You may well imagine my surprise when another email came my way, advising of the freshly minted Van Halen catalog release in 24/192. Say what? Up until then, my only hi-phonic source for the Van Halen catalog where the rather well made Warner vinyl reissues of a few years ago which, when played back on a decent rig, will knock your socks off - clean. Utterly destroying any and all CD releases, not to mention the rather crappy Greatest Hits packages, I play these albums quite frequently.
Enter this HDtracks hi-res reissue: a stupendously fine release! From the early beginnings of Eddy Van Halen's commercially pioneering guitar work, the sonic images are iconic to say the least. Dynamics? Check. Bass? Check. Clarity? Check. Simply put, this thing rocks. "Runnin' With The Devil", "Erruption", "Dance The Night Away", do you remember the good times? Not to mention hits like "Jump", "Panama" or "I'll Wait" off David Lee Roth's last call, 1984.
Warner did a great job with this reissue, the edgy, glassy brightness of various other available releases is gone, dynamics have been restored - betcha didn't know the tracks actually had dynamic range! - and the sound is rather fantastic. You keep hitting play and all you want to do is crank the volume. Incidentally, in case you were wondering, the digital playback chain was my MacBook Air (late 2011), running via USB to the USB-X equipped Playback Designs MPS-5. Playback software was Audirvana (1.4). Best of all, you get all 6 albums in one download for $109 bucks. That's killer. Get it while hot, this is a must have reissue release. Most highly recommended, A+++.