The Beatles "Best Pressings" list

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by fraser, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. fraser

    fraser Member

    Location:
    london,england
    Please forgive me if this has been covered before ( probably extensively) but it would have taken me forever from the search results . I thought I had every possible best pressing of Beatles albums ( UK 1st issue stereos & monos, German MMT, export Hey Jude etc) but just when I thought I had it all wrapped up I read the "Die Beatles" thread and this has got me thinking there might be other holes to fill. Obviously I now can`t wait to track me down a nice copy of that - it`s like they just released a new album !! I`m now wondering how everyone elses list of the 13 ( or whatever extras to cover singles) must have vinyl pressings would read.
    For example I still don`t have the Pro use Abbey Road- would this be on your list?
    Kind regards to all, Fraser
    For what it`s worth here`s my list:

    PPM-UK1st issue stereo
    WTB-MOFI
    HDN-UK1st issue stereo
    BFS- "
    Help- "
    RS-UK -1 mono(i think it`s a tad sharper than subsequent pressings)
    Rev -MOFI ( cos my UK 1st stereo issue is not quite mint)
    SGT - UHQR joint with the UK 1st Mono but I`d probably take UHQR to a dessert island.
    White- UK 1st issue mono
    YellSub- MOFI
    Abbey road- UK 1st
    Let it be- MOFI
    MMT-UK Stereo EP + GERMAN HOR ZU LP
    HEY JUDE - UK export ( thanks to this wonderful site)
  2. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    GTA, Canada
    What a tough question, Fraser!

    I thought that the original Parlophone pressings - yellow / black or all black labels - cut on the Newmann mastering console - were the ones to get for the first few albums, anyway.

    The Hor Zu's were also cut on the same system.

    As for further details.... I have no idea!
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles

    Gary, the Neumann system wasn't used at Abbey Road until 1969. It's a (good sounding) solid state system.

    The yellow and black Parlophones were cut in 1963-68 with an all-tube (valve) system for a unique and "different" sound; less dynamic, more midrange glow. You need them both, depending on the weather....:)
  4. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    GTA, Canada
    Thanks for the clarification, Steve! I thought the Neumann WAS the valve system.... Gee, hope my memory isn't going bye-bye....

    I think you'd better buy them all, Fraser! ;)
  5. Dave D

    Dave D Done!

    Location:
    Milton, Canada
    I still hate myself for trading in my Italian Revolver....it sounded so good!
    Damn cd's.......traded or gave away SO much vinyl because I thought they were the answer! OOFAH!
  6. jkerr

    jkerr Active Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    This is the so-called "Loud" cut. More compressed than later pressings. I personally haven't heard it but others have said that in this case a -1 is not the best. You might want to keep an eye open for a later yellow&black. I haven't seen a -2 but -3 and -4 should be easy to find (still a Y&B).
  7. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    My RS mono is a "-4"... **much** better than the "-1".

    -Kevin
  8. fraser

    fraser Member

    Location:
    london,england
    I`ve had a few Rubber souls , a couple of -4,one with -4 on side 1 & -1 on side 2!!, and the 82 mono reissue, and I have to say that to my ears the -1 copies I own just sound marginally clearer than the others, to the point that psycologically I feel like I`m missing something if I`m not listening to the -1 version. I`ll revisit in light of the posts here to see if my cartridge re-tip has changed my opinion.In the mean time , anyone have any opinions on the pro use Abbey road- is it worth hunting down and what should I expect to pay?? any comments gratefully received.
    Regards
    Fraser
  9. jkerr

    jkerr Active Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I have a Pro-Use. A very well cared for copy, near mint, $50. I like it better than the MFSL or later UK (blue box) issues. A sealed copy can get about $200. I don't have a UK 1st pressing. Most people think thats still the best.
  10. oxenholme

    oxenholme High Quality Posts™ a speciality

    Sometimes I think that my ears are wonky, but I was very impressed by the Direct Metal Mastered Russian Melodya pressings. Very cheap yet they sound good.
  11. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Some additions:

    'With the Beatles' (Stereo/70's German)
    'A Hard Days Night' (MFSL)
    'Help!' (stereo/70's German/Amazing)
    'Sgt. Pepper' (stereo/UK 1st pressing)
    A Collection of Oldies (stereo/UK 1st pressing)
  12. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest Illinois
    As far as With The Beatles goes, a yellow & black Parlophone should squash that Mo-Fi version.

    Too much treble boost there. Mo-Fi might have had a terrific sounding album there if they would have just left it alone.
  13. kipper15

    kipper15 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Another Beatles LP thread...I love this forum :D

    Well, for a start you can't go wrong with UK stereo pressings - originals or reissues from the 70s and early-mid 80s, before the LPs were reissued using the CD masters.

    Same goes for monos - UK originals and '82 reissues are great! Can't comment on pressings from other countries.

    German MMT is a must-have. I've got two copies - an original HorZu and an 80s pressing made for export, both are superb.

    Hey Jude UK export is also a must-have and the best pressing of this LP I've heard. I have a '73 third press which smokes all other pressings.

    Most of the German pressings are excellent, especially the HorZu pressings and the 70s blue Odeon label or Apple label reissues.

    I've got some French and Italian reissue pressings that sound pretty decent too but they do vary in quality more than the German LPs. I've also got a Dutch BC13 box, although a number of the LPs were pressed in Sweden or Germany as well as Holland. Fine pressings too.

    The MFSL box is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. Can't comment on the individual LPs, but some of them are supposed to be better. The UK pressings are still better to my ears.


    So, in summary the best pressings to my ears are:

    - UK pressings for mono, originals or '82 reissues
    - UK pressings for stereo, original or 70s/80s reissues as found in BC13 box set
    - UK export Hey Jude
    - German Die Beatles & MMT (HorZu/Apple)




    Cheers,
  14. Mark H

    Mark H Active Member

    Location:
    upstate N.Y.
    My Stereo Favorites Though still a work in progress are:

    Die Beatles for PPM
    Beatlemania With the Beatles: Sweet minty canadian wide stereo version
    Hard Days Night UK Two Box
    Beatles For Sale: Original Y/B UK Stereo
    Help: UK Two Box
    Rubber Soul : UK Two Box
    Revolver: YK Two Box I don't hate the Mo-Fi of this on though!
    Collection of Beatles Oldies: Y/B Original
    Pepper: Y/B Original
    Magical Mystery Tour: German Stereo Apple
    White Albums: German Top opening Apple Stereo
    Yellow Submarine: UK Apple from th Blue Box
    Abbey Road: Toss up between the original 1st press UK Apple and the Pro-Use.
    Hey Jude: 1st Press German version sounds sweet to me.
    To Fill in the assorted singles I use The UK Liverpool Box and the "62-"66 &
    "67-"70 originals from the Uk.
    As far as monos go it's a combination of some Uk originals and some Uk mono represses from the "82 series. I also have the two mono singles collections issued in the 70's and 80's

    Not as great a collection as many here but I'm happy! I'd love to replace some of the Two boxers with original Y/B's but hey I gotta eat !
  15. rpd

    rpd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashville
    Beatles Best Pressings

    I am fairly new to the forum...

    What is the general opinion of the Japanese Apple stereo pressings from I think the very late 70's...the "EAS" series???
  16. Dave D

    Dave D Done!

    Location:
    Milton, Canada
    Re: Beatles Best Pressings

    Funny, I was just looking at these this morning.....I never played them, just bought them cuz they looked so strange....titles like Beatles no.5 .....weird grouping of songs....anyone know what they are like? mine are in mono. I'm getting a turntable tomorrow...like I said before ...stupid me got rid of his in the 80's cuz of those damn cd's.......gonna give em a spin
  17. fraser

    fraser Member

    Location:
    london,england
    I generally feel - for my tastes-that the EAS records are a little too bright and a tad thinner sounding than UK pressings. Having said that, they do have "inky black quiet" vinyl which always seems to be in near mint condition and the packaging alone is worth having .
  18. Mark H

    Mark H Active Member

    Location:
    upstate N.Y.
    IIRC correctly I think someone on this board mentioned the Japanese Monos were out of phase at least on some titles. The Stereos in general are deemed to be a tad bright. The only one I play regularly is the Pro- Use Abbey Road. Tough to beat that Japanese vinyl though!
  19. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Jeffersonville, VT
    The Canadian purple label Beatlemania With The Beatles(the wide stereo version)is the best version in the world, bar none!:thumbsup:

    Evan
  20. lennonfan

    lennonfan New Member

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    I may be repeating this for the umpteenth time, but I think the Japan red vinyl monos from '82 smoke all previous versions with 1 exception, HDN is a tad better on Y/B Parlophone. Of course, it all varies with the stereo issues, but my choices are as follows:
    PPM-Die Beatles German
    WTB-MFSL individual release (300 copies only)
    HDN-tossup between -1 matrix parlophone and MFSL
    Help-again, tossup between -1 parlophones and MFSL
    Rubber Soul- Y/B early Parlophones are great, but I have to give honorable mention to EAS Japan issue, I don't feel it's quite as bright as the others and it kicks booty
    Revolver- yet again, tossup between -1 parlophone and MFSL individual release
    Sgt. Pepper- for me, it's the individual MFSL even over the UHQR but some swear by the Nimbus, good luck finding one without having to take out a loan;)
    MMT- Hor Zu German hands down.
    White Album- my faves of this are, in order,
    1. MFSL 2. German White Vinyl DMM 3. German original top loader. all different, all very nice!
    Yellow Sub- MFSL individual, German Apple a close 2nd
    Abbey Road- possibly the toughest call of all, I like the -1 UK original, the MFSL and the Japan pro use about equally, again they're all different but all very nice.
    Let It Be- MFSL hands down.
  21. lennonfan

    lennonfan New Member

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    addition:
    having just done an a/b with the EAS rubber soul vs. y/b parlophone, the parlophone really is better.
  22. fraser

    fraser Member

    Location:
    london,england
    Hi Lennonfan. So are you saying there are differences between box set MFSLs and individual issues? If so what kind of differences are we talking - do I start organizing loans? I have the box set and generally can see where you are coming from on most of your choices, but my MFSL white album sounds very boomy, sort of bloated ( yet undeniably crystal clear ) compared to the UK 1st Stereo & Mono which win for me hands down . Its the same with Abbey Road , though I do have an individual copy of that which to my ears is identical to my box set copy.
  23. lennonfan

    lennonfan New Member

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    All the titles except MMT, White and Abbey Road are different masterings than the box set. The above 3 titles are the same. Interesting, given that they said they'd press no more than 25,000 of any title (evidently the white and Abbey Rd got a 50,000 number run, split between the individual release and the box set). MMT, White and AR were released before the box came out, then the box did it's run, then came the UHQR of Pepper, then the individual releases. It's ancient history now and I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the first masterings (incl. the box) were done by an engineer who had a hearing problem and cut the midrange, known as the 'smiley EQ' which evidently had a bass and treble boost. The later individual issues were cut by a different mastering engineer. I can't say for certain that they're unfutzed with, but if they are, it was minimal and not as extreme as what you hear on the above 3 titles. I can only speak for my taste and my sense of hearing, but while there is the boost in the White album I've sort of felt the original was a bit too midrangey to begin with, especially compared with their other albums. However I find it closest to the cd that I've heard.
  24. rpd

    rpd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashville
    Beatles Stereo Pressings

    Guys,

    Help me...sorry as I know it's here somewhere...but if I have the following LP's, and the MFSL box, what additional stereo UK pressings do I need to get...up through Sgt Pepper, and is there a difference in sound between the original pressings and the "2 box" stereo pressings (is there a reson to have both mono versions)(the 2 box I assume are from the 70's???)...Are the original Parlaphone stereo LP's yellow and black like the monos?

    PPM 2nd Press y/b
    WTB " "
    AHDN " "
    Help y/b reissue, and 2 box stereo
    BFS y/b 2nd pressing mono, and 2 box stereo
    RS y/b reissue mono
    R y/b reissue mono
    SP y/b 1st press mono

    Thanks!!!
  25. rpd

    rpd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nashville
    I also have all the individual MFSL releases in addition to the box....