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The Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set [Box set]

The BeatlesVinyl
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)

Price: $319.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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PRODUCT ALERT:
Please note that this is a remastered version of an original recording. Any background noise from the original recording may be present in this recording as well.

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 14
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B0041KVW2K
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,643 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Albums included:
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Help!
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (The White Album) (2LP)
Yellow Submarine
Let It Be
Abbey Road
Past Masters (2LP) The Beatles' acclaimed original studio album remasters, released on CD in 2009, make their long-awaited stereo vinyl debut.

Manufactured on 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl with replicated artwork, the 14 albums return to their original glory with details including the poster in The Beatles (The White Album), the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band's cut-outs, and special inner bags for some of the titles. The albums are accompanied by a stunning, elegantly designed 252-page hardbound book in a lavish boxed edition which is being in limited quantities worldwide.

The book, exclusive to the boxed edition, is authored by award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett and features a dedicated chapter for each of the albums, as well as insight into the creation of the remasters and how the vinyl albums were prepared. The 12"x12" book showcases a wealth of photographs spanning The Beatles' recording career, including many images which were not included in the 2009 CD booklets.

The titles include The Beatles' 12 original UK albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the US-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group's core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two, first released individually in 1988, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. With this release, The Beatles' first four albums make their North American stereo vinyl debuts.

There has always been demand for The Beatles' albums on vinyl. Indeed, 2011's best-selling vinyl LP in the United States was Abbey Road. Following the success of The Beatles' acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-winning 2009 CD remasters, it was decided that the sound experts at EMI's Abbey Road Studios should create new versions of The Beatles' vinyl LPs. The project demanded the same meticulous approach taken for the CD releases, and the brief was a simple one: cut the digital remasters to vinyl with an absolute minimum of compromise to the sound. However, the process involved to do that was far from simple.

The first stage in transferring the sound of a master recording to vinyl is the creation of a disc to be used during vinyl manufacture. There were two options to consider. A Direct Metal Master (DMM), developed in the late seventies, allows sound to be cut directly into a stainless steel disc coated with a hard copper alloy. The older, alternative method is to cut the sound into the soft lacquer coating on a nickel disc - the first of several steps leading to the production of a stamper to press the vinyl.

A 'blind' listening test was arranged to choose between a 'lacquer' or 'copper' cut. Using both methods, A Hard Day's Night was pressed with ten seconds of silence at the beginning and end of each side. This allowed not only the reproduction of the music to be assessed, but also the noise made by the vinyl itself. After much discussion, two factors swung the decision towards using the lacquer process. First, it was judged to create a warmer sound than a DMM. Secondly, there was a practical advantage of having 'blank' discs of a consistent quality when cutting lacquers.

The next step was to use the Neumann VMS80 cutting lathe at Abbey Road. Following thorough mechanical and electrical tests to ensure it was operating in peak condition, engineer Sean Magee cut the LPs in chronological release order. He used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. It was also decided to use the remasters that had not undergone 'limiting' - a procedure to increase the sound level, which is deemed necessary for most current pop CDs.

Having made initial test cuts, Magee pinpointed any sound problems that can occur during playback of vinyl records. To rectify them, changes were made to the remasters with a Digital Audio Workstation. For example, each vinyl album was listened to for any 'sibilant episodes' - vocal distortion that can occur on consonant sounds such as S and T. These were corrected by reducing the level in the very small portion of sound causing the undesired effect. Similarly, any likelihood of 'inner-groove distortion' was addressed. As the stylus approaches the centre of the record, it is liable to track the groove less accurately. This can affect the high-middle frequencies, producing a 'mushy' sound particularly noticeable on vocals. Using what Magee has described as 'surgical EQ,' problem frequencies were identified and reduced in level to compensate for this.

The last phase of the vinyl mastering process began with the arrival of the first batches of test pressings made from master lacquers that had been sent to the two pressing plant factories. Stringent quality tests identified any noise or click appearing on more than one test pressing in the same place. If this happened, it was clear that the undesired sounds had been introduced either during the cutting or the pressing stage and so the test records were rejected. In the quest to achieve the highest quality possible, the Abbey Road team worked closely with the pressing factories and the manufacturers of the lacquer and cutting styli.

An additional and unusual challenge was to ensure the proper playback of the sounds embedded in the 'lock-groove' at the end of side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Requiring a combination of good timing and luck, it had always been a lengthy and costly process to make it work properly. In fact, it was so tricky, it had never been attempted for American pressings of the LP. Naturally, Sean Magee and the team perfected this and the garbled message is heard as originally intended on the remastered Sgt. Pepper LP.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is just my opinion... November 13, 2012
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Ok. I'm sure that this box set is going to be a highly conversed topic. My guess is that the previous reviewers have not listened to the records so their opinion is based on assumption. No it isn't sourced from the master tapes, but a similar source to the 2009 remastered CDs. From what I have read however this set isn't just a transfer from cd to lp. There was some tweaking to make this set unique from its cd counterpart. Either way what it comes down to, is "how does it sound"? Well I'm listening to it right now, and I think it sounds pretty darn good. I have only gotten as far as "A Hard Day's Night" and the early albums sound bright, clear and most of all scratch free. There are Beatles fans out there that might not own many Beatles records, which would make this set perfect for them. In my opinion to get an original Beatles set in near mint condition is not only expensive but very difficult.

You also have to consider the system that you would be listening to them through. If your system consists of a Crosley vintage stereo from Target you might not want to spend the money on this set. I'm not saying that my setup is anything amazing, it's probably the minimum you would want to listen to "audiophile" quality records. I think that these records were mastered with more modern audiophile setups in mind. Mine varies from late 70's to mid 80's.

Everyone's stereos and ears are different so when you read people praising/complaining about this set it's very subjective. Make sure reviews you read are from people who have actually listened to the set.

If you're on the fence about buying this set consider what kind of system you have, and wether you will listen to them enough to make it worth it. I know I will.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, poor manufacturing and shipping - UPDATE #3! November 14, 2012
By L. Ross
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
I was perhaps more excited for this box set than anything I've purchased music-related in decades. Unfortunately my excitement left me when I saw the condition of both the shipping box, the product box, and the albums and materials inside. The shipping box was badly damaged when it arrived and some of that damage translated to the product box corners (dinged in a bit). The packing material was a paltry few plastic air bubbles around the sides of the product box, nothing on top or bottom. With the shipping box being way oversized that led to a lot of bouncing around. Once i opened the actual box set other problems appeared pretty quickly. Several album jackets had bent/creased corners, and a few had inner sleeves that look like someone at the factory crumpled them up before inserting the vinyl. A real shame considering the sleeves are otherwise decent and poly-lined. The additional 'psychedelic' red/white paper sleeve in Peppers was also creased badly. I examined each piece of vinyl and found a few with obvious scratches that did produce noise when played.

The book included was in perfect condition and is stunning.

None of the damage described here was major, but it's the summation of all of it that makes it obvious there was a total lack of QC during the manufacturing of this product.

Not happy at all about this, but considering returning it for a replacement rather than a refund. Maybe I'll get lucky next time.

Quick Update 11/15/2012 - I received my 2nd box set yesterday (I ordered one to play, 1 for the archive to remain sealed and maybe give to my son 20 years from now). Anyways, the second set arrived in much better shape, but it again was not packaged in the original foam wrapped shipping containers that others are raving about online.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heartbroken November 18, 2012
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
As a "first generation" Beatles fan, the magic of the Fabs on vinyl began for me in February of 1964 when my parents bought me "Meet The Beatles!" the weekend after their first Ed Sullivan appearance. Owning every Capitol release, I then discovered the UK issues in the mid-seventies in the "import" section of my local record shop and pieced together the entire catalogue within about a year. In the early eighties I landed upon a "BC13" set that I welcomed to replace my well-worn UK discs. I had enjoyed the magic of the Beatles on vinyl spanning three decades when I opted to hop on the digital bandwagon in the late eighties and, regrettably, sold my vinyl. Someone in one of the comments section of one of the reviews here said that pressing vinyl is "a lost art; no one has the expertise to do it anymore." Having enjoyed the resurgence of vinyl over the last few years, I beg to differ with that comment. I have enjoyed countless releases on vinyl in recent years and, with an exception or two, have been very happy with the quality of the pressings and the sonics. With that said, I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to hear that the Beatles catalog was being reissued on vinyl.

I received my FIRST set on release day. The packaging concerned me as the set was loose in an oversized box with (mostly popped) inflatable bags surrounding it, but the box set was okay. The box itself is beautiful, following the same packaging art as the CD set from 2009. Once opened, the records and book were packed inside with 2 pieces of protective foam. My confidence was high. I decided to listen to the set in reverse chronological order, picking Abbey Road (the last album actually recorded) as my starting point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Still bad pressings being sent as of 4/2014
I knew a lot of people had problems with defective LPs in this box. I saw Amazon had pulled it temporarily and acknowledged problems with manufacturing. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Richard C. Cruz Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice collection
I have read in a couple of places that buyers have not been happy with their purchase of this set for various reasons. My set arrived in perfect condition. Read more
Published 4 days ago by oldphotoman
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Super Awesome
After reading reviews that ranged from "this vinyl sounds horrible!/manufacturing defects!" to "AMAZING!! Read more
Published 12 days ago by Miguel E Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT SET!!!
Was concerned after reading the many reviews of the American pressings of this set. Was very pleased to find that none of the concerns listed was evident in the box that I... Read more
Published 26 days ago by William Jolly
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing box set!
I could not be any happier with this box set. It was very well packaged by being surrounded in foam and a quality outer box to ensure save shipping. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeffrey Field
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I'm only a moderate Beatles fan, but the quality of this vinyl box set surpassed all expectations for both the music and the mastering/pressing as well. Read more
Published 1 month ago by F. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEATLES
If you are as big a BEATLE fan as I am this is a must have.Worth every penny.The book is awesome. On Feb 9th I played every album from start to finish. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Far less problems than other reported, but problems with recordings still present. Almost all of the albums are in better shape than the originals I already own. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Will Justis
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love the beatles...
Get this set. It contains all the basic Beatles albums in one pretty box. While I don't like all of their songs, it's nice to have the entire collection. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mizzouXC
5.0 out of 5 stars So cool!
This is such a cool packaging for a Beatles release. We love it! There are never enough Beatles releases... Excellent
Published 2 months ago by JoJoBean
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NEW Beatles vinyl is finally here folks!
I hope they come down on the price, Acoustic Sounds has them for $349.00
Oct 1, 2012 by B. Ducote |  See all 97 posts
Beatles Mono LP Box to Be Released In 2013
I've always been of the opinion that one should go with the versions that the band mixed itself. Therefore, I'm constructing my own set of albums out of these remasters. I've bought abbey road, let it be, yellow submarine, the white album, and magical mystery tour in stereo, and I'll be waiting... Read more
Nov 13, 2012 by C. Paige |  See all 144 posts
Digitally sourced vinyl.
It depends a lot on the recording, your equipment, and your ears. As a guy who has done sound engineering, has a fairly decent system, and can still hear relatively well I can tell you there is a difference. It's not just preference. If I take a 24/96k wav file of a LP and stack it up against... Read more
Oct 18, 2012 by Robert Shepherd |  See all 51 posts
Replicated artwork, same as the 1st pressing???
is Let It Be at least has a red apple?
Oct 22, 2012 by Eugene |  See all 31 posts
NOT the debut of the first 4 Beatles Lp's in North America...
I own quite a few Individual mobile Fidelity Beatles LPS Including Sgt. Peppers, Abbey Road, White Album, Magical Mystery Tour, and Revolver but find them lacking in sound quality. Abbey Roads bass is over Equalized making It artificially bass heavy, and Sgt. Pepper sounds thin and flat compared... Read more
Nov 8, 2012 by JT |  See all 10 posts
Beatles colored vinyl question Be the first to reply
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