Well, a copy of this just dropped on my mat (R1, natch). I've spun the Battle Of Carthage sequence and, sadly, I could hear noticable distortion in the centre speaker throughout the scene. FYI I don't have a 'reference' set-up, only having mediocre speakers partnered to a Yamaha amp - and I've never even held a SPL meter. At my regular listening level, David Hemming's booming introduction sounds great. But when the 'battle' starts and Maximus starts barking out orders, Russell Crowe's dialogue sounds very ragged, as do the more intense audio effects. There is a clear distortion that I'm picking up here. I've not watched the rest of the film, but I can't see this issue spontaneously clearing up... Is it the end of the world? No. But to get this poor a representation of the audio, given the all-conquering audio tracks that featured on the previous release, is very disappointing. Yes, we shouldn't be over-analysing every single aspect of a DVD release, and most complaints about the quality of releases border on churlish (Robert Harris was right to have a moan about this in one of his recent posts), but this is a poorly handled audio mix on what should be an even more enjoyable version of a cracking film. I've yet to get stuck in to the extras, and no doubt they'll be worth the price of admission if they're up to Charlie de Lauzirika's usual standards, but it looks like I'll be sticking with the original edition, dts-es and all, for watching the film in future.