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Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Old 09-09-09, 09:01 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

After much debate - including a bit of time not caring about any of it and planning on ignoring the entire campaign - I ended up over the course of the past few days [thank you street date breakers] with the Mono box and 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' through 'Let It Be' in stereo.

I'm not a particularly big fan of the albums through 'Help!' so the mono mixes will suit me just fine. I'm still torn on 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' - I do love them but the differences in mono vs stereo on those two seem pretty slight from the reviews I read. I've already spent a small fortune on this so I'm holding off...for now. ["Drive My Car" does seem to lack a bit of punch in mono I noticed this morning so it might be worth it...we'll see how the rest of the album goes.]

The first thing I did when I got the mono box yesterday was put on the 'Sgt. Pepper' disc and it was amazing. Even though I do prefer later Beatles I rarely felt the urge to put this one on but the mono mix gave me a whole new outlook on it. Haven't gone through the new stereo disc yet.

Mono vs stereo 'Magical Mystery Tour' is a toss up. The stereo separation on headphones - particularly in the more dense songs such as "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Baby You're A Rich Man" - is annoying to the point of distraction and takes much of the impact away from the songs. "I Am The Walrus" suffers the most with the sudden snap to "fake stereo" halfway through and then the obnoxious continual panning in the song's fade out. However, other tracks are more vibrant and full of life in the remaster - "Your Mother Should Know" and "Penny Lane" especially - and were well worth the upgrade. On the mono disc it's the opposite. Having everything on one track in mono for "Strawberry Fields Forever" especially gives it its punch back and is sounds amazing while the McCartney tracks lack some of the pizazz of the stereo mix. However, there are very noticeable differences in the mixes - "I Am The Walrus" is missing a lot of its percussion in the first half of the track but the song overall is sonically more consistent and it doesn't continually jump channels at the end. It doesn't make it better or worse, just different - and as someone who grew up on the stereo mix the differences are very noticeable. Similarly, "Your Mother Should Know" seems to have more reverb and other effects piled on top of it in mono whereas the new stereo mix is crisp and clear - the former helps it fit in with the album better but the latter is more appropriate for the song itself. So it's a toss up - you kind of need both but neither are perfect.

Not sure what to do about the Past Masters set - the Mono Masters discs sound great and are probably what I'll go back to in the future but they're missing one of my favorite Beatles singles in "The Ballad of John and Yoko"/"Old Brown Shoe". It seems silly to have the entire catalogue bar two songs remastered - the single version of "Let It Be" is so similar to the album I don't really count it - but dropping another $17 for 2 songs when I'm already at well over $300 is hard to swallow.

Maybe I can convince people to get me the missing discs for Christmas - there's so much to go through it's not like I'll be lacking something to listen to until then.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:37 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

After debating it over, I went for the stereo box. I'm more of a fan of the later albums and couldn't justify the extra $50 that the mono set costs over stereo. I'm sure I'll be happy either way. Still, we all know that they should have bundled the two versions together. It's unreasonable to expect people to pay twice, at least to me. The rerelease of Pet Sounds that comes with both mono and stereo versions of every track should have been the model here. I know I'm missing out, but my family has to eat and I think this was the best compromise for me.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:44 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Rypro 525 View Post
i was wondering, from anyone who has heard these early, are the vocals on the stereo mix in the center of the mix, or are they still on either the left or right side depending on the song. Only reason i ask is because the old 87 mixes give me a headache on headphones, and i was going to go to target tomorrow to pick up sgt peppers and rubber soul for now.
You've hit on a key issue that many don't even discuss when they give their opinions - how they listen to the music. Truly, the vocals are far from center on many of the albums and how far from center depends on on the album (and sometimes the individual song). On Abbey Road (stereo from the get-go) the vocals are pleasantly front and center (comparatively). Sgt. Pepper's "Fixing a Hole" is pretty darn from center and distractingly so. Certainly if you are listening in a big room or even as background music it won't be an issue for many.

Someone on another forum was quite unhappy with the new releases and thought the releases are merely another money grab before remixing the music to strike a better balance between mono and (current stereo) releases. I see his point as more centered vocals and tightening some of the instruments (that sound like they come from far off stage left and right) in some instances would probably make the mono and stereo mixes a moot point for many. That said, if the producers went straight to new mixes from remastered sources there would have been screaming about raping the music versus giving the fans the music as originally accomplished. Nothing's perfect, but I don't think many will be truly unhappy campers with the result (even if it took them long enough).
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Old 09-09-09, 09:48 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
After debating it over, I went for the stereo box. I'm more of a fan of the later albums and couldn't justify the extra $50 that the mono set costs over stereo. I'm sure I'll be happy either way. Still, we all know that they should have bundled the two versions together. It's unreasonable to expect people to pay twice, at least to me. The rerelease of Pet Sounds that comes with both mono and stereo versions of every track should have been the model here. I know I'm missing out, but my family has to eat and I think this was the best compromise for me.
Yeah, you don't see that with movies. You don't have to pay more to get the original mono and the 5.1 mix for Jaws, for instance.

Well, you did have to buy it again, but that's beside the point.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

I'm only up to track five on 'Abby Road' but what strikes me the most of the remastering is that it sounds very open - in that the stereo seperation seems very wide - of course I'm listening to this in the car where the front speaker configurement has the sound coming from the left, center and right speakers.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

I picked up ten of the discs at Target (the first one only had one each of five titles, but they're currently refurbishing the store so I should have guessed). I can confirm that the two double discs are $16.99 and that the gift card deal is in their system.

I'm sorely tempted by the mono set, but I can't justify that expense. I'm holding off on PPM, WtB, BfS and YS until I've gone through the stereo discs to decide, but I'll probably skip them since they don't have the same sentimental and musical value for me personally.

So far I've only listened to the White Album's first disc. My car is not the ideal place, but the difference was particularly clear at the high treble and low bass as well as the sense that music wasn't a block of sound, but separate instruments. To my ear, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and the quiet songs were as some reviews have indicated -- like I finally got the wax out of my ears. I've long felt that Gently Weeps felt cluttered and have preferred the demo, some live versions and even a cover over it. This may finally change that.

Anyhow, happy listening. And please stop tempting me to buy the mono box!
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Old 09-09-09, 10:05 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

My Best Buy had 4 Mono sets in the display (I didn't look around to see if there were more elsewhere). I was surprised there was no fight for them. I was in the store for about 5-10 minutes and there were still 2 left when I checked out.

I had one of those 10% off coupons, too, so not bad...
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Old 09-09-09, 10:07 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by auto View Post
The Target albums are $11.98 each with the exception of the The White Album and Past Masters which are $16.98. My Target only had 4-5 copies of each on display.
Same as my Target in south Austin. These will be gone quickly. hopefully they can be replenished.

I went ahead and bought all the stereos since that price was so nice. Mono box has shipped with my $200 Amazon GC attached. I think my wife will be okay with everything as long as I give her the $35 in Target GCs and dont buy Rock Band. We saw it being played last night at Best Buy. I was hinting around at how neat it looked. She thought it was incredibly stupid.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:10 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by brokenhanger View Post
Mono vs stereo 'Magical Mystery Tour' is a toss up. The stereo separation on headphones - particularly in the more dense songs such as "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Baby You're A Rich Man" - is annoying to the point of distraction and takes much of the impact away from the songs. "I Am The Walrus" suffers the most with the sudden snap to "fake stereo" halfway through and then the obnoxious continual panning in the song's fade out. However, other tracks are more vibrant and full of life in the remaster - "Your Mother Should Know" and "Penny Lane" especially - and were well worth the upgrade. On the mono disc it's the opposite. Having everything on one track in mono for "Strawberry Fields Forever" especially gives it its punch back and is sounds amazing while the McCartney tracks lack some of the pizazz of the stereo mix. However, there are very noticeable differences in the mixes - "I Am The Walrus" is missing a lot of its percussion in the first half of the track but the song overall is sonically more consistent and it doesn't continually jump channels at the end. It doesn't make it better or worse, just different - and as someone who grew up on the stereo mix the differences are very noticeable. Similarly, "Your Mother Should Know" seems to have more reverb and other effects piled on top of it in mono whereas the new stereo mix is crisp and clear - the former helps it fit in with the album better but the latter is more appropriate for the song itself. So it's a toss up - you kind of need both but neither are perfect.
Good points all. Penny Lane is slightly better in stereo as the mono version seems to limit the added instruments such as the flute. Still the flute (for example) is so far afield in stereo it becomes annoying. Oh well.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:22 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Anyone who saw the mono box set at best buy, please post the in store price?
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Old 09-09-09, 10:23 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
I'm holding out hope that I will be able to walk into Best Buy on Tuesday morning and find a Mono Set.
Originally Posted by JAA View Post


Sorry, I couldn't help it. Don't forget a prayer to go along with your hope.


Originally Posted by BrandonJF View Post
My Best Buy had 4 Mono sets in the display (I didn't look around to see if there were more elsewhere). I was surprised there was no fight for them. I was in the store for about 5-10 minutes and there were still 2 left when I checked out.
My store only had three. There were four of us that wanted it right off the bat, so at least one person left empty-handed. I was the first person in the door, but didn't see the Mono Set on the rear of the display; both me and the second guy in the store walked right past 'em. Luckily I had some help from someone on the inside in getting one of the three; he went back up there and picked up the last copy from the rear of the display. That specific store is supposed to get four more in at some point in the near future; the other stores in the area had one or two each.

Originally Posted by grip View Post
Anyone who saw the mono box set at best buy, please post the in store price?
Sticker price is $249.99. Sale price is $229.99.

Last edited by kstublen; 09-09-09 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:26 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
Ah $250 (edit $229) plus tax.....Ordering from Amazon........


stand by.....


NOW! (thank god for Prime)


Last edited by grip; 09-09-09 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:27 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Was the mono set $249 at BB, or did they have it at a discount lower than the stickered price?
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Old 09-09-09, 10:28 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
Sticker price is $249.99. Sale price is $229.99.
Man, I paid a bit more than that AND had trade in credit to even knock the price down to that. I honestly didn't expect any to be out there today, though, so in the long run I'm happy I did.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:33 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

is the mono box a limited release? (I assume)
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Old 09-09-09, 10:34 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
Glad you snagged one. Now all you have to do is show the receipt showing you got it on TUESDAY and they'll look quite foolish (and me too).
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Old 09-09-09, 10:40 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
is the mono box a limited release? (I assume)
It WAS limited at one point and (unless there's been an official update) they will be producing more with exactly how many MORE being unknown. It might now just be 'limited' to demand.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:33 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Was the mono set $249 at BB, or did they have it at a discount lower than the stickered price?
The best was the 10% off coupon (which they send out in the mail periodically) worked even though it was "on sale" for $229.99. So, it ended up being $207 + tax for me.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:54 AM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

I just got back from Target and they didn't have a lot of copies. Probably around 15 of the White Album and no more than 4 of anything else, with only a couple of most. I got the last copy of Past Masters.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:05 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by ctyankee View Post
It WAS limited at one point and (unless there's been an official update) they will be producing more with exactly how many MORE being unknown. It might now just be 'limited' to demand.
And it that why the price is $50 more because it's "limited edition" or because that is the preferred version to "most"?
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Old 09-09-09, 12:09 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by ctyankee View Post
It WAS limited at one point and (unless there's been an official update) they will be producing more with exactly how many MORE being unknown. It might now just be 'limited' to demand.
On the stevehoffman.tv forums (Those people are psycho audio and Beatlephiles) before it went down yesterday, there were a couple posts that that stated 3000 more were being produced. Supposedly stated on a Beatles radio show.

Even if they only print 3000 more, I think there will be enough to get into the hands of people that truly want them instead of just flippers after the initial ebay mania of it dies down.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:11 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Duh Vuh Duh View Post
And it that why the price is $50 more because it's "limited edition" or because that is the preferred version to "most"?
It has to do with the packaging of each cd. If you have seen any of the authentic Japanese mini lp's you would have an idea of the quality. They truly are exact replicas. They normally seell for $20-$25 each when new. Whether you think cool packaging is worth it or not is up to you.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:41 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Duh Vuh Duh View Post
And it that why the price is $50 more because it's "limited edition" or because that is the preferred version to "most"?
Not to most, but to hardcore fans who will pay it.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:55 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
It has to do with the packaging of each cd. If you have seen any of the authentic Japanese mini lp's you would have an idea of the quality. They truly are exact replicas. They normally seell for $20-$25 each when new. Whether you think cool packaging is worth it or not is up to you.
Ah no. The stereo version has cool packaging on each CD too (including albums notes if the original LPs had them). The mini-LP artwork? If you think that cost much to manufacture and distribute I've got some swamp land in Florida we should discuss. AND there are three more albums in the Stereo boxset. Clearly, the mono version is simply a 'let's get the die-hards to fork over more cash for fewer albums.' If the mono versions were available as singles, the set would have been a real limited edition item and there is no way they would get over 200 bucks for it.

A couple forums state that it was originally suppose to be limited to 10,000 copies. But even that is quite unclear.

Last edited by ctyankee; 09-09-09 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:55 PM
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Re: Beatles Remasters Officially Coming 09-09-09

Honestly I really wish that we would have been given a choice to buy the mono versions of the albums separately as well. It irritates me a little that the only way I can get the mono versions of the albums are by buying the whole set and paying a premium price and not even getting all the albums. I know its due to the special mini lp packaging that the price is more, but I really don't even care that much about the packaging. I just want the discs. As it is now I just picked up Abbey Road and Let It Be this morning at Target and will probably eventually go back and get the rest as well. I was planning on the mono set but I just don't know if I can justify its cost as much as I'd love to have it.
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