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The Beatles remasters: An audiophile review

The Beatles remastered CDs are due 09/09/09, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping they're worth the wait.

The Mono Box may be the preferred option for hard-core Beatles fans.
Apple Records

Tone Audio's Bob Gendron scored advance copies of "The Beatles Stereo Box Set" and "The Beatles Mono Box Set" of the complete Beatles catalog. Four years in the making, Gendron thinks the remasters are a feast for the ears.

Tone Audio is an audiophile Web site, so when I read Gendron's claims of "Near-miraculous improvements in the key areas of information retrieval, hidden details, palpable physicality, expanded midrange, transient presence, and frequency response" to the remastered sound, I was jazzed. Bass, never a strong suit on Beatles recordings, has been improved, so we get to hear more oomph from Paul McCartney's bass and Ringo Starr's percussion. I can hardly wait.

Gendron seems to favor the mono box, mostly because the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, lavished their attention on the mono mixes of the original albums; stereo was an afterthought. Me, I'm a stereo kind of guy, so I'll start with the stereo set. And yes, I'll report back after I've had time to mull over the sound for myself. The Rolling Stones' recent remasters are nothing to write home about, that's why I've remained mum about them. Remastering, all by itself, is no guarantee of improved sound quality.

The Stereo Box will be the one I get. Apple Records

Hats off to Tone Audio and Bob Gendron for a comprehensive review.

Both box sets have "sold out" even before they're out on Amazon; Amazon has a FAQ page to ease the minds of anxious Beatles buyers. Apparently, somebody is still buying music.