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Hi-Fi World
October 2014
In This Issue... The Bealtes Mono LP Box Set
Editorial By Noel Keywood

 

In This Issue... The Bealtes Mono LP Box Set By Noel Keywood Hi-Fi World October 2014  We received the much anticipated The Beatles in Mono box set, cabbed over to Hi-Fi World by Guy Hayden, Vice President of Apple Corps. Paul Rigby reviews it in this issue - see p83. Paul wasn't the only person to hear it, this box set has brought every Beatles fan out of the woodwork and I never realised how many there are. And it's been interesting to hear the various opinions on it. But a consistent thread has been that sound quality has been so much improved it brings their performance alive in the home.

This is the reason for pursuing high fidelity, so seems ample justification in itself, but it took the recording studio, in this case Abbey Road, to re-visit the original tapes and trust in proven audiophile re-mastering techniques, plus the use of audiophile 180gm vinyl, to make it happen. No surprise perhaps that Guy Hayden is an audiophile who takes sound quality seriously. The result is superb and quality has surpassed our expectations. Interesting that Sean Magee, responsible for cutting the new lacquers, warned me it was a "warts and all" transfer because digital editing techniques couldn't be used, but not one listener commented on this. Instead there was praise for the sheer life and vitality that comes through from the performances.

By the way, I show how these LPs rival CD in sound quality on our website, in the front page News section ‘The Beatles in Mono - delivered', or click here. This is a long technical argument of course, one I rather disingenuously like having with those convinced CD is "better" than LP. My ears always told me otherwise and I'm glad to find yet again that old analogue systems managed very well, rather better than we knew at the time. Looks like others think so too, as you'll find out when reading Tony Bolton's column this month on vinyl's revival.

Valve amplifiers continue to be popular around the world, but high cost puts many people off. The new Ekco EV55SE aims to deliver an elegant and reliable package at reasonable cost – and with great sound quality. You can see our review on p10.

I've just been chatting to an experienced measurement engineer who gets together with his friends for vinyl evenings. They're the CD generation but love what vinyl offers. They all understand digital but to them turntables are a dark art. What to buy and how to set it up is a challenge. You'll find guidance in our feature on spinning The Beatles in Mono LPs on p91. OK, playing mono is a little arcane but these systems will also play stereo!

And if you want to blow your mind with loud rock, go to p16 and our review of JBL's Studio 290 loudspeaker. A 1.2m high floorstander that'll blow the roof off for £760 has got to appeal - well - to some.

There's less hi-res digital in this issue then: mono analogue fights back. Enjoy!

 

--- Noel Keywood, editor.

 

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