Oh my...there goes $239.99 (Beatles mono box) (1 Viewer)

mjp

Founding member
Sounds like they took more preorders than they could fill. I wonder is any big shitholes stores like Best Buy have them in Los Angeles? I can check one here in Pasadena a little later today.

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Yikes, no boxes (not even stereo, let alone mono) anywhere around here. Even the small indie shops don't have it.

Though Best Buy did have the individual stereo remasters, so I picked up two of those that are missing from the mono box. No Yellow Submarine though. Odd, because they had dozens of each of the others.
 
You can buy the 1999 Yellow Submarine re-issue (the one with all Beatle tracks, not the 1987 one with the incidental music from the film). It's my understanding that the recent remastering process (or something quite similar) was applied to the 1999 Yellow Submarine version. Most of the tracks sound fantastic, except for Hey Bulldog, which is distorted. I'm not sure if this album was recently remastered again, or if the 1999 version was just re-packaged. Come to think of it, the Yellow Submarine album for the stereo box probably is the original album from '69, just remastered.

marina del rey: wow; that sucks. I know amazon is sold out, but they indicated to me that there would be more, so you might try to see if you could order from them for the remaining copies. I know amazon has been discussed around these parts in the past, but I was very impressed that they gave me free shipping (hell, it shipped on 9/8 and arrived today) and also discounted my price to to the subsequent-to-my-order adjusted price of $229.49.

It strikes me that they didn't have to do that, but they did.
 
I think I've found a couple places online that still have them, but they're in the $269 range. I'm going to try some of the retail stores here on the westside this evening and if I can't find anything I'll probably just reorder through one of the more expensive sites.
 
There was a story in the L.A. Times online about a major record store selling all 90 copies of the mono set in three hours. By mid-afternoon, they'd also sold 160 of 200 copies of the stereo set. So, you may need to overpay. $269 isn't horrible, and it is a nice set.
 

mjp

Founding member
Come to think of it, the Yellow Submarine album for the stereo box probably is the original album from '69, just remastered.
I think it is, based on the stuff I've read. I found it on the way home, so I picked up all three stereo discs, then, surprisingly, the mono box was waiting for me when I got home.

Now it's too much to absorb...
 
mjp: If you want to hear the most audible differences I've noted so far, check these out. I posted this on the Rick Resource website:

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I suppose that now that I'm duly impressed by the mono set, I'm gonna have to get the stereo set. In the mono set, the greatest differences I've noted so far are:

1. Flange in Lennon's vocal on Lucy in the Sky...
2. Tempo and pitch of She's Leaving Home
3. Overall bass sound in the first four albums. In other words, it has beef! You could hear the bass before, but you couldn't really feel it. Please Please Me sounds like it was recorded last week with a bank of 15's on the bass. I Saw Her Standing There, in particular, really shines.
4. Lady Madonna really has opened up.
5. Hey Bulldog sounds fantastic on the Mono Masters CD #2. For some reason, the version on the 1999 re-master sounds over-driven and distorted. At least on my copy; no reason to suspect mine is any different. All of the other 1999 yellow sub tracks sound fine to me.
6. The Mono Masters version of Revolution is dirty and heavy as a box of lead. Lennon would dig this one for sure.

Some mild disappointments:

1. I really expected Paperback Writer and Rain (two of my all-time favorites, and just a brilliant period for me) to jump out of my speakers, but they didn't. A little extra wash on the vocals in the echo part of Paperback Writer, but nothing really new to me on Rain. They sound about the same to me. Maybe they were just done very well back in the day.

Well, that's it.

Edited to add: Damn; Rubber Soul sounds like a different album with Paul's bass just right up there. Listen to all of it. I've got a big old smile on my face for all of this.
 

mjp

Founding member
I think a lot of the bass you're hearing the way it's supposed to sound for the first time is because the mono remasters aren't limited and compressed. I always found when mixing reggae as soon as they would turn those fucking compressors on the sound would flatten out and die. "But dude, you have to use a limiter, it makes it sound uniform and professional..." Ugh.

Thanks for the notes, I am really looking forward to sitting in my music room with these all day very soon. Had to do something tonight so haven't really had a chance to listen yet. Ripping them to wav files right now for my hard drive backup copy.
 

mjp

Founding member
I looked at FLAC, but WAV is so entrenched that I have to assume it will have a long life. Plus I have two 1TB backup drives here, so space isn't really a concern. The lossless backups are just for emergency purposes anyway. It's kind of cool to have everything on a couple hard drives that I could grab if a fire broke out. ;)

This box set, I have to say, exceeds my expectations in just about every way. It's worth every penny, even if you have to bounce the rent check. I hope the Marley estate is watching, because this kind of high quality, comprehensive retro presentation would be perfect for Bob's work. It would have to be a lot bigger than this, but if it was done right I'd pay an arm and a leg for it.
 
Yes, it is an impressive effort, both visually and aurally. Pricey (at $17.65 per CD for the mono), but worth it to me. It's funny; I was reading some product reviews on-line today about what a rip-off it was and "it's just another set of what we already have..." and when I checked, these reviews were written back in August. What the hell is wrong with people?

Oh, and by the way, mjp, the first two of those notes I gave you (Lucy in the Sky and She's Leaving Home) come straight from the notes booklet with the CDs. But they are so significant that they bore repeating, in my mind. The rest are my own.
 

chronic

old and in the way
was reading some product reviews on-line today about what a rip-off it was and "it's just another set of what we already have..." and when I checked, these reviews were written back in August. What the hell is wrong with people?

It's probably a case of double-dipping syndrome. A general irritation with companies putting out "new & improved" versions of stuff they've already put out (often several times) before.

"If you liked buying it once, you'll just love buying it a fifth time."

I remember a few years ago there was a box set of Cary Grant DVDs in which every title except one had been issued before. Guess what... the only title that wasn't available for individual sale was the one that hadn't been released before. Talk about a cynical marketing ploy...
 
Yeah, lots of companies do that...whaaaat? Wait, you're a big Cary Grant fan???

Anyway; to each their own.

I know that Impulse!/GRP records went to great lengths to split up Coltrane's Village Vanguard performances across multiple CDs. I went to great lengths to get them all (I think), and a few months later they put out a nice boxed set with all I had compiled plus about 3 or 4 tracks you couldn't get anywhere else. Since that was after GRP acquired the Impulse! catalogue, I have no problem with Impulse! (which probably no longer exists). So, you can do the math...
 

chronic

old and in the way
Yeah, lots of companies do that...whaaaat? Wait, you're a big Cary Grant fan???

Not exactly, but I do like some of the old acidhead's movies (Arsenic & Old Lace is in my favorites list). I just thought that was a good example of the shitty tactics that some companies use to sell and re-sell their product.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Re-issue ! Re-package ! Re-package !
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra Track (and a tacky badge)

What chance that they'll be out again in 20 years in yet another previously unheard new edition?

Nice to hear though that you are all enjoying the new releases. Be nice to hear some more opinions when you've all had a good chance to listen to them some more. I imagine that I'd have to listen long and hard to notice any discernible differences.
 
Oh, Hank; Sgt. Pepper is such a different animal that you'd know right off the bat! The mono screams unlike the stereo version ever could.

Another opinion: The mono set, for some reason (I know, they explain it, but it still seems odd to me), includes both the mono and stereo remasters of Help! and Rubber Soul. Despite being a big headphones user, I much prefer the mono sound. At least at this point.
 

mjp

Founding member
The thing about this admittedly too-expensive beast is that it is not a repackage of anything you could get before. If it were just remasters of the existing stuff it would have never caught my attention. This is something else entirely, and for me anyway, the first time I am getting a chance to hear what the Beatles heard in the studio while Martin was mixing.

I had mono albums when I was a kid, but I played them on a $15 record player that probably had a three inch speaker in it. It was that or the radio, that's how I heard the Beatles. For me, this release is like scrubbing centuries of shit off the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and finally seeing what Michelangelo painted.

That's not overly dramatic, is it? Ha.

But If I were 10 years younger or 10 years older, I probably wouldn't give a shit. So I understand that to a lot of people all the fawning is just a bunch of old people getting misty about steam locomotives or the Chicago Columbian Exposition.

But until the KINGS OF LEON box set comes out, this will have to do.
 

chronic

old and in the way
The thing about this admittedly too-expensive beast is that it is not a repackage of anything you could get before. If it were just remasters of the existing stuff it would have never caught my attention. This is something else entirely, and for me anyway, the first time I am getting a chance to hear what the Beatles heard in the studio while Martin was mixing.

You know, I would probably have bought this myself if I could afford it, and you're right... this stuff hasn't been available before.

Unfortunately, the latest-and-greatest-version marketing gimmick has been so overdone that many people are weary (and wary) of buying the same thing over and over again. After the Regular Edition you can buy the Definitive Edition, then the Ultimate Edition, and, what comes after ultimate... the New and Improved Super Ultimate Edition with a never-before-heard bonus track.

It never seems to end.

But I didn't mean to imply that that was the case with this particular set, and every review I've seen so far has been positive.

The mono set, for some reason (I know, they explain it, but it still seems odd to me), includes both the mono and stereo remasters of Help! and Rubber Soul.

From what I've heard they include the original stereo mixes, different from what was previously issued on CD.
 

mjp

Founding member
Unfortunately, the latest-and-greatest-version marketing gimmick has been so overdone that many people are weary (and wary) of buying the same thing over and over again.
Oh, I hear you. That's always been my complaint about Black Sparrow.

I don't really care if they release a "better" version later, this will do for me. If they had sold the mono remasters separately I probably wouldn't have sprung for the box, just picked up a couple each month until I had them all (easier to digest that way anyhow). But this was the only way to get these - right now - so what can you do.

But I feel like kind of an ass, because I wouldn't be happy reading all this shit if I couldn't afford the box (wait, I couldn't afford the box...) or missed out on the order like the way Tower fucked MDR. So I'll shut up.

For a while. ;)
 
I once posted here that "a member of the Beatles stated that..." "...you haven't heard Sgt. Pepper until you've heard the mono version." I'd like to correct that: George Martin said that. But I needn't correct the message. Freaking fantastic! I just don't have enough Kleenex to deal with this.

And, I really hope MDR got something to fix his unfortunate situation. Fer shizzle.
 
...or missed out on the order like the way Tower fucked MDR...

Yeah, I went around to pretty much every music store in West LA, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey last night looking for one. No dice. Not even the stereo set is available. One of the Best Buy employees actually laughed at me when I asked him if they had any more.

But I came back home and placed an order online, and I just got an email from Barnes & Noble saying that my shipment is en route. Apparently they have a few of the mono sets left. It cost $30 more than before, but shipping is free.
 

mjp

Founding member
One of the Best Buy employees actually laughed at me when I asked him if they had any more.
That's not too ironic - guy standing there in that attractive blue polyester polo shirt, laughing at you. I guess you take your kicks wherever you can get them when you have to work a job like that.

Cool on the B&N find. The Beatle forums are full of tales of woe over not being able to find this fucker. I read somewhere last night that the number of additional copies available next month is only 3000. But I'm not sure I trust any numbers I've read about it...
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
OK audioBukphiles, its time for a dumb question.
The stereo box has 16 CDs plus a DVD while the mono just has 13 CDs but costs more.
So what's the hitch? Why is the stereo box cheaper?
PS: plenty of boxes left in net shops across Europa, f.eks. www.cdon.net.
 
Mostly supply and demand, really. Which happens to be a bit disingenuous on their part because they are now going to make more than the original 10,000 copies. So, the value is reduced. The mono set is really marked more toward collectors; completists, if you will. I'm not really a Beatles collector, per se, although I own most of their recordings in several states, I just wanted the true mono re-mixes.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Mostly supply and demand, really.
Thanks for putting things in perspecttive Purple S.
The price had me wondering if more effort was put into the mono box.
Anyway you guys have almost got me monophiled now.

Question: was stereo the beginning of the downfall of recorded music quality, way before the digital monstrer appeared?
Does live music ever have stereo?

Oh well, I'm gonna gamble on time and falling prices on the mono box.
Here's a good article on the mono box for non-audiophiles.
 

mjp

Founding member
Question: was stereo the beginning of the downfall of recorded music quality, way before the digital monstrer appeared?
No, mono vs. stereo has nothing to do with quality.

Look at it this way; making a stereo mix of music that was original recorded and mixed in mono is like colorizing a black and white movie. It's foisting a newer technology on an older art. It doesn't improve it, it just makes you wonder why that guy's vest, that woman's dress and the drapes are all exactly the same weird shade of green...

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The article is good, but a couple things - the first run of the mono box is not numbered, and this; "they would often not include their hit singles in their studio albums (feeling that would be ripping off their fans since they had already bought those singles)," is incorrect.

Singles were never part of albums in those days. They were looked at as two different things. There were probably marketing reasons for that - "The kids won't buy the album if they already have the songs!" - not to mention the fact that most kids could afford to buy singles more than albums, but it was not something specific to The Beatles. If they were really concerned about "ripping off" their fans, you would not have seen the thousands of Beatle products for sale at the height of their popularity. Not that they directly profited from all of that, but the certainly profited from a lot of it.

Later that attitude toward singles would change in a lot of places, as albums became collections of singles, and singles were pulled from albums. When the Wailers recorded and released their first proper album in Jamaica a lot of people were confused, thinking they had somehow missed a year's worth of singles. ;)
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Well sad to say, I haven't even opened my box set yet. Honestly, back to mjp's point about bouncing the rent check...I have actually thought of returning my set, or just selling it in order to not bounce the rent check at the beginning of October. I'm waiting to see where I stand once the bills are paid, end of month. At that point, it may come down to: Keeping the box set means bouncing the rent check, or keeping the box set means I spend the month of October sitting in the living room, listening to the box set and not leaving the house for lack of funds.

But what I wondered while holding the box set in my hands is? Is it actually numbered, but I think mjp answered that above? It seems it's not numbered?

In any event, I plan on keeping it and keeping my fingers crossed that some miracle will drop a winning lotto ticket on my front porch, or something to the sort.
 

mjp

Founding member
It is not numbered.

Based on everything I've read in the past week you should be able to get the box in a few months if you have to sell now. It's a bit of a gamble, but they are definitely making more. Hopefully they won't all end up in the hands of resellers and "investors."
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
It really is a shitty thing to to do announce a limited run of anything, sell them all, then announce more, without marking the first 10,000 as the "Limited" ones. It really devalues the ones that were bought early. Sure, if you are into LISTENING to it, it won't really matter, but if they decide to drop the price to $89 once they cannot sell them at $239 and do not mark them as such, then they really are abusing the fans.

Bill
 

mjp

Founding member
I'm not a defender of record companies, far from it, I look forward to the day that they all die, but I think in this case they just underestimated the demand.

If they thought they could sell 50,000 copies they would have had 51,000 copies ready to go on the 9th. It doesn't serve their bottom line to have thousands of people standing there with $250 ready to spend and nothing to spend it on.

And this being The Beatles it will never sell for $89. Apple/EMI have been very reluctant to put out a cut rate Beatles release. You will never see a $5 Beatles CD. Though if they go iTunes, which is likely, eventually, all this stuff will be available for substantially less. Assuming they release the mono mixes digitally...

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There is something called the "Gartner Hype Curve" that is applied to new computer and internet technologies. I think you could apply it to the mono box as well. We may currently be in the Trough of Disillusionment. ;)

gartner.gif
 

pichon64

Not read nor write
Getting back to the 'sound improvement section' of this Beatles' thread, I'm glad about now being able to listen to, for example, a lot clearer 'Twist & Shout', both stereo and mono versions. And I'm also glad about the resurrection of Paul's bass, and how the orchestral sections on songs like 'The End' or 'Goodnight' get deeper and wider. And the improved horn section on 'Revolution 1'? The cowbells, tambourines and Maxwell's hammer crush your brain too... if you listen with headphones. And Ringo's brief solo at the end of Abbey Road? Vocals got a lot of air in almost every song too.

And in spite of some online reviewer's comments, the 'screeching chair' at the end of 'A Day In The Life' is still there, deep inside the right channel.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
But I came back home and placed an order online, and I just got an email from Barnes & Noble saying that my shipment is en route. Apparently they have a few of the mono sets left. It cost $30 more than before, but shipping is free.

Good news there. The word internally is that our warehouses were completely sold out and that the publisher hadn't agreed to make more... and that was almost a week ago... glad you got your hands on one...
 
The word internally is that our warehouses were completely sold out and that the publisher hadn't agreed to make more... and that was almost a week ago...

You had me kind of concerned, there. But I'm pleased to report that it arrived yesterday.

Looks like they still have more available. They've even dropped the price of it online to $215 for B&N members.
 
See; here it goes. ebay has folks bidding around $300. I got mine for $230, but now, with more to come, it's dropping.

Not complaining, because I feel $230 is a decent, but somewhat gouging price. But if they put out so many more as to stove-pipe my even decent price; well, that's the recording industry for ya, folks. The only thing worse than buying a record is trying to play in front of people from an agent's gig. I'd rather swallow a mouthfull of someone else's puke.
 
well, after pre-ordering from amazon (back when this thread started) and cancelling a few days later, i just put in another pre-order with B and N. their site says it will be available october 27th...i may cancel it on saturday though ;)
 

mjp

Founding member
I keep reading that 3000 number in relation to the second pressing, but I'm skeptical, since they admitted that more than 10,000 were made for the US alone.

I don't care if they make 100,000, really. If the price comes down, it comes down. It's like being the first sucker in town to buy whatever new technology they come up with for TV. You pay $5000 and a year later your neighbor buys a better version of the same technology for $1500. It's the price you pay for early adoption.

I didn't buy any mono boxes to resell, so what do I care. But the people who did are probably feeling screwed. Which is fine, since they intended to screw someone else by profiting from it anyway. I won't shed a tear for the scalpers (but if any of you scalpers have a cheap Funhouse box to sell, call me, okay?).
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
You had me kind of concerned, there. But I'm pleased to report that it arrived yesterday.

Looks like they still have more available. They've even dropped the price of it online to $215 for B&N members.

Apologies for the concern. Glad to hear it arrived. I just know that between the online division and the brick and mortar divisions there's... animosity. Mainly for crap like this where they tell us they're all out and then still magically have some hanging around...
 
I've been toying with the idea of getting the stereo box set as well, but I finally came to my senses. So today, I picked up a few single issues of the stereo remasters: A Hard Day's Night, Revolver (really just to hear Tomorrow Never Knows in stereo), Sgt. Pepper (too much psychedelia to not give the stereo a chance), and Abbey Road. Once I find ...Mystery Tour I might actually be done.

You know, maybe. These stereo versions are good in headphones, for sure. Kinda adds to the whole mind-screw.
 

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