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