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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Incarnation
The Sector Box sets are the latest and supposedly greatest reissue for what must be one of Mercury Records' most profitable back catalogs - that of Rush, the Canadian trio many of us consider to be one of rock's greatest bands ever. Featuring the last Terry Brown produced album (Signals) in a 5.1 channel mix, Sector 3 provides us with several of the band's greatest...
Published on December 2, 2011 by Amazon Customer

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Signals 5.1 DVD audio
Well, even though the whole sound and format of Signals has always been one of my favorite Rush albums, I have shared Alex's opinion about the guitar being in the back. So I just knew that this DVD audio would have been a sonic treasure (similar to the Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road DVD-A or any Porcupine Tree DVD-A). Instead we get and entire album of an...
Published on January 6, 2012 by RxKerry


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Incarnation, December 2, 2011
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
The Sector Box sets are the latest and supposedly greatest reissue for what must be one of Mercury Records' most profitable back catalogs - that of Rush, the Canadian trio many of us consider to be one of rock's greatest bands ever. Featuring the last Terry Brown produced album (Signals) in a 5.1 channel mix, Sector 3 provides us with several of the band's greatest achievements, notably Signals itself and 1984's dark and spare Grace Under Pressure. This box also features the fresh, appealing, melodically inventive, though occasionally gimmicky Power Windows and Hold Your Fire, which represents the zenith of the band's increasing use of keyboard and synthesizers to provide color and effect.

Most hard-core Rush fans find a considerable amount to disagree over when it comes to 80's Rush - many believe it to be too gimmicky, too keyboard intensive, they lament that Alex was essentially pieced out of many songs and, in some cases, whole albums (though that is really a stretch, especially when applied to Signals), and that the band fell victim to a penchant for keyboard technology and the fashion of the times (this was the 80's, after all...) I grew up during this time (junior high-senior high) and bought all of these albums on vinyl upon their release, so I can't really hate them. After 25 years, though, I can start to be more objective about them. Some are great, even more so than when they were released - such as Signals and GUP. Power Windows remains a strong album lyrically, but some of its effects and "moments" are growing less appealing with the passage of time. Hold Your Fire, which I used to refer to as "Power Windows II" or "Son of Power Windows", is another very dualistic album for me, with great tracks such as Second Nature, Prime Mover, Lock and Key, and High Water being offset by Tai Shan, Time Stand Still (yes, I said it), and Turn the Page. Finally, we have the last live Rush album of the 80's, A Show of Hands, which I now love instead of merely liking alot.

These CD's have been completely remastered after being transferred from either the original master tapes or 192 khz copies apparently made 7 or so years ago for the band's archive. There is a great internet article about this remastering process where the mastering engineer Andy VanDette talks about his love for Rush, the honor and privilege it was to remaster all of their albums, and the process of doing so. For example, he notes that he tried for 3 days to use the Grace Under Pressure master tape for this set, but just could not get it to sound better than the 192 khz copy; the original tape had just deteriorated too much since 1984. He does not mention every album specifically. What is clear, however, is that VanDette has boosted the bass considerably on these remasters, something he alludes to in the article. Looking at the wave forms of the songs, it's likely that some compression has been used in some places, along with the bass equalization. Overally, there is a heavier feel to the music generally. On Signals and the studio albums I thought this was to the good for most songs, especially for those listeners without speakers like we had in the 80's (i.e. we had very large ones). On A Show of Hands, the new transfer is clearly better than any previous issue - this album finally sounds and feels like a live album! It has weight, presence, and sounds much more like the Rush I remember from concerts during that time.

So is this box worth the price? If you love Rush and you like 5.1, you might consider this a mandatory purchase. However, many folks out in Rush land suspect that all Rush albums will be remixed in 5.1 with the different vocal takes and the other small changes you hear here. If you only listen to CD's and or rip CD's for iPod, these are the best sounding remasters for those purposes. It is unlikely that there will be another remastering done to the Rush catalog again, so this will likely be the final statement. I think it has been well-done, and in good presentation.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIGNALS 5.1, November 23, 2011
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This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
Admittedly, I not only haven't sessioned the whole set yet, but I only listened to the 5.1's from each set and in fact am hearing the Signals dvd audio as I write this. I don't know if anyone else has noticed yet, but they have in most cases used totally different vocal takes, some different instrumental tracks, and in the case of The Weapon, a completely different take altogether - note the extra measures before the choruses. I've noticed alternate takes and extra tracks on other 5.1 remixes I own, they even used a different vocal take for Vital Signs on the Moving Pictures blu ray - I can see how the mixer can be tempted by the available options. But this is like an alternate version of the album, and I for one am pretty stoked about it. So any Rush freaks on the fence, just know that not only are the 5.1's superb sounding, but you'll have what amounts to a fresh angle on the Signals experience. Check out the other reviews for opinions on the sound quality of the regular cds - like I say, I haven't gotten around to those yet, and I think the packaging is just fine. But I got excited about the Signals thing, and I wanted to share.

By the way, noticed some others had problems with the Farewell to Kings dvd audio. Mine plays fine, just using a plain old Pioneer DV610AV dvd audio/sacd player.

Rush are a fine young band, and I predict big things for them.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Happy With These Remasters, May 13, 2012
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
I've owned Sectors 3 for about 5 months. I debated whether or not if I should pick it up. I read reviews on Amazon and elsewhere and read good and bad things (extremely good and extremely bad). After listening to these discs numerous times I had to throw my "2 cents" in.

First I want to mention I am a Rush fan... have been since Moving Pictures. I own all of their albums up until Hold Your Fire on vinyl, and since 2010 I buy all my music on vinyl, but I'm not what you would call an "audiophile". But I do appreciate good sound. I can hear the difference in the way music has been mastered over the last 10 years or so. Good examples of this? Most notably Vapor Trails (way too loud and distorted). Others would be Stay Positive by The Hold Steady and Accelerate by R.E.M. With that said I can't sit here and honestly say all of modern music is missing that dynamic range that used to exist... not to my ears anyway. A lot of today's music still sounds good to me. I guess I can appreciate when something is mastered very well (Counselors Of the Lonely by The Raconteurs) or when something's on the opposite end of the spectrum(the previously mentioned albums). But a majority of what I buy sounds fine to me.

So how do these remasters sound to a long-time Rush fan? Good! Actually, I truly believe these sound better than the 97 remasters. The 97 remasters sounded fine to me - yes, they were louder than the originals but I thought they give the albums more punch without losing clarity. These new remasters don't necessarily sound louder than the remasters, but they do seem to sound crisper than any of the other CD's I've owned previously. Below is my disc-by-disc review -

* Signals - one of the best sounding remasters of this particular box set. This is by far the best version of Signals out there. Better than the original, better than the 97 remaster. The reason why is the original master left little to be desired. It sounded muted. Everything was flattened to the point where it was all on the same level, but now things burst and pop. The drums sound more livelier, the bass has more bottom-end and Alex Lifeson's guitar sounds more vibrant - more turned up than it ever has. Oh, and the DVD version of this album does contain alternate version of the original album - mostly different vocal takes - but I find it interesting.

* Grace Under Pressure - I have to admit I don't notice any difference between this and the 97 remaster. It isn't louder or softer, and doesn't offer anything new. It doesn't sound bad, I just don't notice any difference.

* Power Windows - wow, this along with Signals are the 2 albums where there's the biggest noticeable difference. Right from the first note of Big Money you can hear how the remastering has opened this album up. This was originally a great sounding album, but this remaster sounds even better. The separation between the instruments sounds amazing, but there's also a great combination of bottom end and clarity. Everything sounds like it's exactly where it should be... awesome.

* Hold Your Fire - another great remaster. To me this album sounded good, but unlike Power Windows with it's big loud sound, Hold Your Fire's charm was in it's subtlety. A warm sounding album, but since it has more layers than Power Windows it takes a little longer to get to know (this album is a little more challenging than Power Windows). The remaster here sounds great - more full, more warm, more alive. I'm a huge fan of this album and I'm very happy with this version. The subtle additions to some of the songs do not take away from the album's original charm.

* A Show of Hands - now this sounds like a live album. The original album sounded too polished to the point where it didn't even sound live. But now it sounds more raw and energized. Honestly, I'm hearing this one in a whole new way now. Greatly improved over the previous versions!

Overall, I'm very happy with the Sectors remasters. I admit I'm neutral about the packaging. Kind of cool the CD's are packaged like the old vinyl albums, but I didn't buy this for the packaging. If you're like me - a Rush fan who likes nothing more than good sound you too will be happy with this.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And last but not least !!!, November 22, 2011
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
So I finally finished listening to the rest of the sectors, and what makes me smile the most of this set from the other? ok , lets go back to the original cd releases and the first remastered set ,and th Japanese SHM-CD version. Out of all those three type of releases the worst sounding of all RUSH on Cd was SIGNALS ! the original release sounded so muffled it wasn't even funny, then the remasters of course sounded like loud muffled, and the SHM version was not much better, So of course I put on this version of Signals and the verdict "HOLY FRAK"! I never heard Signals sound SOOOOOO Amazing before, It was absolutly fantastic and mind blowing, justice has been served, as for the rest , they are great too,although I can't speak too much for POWER WINDOWS or HOLD YOUR FIRE, but that problem does not lie in the remastering,it's the fact that both album were 80% keyboards and synths like most 80's music was then, which drowns out any instument, however I can hear Geddy's Bass much more clearer this time, as well as Alex's guitar. So big glorious thank you to Universal/Mercury/Anthem,and everyone that was in charge of making these releases come to life, finally RUSH cd's heard as they were meant to be heard, BEAUTIFULLY!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Signals 5.1 DVD audio, January 6, 2012
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This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
Well, even though the whole sound and format of Signals has always been one of my favorite Rush albums, I have shared Alex's opinion about the guitar being in the back. So I just knew that this DVD audio would have been a sonic treasure (similar to the Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road DVD-A or any Porcupine Tree DVD-A). Instead we get and entire album of an alternate vocal take of every song. I'm sorry but all the little inflections, nuances and things that make a song (any song) special should not be fooled with. Was it just impossible to use the original vocal take? Of course I love the guitar mixed to the front a little more but not at the expense of what sounds like an album revisioned. Just saying.......
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sectors 3 is amazing!!, January 4, 2013
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This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
These box set is amazing from a visual and sound standpoint. The box looks great with small LP gatefold sleeve reporductions of each release and the booklet included has some great artwork/pictures not included in original releases. Now the sound. The best sounding versions of any of the releases period. Really amazed at Power Windows and A Show Of Hands. They sound so much bigger and better now. Cymbals brighter, bass bolder, vocals clearer, keyboards fuller, guitar punchier and much more present. I love all Rush but was never huge into Power Windows, however once I put in this new release I found myself just in awe of the sound and really rediscovered it. Signals is a different mix in 5.1 but it still is amazing, I would have paid $40.00 for just this. Overall sell the old releases and upgrade to the Sectors boxes. Rush did a fantastic job on this and this release is for the fans. So happy to know anytime i want to spin these releases that I will have the best version possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collector's item for Rush fans!, January 20, 2013
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This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
If you don't own these great albums, this and the other two Sector box sets are an inexpensive way to have a neatly packaged, remastered instant Rush collection with some extra goodies. Some super deals abound for these from retailers on Amazon, so the music fan is apt to find a great deal for this and the Sector 1 and Sector 2 boxed collections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third (and final Mercury Records) chapter of Rush gets a stellar makeover, July 8, 2012
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
Canadian progressive rock titans Rush's 15 albums that they recorded for Mercury Records were re-released in November of 2011 as the three 5-CD/1-DVD box sets Rush Sectors.
When I first got wind that Rush would be (like Pink Floyd and Queen each did throughout 2011) were updating their Mercury Records catalog, I didn't go out right away fearing that the remasters would not be as good as what Bob Ludwig did in 1997 and also was busy with upgrading the Pink Floyd catalog and put off buying the Rush Sector box sets until I moved back to Massachusetts in March of 2012. I went for Sector 2 first as they were the key Rush albums in the band's catalog and was blown away at how much better they sounded to the previous remasters, each album was improved upon in some way or another.
Then in April of 2012, I acquired Sectors 1 and 3. This review is for the third Sector box set.
The albums in this third of three Rush box sets are the band's last five albums for Mercury/PolyGram (the 1982 masterpiece Signals, 1984's Grace Under Pressure, 1985's Power Windows, 1987's Hold Your Fire and the early 1989 double live A Show of Hands). What's cool about this boxed set is that all of the albums are packaged in miniature vinyl sleeves so it's just like buying the original vinyl albums all over again.
I don't need to rehash the reviews of these five albums again (if you want my opinion read the reviews of each one) but what I can say is that the sonic quality on this box set is incredible. Unlike the first two box sets, this box set was not defective though there are alternate mixes of some of the Hold Your Fire tracks ("Time Stand Still" has extra drums, "Mission" has some strings I never heard, extra chimes on "Tai Shan" and a few other surprises).
The album remixed in 5.1 on this box set is 1982's Signals. Richard Chycki did a great job remixing this album (like he did with Moving Pictures earlier in 2011). On "Subdivisions", "Analog Man" and (heck) the whole album sounds great and I heard parts not on the original 1982 mix which has been seemingly forever in my brain since 1990 so I heard some new vocal deliveries and instrument parts which were not on the original mix due to the constraints of vinyl. "The Weapon" actually has some extra bits of music not on the original stereo mix plus "Losing It" has a few seconds extra on playout not on original mix.
Also, the packaging is incredible with the miniature vinyl sleeves plus a booklet with great pictures and album credits and also each disc's box looks like part of a roadcase and the spine of Sector 2 has a 1982 era picture of Neil Peart.
Sector 3 (like the two Sector box sets aside this) by Rush is a must own and if you want to replace your 1997 remasters and/or the MFSL I say go for it.
RECOMMENDED!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sector 3 Sounds Great, December 31, 2011
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
The new mix of Signals is great to hear after all of these years of loving the record anyhow. Alternative vocals and other elements are awesome and Alex's guitar is much clearer. The songs were always great, Alex was just buried a bit too much beneath the keyboards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars its Rush in 5.1 OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH, December 28, 2011
This review is from: Sector 3 (Audio CD)
I took what I was playing at home on my cd and matched them to the Sectors. WOW what a difference. The older recordings have a cloudy sound to them but this has a very clear sound to it. I dont understand what everyone is complaning about... I just wish there was sectors 4 and 5. The packaging is really cool and I like the books.
I know that one could say its another way to get into our pockets. Personally I dont care as long as the product is good and this is. I mean really its all a matter of freewill you spend you money on fishing gear I spend it on Rush stuff... Rush in 5.1 WOW too bad they all didnt get the dvd treatment but even besides that just the sound of the cds is worth it.
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Sector 3
Sector 3 by Rush (Audio CD - 2011)
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