Check Out Our Turntable Store
Need a new record player? Check out our turntable store for a great selection of turntables, needles, accessories, and more.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Beatles Stereo
Colored Vinyl, Box Set
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, September 9, 2009
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (The White Album) (2LP)
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
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
-The digital files from which the records were made are high resolution. I know, the sampling frequency is 44.1 khz, but that's not the important factor in resolution. The critical number is the 24 bits (as opposed to the 16 bits reduction used for CD). That's what allows for more depth and nuances. Besides, not reducing to 16 bits means not having to use the dithering filters that may affect the sound.
-Another very important aspect: these records are not limited like the CDs were. The CDs were supposed to sound louder to please the younger buyers, so some peaks were clipped and softer passages were raised, transforming the original sound. These records, on the other hand, present the complete dynamic range of the original master tapes, crucial to the integrity of the music. But bear in mind, this means they are very quiet records compared to today's standars, so use your volume knob and crank it way up!
-As for the 44.1 khz: it's not as if the master tapes were digitized at that frequency, like the 1987 CDs were, you know? They were transfered at 192 khz, so the whole spectrum of sounds and (hypothetical) ultra sounds were captured in digital. Then it was downsampled to 44.1, but you get better results because the whole sound was already digital, it's only downsampled to the limits of huma hearing. There's nothing above that you can hear, And even if it were, it would be left out by the microphones and filters used in the recording sessions.
-People who talk about the original 60's records seem to forget something: in those days, pop records were made to be listened to in the crappy turntables teenagers used, so many compromises had to be made when cutting a record. For example, they could not allow deep bass sound, because it could make the stylus jump, while very pronounced highs could produce distortion. It's well known that in EMI they had a cheap turntable they used as a test: when they cut a record, they played it in that turntable. If the stylus jumped or if there was the slightest issue, the record had to be cut again, with further compromise for the original sound.
This is not the case with these releases: these are much more faithful to the sound of the original master tapes than the 60s records. The low and high frequencies are perfectly presented. In many aspects, these sound better than the originals. I should know, since I also have them all.
Apart from the music, you get an incredible book (really, I didn't know it was this good until I saw it for myself, it's probably the best Beatles book I have) and very nice reproduction of the original covers (I know they are not flip-back jackets like the originals were, but that would be stupid since these 180 g records are too thick for them, as it happens in the mono box).
I know there have been some issues with the US pressings of these records, but I am not referring to that, I am talking just about the product itself (I have an EU box set and all the pressings are perfect). In short: don't pay attention to the anti-digital crew, listen for yourself (remember, very LOUD) and enjoy the best presentation you will find of this incredible catalogue of music.
The set comes in a heavy duty case that seems like it will stand up well over time. The albums contained inside are: 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 (White Album), Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, Abbey Road, Past Masters Vol.1 & 2, and a bonus DVD that has a short documentary for each of the albums.
Each album comes in a sort of mini LP sleeve that resembles the original album. These sleeves are made of sturdy cardstock with a glossy finish. The CDs slide unprotected into the cardboard sleeve which could potentially damage the CD with repeatedly taking it in and out. I solve this problem by just ripping the CDs to my computer and listening to them that way. Each album also comes with a decent booklet which offers rare or unseen photos from the time, new historical notes, and recording notes.
The sound quality of each album has been really improved in my opinion. The remastering has allowed me to hear many different things which I had never noticed before due to previous mixing of the albums. One thing that really stands out to me is that Paul's bass is brought further to the forefront. It allows you to appreciate just how talented of a bass player he is. Overall, I would say it is well worth the money to pick up this set. If you're as big a Beatles fan as me you are sure to not be disappointed in getting this set.