I grabbed a couple albums, Abbey Road, Magical Mystery Tour, Let it Be, and Sgt. Peppers this morning. I only own the old Sgt Peppers and Abbey Road albums to compare them to.
To be honest, I wish they had remixed them as well. The one sided stereo mixes are still pretty darn obnoxious.
Staying true to the original... bah.
Other than that one criticism they are considerably better overall. There's a bass guitar that was almost non existent, drums are punchy, voices clear, organ notes, flutes, etc. all pop out like I've never heard before. She's Leaving Home, for example, sounds almost modern. They did a great job on these.
I spent several hours comparing the Mono/Stereo. With very few exceptions I preferred the stereo. The exceptions involved the tracks (several of the ones from Revolver for example) that pan the vocals hard right. I prefer the mono on those. There were two songs that are not hard panned that for whatever reason just sounded better to me in mono: No Reply and I'm a Loser from Beatles For Sale. If I had to buy just one set it would definitely be the stereo version. If I wanted to pick and choose each album I would consider getting Revolver in Mono. If I could really cherry pick I would get the Stereo set and replace the hard panned songs with the mono versions. There would be about 10 songs that I would have in Mono. Interesting that some songs were panned but the separation was not as drastic and I still preferred the stereo versions over the mono ones.
Note that this is all w/ headphones. The decision would be less clear (to me) if I did more speaker listening.
The stereo remasters sound great to me. Very enjoyable listening with much more punch and detail.
I'm into the stereo discs now. I think they sound excellent. I listened to the White Album in mono and something was off. I compared the mono and stereo versions of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Let me say, this is no Steve Hoffman remaster. You can listen to Steve's mono remasters and swear you're listening to stereo, they're so alive. I think the mono version of the White Albums sounds completely inert. I'm not enjoying this mono remaster at all. However the two stereo discs I've been listening to, Hard Days Night and With the Beatles sound great! Great detail and air. Maybe a tad bright for m tastes, but not bad at all.
I bought the stereo box set today at my local record store and will receive the pre-ordered mono set next week. So far I've only quickly compared the remastered Abbey Road album to my previous CD version from 1987. The remaster sounds much better in every way: it's more punchier and not as flat sounding, there's more bass and the 1987 CD sounds more distant compared to the remaster.
Those who were afraid that the remasters would suffer from compression need not worry, because the remasters seem to have less headroom (=will play at a higher volume) but none of the tracks are clipping and dynamic compression isn't an issue.
I used the Dynamic Range Meter that I've downloaded from DYNAMIC RANGE | pleasurize music! and got an 'Official DR value' (visit their website if you want to know what the meter actually measures) DR10 for both the 1987 CD release and the remaster. I've used the DR Meter to measure the dynamic range of over 150 of my CDs and all the results are stored on my computer. DR10 in my experience is a very good result.
Below are the results the DR Meter gave me for both of the Abbey Road CD releases I have (track name: DR value 1987 CD/remaster, track peak 1987 CD/remaster, track RMS 1987 CD/remaster):
Come Together: DR9/DR9, -3.97 dB/-0.37 dB, -16.14 dB/-11.44 dB Something: DR9/DR9, -3.89 dB/-0.37 dB, -16.05 dB/-12.42 dB Maxwell's Silver Hammer: DR10/DR11, -4.28 dB/-0.37 dB, -17.73 dB/-13.82 dB Oh! Darling: DR10/DR10, -3.80 dB/-0.29 dB, -15.53 dB/-11.30 dB Octopus's Garden: DR10/DR11, -3.89 dB/-0.37 dB, -16.65 dB/-12.92 dB I Want You (She's So Heavy): DR10/DR9, -3.50 dB/-0.34 dB, -15.38 dB/-11.25 dB Here Comes the Sun: DR10/DR9, -2.80 dB/-0.37 dB, -15.57 dB/-11.37 dB Because: DR10/DR10, -3.71 dB/-1.15 dB, -16.26 dB/-14.30 dB You Never Give Me Your Money: DR10/DR9, -2.25 dB/-0.37 dB, -16.02 dB/-13.30 dB Sun King: DR9/DR10, -4.27 dB/-0.55 dB, -16.06 dB/-13.36 dB Mean Mr. Mustard: DR10/DR10, -0.97 dB/-0.35 dB, -12.76 dB/-11.02 dB Polythene Pam: DR8/DR9, -1.94 dB/-0.37 dB, -12.12 dB/-10.51 dB She Came in Through the Bathroom Window: DR9/DR9, -2.40 dB/-0.36 dB, -12.45 dB/-10.55 dB Golden Slumbers: DR10/DR10, -2.24 dB/-0.37 dB, -16.07 dB/-13.22 dB Carry That Weight: DR9/DR9, -2.27 dB/-0.37 dB, -13.07 dB/-10.70 dB The End: DR10/DR9, -1.08 dB/-0.24 dB, -14.04 dB/-12.25 dB Her Majesty: DR10/DR11, -5.31 dB/-0.37 dB, -22.66 dB/-19.71 dB
I can't wait to get my hands on the mono remasters.
Really enjoying the monos so far. They have a lot more pop in the bass and drums than the stereos of the '87 mixes that I have. I also just like the mono a lot, both for the sake of authenticity and because it just sounds better to me.
Also, the packaging is awesome. I especially love the magical mystery tour presentation.
Just listened to a few tracks so far in flac, but Freedb is having problems recognizing Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. SQ-wise, the stereo mixes are simply fantastic. It's like the Beatles all over again.
I picked up the Mono set today and was under the impression they would be numbered. Does anyone have information about the availability or sets? Working until midnight and very anxious to get home and listen to these.