Tough call. Soul Mates 2 is definitely a better recording than Live at Tampa. But the choice between Soul Mates and Soul Mates 2 is difficult. I think I prefer Soul Mates just a bit more. Even though the recording level has its ups and downs, it is complete and flows well. Soul Mates 2 still has some of that annoying hiss from the source tape and it really gets on my nerves. I usually listen to Soul Mates more often, so I guess I'd recommend that one.
I guess I would answer it this way:
Soul Mates is a more raw recording, there is more crowd noise that occasionally overpowers the music, but it is the most complete recording, despite the flaws. Any noise and hiss due to the original source recording is completely gone, probably because there was very little to begin with. The person who taped it probably had very good equipment, despite his poor tickets.
Soul Mates 2 and Live at Tampa originate from the same source tape, which is different from the source tape mentioned above. While the taper had better seats, he either had poorer equipment, or both Red Light (Live at Tampa) and Mid Valley (Soul Mates 2) had access to very high generation copies. I would guess it was inferior equipment. Live at Tampa appears to have been released without any attempt to digitally remove noise or remaster it. There is a lot of tape hiss present, which makes it very hard to listen to on a good stereo with good speakers. Boom boxes and all-in-one shelf systems usually don't have very good high frequency response, so the hiss is less noticeable. Soul Mates 2 has been digitally remastered and cleaned up by Mid Valley as much as possible, but some hiss is still present. The taper apparently turned his recorder off and on between songs, because the running time on every version I've heard of this source is shorter than the other. What is missing is the tuning and discussion between songs. (TD)