QRP releasing The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Woodhill78, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Al_D

    Al_D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    It was cut 1/2 speed at Abbey Road on a lathe that had only just been installed, and it does have a hum on it which is present on both copies I've heard.

    The rumble (not the hum) is different on different copies of the 2LP set. Some copies don't have any rumble, apparently. Somebody else on here reckoned it was not cutting lathe rumble, but somehow introduced afterwards.
     
  2. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    My copy from the deluxe set clearly has some sort of audible ground hum - not rumble per se - at multiples of 50hz but most noticeable around 500 hz (clearly visible in a spectral analysis). I mentioned this in the big thread on the Sgt Pepper 50th thread but it got a yawn.

    I bought the QRP version in hopes it won’t have this ground hum, but I just got it the other day and haven’t had a chance to open it and clean it yet.
     
    Al_D likes this.
  3. I've noted a similar rumble, at the same frequency, on many other records pressed at Optimal. The lacquers may be cut elsewhere, but Optimal makes the metal parts from those lacquers.
    A newly installed lathe? Possibly they hooked something up incorrectly or forgot the proper connecting parts like they did with their first 8-track rercorder back in the 60's?
     
    Al_D likes this.
  4. OldMusicOnVinyl1

    OldMusicOnVinyl1 Forum Resident

    From my experience, Optimal records are somewhat rumbly in general - some more so than others due to visible ripples (i.e. 'orange peel texture') on the surface. I *think* Kraftwerk's The Man-Machine (2009 remaster) is the only Optimal pressing I purchased in 2017 that doesn't have any sort of rumble.
     
  5. Overall, I haven't been impressed with the quality control of Optimal pressings. Not only have the records been dirty but the sound quality is not what I would expect. To me, the E.U. Optimal-pressed Beatles 'Stereo Box' LP's are a disaster compared to the U.S. Rainbo pressings. Optimal obviously didn't use as high quality vinyl as Rainbo used. The all Optimal-pressed 'Mono Box' LP's weren't that great either. Maybe with UMe's new association with QRP they will go back and repress all the stereo and mono LP's.
     
  6. I got around to finally playing, listening and needledropping the QRP-pressed "Sgt. Pepper's" LP this weekend. Besides being a little off-center, which seems to be the norm for QRP, the overall quality seems to be good, especially compared to the Optimal pressed version. QRP used the 1/2 speed Abbey Road masters, but I assume that they made their own metal parts for stamping. Side 1 was virtually flawless and it was evident that QRP used a better quality of vinyl than Optimal did. Side 2, however, had lots of ticks and pops. I had to run it through my DePopper program to clean it up. The lead-in groove had a buzz just before "Within You Without You" started and a tick just after plus some surface noise. Cleaning didn't help. Being a low-volume track probably didn't help. One advantage to using the DePopper program, was being able to silence the run-out groove and allow the fade-out of "A Day In The Life" to continue until you couldn't hear it anymore. Also, in the end-loop, the pop was gone where the loop ended and started again, like the CD version.
    I'd say that I am happier with the QRP version than the Optimal version.
     
  7. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Anyone else compare the QRP LP vs the 2LP set???
     
  8. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Maybe later today or tomorrow.
     
    Woodhill78 likes this.
  9. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Most excellent
     
  10. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    ..and for my part of the discussion, I regret to say that highly revered QRP didn't come through for me. I was given the album for Christmas only to find an unevenly punched center hole that was oversized (i.e., slack when placed over the TT spindle).
     
  11. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    How does that happen at a place like QRP on a Beatles project?
     
  12. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I was very surprised and disappointed. The second i pulled the LP out of the sleeve, I knew there was an issue; on side one, the "hole-punch" pertrudes above the surface of the label while on side two, it sucks inward. I decided it wasn't the end of the world at that point...but then, once I placed it over the spindle, i saw that the hole opening rocked backed and forth. This was actually a first for me in 50 years of record buying.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  13. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    You would think they would be extra careful when doing this project re protecting their reputation...
     
  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    The way I see it,while their overall quality record is excellent, it really all depends on the individual performing the specific task at any given time. It's like ordering a pizza from a reputable place and you end up with a lousy pie or whatever...depends who's doing what in that kitchen. Someone's bad mood at that moment could result in a bad sauce...or a lousy record pressing.
     
  15. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Just did a quick listen and needledrop today.

    Initial impressions...

    The QRP is slightly better vinyl. It’s a little quieter and less ticky than the Deluxe box pressing (which wasn’t bad at all). The ground hum I mentioned earlier in the thread is still there on the QRP - so I assume QRP used stampers from the same metal. I don’t know how people don’t notice this. It’s about 12-15dBs louder than the noise floor at precisely 300hz, 500hz & 700Hz on side 1 and about 8-10dB louder at those same frequencies on Side 2. Quite noticable in headphones during quiet moments on side 1. A little less so on side 2 but I can hear it as the final chord fades on Day In The Life.

    As for the sound quality, I didn’t notice any appreciable difference between the 2 pressings but I admittedly didn’t do an A-B either. Frankly I’m not surprised with the compression in new mix attentuating quite a bit of nuance in the recording.

    I’ll need to compare them more closely though.
     
    Al_D likes this.
  16. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    I forget, does the deluxe box include a vinyl copy? I never played it if it did...
     
  17. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    There is a box with the 2LP new mix and outtakes included. It might be a Super Deluxe Box...I can’t keep track of the iterations of all the boxes out there anymore.
     
  18. rpd

    rpd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Don’t think so....
     
    marcb likes this.
  19. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Crap, I think you’re right. I think I did buy the 2LP set separately from the box now that you’ve rung that bell.

    Like I said, I can’t keep track of all of the editions of things these days...
     
  20. Al_D

    Al_D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Indeed, it was the first thing I noticed when playing the 2LP set.

    Any sign of the grinding rumble on the QRP?
     
  21. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    No, but I didn’t really notice it on the earlier pressing...perhaps because I was a dog with a bone on the hum.

    I’ll try to listen for it when I get back home this weekend.
     
  22. Maybe so but it can't consistently press many flat records these days and some of the sleeves are terribly cheap now too. I haven't bought a perfectly flat QRP vinyl record since The Doors 45rpm set and that was six years ago!

    They won't be better than Optimal. They might be different. Neither plant produces perfect records. They are both very hit and miss these days. sad to say.
     
    googlymoogly and Al_D like this.
  23. Well that's too bad about the QRP pressings. The few I've purchased have been good.

    In terms of inner sleeves, that is a decision the client makes and not the pressing plant on its own. Clients can decide on cover weight and inner sleeve options. Every upgrade is another up-charge so it wold have been Capitol and Apple who made that $ decision.
     
  24. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    Location:
    Midwest
    I'm so happy with my Optimal 2LP set...but this is nice for those who just want the remix.
     
  25. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    Location:
    Midwest
    Yup.

    My Skynyrd "Bullets" 45rpm was dished, they need to either let the records cool longer or start going to 160 gram...
     
    googlymoogly and SteveM like this.

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