"New" Beatles Mono Catalog Release on 180gr Vinyl


It looks like the Mono CD Collection from 5 years ago did well enough that the collection is to be re-scrubbed & re-mastered and released on 180-gram vinyl.

Scheduled release date is 09/09/14. Not sure if the September release date has any significance, but apparently the box set is part of Apple Corps 50th Anniversary marketing campaign.

Here's the link to the Rolling Stone Article:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-beatles-in-mono-to-get-lavish-vinyl-release-this-fall-20140616

For vinyl junkies, this looks like a no-brainer.

Personally, I'm on the fence as to whether to pull the trigger, especially given the $375.00 US Suggested Retail for 14 LPs (roughly $26.75 per album).

I have the Mono CD Box and the Limited Edition USB-Rom 24-Bit FLAC Collection (Shipped in its own aluminum Green Apple). I passed on the US-Release CD Box, and the UK Stereo CD & Vinyl Boxes. Still, it IS The Beatles, and adjusted for inflation the pricing is about the same as when I bought the record albums the first time...
courant
I'm not too excited as it's fake vinyl, taken from the digital masters. As R. Harley says from ABSOLUTE SOUND, "it's like trying to turn hamburger back into steak. I'm sure they sound good, but so do the mono cd's. Most vinyl coming out now is fake based on digital masters.
Hmm, maybe I should have read the RS article 1st. if these are truly from the analog masters then this is what everyone has been waiting for, forever.
You might want to check your facts, Wildoats. According to Fremmer and An,luge Planet: "Apple Corps and Universal Music Group today announced the September 8th release date (September 9th in North America) of the long-anticipated Beatles’ mono vinyl reissue series, cut to lacquer using the original analogue master tapes."
So, I don't these are from digital masters. Wrong? I've got mine on pre-order.
My impression is that there is no digital in the trail from the new discs back to the master tapes. Hi rez digital versions were made for reference purposes in remixing, so that the master tapes did not degrade from having to be played over and over. But its all analog all the way back. The electronics are solid state rather than tubes, and the cutting heads are new and different than the originals, of course.
it's not possible today to rebuild this mono catalog without digital re-mastering. i wouldn't be surprised if the tapes are already sounding very poor today.
the tapes are darn old and missing half of recorded information if not more.
early re-issues in EX or better condition can be found on internet and that's better and cheaper way to go.
for audiophile folks it's more important to have crispy sound so i assume that this bundle had been electronically re-processed to meet audiophile standards.
I preordered mine the second this set was announced.
Czarivey, If one can believe Abbey Road engineer Paul Hicks, the mono tapes are in good condition. As quoted from Sound on Sound:

Because of their importance, the analogue masters had been scrupulously maintained and archived. “All the Beatles tapes are in fantastic order, the multitracks as well as the quarter-inches,” enthuses Paul. “Guy and I have been doing Beatles stuff for about 15 years, on and off, and we’ve never baked a Beatles tape. The formula on that EMI tape was just fantastic. The only thing we did find, which we had to be incredibly careful with when we were transferring it — and especially with the monos, which hadn’t been played in 40 years — was that a lot of the glue had dried up on the edits. So on the first wind-back you had to be incredibly careful, because a lot of the edits just split apart when winding. We had to get the gloves on!”

“For the transfer and archiving part of the process, we did it song by song,” continues Guy. “So if the tapes had come apart when we were spooling back, we’d replace all those [splices] — same length, we’d measure them all and make sure it was all pukka — and then song by song we’d transfer them. We’d transfer the first one, go back, clean the whole tape path again. Beginning of each week, we’d de-mag the heads. We had a speed reader on the capstan all the time so we knew it was running at the right speed.”

“We’d line up and then we’d always play through, manually checking the azimuth,” says Paul. “It was amazing just by tweaking that, if nothing else, how much more top end you could potentially get. That was a significant part of the transfer process.”
Along with Led Zep, these are the most protected tape assets in the biz. I am sure they are taken off the original masters.

I love the monos from 1962 to 1967. This is how they were listened to by the band. The White Album was the first non-mono mix.
I like'm mono as well. Parlofone pressings is the way to go, but $$$. I guess new releases may drive the price down by notch.
I also heard these are analog.
Based on my own experience with Beatles vinyl. (I've never heard an original UK Parlaphone).

Their catalog up to MMT is most likely best heard on mono.

Again, this is just from my personal experience. I will order the mono box. (This is partly due to the value it will have in the future).I also plan to order some separate lps on the stereo issues.

Anyone remember the "Yellow Submarine" remaster around 10 years ago on yellow vinyl? It sounds fantastic. So does "Let It Be Naked".

The stereo versions of early Beatles are hard to listen to because they were meant to be listened to in mono.

My unofficial, end user opinion.
I backed up my perception with my order of the mono box.
So far all of my mono recordings, new or old pressings sound better with my Lyra Helikon mono than with my Koetsu Urushi Black Phono Cartridge. There is better layering, height and clarity with the mono cartridge. I think it is because there is no vertical compliance with a mono cartridge so it does not have to deal with it.

I have 2 Beatles White Albums first pressings. The first one I purchased for a low price, it was not in great shape and had quite a lot of surface noise. Then I went and bought another at a much steeper price and it sounded great, at the time I only had the Koetsu. After purchasing the Lyra I played the first one again, it was not as good as the second one even with the mono cartridge but most of the surface noise was gone and it sounded very good. After that I no longer looked at mono records the same, even if they look bad they for the most part sound very good. The only issues I look for is groove error from when people used coins on the head shells and/or too much tracking force.

I am getting the new box set and will be trying it with both cartridges.
Had a chance to listen to Sgt Pepper yesterday. Vinyl is very quiet, voices sound clearer and there seems to be better space around the instruments. This is with the stereo cartridge, will try the mono cartridge over the weekend along with listening to more selections. A very nice job so far.
I bought this new box as well. A neighbor has the early UKs, so we will try to do our own comparo once the box arrives. I never 'collected' The Beatles and an old UK Blue Box has served me well. But, I have been buying a few other copies around the fringes- an '82 japanese red mono of Rubber Soul, the 78 UK white vinyl White album (stereo). The coolest one, sonically, is that Horzu Die Beatles -2 pressing. Straight up early Beatles, and fairly gettable.
I'm not a Beatles collector, but I just bought Rubber Soul and I'm going to compare it with a Japanese copy I bought several years ago. The Japanese copy states it was direct metal mastered from a "digitally remastered original tape". Whatever that means. I'll let you know shortly.
Great stuff guys. Keep em coming. I am really tempted to get a few, but have it on hold due to not having a mono cartridge. In reading the comparisons so far, it seems like they are not enjoyed to their potential without a mono cart.
On top of that, I found out my Shindo preamp could have been ordered with a mono input. I don't know the technical reason the mono input would be better, but I'm mildly curious . While I figure it all out, maybe I should scoop up Revolver, Rubber Soul, @ Sgt Peppers. Mmm- then maybe a sharp left on Abbey .
Here's a link to an interview with Mono mastering engineer Sean Magee:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/what-its-like-to-remaster-the-beatles-for-vinyl/
Two years ago, when it became apparent that the stereo reissue of these Beatles albums were mastered from 24/44.1Khz masters, I started snatching up what I could find among the used albums, coming away with "The Beatles Second Album," "Something New" in mono, a Parlophone stereo version of "Help!" and a Capitol mono pressing of "Sgt Peppers."

Today I took delivery of my order of the new EMI mono LPs from the analog masters. I didn't get the box set, but got everything individually except "Help," MMT, and the White Album. What I have is incredible and exceeded my expectations in every aspect. I'm really surprised how subterranean the noise floor is and how extended the bandwidth is. If I had it to do over I wish I'd just gotten the entire box set. As good as my "Help" (Parlophone), MMT, and white albums are, based on what I've heard, I suspect those new ones are better.
I had a chance to compare side one of the new Rubber Soul mono
release with my Japanese stereo version cut from a digitally
remastered copy of the original tape, so it says. While it
was a relief to be rid of the distracting hard panning of the
stereo, the mono cuts were compressed to the point that I
could not discern the slightest level change. It seemed like a
pure AM radio mix from the old days. The only reason I can
see this being done with this audiophile release is that the
original masters were like that. I mean - really leveled. In
any case, I'm not unhappy with my $23 purchase. I've spent a
lot more on less. The mono release is more
enjoyable to listen to than my stereo version and it is
definitely not bright. While I've only heard this one record,
in all honesty, I don't see what the fuss is about, unless
you're a diehard Beatles fan that wants to know they have the
closest thing to the original master. Like a historical thing.
That's cool, I guess.
I have cleaned and listened to "Please Please Me". From my limited experience with "good" Beatles lps, this is the best I've heard of this title. "I Saw Her Standing There", all of the vocalists are (each) easy to hear, the drums and bass guitar are very relevant.

Being a mono record in my stereo set-up, I'm very pleased. Some mono records in this set-up give me the impression of a false boundary between the speakers, like there is a definite cut-off point "a wall" (as far as soundstage width) that is present. I don't get that feeling here. While it isn't "stereo" wide, it just seems natural.

According to the enclosed book, the monos are from analog masters. There is a lot of information on the history of these recordings in the enclosed book.

The vinyl so far is quiet. This title, (PPM), is dished, and upon inspection I believe some others are also.

Sgt. Peppers has the band/title printed upside down on the spline. Don't know if this was the authentic way?

As good as PPM sounds, I can't wait to get a mono cartridge in the future.
I should have mentioned that on PPM, the dynamics are pretty amazing as far as my experience w/ Beatles & mono is concerned. The ambient information, and sustain on vocals & instruments are darn good.
Couldn't sleep.....( I hope my writing on PPM came through).

"With The Beatles" & "A Hard Days Night" were both pressed off center. Not just a teeny bit either. I reamed out the spindle hole in order to get them to tracking properly. And yes, they are not perfectly flat either. They all can clamp flat. If you don't have a clamp, you'll be frustrated. On (AHDN), the last two songs on side one seem to be a notch lower in terms of sonics compared to the rest of the lp.

I'm still impressed. One thing I've noticed with all three so far is the sound is up front & present. (Also, the vocals are easily distinguishable when more the one person is singing.) Some may take this comment to mean bright and annoying. That is not what I mean. I'm really enjoying listening to the Beatles for, really, the first time on these three lps.

"For Sale" is a different animal. To my ears it seems slightly muffled by comparison to the first three. The bass guitar and drums take a back seat, the soundstage is a notch lower in height,(more on side one). On "Words Of Love" the lead guitar is a little to "hot" for my taste. My only other comparison for this lp is my US mono re-issue. This new one blows that one away. For me, the stand out track, sonically, is "Honey Don't". Somehow, I believe side two is sonically overall the best sounding of the two. "Everbody's Trying To Be My Baby" reminds me quite a lot of Paul's lp "Run Devil Run".

"Help" is another lp that is pressed "off-center". "You're Going To Lose That Girl" was noticeably inferior to all of the other tracks on side one. Side two, "Act Naturally" was an instant stand out track for me. "Yesterday" was really an ear-opener for also. I've never heard it this clear with each individual instrument so descernable. At one point there is a fade or something on Paul's voice that I've never noticed from my years of hearing this tune in the past. Overall, for me, this lp is a slight improvement in terms of sonic quality and consistence of such. Maybe it has to do with improved equipment, acoustics, recording technique, etc. Up until "Help", I'm still slightly more impressed with (PPM), being it was their first and the separation of vocals, dynamics, ambience, and sustain I heard.

"Rubber Soul", again, another off-center pressing. However not as much as the previous lps I've mentioned. The first song, "Drive My Car" really woke me up! If this is the sound I'll hear throughout this lp, I'm even more impressed. A notch above "Help". I just want to crank the volume forever on this cut. I'm hearing a more full expression of every individual instrument and vocal. It really stands out to me. On, "Norwegian Wood", we get perhaps the first glimpse of their later, more prominent middle eastern musical influences. My best reference to compare is my Japanese, stereo lp. Absolutely no comparison. This new mono lp, blows that one away! Side two: "What Goes On", (first track again), This song just makes you want to get up and boogie. Sounds fantastic! On "I'm Looking Through You", something has happened I never thought possible? An early Beatles lp with really enjoyable bass reproduction. While whole lp has it, this track just really stood out to me. This is probably their most "rockin'" lp so far. I could play this one all day and never want to change the record.

(As of now, I'm extremely pleased with the decision to purchase this set. Frankly, if it was offered at twice the price, it would be worth it,IMO. I'm now glad I never spent the big bucks to search out the "best pressings" of the Beatles).

(I feel I should note that of the lps in this box set, I own the following MFSL stereo lps):
"A Hard Days Night"
"Revolver"
"Sgt. Pepper's .."
"White"
"Yellow Submarine", EU, 1999 re-issue on yellow wax

"Revolver": "Taxman", it doesn't "jump" out at me like the first cut on (RS). Listening to this mono version, I'm struck as to how much, (what I refer to as SOUL), this lp has compared to the MFSL. So much more enjoyable, while not as open as (RS), still very, very good. "Here, There And Everywhere" is somewhat a standout, although the lead guitar is a little too hot. "Yellow Submarine" has some nice bass, however the rest of the frequency range is slightly behind (not as open), so the bass stands out more. (An interesting comparison may be made with my (YS) on yellow vinyl from around 10 years ago? Side two: Yes it is slightly off-center. This happens quite a lot. One side will track perfectly, while the opposite side is off. Somehow, we muddle through? "Good Day Sunshine", I get the feeling that this could really be a dynamic number, however it falls short. We get what is there. Again, the sonic comparison between "Revolver" & "Rubber Soul" could not be more stark! Night & day my friends.

I think I'll stop here. I'm sure others will have expressed their opinions on the other lps by the time I do. I will finish, for my own sake.

Keep in mind, I'm evaluating on my stereo set-up, with limited Beatles lp experience. This has been a lot of fun so far. I look forward to finishing at some point.
Couldn't sleep.....( I hope my writing on PPM came through).

"With The Beatles" & "A Hard Days Night" were both pressed off center. Not just a teeny bit either. I reamed out the spindle hole in order to get them to tracking properly. And yes, they are not perfectly flat either. They all can clamp flat. If you don't have a clamp, you'll be frustrated. On (AHDN), the last two songs on side one seem to be a notch lower in terms of sonics compared to the rest of the lp.

I'm still impressed. One thing I've noticed with all three so far is the sound is up front & present. (Also, the vocals are easily distinguishable when more the one person is singing.) Some may take this comment to mean bright and annoying. That is not what I mean. I'm really enjoying listening to the Beatles for, really, the first time on these three lps.

"For Sale" is a different animal. To my ears it seems slightly muffled by comparison to the first three. The bass guitar and drums take a back seat, the soundstage is a notch lower in height,(more on side one). On "Words Of Love" the lead guitar is a little to "hot" for my taste. My only other comparison for this lp is my US mono re-issue. This new one blows that one away. For me, the stand out track, sonically, is "Honey Don't". Somehow, I believe side two is sonically overall the best sounding of the two. "Everbody's Trying To Be My Baby" reminds me quite a lot of Paul's lp "Run Devil Run".

"Help" is another lp that is pressed "off-center". "You're Going To Lose That Girl" was noticeably inferior to all of the other tracks on side one. Side two, "Act Naturally" was an instant stand out track for me. "Yesterday" was really an ear-opener for also. I've never heard it this clear with each individual instrument so descernable. At one point there is a fade or something on Paul's voice that I've never noticed from my years of hearing this tune in the past. Overall, for me, this lp is a slight improvement in terms of sonic quality and consistence of such. Maybe it has to do with improved equipment, acoustics, recording technique, etc. Up until "Help", I'm still slightly more impressed with (PPM), being it was their first and the separation of vocals, dynamics, ambience, and sustain I heard.

"Rubber Soul", again, another off-center pressing. However not as much as the previous lps I've mentioned. The first song, "Drive My Car" really woke me up! If this is the sound I'll hear throughout this lp, I'm even more impressed. A notch above "Help". I just want to crank the volume forever on this cut. I'm hearing a more full expression of every individual instrument and vocal. It really stands out to me. On, "Norwegian Wood", we get perhaps the first glimpse of their later, more prominent middle eastern musical influences. My best reference to compare is my Japanese, stereo lp. Absolutely no comparison. This new mono lp, blows that one away! Side two: "What Goes On", (first track again), This song just makes you want to get up and boogie. Sounds fantastic! On "I'm Looking Through You", something has happened I never thought possible? An early Beatles lp with really enjoyable bass reproduction. This whole lp has it, this track just really stood out to me. This is probably their most "rockin'" lp so far. I could play this one all day and never want to change the record.

(As of now, I'm extremely pleased with the decision to purchase this set. Frankly, if it was offered at twice the price, it would be worth it,IMO. I'm now glad I never spent the big bucks to search out the "best pressings" of the Beatles).

(I feel I should note that of the lps in this box set, I own the following MFSL stereo lps):
"A Hard Days Night"
"Revolver"
"Sgt. Pepper's .."
"White"
"Yellow Submarine", EU, 1999 re-issue on yellow wax

"Revolver": "Taxman", it doesn't "jump" out at me like the first cut on (RS). Listening to this mono version, I'm struck as to how much, (what I refer to as SOUL), this lp has compared to the MFSL. So much more enjoyable, while not as open as (RS), still very, very good. "Here, There And Everywhere" is somewhat a standout, although the lead guitar is a little too hot. "Yellow Submarine" has some nice bass, however the rest of the frequency range is slightly behind (not as open), so the bass stands out more. (An interesting comparison may be made with my (YS) on yellow vinyl from around 10 years ago? Side two: Yes it is slightly off-center. This happens quite a lot. One side will track perfectly, while the opposite side is off. Somehow, we muddle through? "Good Day Sunshine", I get the feeling that this could really be a dynamic number, however it falls short. We get what is there. Again, the sonic comparison between "Revolver" & "Rubber Soul" could not be more stark! Night & day my friends.

I think I'll stop here. I'm sure others will have expressed their opinions on the other lps by the time I do. I will finish, for my own sake.

Keep in mind, I'm evaluating on my stereo set-up, with limited Beatles lp experience. This has been a lot of fun so far. I look forward to finishing at some point.
Johnnyb53:

Me thinks like you thinks. Peace.
Slaw: dunno if you are hip to the Horzu Die Beatles I mentioned, but it is a dry mix of Please, Please Me pressed in Germany in the mid-70's and urban lore has it that it was a mistake to send that tape. In any event, it has very little reverb and is very straight ahead sounding- stereo but sort of 'naked' Beatles with no studio gimmicks. It is a revelation if you never heard it and it isn't crazy money. You need to make sure you get the -2 pressing, since the -1 is simply a German pressing of the standard UK version of Please, Please Me.
I may start to clean and play the records in the mono box this coming week. I'm not really set up for mono either. That's another step I have to take.
Whart: I appreciate the info. I'll be interested in your take compared to mine in your stereo set-up.
Whart: I just remembered, I have heard some of the "blue box", but on a different system/room. I thought that it sounded very good.
A teaser....I couldn't help but listen to some of "Sgt. Pepper's" & "MMT" after I signed off on Sat. The sound is big & bold and impressive!
Listened to Please Please Me last night with Grado mono cartridge on Technics 1200 mkII. Dynamics and clarity are all there. Surface is very quiet. Vocals have never been clearer on any pressing of this album I have, including Dutch 1978 blue box set, which was my previous reference. The band sounds fresh and present. Twist and Shout is over the top. Do You Want To Know A Secret may be the first prog rock song, now that I can fully hear and comprehend the time changes and small inflections in the arrangement. Listening to Paul and Ringo confirms that these guys were locked in time and were more punchy together than any other pop band at that time. No wonder Beatles went straight to the top of the poppermost.
Sgt. Peppers: This is the first lp to be warped in addition to dished. Couldn't clamp it all the way out. Again, this one is pressed off center. The sound is big @ bold. As Stevecham mentioned above, "fresh and present" is how I'd also describe all of these lps so far. The other thing that is pleasantly surprising overall to me is how dimensional these mono lps sound even with a stereo cartridge. "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!": the vocals, especially, are slightly muffled compared to the other songs on side one. This may be due to the nature/theme/artist's intent of this particular song. I'll leave that up to those of you more experienced with Beatles than I. "A Day In The Life": is probably my personal favorite song here. From start until around 2/3rds through it may be, for me, the best sounding song, then the structure of the song changes and the vocals become slightly different. Overall, this is the superior sounding lp so far in my set-up. Much more enjoyable compared to my stereo MOFI.

Magical Mystery Tour: Slightly dished & off center. I'm really splitting hairs here but the vocals don't quite jump out at me as they did on Sgt. Pepper's. Still, this is just a comparison between the two, not a statement regarding sonics or the ability to enjoy. "I Am The Walrus": My personal favorite song here. I'm still in awe on how artist/s conceptualize an idea with so many different elements and put a song together such as this! Pepper's is more dynamically expressive than MMT in my set-up. The sound by comparison is somewhat "rounded over" IMO. "Baby You're A Rich Man": Now I eat my previous words. This cut is dynamically expressive. It compares favorably to the same cut off of my 1999 stereo re-master of "Yellow Submarine". I do believe this mono version is more bold. The same goes for "All You Need Is Love". This lp beats out my gold-embossed promo US pressing.

"White": First lp, pressing is slightly dished, very slightly off center. "Back In The U.S.S.R.": I get the same sense I did on most of (MMT), the dynamics are somewhat "rounded over". I'll leave open the possibility of this not happening with a mono cartridge. "Dear Prudence": The dynamics are more open than the previous cut. The resonance of the guitar strings are prevalent and enjoyed. All of this makes listening a pleasure. On "Wild Honey Pie", the timing changes are easy to hear. "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill", the drums really come through nicely, full, punchy, natural. "Blackbird", I realize how much more open this lp is, especially when you hear the bird sounds. "Rocky Raccoon", again, this cut sounds better than I've ever heard it before. "Don't Pass Me By", the fiddle is so much more prominent and natural sounding than my stereo MOFI. The next three songs are distinctly more revealing and the transient response is greater than I've previously heard. On "Julia", I assume there is an acoustic guitar in this mix. I'm hearing the resonance of a similar instrument (what sounds like a guitar body), that has completely escaped me before and it is so welcome and enjoyable. This is the kind of stuff that moves me as a listener. Nice, very nice!

Side two: Dished, pressed off-center, (more on side 4). At the very end of "Yer Blues" on through some of "Mother Nature's Son", there is noticeable ticking from the vinyl. (I'll try an additional cleaning later) On (MNS) the resonant behavior/sustain of the guitar strings shine. "Helter Skelter", I've never enjoyed listening to this song until now. I found myself doing the "head-bop". "Long, Long, Long", again, the resonance of the guitar strings shine. The rest of this lp.... I was impressed still. Trounces my stereo MFSL. The first cut on side one was the only cut I found to be somewhat inferior.

The best way, and IMO, the only way to evaluate this set is to listen to it in chronological order from beginning to end. It's fun and informative to hear The Beatles grow and evolve in this way. I have a new found respect for mono done right even on my stereo set-up. It is in several ways superior. I'm just going to listen to Mono Masters specifically to enjoy without reporting on it. Highly recommended! I can forsee a Christmas present to myself of a mono cartridge.
Afterthoughts: For me, I can't hold it in. I've been listening to the Mono Masters. I just wasn't aware.

I wasn't aware that the Beatles had to release music specifically for individual markets. (UK v. US)

With all of the pressure that the record companies put on them and with the realization of their specific market needs... How in the hell did they do it? Not only did they do it, they knocked it all, "out of the park".

Wow!
I just received my Mono box set. I think it is truly superb on all counts. The quality of the box and the records is first rate. The vinyl is all pristine and flat. The LP's are quiet and clean.
Listening to the 'Help' LP on my system, I was reminded why sometimes the older the recording, the better. Although the presentation, due to it being mono, is primarily between the speakers and with no real left/right stage delineation, I have NEVER heard the Beatles sound better.
I think this set is destined to be a classic, so much so that I am tempted to buy another set.A+++ all round.
Too bad they didn't do the stereo box like this one. Maybe they can redo it? Haha, wishful thinking on my part.
Have listened to a few and like them very much. I feel they are a mix of Japanese clarity with the range of the UK originals.

I always felt that the original UK releases were best all around. I could hear more information with the Japanese but they are bass shy.

I played them with both cartridges and do like listening with my mono much better than my stereo cartridge.
I am re-listening to "Revovler". It is the most "closed" in regarding soundstage.

I really don't get it. In my set-up, the difference between this lp and any of the others is very easy to hear!
Slaw,
"Revolver" may be my favorite Beatles title. Your comment that the soundstage is "closed in" worries me a little. Did you use a dedicated mono cartridge or stereo?

10-05-14: Tonykay
Slaw,
"Revolver" may be my favorite Beatles title. Your comment that the soundstage is "closed in" worries me a little. Did you use a dedicated mono cartridge or stereo?
I have no no modern-day experience with a mono cartridge, and I love the involving effect of great soundstage and imaging. However, when it comes to multi-miked, multi-tracked studio albums, imaging and soundstage can be a crapshoot. When it comes to mono, you know the image is going to center between the speakers. Even so, mono usually has very nice sense of depth and ambienc, which these LPs have.

The most important trait (to me is tonal balance. And in this parameter, these new Mono analog LPs trump the thin, brittle-sounding Capitol stereo versions handily. They have a completely different gestalt. Before I heard EMI/Parlophone LPs, I had thought that Beatles albums had a thin and brittle-sounding tonal balance.

Not so for the mono versions, which are warm, rich, and full-sounding. EMI mixed these albums with mono in mind, and I love them. They re-define what I thought Beatles albums sounded like. Sgt. Peppers reflects the balance I hear on my 1st-run Capitol mono pressing. The engineering team spent about 4 days mixing down Sgt. Peppers to mono and about 4 hours to do the stereo version. It shows. The tonal balance is so much better, I really don't care how wide the soundstage is. I'll take these mono versions over the fake stereo versions any day, where the voices were hard left and instruments hard right.
I listened to Revolver again last night. It really is a superb LP. However, I think it is important to note that since it is mono, it has all of the "deficiencies" of mono. If you reference a great stereo LP against a great mono LP ( like this Beatles reissue), the constriction of the soundstage and the placement of the musicians on the stage is obviously lacking in the mono issue.
On my system, the musicians and all of the 'action' takes place only between the speakers. No left or right stage delineation. ( I am only using a stereo cart, so that may be a factor, although I doubt it).
I hate to say this, BUT IMHO there is a VALID reason why stereo caught on and is generally preferred to this day. Doesn't take anything away from this magnificent set, but just needs to be contemplated.
My enthusiasm over the Beatles mono masters does not mean that I consider mono to be superior to stereo, per se. I like these Beatles masters because:

1) Against all conventional wisdom, EMI listened to the audiophile contingent (Thanks, Michael Fremer), bucked the digitizing trend, and maintained an all-analog signal chain to remaster and release these recordings.

2) In the original sessions George Martin, Geoff Emerick, and the rest recorded, mixed, and mastered these recordings to be mono, and did the stereo mixes more as an afterthought purely for commercial purposes.

So although I prefer good stereo to mono, when mono has the superior mix and tonal balance, I'll take the mono. When the choice is 44.1 Khz digitized stereo or all-analog mono, again I'll take mono.

My all-time favorites are the 3-mic stereo labors of love from RCA Living Stereo, Mercury Living Presence, and the early Columbias (Miles Davis, Bruno Walter & CBS Symph Orch) before they got into close-mic'd multi-track recording.
Mono has no deficiencies. It's just a different sonic envelope, but one that is very coherent, and due to spacial events in the frequency domain, utilizes the room acoustic to provide spacial cues. I find it to be every bit as engaging as stereo, in some instances even more so.
Great Stereo recording vs. Great Mono recording... I know which I would prefer to listen to--and it isn't the Mono.However, I'm not saying the Mono is bad... All IMHO.
The new Beatles mono set is, in a word, fabulous. I will say that I prefer a majority of the Beatles career output in stereo. But when the mono is superior, it is bone chilling. And it is not infrequent. The pressing quality is as good it gets. An absolute must for any Beatle fan with a turntable. Better than the Japanese monos by a country mile.
I cleaned and played the first record in the box last night, dead quiet surfaces, sounded great. I'm not set up for mono but it was still a great listen. I've seen a few people selling off the Japanese red '82 pressings since this release. I have only one of those- a Rubber Soul. FWIW, I'll play both when i get to that album. I plan on listening to these in sequence, but not in one sitting.

10-09-14: Gpgr4blu
The new Beatles mono set is, in a word, fabulous. ... The pressing quality is as
good it gets. An absolute must for any Beatle fan with a turntable.

I'll go one better and say that this Beatles release is the best
reason to go out and *buy* a turntable if you don't have one.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is only a few bucks more than the box set itself, and
is plenty good to bring these pressings to life.
I just bought the mono version of MMT. IMO, it is the best Beatles pressing that I own of any of their albums. I also have the German stereo pressing of MMT. I have all of the Odeon red vinyl mono releases, which I think are quite good, but if MMT is any indication, the new mono releases are all going to be better than the Odeon versions. I don't have any first Parlophone releases; I am curious how they compare.
In the October issue of TAS, Sean Magee, engineer for this project, said that while
they're all excellent, The Beatles (white album) stands out by delivering more of
what's going on in that album than any previous release of it.

I got 7 of the new albums; I may have to go back for this one, and maybe all
three (Help!, MMT, White Album).
Tonykay: No I didn't. I made an effort to let others no from the beginning that my review was from my limited experience with Beatles lps and I was using my stereo cartridge.

I've listened to "Revolver" again and (in my set-up) I'm disappointed.
Thaluza: I don't know your system but by your willingness to even post here says a lot! The German MMT was by my research the best sounding MMT out there also. Based on this, I'm even more glad I waited (so) long to get this, the best lps out there for the Beatles.

Based on my listening through my stereo set-up, the MMT.. even though it was lacking in (my) comparison to Sgt. Peppers, I feel that I am pretty much on the money regarding my initial review. I'm feeling good! So far....

Regarding the MF review of these lps... by my memory, he gives "Revolver" a higher mark than "Sgt. Peppers". Totally opposite from my findings???
Slaw...I have a stereo cartridge, (but with a mono switch on my preamp) and a complete mono turntable setup. I have listened to these on both rigs.

IMHO, "Revolver" is, if not the best, surely one of the best of the mono reissues.

I'm not sure what you are or aren't hearing, but it is a spectacular recording.

I've listened to all the albums at least 5 times through now and truly think they are excellent.