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Sector 2 Original recording remastered, Box set, CD+DVD

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Box set, November 21, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Limited six disc (five CDs + DVD) box set from the Canadian Rock trio. Contains the albums A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures and Exit...Stage Left plus the DVD-Audio mix of A Farewell To Kings. Each Sector contains five of their 15 Mercury albums in chronological order, all transferred to high resolution 96kHz/24-bit and digitally premastered for optimal quality. In addition, each volume includes an exclusive booklet packed with unpublished photos, original album lyrics and credits, and features one album specifically remixed on DVD in high resolution 96 kHz/24-bit, 5.1 surround sound and stereo, compatible with both DVD Audio players and DVD-Video players. Each album is packaged in a replica vinyl mini-jacket of the original album release with all 3 sets forming a Rush CD road case.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. A Farewell To Kings
  2. Xanadu
  3. Closer To The Heart
  4. Cinderella Man
  5. Madrigal
  6. Cygnus X-1 Book One - The Voyage Prologue

Disc: 2

  1. Cygnus X-1 Book Two - Hemispheres
  2. Circumstances
  3. The Trees
  4. La Villa Strangiato

Disc: 3

  1. The Spirit Of Radio
  2. Freewill
  3. Jacob's Ladder
  4. Entre Nous
  5. Different Strings
  6. Natural Science

Disc: 4

  1. Tom Sawyer
  2. Red Barchetta
  3. YYZ
  4. Limelight
  5. The Camera Eye
  6. Witch Hunt
  7. Vital Signs

Disc: 5

  1. The Spirit Of Radio
  2. Red Barchetta
  3. YYZ
  4. A Passage To Bangkok
  5. Closer To The Heart
  6. Beneath, Between & Behind
  7. Jacob's Ladder
  8. Broon's Bane
  9. The Trees
  10. Xanadu
  11. Freewill
  12. Tom Sawyer
  13. La Villa Strangiato

Disc: 6

  1. A Farewell To Kings
  2. Xanadu
  3. Closer To The Heart
  4. Cinderella Man
  5. Madrigal
  6. Cygnus X-1 Book One - The Voyage Prologue


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Box set, CD+DVD
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B005ORVMCY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,677 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This review is intended for folks who already have other versions of these discs and are wondering if the new Andy Vandette masterings are worthwhile. Short answer for box 2 is that these are very good in some ways, but not better than all other versions. My take is that the 97 remasters are actually better than these for Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres because of graphic equalization choices, while Moving Pictures is equivalent to the 2011 disc and Perm Waves is better than the 97 edition (I've never heard the Mercury, and the MFSL is slightly better). Box 3 is included here, too, which fares a bit worse. I can't comment on the 5.1 mixes, since my setups are all stereo.

My notes continue the review I started for Sector 1, where I also briefly compare the hi-res 24/96 downloads of Sector 1 and conclude that there's no apparent benefit to the higher resolution versions over the CDs, at least from a headphone-listening perspective.

keep in mind that all the albums from Moving Pictures forward in this series were originally 16-bit digital recordings. So the main sonic differences between the Sector boxes and other available versions will be things like treble boost and loudness, along with whatever mastering gizmos the engineer felt like plugging in. Sometimes they run the digital master through good analog equipment and recapture back to digital, which can sound good (somehow), and I think MP was actually mixed in analog after being recorded digitally, oddly enough; but there's a limit to how much "better" any recordings from this era can sound from their original incarnations. I found Hold Your Fire shrill on the Sector box, for instance.

Hemispheres from Sector 2 is very close in most respects to the 1997 remaster, I think (and the SHM).
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Format: Audio CD
What you might call "Hidden" albums can be found in all three Sector box sets AND in the "Moving Pictures" DVD-Audio disc. If you have a portable DVD-Audio player or have the ability to hear the "Surround" versions of the music only decoded in "Stereo" through your system you will discover fun and interesting versions of some of our favourite Rush albums. The Sector box sets are worth the price for these versions alone. Particularly interesting are: "By-Tor & The Snow Dog", "Xanadu", "Cygnus X-1" and "YYZ". Most fascinating of all are the versions of "Witch Hunt" (minus the crowd), "The Camera Eye" (incredibly clear dialogue!) and especially "Countdown", with ALL the NASA dialogue removed. The latter can be a strange and disconcerting experience but is unforgettable. If you are a musician or are just fascinated with hearing all the notes played or each drumskin hit and roll you won't be disappointed. Geddy's bass and Neil's drums are showcased distinctively in these versions. A welcome and invaluable addition to the best work in the RUSH catalog. I can only hope that when the rest of these Mercury albums are soon released as high resolution downloads they will also be released as physical DVD-Audio discs as well. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
As a longtime Rush fan, audio production engineer and high resolution/surround music fan, I'm compelled to review the second time remastering of the Rush Mercury catalog. The albums in this "Sector 2" box represent one of my favorite Rush eras. The first remaster (and original mastering) was done by Bob Ludwig, and these "Sector" remasters were performed by Andy Vandette, who also mastered Rush "Retrospective III".

First, the DVD-Audio disc "A Farewell To Kings". It does not provide nearly the three dimensional effect as surround mixes by Elliot Scheiner or Steven Wilson. I would say it's more like an ambient stereo mix as opposed to a true 5.1 surround mix. However, there is added detail to this mix that isn't in the original stereo mix so it's still an upgrade of sorts.

The CDs sound better on about half of the songs on all of the albums and virtually identical to the Bob Ludwig '97 remasters on the remainder. For example, the song "Circumstances" sounds clearer and fuller on the new remaster but "The Trees" sounds virtually identical to the '97 remaster, so not every single song sounds different, but at least half do. Don't get me wrong, they are still worth owning as the '97 remasters sounded pretty good too and were MUCH improved over the original release CDs which were soft and muddy. This is the case because Andy VanDette amassed together the best sounding audio for individual songs from both his own tape transfers of the original masters and high resolution digital files from transfers of the master tapes done 7 or 8 years ago, when those tapes were younger and less degraded. The songs he was able to improve upon do sound a little fuller and clearer.
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Format: Audio CD
As with my previous review on Sector 3, Sector 2 does not dissapoint. This set includes Rush albums from A Farewell To Kings to the live album Exit...Stage Left. Each album sounds fantastic, like a breath of fresh air has been breathed into each album. The packaging is really neat, but like others have said it can be a pain. Some of the CD's did have small scratches present on them, but nothing too major. The artwork on this particular set is pretty close compared to the way the original vinyl album appeared. Now for the sound, as I said before, each album sounds excellent. Starting with 'Kings', it begins with a sound, probably Alex beginning to play the acoustic intro, that was not present on the '97 remaster. Very interesting. As for Hemispheres, the more I listen to it, the more apparent it is to me that the '97 remaster must have used 'no-noise', as this 2011 has more hiss like the original album, where as each song segues into one another. According to other reviewers, the version of Moving Pictures in the Sector 2 box set and the one released previously as a CD/Blu-Ray edition are the same remaster, although I cannot personally confirm this, other than the 2011 version definately sounds superior to the '97. And finally, and maybe most importantly, 'Exit' has never sound better. As many of you are aware of the less-than-stellar production for the album which there really can be nothing done about, this remaster really packs a punch and sounds miles ahead any previous edition. As for the AFTK Audio-DVD, as far as I know there is a problem with the mix on 'Closer to the Heart' and possibly another issue stated by other reviewers. Hopefully they can resolve these issues in due time, along with the issues present in Sector 1. Other than that, these sets are definitely worth it for the sound alone, along with the neat packaging and a great booklet with photos/lyrics/credits. If you're a Rush fan and wondering if these remasters are worth it, let your ears decide!
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RUSH remasters sound excellent!!!
I prefer the 1997 remasters any day of the week to the newest remasters found in the 'Sector' box sets. One thing noticeable is how loud these new remasters are and when I say loud, I mean the volume level. There's no dynamic range in these remasters whatsoever. Every track on every CD is the... Read More
Aug 25, 2014 by Transfigured Knight |  See all 11 posts
Will they release each CD individually?
I doubt it, It seems thats why there doing this in individual box set of three, but it wouldn't suprise me if they did. I am not crazy about the mini LP editons. Record Companys seems to be reissuing them alot now, Japenese editions like SH-M and othe replica editons. My guess is since vinyl... Read More
Nov 20, 2011 by Michael J. Sippie |  See all 2 posts
All Hi-Res but just one DVD?
From what I read elsewhere - the other CD's were downconverted from the masters. I am not sure how much difference yet there will be from these and the remaster series. I am hoping there is a sonic upgrade, but not sure. It really is too bad they did not at least release the other 4 albums on DVD... Read More
Nov 2, 2011 by Drumguy |  See all 12 posts
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