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I know there are at least two threads dedicated to this topic on forums.stevehoffman.tv but I thought it would be nice to have a dedicated thread on the RUSH Forum. This is also highly subjective. Some people actually like LOUD clipped music. There is no accounting for taste, I guess. Rush - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1001 / WANK-1001) Fly By Night - Any pressing prior to RUSH Remasters (1997). Apparently they are all the same, although from a collection standpoint I would go with a Canadian pressing (ANC-1-1002 / WANK-1002). Caress Of Steel - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1003 / WANK-1003). 2112 - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1004 / WANK-1004 / ANMD-1004 ). Due to the popularity of 2112 an additional later pressing (ANMD-1004) was issued in the early to mid 90s. This version has identical mastering to the standard ANC / WANK versions, but has a much nicer sleeve. It is really worth picking up if you can find it. All the World's a Stage - Similarly to Fly By Night any pressing prior to RUSH Remasters (1997) has an identical mastering. The Canadian early pressing CDs are ANC-2-1005 / WAGK-1005 if you are interested in keeping a uniform collection. A Farewell to Kings - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1010 / WANK-1010 / ANK-1010). Like 2112, this more popular album has a third Canadian pressing. Unlike 2112, the sleeve is identical to the earlier versions, so it is not really more desirable. Hemispheres - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1014 / WANK-1014). Permanent Waves - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1021 / WANK-1021 / ANK-1021). Like 2112 & A Farewell to Kings, this more popular album has a third Canadian pressing. Again, unlike 2112, the sleeve is identical to the earlier versions, so it is not really more desirable. In theory Mercury 822 548-2 (both German & US) have an identical mastering, but both have the censored album cover while NONE of the Canadian ones do! Moving Pictures - This one is more complicated. Only Canadian pressings ANC-1-1030 & ANMD-1030 have good mastering. Unlike previous Canadian releases, the later issued copies VANK-1030 and club versions (ANC-11030) have much louder mastering WITH some clipping. Although rare in late 80s / early 90s releases, clipping is sometimes present and it is on many of the Moving Pictures CDs. ANMD-1030 is interesting in the sense that it is later than both VANK-1030 & ANC-11030, but uses the ANC-1-1030 mastering. Some people have postulated that this is purposeful, but more often than not these instances are actually mistakes. In this case it is a very good mistake. Exit Stage Left - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-4-1035 / WAGK-1035). There is a Mercury US pressing (822 551-2) with the same mastering, but you have to be careful. It is only the plain silver disc version that has the Canadian mastering. The atomic CDs (US & German) use a different mastering. Signals - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1038 / VANK-1038 / ANK-1038). Grace Under Pressure - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-1-1045 / VANK-1045 / ANMD-1045). Power Windows - Any Canadian early pressing CD (ANC-11049 (club issue) / VANK-1049 / ANK-1049). Allegedly there is an ANC-1-1049 version of this album, but I have never seen it, so I am dubious it exists. If you have it, please PM me. Hold Your Fire - Any pressing prior to RUSH Remasters (1997). Apparently they are all the same, although from a collection standpoint I would go with a Canadian pressing (ANC-1-1051 / ANK-1051). A Show Of Hands - Any pressing prior to RUSH Remasters (1997). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From here on things change somewhat -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Presto - Go with Audio Fidelity AFZ-182 over the original 1989 release. Although the Audio Fidelity mastering is ever so slightly louder, it does go a little ways to fixing the EQ problems on this album. Both Presto & Roll The Bones suffer from too much high end and too little low end. Although not completely remedying this issue, the Audio Fidelity versions are a little less harsh sounding. The other mastering that is worth a mention here is 48 kHz / 24 bit flac download available with the purchase of the Presto 2015 200 Gram vinyl release. I actually go song by song between this version and the Audio Fidelity, choosing some songs that I feel are better on one and others that are better on the other. It goes without saying that, due to the EQ issues, these two albums are a bit of a mess when it comes to mastering. Roll The Bones - Much the same as Presto and for exactly the same reasons the Audio Fidelity AFZ-116 version is the way to go here. Similarly, it is worth getting the 48 kHz / 24 bit flac download available with the purchase of the Roll The Bones 2015 200 Gram vinyl release. I also go song by song between this version and the Audio Fidelity on this album. Both Roll The Bones and Presto have the same issues. Counterparts - Hands down NO CONTEST it is the Audio Fidelity AFZ-152 CD that is the best version of this album. The 96 kHz / 24 bit flac download is good as well, but not as good. The Audio Fidelity version also contains different versions of Stick It Out and Nobody's Hero. The original final versions are slightly edited. I'm sure it was a happy mistake that Audio Fidelity got the pre-final versions. Aside from the Audio Fidelity version and the 96 kHz flac download ALL the versions (including the original Canadian ANK-1067) are LOUD, compressed and clipped. They should be avoided for listening purposes. Test For Echo - As of right now only ONE decent version of Test For Echo exists. It is the 96 kHz / 24 bit flac download that came with the 2015 200 Gram Vinyl release. They really did a superb job on this remaster. Tons of headroom and a nice soft EQ. All the other versions of this album are loud and clipped including the original Canadian pressing ANSD-1073. Different Stages - No good mastering exists. So far they are all LOUD and all the same. You might as well go for the Japanese version (AMCY-289-2), because it has a bonus track (Force 10) and a larger sleeve. From this point on I will not be providing mastering information on live albums as they are all the same. Vapor Trails - No good mastering exists. They are all LOUD, clipped, and suffer from compression. The worst versions are ALL the versions of the original 2002 release. The remixed version in 2013 is mastered identically to Clockwork Angels, which is better than the 2002 version of Vapor Trails, but not much else. If you are looking for the highest quality, I would go with the 24 bit flac download of Vapor Trails Remixed, but truthfully outside of the fact that the flac files are 24 bit over the 16 bit CD there is little to no difference in mastering in terms of dynamic range. Snakes & Arrows - As of today only one great version of Snakes & Arrows exists. Similarly to Test For Echo, it is the 96 kHz / 24 bit flac download that came with the 2015 200 Gram Vinyl release. Like Test For Echo this has amazing dynamic range and a superb EQ. This remaster really brings the album to life and is worth every penny. Again, all of the original versions are loud, compressed and clipped. This includes the MVI, which is suposedly better quality than the CD version, but suffers from the same ugly mastering. Feedback - This is exactly the same situation as Snakes & Arrows and Test For Echo. The only good mastering is the 96 kHz / 24 bit flac download that came with the 2015 200 Gram Vinyl release. Clockwork Angels - No good mastering exists. They are all loud, including the 24 bit flac files. This album and Vapor Trails Remixed are in exactly the same situation. There is no version of the album out there that isn't overly compressed and loud. Sure, it isn't as loud as the 2002 release of Vapor Trails, but that is nothing to brag about. Go with whichever version of the album you like the best because they are all basically the same. This includes both vinyl releases and the 24 bit flac files. Yes, the overall bandwidth is larger for the 24 bit, but the mastering is virtually identical. Same goes with the vinyl. I realize that vinyl can't be made to be as loud as CDs, but if you make wave files from your record you will see that the waveforms are just as square.