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146 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is my first ever review on Amazon.com. Although I purchase much of my music on Amazon, I acquired this box set from a local retailer which also happens to be an Amazon marketplace vendor. For clarification purposes, the set I acquired was distributed by Atlantic/Warner; there is no mention of the Rhino subsidiary on any of the packaging. The packaging indicates...
Published on December 17, 2008 by D. A. Rich

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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Definitive" Answer
I contacted Rhino and asked them point blank if these CDs are any different than the 1993 box set. I even asked for a senior person, preferably someone with expertise on this. They put me in contact with a guy who told me these are THE EXACT SAME CDs and are NOT SONICALLY DIFFERENT in any way, except for the packaging of course. So I don't understand all the confusion in...
Published on July 7, 2011 by J. M.


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146 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, December 17, 2008
By 
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
This is my first ever review on Amazon.com. Although I purchase much of my music on Amazon, I acquired this box set from a local retailer which also happens to be an Amazon marketplace vendor. For clarification purposes, the set I acquired was distributed by Atlantic/Warner; there is no mention of the Rhino subsidiary on any of the packaging. The packaging indicates that the product was manufactured in Japan, and indeed, all of the CDs are in fact the (non-SHM) Japanese pressings. Each CD indicates a copyright date of 1994, suggesting that the source material for the CDs was likely the mid-1990s Jimmy Page remasters.

First, a few words about the packaging. It is spectacular, befitting the band and the music on the CDs. If only all CD reissues were packaged this nicely. The CDs are collectively housed in an elegant black cardboard box with the "LZ IV" symbols engraved on the binding, the front and the back, respectively. Each CD is housed in a mini-replica of the original UK album release (yes, "LZ III" has the spinning wheel), with two mini album sleeves, one paper and one cellophane. Additionally, there are alternate album covers for "LZ I" and for "In Through The Out Door (numerous extra covers)", a nice bonus for the collector.

Of course, packaging is nice, but what about the music/sound? Obviously, if you a reading this, you know how fine the music is, particularly on the first six albums ("LZ I" through "Physical Graffiti"). I have now listened to "LZ I", "LZ II" and "LZ III". The sound quality is, in a word, outstanding and sometimes spectacular (and I am very picky about sound quality). (In fairness, I have not listened to these enough to properly gage the ear fatigue issue which sometimes plagues overly compressed CDs, but based on my initial listenings, I suspect that will not be an issue with these CDs). I did an A-B comparison of this "LZ I" with the mid-1990s (currently available) Jimmy Page remaster of the same, and the Japanese pressing was superior.

In sum, this set is an absolute must for any lover of LZ's music who has the discretionary income to justify the purchase. I suppose some audiophiles will opt for the Japanese SHM version of this set (which I have not heard), but, as of this writing, that set is significantly more expensive. On the other hand, I suppose some will opt for the 1990s box set (US pressings of the Jimmy Page remasters), which is significantly cheaper, and would likely suit those who utilize MP3 players, or who are not particular about sound quality, just fine. This offering of (non-SHM) Japanese pressings is probably the best buy in terns of price/quality ratio. I doubt that any purchaser -- ptovided they receive the set I obtained -- would be disappointed. Highly recommended.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite Sonic Improvement - close to 'classic records' vinyl, December 2, 2008
By 
FezCO "FezCO" (Pasadena, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
For years I enjoyed the Jimmy Page box set versions of these tunes and thought the sound quality was pretty darn good. A couple years ago shortly after classic records announced they would stop pressing the catalog, I scooped up as many as the vinyl versions as I could, namely 'The Song Remains the same.' The CDs in this mini-LP set are the closest to that 'classic records' sound as I have heard thus far, and I am a vinylphile. I am fully satisfied with the sound. TSRTS is absolutely fantastic ( I haven't heard the recent warner re-issue yet ). The purposefully distorted and fat sound of the organ from No Quarter remains swirling in my mind while writing this review. This ain't the 1993 version of these songs and the packaging is an outstanding reproduction of the original. Do yourself a favor.... buy It!
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collector's Box Set, January 2, 2009
By 
PJM "PJM" (Knoxville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
There has been some controversy regarding this mini lp set, specifically regarding sound quality. To make things a bit more confusing, there is an identical set available printed in the SHM format. So, which one to buy? If your wallet is your guide, this version from Rhino is your choice since it is much less expensive than the SHM version. Although the remastering has not been updated, the audio is slightly better, perhaps due to the Japanese printing; the Japanese seem, for the most part, to take a great deal more care with the manufacturing of their CDs. That seems to be the theory behind SHM CD's, so it may be applicable to a lesser extent here. The artwork and reproductions are stellar, so this set is a worthy purchase for a collector. One caution; the cellophane envelopes around each mini lp reproduction are fragile and easily torn. They also have adhesive on them which can adhere to the artwork and mar it. I had a close call on that count. I would advise disposing of these envelopes and replacing them with non-adhesive ones. The bottom line is if you can afford the SHM set, by all means go for it. If you have to "settle" for this set, I don't think you will be disappointed. Just be aware of what you are buying regarding the remastering aspect.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box Set Recap FYI, April 18, 2010
By 
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
Much has been said about this box-set, and there's still some more doubts around wether if this is made in Japan or not, it's remastered or not or if it contains the bonus tracks included in the last remasters or if it's sounds different from other previous editions. I'll clear some of this questions in this review:
1.This is not the highly overpriced and out of print SHMCD Edition (obviously)
2.It's manufactured in it's entirety in Japan, from the covers to the cd itself (altought I have my doubts on the protective cellophane bags)and it's evident in the insane attention to detail and care in wich is reproduced every album artwork and the particular finishings of each cover:the gatefold covers, the glossy finish in LZ 1,the stickers in HOTH and Presence, the psychedelic wheel in LZ 3, the texture in The song Remains cover,the relieve lettering in Coda,the variant covers and paper bag of In Through the Out Door (but I don't dare to corroborate if the inner paper sleeve is water paintable as the original vinyl version), the jackets of Physical Graffiti. As I mentioned, I have my doubts about the plastic bags, because they tear so easily despite their thickness and the glue is way too strong making them very difficult to open and that's a detail that the japanese manufacturers wouldn't let pass, because I have other japanese vinyl replicas from other artists and this didn't happened. Another important detail is that the lyrics and info sheet in english/japanese usually included in the japanese vinyl replicas of other artists are not included in this boxset and that is sad, because most Zep albums didn't came with lyrics with the exception of Houses of the Holy.
3.The CODA album has the 4 bonus track of the SHMCD edition (Baby come on home, Travelling riverside blues, White summer/Black mountain side and Hey hey what can I do). So don't get fooled by the track listing on the back of the cover, that preserves the artwork of the original, the same goes for The Song Remains The Same that is the newly 15 track remastered version instead the 9 track of the original release and it sounds AMAZING!(the new version,that is).
About the sound quality it's definitely superior to the nineties George Marino remasters (wich I own, but not for too long anymore) that remains as the regular version sold in stores in present days, wich is ludicrous, because that was a very dissapointing and poor remaster, Page's guitar is boosted through compression, sounding hissier, crunchier and distorted at higher volumes. You can tell the immense difference between both editions in LZ2, also in this boxset edition the band sounds more equilibrated: John Paul Jones bass has more presence letting us know what a good musician he is, and there is so much more details to be heard that were diminished by the over compression of that Marino's remasters. I haven't heard the Jimmy Page boxset and I wouldn't go for it now really because it lacks The Song Remains The Same and the Coda bonus tracks, and yes, the seductive vinyl replica covers.
About the "loudness wars", the volume level is similar to the 90's edition, nothing out of the ordinary.
I don't have dog hearing but I can tell the difference between both editions(but that would be helpful).
Is this the last edition we'll hear? Obviously not, knowing the record industry they'll suck our blood and our wallets in every opportunity they can get (there's no mono, 5.1, 8.1,SACD, DVD, HDCD, K2HD 24bit, Blu Ray, hidden original tapes editions yet so you can figure it out), but this is the most updated version you can get out there also the best looking and sounding that doesn't hurt your wallet very much so go for it!
Remember that is limited.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Definitive" Answer, July 7, 2011
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
I contacted Rhino and asked them point blank if these CDs are any different than the 1993 box set. I even asked for a senior person, preferably someone with expertise on this. They put me in contact with a guy who told me these are THE EXACT SAME CDs and are NOT SONICALLY DIFFERENT in any way, except for the packaging of course. So I don't understand all the confusion in these reviews, particularly those who claim it is different. I am not saying those people are lying but if the company who produces them says they are no different then it is case closed. So buy this ONLY if you want the cool packaging. I gave this three stars because it is Led Zeppelin and the packaging is phenomenal. But I detracted 2 stars because this is a deceptive cash grab. This is exactly the same as the 1993 box set.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty awesome set; be careful when handling the "In Through the Out Door" sleeve, however., July 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
While these mini LP replica CD's tend to be pretty pricey, I like to collect them here and there because I love the authenticity. Particularly for older albums that were originally produced on vinyl, these versions present the albums in the way that they were intended. I wish they could just start producing all older albums in this way on CD at the same cost as jewel cased or digipak CDs. Soundwise, this set is probably no better than other sets that you can get for quite a lot cheaper. However, the authenticity and vintage flavor makes it worthwhile if you're into that sort of thing. And authentic this set is, all the way down to the frickin' watercolor feature on the "In Through the Out Door" sleeve (a feature that I personally think could have been safely omitted). Beware, do not touch anyware on the image part of this sleeve with bare hands unless you want colored ink all over your fingers and a ruined sleeve. Just the natural oil on my fingertips was enough to bring out the color. The first time I took this out to play, I was listening to the CD and examining the artwork when I noticed a bunch of blue, green, and red ink on my fingers and smeared on the sleeve. I thought, "well, when they say replica, what they mean is REPLICA!" I figured I might as well finish bringing the color out now and hopfully prevent further smearing, so I took a brush with a little water to it...that was a mistake. The colors were bleeding out of the lines of the images and making a further mess. I tried to carefully wipe some of the color off around the borders to clean it up a bit while it was still wet, and that ended up rubbing some of the paper (and artwork) off. I decided to just leave it the hell alone from there; so much for that sleeve. Please learn a lesson from my misfortune and only handle this sleeve by the edges or with gloves if you would like to preserve it. Serious collectors probably don't need to worry because they probably wouldn't even take it out of the plastic packaging. However, for less anal collectors who like to enjoy their things, but keep them nice, this advice is for you. Overall, this is a great set. I only dock one star for the high price, the annoying adhesive on the protective sleeves, and for the "In Through the Out Door" crisis mentioned above.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough difference to buy again!, May 24, 2009
By 
S_McCrea "s_mccrea" (Henderson, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
5 stars if you don't have the '93 boxed set.
3 stars if you do--for reasons stated below.

As for this remix versus the 1993 remix, these ears--and my hearing is excellent, far better than average--there's not enough of a difference to justify spend $180 if you already have the latter. (I bought the '93 set for $78 new, from Amazon.) The only reason to buy this is the cool album art reproductions, but of course they won't, can't replace the killer album covers from my long lost LPs. But they do look cool.

If I didn't already have the '93 version, I'd probably buy this one for the reason stated. But unless money is no object, if you already have the 1993 boxed set, there's no reason to duplicate it. Pagey's got more than enough money; he's one of the richest musicians in the world.

The '93 versions are crisp, clean, beautiful--with each layer of guitar greatness easily discernible, Plant's voice sounds like he's in my living room, Jones' bass is fat and sassy, and Bonzo rattles the windows. (Just as he did when I was in high school--and the parents weren't home!)

And, frankly, I'm tired of the repreated "remixed" versions in the effort suck ever more dollars out of fans pockets--most of us over thirty have probably owned all these albums in two or even more formats. (And the '93 CDs were the second time I bought all the albums on CD!) Enough is too much!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it again?, September 22, 2010
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
I like many others on here, had the other remastered box set and was quite happy with what it had to offer. However, I picked this up just to see for myself if it was indeed a better sounding and better looking package. Well I loved it the minute I opened it up. The mini albums are so cool looking. All the original artwork is there and they cd's themselves are kept in little plastic sleeve's inside the mini lp sleeve's. Very cool indeed and probably a great way to keep them safe. The mini album's are done to perfection, they look and feel just like the original lp's did all those years ago. Each release has the original songs on it, nothing extra which is the way it should be. This holds true for all these mini cd's with the exceptions of The Song Remains The Same and Coda. These two releases have the extra tracks on them, even though they're not listed on the original album artwork. Again this keeps the original album vibe going yet totally enhances your listening pleasure. In the case for both of these, this was done right as both were sub par Zeppelin releases when they originally came out as far as I'm concerned. However they rock now, especially The Song Remains The Same. The added tracks on it, give that release a new lease on life and a much needed kick in the ass. The extra album covers for In Through The Out Door are neat as is the extra album cover for Zeppelin 1. Now for the much talked about sound quality. Personally I do think these sound better than the other box set does. They sound just like the original lp's did. The seem to have a softer quality about them that gives that "I'm listening to it on my turntable feel". In other words, they sound very organic and not stiff. So if you loved the mighty Zep?, I think you should go grab this box set and trade your other set in as this beats it hands down. I did just that and have not looked back!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notes On Audio Quality, November 26, 2008
By 
audiofan (Okla. City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
There was, at the time of writing, one person who wrote a review of this set that claimed no sonic advantage over the previous releases. Well, I don't know what kind of 'system' he's listening through, but this is (by far)the finest-sounding version of these classic albums on the CD format. There is greater extension, improved soundfield & dynamics, greater impact & clarity, and most noticeable of all, a dramatic reduction in 'hiss' and surface noise. The sound varies slightly from album-to-album (just as it did on the original LPs), but every title sounds far superior to ANY release before these. By the way, these are NOT from Warner/Rhino, as Amazon says above. Warner/Rhino apparently HAS released a similar set; I have seen it on another site for considerably more money. These are the Japanese 'mini-LPs' (as shown in the video) - and despite what it says in another review, are re-mastered versions; some copies utilizing a process called SHM-CD (playable on any CD player and identified by those letters stamped near the center hole).
Japanese pressing plants are virtual 'clean rooms' - and these CDs reflect the greater attention to detail (smoother edges and a perfectly-round center-hole, to start), both the discs themselves as well as the superb sleeves (perfectly true to every detail; even including the 'Houses Of The Holy' paper sleeve around the original LP). Even with Page's involvement, the LZ catalog always sounded compressed and somewhat flat - this process has suceeded in breathing new life into these tracks.
P.S. I would like to add that I have now heard the "SHM" version (check out some of the blogs if you're confused) side-by-side on the same $200K system and was unable to tell them apart. Both sound outstanding, and with the apparent large difference in price, I would suggest buying these from Amazon before they're out of print (as they surely will soon be).
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusion Regarding SHM Makes This Less Than 'Definitive', November 29, 2008
This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
5 star for the material itself
3 star for the lack of SHM for North American markets

I think one reviewer talks about SHM as a remastering technique. Although most SHM titles are remastered, SHM is 'super high material' CD which is a manufacturing & materials process primarily. This results in better transparency of the coating layer and optics, which in theory results in less information loss, digital jitter, etc.. I thought any difference would be minimal but I ordered a 2 CD sampler from Japan called "Have You Ever Been Experienced" - they have a various artists SMH disc and the exact same disc on standard CD. They put their money where their mouth is - and yes, it CLEARLY sounds better on my equipment. I don't think anyone disagrees that it is audibly different. There seems to be more bass, a little more detail and a fuller overall sound. Actually, the mere existence of SHM and the audible difference is tantamount to an admission that CD technology has been fundamentally flawed because of poor materials and optics. Yes, CDs have been a very durable format (I have been buying since 1984) but they are not even doing the job of delivering on the full promise of 44.1Khz and 16 bit audio if they can clearly be improved on in this way. Audiophiles buy disc 'cutters' that render CDs perfectly round by shaving the edge, optical enhancement materials, markers, cover discs, and players with special clamping mechanisms/transports to try and reduce jitter and maximize retrieval of information from the disc.

So why do North American customers get inferior product? (like the Genesis and Depeche Mode non-SACD box sets). I think someone dropped the ball big-time here.

I don't see therefore how anyone can call this a 'definitive' collection if there is a better one elsewhere...What I saw in retail stores here in Canada is even made in Japan! So they made it there, but not in SHM for us... thanks...really... The SHM version is more than twice the price from Japan, but if you want a 'definitive' set, it's probably the way to go
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Definitive Collection
Definitive Collection by Led Zeppelin (Audio CD - 2008)
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