BeatleLinks LogoNav Panel New Sites Cool Sites Top Rated Fab Forum Add A Site Link To Us Revolution Radio New Products



Go Back   BeatleLinks Fab Forum > New Products > The Remasters


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Oct 09, 2009, 07:12 AM   #1
834
Dr. Robert
 
834's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 24, 2006
Location: Nutopia, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,476

Default Interesting Review

I saw this review from someone who posted on Amazon re: the 'Revolver' Remaster. Quite the breakdown:

The 2009 remaster is not worth buying unless:

* You don't own the same album already on CD.
* You are an audiophile who is willing to pay big bucks for small improvements.
* You like collecting stuff and want the cardboard and booklets that come with the new version.

Everyone who is saying there is a dramatic audible difference between this release and the previous CD is wrong. I'm not saying their opinion differs from mine, I'm saying they're wrong. That's a strong statement, and I'll try to back it up without getting too geeky.

The Beatles remasters are a little louder than the 1987 CD releases. Music sounds better as it's turned up a little louder (up to the point where it starts to annoy the listener). Most people don't have a way to exactly volume-level the two releases to compare them. That's why they think the new ones are so much improved, when they're only slightly improved.

<geek mode on>

Conventional wisdom is that most people cannot detect a loudness change of less than 3 decibels. That's not quite right--most people cannot detect a volume change of less than 3dB AS A VOLUME CHANGE. They can hear the difference but they think it's something other than a difference in loudness. They think they're hearing more detail, better bass, etc.--and they are, because you can hear everything better when it's louder, and you'll like it better (up to that annoyance point).

When you go to an audio store to buy speakers, the salesman typically has a vested interest (commission) in steering you toward a particular speaker. The unscrupulous ones will set things up so their pet speakers are 1 to 2 decibels louder than the others. They don't push it too far, or people will detect that it's a loudness difference and ask to turn up the other speakers that the salesman wants to steer you away from.

The differences between the old and new recordings are not large, and the new recordings certainly haven't been ruined by being made a little hotter. You can easily measure the volume differences by ripping the albums to your computer with a program that can compute replaygain values. The differences on most of the Beatles tracks are....less than 3 dB. See where I'm going with this? The new recordings are louder, but not enough louder for many people to perceive the difference as a loudness difference.

For example, the 1987 version of Come Together from Abbey Road has a track replaygain value of -2.88. The remaster is -3.93, or 1.05 dB louder. (In the replaygain scale, things get louder as the negative numbers get bigger. Many horribly limited modern pop recordings have replaygain values of -8 or worse. Uncompressed audiophile classical recordings typically have replaygain values near zero or even a dB or two above zero.)

I ripped the new Beatles remaster to FLAC lossless format, storing replaygain values, and compared the new recording to my 1987 CD copy through a Logitech Squeezebox with Smart Gain enabled. This means I was able to listen to the new and old recordings at the same volume level. I also played them against each other with volume leveling off, and done this way it's easy to see why most people prefer the new release.

<geek mode off>

When volume-matched, the difference between the old CDs and the new remasters is audible AND minimal. And occasional. The most obvious difference is a slightly less restricted lower end.

We're owed better than this for all this money and hype. At the least, we should have gotten something as good as the Yellow Submarine remixes. Nobody who has heard Eleanor Rigby from that remix will ever confuse it with the original or prefer the original. Love and the Yellow Submarine remix and Let It Be Naked and the damn XBox game prove that the people who own the original tapes can do better and they know it.

They're milking us. Are you a cow?
__________________
Trying to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind
834 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 09, 2009, 07:55 AM   #2
Fighting Irish
Little Child
 
Fighting Irish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 16, 2009
Posts: 62
Default

There will always be haters on sites like Amazon.

This guy seems to be basing it all on volume. When I compare the '87 and '09 discs, I hear a lot more clarity. The bass, for one, really sticks out. I can hear McCartney's notes much more clearly.

For the doubters, I recommend comparing the first CD of Past Masters. Then you'll hear major differences. Same with Rubber Soul.
Fighting Irish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 09, 2009, 07:57 AM   #3
getback
Wild Honey Pie
 
Join Date: Oct 10, 2003
Posts: 575
Default

mooo. i know what i hear, and i generally like what i hear. that said, i haven't spent a nickel on the remasters, having had them burned from a friend's set. but in the end, no one likes to be told what they should or shouldn't like.
getback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 09, 2009, 01:06 PM   #4
Maggie Mae
Mr. Moonlight
 
Maggie Mae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 23, 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 892

Cool "Bollocks!" she cried

Revolver wasn't the best remaster, I'll give him that (I think it's because you can't top perfection, but that's just me! ). If you listen to other albums (Past Masters Vol. 1 is a good one... so is, in my opinion, The White Album) and you'll hear a difference. It clearer, you can hear more (and I'm not just talking about volume differences either; you can hear background noises and talking... it's astounding, to me, the kind of depth you get from these remasters!). I wish he'd compared a different album... .

But aside from that, there are differences in the actual tracks themselves. On the stereo remaster of The White Album, you can hear Paul singing along with his bass on "I Will" (makes the song terribly charming, if you don't mind me saying so). That's something I had only faintly detected on my 1987 CD, and it's fully present on the 2009s. Or on the mono Sgt. Pepper remaster, "She's Leaving Home" is pitched up, creating a slightly faster and, I think, nicer sounding song. Those are big differences that are not simply explained by dB volume adjustments.

And anyway, even if they were just adjusted for volume, who cares? I haven't spoken with a single person who bought the remasters (mono or stereo) who hasn't found something to love about them. On tiny computer speakers, you may not notice a huge difference, but even my crappy MacBook speakers won't let the differences completely elude me, and I'm no crazy audiophile like this reviewer is. If you're willing to pay the money for it, and if you have a good quality hi-fi or headphone set you can listen with, and if you love The Beatles, then you'll enjoy the remasters. End of story.

__________________


And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make
Maggie Mae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 09, 2009, 01:31 PM   #5
Legs
Sun King
 
Legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 29, 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 10,562



Default

I think no-one will deny that the volume has been brought up a liitle, but nothing as dramatic as what's normal nowadays, listen to Paul's Memory Almost Full for example. So that can only be seen as a good thing. For the most part the remasters are an improvement over the 1987 versions, much more clarity and better details in the music, nothing to do with merely bringing the volume up.

The remasters are the next best thing to having pristine original Beatles vinyl. Perhaps the few of us who have access to the Dr. Ebbet's versions will still prefer those, but official wise one can only be glad that the 1987 versions will slowly be replaced by the newly remastered versions.

Ofcourse you can't please everyone, and had these been remixed instead of just remastered you would have another can of fans complaining.
Legs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:05 PM   #6
dogman
Nowhere Man
 
dogman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 28, 2006
Location: qld aussie
Posts: 220
Default

i'm glad i just found this thread as i was going to start one myself concerning whether these new discs were worth buying.

i gather most people here would recommend them? so are there any particular differences that jump out at you?

if you list all the albums, which one do you think has been really 'improved', and the next, etc?

i've had remastered lps of other bands, in particular queen, and have found no difference with them. however maybe you do need to be an audiophile wearing an anorak?
__________________
"On the first day, man created God." Anonymous
dogman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 2009, 09:17 PM   #8
Maggie Mae
Mr. Moonlight
 
Maggie Mae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 23, 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 892

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogman View Post
i'm glad i just found this thread as i was going to start one myself concerning whether these new discs were worth buying.

i gather most people here would recommend them? so are there any particular differences that jump out at you?

if you list all the albums, which one do you think has been really 'improved', and the next, etc?

i've had remastered lps of other bands, in particular queen, and have found no difference with them. however maybe you do need to be an audiophile wearing an anorak?
I was super impressed with each album, especially as I was mostly listening to really poor quality mp3 rips from the already pretty bad 1987 CDs. I commented to people when I first heard the remasters that it was like hearing The Beatles for the first time.

I'd have to say that Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and The White Album are the best. I noticed improvements in clarity and quality of the recording, and I also noticed the most differences in terms of takes used. The Past Masters remastered album was also interesting (especially the mono version of "The Inner Light" which seems velvety somehow...). These happen to be my favourite albums, though, so I listen to them more often anyway, so maybe I'm biased... but in general, the earlier ones don't seem to have as much improvement, and the later ones are a bit clearer but not to the degree as the middle ones.

Here are a few links to other reviews that seem a bit more balanced (though these tend to look at the pros and cons of stereo vs. mono, it's still kinda fun to go through):

Pitchfork Album Reviews: The Beatles Stereo Box / In Mono

The Beatles Remasters: Mono vs. Stereo

Mono or Stereo: Help! - All Songs Considered Blog: NPR
__________________


And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make
Maggie Mae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 2009, 10:56 PM   #9
Blackguard
Paperback Writer
 
Blackguard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 07, 2002
Location: Pleasant Valley, New York
Posts: 2,698

Default

I have read a few things by amazon reviewers that have made me howl with laughter. This Revolver review is no different.

Yes the new issues are louder, but our reviewer casually never mentions that the new CDs are much less compressed on the bass and have much less hiss and distortion on the highs. In particular the 1988 Abbey Road suffered a little from hiss that appeared here and there on the CD. The new version has the hiss under control.
__________________
Dyslexics see the world differently.
Blackguard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 02, 2009, 08:56 AM   #10
834
Dr. Robert
 
834's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 24, 2006
Location: Nutopia, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,476

Default

I don't think the remasters lived up to all the hype. Obviously better than the original discs but not close to the audio epiphany I was expecting.
__________________
Trying to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind
834 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 02, 2009, 09:07 AM   #11
Reverend Rock
Wild Honey Pie
 
Reverend Rock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 24, 2009
Location: the hills of Tennessee
Posts: 601
Default

I think it was probably too much for the sort of Beatles fans who congregate at a forum like this to expect an "audio epiphany"--simply because we're so very familiar with this music to begin with.

The remasters are indeed a big improvement, and I am very happy with them.
__________________
Dwight

"There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be."
Reverend Rock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 09, 2009, 10:29 AM   #12
dragonjo8
Fool On The Hill
 
Join Date: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 834 View Post
I don't think the remasters lived up to all the hype. Obviously better than the original discs but not close to the audio epiphany I was expecting.
I tend to agree with you. The remasters are definitely superior to the original ('87) CDs, however, they are not what I was hoping for. We won't get that until the entire catalog is re-mixed. If you listen to the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album and some of the tracks on Let It Be...Naked (specifically, "For You Blue") you will see (hear) what can be done with a proper re-mix.
dragonjo8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 09, 2009, 12:04 PM   #13
834
Dr. Robert
 
834's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 24, 2006
Location: Nutopia, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,476

Default

You're right. It's mainly volume on the Remasters. Maybe should have been called "Adjusted".
__________________
Trying to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind
834 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
An interesting review of LOVE by AMG taxman Abbey Road 2 Nov 21, 2006 04:11 PM
Interesting Analysis of "Brainwashed" FPSHOT Crackerbox Palace 11 Mar 16, 2005 02:36 AM
Unsurpassed Masters Vol 3 Review Doctor Kite Bootleg Network 5 Nov 23, 2003 06:54 AM
Alternate Imagine Review (AKA horning in on Joelscrowservo's territory) Doctor Kite Bootleg Network 18 Aug 22, 2003 11:46 AM
Interesting Tidbits PennyLane Come Together 10 Aug 04, 2000 10:47 AM


Advertisements

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site Features
Search Links

  Advanced Search
Category Jump



BeatleMail

FREE E-MAIL
@ BEATLEMAIL.COM


Username


Password




New User Sign-Up!
Lost Password?
Beatles History




Donate
The costs of running our database and discussion forum are steadily rising. Any help we receive is greatly appreciated. Click HERE for more information about donating to BeatleLinks.
Extras
» Chat Room
» Current News
» Monthly Contest
» Interviews Database
» Random Site
» Banner Exchange
» F.A.Q.
» Advertise
» Credits
» Legal
» Contact Us
Copyright © 2000-2017 BeatleLinks
All Rights Reserved