Friday, August 28, 2009


Both myself and my blogmate have been anxiously awaiting the release of The Beatles remasters box sets, particularly the mono set since they were announced. For those not aware the mono boxed set is limited to 10,000 copies in the United States and is already sold out. Now being "limited edition" means nothing in and of itself however, since it is of limited appeal there is every chance that it will go out of print. So why all of the the excitement for the mono set?

George Martin and The Beatles spent days, sometimes weeks mixing the mono version of most of their albums. The stereo mixes were done usually by an assistant engineer. Sometimes it was even worse, the stereo mix was done by an apprentice engineer. Paul McCartney briefly mentions this in the extra material on The Beatles Anthology DVDs. Saying roughly, "the stereo mixes were done one day while we (George Martin, the producer and The Beatles) were at lunch." With the exceptions of "Yellow Submarine", "Let It Be", and "Abbey Road" the mono mix was the baby. The stereo mix was the bastard redheaded stepchild at best.

At first blush this sounds like a massive oversight. But as Mr. McCartney goes on to point out ". . . ninety-Eight percent of people were listening in mono." Stereo was new, many thought it was a fad and wouldn't last. Many Hi-Fi enthusiasts resisted it in the beginning. It meant a serious amount of money needed to be spent. They were forced to buy another amplifier, another speaker, a new preamplifier, and a new turntable.

Will the sound live up to the expectations? If the review on Tone Audio is any indication the answer is a resounding YES! Also of interest is an ongoing thread on the Steve Hoffman forum. Amazon has some interesting podcasts on the remasters on the right hand side of the page. In addition to two 10 minute interviews with two of the engineers involved in the 4 year project there are there are numerous half minute samples of various Beatles songs to enjoy until the sets ship. September 9th can't arrive fast enough!


sara lou & stew said...

You boys just missed the massive, annual Beatle's tribute fest in Liverpool. Actually, I missed it too, but it was on the evening news. Get a few sponsors for this page and come and visit me in the UK. You can stay at ours and write the trip off because work trips are a tax deduction.

Clint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clint said...

I plan, one day, to visit the 'pool.

audioexplorer said...


I've had an offer to advertise but it wasn't very lucrative nor did I want to be associated with that company.

audioexplorer said...

Almost forgot to thank you for stopping by Sara. For the record you're cool enough to comment any time you like.