Beatles: Is the 2009 Special-Edition USB Drive Worth Getting?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by 2141, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    It certainly won't sound worse than the CD versions and it is a really spiffy object, so if the price is reasonable, go for it.

    Not to mention, the MP3 ripping is already done for you... :)

    Easy to make a backup copy too if that matters to you.
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, USA
    To my old ears they both sound the same. I'm not going to sell the USB however.
  3. testikoff

    testikoff Forum Resident

    Mind you, spectral analysis of the QE waveform was done using Blackman-Harris window with size 32768.

    The QE (or null-test delta) waveform audio stats are as follows:

    The Beatles - Beatles For Sale [2009 Remaster] (24/44)
    Peak Table
     1|  0.1
    Full Statistics
     #|Chan|Peak %|  Peak dB|AvgRms dB|TotRms dB|MinRms dB|MaxRms dB| MinSample| MaxSample| DCOffset
     1|   1|   0.1| -64.0872| -74.5640| -74.5590| -75.8932| -73.4272|-0.0006039| 0.0006247|   0.0000
      |   2|   0.1| -63.9523| -74.6818| -74.6765| -76.1179| -73.4230|-0.0006316| 0.0006344|   0.0000
    0 dBFS: Sine
    RMS Window Size: 50 milliseconds

    It's worth mentioning that 2009 RBCD versions of louder tracks feature a very slight additional limiting applied compared to their 24/44 USB counterparts, f.e. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby null-test delta (zoom=128) looks like that:


    So having a 24/44 USB versions gives a tad of an advantage over RBCD for louder material.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    Stephen J likes this.
  4. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks, Dinstun! So, I'll take the challenge. After listening to both, I think sample "a" is the USB version. Can you let us know?
  5. alcheung

    alcheung Active Member

    I have the usb stick and think it is well worth the price. It is the best sounding digital copy that i have. Note that i have only bought one of the 2009 cd to compare it to. Since it , to me, sounded better than the cd , i did not buy any more of the cds.
    Lonevej likes this.
  6. Henry Porter

    Henry Porter New Member

    For me also the USB stick is a noticeably better sound than the equivalent CDs. I always get this same reaction when I do a back to back demo to friends. Both my source players are fairly high end if that is a factor.
    Lonevej and Larry Geller like this.
  7. testikoff

    testikoff Forum Resident

    BTW, I did conduct an honest ABX test & failed to reliably discern the difference... ;)
  8. Dinstun

    Dinstun Forum Resident

    Yes, that's correct. Did it sound better?
  9. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    In my opinion - You would be better served acquiring the Mono Beatles box set if you don't have it.
    That's the finest version of most of those albums you'll ever hear.
    pantofis likes this.
  10. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That's great! Yes, I thought it did sound noticeably better. It sounds clearer and the individual parts seemed more defined. It makes me think the USB is superior to the CDs, by a decent margin. I might just have to find one to buy. :agree: Thanks for providing those example files!
    Lonevej likes this.
  11. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I already own the mono box set. Yes, I love it, but would like the very best in stereo as well.
  12. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    Have you considered Japanese vinyl pressings?
  13. Francisx

    Francisx Forum Resident

    Check Discogs...I was able to score (2) of the USB last November. It really does sound better! Plus it is really cool and quite heavy. Word of caution be very careful when removing the "stem" of the Apple which is connected to the USB. It is very delicate. I only wish they had done the same USB with the Mono/Beatles....they could have used a Red Apple. If you can get one go for it!
    Lonevej and gregorya like this.
  14. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Do you think the Japanese vinyl sounds better than the USB?
  15. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, I wish the mono was included in the same stick! But even as is it seems pretty sweet. Thanks for the good advice!
  16. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    There are several Japanese series released over the years.
    Most have been spectacular.

    If I want the last word in a audiophile experience with my (stereo) Beatles albums they are my go to.
    The mono vinyl box set is a joy as well.
  17. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Good to know. I'm still deciding what to do. Price is also a consideration. I'm not sure what's a good price for USB or the Japanese vinyl you're referring to, but if one is a lot more than the other, that could sway me as well.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  18. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Oh gawd, no. Great pressing quality, sure, but lousy mastering on most of the ones I've heard.
  19. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    HotHere likes this.
  20. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm not sure I understand "how you do it." Can someone please explain. Thanks!
  21. yescool2002

    yescool2002 Forum Resident

    I also believe the USB sounds better than the CDs. HavenĀ“t done a blind audiophile friends
    Lonevej likes this.
  22. MYKE

    MYKE Not Taking The Bait

    My response exactly !
  23. A well respected man

    A well respected man Forum Resident

    Madrid, Spain
    IIRC from another thread, the USB was a little louder than the CDs, and that can also be deceiving to give the impression that they sound better or clearer. Just a difference of 16/24 bits shouldn't be noticeable given you listen to them in the same device and conditions.
  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Just be glad they didn't name it Pear Records...that thang would've popped off if ya just looked at it!
  25. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Give those two samples posted earlier in the thread a listen and judge for yourself. I didn't notice any volume difference, but it really does sound better, imo. Check for yourself. :agree:

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