The Beatles Mono 2014 vs The Beatles remasters 2009

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Hi Beatles fanatics, I'm looking at these 2014 Mono reissues and it's pretty exciting to see an all analog transfer from the master tapes. But my question is: how do these sound compared to the extreme digital voodoo employed in the 2009 remastering? Like, I know it's more authentic, and that these are the intended mixes. But which SOUND better? And should I be getting the box or just buying them one by one? Thanks!

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 03:40 (four years ago) link

I haven't heard the 2014 mono reissues yet, but I've heard most of the 2009 stereo remasters and they sound pretty good to my ears; I don't hear any obvious digital artifacts. Can you point out the most obvious instances of "extreme digital voodoo"?

Lee626, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 03:46 (four years ago) link

Well I don't mean it as a diss, but listen to Abbey Road. The drums and bass have particularly been brought out using some crazy technology. I think it sounds awesome, but it's clearly not right. Again, I'm not against it, but I'd like to talk to someone who has these 2014 reissues AND the old ones.

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 04:49 (four years ago) link

Hm, I have a copy of the "black triangle" EMI Japan Abbey Road CD (widely considered the best of the pre-remaster Abbey Roads) and it sounds very very similar to the 2009 remaster, which was a great job. The monos are likewise very natural sounding and highly regarded. And of course you lose that comical separation - Revolver is almost unlistenable on headphones in stereo, but sounds brilliant in mono.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 05:59 (four years ago) link

That's great to hear. I guess I had assumed that the 2009 remasters were more heavily processed. But the more I read, the more it seems that maybe it's just better technology and that a lot of attention was paid to making them sound like the master tapes. I look forward to the 2014 mono editions that I'll be picking up soon.

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 08:07 (four years ago) link

the mono discs are great, but they are mono and the mixes are different. it depends on what you're listening for I guess. the stereo cds sound 'different' from the original stereo LPs, to a degree, the mono cds sound 'different' from those as well, but I'm not overly familiar with the original mono LPs. Do they sounds more 'natural'? maybe in some cases yes, and in other cases no.

akm, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 16:27 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

I was trying to figure out if "The White Album" was the first time the Beatles cared about stereo or the first time they preferred the stereo mixes they made, and it looks like it's more the former. From some interviews with Ken Scott, who mixed the albums with the Beatles since Emerick left during the sessions:

Guitar World, Nov. 2013

Q: Did you do the mono mixes for Magical Mystery Tour and the White Album? And why are the mono and stereo mixes so different?

Scott: Absolutely. Normally we went to mono first. Up until the White Album, they had never been interested in stereo. But they became interested around that time. Paul told me they wanted to make the stereo mixes different from the mono mixes because they’d started to get fan mail about how people were buying both the mono and stereo mixes.

Fans were sending The Beatles letters, telling them how the mixes were different. So they realized this was a good way of selling double the amount of albums. So we had to actually make stereo mixes that were different.

Up until the White Album, the stereo mixes were throwaways. England just wasn’t interested in stereo mixes. So they were done a little later, and we didn’t take massive amounts of notes. So if something was sped up, no one actually kept a note on how much it was sped up. It was just, “Oh, just speed it up a bit.” They were just thrown together, really.

Strange Brew, Sep. 2018

Q: The White Album was the first album specifically mixed for stereo as well as mono. How did the mixing process vary? The mono and stereo versions are very different at times like on ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

Scott: As people in England were still not into stereo up to this point, more expensive equipment needed to play it AND record companies charged more for stereo, the Beatles had only been in the studio for the mono mixes. They are the only ones they approved and stereo mixes were left until a short time after the completion of all recording and too often things that the Beatles had wanted and were done for the mono mixes were forgotten when it came to the stereo mixes. “She’s Leaving Home” is a great example of this. But for the White album the stereo mixes were often done immediately after the mono version with differences requested by the band members. I was told by Paul that the reason for this was that they had been receiving fan mail telling them how much the fans liked the differences and so they thought they might sell even more records by purposely changing things between mixes.

birdistheword, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:04 (one week ago) link


I guess I had assumed that the 2009 remasters were more heavily processed

The 2009 stereo remasters had a bit done on them - a touch of limiting and some EQ work (I wish they eased off on the treble and upper mids) - but the 2009 mono remasters are done with a much lighter hand. I still love them, I even prefer the 2009 mono Pepper to the 2017 remaster of the mono mix on the box set which is a bit bright for my tastes.

birdistheword, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:08 (one week ago) link

This guy makes some weapons-grade Beatles pressings nerdery, some of which is pretty helpful.

Maresn3st, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:20 (one week ago) link

Maresn3st, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:21 (one week ago) link

Oh bum, sorry, no idea what's going on there.

Just go to YT and search for "Parlogram Auctions"

Maresn3st, Thursday, 9 September 2021 16:22 (one week ago) link

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