Customer Reviews for

The Beatles in Mono Box Set

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Beatles Mono Box Set is the one to own!

    What a coup...to finally have this material released as it was originally intended to be heard. The Fab Four in a fab restoration that is brilliantly remastered, repackaged, and reproduced in every way. And in addition to all the great music you have the great liner notes and a great presentation. The box itself -- and all the original album covers reproduced within -- is a work of art...a pleasure to look at and to look through. But the best treat of all is when you put the CDs in your player and hear the music. Noone -- not even Beatles fans who heard them live back in the day (all they heard were screams!) -- has EVER heard the Beatles like this. Every other version of these discs is now rendered obsolete...these are the ones to own. Personally, I picked up this box set -- it was worth the wait -- and then got the other three discs that were originally recorded and released in stereo (Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, and Let It Be). If you've ever heard of someone (with the financial means) liking a car so much they actually buy TWO so they'll have another one to drive when the first one wears out...and if you are fortunate enough to be in that position...you may want to consider picking up an extra set (hey, it's a lot cheaper than a car!), and do the same...though I doubt these will EVER wear out. Remember with LPs...you could play them so much you could actually wear the grooves out? (I'm dating myself here!) Well with CDs I don't think you'll have that problem...but the backup set will give you peace of mind. Put it in a safe deposit box. In a way, listening to all these great recordings is a little bit like opening up a time capsule. And what joys are to be found inside. It is a real eye opener -- and ear opener, too! Each disc holds a trove of special treats. Songs you'd forgotten about, lesser known wonders. Fab indeed!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential for fans who lived it

    I grew up with this music so I had to have the Mono versions. The only other Beatles on CD I own are the Toshiba Box Set, BBC, Anthologies & LIBN. It would be hard for me to recommend this to a casual fan, especially the young folks like my boys. I've been playing music for 40+ years so this is like a history book so to speak. If you are strapped for cash I would wait because this will be milked to death and I feel sure you will be able to buy individual CDs in the future. It is expensive and the booklet is a joke. By the way, the best Box Set I have ever purchased was The Complete Hank Williams. That is how a Box Set should be packaged. Hank shaped the future of music just like the Beatles and his Box Set was presented as such. It is a bargain. Back to mono, this is how a lot of us heard this in the early 60's because Stereo was still a luxury until the mid 60's in the US. The mono versions are the way the Beatles completed the product thru the White Album, so I think they do sound better. But some of my friends don't think it sounds any better. Try to listen before you buy.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    you cant rate this any higher?

    I demand a recount!! probably the best box set ...ever.
    this box defines those boys demanding the world listen. some did it as well...none better and NONE as consistently GREAT for as long. Its The Beatles. It not like we're voting for socialized healthcare or something...LMGDFAO.
    Hope springs eternal. can you imagine how many kids have listened..heard this band...and thought...I wanna do that! I want a guitar for xmas".... If you have to ask why you just don't get it. Im just waiting the the technology to catch up to my fantasy... I want injectable beatles in my bloodstream..seeping deep into my bone marrow .... that way, when i pass on..and the casket lid is open...those friends and family can hear the beatles playing from my lifeless corpse.

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Worth It!

    I debated long and hard about which version of the remasters to purchase - the stereo or the mono? I was leaning toward the mono version, but there's the extra cost and then you have to buy Abbey Road, Yellow Submarine and Let It Be separately. I decided to buy the stereo version.

    I had done a lot of reading prior and heard about the fake stereo and its "ping-pong" effect. I was not entirely sure what they were talking about. When I got the stereo version, I absolutely loved the packaging. It is gorgeous. Nevertheless, I was disappointed with the sound.

    I am no audiophile and my equipment is, maybe, slightly above average, but I think I now know what this "ping-pong" effect might be. I did not spend hours analyzing it, but I had the sense that the vocals were coming forward, then going into the background and then forward again. Things were not jumping from side to side, as I had imagined the ping-pong effect would be. It was more of a fading in and out as if making room for something else to come forward. It has to do with the technology at the time and the limited number of tracks available to record on. I was just not completely satisfied, though the sound was very clean.

    So, I broke down and bought the mono version. Actually, I went broke buying the mono version, but I gotta say that I was knocked out. I absolutely love the sound. This is as it was originally recorded. It is real. It is crisp, clean and pure. I even went to the trouble of deleting the stereo version from my MP3 player and replaced it with my mono version.

    My recommendation is that you buy mono and then separately buy the remasters of Abbey Road, Yellow Submarine and Let It Be. Because AB and LIB were originally recorded in stereo, you do not have the issues that you have with "manufactured" stereo. I do not know the complete history of YS, but it is only available in stereo. It is great (at least the sound quality).

    I was happy thinking this is something of value I could pass down to my kids after I leave this world someday, but I am now thinking I might take it with me!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Beatles in Mono Box Set (It's about time)

    I remember when recorded music was making the transition from mono to stereo. Accordingly, Beatles' albums by the mid 1960s were released in both formats. I have all of the original releases (mono and stereo) on LP. Then when CDs came of age in the 1980s, EMI held back on releasing the Beatles' catalog on CD until 1987. Like most most Beatles' fans I was truly excited when they were finally released. However, it always seemed as if something were missing. The "new" CD releases seemed generic. I bought them anyway as novelties.

    Finally, in this decade, EMI announced a new remastering of The Beatles' music for CD (they had already been selling reissued LPs for years but never advertised it). It took four years, and considering the amount of the output by The Beatles between 1962 and 1970, this was no minor task. Like many hardcore Beatles' fans I awaited the release of the stereo and mono box sets with great anticipation. I'm not only pleased with the results, I'm ecstatic with BOTH sets, but this review is about the mono set specifically.

    One album stands out as having more differences than the others--the mono version of "The Beatles" aka "The White Album." ("The White Album" was the last Beatles' LP to be released in the mono format--"Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" were ONLY released in stereo in the UK and the USA.) Even the opening track "Back In The USSR" with its jet plane intro was different with it's electric guitar riff sound during the jet engine beginning. The cross fade between the opening track and "Dear Prudence" is different in the timing of the first notes of "Dear Prudence." Most noticeable is the ending of "Helter Skelter." Ringo's famous "I got blisters on my fingers" is edited out. The running time is one minute less than the stereo version. Even with the differences and limitations of monophonic recording, "The White Album," like ALL of their albums, is of the highest quality considering that all of tracks from the multi-track master are being pumped through one channel.

    "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" also has a very different presentation in mono. Notably "She's Leaving Home" is sped up and is a semitone higher than the stereo version. The reprise of the title track barely has Paul's lead vocal and he sings parts that cannot be heard in the stereo version.

    I could go on all day about the subtle and not so subtle differences between the mono and stereo versions, but one thing stands out--the quality of their sound set the standards by which other studios could only be compared.

    The mono versions have remained dormant for nearly four decades. FINALLY they have been given the treatment they so richly deserve. It has been said that "If you haven't heard 'Sgt Peppers' (and other albums) in mono, then you haven't heard it." This statement could not be more true. If are a huge Beatles' fan, and you don't have the new mono releases, your set is incomplete.

    There's no mistaking the fact that the new digital remasterings are head and shoulders above the 1987 versions. I received my sets and began to listen with an open mind, fearing that they would not meet my expectations. I was completely taken aback by the sound quality on these CDs. They are as close to the original analog sound as possible. This is a MUST HAVE for collectors.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    LISTEN LIKE THE FIRST TIME!

    ISSUES/DEBATE
    First: complaints over missing CD's and/or songs and poor packaging..only purchase this through Amazon and not the individuals sellers at a cheaper price.
    Second: The issue over Mono versus Stereo. I have both and I am blown away by the distinguishable voices/instruments in mono. I also love the new stereo. I will play some albums in the mono format and some in stereo. Mono has everything the stereo has but more. Also rock and roll is about beat and rhythm and the mono crushes the stereo. The stereo versions need to be remixed with the voices in the center and not so much drastic separation.

    MONO VS STEREO
    Let me state what probably everyone already knows that mono was the format of the day and the Beatles put all their energy into mixing the mono release. When stereo hit they passed this task off to others (Martin/engineers) and did not participate, therefore, more care in mono toward details.

    HISTORY/FACT
    I am old enough and own all of the original mono vinyl records as they were released but I also bought the stereo records when available. With that stated I never listened to the vinyl mono recordings on a quality piece of equipment as it was simply called a record player with one speaker. I then purchased the stereo vinyl but listened on that same cheap player. When I finally bought a quality stereo I could hear the massive separation, which I enjoyed. Depending on where I sat in the room would determine what I heard and over the years I would also pick up some subtleties. Sometimes I would listen in friend's homes and the album sounded different never realizing the position in the room determined how much or what I heard. I spent many hours at night listening with headphone. I then bought reel to reel, 8 tracks, cassettes in stereo versions and listened on good equipment with Koss headphones. These versions are implanted in my brain forever.

    STEREO (REMASTERED)
    I bought the remastered stereo Box Set and loved it as I heard the same things but clearer. Like cotton was removed from my ears. The horns were brighter and enjoyable. I did hear or notice sounds not familiar to me but basically I heard the familiar sounds just better and clearer.

    MONO
    When the remastered mono set was released the cost was $400 and I never entertained purchasing as I just do not have the crazy passion I did 40 years ago to just blindly buy everything/anything Beatles. I really thought mono sound would be inferior and not worth the price for what I thought a novelty item. I read the reviews stating it was the way to listen to The Beatles but never gave that a thought to purchase but my curiosity was always up. When The Beatle songs/albums became available on I Tunes the mono box set price dropped to $129 BINGO! Got it and I would now be able to hear what all the fuss was about.
    The first song I went for was Paperback Writer from the Past Masters. I always thought that was their worst recorded song because the drums where barely audible and the cymbals were not present. That would be my barometer about all the mono fuss. WOW! On mono the drums are out front and the voices and the cymbals sound live. This excited me so much I then started on the albums in order.

    The main things noticeable are:
    1. THE FOCUS. Mono is mono and directly in your face/ears no matter your position to the player. The stereo versions seem to lose or bury some sounds in the panning (separation) I just never dreamed mono could have the q

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    This is an absolute must for any Beatle fan

    This is how I rmeber hearing the Beatles for the first time. It's about time!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I waited a long time

    It was worth the wait...WOW!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    A Little Nostalgia For The Old Folks

    The Beatles' true mono recordings are all together in this beautifully packaged box set, having been digitally remastered in 2009. This is The Beatles I grew up with, as we didn't have stereo in our home; only a mono hi-fi. So we didn't buy the stereo albums until it was no longer an option.

    This set is mainly of interest to Beatles fanatics who already have the stereo versions of their albums. The mono versions of their recordings are representative of how The Beatles wanted it to be heard. The Beatles were quite involved in the mixing process for the mono recordings, but when it came to the stereo mixes, they left it up to George Martin and his production team to work it out.

    The result, in many cases, are alternate versions of their songs. Most are different just because of the mixing process, and a few are completely different takes. One example of an alternate take is the mono version of the song "Please Please Me". In stereo, John messes up the lyrics. On the mono version John got the lyrics right. One example of a song that differs because of the mixing process is "I'm Only Sleeping", which has different backward guitar sounds than the stereo mix. And the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is truly an alternate universe in mono.

    This set is really meant for the completist. I guess I'm one of those, as I was excited to know that I'd be able to hear "Back In The U.S.S.R." with the airplane sounds occuring in different places and the version of "Thank You Girl" without Lennon's harmonica.

    The only complaint I have is that "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" weren't included, as these albums were never properly mixed in mono. It would have been the cherry on top if they made mono mixes of these albums just for this set.

    Two nice bonuses in this collection are "Help!" and "Rubber Soul", both of which include the mono mixes PLUS the original 1965 stereo mixes. The 2009 stereo remasters of these albums use a 1987 remix, prepared by George Martin for The Beatles' late 1980's CD debut.

    Each album cover replicates the original UK album cover design, right down to the mustache & badge insert for "Pepper", and the poster & Beatles photos for the "white album".

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Beatles In Mono was well worth the wait!

    Having grown up with The Beatles and vividly remembering when each album originally came out, I was already more than acquainted with each and every cut on every one of these disks. None-the-less, hearing them in this remastered format far exceeded my expectations for clarity, crispness and artistic intricacy! While beyond ground-breaking at the time of original release, these songs come to new life in this format and literally sound like you are sitting in the studio. The freshness and power of the songs blast out in a previously unheard way, making them more vital, new and impressive than practically anything being released today or since! The Beatles In Mono rendered me speechless on countless occasions as I rediscovered the talents, magic and enjoyment of the greatest band of all time! The Fab Four have never sounded so good ... and I would have never imagined saying that prior to hearing this package! Well worth the wait ... absolutely ... I couldn't have asked for more!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Beatles In Mono box Set Review

    It is rarely that I listen to a remaster and get surprised that the producers of said remaster actually did a good job.

    These are as close to the vinyl as you're going to get, and since the vinyl discs are very hard to come by nowadays, I highly recommend everyone to get this set.

    A lot of people in America do not know that most albums except for 2 were all mixed in Mono, not Stereo. It is quite a different experience to listen to these gems in their original format.

    Cheers

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Beatles Mono Box Set--Remastered

    Excellant ! A must have for Beatle fans. Glenn Cook

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