This continues an earlier thread: http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=52823. We reached some interesting conclusions, but they were buried under four pages of posts. I've tried to summarize them here. I've also drawn on earlier threads by SH, which you can find in the archives. The short version goes like this: The Beatles released 22 singles during their career. All of them are collected in the CD singles box. The box has the correct original mixes for each single. Except for the first two singles, it uses the correct original single masters. For the middle- and late-period singles, the CD singles box is the only digital source for the correct original mono mixes. But even though it has the correct mixes and (mostly) the correct sources, the singles box suffers from mastering problems. As SH has pointed out, the mono single masters were played back over a stereo tape head which was not properly aligned. (The mono tapes should have been played back over a mono head.) The result is that the mono signal was split into left and right channels that are out of phase with each other. This causes audible problems, mainly a "defocusing" or blurring of the mono image. This effect is most noticeable in the high frequencies (e.g., cymbals), but it also muddies the vocals and gives the whole recording a "phasey" sound. Until recently, it was thought that the out-of-phase left and right channels had been recombined to mono, making the problem permanent. Just recently, however, forum member another side and I discovered that this is not so. Rather, the out-of-phase channels were mastered in stereo. So in the CD singles box, the mono singles are actually in what I call "slightly out of phase stereo". The mono signal is split in half, and the two halves are out of phase with each other. One half appears in the left channel, and the other half in the right channel. This means that the problem can be fixed. To fix it, all you have to do is copy one channel -- either the left or the right -- and paste it into the other channel. Now the two channels are identical. Presto! You've gone from "out of phase stereo" to true mono. Is this a real improvement? Oh, yes! Anyone with a sound editor on their PC can try this and hear the difference for themselves. AS tried it with "I Feel Fine", and posted .wav files of the results in the earlier thread. I've done it, too, and compared corrected and uncorrected versions of "From Me To You" on my own system. To my ears, correcting the phase problem also corrects the sound. The mono image goes from vague to solid. The voices and instruments are better defined. The sound loses that annoying "phasey" quality. The recording just pops into focus. Some of you may be wondering where the EP box fits into all this. The EP box uses the correct EP masters, and is mastered properly to boot. All the tracks on the EP box are in true mono. It sounds great. There is considerable overlap between the singles and EP boxes. Which sounds better? IMO, after the singles from the singles box are phase-corrected, they sound better than the same tracks on the EP box. This is because, where the singles are concerned, the EP box comes from sources that are one generation down. (When the original EP masters were assembled, they used dubs of the singles.) The singles box versions, after being corrected, are clearer and more dynamic than the EP box versions. Of course, this is just what you'd expect from earlier-generation sources. So (again IMO) the best-sounding digital Beatles singles are the phase-corrected ones from the CD singles box. (Except for the first two singles, of course, which do not use the correct masters.) But don't take my word for all this; try it for yourself. If you have a sound editor on your PC, it's not hard. Rip the singles and open them in your editing program. Choose one channel -- left or right -- copy it, and paste it into the other channel. Save the result. That's all! Remember that the first two singles in the CD box are from the wrong sources, so don't use them. Also, remember that the last three singles are in stereo. Do not use the above method to "fix" them, or you'll lose half the music! For the rest of the singles, fix away. The following list shows how I've put together my comp. For the first two singles, I've shown the alternate sources I used. For the mono singles, I've shown which channel I picked to duplicate. (I compared left and right channels for each mono single and tried to pick the better one, but in each case the difference, if any, was extremely subtle.) One single in the box (She Loves You/I'll Get You) is in true mono; that one doesn't need to be fixed. 1. Love Me Do (Andy White version) - EP box (true mono) 2. P.S. I Love You - EP box (true mono) 3. Please Please Me - no digital version uses the correct single master. I used Dr. Ebbetts' needle drop of the 45. You can use that or make your own needle drop. 4. Ask Me Why - no digital version uses the correct single master. I used Dr. Ebbetts' needle drop of the 45. You can use that or make your own needle drop. 5. From Me To You - L 6. Thank You Girl - L 7. She Loves You - true mono 8. I'll Get You - true mono 9. I Want to Hold Your Hand - R 10. This Boy - R 11. Can't Buy Me Love - R 12. You Can't Do That - R I'll post the rest of the list soon. It's very late and I'm off to bed. Play safe and have fun!