Originally Posted by Kurgan
To be perfectly frank, the sound changes are a nightmare and so I spent only a little time with very obvious stuff. The same can be said of others who've compared the various versions.
So let's not get too off topic, but let me say that I spent time describing the differences between the Special Editions (I really mean the home releases of the 1997 SE's) and the 2004 DVD's. If I spent time talking about the original editions or the various incarnations released pre-1997 the thread would be a lot longer and more confusing.
The thing is, for the most part the sound changes were most radical for the 1995 "THX Enhanced" trilogy (aka the "Faces" set). They had alternate lines and remixed sound, etc. The original Star Wars (pre-ANH) was Mono, with a stereo mix being created later (I forget exactly when, perhaps after Aunt Beru's voice was re-dubbed). Fan edits or bootlegs are problematic to use as models because the creator of said edit still makes a creative decision on what sound mix(es) to use for their transfer. Comparing video is one thing, comparing sound is quite another. So if you were going to go that route I would use the VHS or Laser Discs themselves to compare, not a fan created version that might have been spliced together from different cuts and soundtracks.
Oh, sorry, but I know you can trust Moth3r, he used the original mono mix from 1977 and video from the 1993 Definitive Collection.