Just recently I was feeling lucky and decided to order the 3CD Yes bootleg "Masters of Time" from Compact Disc Europe. They are based in Florida and had to order it from Europe, so I figured it would take months to get to me, if ever. Well, much to my surprise it took exactly one week! But that's beside the point. Masters of Time is a complete Union show, "Recorded at the Century Hall, Nagoya, Japan, 3 March 1992". It runs 156 minutes.
I know, what about the sound quality? Simply Put: IT'S GREAT! Yes, it is an audience recording, but it's a very good audience recording. Audience noise is very minimal, in part due to the person doing the taping being in a good location, and also in part to the appreciative Japanese audience, for while they make noise at the beginning and end of the songs, they are perfectly quiet the rest of the time. Other than the audience noise here being louder, there isn't much more than what's on most "official" live albums.
The music is pretty crisp and clear, and all the different instruments can be heard really well. There a little reverb caused by sound reflecting off the walls and such, but it's not that bothersome. More of the bottom end frequencies would be nice too, but a good graphic equalizer helps this a lot. The recording is perfectly "stable". That is, the person recording isn't moving around at all, fumbling the microphone, dropping the microphone, etc. Or to put things simply, the sound isn't a whole lot worse than the live Cinema tracks on YesYears, the main problem being not as much bottom end frequencies as one would like.
Is it better than the Say Yes 2CD bootleg? Much better, IMHO. For starters, Masters Of Time is mastered at the correct speed. And second, of course, it has a far better recording. I will concede that the Say Yes performance is perhaps a "hotter" show than the Masters Of Time one. I guess the "home" crowd at Wembley brings out the best in the band. Say Yes also has Long Distance Runaround (performed by the "Fragile Five"), replaced on Masters Of Time by Saving My Heart. And Steve Howe performs (The) Clap on Say Yes, replaced by All's A Chord on Masters Of Time (these differences don't bother me...I have both shows). The show comes close to fitting on 2CDs, but I'd rather have it the way it is than speeding up the recording to make it fit, like on Say Yes.