Beatles Vinyl Remastered, Finally Coming, Shipping Mid-November

After a delay of a few years, due to the meticulousness of all involved, The Beatles catalog will finally be reissued in the format in which it's meant to be heard and has always sounded best: vinyl.

The first hold-ups were due to finding a pressing plant that could consistently produce the level of quiet demanded by the producers. Then came issues related to the full-sized book that will be included in the box.

While many of us had hoped for an AAA release, that was simply not possible. My contact at EMI in the UK told me how difficult it was getting the estates of John (Yoko) and George (Olivia) plus Paul and Ringo to sign off on the 192/24 bit masters produced for the CD reissues.

Issuing the vinyl from the original tapes would require them to audition test pressings and sign off again, which would have been even more difficult that okaying CDs. Besides, I was told, everyone felt important consistency within the catalog.

So the box was mastered to lacquers at Abbey Road using the original 192k/24 bit files. Clearly these will sound far superior to the CD versions, just as the 44.1K/24 bit Apple USB "dongle" version sounded better than the CD.

No doubt the set will eventually be issued on Blu-ray at 192/24 bit and perhaps it will also be available as a full rez Internet download but nothing can replace the vinyl experience, physically and sonically given that Abbey Road's D/A converters are probably far superior to what most of us have at home—if we even have D/A converters in our systems (some vinyl purists do not).

Will a mono box set follow? That is not certain yet, but it will probably depend upon the success of the stereo box and sales of individual titles that will be issued at the same time.

And a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Smafdy Assmilk's picture

The original tapes were transfered flat to 24/192... BUT... the mastered versions (EQ'd and level adjusted) were printed back to 24/44.1. That means the highest resolution that the approved mastered versions exist in is 24/44.1. Please let your ensuing review reflect that.

david's picture
chrisjames's picture

This picture takes me to the old days when every where you found the Beatles fans, I still remembers those golden era. Regards,Plumber West Palm Beach

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chrisjames's picture

No doubt the set will eventually be issued on Blu-ray at 192/24 bit and perhaps it will also be available as a full rez Internet download but nothing can replace the vinyl experience. Regards,Financial Planning Jupiter

chrisjames's picture

This picture takes me to the old days when every where you found the Beatles fans, I still remembers those golden era.

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chrisjames's picture

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Jim Tavegia's picture

I fear another money grab coming. It is rediculous that the Masters from remasters from the CDs from a few years ago are not being used. We were told they were "remastered maticulously". Why is there always someone around who thinks they know better.  

I'm probably not falling for this as much as I'd love some of the remasters on vinyl. And of course the mono's will be next.  

wgb113's picture

Hopefully the offer them as individual albums.  After buying both CD box sets I'd have preferred all of the Mono releases up until Yellow Submarine.

The hi-rez (Mono) downloads are long overdue as well.


mauidj's picture

Yes..they will be available individually for $23 each. A total saving of about $100 over the set! I believe the box will include a book and DVD.

mauidj's picture

Yep that's what they want!

Sad that we are already hearing excuses rather than plaudits! am I NOT going to buy these...damn it ;-)

Just out of the box set (which costs about $100 more than buying individually) going to be a true limited edition or is it worth waiting for the price to come down as it did for the Mono CD set?

Martin's picture

Will be interesting to hear them, if they are really pressed from 192/24 they must sound wonderful.

44.1/24 rather less so.

I'm not sure how many people with original parlaphones will be in the market for them though.

Now AAA, pressed to 45 rpm vinyl, that would be something.

curtiswhite's picture

I cant wait for this. Hopefully this wont be out of my price range.  I do have all of the original lps but all were warped during hurricane Katrina.crying. That was before they were passed down to me. 

Progdork's picture

My BC-13 set sounds fine to me.  I think I'll stick with that.   If a mono set is announced, I might be more enticed.

deckeda's picture

So, the families don't need to OK test pressings when made from re-EQ'd digital copies, but they would need to OK test pressings when made from unaltered analog originals. Why? If anything I'd think it'd be the converse.

EMI never delivers enough. You pick the medium or version and there's perpetually a better version still in the vault. They don't want to sell what they have, they want to hoard it for "later." As is their right. And mine is to take a pass.

It's true that LPs from 24/192 copies or hi res downloads would go a long way to making everyone happy but how can you trust a company that on the one says "sourced from the original analog masters" and then "explains" it's actually sourced from a digital copy?

Smafdy Assmilk's assertion has merit and I'd be surprised if the new LPs sounded much different than the USB flash drive.

JC1957's picture

Won't be breaking down the doors of my local record store on release date. The box set is way overpriced compared to buying the LP's individually. I'll try a couple of titles and go from or stop there.

And for Chrisssake EMI/Apple, give us the mono LP's.

Paul Boudreau's picture

"My contact at EMI in the UK told me how difficult it was getting the estates of John (Yoko) and George (Olivia) plus Paul and Ringo to sign off on the 192/24 bit masters produced for the CD reissues."


I for one would like to hear more about this, i.e. what were the disagreements about? 

Martin's picture

"My contact at EMI in the UK told me how difficult it was getting the estates of John (Yoko) and George (Olivia) plus Paul and Ringo to sign off on the 192/24 bit masters produced for the CD reissues."

Working with wealthy families you get an appreciation for how hard it is to get members of the same extended family to sit down together and agree on anything. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get four different interest groups to agree. Plus they probably don't get along that well at the best of times. There is usually nothing rational, logical or even sensible about the process.

J.D.'s picture

There are a lot of concerns with a release like this, but surely business and ROI trumps all in the final decision.  It's likely that market research has shown that consumers in appropriate numbers will not pay $85 for, say, a Rubber Soul lp reissue.  Or even $55.  Which might have allowed a return adequate to justify the high resolution source. 

But if the data shows that they will only pay $25, albeit in sufficient numbers, then the obvious business decision is to allow it--- but dilute the material.  And keep hold of the goose that lays the golden eggs, for the next go-round.

It is as if a winery couldn't get enough buyers at the $85 for a bottle of a great vintage year. So they choose to sell a Blend, containing some of the great vintage, for the $25 they know they can sell in the millions.  And they keep most of  that great vintage in the cellars, undiluted for the future.

And they know they can come back, every 5-7 years, and re-sell some kind of new twist on the product that never empties the cellar.   One year a futurist Usb drive, the next time out a retro Lp pressing. 

It's business, not art.

Martin's picture

the thing is, they don't need the cash. 

Once the "we need the money" driver is removed, it is all about emotion, ego and fuzzy factors. There is nothing, nothing, nothing rational, logical or sensible about these processes when it comes down to the actual people in control of assets.

RobWynn's picture

After letting the news sit overnight, I was going to order a few individual titles just now, until...

Interesting that the "Big 3" online audiophile sites no longer have the box or the individual titles available for ordering on their sites today.

marmaduke's picture

According to a source at one of the Big 3 online etailers, EMI jumped the gun in announcing the release.  The take down was the necessary result.

Those naughty twits should get a spanking.

deckeda's picture

Acoustic Sounds is doing a pre-order for $350. I'll divide that by 16 for you. It's less than $22 a title.

A mono set comes next year.

No additional dynamic compression, apparently.

mraudioguru's picture

Nice to see the info on the mono set.

dobyblue's picture

An e-mail from Abbey Road to a SH Forum member confirmed today that they went back to the 24/192 archives and did all their mastering at 24/96, those are the files the vinyl will be cut from.

For those wanting all analogue you can still find Blue Boxes for around $400.

I wish these were all analogue, and the Rubber Soul and Help! stereo versions in the Stereo box will be from the 16-bit George Martin 1987 mixes. However 24/96-sourced vinyl when done properly can sound fantastic, so I'll definitely be picking this up or the few titles individually that I want.

Smafdy Assmilk's picture

Interesting news about them going back and making 24/96 EQ'd files. Do you have a link for that post at SHF?

tresaino's picture

I won't bite into this, using the 16bit for a vinyl reissue of Help and Rubber Soul is unacceptable. 

Paul Boudreau's picture

Hmm, I wonder if any of the 96/24 titles will be available as downloads, say from HDTracks?  That might be tempting.  The stereo LP box is sounding a bit iffy to me although I'd definitely be interested in the mono LP box.

Smafdy Assmilk's picture

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the source used for these LPs. I've searched all over these world wide internets, but could not find a difinitve answer. So... unless otherwise stated by one of the Abbey Road engineers, we should probably assume these LPs were cut from the 24/44.1 digital files that were used for the 2009 CD releases (minues the digital limited added during the bouncedown to 16 bits).

Here's the workflow of the 2009 remasterings:

1. The original analog tapes were transfered, flat, to 24/192.

2. Some cleanup work and edits were done in Pro Tools.

3. Those 24/192 files were played through Abbey Road's TG mastering console for EQ, as well as any analog compression that was applied.

4. That analog signal was recorded back into Pro Tools at 24/44.1.

5. The 24/44.1 files were digitally routed through the a hardware digital limiter and sample rate converted to 16/44.1 for CD.


Seeing how much time and energy it took for these remasters to be approved by all the estates and surviving band members, it seems highly unlikely, but not *completely* implausible, that anything other than these approved 24/44.1 files were used for the vinyl issues.

deckeda's picture

The press release, Beatles web site, this blog and more state they were cut from 24/96 files.

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