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The Ultimate Collection Box set

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Collection = Ultimate Remastering! The Best-Sounding ABC Collection Available! 7 Jun. 2005
By Jason W. Bellenger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this collection after reading a previous positive review regarding the audio quality. I was a bit skeptical of this 32-bit remastering process. 32-bit? I'm only used to seeing 24-bit remastering advertised, so I was curious at how much difference could be heard. The results are striking! I've bought previous ABC remasters in the form of the 1998 'The Lexicon Of Love' issue in addition to the 2004 'Deluxe Edition' plus 'The Very Best Of ABC' 2001 compilation. Even the recent 2005 album remasters and 2007 2-disc 'Never More Than Now - The ABC Collection' cannot compare. The mastering is good on those releases and I am quite happy with it, but "raise your aim, raise your aim". Universal Netherlands certainly did! This is simply the best-sounding ABC collection available.

"The Look Of Love" has never sounded so full -- it's like listening to the track in a whole new dimension. In previous releases it's always sounded somewhat in the background, but now it sounds up close and has a depth and punch that other masters are lacking. The drums in "Poison Arrow" have never sounded so crisp! (Listen to the track @ 2:13 and on, and you'll hear what I mean!) "Tears Are Not Enough" sounds brilliant for a 1981 recording, and "When Smokey Sings" has never had so much energy. "Bite The Hand" has never sounded heavier on the guitars!

The difference is that these recordings stand next to any modern technology audio release of today. This stunning improvement holds true throughout all 3 discs, and I could go on about the brilliance of each and every track. Even 2001's "Blame" sounds better here than on it's original 2001 'The Very Best Of' pressing. I've done an A/B comparison between several ABC CDs in my collection and this 3-disc collection simply has the best dynamics, depth, range, and clarity.

My only complaint here is the sound of "All Of My Heart". It has been tweaked in such a way that it almost sounds harsh on the ears. It has somewhat lost it's full clarity and sounds almost brittle, as if it's going to crack. Oddly enough, this is the only song to suffer this fate on this release. The only plus here is that the bass line is more noticable and the drums are louder than in other masters.

I'll assume this 32-bit "floating point mastering" (as stated on the back sleeve) from StudioHilversum.nl (Holland) is simply the latest and best technology, given I've only seen this 32-bit process advertised from Universal Records on these 'Ultimate Collection' import releases -- releases from Tears For Fears and Robert Palmer are also available in a similar format. So a thumbs up to the folks at Studio Hilversum for a job well done!

Besides the updated mastering treatment, it's an overall nice collection, containing many hard-to-find remixes and mixes I've never heard previously (namely those on disc 3). This 'Ultimate Collection' set is the only ABC collection to include music from all albums of the band's career, including cuts from their time spent on other labels, such as 1991's 'Abracadabra" (EMI) and 1997's 'Skyscraping' (BMG). Disc 3 closes with the wonderful "Blame", a recent recording that's become one of my favorites since I discovered it a few years ago.

We can only hope now that Universal Netherlands will follow suit with this 32-bit remastering and put out more releases from not only ABC but other artists as well. It's a shame that the recent 2005 ABC album remasters didn't receive this same exceptional 32-bit mastering!
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a amazing album with a lot of good songs 1 Dec. 2014
By Christian Hoellrigl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's a amazing album with a lot of good songs. The CD is in a good condition! I can say it's was or is just a great British group of the 80's!!!!!
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