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Audio CD, Enhanced, Original recording remastered, September 8, 2009
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The classic original Beatles studio albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the Beatles catalogue has seen since its original release.
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
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Bottom line: the vinyl sounds great - better than the CD (the 2009 remaster).
I was skeptical - I bought the 2009 mono Beatles box and the stereo versions of Abbey Road and a few others. I thought they sounded better than my older Beatles CDs, but they weren't as great-sounding as I was expecting based on reading lots of reviews at the time which stated the remastering was phenomenal.
I suspected this vinyl copy would be based on the same master used to produce the 2009 CD, so I held off on buying it for the longest time.
But I finally just clicked "buy now" and so glad I did. It really does sound warmer, more spacious, and more alive than the CD. (I did A/B comparisons as soon as I received it.) The disc is perfectly flat, with no pops/scratches and much less surface noise than the average new LP in my collection.
I'm not a vinyl snob. I have lots of CDs and digital files on my iPhone, love listening on the go. Vinyl is more expensive and less convenient, so I only buy vinyl if there's good reason to believe the vinyl sounds better.
In this case, it really does. Happy with my purchase.
What a shame they now couldn't stand to be in each others presence for more than a few minutes.
And somehow, despite the acrimony and anger and frustration, their best work emerged. Go figure.
The remastering is beautiful, crystal clear and well balanced. The packaging is the very best that the digipack format can offer. Masterful. I could grow to like it if it was all so well done. Much kudos and many thanks for the hard work needed to bring both to my hands and ears.
And it is Abbey Road. There is nothing that can be said that will qualify that or make the contents come alive any more than just sitting and listening will. I was a stranger to this album until quite recently, and on one hearing, even this late in the day, I understood what all the fuss was about.
I am replacing a 40+ year old copy which has finally just had enough... in spite of careful use (the previous owner aka mother in law did not have the vinyl in a sleeve, so it took a bit of scuffing from the cardboard).
Still, the album is stunning to listen to on vinyl. It is the remastered original and is in stereo sound.