11:54]

Disc 2
1. CRAZY FINGERS> [8:12]
3. UNCLE JOHN'S BAND> [8:05]
4. JAM> [7:12]
5. DRUMS> [7:38]
6. SPACE> [6:34]
7. DEAR MR. FANTASY> [5:53]
8. I NEED A MIRACLE> [4:07]
9. BLACK PETER> [7:53]

Show #2
Civic Center, Hartford, CT (3/18/90)

Disc 1
3. STAGGER LEE [5:29]
4. ME AND MY UNCLE> [3:08]
9. RAMBLE ON ROSE [8:02]

Disc 2
1. IKO IKO [8:08]
3. HE'S GONE> [8:56]
4. TRUCKIN'> [8:54]
5. SPOONFUL> [7:19]
6. DRUMS [6:52]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [11:23]
2. THE WHEEL> [5:49]
4. MORNING DEW [11:32]
5. U.S. BLUES [5:31]

Show #3
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (3/21/90)

Disc 1
3. FAR FROM ME [5:05]
5. LOOSE LUCY [7:27]

Disc 2
1. HEY POCKY WAY [7:10]
2. CRAZY FINGERS> [07:38]
5. HE'S GONE> [12:42]
6. DRUMS> [9:37]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [7:39]
2. I NEED A MIRACLE> [4:16]
3. WHARF RAT> [8:41]

Show #4
Knickerbocker Arena, Albany NY (3/25/90)

Disc 1
2. TOUCH OF GREY [6:42]
5. JACK-A-ROE [4:36]
7. BIRD SONG [13:08]
8. LET IT GROW [11:36]

Disc 2
1. EYES OF THE WORLD> [13:26]
3. CRAZY FINGERS> [7:21]
4. TRUCKIN'> [7:43]
5. SPOONFUL> [5:37]
6. DRUMS [9:59]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [8:58]
4. BLACK PETER> [9:09]

Show #5 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (3/28/90)

Disc 1
3. EASY TO LOVE YOU [5:48]
4. HIGH TIME [6:14]
6. LOOSE LUCY [6:11]
7. CASSIDY> [6:06]
8. DEAL [8:18]

Disc 2
1. FOOLISH HEART> [10:21]
2. LOOKS LIKE RAIN> [8:09]
4. THE WEIGHT [5:46]
5. HEY POCKY WAY> [x:xx]
6. DRUMS [11:17]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [9:22]
2. THE OTHER ONE> [6:52]
3. WHARF RAT> [10:35]
4. GOOD LOVIN' [7:52]
5. REVOLUTION [4:55]

Show #6
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (3/29/90)

Disc 1
1. JACK STRAW> [6:15]
2. BERTHA [6:59]
3. WE CAN RUN [6:04]
4. RAMBLE ON ROSE [8:08]
6. BIRD SONG> [13:05]

Disc 2
1. EYES OF THE WORLD> [16:33]
3. DARK STAR> [18:19]
4. DRUMS [10:22]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [7:53]
2. DARK STAR> [2:46]
3. THE WHEEL> [4:23]

Show #7
The Omni, Atlanta, GA (4/1/90)

Disc 1
1. TOUCH OF GREY [6:41]
2. WALKIN' BLUES [6:27]
4. CANDYMAN [7:20]
5. ME AND MY UNCLE> [3:05]
6. BIG RIVER [5:28]
7. ALTHEA [8:09]
9. TO LAY ME DOWN> [9:24]

Disc 2
2. I KNOW YOU RIDER [4:51]
3. SHIP OF FOOLS> [7:50]
5. DRUMS [7:30]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [11:48]
2. DEAR MR. FANTASY> [5:42]
3. HEY JUDE> [2:37]
4. TRUCKIN'> [7:00]
5. STELLA BLUE> [10:21]

Show #8
The Omni, Atlanta, GA (4/3/90)

Disc 1
2. HELL IN A BUCKET> [6:17]
3. SUGAREE [11:24]
4. WE CAN RUN [6:55]
6. ROW JIMMY [10:11]
7. PICASSO MOON [7:14]
8. TENNESSEE JED> [7:39]

Disc 2
3. CRAZY FINGERS> [8:06]
5. DRUMS [8:17]

Disc 3
1. SPACE> [6:56]
5. NOT FADE AWAY [7:27]


comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Feb 16 2011
shipping cost and harassed by UPS

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

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
And as I type....

....the Royals take it. Nice shot of Brett in the suite.....pine tar my ass....

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
Whew....that box was a marathon....

...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....

One Man's picture
Joined: May 17 2011

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.

The Weve's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2010
DL2 speaks 1990-TOO, DaP v12 & 2015

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 or and click "Live Chat" at the top of the page to watch the chat and ask your questions live.

Joined: Jun 19 2013
DVD-A's or SACD's

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.

Joined: Jun 18 2009
Favor request

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?

antonjo's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
big river

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) Both Copps shows feature inspired pre-Drums song sequences.

gfink's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
attack is slow...

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!

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
Big River from 3/14/90 (cont'd)

gfink -
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.

gfink's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
midi switch?

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.

Joined: Jan 24 2011
3/14 Big River

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.

Underthevolcano's picture
Joined: Feb 6 2008
box set, etc

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...out.

Joined: Jan 24 2011

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.

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
Big River from 3/14/90

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!

guit30's picture
Joined: May 1 2009
HD tracks

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.

Joined: Jan 26 2011
The post I was specifically

The post I was specifically referring to has been modified

Joined: Nov 7 2013
Why Not ?

Its all fun and games until ?
This Box Set Flat Out Kicks Ass !

Joined: Jan 26 2011

That's cool you like the box set and the music, but why boast about rushing the stage ?

gfink's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
This set is great.

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.

Joined: Jan 24 2011
Caveat to the HD question

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.

Joined: Jan 24 2011
One last time

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.

Happy listening!

dantian's picture
Joined: Aug 6 2013

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.

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Temporarily Unavailable?

huh - this pages says there are still "Less" than 1500 copies left (argh, FEWER!) but it also says "temporarily unavailable."


Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

A discussion about the Archimago study titled:

Well-Crafted Study Shows Listeners Cannot Distinguish Between CD-Quality and High-Resolution Music Files

Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

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 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.

Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

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."

Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

Paper titled: 24/192 Music Downloads..and why they make no sense

Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

Here is a link to a detailed 2-page discussion of the Audio Engineering Society study:

Joined: Jan 24 2011
HD Audio

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.

Syracuse78's picture
Joined: Jul 15 2010
Those of you thinking TPTB

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! ;-)

mustin321's picture
Joined: Aug 12 2011
Finally Made it

I finally made it through all 8 shows from this box. Besides the extremely magical night with Branford, my favorite shows are 3/14 & 4/1. I think all of the shows from this tour are great but 3/14 & 4/1 are both really strong shows from beginning to end. Some of the shows lose some energy post drums/space, in my opinion. Who couldn't love the post drums/space Truckin>Stella Blue from 4/1? I also really enjoy the Victim>To lay me down. On 3/14 they start the tour coming out of a cannon...really high energy in the 1st set and flawless, beautiful jamming in the 2nd set. And the excellent Black Muddy River encore, nice.

Thank you for a real good time...24 years later!

Joined: Jul 19 2014

These FLAC HD's are 24 Bit, 192 kHz sample rate. CD is 16 bit, 44.1 kHz sample rate. If you have an HDCD player/decoder, it will "decode" the CD at 20 bits, 44.1 kHz. The Apple lossless files are 16 bit, 44.1 kHz (CD quality).

The bit depth refers to exactly that, more depth in the music. Bit depth that is 24 bit sounds a lot better in my opinion regardless of sample rate on a system that supports it.

Added sample rate is a huge bonus in my opinion, sounds more realistic/less edgy. I prefer 96 (typical BluRay or DVD-A) or 192 even though most live recordings are done in 48kHz (typical DVD sound quality).

And last but not least, equipment plays a big part in all this, a good DAC will blow away a top of the line CD player any day.

dantian's picture
Joined: Aug 6 2013

introduces the possibility that ultrasonic intermodulation distortions might be reproduced in the audible range by your amplifier, resulting in poorer fidelity, the opposite of what you think you're getting from Uber HD.

But in any case, even if no ultrasonic distortions become audible, you are still paying extra for something that you will never obtain any additional benefit from.


edited out "or 24/96" after released specs.

Joined: Jan 19 2011
You need the downloads

Ripping from the discs will yield 16 bit FLAC or 20 bit 48khz FLAC at best. The downloads are 24-192khz, something you won't NEVER get from the discs. Uber HD. The download files are from the remastered tapes w/o a disc gen in them.

dantian's picture
Joined: Aug 6 2013
If you have the physical box

If you have the physical box you don't need the downloads. You can rip the CDs to Apple lossless in iTunes, or rip to FLAC using another program such as EAC or foobar.

Vguy72's picture
Joined: Jun 29 2007
I like the sound from both boxes, but......

...TOO does sound better. TPTB could release another set of cd's for the heads that purchased the first box set. Some people made a lot of money from these two boxes, and cd's are inexpensive in regards to the physical media. Ship another set of 24-track discs to the fans......that would be uber-cool...

Joined: Aug 29 2011
apples and oranges

You guys are comparing and looking at 2 entirely different things. The 24/96 is just the resolution of the download files, whether they be high definition (which is I think24/96) or ALAC (16/44.1) or mp 3 which I think is lower, all that tells you is the bit rate and the sample rate of the files. But at this point all the spring 90 files from either box are the same in that regard.

The difference in sound has to do with the mixing process. For whatever reason, TPTB decided to use John Cutler's live 2 track recordings as the source for Spring 90 box #1. For those to sound like the second box set, they would have to hire Geoff Norman ( I think) to come back, take out the 24-track masters, and re-mix them. That is not cheap and I doubt they are doing it. And given that there are 9000 copies of a beautiful, well-done, limited edition boxed set out there, redoing them to make them sound alot better opens a gigantic can of worms that they are not opening. I would look at it like this: they could have just decided that remastering THIS second box set would open said can of worms and so instead opted to go with the 2 tracks again. Lesson learned.

Also no way are there free downloads if you bought the set and if there were they would just be mp3 anyway which is lossy quality and who wants that?

mbarilla's picture
Joined: Aug 8 2013
Great question ppennock

If the first box is made into downloads from the multi track. I would hope could give a download voucher with proof of purchase provided. I'm not sure what can of worms that would open with logistics, but it would make a nice gesture. Since it seems to me the shows from the first box have better moments of playing. But the 2nd box sounds way better. Is that too much to ask for ? Personally I would feel a bit cheated if they offered the first 6 shows from Spring 90 box in multi track after paying for the original box. Seems to me it would be sort of an audio upgrade.

Joined: Aug 7 2008
Loon & Trillium

ppenock is correct - that's a loon on the cover of the Hamilton show, not a duck. additionally, the flower is a trillium, which is the official provincial flower of Ontario.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
24 track

Are you saying they made the first spring box downloads in 24 track like spring too

Joined: Sep 4 2007
If you buy the box, do you get the downloads for free?

If you've purchased the Spring 90 Box sets (which I have), are you eligible for a free digital download of each box?

If so... how do you go about accessing the files?

markabauer's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
24/ 88.2

Don't know for sure about this second box, but I downloaded the first and it's 24/88.2.

Joined: Apr 24 2008
HD FLAC bit-depth/sample rate: 24/96, 24/88, 192kHz ?

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 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 provide the same options? As there is only one price for the download via, 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?

claney's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Deadheadbrewer > Road Trips

Good point about the Road Trips. My pet theory about what happened with that series is that, uncharacteristically, the first release had a lot of issues which set a negative tone for the series (even though later releases addressed the issues)

1. The packaging was not good at first. The first release (Fall 79) had rough, unpleasant cardboard which can scratch discs. It was too tall and narrow. The graphics were, IMO, flat out ugly.

BUT, by the last year they had totally fixed these issues - the covers of most of the Road Trips were spectacular, they shortened them and made the spines wider, allowing for easier insertion / removal of discs, and a more flush appearance on the shelf (to collectors like us, that is not a minor point).

2. Sound quality on the first release was not pleasing to the ears, harsh, too bright, seemed overly loud (like something mixed for MP3) and was apparently not pitch-corrected.

This was also addressed on later releases.

3. I agree with Deadheadbrewer that the compilation idea was a good one. I've always said I like good compilation releases AND good full show releases - I don't know why a series has to be one or the other. But the first compilations seemed more scattered than something like, say DP18.

All of this set a tone which, unfortunately, led to the abandonment of the idea. Too bad. I would be fine if DaPs were compilations once and awhile. So for example, if that's what it takes to get something released from 84, then bring it on...

Joined: Feb 2 2010
Taking Notes

mpace--The past year or so I've been trying to keep notes every time I listen to a CD, GD or no. I have so much music, and to hone in on the best of it, I'm feeling like I need to be more critical. So for things like Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and Moondance, I don't take notes, because those are classics--everything is fantastic. But I give grades for the songs on his next three or four CDs, and keep the notes in the CD cases, so that the next time I pop in those discs, I can program the player to play only the really good tracks.

Same thing with Dead shows--I'm trying to be diligent about grading the songs on the non-perfect shows, so that I can listen to the best of the best. I'm one of those folks who wishes that most Dead releases were thoughtful compilations, as I would rather have the best three hours from a three-show run than have one complete show from that run. With my notes, I can skip a bunch of mediocre performances from a release, which gives me more time to hit the high points of another release. The Road Trips series had the right idea, IMHO, but they jumbled things a bit too much and turned the tide against compilations.

nitecat's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
Morning Dew from Hartford

Wow check this out!

nitecat's picture
Joined: Nov 1 2010
Not sold out

Yeah jpreston, I agree, this is an awesome box. The sound is outstanding. Peak 90's Dead.
I'm musically in fantasy dead heaven.

mpace's picture
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Pitch Correction vs auto tune

Sorry for the confusion- Yes I agree pitch or speed of tape should be corrected when necessary (wish that was done with the RT from Cornell).

I'd like them to keep the off note parts to maintain the integrity of the recording. I'm sure there is so much technology that could make lots of changes, but I think that works against the whole concept of live recording.

I realize mostly all bands that officially release live recordings do some doctoring - even the original Europe 72 is famous for the re recording of vocals and organ - I guess I was just hoping to have just a mastered version of the original live recording without any changes.

Joined: Sep 3 2010
Pitch correction is necessary

Pitch correction is necessary when the machine recording the tape, or one along the chain of a vine - is moving at too slow or too fast a speed. So guys like Charlie miller and Hseamons have to either slow down or speed it up. But all the tracks have the problem. So if you were trying to play along on your guitar. It would sound like they were playing eyes in the key of f instead of e, and it would sound faster. Rev it up another half step and they start sounding chipmunk like.
So you slow the tape down until what you know is an e chord sounds like an e.

Unless Bob was singing the whole thing a half step off ) which is pretty much impossible to do, heaybe just hit a few bum notes) pitch correction would not solve your problem, he'd have to go into the studio and redo the part. And I think some of the vox on the original Europe 72 release they did that. But not here.

Added to Cart Spring 1990 (The Other One) Box

You might also like these items

Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Add To Cart
Added To Cart
Continue shopping »