Since it's a slow few days at work, I had some time to go through some threads here and got interested especially in the discussion about the mastering in the Vinyl Reissues thread. This brought me back to a favourite thought experiment of mine: Suppose we would be getting an ultimate reissue of all Maiden albums in the style of the 1998 ones, which is not aimed at a niche market (vinyl, iTunes... I mean a general, canonic version that constitutes the benchmark of all Maiden releases), with entirely new mastering, bonus material and all that jazz, what would your wishlist be? Maiden-wise, I mostly grew up on the 1998 remasters, and always went by the wisdom that differences in mastering, sound quality, clipping etc is something only audiophiles care for or even notice, with expensive equipment and deeper interest and knowledge in audio matters. But there were two things that convinced me otherwise. The first is that I didn't actually buy the 1998 CD of the debut album for a long time, because I had snatched an LP very early in my Maiden shopping days and just listened to that. When I first heard the '98 remaster, I was pretty shocked at the difference in sound, and I didn't like what I heard. The second was that at one point, I lost access to my music files for a while, didn't want to go without any Maiden at the time and also didn't have the patience to just rip the CDs again, so... shame on me, shame on me, I downloaded the discography from somewhere. Turns out the source of those rips was a completely different issue, which I believe to be the 1995 Black Triangle version. It was a completely new sonic experience for me, almost as if I was listening to all the albums again for the first time. I had always heard stories about a CD master different from the '98 versions, and how much better it was supposed to be, but I had no idea it could blow me away like this. So, long story short, my number one wish for a complete reissue would be either this master, or a new one that improves on it, but definitely not the '98 brickwall. I think that some work could be done to improve the sound of No Prayer and TXF, but something tells me they should be left alone. Maybe a song or two could be remixed for bonus material just to see what could be done (e.g. giving Mother Russia and Fortunes of War a heavier sound with added effects), but not to erase the originals. For the post-1995 albums, I know there are various masters around for many of them, and I know how much better the 5.1 versions of Rock in Rio and Dance of Death sound, so I'm wondering what could theoretically be done there without altering the substance of the albums. I know that not everyone is entirely happy with all the vinyl reissues, and that the quality seems to be quite uneven. So I guess that what I'm getting at is that I would be interested in seeing people talk about their knowledge of the various Masters, although I think it would also be interesting to see what kind of bonus material would be suggested here.