I found the following info from the collection's credits on another site. It might ease some concerns about the quality of transfers, etc.:
"Analog-To-Digital Remastering & Sound Program Design: Christopher C. King, Long Gone Sound Productions ; Digital Mastering & Audio Restoration: David Glasser, Anna Frick at Airshow, Boulder, CO ; Track Selection and Programming: Dean Blackwood, with Jack White, Christopher King & Alex van der Tuuk"
I'm not sure that Thirdman and Revenant would have enlisted the skills of these individuals if they were simply planning to issue this set as mp3s.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark Hendrix
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Paramount Box Set Review
Steve Ramm wrote: "BTW, when I read that the book has rare Paramount artwork, I emailed John Tefteller [...] to ask if it was from the stash he found [sic]* [....] He said "no" and he doesn't know source of discs on this set. He says he's "treating it as a bootleg". An expensive one of course."
Leaving aside the question of whether Mr. Tefteller issues bootlegs of Paramount recordings himself (albeit expertly transferred ones), he of course is not the only one who has an extensive collection of Paramount Records. I don't believe he got any of the late Max Vreed's collection at the time it was sold, although he may have acquired some of it by now.
(Does he collect jazz and old-time records? Will any be on this set?) And I imagine this Paramount box set will re-issue some or all of the transfers Revenant made for their "Screaming and Hollering the Blues" set. Still, I have fears that this may turn out to be 800 mp3s of transfers stolen from Yazoo and Herwin LPs, supplemented with the Document library of transfers of variable quality. Anyway, I hope it gets reviewed by someone who is familiar with all these earlier issues and can sort out what the set has the offer. It certainly too dodgy for me to want to pre-order.
On the other hand, Black Europe will offer a vast amount of material that either has never been reissued, or has been reissued in poor quality sound (I'm thinking of the Document CDs of the Versatile Four and Dan Kildare, which featured skipping grooves, or the Ethiopiques volume 27 CD of the
1908-10 recordings Azmari Tessema Eshete, which are almost certainly microphone recordings of acoustic phonograph playback). That is a set I am looking forward to.
Best wishes, Mark
*Mr. Tefteller actually purchased the Paramount advertising material from three individuals who had rescued it from the dumpster. His Blues Calendar issues are excellent, and the sound quality on the accompanying CDs are excellent as well.