Whoa! At first cue-up this new remaster hits you in the face. There is no mistaking that this is something new. First, it’s loud, so careful with the volume. It’s also tipped up a bit, more so on the CD than on this vinyl example. The sustain, echo and decay are much improved. At various points on the album, there are obvious improvements in vocal detail and clarity, instrument prominence, stage depth and breadth and much better “stereo” integration – although a bit of ping-ponging is still present here and there.
Here are some notes on what I heard:
"Sgt Pepper": Startling intro with the volume and tipped up upper frequencies, but this also comes with just much better overall clarity.
"Little Help from my Friends": Detailed high-hat. Much better depth and breadth of backing vocals.
"Lucy": Better delineation and detail of the electric piano behind John’s vocal.
"Getting Better": Paul’s vocal much cleaner and Ringo’s cymbal work is much better defined.
"Fixing a Hole": Ringo’s percussion work is more discernible. Paul’s voice appears on a bigger stage. George’s lead guitar is not bigger, just better.
"She’s Leaving Home": Paul’s vocal sibilance and detail are improved.
"Mr. Kite": John’s vocal has better detail, each word sounds “clean.” Maybe this is why the stage depth sounds better. Paul’s bass line has a nice ride throughout the song that is easier to hear.
"Within You": Wow! Just a much bigger presentation. George’s vocals are much cleaner. As an example…on the last line of the song, where George sings for the last time “…within (you) and without you,” the (you) is much easier to hear.
"64": Paul’s individual bass notes are clearer and cleaner and there’s a nice, bright “ring” to the bell.
"Rita": Guitar! A very nice blend of the base line with the rhythm guitar is very pleasing. Detailed backing vocals and the voices at the end “pop.”
"Good Morning": Rhythm guitar peaks through a bit more and Ringo’s beat more discernible. Those faint footsteps are more prominent at the end.
"Pepper Reprise": George’s lead guitar work is much cleaner and the shouted backing vocals come through at the end before the segue to the next song.
"Day in the Life": Bigger presentation of the image. Soft decay of Ringo’s percussion is easier to hear. Mal Evans’ counting to Paul’s “middle eight” is easier to hear. Ringo’s sharp drum work on the “middle 8” is better and Paul’s voice sounds like it’s on a bigger stage. Ringo’s drumming carries the difficult beat of John’s second part.
The massed piano chord? Wow! Listen for the famous “creaking chair” half-way through the sustain – much clearer on this mix.
I also bought the Box set... I’m not usually one to spring for the various box-sets offered over the years for quite a few of our Rock & Roll heroes. There are many bands that I like and many that I count among my music collection, but I generally have no interest in duplicating content – even for all the extra goodies enclosed. But, for me, the Beatles are another matter entirely. So, while this box set may not be for everyone, it is for me. I bought the box set before the vinyl copy mainly for the extra content. The “inserts” are nice, but not must-haves. The book and the extra content CD’s and DVD’s are worth the expense if you are a Beatles fan like me. Both are worth owning. The vinyl record gets rid of the minor tipped-up treble present on the CD.