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The Beatles in Mono
180 gram, Box Set
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The Beatles in mono: This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary. THE BEATLES IN MONO VINYL BOX SET is released in mono on fourteen 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork, newly mastered from the analogue master tapes.
In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles' acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While THE BEATLES IN MONO CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.
Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of The Beatles' albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.
Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles' albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging. The boxed collection's exclusive 12-inch by 12-inch hardbound book features new essays and a detailed history of the mastering process by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with many rare studio photos of The Beatles, fascinating archive documents, and articles and advertisements sourced from 1960s publications.
Albums included in the box set are REVOLVER, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, RUBBER SOUL, WITH THE BEATLES, MONO MASTERS (3LP SET), THE BEATLES (2LP SET), BEATLES FOR SALE, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, PLEASE PLEASE ME, HELP! and A HARD DAY'S NIGHT.
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My vinyl experience and circumstances: 55+ years, owner of all first edition mono and stereo Beatles LP and 45 recordings, owner of many multiple copies of subsequently-released Beatles material. When testing audio equipment, I use first edition Revolver and Please Please Me (and Brian's Pet Sounds) as reference disks.
Reaction to this purchase: These albums provided the perfect synergy for my system/setup. I felt as though I was transported back in time to when I first heard these recordings broadcast. It was a remarkable stop-dead-in-your-tracks experience. When compared to the original first pressings, The Beatles in Mono vinyl set sounds clearer with better-defined and articulated vocals and instrumentation. You can tell that the frequency response has been widened but not in any way that alters or diminishes the musical performances. There's no hint of subjectively-introduced equalization.
I approached these LPs with some trepidation given my experience listening to the previously-released Mono Box set on CD. That box set, while clean and quiet, messed too much with the Beatles "sound" (for example, I found that McCartney's bass lines were overdone and seemed to dominate certain performances which consequently diminished the other instrumental, as well as vocal, elements). Also, I did not agree with the many other equalization choices -- it's entirely subjective of course but had I been the one making those decisions I would have placed greater emphasis on Lennon's rhythm guitar, among other things. In short, the CD set left me feeling as though I was listening to someone else's interpretation, not that of the original artists, of previously-recorded material. That set should have been more accurately (and honestly) titled as: The Beatles in Mono as Interpreted by Rouse, Massey et al.
Here, for this vinyl box set (each album now available separately), Sean Magee and Steve Berkowitz did exactly what was needed -- nothing more, nothing less. This presentation is what I have been waiting a long, long time for. I had the feeling during playback that I was sitting at the REDD 51 mixing console, in Studio Two Control Room, at Abbey Road Studios, during each Beatles recording session. That's the magical, Holy Grail, vintage experience I chase and that this set delivered on my gear.
Posted on September 20, 2018 by beatlefanmagazine
A report on what the upcoming 50th anniversary White Album reissue …
Two media listening parties for the 50th anniversary reissue of The Beatles’ White Album are set for Sept. 26 in New York City. And sources tell Beatlefan that the various configurations of the White Album reissues look like this:
A 4-LP set (2 discs of the new stereo remix + 2 discs of Esher demos)
A 3-CD set (same material as above). Apparently two of the CDs are the new remix and the third CD is the Esher demos.
And a Super Deluxe CD Box (3 CDs as above + 3 CDs of outtakes). Plus the box will include a Blu-ray disc that will be audio only. There will be no video.
The outtakes include “Hey Jude,” “Revolution,” “Inner Light,” “Across the Universe,” “Lady Madonna,” and nonalbum tracks/jams/improvisations. Of the latter, Beatlefan has been told that at least a couple are previously unknown. There also are some rehearsals.
Included will be the 12-minute version of “Helter Skelter” that previously was boiled down to about 5 minutes for the “Anthology,” but the legendary 27-minute version of “Helter Skelter” will NOT be included.
We’re told that the new remix of the album by Giles Martin has “incredible clarity and more bass and drums present.”
An official announcement of the releases is expected soon. The release date is expected to be Nov. 9.
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Even tiny versions of the inner sleeves are replicated as exactly as possible and, of course, all the original extra goodies are also present in miniature-- the SGT. PEPPER cutout sheet, the four WHITE ALBUM color glossies and collage poster, etc. The detailing is extraordinary and each disc even comes in its own resealable clear mylar sleeve.
As for the music, well it's The Beatles as they intended you to hear them-- not the after-thought stereo remixes by studio engineers. This set is a nifty addition to a serious fan's collection, but not essential, as most people will prefer to get and enjoy the Stereo Remasters.
Be careful where you buy EITHER the Mono or Stereo sets, however-- both have been extensively counterfeited and sold at "bargain" prices for which you receive inferior product-- in both sets, shabby construction and inaccurate detailing are dead giveaways that you've been hoodwinked. Be especially cautious of the sets offered for sale on eBay-- check out the forums on that site and the videos on YouTube that show you how to identify these fakes, ask lots of questions before you buy and if you don't like the answers, look elsewhere.