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40 of 41 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 2 months ago by Philbee

versus
0 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars loads of better 60s groups
S*** a*** s***. Why would anyone want this junk. Overated .loads of better 60s groups. Look around and listen.
Published 2 months ago by David Roberts


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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles Mono Vinyl Box set: Mono-mental., 29 Sep 2014
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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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An expensive but best-ever listen to (the majority of) the most illustrious back catalogue in modern popular music, 11 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Many words have been written about the music within this box, and you don't need me to add to it, so I'll concentrate on the technical quality of the product. The pressings here are incredible, though I will warn that it took ordering a replacement before I'd got undamaged copies of all 14 LPs from the set. Once I'd managed that, returned the damaged copies, and could sit back and enjoy the music, it was a marvellous experience. I have all the records several times over in various formats. This is the best ever, and I can now confirm (if there was ever any doubt) that mono is the best way to hear the Beatles, at least up to and including Magical Mystery Tour. It's an expensive buy, and you'll need to sort out copies of "Abbey Road" & "Let It Be", which were stereo-only albums, plus three stereo-only A & B sides ("Ballad of J&Y", "Old Brown Shoe" and "Let it Be" 7" version), but if you care about vinyl being the best way to listen to the music herein, then all the technical care you'll be expecting is here. The book is a good read as well.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles fan revelation., 28 Oct 2014
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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.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is that really necessary ??, 8 Sep 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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mono box excellent, 26 Oct 2014
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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 ?
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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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mono is the way to go!, 27 Oct 2014
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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!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental - A moment in time to remember, 8 Sep 2014
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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.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help!, 8 Sep 2014
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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.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Beatles collection apart from the original pressings you need to own, superb., 8 Sep 2014
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I took a chance on this as I have never been too impressed with repressed vinyl as I have never found it to be close in quality to the originals.
To say I am impressed is an understatement, these mono pressings are as close to the first press originals as they could be. I played my original mono Sgt Pepper last night along side this one and although not quite the same I would say most people wouldn't notice any difference as it's that good. The same goes for the others which I have done direct comparisons with the original pressings.
The covers are faithful reproductions with flip backs and quality labels, Pepper and the White album have the original artwork etc.
It all comes in a quality box with a nice book and an extra triple album and I think this is great value for money and much cheaper than trying to buy all the original pressings of these classic albums. Every record is flat which is a real bonus as so much modern heavy vinyl is warped.
The engineers have done a brilliant job and used the original analogue masters and studio notes to make this the best Beatles collection to date.
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The Beatles In Mono [VINYL] by The Beatles (Vinyl - 2014)
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