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  • Sergeant Pepper and Idiots

    So I was browsing around and ran across a spectral analysis of the digital disc versions of the new stereo mix of Sergeant Pepper. What it showed was excessive compression and riding hard into clipping at 0dB. Once clipped the data is not recoverable as released and the playback system is pumping square waves.

    I had been hoping that with unlimited access to the original multi-track masters, all known documentation, the original mono master as a guide and all other resources at Abbey Road the best possible result would have emerged. Instead some party or parties with sufficient authority to do so did the all to common ham fisted stupid idiotic mistreatment of what is likely the most influential rock recording by the single most influential group.

    Of course good taste, discretion and a gentlemanly demeanor (laughs out loud) preclude me from using the terminology bouncing around in my head to describe my thoughts on the subject. That and I don't care to be banned from this site.

  • #2
    This is why I'll stick with my all analog mofi UHQR Lp as a stereo reference, and the 2014 EMI mono reissue Lp for mono.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • Rust
      Rust commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I was out of the country for awhile and missed out on the UHQRs which really irked me as a buddy scored pretty much every UHQR release. Did pick up a couple of copies of the mono re-release just to be safe when it came out

  • #3
    A masterpiece album, but somehow not even close to my fave Beatles output. I passed on it.
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

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    • #4
      Despite JCOConnell's comment, there is nothing wrong with the mastering on the 2009 digital versions.

      I don't have the exact quote handy, but the mastering engineer for the "new" Sgt. Pepper's (whose first name, serendipitously, or perhaps only coincidentally, is Myles) actually posted that he intentionally "slightly compressed" all digital versions, but not the LP master, because LP's don't need the extra compression. I feel perfectly comfortable calling him an idiot, or perhaps a moron (perhaps both?)
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      Comment


      • mkuller
        mkuller commented
        Editing a comment
        The 2009 remasters are excellent.

      • mep
        mep commented
        Editing a comment
        The 2009 remasters are "excellent" if you don't listen to the EMI Parlaphone LP versions and you love the sound of PCM. I bought both the stereo and mono versions of the CD remasters when they came out and I never play them.

    • #5
      Why do we need another version of this record?

      Comment


      • rbbert
        rbbert commented
        Editing a comment
        The stereo mix is more "modern", less panned, than the original stereo mix. I think the idea is sound, only the execution was shaky

      • mep
        mep commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think we need another version of Sgt. Pepper Bill. I'm quite happy with the numerous EMI Parlaphone copies I own.

      • EdAInWestOC
        EdAInWestOC commented
        Editing a comment
        I have various Parlephone's, the MoFi Box, the Blue Box and the MoFi UHQR of Sgt Peppers. I didn't need another pressing but I ordered it out of curiosity. It is one of the quietest new pressings I have heard in years and the mix is different but I do not go overboard over it. It is a good quality pressing for those who need a clean copy of Sgt Peppers. It will not replace original Parlephone's, MoFi, Blue Box and definitely not the UHQR pressing.

    • #6
      Originally posted by rbbert View Post
      Despite JCOConnell's comment, there is nothing wrong with the mastering on the 2009 digital versions.

      I don't have the exact quote handy, but the mastering engineer for the "new" Sgt. Pepper's (whose first name, serendipitously, or perhaps only coincidentally, is Myles) actually posted that he intentionally "slightly compressed" all digital versions, but not the LP master, because LP's don't need the extra compression. I feel perfectly comfortable calling him an idiot, or perhaps a moron (perhaps both?)
      Myles Showell? (SP?) Those stereo reissues that came out several years ago-- was it really 2009, can't be! --sounded inanimate to me on vinyl (at least the one I bought, I think it was Revolver) . So, I guess I answered my own question about why. Are these truly 'from the tapes' without a digitization?
      Those early records were pretty barebones, and I liked the primitive quality of the recording and mixing. Wasn't Sgt. Pepper important b/c it represented a whole "trip" into the heads of the Beatles, and through lot's of studio trickery, they got all kinds of different sounds (the same thing that always comes up when Pet Sounds is discussed, right?). But, what were they dealing with? 8 tracks?

      Comment


      • #7
        The new version is amazing. If you haven't heard it...

        Comment


        • Billy Shears
          Billy Shears commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree. Just love the Stereo mIx. And yes there was more compression then on the Original. If you have heard Johnny Cash American Recordings, The new mix of Sgt Peppers is not anywhere near as badly compressed as those, so I cant say I mind that much.

      • #8
        I have the new version + the out takes coming on vinyl. Do I really need another copy - No. But, interested to see how it sounds.

        Comment


        • #9
          I'm not trying to be a naysayer, despite my questions.
          If I understand it correctly, the record was remixed plus outtakes, right?
          So they went back to the multi-track tapes, not the mixed down master?
          And was any digitization involved in this process? (Not that I'm against digital, but I have heard some of the stuff thats come out of Abbey Road in the last couple years for other labels).
          I'm actually quite fond of that German Die Beatles Horse -2 with the wwwwwiiiiiddddddddeeeeeeee separation between the channels. It's cool to hear them unadorned, they were crazy tight harmony singers and really good rock and roll players when they first started releasing records. Sgt. Pepper is a whole other thing though. I guess you either love it or don't. I remember how tripped out people were when it was first released. I didn't really understand it back then, but that was quite a while ago. I do like some of the songs. I know that it is an important album musically, and in the history of recording technology. I'm just trying to get at a few facts. Thanks. (No rancor).
          bill hart
          PS: just for clarity if it matters, I'm talking about the LP version of this new release.

          Comment


          • #10
            While I have a few original first press copies of different Beatles albums, my go to copy is always the Blue Box LP's.

            Comment


            • mep
              mep commented
              Editing a comment
              As well they should be. The BC-13 collection is awesome.

          • #11
            Remixed (and changed significantly, mostly in a better way) from the original multi-tracks. All versions are from digital masters, but the LP is from its own dedicated, noticeably less compressed mastering. I don't really know how people view the LP, but for me the digital versions are only a curiosity due to that oppressive mastering. As with so many other re-releases, it could have been so much better...
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            Pass Labs INT60
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            Comment


            • #12
              I like my Sgt. Peppers UHQR and my 15ips 1/4" master (no idea of the provenance) dub, and the box set mono from a few years ago is pretty good too (prefer the UHQR).

              I had some visitors a few weeks ago and after 5 hours we ended the night with 'A Day In The Life' on tape and we all left with a glow and awe.
              https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

              Comment


              • #13
                Originally posted by rbbert View Post
                Remixed (and changed significantly, mostly in a better way) from the original multi-tracks. All versions are from digital masters, but the LP is from its own dedicated, noticeably less compressed mastering. I don't really know how people view the LP, but for me the digital versions are only a curiosity due to that oppressive mastering. As with so many other re-releases, it could have been so much better...
                thanks, rbbert.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Originally posted by rbbert View Post
                  Remixed (and changed significantly, mostly in a better way) from the original multi-tracks. All versions are from digital masters, but the LP is from its own dedicated, noticeably less compressed mastering. I don't really know how people view the LP, but for me the digital versions are only a curiosity due to that oppressive mastering. As with so many other re-releases, it could have been so much better...
                  I got a copy of the LP at the LA Audio Show from Acoustic Sounds, and it sounds way better than any other stereo version of the LP I've heard. I've not heard the UHQR though. It will never be an audiophile issue, but it is musically significant, and deserves the best sound they can get from it.
                  Steve Lefkowicz
                  Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                  -
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                  Comment


                  • tom_hankins
                    tom_hankins commented
                    Editing a comment
                    +1, my favorite copy.

                • #15
                  I have a copy of the new LP and its pretty decent sounding but I prefer my Peppers MoFi UHQR. There is a lot of hub-bub going on on another forum and so many there think this new pressing is the best thing to happen since sliced cheese. Can someone post a link to the info on the digital analysis of the new LP?
                  Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
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