Queen – Half Speed Mastered Vinyl Box Set & Branded Rega Turntable
22nd March 2016
Queen: The Studio Collection brings together the complete collection of 15 studio albums, re-mastered by Bob Ludwig and mastered for half speed vinyl by Miles Showell at Abbey Road.
Complementing the release of the 18 disc coloured vinyl box set is the launch of a limited edition Queen by Rega turntable, featuring custom printed Queen artwork.
Queen’s production team was closely involved in all stages of the re-mastering process, starting with the initial tape research to locate and confirm the correct versions and best sources for all the tracks. Five tracks from Innuendo and the track Under Pressure were improved by the discovery of better sources and particular attention was paid to the original releases to ensure nothing was lost or degraded by reverting to earlier sources.
After a double blind testing of sample tracks mastered by leading engineers, Bob Ludwig was chosen to re-master the entire project. The initial plan was to re-master directly from the original mix tapes but time has rendered them in need of some restoration. New 24bit/96kHz digital masters were made from the original tapes and any speed errors, missing audio, clicks and other unwanted noise were rectified in the digital domain, with the vinyl cut from these files.
Miles Showell from Abbey Road has perfected the technique of cutting at half speed. Using a Neumann VMS80 lathe he includes cutter-head amplifiers featuring custom designed RIAA filters.
Germany-based Optimal has been chosen as the pressing plant. Optimal is well known for its audiophile quality pressings and the company was closely involved in the development of the coloured vinyl using new materials technology so as not to compromise the audio.
The 18 discs that make up The Studio Collection are pressed on heavyweight 180gm theme coloured vinyl, each representing the primary colour from the album’s artwork. Direct comparisons were made between test pressings on black vinyl and the coloured vinyl, which were compared with original pressings of the LPs on a very high quality turntable.
To complete the package for Queen fans, Queen has teamed up with Rega. The resulting limited edition official turntable features reproductions of classic Queen logos, including the Freddie Mercury designed Queen crest silkscreen printed across the platter, and the exclusive Queen by Rega logo on the gloss black plinth.
Featuring the hand-built RB101 tone arm, from the company’s popular RP1 record player, the Queen by Rega turntable features a new low noise, low vibration, 24V synchronous high performance motor and a Rega Carbon moving magnet cartridge. An optional upgrade to the handmade Rega Bias 2 cartridge is available.
Accompanying the box set will be a 108-page hardback book. Featuring introductions to each album, quotes from Queen, copies of hand-written lyrics, rare photographs, memorabilia and information on the band’s singles and videos, the book has been made possible by unlimited access to Queen’s archive plus the personal archives of Brian May and Roger Taylor.
To round off the Queen: The Studio Collection launch, each week the Universal Music UDiscovermusic.com website will be publishing exclusive editorial telling the story of each of the 15 albums, starting with Queen which can be read now at: http://www.udiscovermusic.com/essentials/queen
Queen: The Studio Collection and the Queen by Rega turntable will be launched on 25 September 2015.
Each LP will also be available individually on black vinyl and the box set will contain download codes for 320kbps digital versions.
A brand new microsite to support the Queen: Studio Collection campaign has been developed which features product info, product photos, band photos, uDiscover album articles and interactive Queen by Rega turntable.
A two minute trailer for Queen: Studio Collection has been created and will be live on the band’s official YouTube channel