Beatles Box Arrives!

The Beatles box arrived today, oh boy. Please give me some time to carefully listen before reviewing. If you are a "completist" you will have to buy two sets because the outer slipcase simply cannot be removed without destroying it. I'm about to do that to get to the insides.

More later. Much later. This will take some time to get through completely.

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COMMENTS
Shaffer's picture

You have to turn the box upsidedown to remove the outer case. Ask me how I know.

Michael Fremer's picture

I tried that. I tried everything but silicone grease. Nothing budged it and I was loathe to apply an X-acto knife and risk cutting the actual box just to get the promo wrapping. 

But how do you know turning it upside down (supposedly) does the trick?

zimnbtl's picture

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chrisjames's picture

Beatles book picture looks so good, I wonder if i could get this as a sovereign of deeds.

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chrisjames's picture

As i am lover of Beatles, How can i buy two sets because the outer slipcase simply cannot be removed without destroying the rest, plz guide. Regards, Wealth Management Jupiter

chrisjames's picture

The price of the box is not mention, plz make it easier for ordinary people to go for the record box, Love to hear the BEATLES.

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Dpoggenburg's picture

Big day today; I'm waiting for UPS to arrive. I'm grateful to be forewarned about less than optimal packaging. Shaffer, if you have more commentary to add, please feel free to advise.

Michael, I'm of course very much looking forward to your review. When you get around to writing it up, could you also describe some of your methods? For example, besides the sources being compared (presumably UK issues, but possibly Japanese, German, etc?), do you tend to listen to whole sides, whole lps, or focus in on specific tracks when you compare. Thanks - and thanks for such a great web site!

MusicNut612's picture

I only picked up a couple of these being there digital remasters and not willing to jump right in on them. Not sure if I just got unlucky or if it's with all of them buy my copy of Abbey Road is filled with noise. So much to the point that it's just annoying and takes away from the music. After a couple listens it's not getting any better either. Used all the stuff, mofi cleaner, zerostat, gruv glide, even some dish soap nothing has helped. I also noticed the deadwax was filled with scratches fresh out the sleeve. I'm guessing they used URP for the pressing of these, just stinks of them all over it. Of course that's just my assumption. I have US versions, not sure if the Euro versions are better pressed, but I wouldn't get all too excited over at least the Abbey Road. Just a let down.

Shaffer's picture

FWIW, my copy of Abbey Road (from the Box) is very quiet.

Michael Fremer's picture

Was Rainbo

marmaduke's picture

So is that a good thing?

hussy12's picture

Dedicated Server some amazing recipes and it appears that this one is going to be a favorite around here once I get the opportunity to try it out.

MusicNut612's picture

Was the exact same thing. Deadwax was filled with these circle like scratches fresh out the sleeve. The sound was horrible, Something In The Way was simply unlistenable on both. The B-side was also filled with distortion. I heard it as did several of the guys working there. All agreed, major let down. At least I was giving a credit for the purchase.  Grabbed Revolver, White Album, and Let It Be. All 3 of them sound just fine. Little bit of noise here and there, but nothing like the Abbey Road. That press, or at least the ones I've had my hands on, is completely unacceptable. Another mark against Rainbo I would say. I can say without a doubt there are some bad presses of Abbey Road, and I guarantee I'm not the only one that'll find this true.

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MusicNut612's picture

Yeah starting to think I got a defective copy. Sgt Peppers is like a whole other world of records compared to the Abbey Road I have. Nice and silent, no scratches. The soundstage seems to be a bit fuller also. Maybe that's just the mastering though? Be taking back this copy of Abbey Road in hopes that I just got a bad copy.

Dpoggenburg's picture

I followed Shaffer's advice about turning the box upside down, but think the orientation is not important. The slip case is EXTREMELY tight, and sort of vacuums on to the box set. I very gently pulled the cover, working it side to side, and it eventually came off.

HOWEVER, if you are doing it UPSIDE DOWN, the lid top will open up after the slip case comes off, SO USE CAUTION, or try it right side up. I would recommend right side up UNLESS you're getting no movement with the slip cover, then try upside down but slow down as you approach the last third of the box (where the lid will begin).

Of course, since I'm NEVER going to put the slip cover back over the box, I have to figure out a way to store it so it doesn't get creased. God I hate being a collector....

John G's picture

While we await Michael's review I thought folks might be interested in this piece if you haven't already seen it regarding the White Album.  

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/buying-beatles-white-album-0

Bigrasshopper's picture

So Micheal, do we know where the Euro box was pressed?

Westrell's picture

I picked up mine today straight from musicdirect. No issues on the cover on mine. The cover is tight but it slipped out rather easily. Just do it slowly......relax

JoeM's picture

Working from home gave me a chance to start spinning some of the albums. I honestly have never heard the Beatles sound so good. Well worth the wait! So far, I've listened to the following:

Rubber Soul (by the way, I think it's the George Martin remix here)
Revolver
Past Master (the second LP only)
Abbey Road

I'm about to audition the White Album. I have an old Italian pressing of it so am curious to do a comparison.

I had some concerns when I heard that the records were not being pressed at a tried and true plant such as Pallas, especially for 180g vinyl. I have to say, the pressing sounds fantastic. Whoever was in charge really put a lot of TLC behind this (and probaby double QA duty). Okay, now back (to the U.S.S.R) for some more listening!

chrisjames's picture

Beatles is a proactive band and we are the true admirer of them.

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JoeM's picture

Working from home gave me a chance to start spinning some of the albums. I honestly have never heard the Beatles sound so good. Well worth the wait! So far, I've listened to the following:

Rubber Soul (by the way, I think it's the George Martin remix here)
Revolver
Past Master (the second LP only)
Abbey Road

I'm about to audition the White Album. I have an old Italian pressing of it so am curious to do a comparison.

I had some concerns when I heard that the records were not being pressed at a tried and true plant such as Pallas, especially for 180g vinyl. I have to say, the pressing sounds fantastic. Whoever was in charge really put a lot of TLC behind this (and probaby double QA duty). Okay, now back (to the U.S.S.R) for some more listening!

djvitamind's picture

Pre-orded from Amazon for $309.99 and now remember why I don't like ordering box sets from Amazon. They simply don't package well. It was placed in a box with no padding on the bottom and sides. Corners were bent and paper was worn off.

Now waiting for a replacement.

marmaduke's picture

Can't wait for MF to render his verdict?

If you care to Google Beatles Vinyl Box Set you will see a hot link entitled Beatles Vinyl Box Set news (or close to it) about 1/4 down the screen.

There is one review by the Examiner which is OK, but the review by the Chicago Tribune had the most interesting wrinkles to me in what appears to have been at least a sincere attempt by the non audio press to provide some useful insight into the sound of the new releases.

Not definitive, but interesting.

BlueLou222's picture

I have listened to Past Masters backwards to half of The White Album. So far the pressings are very quiet and have good dynamics. Levels are right at unity gain according to my mixers meter levels. Wish they used the faster bit rate but I have the reissued CD set and the 24bit transfers used for the vinyl reissues shows the improvement in fidelity like night and day . i do not have any other pressings to compare these to. I am very happy overall.

Thurenity's picture

Received my US boxed set today (ordered from Walmart.com -- perhaps that was a bad omen to begin with?).   I've scanned through four LP's so far and they all have various degrees of non-fill issues.  I can see that stitch-like pattern on the LP's, and sure enough I can hear it as well.  Sometimes it's very faint, but on some tracks it's the worst non-fill I've ever heard.

I've heard some horror stories about Rainbo, but I figured I'd take the risk.  Luckily Walmart should take this back via a trip to the store, so no harm no foul assuming the rest of the LP's are in the same shape.   I'm also on the SHTV forums and so far it's been hit or miss for some of us, as far as pressing QC is concerned.

roscoeiii's picture

No, Rainbo is not generally considered a good thing when it comes to pressings. At present, in the US, you cross your fingers that the pressings are RTI or QRP. In Europe Pallas gets a lot of praise.

It seems a number of folks on the SH Forum are opting to buy European pressings of the new Beatles LPs due to concerns about Rainbo's pressing quality or quality control.

unclebill's picture

Just receved my box set from Music Direct, have'nt opened yet.

Frist, what or who is Rainbo? Second how can you tell where pressing are done?

Thurenity's picture

If it's a US LP, it was pressed at Rainbo.

I have a lot of no-fill issues.  Mr. Fremer actually has a blog about how to check for no-fill visually -- looks like a "string of pearls" or a stitch like pattern in bright, and may show up audibly as crackling sound on one channel.  But not normal surface noise, it sounds like a cleaning brush went over your stylus.

lstookey's picture

I can see the stitch like pattern you describe on my copy of the White Album. Sounds like garbage. I saw the stitches and wondered WTF. Thanks for the explanation. Now I will avoid Rainbo like the plague. 

madfloyd's picture

Opened my box yesterday.  Slip cover just slipped off (fortunately).

I've opened and visibly examined each LP - all seem very clean.

I'm waiting to get my Vinyl Cleaner back from repair so I can clean these (I don't ever listen to any vinyl without cleaning first for fear of debris causing permament damage).

Kris Deering's picture

Got my box from the UK. Ordered via Amazon UK and the packaging for shipment was outstanding. Box was floating in hard foam similar to what electronics are usually braced with. The boxset was in immaculate condition with no some much as a dent, scuff or otherwise. Slip came off without any effort at all and everything inside was pristine. I haven't taken any of the shrinkwrap off the individual albums yet as I'm waiting for a new bottle of cleaner to come in so I can clean them before a listen. Can't tell you how pleased I am with the packaging Amazon UK used to ship them over!!

lstookey's picture

I did not buy the box. I cherry picked what albums I wanted. The White Album, Yellow Submarine, Sgt Pepper & Magical Mystery Tour, Rubber Soul and lastly Revolver. I wish I had paid more attention to the sticker on the wrapper which makes clear that the source for these pressings is actually a CD. It is a CD from the 2009 remasters. This of course is a instant irritation for me as this is more a quick cash in on Beatles addicts and the holiday season than anything. If they wanted to do it right they should have had a audiophile label do it correctly with the original analog masters. The White Album sounds terrible compared to the MFSL I have. Granted it's a lot cheaper so I will step down to my next copy, which is a German Import that smokes this thing. Pops and crackles. The thing sounded terrible. I wish I hadn't wasted the money frankly. But it was black friday and I got like $7 off each so I made out pretty good. 

stephensmith's picture

I am pleased with the boxes and all. Just slided the outer covering and got the inner one easily. Not much efforts taken.

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Neverenough's picture

Very noisy, but most if this cleared up after a throrough cleaning with the Spin Dr. The solution afterwards showed theres plenty of crud in this new vinyl.

Too bad these weren't pressed at a reputable facility.  EMI should be totally embarrassed they allowed such poor quality to be shipped.   Program manager should be fired!

RS, defect between tr 6 & 7 and overall pressing really poor (very jagged edges on the pressing, etc).  I though I was going to cut myself when I was cleaning it.

Some with pearling but haven't correlated to audible yet (is this always the case?)

Still need to listen to The White Album, Let it Be and PM.

andrew wilson's picture

Got my box set just after xmas.So far ive listened to Please please me,Help,sgt.pepper,Past masters(lp2] and magical mystery tour Side two.And to me all i can say is so far so good.My systems are as follows....

MMF5.1 TURNTABLE with the ortofon 2m black.Speakers are Q ACOUSTICS 2050sinto a marantz 4001 amp with a mm phono input.

System two-Project x pack with ortofon rondo blue mc.Amp is the Roskan k2 pre/power amp combo;And the the speakers are Q Acoustics 1050i,Phono box is the tricord dino plus.

System three...Project 1 turntable and the Auroa amp feeding the rodgers LS6 Loudspeakers.Ah vinyl heaven long may it continue,

If Mike should read this post can he tell me what he thought of the music hall 5.1 turntable and the 2m black.No British mags has ever done a review of that said turntable.Andy.

andrew wilson's picture

Anyone who slags of this Beatles box set should go back to their old Dansette and mono recordings.Mine you the mono recording are to be released sometime in 2013.That will be two lps less than what weve got here.Andy.

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