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Newly remastered stereo versus mono Beatles albums

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Posted on Sep 15, 2009 2:10:35 PM PDT
Daryl Bolton says:
The new stereo remasters sound great. Don't sweat the compression. They simply applied modern CD mastering standards to the original master tapes. To say digital technology has improved alot since 1987 is an understatement. Digital technology has improved a lot since 1997! And stereo just sounds better than mono. The fact that some of the mono recordings are different MIXES is what all the fuss is about for Beatles completists. If you are only going to pick up one box, all you need is Stereo! To buy the mono box and not have the stereo box is like buying a tricked out TV remote control, but you didn't bother to buy the TV set.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2009 6:18:13 PM PST
This is a complete falsehood. Compression is taking all signal and putting it into the same db level within the users requirements. Limiting is stopping a signal from exceedind a certain db level. Totally different things.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2009 4:38:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2009 5:32:40 PM PST
Uncle_Audio says:
You are primarily right with your decision to choose Mono over Stereo. But not for the reason you cited regarding sound compression. George Martin told the public the Beatles hadn't recorded in Stereo when they released the monaural recordings done on a two-track recorder in EMI's Abby Road Studio. This actually wasn't true! George Martin had technically recorded and mastered the initial Beatles sessions in Stereophonic sound. However stereo recording and reproduction fidelity were in their infancy in the early 1960's. Because of this, Martin preferred the monaural mixes and masters and decided to stick with the standard monaural output. He considered it truer to the original sonic performance and was a known quantity for engineering, mixing and mastering for the time. Although, due to strong industry pressure to keep up with the other labels, the first four Beatles albums were also released in stereophonic as well as monaural sound. Capitol Records' own version of stereo sound; "Duophonic" is now considered to have been more destructive to the sonic quality of the original recordings and was considered more of a gimmick and marketing ploy rather than a true break-through in sound engineering and reproduction. Recording engineers will generally recommend the monaural re-masters over the stereophonic releases (per Joel Selvin, SF Chronicle music critic) as truer to the original two-track recordings (first two singles and first two albums.) Eventually stereophonic recording with four and eight track became commonplace and many of the later Beatles albums were amply handled by the newer recording/layering capabilities. At the same time many of their later stereophonic albums suffered too as a result of long lags between recording, mixing and mastering. If it were up to me, I'd choose the monaural re-masters.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2010 5:31:27 PM PST
You're confusing compression with noise reduction. In the stereo set, only about five minutes of the complete catalog was subject to noise reduction, but the entire catalog was subject to a slight bit of compression to make it sound a bit "louder" and comparable to modern releases.

Posted on Jan 29, 2011 1:57:57 PM PST
They should have a logo that tells us that the audio we buy is not compressed, noise reduced, or any other kind of destructive tampering (the ever popular 'remastering').
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Discussion in:  Abbey Road forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Jul 27, 2009
Latest post:  Jan 29, 2011

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Abbey Road [Vinyl]
Abbey Road [Vinyl] by The Beatles (Vinyl - 1995)
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