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The Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set Box set
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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, September 9, 2009
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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Let It Be
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.
Top Customer Reviews
After more than 22 years of having The Beatles' albums on CD, we are finally treated to the definitive box set of Beatles music. This time, the folks at EMI and Apple finally got things right for a change. While having Beatles CDs is a thrill, it is now even more-so with this brilliant audio collection. For the very first time, their entire recorded output has been remastered for the 21st century, complete with unique liner notes and special digipak-packaging to boot. With the exception of the "Past Masters" set, each disc also contains a brief mini-documentary about that album. These short bits can only be utilised with the assistance of a computer's disc drive. However, the box set does include a bonus DVD disc featuring all of these short sequences together so you can enjoy it on your very own DVD player. What you have here are the original British Beatles albums just like what had been released before; only now, the listener can enjoy the first 4 albums - "Please Please Me". "With The Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night", "Beatles For Sale" - available in true stereo for the very first time. Combined with the remaining 9 albums recorded by the group between 1965 and 1970, this is a masterpiece set, and a special treasure trove of timeless, classic songs that changed the entire structure of popular music as we know it today.Read more ›
Fiction: You made the wrong choice by buying the stereo set.
Fact: The vocals/instruments separation in some of the stereo albums is wider than the actual crosswalk shown on the Abbey Road cover.
Fiction: You made the wrong choice by buying the stereo set.
Fact: The mono set's enthusiasts' reviews have a lot of merit and are based on more than mere nostalgia.
Fiction: You made the wrong choice by buying the stereo set.
Being a 57-year-old Beatles fan has its advantages, not the least of which is having some perspective on the two current remastered sets from EMI. (By the way, I bought from Amazon the individual stereo CDs -- except for the YS soundtrack -- at low prices and applied the money I saved toward the mono box set, which I had intended to get all along.)
I don't consider myself a Beatles completist. Still, at one time or another over the years I have had and embraced the original Vee-Jay, Swan, and Capitol mono 45s; nearly all the mono and stereo albums from Capitol (the stereo versions of which I had rebought at least twice by 1980); various British, German, and other European imports (mono and/or stereo, depending on the album); reissued British (mono) EPs on vinyl; all the 1987 EMI compact discs; the three "Anthology" sets; the "YS Songtrack," "1", and "Let It Be...Naked"; the Capitol box sets from a few years ago (which I really like); and now these terrific EMI remasters. And while I have never bought any Beatles bootleg CDs, over the years I have listened to other fans' exhaustive box sets of the "Let It Be" sessions and the BBC sessions, all kinds of live shows from around the world, and other entries in the band's unofficial output.Read more ›
For those 1987 CDs the first four albums were in mono. I can sort of understand that for the first two, with their distinct, wide 2-track separation. But the second two had four-track and sounded great in stereo. At any rate, I preferred all four in stereo. So went to extreme measures to get it, in quality. Now those are all here in glorious stereo in this set.
I was afraid that they would narrow the separation on the first two albums. Fortunately they did not. If you want to listen to those two with headphones, you may be disappointed with the sound -- get the mono, but listening to them through speakers, several feet away, the stereo adds an outstanding dimension to the sound.
Throughout this set, the bass is more evident, the drums are sharper - the quality just jumps out at you throughout -- a testament to the much more sophisticated digitization techniques they have today than in 1987. A job well done!!
Please Please Me: The sound on the mono is just amazing. You can hear the echo in the room as John sings Anna. The vocals just soar. Ringo was just so good, even at this early stage and so was Paul. They supported and framed the songs so perfectly. And just think, in twenty-one minutes, or so, Twist And Shout! Stereo can't hold a candle to this, if for no other reason than the left/right "stereo" found later in With The Beatles, Rubber Soul and Revolver.
With The Beatles: As with Please Please Me, the mono sounds so, so, nice. As the stereo has that annoying left/right "stereo," no contest: mono hands down.
A Hard Day's Night: Seems better and more enjoyable in stereo. I think the reason is that they now had four tracks so George Martin could do proper stereo mixes and still have a mostly fresh first generationish sound. Remember, there were only two track available for Please Please Me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the Beatles and eagerly awaited this box set (I bought the stereo edition in 2013). At that time each CD was played ONCE to rip it onto a DLNA server for my home listening. Read morePublished 19 hours ago by JoyBoy
An outstanding issue. Everything in one nice box set. Perfect for the collector or avid listener.Published 10 days ago by JohnERed66
The best collection of Beatles music all together. It's perfect and allows us to listen when ever we like without searching anywhere for a specific song or album.Published 11 days ago by Granny15
Purchased it as a gift. I already have all of the CD's in the collection, as they ARE the greatest musical collection of individuals EVER!!Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
My wife loved this gift. We both really enjoy listening to all the albums.Published 17 days ago by doubledose
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|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. Dub | 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 294 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
|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
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