Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beatledrops: Samples of Beatles Mono and Stereo Vinyl, CD, Remasters

NEW: Click here to read the Review of the 2009 Remastered cd of Abbey Road

NEW:First Listen: The Beatles MONO Box Set (The White Album) Review and Comparison to U.K. Vinyl

With the remastered Beatles compact discs arriving in less than a month, interest in Beatles pressings, both vinyl and cd, stereo and mono are at a high not seen since the original compact discs were released over twenty years ago.

September 9, 2009 cannot come soon enough for many, but don't expect vinyl collectors to dump their collections-- with the price of the mono and stereo boxsets each topping $200, not everyone will automatically pony up the bucks for the remastered cds. Many are hoping for remastered vinyl, others will continue to search for the best sounding vinyl already out there on Ebay and elsewhere.

For anyone looking to find the best sounding Beatles recordings, there can be an overwhelming number of choices. What are the best sounding versions? Vinyl or Cd? UK or US ? Mono or Stereo? Tube cut or solid state? Ever wish you could hear samples before you buy that rare Beatles pressing you've spied on Ebay? A new site, Beatledrops, will allow you to do that.

Beatledrops has audio clips taken from various versions of Beatles releases and allows you to compare one pressing against another. And while they don't have samples from every pressing ever made, Beatledrops does have samples from many of the best, including original yelllow and black Parlophones, one-box Parlophones, two-box Parlophones, Blue Box era pressings, as well as some Japanese pressings.

Grab a set of your best headphones and plug into your computer. Below are three samples of the song For No One, from the 1966 album, Revolver. One each from the original Parlophone Yellow and Black tube cut stereo pressing, a two-box stereo Parlophone pressing from the Blue Box (BC-13), and the 1987 stereo compact disc. You should be able to hear differences, and which pressing you like will depend upon personal preferences. Just click on the labels below to hear the clips.

Click on the record or cd label below to hear a clip of For No One from each pressing of Revolver

Revolver -- YEX 606-1a (Original Yellow and Black tube cut vinyl pressing)

Revolver -- YEX 606 - 5 dd (BC-13 Blue Box vinyl pressing)

Revolver -- 1987 Compact Disc pressing

Which clip do you prefer and why? Post your comments in the section following this feature.

If you're waiting to hear clips from the mono and stereo remasters, Beatledrops plans to add those as soon as they are available. In the meantime, head on over to Beatledrops, for clips from a variety of pressings from each of the other UK Beatles releases.

NEW-- Second Listen: Beatles in MONO (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band) Remastered Cd Review and Comparison to U.K. Mono Vinyl

Related: Beatles Abbey Road Remastered Cd Review and Comparison to U.K. Vinyl

Beatledrops -- Samples of Beatles Mono and Stereo Vinyl, Remastered cds

Vintage Vinyl Spotlight: The Beatles Blue Box (BC-13)


Anonymous said...

The Y&B has the fattest tone, and the BB a bit more top end, yet still warm-sounding. The CD, like most from this era, sounds 'detailed' at first, but a longer listen would show that it's actually etched and bright-it's not even close to being in the running.

While I suppose the Y&B would be my first choice if money were no object, it could also be said that one's system might be the deciding factor between it and the BB. I'd take either-and it will be interesting to 'hear' if the new release can match these. On RBCD?-I'm doubtful. A shame they didn't release them on SACD with a RB layer.

Sergei Sokolov said...

I listened to the three samples via the latest X Creative Card and Sennheisers HD580 which I use for the computer. No surprise,Y/B offers the more satisfying sound. The 2box is a little washed out but still surprisingly good. CD is very metallic. I have not had any stereo pressings (I just have two monos, one y/b and the other japanese red from 1986). Yes, it is a shame this reissue did not to SACD like the Stones catalog of 2002, which by many accounts trumps all issues but the original Decca pressings.

Anonymous said...

Yes, interesting to compare them, I agree wholly with the two previous comments. Hope you can post the remasters soon as well so we can see how they stack up.
First commentator - it's true that RBCD is an inferior format to SACD, but the advances made in mastering for CD (partly technical but also techniques whereby mastering engineers are no longer simply mastering CDs like they did vinyl, as was largely the case in 1987) should make a big difference, especially in terms of that "over-detailed" sound you mentioned. Anyway, let's face it - if release it on SACD now, what are they going to do for the 50th anniversary of "Please Please Me" in 2012? Perhaps sell the entire catalogue on 1" tape at 15ips ;)

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