15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The E.U. pressing definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
My review will focus on the manufacturing of the box set not the musical content which has remained timeless and outstanding throughout the years. I recently purchased the Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set on Amazon.ca and with great satisfaction was sent the version manufactured in E.U. The vinyl LPs all pressed by Optimal in Germany. I reside in the US and purchased TWO US...
Published 18 months ago by A. DURSO
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 Year Later - Still Shipping FLAWED USA Sets
So I figured a year went by, maybe they have fixed the issues with the USA set or maybe I would get a EU Set (I asked Amazon before ordering and they could not say which one I would get). So I ordered late November 2013, and unfortunately I got the USA box and it is STILL riddled with problems. I contacted Amazon to replace it and they passed me the manufacturer`s email...
Published 8 months ago by JP
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not perfect...,
This is my first Amazon purchase. I was very excited to receive my box set, but then started to hear about the numerous poor reviews, particularly on the U.S. Amazon site. It was with some trepidation that I opened my own box set, when it arrived. I'd been warned by a local vinyl retailer that Amazon's packaging could be somewhat haphazard, however I was very pleased with the care taken in the packaging. A large, heavy cardboard outer box, with gel foam molded inserts that secured both the top and bottom of the box set, ensuring it stayed securely in place during shipping. Only gross mishandling by UPS could have caused any damage. Mine looks perfect.
In addition to the care Amazon took in packing the box set, the manufacturers have foam inserts in the box set itself, to prevent the LPs and book from shifting around. The book is amazing! A beautiful hardcover, full of glossy "suitable for framing" photos. (not that you'd ever break the spine and tear the book apart for this purpose...) Not a whole lot of new info if you're a Beatles geek from way back like I am, but a pleasant read about the history & recording techniques used on each album nonetheless. I feel this may be the true collector's item in time. Hard to believe most of their best work was done on 4 track, and on never more than 8.
Now for the vinyl. I'd been warned by a friend that 'The Beatles' (aka The White Album) and 'Abbey Road' in particular had received rather scathing reviews by some purchasers. It is a personal tradition to play "Come Together" as the first song, whenever I get a new Beatles set of any sort, or as a matter of fact any time I buy a new music playing device (turntable, mp3 player, whatever...), so this worked rather well for me from that perspective. I visually inspected all the LPs, and they all appeared to have the hole punched on center, were flat, with no signs of off center stamping or warps. So far, so good.
Then I dropped the needle on to the first cut on 'Abbey Road'. I immediately noticed a significant amount of surface noise, as if the stylus or LP itself were in need of a good cleaning. (my stylus is relatively new, and I clean it before playing each LP) The noise was particularly noticeable in the dead space between "Come Together" and "Something". I stopped there. I then dropped Side 1/Disc 1 of The White Album on the turntable. The same thing. Quite noticeable surface noise. I played from "Back in the USSR" right through to "Glass Onion". Particularly through the more subtle "Dear Prudence" the 'rice krispies' were quite noticeable.
Before panicking and contacting Amazon with my righteous indignation, I decided I'd try running the LPs through my record cleaner. I have a very basic Spin Clean MkII, but it has worked wonders with other vinyl I own, in much, much worse condition. I spent a few hours that night running each LP through the cleaning process. I let them sit overnight, and worried about it all day at work the next day. In the end, thankfully, I worried for nothing.
As soon as I got home from work that day I put "Abbey Road" back on the turntable. Clean as a whistle, both sides clear through. Same with 'The White Album'. (which I fell in love with all over again...) I have since listened to everything but "Past Masters". So far, so good. VERY nice sound. A very minor hiss here or there, but nothing that detracts from the music, and certainly nothing to file a formal complaint with Amazon about. Most played through with crystal clear CD-like quality.
I find that McCartney's bass lines in particular just jump out, in addition to many other treasures for the ears, that I've either forgotten, or were buried in the mix in previous releases. I simply can never get enough of listening to their music. There will never be another band as groundbreaking or prolific as The Beatles.
I am wondering if the paper sleeves with the vinyl liners aren't part of the problem. They can build static, which of course attracts all sorts of crud and corruption. At least in my case a good cleaning seems to have resolved the problem. Yet I have noticed that quite often when I went to turn the LP or remove it from the turntable once I was done listening to it, that there was a noticeable collection of fuzz on the stylus, and occasionally in spots on the vinyl itself, and I played each LP with the dust cover down on my turntable. It is as if static build up on the LP is attracting dust, and drawing it in under the dustcover.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this set, and my first purchase from Amazon. I am sorry to hear others had a less than satisfying experience. For those who may be experiencing the surface noise I mention, unless there are obvious physical flaws with the set you've received (ie. warped vinyl...) consider purchasing a cleaning machine (mine was a mere $80), and running the LPs through this process, then try it again. If the problem is solved, you're golden. If not, you can then return it for either a replacement or refund. I am giving this 4/5 simply because there were some obvious thumbprints or whatever on the vinyl that I had to clean thoroughly to remove (if these are hand bombed into the sleeves at the factory the workers should be wearing static free gloves of some sort...no excuse for that...), and there are minor visual flaws on some of the vinyl. (mild discolouration like streaks, but does not effect the sound at all...) Again though I am very pleased with this set, and will be purchasing the mono set without hesitation when it comes out.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There should be a recall!,
I have never seen a product sold with this poor of quality. It was surreal going through and listening to each record. I was just amazed that this product was cleared to go out for sale. The flaws and damage to these records were ridiculous. I I took notes of the physical damage and sound flaws and filled up 20+ pages. All records had fingerprint smudges, hair, and scratches from the center of the record out to the edge. Every dust jacket was bent and crumpled and the corners of some of the sleeves were bent. Every record was warped and the sound was affected due to this. There were many issues of no-fills and abundant noise due to pressing flaws. The flip-top box that holds the records was damaged as well. The book was in excellent condition, though. I have read that the UK didn't experience these issues because a German company did the pressing. I am disappointed that Capital records would knowingly allow a poor quality record pressing company to produce records for the greatest band in history. This product should be recalled.
We sent this box-set back and received a new one. Though there are a few issues with very minor quality control issues, it is much better. We kept it and are enjoying it very much!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars C'mon Amazon-what's with the poor packaging!,
I read a lot of negative reviews on this item before I purchased it-warped records, skipping, scratches, etc. It didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that it was going to cost $360.00. I purchased it and kept my fingers crossed. Thankfully the records are all fine. I think the most impressive part of this package is the case bound book. It's marvellous with pictures I've never seen before and I've seen a lot of pictures of the Beatles over the past 49 years. I actually saw them perform live-twice! But-Amazon-the shipping was HORRIBLE!!!!! My package was delivered in 2 pieces! One piece was the box itself with the records and book. The other piece was the shrinkwrap with the shipping label on it. This entire package was held together with a piece of flimsy shrinkwrap. The box was wide open and anything could have fallen out. The outer sleeve was torn, the box was dented and scratched. Surely you could have shipped this item in an outer carton to protect it. My advice to everyone is to buy it at Costco. It's cheaper and you can see what the package looks like. I'll limit any future Amazon buying to single books or small items that can give fit in a carton. A job very poorly done Amazon!
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are all the 5 star reviews coming from?,
I will make my review simple and short.
First of all, this box set which is pressed in USA (at Rainbo) had literally no quality control. At first inspecting the records during the evening (it was dark) I discovered that two records are warped and had "non-fill" issues, scuffs and greasy fingerprints on them. The other day I took my time and watched all of the records in the daylight and discovered that ALL of the records (besides two records) are either warped, have scuffs, or "non-fill" issues. Thats insane! And because of that these records have a lot of sound problems and are visually just painful to look at.
Secondly, I totally understand amazon.ca and that this isnt their fault. Amazon.ca has been totally helpful to sort the problems out and I thank them for that.
If you want to read more on this subject, head to Steve Hoffman Music Forums for example.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb package,
The first think I noticed about this box set is the incredible weight, over 20 pounds. Each album and the book are individually shrink wrapped. All the discs are protected within plastic lined paper sleeves. All the expected inserts are there plus some extras. The discs are beautifully pressed on heavy 180 gram vinyl with no sign of warping or any visible defects. I have made it about two thirds of the way through and have found the sound so far to be excellent. My components are all late seventies vintage equipment. Without A/B testing my impression is that many of the earlier tracks reveal noticeably more bass than I recall. The quiet passages between tracks are silent.I guess after acquiring at least 10-15 copies of these albums over the years, this set will be my ultimate versions ... until the next time. Mono box next year, you say!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW,
Very nice box set they sound amazing!!. They done a nice quality job waiting for monos to come in 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, nicely redone,
This is the Parlophone EU version. Good sound, nicely redone. I didn't open the picture booklet that came with it. I viewed the pics online. Maybe it'll keep its value.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful recording quality and a definitive collection,
This review is from: Stereo Box Set (Audio CD)
Simply incredible! Beautiful recording quality and a definitive collection!
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing US set,
I ordered from Amazon.Ca hoping to get a UK pressing. I was sent a US pressing from a third party supplier. Paid customs duty on it. My set had the problems that many of the US sets had. Most of the larger problems showed up on the second half of the set. The problems were as follows: Scuffs that usually did not affect play, finger prints (give the guy a glove!), some surface noise during quiet parts (When Ringo sings Good Night on the White Album it is very evident), some pressings are not equally flat, and on WA and MMT there can be really bad surface noise at the last of the final tracks.
Some of the other issues I had may have been due to the actual mixing of the music. This is most evident on the early albums. I guess there was not sufficient data to make a good stereo sound. I switched to mono and the sound improved.
At best, the songs can sound great and resonate like magic. At worst, on MMT, the track is unlistenable (no hyperbole here.)
I am keeping the set because, without the ability to choose a UK set, I don't wish to go through the trouble of returning it. Ecologically, I can't convince myself that returning this box several times until I get a good one, is worth the fuel, time and expense.
I paid for a "perfect" set, but I will settle for OK. And someday they will probably decide to re-create the half-speed process with the new mix--and press it in Japan.
If you can avoid the US set, do so. Still, there is some great music to be heard from it.
JUST HEARD about the Mono Vinyl Set to be released in September. Manufactured in Germany. Someone at Apple was listening. So here's an idea: Buy the mono set, then get a hold of post-White Album UK (or German) stereo copies for those individual titles.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!,
Super set with all the original Beatles album. The reproductions are just like the original with pictures and posters. All of them sound absolutely fantastic. Great care was taken to ensure a faultless listening. I have to tell my box set contained records pressed in Germany. I know there were some concerns with those pressed in USA. Just for the book full of high quality pictures witch explain the the story behind the creation of each albums is worth the price of this Box set. Nice collectible item and nice to listen to!
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