Going against the grain here it seems, but to these ears this set is superb. The sound is from the end of an era where dry and up front were the preferred. That may be a sound not geared to each individual taste but if you like the quartet recordings of the mid-20th century you'll be more than fine with the sound here. Much has been said about the Italiano's sound and performances. I'm a fan of this ensemble--and that also seems a matter of personal taste across their recordings. These are fine, solid Italiano-readings of the Brahms quartets; if you like them you should be fine with these renditions. The other artists are top notch for their time and at the top of their form. The Berlin orchestra chamber group is excellent; Grumiaux is fine as usual; Sebok is solid; Starker, of course, as cited by even the critics of the set; and etc. If you pick up the set and don't like it let me know. I'll take a back-up copy if the price is right. These performances will only look and sound better as their rarity increases.