Well, I have the Time-Life set (on vinyl) of the Wagner Ring cycle with Solti, the same recording made by London/Decca. Quiet surfaces, nice books, legendary performances but I believe that the originals of the records by Decca are far better pressings, with more dynamics in particular. I doubt if they had the original master tapes to make the transfers, as I believe that T-L licenses recordings from other companies, much as Musical Heritage Society does (perhaps someone can sorrect me if I'm wrong, but at least in the case of the Ring cycle it's clear that's what they did). Now if Time-Life releases CDs based on digital masters, while there is some degradation in copies from the original master (it usually is less, at least in theory, than with analog tapes), they might be closer to the original recordings from which they were licensed (they certainly are in the case of Musical Heritage Society) and might be a worthwhile purchase for sonics as well as performances, depending on the company that made the recording, the date of the recording and the artists involved. I would not buy the records strictly for their sonics, at least in vinyl, though, if that's what you're driving at--get them for the performances.
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