Queen quandry

Over the past couple of months I've turned over my entire system, one piece at a time. With each switch I'm liking my Queen CDs less and less. The problem seems to be in the discs themselves...poor recordings or poor transfers. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1991 re-release, Hollywood 61065-2) sounds really crappy on the first few tracks. The remixed versions of "I'm in Love With My Car" and "You're My Best Friend" are much better, but the rest of the disc is thin, and digital artifacts creep into the soundstream. A KIND OF MAGIC is a little better, but I'm still not happy with it. Any suggestions for better recordings out there? What about SACD -- is Queen in or out on that one? (No jokes, please.)

Have you tried the MFSL gold CD version? Or have you tried the analog Queen recordings? Perhaps the LP will satisfy you better. (In fact, I will give it a shot myself, as I have not heard any Queen in quite a while). I'll let you know how the comparison is better the MFSL CD and the LP of "A Night at the Opera".)
Jeff--the Queen back catalogue was remastered again in 1998 as part of the celebration of their 25th Anniversary--I have the Japanese versions which are mini-vinyl replica's.
I'm pretty sure this will sound better than the '91 version you have.
Night At The Opera is available on DVDA so that might rule SACD releases.
its your equipment..not the software...many new components are simply unforgiving of older(particularly rock)recordings..i would guess your loudspeakers are the cause.'a kind of magic' sounds better,because technology was better at the time of recording...those mfsl gold discs won't help...they are not from the original source material and were not mastered with the supervision of the artists,original engineers(or any member of the band).it sounds like your tastes in music call for a speaker system thats'vintage' friendly.
The new "Platinum Collection" is about the only Queen title I can listen to. I have all the MoFi titles and the DCC "Night at The Opera", and they're just not remastered to today's standards.
It is true that a more revealing system will expose the
limitations of the recording more vividly. I've found, however, that using good 'tweeks' can do much to restore
interest in CDs. You might want to try some of the Mapleshade products. These have worked best in my system.
Here's what was compared:
The US (Hollywood) cd's: All titles below
On UK cd: "I", "II", "Sheer Heart..", "A Night..", "A Day.."
On Jap mini-lp fmt cd: "I", "II", "Sheer Heart ..", "Jazz"
On mfsl gold: "A Night..", "A Day..", "News..", "The Game"
The DCC gold "A Night At The Opera".
And, a good friend of mine brought the Japan 25th anniv. box set.

The worst were the US (Hollywood) pressings. Some of the mixes weren't accurate even. Although the UK disc's had tape hiss Galore, they were very better musically.

The Jap mini-lp fmt cd's were the best sound quality wise but even they have a few mix inaccuracies. The Japan 25th box set comes really close.

The DCC and mfsl's had accurate mixes and the best sound stage but were 2nd for sound quality. (They are a little rounded and warm. Very little).

Four of us listened. (Two guys and two girls).
Thanks for the info. Imin2u, where can I find the Japanese releases?
I really wonder sometimes on these forums whether people actually read anything that's posted before them.
Thanks to Imin2u for at least putting things into the original questioners context.
I would imagine the Japanese 25th anniversary discs are tricky to pick up now as I believe they were limited edition-I have them all from Queen to Jazz.
Well, I lucked into the 25th anniversary Queen boxed set at the Virgin megastore in Chicago. Thanks to all who pointed me in the rigth direction.
Glad you found that Jverona-make a difference?
I've only listened to "A Night at the Opera" -- but yes, there is a difference, and not a subtle one. Freddie Mercury's vocals are spine-tingling. The soundstage seems a bit deeper and darker. The biggest improvement is in the timbre of the instruments. Decay sounds more natural, and all the bright and glary edges have been polished off. FWIW, the liner notes indicate that all the albums were remastered in 24-bit, then mixed down to 16-bit via "Prism SNS Noise Shaping", whatever that is.
Jeff-glad to hear it-enjoy.
Hey, I just did one of the coolest things. My 40th birthday is in October and I wanted to hire a band or two for entertainment so I got on the net and searched for a queen tribute/knock off band.

I left a message on a webpage for a rock magazine the harderbeat in dallas tx. Got a phone call to make a long story short there was a band in dallas that did queen. There was also a national queen convention this weekend and the band would be playing sat nite.

IT WAS GREAT! I saw queen in 78 and then 11 more times, not that I am a queen junkie but they put on a better more dynamic show that none of the other bands dare compare (areosmith,kiss,reo,billy squire,zztop, led zep, boston,ect.....)

THese guys were great, and I am very picky, but these guys were very close to the band ( the singer even has the blk and white diamond tights ) vocals/guitars/ect were on pitch/perfect they hit every note. as emril says BAM!

The name of the band is "Queen for a Day" and they are in dallas tx. I am booking them for Oct mid month for my bd party. If anyone is close to central OK and would like to see the venue send me an email. I will have to charge $10 to 15 bucks to pay the band but what a show.

The only thing they didnt have that queen did was a 100' stage and $200k for lights everytniing else was absoluty Queen.

Here are some websites that I picked up at the convention that you can buy cd's dvd's and other band stuff ( btw I got 2 great live cd's from tokyo and berlin from 85 that sound really nice)

queenzone.com qms.com queensworld.com queenring.com

I have not viewed the sites but I got them from the guys I got the cd's from so all should be ok.

About sound quality I have an eq that helps but the best thing I did for badly recorded cd's is use a cheap cd player I switch over from my meridian 506.20 to a $49.00 pawnshop magnavox player and eq the hell out of it and go see and hear little freddie.

I recently purchased mofi's remaster of "The Game". Don't know if all the queen mofi remasters are the same way, but The Game wasn't all that impressive.