Sade This Far

I purchased this set with great anticipation. I have been a Sade fan for nearly 38 years and own multiple compilations and albums. I was so excited thinking finally her voice will be treated as it deserves. Half speed mastered, the works. I waited for months. This is seriously the biggest let down I’ve had since I got into vinyl in 2014. I have a $100k analog front end so it’s not the gear (Ortofon MC Anna, Kuzma 4Point, SMARTractor, etc.). The sound on these albums is dull, lifeless and simply nothing to talk about, I couldn’t even get through one album before getting fatigued. 
The packaging is also cheap!

Two hundred of my dollars gone for this poorly remastered cheaply packaged mess. You would do far better to just go to eBay or discogs and seek a clean copy of an original pressing. I usually treat my new albums to a new hi-end record sleeve after I clean them in my KLAudio ultrasonic record cleaner. Not these, I put this mess back in their original cheap paper sleeves.

If I seem bothered, I am as this stinks of just a rush to push something out there with little regard for quality just to make a quick buck.
I also am very much a Sade fan and was hoping for great things with this release. I’m sorry for your disappointment. I decided to go back to either original pressings or the audio fidelity releases. Yeah I’m glad you posted this because too many companies are just trying to get our $$ without a care for quality.
Too Bad!

Glad you found it useful. I just wanted to save at least one person the money and aggravation.  
To be fair one of my buddies just told me he had two copies he thought the one he sourced from the UK was great while the one he got here sucked and he gave it away. My dead wax says Abbey Road 1/2 speed mastered room 30, so go figure. 
Post removed 
I had the impression that these 1/2 speed masters cut at Abbey Road used digital source material. Discogs shows that the pressings for EU, UK and US were done at Optimal, which can put out a good product. Don't know what her original albums, when released, were recorded or mixed down on but it should be easy enough if you are a fan to compare.
Sometimes, the newer reissues can be a revelation, but I think it is more common than ever for the non-audiophile houses to use a digital file-- it can be fine with some music. On the other hand, some stuff natively recorded in analog has an ambience that isn't quite the same when sourced from a digital copy. And in many cases, sometimes with somewhat misleading taglines ( "sourced from the original master tapes"), it's hard to know. Not that I want to stir up an analog v digital debate. 
She is and always will be the most remarkable sensual voice of an era. She transcends time and trends. Classiest woman ever! Thank god for Sade - where would we be without her precious voice to soothe us all.

which celebrity do i look like
Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. Listening to it right now... I received my set, and short of the paper insert sleeves (they get ditched anyway) I think the entire collection is excellent. The casing is pretty standard, though basic, for these types of sets as well. Not much different than my Pink Floyd and Zepp boxed sets. Granted, I don’t have original releases of the albums. Perhaps you received a bad copy...

Audiofun, I'm out of vinyl for the same reasons you stated; I'm tires of the hassle, plus I was all set to order that same set you have.

It's a hit and miss with records, and I'm tired of missing.
Sade's debut "Diamond Life" sounds quite nice on these 2 original press
Tough to find, if you don't want to pay market.
I have this pressing. Reissues generally are a let down. May as well play the CD. 

If one chooses to become a LP disciple,  it's a inexpensive, good condition period press found in the bins or you paying market price from a seller.
Thanks, maybe mine is a bad apple. I will look into it.

It is a hit or miss I agree and most of the albums I obtain are decent to great, i.e. my recently purchaesd Valarie Joyce New York Blue is one of the finest sounding albums/recordings I have heard. It is far beyond the 96khz digital which I’ve owned for more than a decade.

I have purchased CD’s that were equally disappointing, especially painful when I spring for an XRCD and it turns out to be a dud. This is not a subject exclusively germane to analog :) This has even happened with a $600 15ips tape “Here’s to Ben”, not so good, but “Jacintha is Her Name” was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Tape is a whole other level of risk. Jacintha is Her Name was one of the best sounding recordings I had ever heard but I noticed that for some reason some of the Groove Note tapes will fade after about 6 months. None of my other tapes displayed this trait and I am very meticulous about where and how my tapes are stored (and I check for magnetic fields). Tried to contact Groove Note via Elusive Disc but they would not respond to Elusive Disc who did follow-up with me. I suspect they are recording on poor tape stock.

I am calmer now LOL. I was very disappointed yesterday after waiting months for this set. Ah, the value of a good nights sleep.
@audiofun it will be interesting to see. And yeah, all forms of recorded playback suffer at times. There are the stand outs in both realms for sure. Hopefully, your next copy sounds great. I may pick up a couple these albums as early presses to compare. I too waited months...

I bought this last summer and just opened.  The very first album, Diamond Life, had a manufacturing defect that was visible to the naked eye and caused skipping and ticks duringSmooth Operator.  It is clear there was no quality control.  As the record companies don’t take back bad pressings the retailers or consumer is stuck if past the return date.  

I have the original pressings of all the albums but was looking forward to hearing an updated recording with half mastered speed.  In a future forum I will compare against original pressings.

The pressing of Diamond Life appears to be thinner and lower quality than the other albums in the box.  Needless to say quite a loss.  The others in the set sound better and appear to be on 180g vinyl.  I opened another box and this time Diamond Life had no visible manufacturing defects.  Again the album is thinner and the quality of the pressing is suspect.  

For a high priced box set there is no booklet, pictures or discussions by the artists.  No alternative takes.  No additional tracks.  There is a foam pad where a booklet could or an album of alternative takes could have been inserted.


I was so dissatisfied I decided to not go back for seconds. I’ll live with my original pressings, CD’s and Quobuz :)

@audiofun funny, I’ve sort of come around to your side a bit after listening to them for awhile now. Not quite the disaster you describe, but certainly could be better mix wise and packaging. One thing I’ve noticed is inconsistent panning. The presses are not great for sure. On the other hand I’m listening to The Yes Album currently. That just kicks a$$!

The quality control issue has made me very cautious purchasing new vinyl. Unless you purchase the $40+ Audiophile labels the risk is not worth the aggravation. Two recent examples are a very poor sounding 2016? repress of Black Sabbath Vol. 4 and a Jayhawks recording that had the inner sleeve paper stuck(glued to the vinyl). Even slight warping and cosmetic issues including vinyl scuffs and jacket damage(which are common) are unacceptable.