The Beatles sound best on...reel to reel?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by head_unit, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    This was asserted by the Beatles Channel DJ on Sirius XM this morning, who also explained there were brown boxes (3-3/4 ips) and blue boxes (7.5ips, unless I got it backwards). He said "hey if the vinyl sounded best they would have been recording to vinyl, but they didn't, they recorded to tape" [think about that and comment, eh?*]. He also stated that those tapes on a good machine were better than any CD mastering as well. No mention of the Apple Apple USB drive thing.**

    *Here Can you play twin track mono Beatles reel-to-reel on 1/4 track machine?
    our host Steve commented that a tape was not good, but I don't think that was quite the same as the DJ was mentioning (?).

    **And here is discussion about the USB
    Beatles USB vs CD remasters on an Oppo BDB95 - anyone have an opinion?
    Quantitative comparison of 16 vs 24 bit Beatles remasters
    SinnerSaint and DRM like this.
  2. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    South Central PA
    There are a number of apples! and oranges comparisons going on here. First, those Beatles master tapes are the Holy Grail/cash cow for the Abbey Road studios. I wonder just how well versed Steve the DJ is on all things technical about the Beatles. Second, there will be remastering going on as long as there is a dollar to be squeezed from the public. The remastered CD set from a few years ago was well done, I thought. I am not a person to keep constantly buying more Beatles product. I am sure I am in the minority.
    The Beave likes this.
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    I wouldn't trust a radio DJ to be knowledgeable about almost anything.

    Plus, his comment about recording to tape and not vinyl is plain dumb.
  4. Daily Nightly

    Daily Nightly Well-Known Member

    New Jersey, USA
    As the owner of several pre-recorded Beatle reels (which I picked up in the '90s at flea markets...amongst the hundred-or-so, other rtr tapes I'd already had an inherited collection of from my father); there were *two* sets of releases made, where --- the REISSUED ones in the early-'70s (sold at 7 1/2ips by Ampex and, in a loosely-speaking-sense, "remastered"/"audited" by them: to negate the CCIR vs. NAB eq disparity the 3 3/4ips first issues are plagued with) clearly are the MORE DESIRABLE to hunt for.
    The original release, 3 3/4ips Capitol "brown box two-fers" I have:

    The 1970 Ampex released, 7 1/2ips "blue box" (single) album tapes I have:
    LET IT BE (which only was released by Ampex, when new)

    (solo Apple-related):
    Paul's RAM
    Badfinger NO DICE

    BTW, they are all still (obviously) the U.S., with the *exceptionS* of: ALL tapes of YESTERDAY & TODAY being full stereo and the 1964 UST-duped and 1970 Magtec-duped copies of A HARD DAYS NIGHT containing the vocal tracks in mono (oddly) --- the remainder of them have the applicable Duophonic tracks plugged-into them just like the vinyl counterparts have. Aside from the first "brown box" of REVOLVER being a sole tape and at 7 1/2ips, the other "brown boxes" are all: 3 3/4ips, on *brittle* acetate-base tape (a cost-cutting measure at the time for "pop" reels), and they were clearly biased wrong in the duplication process because of how much sibilance there is in the vocals and how one sees the VU meters not deflecting very much (to indicate there was limiting/compression involved).

    I play them between two, completely rebuilt decks I redid myself: an AKAI GX-365D that's 46 years-old and, a MAGNECORD 1024 that's over 50 year's old (which, despite its Germanium/early solid state circuitry, BEATS any Japan deck at 7 1/2 I've ever heard!).

    Steve is totally correct about those 5" EMI U.K. twin-track reels: while you *might* think you're getting the most authentic MONO source of the're *really* getting the equivalent of a portable "playtape"-type thing; intended for something like a Mission Impossible-style recorder(!). Not the least bit meant for a home audio system.
  5. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    Tape was probably the highest fidelity format they had back then. I think the Beatles sound best on CD, but that's just my opinion.
    Bingo Bongo, anorak2, TimM and 4 others like this.
  6. florandia

    florandia Forum Resident

    Bloomin'eck Harry ....."there is always someone with a big nose who knows!"
    PhilBiker likes this.
  7. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Agreed. The '09 CDs are my go-to Beatles listening.

    Unfortunately, I've never had the opportunity to listen to Reel to Reel , but for whatever reason, they didn't compete with the LP, so that say's something. To me anyway's!
  8. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    The Beatles sound good in any format. If you prefer the open reel versions, good for you. :)
  9. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    I'm a big reel to reel guy (own 5 decks) but have to tell the truth: The Fabs sound best on vintage UK, tube cut vinyl.
  10. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Good but not best. Problem 1: USA Capitol and Apple versions from higher generation sources. Problem 2: 16x speed duplicated or higher rock tapes (Not the best for open reel) and Problem 3: The tapes are very individual, some were better than others new, some better cared for than others, and tape machines then varied from cheap and low end to expensive, and not all tape owners cared for tapes and the machines they were played on. LP for most people on the forums here, in top shape, and our usually better than average systems and setup, very superior to those tapes. Your mileage may vary.

    The UK Half Track mono tapes need to be played on a half track mono or Stereo deck, they're also 3 3/4 IPS, which means they're noisier to begin with, more prone to dropouts than 7 1/2 IPS tapes. The mono tapes are not compatible with 1/4 track (nee 4 track) machines. Crosstalk is higher, signal to noise ratio lower, and you'll get reverse of the other side bleeding in. Use correct playback gear for those tapes, they'll play correctly, and sound better.
  11. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Surprise, AZ
    I remember my Dad buying the 3 3/4 RTR of Meet the Beatles and it didn't sound as good as the LP even using his very nice Concord, although his was the stereo and my LP was mono. My dad bought lots of RTR tapes but because of poor storage they all turned to dust which I unfortunately discovered many years later using his Revox which he bought to replace the Concord. After playing a few back and hearing all the squealing I heaved them. I recorded lots of great LPs on RTR that I borrowed from friends especially some early psychedelic LPs that some of my weirder friends bought.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  12. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    May I ask what you do for a living and provide for your family?
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    I work in IT.
  14. motionoftheocean

    motionoftheocean Forum Resident

    it didn't happen to be that nimrod Chris Carter who said this?
    clhboa likes this.
  15. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    I've been a "Radio DJ"for over 40 years now. While I don't know everything, it looks I know more than you think I do. Including knowing my manners,, and not insult people, who make a living and care for their families.
  16. Muzyck

    Muzyck Real inventor of the inverted firkin

    I did. Sounds like a comment from a troll.
  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    Wow.....that is "ignorance on steroids" from that DJ.
  18. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    What was I thinking? I should never have an opinion about anything! "DJs' Egos Matter" Start a movement and print some t-shirts.
  19. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    I'd like to invite you a group. All radio folks, that have some great stories. One did the very last interview with John Lennon, the day he was killed. There's one that wrote, produced, mixed two top five records. Surely he knows something. There are many who worked with bands and their management. I'll bet they know some stories. They are women in there that help knock down the doors, to get into the business. Or the ones who were in artist's, and producer's wedding and served as pallbearers at their funerals. A few were there with some artists, when their children were born, and two have children named after them. Oh yeah, there is one who stopped a Top Ten act from killing himself.
    Let me know...I'll approve your membership immediately. It's not about ego. It's about being there.
  20. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    None of these examples have anything to do with people claiming they know something they don't. Did you read the OP?
  21. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    the beatles sound best on whatever they best on to YOU.

    no one else on this planet can tell you what sounds best to YOU. no one.
    dalem5467, Shak Cohen and John Bliss like this.
  22. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    As I suspected. You wrote something you can't back up.
    The Beave and Tommyboy like this.
  23. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    Are you sure of that? He already stated that he works in IT.
  24. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Our meetings are pretty boring for the layman as we speak in nothing but 0s and 1s.
    SeeDeeFirth likes this.
  25. Brian Frank

    Brian Frank Forum Resident

    Amarillo, Texas
    Not sure the OP contained instructions to insult a group based on one comment, but to each his own. I thought we were better than that in this forum.

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