Abbey Road 50th Anniversary


I’ve been listening to the 50th Anniversary of “Abbey Road” by The Beatles all morning....what fun!  The new mix is well done.  It’s warm and spacious.


I understand The Beatles albums are sacred for some.  I’ve enjoyed most of the remastered and reissued albums over the years.  This new “Abbey Road” release definitely sounds different, and after a few plays I put on the original pressing and the 2009 remastered version for comparison.  I prefer the cleaner, sweeter sonics of the newer versions.


I like the extra instrumentations, orchestrations and outtakes.  The new packaging and materials are wonderful.  The books, photos and sleeves are tastefully laid out with a high quality presentation.


What do you think of this iconic masterpiece?  What is your favorite pressing/version of “Abbey Road”?


“....and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make....”

E7f6ecd9 5e09 45ce ac88 dbdbc844dea4allane
Post removed 
Beatles audiophile trivia: Abbey Road was the first Beatles album mastered using solid state equipment at Abbey Road Studios.

A friend bought the new vinyl and we will be having a listening session at my house sometime soon.

Also I don't think I've ever heard a bad sounding release of Abbey Road.   I have several on CD and vinyl including the Mobile Fidelity original release on Vinyl.
@elizabeth 

Thanks for replying!

I just watched Mr. Guttenberg’s video on the new “Abbey Road” release and I agree with his review, especially in regards to the “spaciousness” of the mix.

While different, I think both the 2009 Remaster and the new 50th Anniversary sound wonderful and are an improvement on the original pressing.  I have not listened to the MoFi pressing, which some consider the best version.

I enjoyed last year’s 50th Anniversary of the “White Album”, so I jumped on the new “Abbey Road” without hesitation and have been thrilled with the experience.

If you listen to the new “Abbey Road”, let me know what you think.
@mapman

Thanks for your reply and trivia! I did not know that “Abbey Road” was the first solid-state Beatles album.

Twenty-five years ago, someone told me that to get the kick drum sound for “Abbey Road”, a large speaker driver was used as the pickup instead of a standard microphone. Do you know if this is true?

How does the MoFi version compare to the 2009 Remaster?

Let me know what you think of the 50th Anniversary after you have a listen.
Don't know the kickdrum answer. 

I will have to do some revisiting of various versions.    No clue which is best.   I also enjoyed the 50th anniversary White Album, have only heard it via Spotify, but the differences from all my prior releases were quite apparent.     
I haven't had a chance to hear it yet, but am looking forward to it.  I love what Giles Martin did with Sgt. Pepper and the White Album.  
By no means does this tell the whole story regarding sound quality, but here are some published metrics on dynamics of teh various Beatles releases that might be of interest.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=beatles&album=


After listening to the outtakes disc, the guys seem to be getting along much better and are much more enthused about making an album than they were during what I've heard from the "Let It Be" sessions.
Are we talking about the 1979 mofi? I have a pretty clean copy of it and am looking forward to comparing to the new one when it arrives from acoustic sounds. 
I’ll take the tube distortion and noise, but thanks anyway. 

Instant purchase for me.


Happy Listening!

Ironically the vinyl is much more dynamic than any of the CD releases. 
I listened to the album proper last night on Qobuz, it sounded fantastic.  Listening again this morning, hopefully I'll have time to listen to all the bonus material.
@mayoradamwest

Please let us know what you think of the MoFi pressing compared to the Acoustic Sounds pressing.  Thanks!
@big_greg

I listened to the different vinyl pressings yesterday and today I’ve been comparing the different digital versions as I test out some DACs, streamers and USB interfaces. The 2009 Remaster and 50th Anniversary sound wonderful and in my opinion, showcase how good digital can be. No matter if it’s vinyl or digital, both are tastefully remastered and well done.  I agree with you about Giles Martin’s work on previous reissues.
Just listened to album off Qobuz. Very  large soundstage. in this version of the album. Excellent voice reproduction and you can hear the guitar strings being plucked.  Nice job by the remix crew.
I bought the 3 CD, 1 Blu-Ray set.  The outtakes, which comprise two CDs. are amazing.  They show the songs in early stages of development - 28 tracks. A must for any Beatles fan.  
I have the 2009 remastered LP and I prefer this new CD version.  Contrary to some of the reviews above, it has excellent dynamics and the greatest amount of detail of any previous incarnation of Abbey Road. 
My system is Magnepan 3.7i's, Sonographe SA 400 amp, and 
Apt-Holman pre-amp.  
I bought the 3 CD, 1 Blu-Ray set.  The outtakes, which comprise two CDs. are amazing.  They show the songs in early stages of development - 28 tracks. A must for any Beatles fan.  
I have the 2009 remastered LP and I prefer this new CD version.  Contrary to some of the reviews above, it has excellent dynamics and the greatest amount of detail of any previous incarnation of Abbey Road. 
My system is Magnepan 3.7i's, Sonographe SA 400 amp, and 
Apt-Holman pre-amp.  
Alot of annoying minor surface tics throughout side 2 of the remastered 2019 Abbey Road. No excuse for that. Maybe an ultrasonic leaning will help.
Listening on Tidal HiFi thru MQA - the detail and soundstage are amazing. Crisp highs - detailed vocals- bass is tight.

on my third time thru - great memories - life is good!

Happy Listening! 

Tom8999
Given that:  a) the original recording and mix of Abbey Road are already very good and b) I probably won't give Abbey Road THAT MANY more spins in my remaining time on earth, I think I'll stick with the excellent re-master I bought just a few years ago.  They should have done the re-mixes of SPLHCB, "the white album" and Abbey Road when the re-mastered versions came out (along with everything else for which they still possess the original multi-track tapes, which is probably most of the catalog).  IMHO we got screwed on this .  Those guys already have too much of my money from American LP's, import LP's, original CD's and remastered CD's.  This is where I draw the line. 
Quick interrupt! Anybody have the Dr. Ebbetts Mono CD? 
I'm playing the CD extra tracks first before moving on to the remix.
Nothing special on disc 2 but I've yet to hear disc 3.

My biggest gripe with the GM remixes is that whilst it's absolutely brilliant to get back to the freshness of the original session tapes why would you want to compress the actual album.
SHEER GREED?

I refuse to pay extra for the uncompressed Blu-ray but by most accounts the audio is markedly better.

 


Well, I still love my Capital/plum label
I've only listened to the Tidal MQA version and think it's wonderful. I'm constantly amazed how digital playback has improved in just the last 5 years. I still have memories of the original CD players back in the 80's.
I also think the bass is too prominent in the mix. For my taste anyway.
I listened to the vinyl tonight with a friend. We both thought it was amazing. For whatever that's worth. I'm pretty sure he was leaking at the end of side two. Or he had something in his eyes. 
I appreciate the replies and have enjoyed reading all your thoughts over the weekend. This was my second thread and I am inspired by the response.  Thank you!
The 50th Anniversary of “Abbey Road” is set to be the No. 1 album this week. I think it’s cool that a 50 year old album is No. 1.
@geoffkait 

What is the “Dr. Ebbetts Mono CD”?

Does anyone know how many versions there are of “Abbey Road”?  I was watching Michael Fremer’s video review and he mentioned several.
Here are some links to some nice reviews of the new “Abbey Road” that are interesting and informative.

Analog Planet by Michael Fremer:  https://www.analogplanet.com/content/abbey-road-50th-anniversary-remix-full-review-part-2

Michael Fremer’s Video Review:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b97M9vX7vHA

Steve Guttenberg’s Video Review:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XAGAoYJC-gA
I was prompted to order the three LP 2019 Giles Martin remastered version after listening to the 2009 CD.  The CD was really unsatisfying.  The upper midrange was, to my ears, too prominent and there was a lack of spaciousness overall.  

The 50th Anniversary LP is a whole different deal.  The upper midrange is in balance with the rest of the frequency spectrum maintaining the clarity of the 2009 CD but with a much more spacious soundstage.  I lucked out on the pressing as the LP is "flat as a pancake" (thanks Head East)  and is virtually devoid of any surface noise!  In a word, the new LP is "beautiful" to listen to and its clarity increases my appreciation for the many layers used to produce the album.

The beauty, clarity and spaciousness of the 2019 Abbey Road is prompting me to look into the LPs of SPLHCB and "The Beatles" albums.

PS The two additional LPs reveal, in considerable measure, the creative process of the band and also how well the guys were getting along during the "Abbey Road" sessions.  The blurbs that explain each take put the happenings at the sessions into proper context and give them interest.

PPS. I have never heard The Beatles recording of "Come and Get It" later made famous by Badfinger.  Good rendition but not as energetic as Badfinger's.
Why do you use 2009 version for reference?All these late remastering made from digital using digital equipment.I compare some new remasters to 1984 British "Blue Box".

"Blue Box" sounds 1000 times better.I heard latest audiophile remasterings of Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd. Some of these remasterings are better some are worse but all of them lose to old analog reissues.
@alexberger, yes the 2009 CD remasters left an awful lot to be desired. The stereos were just wrong.

The tweaked versions in the 2014 US box might be the best the Fab 4 sound on CD. 

One day someone will finally capture the analogue magic and get the digital transfers right. But it won't be Giles - seems as if it's beyond him.

He's the remix cash king.
I have the Japanese Toshiba Pro Use on vinyl and that will be good enough for me. No OBI and the jacket is probably VG+ but the vinyl is essentially mint.

I like the record but it is not a desert island piece for me. But still nice to listen to every once in a while.
I downloaded from Hdtracks....am listening for the second time...easily one of the best quality recordings I own...Come Together, which is one of my favorite Beatles songs, is just fantastic...bass is just amazing...great remix...I also own the hdtracks White Album and Sgt Peppers...all of them are very well done...totally worth every penny
I finally got around to listening to this last night.  I really like it.  I particularly enjoy the more water like clarity of vocals and the instruments sound more defined in parts.  The drums/bass rhythm section is more prominent in the mix.  

I'm in the camp that thinks Giles has done great work. To my ears, his White Album work is an improvement. Wasn't the original White Album mixed to narrow tape, reducing its bandwidth and the reason for the remaster was to pull the tracks in full analog to digital first to get around this issue? 
This is the best I've ever heard the Beatles. Drums have more impact and way better sound stage and imaging. Well done remastering studio!
Once again the dreaded bloated bass boost....

Other versions sound more natural...

If you can get hold of the BT version you would probably keep this GM version as occasional digital alternative.
I noticed the bass bloat on my KEF LS50;s of all speakers. Hurt my ears on a few early tracks. I will stick with the other pressing on Tidal.
Bass "bloat" is usually a result of room acoustics and/or interactions with the floor or furniture speakers rest on in some cases. Very likely if heard with the small ls50s.
I hear it even in the areas of my room with minimal bass modes, not calling it bloat but just a higher level. It is definitely the recording, my other versions don't have it.
I didn't A/B it with other versions, but the bass definitely was one of the things that stood out to me, not in a bad way though.  The bass lines were clear and clean and well defined in relation to the other instruments and it gave it more of a "live" feel.  That's with 4 large high powered subwoofers in my system.
My room is acoustically treated with GIK panels. My Virtual System has photos. Prior to the panels I had difficulty listening to albums like Siamese Dream from the Pumpkins. A lot of bass on that. After the treatment no problem, even at high volume levels.

I listen to the Beatles a lot while I work at home and my old pressing of Abbey Road gets played a lot without any sound problems in my room. The new pressing was not so room friendly for me. I do not plan on keeping the new one in my library.

In comparison, the remastered Sergeant Pepper sounded great. I was not a huge fan of that album for 30 years (though I played it a lot) but the remaster won me over big time. No problems listening to that one in my current room.
I’m looking forward to getting a copy of the 50th Anniversary release. What exactly is on the Blue-Ray?  Is it just the 5.1 high Rez or are there pictures and videos on it as well?

Thanks.

JD
I don’t notice any bloat. 
Just compared to the 1979 MoFi pressing. The new one is very good. Clean, new detail I’ve never heard before, and excellent balance. I still far prefer the 1979. The MoFi one is richer, full bass, and darker (that’s not to say it’s missing high end detail). This is most obvious on Come Together. The new one sounds like a nice rock song. The MoFi sounds like a dark, moody jam. 
They are really very different. Both very good, but to me, the MoFi is how Abbey Road should sound. 
(Played on AMG Viella Turbo with Koetsu Onyx Platinum)
Thanks for the links to the video reviews. 

I listened to the album on Qobuz - the 96 Hz/24 bit hi-res version.  Great sounding mix - the outtakes were my favorite.  White Album, Sgt Peppers and now Abbey Road on hi-res...keep em coming.
The new album sounds great! 
@rdk777

You are welcome, thanks for your reply!  This is one of my first online posts, so not only have I been enjoying the new “Abbey Road”, but I’ve seen inspired by reading all the comments.
I've probably listened to the "new Abbey Road" 5 times by now.  Frankly, I think it transformative.  It sounds sooooo much better than a lot of the current pop and rock that is being released.  I hope that it tops the charts, exposes new generations to what music can sound like, and helps deliver the recording industry a wakeup.  

I'll get off my soapbox and say that I streamed it from Qobuz, the 96 Hz/24 bit version.  Thought that it overall that it was clean and balanced.  The bass was just right (organic sounding) and the detail and sound stage were fantastic.  It's not often that I sing along to an album, as it scares the neighborhood, but I cut lose with this one!  It provoked a very emotive response from me, which often doesn't happen with remastered albums.  Would be great if they could do this with all the old Led Zep, Stones and Who albums as well :)