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on 25 January 2014
So, here we are with yet another format release for A Night At The Opera... :)

Let's start with the 5.1 mix. As hinted at by the copyright years, this is the same mix that was released on the 30th Anniversary edition CD+DVD pack in 2005. That in turn was largely the same mix as the 2002 DVD-Audio release that was mixed by Elliot Scheiner with input from Roy Thomas Baker, the original producer in 1975, and Brian May. The 2005 mix included an updated version of God Save The Queen by Brian May (the 2002 version was an auto-generated surround mix from the stereo version.), but because this was until now released on normal DVD, it was only available on DTS 96/24 format which was not lossless like the 2002 DVD-Audio disc. So, this Blu-ray is the first time that God Save The Queen 2005 5.1 remix is available in lossless 24-bit 96KHz audio.

Unfortunately, the stereo mix on this Blu-ray release, whilst in 24-bit, 96KHz audio, is the over compressed 2011 Universal Music re-master.... I guess you can make your own mind up on the 2011 Queen remasters, but that is what you get here on the Stereo version.

For both the 5.1 mix and the Stereo mix, you have two choices of audio, LPCM and DTS-HD Master Audio. Both are lossless and 24-bit, 96KHz high resolution. The reason you get both LPCM and DTS-HD is because some systems will handle the DTS-HD better than LPCM. Much depends on your system here. For most there will little or no difference.

So for the Queen collector, this Blu-ray release offers the only full lossless version of the 30th Anniversary mix with the updated God Save The Queen track, and the only official release on disc at high resolution of the 2011 Universal remaster.

If however you prefer the dynamics of your stereo version left intact, then you should still track down a copy of the original DVD-Audio release. Even if you don't have a DVD-Audio player, the normal DVD stereo track is still 24/96, and can be ripped to something like FLAC for easier playback.

It seems that 5.1 vs. stereo mixes has become something of a marmite debate for many, so I'm not going to try and sway you one way or the other. If however you fancy giving 5.1 a try, then this is probably the version to get as the DVD-Audio is long out of print and therefore can attract some silly prices. Personally I think Queen's music was made for 5.1 and this mix really opens it out. This is also the only way to hear Bohemian Rhapsody without the interference/distortion that is on the stereo version as it was recreated from the original multi-track tapes.

Finally a quick note on quality. Do not be fooled into thinking that just because this album was not digitally recorded that it can't be top quality. Queen spent a small fortune recoding this album using 5 different studios to get the right sound for individual instruments. It's unlikely in todays age that any band would be allowed to be as extravagant on recording as Queen were for this record. It would probably be unaffordable. This album pushed multi-track recording to its limits and to my ears it sounds fantastic. If you want some interesting reading on the surround mixing for the original DVD Audio release, and effectively this Blu-ray re-release, then do a sear for Night At the Opera and Sound on sound...

So, in summary, it's good to have a full lossless mix of the 2005 Anniversary release, and Universal should also IMO be praised for giving both LPCM and DTS options. However, please, if you're going to release high end audio releases, don't use over compressed MP3/iTunes stereo masters. Do it properly. Hence only 3 stars as if you're looking for the best quality stereo version of this classic album, then the Blu-ray is not what you are looking for, the original DVD-Audio is...
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on 27 January 2014
Brilliant lossless 5.1 mix for this classic Queen album. Bohemian rhapsody and al the other great tracks are like you never heard before. Highly recommended.
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on 8 January 2014
I used to listen to this album over and over again on vinyl when it was released.
I have to say that this Pure Audio version is nearly as warm sounding as the vinyl copy.
The stand out tracks are 39 and Good Company, sound so great.

I have purchased a few of these Pure Audio discs now (I am one of those audiophiles forever searching hi fi perfection) and the best so far are The Rolling Stones GRRR and Supertramp Breakfast in America.

More please!!!
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on 1 March 2014
You all know the music so down to the nitty gritty. Firstly you've got what seems to be the standard DTS MA/ PCM 24/96 surround option on these discs. Secondly This is a very aggressive mix, right down to Freddie exclaiming that he knows, to himself, diagonally across 5 speakers! It is sheer surround sound brilliance. The " let me go" exchange from 'Rhapsody is played out across your living room. I have a quite a few surround mixes which are quite subtle (one of which is surround sound Grammy award winner Brothers in Arms), but this is the one you play to friends to demo surround sound music, then they all run out and buy AVR's and bluray players. The clarity of 24/96 playback is amazing. There are those who say it's scientifically proven that there is no difference, clearly they tested the wrong people! If you haven't got surround sound don't worry, there are stereo DTS MA and PCM options too, but it's the surround mix that really shines here which again, is simply astonishing.
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on 31 January 2015
Anyone reading this must have heard this album before ether on LP, Cassette, 8 Track, CD, Mobile Fidelity Half Speed Master, SACD, DVD-Audio, and now Blu-Ray Audio. I have them all except 8 Track.

All i can say is that after 'Seaside Rendezvous' what was the last track side 1 of the LP i got up from my listening position ready to turn the LP over, it really is that good. Anyone looking for sound quality then get this version followed closely by the SACD version, anyone who is not fussy then go for the bog standard CD version.

I only listen in LPCM 96khz/24bit 2ch mode so i can not review the 5.1 mix, lets face it if you set your Hi-Fi speakers up correctly then your choice of listening room will be filled with sound anyway.

Recommended.
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on 11 January 2015
A classic Queen album from the 1970s with well known songs like Bohemiam Rhapsody on this disc inn H.D Audio with stereo and 5.1 sound. The surround works very well with a wrap a round sound from front to back. This was originally re mixed in 5.1 in H.D for DVD-Audio and it seems a bit compressed and a little over bright so i will give this only four stars but still worth getting for the extra 5.1 audio in H.D. sound
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on 28 December 2015
I read the reviews of this prior to getting it as a present, and having a high end surround set-up I was not sure what to expect. All I can say is that is is brilliant. Played it to some family members are they were astounded at the quality. Bohemian Rhapsody sounds like never before. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 30 January 2014
This classic album really does blow you away on the pure audio format, every vocal is crisp and clear, the stereophonics of the recording sweep the room and the overall depth of the total sound is like nothing I have ever heard before. More releases on the pure audio format please.
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on 27 November 2013
Considering that this is a recording from 1975, the results are great. When evaluating the sound quality of a 24bit 96KHz sampled disc, I would then have to lower my rating. Of course you can only expect so much from a 38 year old analog tape recording. So the limitations are no fault of the engineers or producers. The remixing and surround audio production is very good and not artificial. It does sound brighter and has more dynamic range and depth than my old CD version, so improvements have been made. I find it unfortunate that this new "pure audio" format is not taking advantage of more of the newest modern recordings, where a real difference should be experienced. I'm hoping many more labels will be released in the future. I think this Blu-Ray "pure audio" format is the ONLY true hope for anybody who enjoys top quality music, in dts or 2 channel flavor. All other attempts have just been half hearted meager attempts with too much emphasis placed on sucking more money from the consumer with ridiculous hardware requirements. Enjoy
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on 4 January 2015
This Blu-ray audio is simply fantastic, it brings an already great album to new heights. Hopefully this is a format that will be widely adopted and catch on where SACD did not, if you have suitable equipment for playing in 5.1 surround do not hesitate, this is a 'must buy'.
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