I also hope they get it right this time, but I'm not holding my breath this time round. I've never been particularly impressed by EMI's "conservative" remasters; they've never attempted to "just go all out" with anything and, just like the Beatles or David Bowie before them, Pink Floyd have never been any different.
I know there's currently a lot of backlash with the "volume wars" and "suffocating compression" still taking place in abundance out there - much of it probably justified. However, EMI seem to be eternally obsessed with the removal of analogue tape hiss and distortion as their top priority with older recordings, much to their detriment - and of our enjoyment, in my opinion.
The 90s versions of the Floyd's albums were very nicely packaged for sure, but the sound quality was comparatively lifeless at best (Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here), and truly crap at worst (Atom Heart Mother, Animals). Animals, for instance, needs to rock very hard and loud indeed at its most upbeat points, but for me it really fell down miserably up against the best remastering jobs done by other companies at the time.
It may ultimately just be a case of personal preference - power or perfection. I would like a balance between the two, and perhaps that's what we'll get this time round, who knows?
By the way, be wary of the absence of all the related 1967-71 singles, B-sides and outtakes this time round, which were previously available on Relics, and the bonus disc included in the Floyd's 90s box set, eg: Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Julia Dream, Biding My Time!!
I certainly won't be forking out £140 for a box set from a world-wide company that can't be bothered to include these and all the others on even a humble bonus disc, as an incentive!
"The 90s versions of the Floyd's albums were very nicely packaged for sure, but the sound quality was comparatively lifeless at best (Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here), and truly crap at worst (Atom Heart Mother, Animals). Animals, for instance, needs to rock very hard and loud indeed at its most upbeat points, but for me it really fell down miserably up against the best remastering jobs done by other companies at the time."
If you go on any audiophile website messageboards, you will find those 1992 to 1995 Pink Floyd remasters are universally held up as being the VERY BEST sounding CDs out there (along with the late 90s Steely Dan CDs). The volume, the dynamics, the detail and the overall sound quality is as close to perfect as CDs ever got. Google around, you'll see a lot of praise from very picky people.
When most people think of remasters it's probably the increased volume they really care about. Going by the 2001 Echoes Best Of remastering I would expect these 2011 versions to be slightly quieter than most modern releases. I remember comparing the 1992 version of Sheep with the 2001 version and not being able to hear any difference in quality when played at comparable volume to each other (I'm not an audiophile so my word doesn't count for much, but try it for yourself).
Just put the volume up on the albums and they sound just like modern discs from the 00s. iTunes has an option so that it will always play selected songs or albums at an increased volume so you get consistent volume on shuffle.*
Personally, because they got it right with the 90s remasters, I don't see the point in these remasters beyond the band and EMI cashing in while at least someone is still buying CDs. I would probably be keen to buy the 14 album boxset for the sake of it, but I've already double dipped with the pointless Oh By the Way boxset (the price was right at £60). I'm not keen to triple dip.
* On iTunes highlight the album.
Right click and select Get Info.
Under the Options tab there is a volume changer bar.
Drag the volume marker to the desired point on the bar.
From now on every time those songs play, they will always play with that enhanced volume.
Sorry, BS on parade. It's called a volume knob, you might have heard of it. If you're that concerned about sound quality, then iTunes has nothing to do with it. I've ripped the new boxed set for convenience, but it is what is is....inferior. To me, "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" hasn't had the depth and the detail that it is has now.