Customer Reviews


57 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles Mono Vinyl Box set: Mono-mental.
The last five years have brought a flurry of Beatles CD box sets – the ‘core’ items being the 2009 Stereo digital re-masters (on CD and, in 2012, vinyl), and the Mono CD set. Other more recent variations include ‘The US albums’ and ‘The Japan Box’. In spite of claims elsewhere, the 2009 Mono CD set did a good job of delivering a...
Published 5 months ago by Philbee

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Attention
Beatles musical talent in its clearest expression. Nevertheless, as shown in pictures below, product received with problems. Packaging protection absent at all. Unsatisfactory solution of the case by Amazon.co.uk
Published 2 months ago by SC)rgio Fornazier Meyrelles Filho


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles Mono Vinyl Box set: Mono-mental., 29 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
The last five years have brought a flurry of Beatles CD box sets – the ‘core’ items being the 2009 Stereo digital re-masters (on CD and, in 2012, vinyl), and the Mono CD set. Other more recent variations include ‘The US albums’ and ‘The Japan Box’. In spite of claims elsewhere, the 2009 Mono CD set did a good job of delivering a digital representation of the analogue warmth and power that made the band’s original mono records sound so great. It was (is) a beautifully produced set, complete with its perfect CD-sized facsimile UK album covers and inner sleeves, with each album (up to and including the White Album) mixed the way The Beatles preferred and sanctioned: in mono.

So why release a mono set on vinyl in 2014? The new box offers something very different at a time when interest in listening to music on vinyl is gaining popularity. It also represents – to my 50+ age group, at least – something of a holy grail. Originally, the Abbey Road sound engineers were going to use the Mono CD digital remasters in the production of the Vinyl box set (a similar approach was taken to the 2012 stereo vinyl set, but using the stereo digital remasters). But someone came up with the intriguing idea of using the original 1960s analogue mono masters as their source and utilising the same LP production processes as in the 'sixties. In other words, these LPs are not sourced from digital remasters; they are made directly from the original analogue mono masters.

It’s that decision that gives the Vinyl set a validity and musical integrity to a band that, in the early sixties, “would kill to be on a piece of plastic”.

How do they sound? I have a middling Cyrus hi-fi system with a 30-year-old AR deck and KEF monitors. While certainly not ‘crushing’ the 2009 Mono CDs as one reviewer claimed, the records sound (and look) rather wonderful. The pressings are silent and flat. Without a doubt, this vinyl set brings you closer to the spirit and drive of The Beatles' music, engaging the listener with a much more rewarding experience.

While obviously being much larger in size, this monumental set follows a similar template to the Mono CD set, down to the sturdy and imposing white outer box. Each LP cover and record label is beautifully reproduced, being faithful as possible to their 1960s UK forebears. We are talking of excellence here, and the bar has been set very high indeed. This will be as close as most people will get to owning the original albums, but in a pristine condition previously undreamt of. Pure magic.

A very worthwhile extra is the handsome 108-page hardback book, exclusive to this box set with plenty of previously rare or unseen photographs. Also present is Mono Masters – a very impressive triple-album containing all the mono singles, EPs, B-sides and original Yellow Submarine tracks spread over six sides of gorgeous heavyweight vinyl. Remember - Abbey Road and Let It Be are not included because they were originally released in stereo.

Finally - if you have decided to buy this wonderful set, take a couple of days off to properly experience opening and listening to it. The outer packaging is (rightly) designed to protect the contents against all but the most brutal handling, but take care opening it. Once you’re in, switch off your telly, mobile phone and computer, and just breathe in the smell of the 180-gram virgin vinyl before carefully placing it onto your record deck and playing it. Play it loud and enjoy it like it was the 'sixties. It’s unlikely there will be a bigger vinyl release for a long time, so savour it. By the way, you’ll need space to store it – the biggest band in the world comes in a very big box.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles fan revelation., 28 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Just received my box set in pristine condition. It was packed so well by the people at Amazon. It is without a doubt a stunning package. I was laughing like a six year old on Christmas Day just opening and looking at the contents. Beatles fans will have their money's worth just through the tactile pleasure before they have even put the records on their deck. I know these recordings like the back of my hand but alas only in stereo. I have (like most fans) read lots of the myth and argument on the merits of mono v stereo. Buying the cd re-masters a few years ago (cd stereo) was a minor revelation as they sounded so wonderful compared to my existing collection. I now have the opportunity (and forgiving wife) to luck out on owning and listening to these vinyl / mono releases. I'm now listening to A Hard Days Night and I'm in tears, its so thrilling. If you are in any doubt of throwing your money to the wind and purchasing I can honestly say it's the best music purchase I have.ever made and I've been collecting twenty eight years. I'm half way through the set and each LP has been like listening with new ears. They are dramatically different to the stereo versions. Every album Has a lovely spacial and open sound stage. Wonderfully cohesive, warm and direct. The performance really shines threw You can hear them really rock, boy what a fantastic rhythm section McCartney and Ringo were. The vocals and harmonies are in the room with you, I heard guitar parts that I never knew existed so rhythmical and tight. The most well known popular music catalogue is much superior in mono, no doubt about it. That the stereo mixes have been the standard for so long only points to the laziness and greed of record companies who understands little of the music they licence. Each album played well and all were flat and true. Every Beatles fan should buy this set, the book is terrific as well. At least buy them individually over time if you can't quite part with the money in one lump sum. I doubt that you will ever play their stereo counterparts again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Recordings in Mono, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I recall buying all the Beatles singles and most of their LP's and EP's over the years, but this boxed set is special. The book that accompanies the set is worth it alone, very good photos , info and technical comment. With three high quality audio record decks I have started playing the set bit by bit. No surface noise ! Absolute silence. No pre-echo either ! Detail and quality is excellent, and whilst there are differences between the LP's as regards recordings, the amount of detail is enough to get me to jump at certain times.

I am using an Ortofon 2M Black top of the range moving magnet (stereo) cartridge at 1.6 grams VTF , which has a similar recommended stylus profile for these vinyl grooves. (You can get a Mono version from Ortofon).
My cartridge is still running in after 19 hours, and the sound will get even better over time. On another deck, an Ortofon 2M Blue sounds very good too.

These vinyl discs are more enjoyable than the CD's I have of them, and they are not bad, either. More bass is apparent on many of the tracks and a more refined top end, more impact and cohesiveness overall. I noted a bit of distortion on peaks to parts of tracks like 'This Boy' which is on the Mono Masters three LP set. I suspect this is overload on the original master tape, and also noted it on the original record. But that doesn't matter, it is not digitised and true to the recording.

The presentation of the boxed set is excellent with individual record sleeves in cellophane and foam in the pack to keep it stiff for transport. The Mono masters three record set have lots of internal sleeve notes and photos. I bought "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions" separately, and this has additional detailed notes on most of the studio recordings, and alongside with the book in the boxed set make a comprehensive background to listening to the tracks.

I went to school with Ivor Cutler as one of my teachers, and he was in the Magical Mystery Tour Film, so that record will bring back some special memories. (He used to wear one red sock and one blue sock and write very wierd poetry !)

The impact of the recordings is so good, considering many of these were recorded over 50 years ago, it quite honestly, puts most CD's and MP3's to shame ! I don't think many have really heard vinyl audio potential at it's best. I did think that having so many LP's in mono would detract from the listening experience, but it doesn't. There seems to be very good separation between the instruments and also the voices, and that's without stereo ! Admittedly, when I first heard the Beatles as a lad, I used to play their singles and LP's on pretty naff equipment compared with now, but the records were not really produced for quality, as few had hi-fi audio.

Just playing "I Feel Fine", and it sounds fresh and alive. The plucking of guitar strings is very apparent. Ringo's cymbals and drums have never sounded better. But it ain't perfect. The blending of the chorus could be better in technical terms. But I didn't buy the set for perfection. I bought it for authenticity. "She's a Woman" has Paul belting it out, and the Rickenbacker Guitar sounds rich and tuneful. "Only a Northern Song" has an organ at the start and is quite spooky sounding with loads of reverb.

You need a well-balanced audio system, and that does not mean a vinyl system that costs a fortune. Take the time to select a good amplifier, speakers, cartridge, turntable and arm, and you will be amazed how good vinyl can sound. Avoid those all- in-one horrible record players as this boxed set would be wasted on it.

My favourite Beatles LP is 'Rubber Soul' I mislaid my mono copy and it was the first LP I owned so was pleased to listen to it again, but what a difference ! The clarity on the recordings is so much better, and I do have a second-hand copy to compare it with.

Overall, really pleased with this set, and will give me years of listening pleasure. I may record one or two to computer hard disc for posterity, through a high quality Focusrite preamp interface for my personal use.

If you grew up with the Beatles, this is a must have set. If you have only heard a few Beatles tracks, this is an opportunity to be educated on quality songwriting technique. Brilliant !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is that really necessary ??, 8 Sept. 2014
By 
JohnSpartan (Scottsdale, AZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
By way of introduction it would be very nice if AMAZON could remove those more than 120 reviews about digitally remastered CDs, because it's a completely different product.

I am absolutely sure that with this Mono vinyl set will start another fight between Mono-purists and 7.1-sound-enthusiasts, between keepers of the Holy Beatles' Grail and "I couldn't care less" people etc.

George Harrison once said: "When they invented Stereo, I remember thinking "Why? What do you want two speakers for?", because it ruined the sound from our point of view. You know, we had everything coming out of one speaker; now it had to come out of two speakers. It sounded like very naked." (Beatles Anthology DVD).

So The Beatles as composers and interpreters wanted it "MONO" at the time they created this music. And they also showed this by monitoring the Mono sound mixing while the Stereo mixing was done by the sound engineers only.

As the old Romans said: De gustibus non est disputandum - You may not discuss (refuse) different likings AND Suum quique - Everyone to his taste. So you should just find out the facts and let everybody decide by himself, whether he likes it (or not) and wants to pay about $ 400.- for it.

Most important for me is that this set is an analogue remastering after different digital remasterings on CDs and vinyl LPs. And this is exactly how the engineers acted in the 1960s. Here they do not exchange the carburettor of an old FORD Mustang V 8 for an electronic fuel injection, but just optimize the carburettor.

I could listen and test this new set for more than two weeks, because a good friend of mine had got a precopy professionally before it was available in stores. And he could not withstand the possibility to compare the new vinyl set not only to the digitally remastered vinyl LPs and CDs but also to original Mono vinyl LPs of the 1960s in best possible condition.

For these tests we had old (REVOX B 795, BRAUN L-710, BOSE 901-1 with McIntosh C 8 / MC 30 for example) and new (T+A pre- and power amplifier, CD- and record-player with T+A Solitaire and B&M Line 30) equipment. Ecstasy started at once and remained all the time. I have to confess in this context, that I grew up with Mono and also did not like the new "Ping-Pong-Stereo" of the beginning.

These really heavy ( 6.35 oz !! ) new LPs are the best analogue version of the Mono originals. The sound engineers used the original master tapes and the memos of their former colleagues. The sound is more tough and resolute (aggressive ?) than the "soft" versions we have listened to for many years from CDs, MP 3 etc.

But it just does not only sound "like yesterday, but much better" : They printed old style labels, copied the old covers etc. - you make a grown man cry!

Is the sound better with old or new equipment? Subjectively (or sentimentally ?) - the old sound is much better with these Mono recordings and the absolute winner. Music from this time, created for Mono, needs tube amplifiers, non-metal loudspeaker calottes and old pickups in the record player. Modern equipment sounds colder and more pitilessly in the reproduction of music.

My personal result : With considerable expenditure and love to the details made revised version of immortal music for a still satisfactory price. Nothing for average music consumers, but a "MUST" for all fans with puristic (nostalgic ?) orientation.

This record should be played loud !! (The Rolling Stones, "Let it bleed") and that's it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The benefit of remastering today and with slightly more modern analogue gear and the better replay equipment on offer, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Delivered on Friday 27 February and listened to in its entirety in three sessions. It is not cheap, but given the work that went in to their creation (the process is gone through in appropriately nerdy detail in the accompanying book), it is nonetheless great value for money.

A whole lot more effort went into the mono mixes at original release in the 60's because, after all, that was the format most people were listening to. For the purposes of this new mono vinyl box set, they used the original mono master tapes with exception of Please Please Me which was a bit too fragile to be worked on track-by-track so they made and used a 1st generation copy. Everything including the cutting was analogue with not a digit in sight. They used a 40 year old mixing console which was the closest they could find to the original 50 year old one - the remastering engineer said someone would have to prise it out of his cold dead hands as it sounded so musical and right. They even experimented with how different mains cables affected the sound - and they did significantly. For the tape player they used a slightly more modern rebuilt Studer A80 and, again, a slightly more modern, but still analogue, Neumann cutting lathe.

Because of the tracking limitations of the turntable packages most people were using in the 60's the records were originally cut with reduced bandwidth and, more particularly, significant bass roll-off to avoid the stylus performing an impromptu fandago across the grooves. The benefit of remastering today with slightly more modern analogue gear and the better replay equipment on offer, is that you can include more of what was on the original master tapes so that they should be more revealing than even the original 1st generation mono pressing . They also had the benefit of the original engineers notes on compression and EQ for each of the albums so they could follow those pretty much when remastering. As an example of the difference, apparently the bass on the Rubber Soul master tape was described as 'huge' and had to be turned down during the original cutting for the reasons given above. The remastering has enabled more of the bass to be loaded in but the engineer decided not to use it all as it rather swamped the mix.

At about £250 it is certainly expensive - but I repeat, I would say this set represents very good value for money. Otiose to review the music as we all know about that. And as noted elsewhere the quality of the pressings is first rate. This is the closest we are likely to get to how God, The Beatles and George Martin intended these songs to be heard. And these lovingly remastered mono mixes are light years better than the comedy stereo mixes available which are close to unlistenable. Indeed the quality is so good that you almost forget you are listening in mono.

One minor observation - the spindle holes on some of the albums were on the small side and needed a bit of whittling to get them comfortably onto my Thorens turntable - but that may be Thorens quirk.

Peter Loosley
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mono box excellent, 26 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
ESSENTIAL Beatles box set ,comes in a very robust box. The records are in order as they were released in the 60s. Excellent informative book with great never been seen before pictures. I find the mono sound is much better in most cases,- the early albums To make the full set of Beatles albums up, there is enough room in the box,if you take the padding out ! - I may shove last two Beatles albums in 'Stereo' Abby Road and Let it Be in there ?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As the Beatles were meant to be heard., 7 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I have The Beatles cd boxsets in mono and stereo but will probably never play them again now that I have these remastered vinyl. The sound is so good on my turntable that it sounds much closer and warmer than the mono cds. Been playing them like mad since I got them. If you want to hear the Beatles as they were meant to be heard then break the bank and pay for this boxset.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mono is the way to go!, 27 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I owned most of the original mono records back in the 1960s. Some are still in my possession. The records in this box set are exact replicas of the originals. They sound cleaner than their 1960s counterparts although some listeners may prefer the sound of the originals. I prefer my 1965 copy of 'Rubber Soul' to the one in this box! This is still a great purchase and a chance to own these definitive recordings. You won't regret buying these!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental - A moment in time to remember, 8 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I will never forget today, Monday 8th September 2014, as to my mind this is the single most important piece of music and packaging I have bought in over 35 years. Even after buying thousands of vinyl Lp's, CD's, tapes, DVD's and 78 rpm discs, nothing else tops this. This is exactly how The Beatles were meant to be heard and for someone like me, too young to have bought and experienced these Lp's back in the 1960's and too unforgiving to accept dismal condition originals masquerading as "mint" on every online website today, this is The Holy Grail of vinyl.

I have played most of these today as I took a day off work to do so and I am absolutely blown away by what I've heard and I'm in awe of the work the EMI team and Optimal have done here. I hope these guys get an award for this. Thanks too to Michael Fremer who has kept the lamp burning for vinyl in the cold dark years of digital. Your words and enthusiasm have kept some of us going!

Now if only we could all convince some of those guys on the What Hi-Fi forum who still believe vinyl is for old codgers and luddites and their precious PC hard-drives and DAC's do exactly the same job even better (cough, cough), then maybe, just maybe, we could convince the record companies to put vinyl FIRST again. Digital is evidently crap for listening to music. I've spent over ten thousand pounds trying to make it sound good and it just doesn't. I've given up.

As a child of the late Sixties today I feel like a teenager from that time. There is no greater more significant more culturally important or better representation of the greatest music by the greatest band ever, than what is beautifully created and packaged in this set. I genuinely pity anyone who hasn't got it in their hands today.

PS. Unfortunately I feel it is necessary to add something slightly negative to my review above: as of 22nd October 2014 I haven't yet been able to obtain a single perfect box of LP's. Although I stand by my initial enthusiasm for what has been achieved here, I think it is also important to warn potential customers that Optimal have FAILED to produce perfectly flat LP's. Even though my expensive t/table tracks all LP's perfectly and everything plays beautifully through without a glitch, it is nevertheless important to warn everyone that few if any of the Optimal pressings are actually flat. By that we mean, the LP does not have two sides that sit perfectly on the platter without there being any area raised. The main issue is "dished" discs which are bowl shape so that one side "appears" to be flat whilst the other only makes contact with the platter in the centre. This does not allow for accurate stylus / cartridge alignment and might conceivably ruin an expensive cartridge. I'm not giving up as I intend to buy these Lp's singularly now but Optimal should get all these warped / dished discs thrown back at them until they get it right. It appears that most American purchasers got perfect flat copies. Obviously in the UK where we are expected to pay 50% more for music that is British and pressed on European vinyl, we do not deserve the same high quality standards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help!, 8 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Don't know if anyone else has experienced this issue but my copy of With The Beatles contained the Help vinyl. I was mortified when Amazon suggested I return the complete boxed set but after negotiation they agreed to replace the one item given they are available individually. Took the edge off a bit that I could not play in chronological order but what I have played the quality is exceptional and for someone who grew up with the Beatles this mono vinyl set is a dream.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Beatles In Mono [VINYL]
The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] by The Beatles (Vinyl - 2014)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews