Some of these box sets are an incredible bargain, $2 or less per disc. I would say, if it's like
Sony's recent jazz boxes, don't expect anything much of a booklet, but the CDs will be as good as
the latest remaster they have in the vaults. In the case of RCA Living Stereo material, they have CD
layers from the SACD, and most of the Columbia material received a decent remastering at some point
in the late 90's or early 2000's.
Semi-related, I have here for review the new Sony Bessie Smith box set. It's a heavily-discounted
re-packaging of the previous Legacy Roots & Blues box sets, with an abbreviated booklet, in a little
cardboard box with cardboard slip-sleeves for the discs. From what I can tell from the booklet, it's
not any new audio remastering, just pre-pressing in new packaging of the 1990s 2-CD sets.
For these Sony classical boxes, they seem to have come up with new graphics and packaging to bring
together a bunch of what were formerly 1- and 2-CD items.
-- Tom Fine