This is not a feature on how the records were produced but devotes itself to sonic comparisions, to form a sort of Buyers Guide, if you like.
What I must add, though, is that, to produce the mono editions, mastering engineers at Abbey Road actually utilised the original master tapes for this project: not a set of digital transfers.
They actually handled the crown jewels for this project. I was, after all, about to play mono pressings. Not because of possible damage or anything like that but because the sound will be no where near the potential of what the mono disc can produce. The differences are that obvious. Would you eat soup with chopsticks?
Well then. I wanted this test to be as thorough as possible. Experiencing that initial, iconic, dramatic chord from the guitar of George Harrison was comparatively harsh enough to induce wincing Cartridge Contact - Various - Essence Rare Vol. 2: In A Town For Ever high volumes.
Finally, I returned to the analogue source and an originalmono version of the album. Welcome additional benefits were a slightly more rounded McCartney bass guitar and lower bass from the Starr drum kit.
During the first few seconds of the track, I was moving my head and ears in various directions. My attention sped from one aural alert to the next.
Not bad for a mono soundstage. This is a particularly busy track. Playing the track Please Please Me, for example, was an absolute revelation. The immediacy of the music was quite startling. Vocals were right there, up close, almost breathing down your ear while guitars and drums were awash with a detailed clarity and sheer freshness that plastered a large smile on my face.
It was also wonderful to hear ambient details such as the hum of the guitar amp, after the singing had finished and just before the track ended to enter the inky black silence of the virgin vinyl. While the song, Boys, was so clean in its presentation, it just flowed through the speakers. This album is a truly remarkable recording in terms of immediacy and energy. As entities in themselves, I have a new appreciation of the early releases.
The group is there, in the room with you. The blend of voices, the structure of the musical accompaniment and the arrangement is also so fine and, oddly, so natural, that hearing this music is akin to fine dining.
That is, each element of the track is a taste in itself. You find yourself being delighted. Delighted at the treble in a guitar solo, delighted at the nuance of a vocal harmony, delighted at the energy within backing percussion and more. As for the later albums? Beatles fans will Maria Elena - Frank Pellico - By Request Volume I thrilled. For those Cartridge Contact - Various - Essence Rare Vol.
2: In A Town For Ever have a larger budget and are not restricted in terms of hardware selection, the story is not quite as straightforward. The reason? You can only really attend these details with a larger budget, however.
The issue relates to groove size. From that point, stereo became popular and the primary vinyl format. Stereo is cut with a smaller, 0. Hence, stereo cutting lathes of the time tended to have a plug-in mono cutter option, when required. The original pressings all use 1mil groove sizes.
You will hear all of the information available. This is what was happening in the tests above but, as that was a budget system, not a lot could be done about it. This, higher-end system though is different. To get around the issue, I brought in two superb mono cartridges from the Japanese outfit, Myajima. This was down to the pure Aches 1 - Pulse Emitter - Golden Cancer Aches of construction from Myajima which was, it has to be said, much more expensive too.
The latter is a mono cartridge built from the ground up to do a single job, the Ortofon, is a mono cartridge modified from a stereo design…and it shows.
In sonic terms for this test, though, the output was excellent. The band offered new and previously unheard realism. The soundstage was broad Cartridge Contact - Various - Essence Rare Vol. 2: In A Town For Ever clear with plenty of air and space. Bass was meaty and crunchy while lead guitar was detailed. Only the piano sounded slightly Cartridge Contact - Various - Essence Rare Vol. 2: In A Town For Ever in its presentation. Vocals, on the other hand, were forceful and emotional.
The reissue attempted to draw the ear here and there. Now this! This could easily be done but required a touch more work on the ear, nevertheless. Drums were more characterful and meaty as was the bass and the tambourine was just as clear and concise although the bass was a touch less articulated on the original pressing. Lead guitar was energetic and bouncy but the two main differences resided with the piano, which now offered a broader and more tonally realistic presentation and the vocal performances What It Feels Like For A Girl (Feels Just Right Mix - (Manny Lehman)) - Madonna - What It Feels Lik McCartney and Lennon.
Lennon provided the harmony but his voice was more easily followed and the vocal separation between the two men was clearer.
With the 0. That is, the changes and modifications that the 0. Very similar indeed. The ultimate Beatles mono experience demands that you get yourself a top quality mono cartridge that includes a stylus made for the correctly sized grooves.
That means a 0. I reckon that the new reissues just edge out the original pressings in terms of pure sonic ability. The amount of work to get to that point has been monumental from Abbey Road who should be hearily congratulated.
As I have said above, you should really utilise the right mono cartridge stylus size for its preferred groove size. That means in general terms using a 1mil stylus for vinyl Come On Over - Bee Gees - Here At Last Bee Gees Live before and a 0. One good reason for this is to see how each faired in sonic terms. You might not have a second turntable to fit the second cartridge or space to install Florence Hi-Kuality ( Blade rmx ) - VARIOUS - Superchancla Estilo Electro Dance Vol 2 or the thought of changing from 1mil to 0.
Which is fine and very workable. Your best bet, in this case, is to take a broad view of your vinyl collection. If, on the other hand, your record collection is decidely more modern in flavour then go for a 0.
FOR: The ultimate box set. Compression adds a hardness to playback. Hence, older sets, listed below, have great collectable value.
A mono version was released in more limited numbers. No doubt, at the time, it was. Released in this eight LP collection lists tracks in chronological order. I currently write for national magazines in the subjects of business, music, hi-fi and general technology. Hi Paul, Nice review on the new Beatles mono box set.
I have a Kotetu cart, love it and read your review on that as well. It was a very informative study for me on the mil size of the record.
Interesting enough I have been getting into buying and listening to more and more mono being that I prefer that sound. Stereo is great too! Additionally based on your listening sessions, if I had a 1mil cart like the Zero the Original Rubber Soul would sound that much better. Your input is appreciated. Thanks for you letter, Robert. Ears which, I reckon, may be slightly different from my own.
But, hey, Viva la Difference! Bass will be stripped from it because the Kotetu will not be able to track the grooves properly. It will not be able to retain full contact with the groove walls. A 1mil tip would provide a more realistic sound for the original cut. If you played the original with a 1mil then that tip would give you a true tonal balance with a wealth of extra bass.
What is more important is that you have discovered mono and the joys it can bestow. Hi Paul, Thank you for your feedback and getting to my thoughts so promptly. Just spoke with Peter Ledermann Soundsmith. Of course all of us audiophiles want to strive for the best sound possible. He actually disagreed whole Xoxito - Various - Hot Hard Core 2012 with a comment about the 1mil needle.
I respect Peter and what he does but I strongly disagree with him on this one. Because no-one and I mean no-one can be absolutely certain about the dates here. There are no cut-off dates.
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