Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas…

Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas… I will update this page with any new videos or articles that are released ASAP!

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Video #1 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

This first video is only available off site…it is a Pro Shot and embedding is not allowed. So here’s the link below photo :

IgubWzKEAOlzhttp://www.cesweb.org/News/CES-TV/Video-Detail?vID=UKXkJRAGXSCY&dID=DliGIusJiD1C&sID=OhYr3WpdgEMj

 

Video #2 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

Enjoy and Bless Bless!

Thanks for your support.

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

Is It Not A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats. Here Is Why It Is Essential That We Do!

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Is It Not A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats.

Here Is Why It Is Essential That We Do!

 

I have a lot of other things I have been itching to address, but when I saw someone post this question, “Is it a contradiction to support vinyl and digital formats?”, it Immediately BpUGB3qIEAA70Zo.jpg large.jpgCRPcaught my attention. The reason being that when I first read it, my mind was in a clusterfuck, as I already do support both simultaneously. The thing is, as I began to think about it more, I could understand why someone who may be new to Hi-Res Audio (HRA) may struggle with this reconciliation. It is a common theme that many think the move to Hi-Res Digital Audio, and it seems logical, is meant to free us from need to use vinyl as a source of High Quality Audio. That may be true, but thinking that we are there would be a big mistake.

As we know Hi-res Audio is becoming a widely recognized format, but aside all the controversy and looking at the facts. It is essential that we entertain both formats for several reasons…

1. It is because of Vinyl and High Quality Vinyl Rips (as well as advances in technology), that we now have the growing demand for Hi-Rez music that we have today.

2. In many cases, High Quality Vinyl rips Still, are the nearest representation to the Original Analog Studio Master Tapes, that is, obviously when the Vinyl is sourced from the Original Master Tape. When an All Analog Signal Chain was used in the Transfer to Cut the Original Vinyl Masters and thus is from what the Vinyl is “Properly” Pressed. In the case of Digital Hi-Res it is Optimal for a Direct Analog To Digital Conversion from the Original BnB20largeAnalog Studio Master Tapes to the digital domain. Even with Hi-Rez being offered for purchase at online stores, it is still hit or miss as to the lineage of the new digital recordings.

3. Because of point Number 2, we can use these superior pieces of vinyl, as well as the their High Quality Vinyl Rips, to Compare against Current and Further Digital Hi-Res Releases as well as Re-Issues of Vinyl. This comparison is relevant  whether the Vinyl Re-Issues or Hi-Res Digital is a Straight Flat Transfer from the Original Master Tapes, or they have been Remixed and or Remastered and then subsequently Transferred and then Pressed to Vinyl or Converted to Digital. Then a High Quality Vinyl Rip to Digital by a seasoned ripper may be up for consideration as a Hi-Res “Reference Recording” amongst the community. This means that it must have the Characteristic Sound Signature audio enthusiasts look for in excellent recordings. When a Vinyl Rip has these characteristics and there is a consensus, it can be considered to have the nearest representation of what the artist intended us to hear, as well as nearest available source to what the artists heard in the studio.

4. Just because an artist is an amazing or legendary musician, in most cases, does not automatically make them an excellent producer or mastering engineer. As a matter of fact they usually are not, even if they think they are. I am not going to name names so as not to unnecessarily offend anyone. The reason I can come to this conclusion is because of years of listening with a trained ear to the “Right” Reference Recordings. Obviously you come to your own conclusions about which I spout, but what I do know for sure is that this 900x900skill does not come from a few months or even years of listening, because it is dependent on “What Recordings” you are listening to and knowing “What Sound Signatures” and “Set Ups” hold weight. How can anyone come to a complete decision if they have not experienced it for themselves? These Vinyl Rips are available for anyone to search for and find, however their acquisition is unconventional and time consuming, but the rewards are immense.  Having the ability to “Cross Reference” from a number of Sources in your listening tests is Essential to coming to an “Educated Conclusion”.

5. The recording industry does not make this easy for us, as a matter of fact they would rather we remain confused so as to continue to buy sub par recordings. I am confident and hopeful with the coming Pono releases from the Pono Music Store, overseen by legendary producer Bruce Botnik, will streamline and perfect the process of lineage and quality of transfers to the Hi-Res (HRA) Digital Domain. Those of us who know the difference remain vigilant.

6. I implore CD and Digital Mastering Engineers to check their work against High Quality Vinyl Rips from Seasoned Vinyl Rippers, that have perfected the Art of Vinyl Transfers over years of tweaking set ups and searching every corner of the globe for the Finest Vinyl Pressings Available. In the private communities their rips have evolved exponentially before our eyes and ears, and over time have held up against and withstood intense criticism and discussion from the most trained and particular listeners in the world. In fact 6547Aalthough I consider myself to have a very good set of “trained ears”, they are eclipsed by the ears of even more seasoned veterans from nations again around the world. These vinyl rippers have all the experience and techniques to rival the best known and revered audio and mastering engineers.

7. To underscore the strength of High Quality Vinyl Rips…I am not going to name names but I do have knowledge that there have been recordings (especially re-issues) from famous artists that have been released to the public with the Understanding that they were Sourced From High Quality Vinyl Rips. Further murking the waters, there have been Artists (living or dead) who had No Knowledge that this was done by Their Mastering Engineers or Labels because the Particular Vinyl Rip was Better than the Source that had been given them by the Artist or Label in the studio.

There are also cases where the Mastering Engineer was given Vinyl Ripped Sourced Tape or Digital Recordings, and Low Level Audio Mastering Engineers as well as their Labels had no knowledge that they were using said Vinyl Ripped Sourced Masters for Re-Issues and either Willfully or Unknowingly Distorted Lineage on Packaging For Sale. There are many cases where the Packaging and Print on a vinyl pressing or piece of vinyl either confuses the purchaser into thinking that they were buying a pressing sourced from the “Original Analog Master Tapes” when they in fact had not.  The details on this 6745underhandedness is again murky and short on details but it is known to have occurred. Please do not ask because I cannot comment further on this…I can promise you that someday someone will write the book.

7. Again to underscore the strength of High Quality Vinyl Rips…There have been Specific Releases by Artists who have Requested to use a Particular Vinyl Rippers High-Quality vinyl transfers for their vinyl pressings and CD releases without the Vinyl Purchasing Public having knowledge. This however, in comparison to point number 6 is a good thing. It seems counter intuitive that certain releases would be sourced from a High Quality Vinyl Rips, but the Consumer are inadvertently getting Quality Sound Because of a Vinyl Ripper. Both points number 6 & 7 have had this result happen quietly for a number of reasons, usually because of Lost or Damaged Original Master Tapes to Unlabeled Masters Without Known Lineage, and a High Quality Vinyl Rip just Sounds Better than what they have available. This practice is not widespread but it is known to have occurred. Again someday someone will write the book. Remember the first rule of fightclub is…and the second rule of fightclub is….

Now with all those points made I hope to address point number 1 sufficiently. To properly describe the movement it seems necessary that I make a long story short in reverse. Again, it is because of Vinyl and High Quality Vinyl Rips that we now have the emergence of demand for “Quality Controlled” Hi-Res Audio (HRA). In some ways it was inadvertent by default, and in others a direct result of deliberate actions from the Vinyl Rippers in the Audio Enthusiast Community. This has been reported and discussed at length in previous articles and forums around the web. All the information is out there for your research…I 2709swas able to find it all through search engines, and it is therefore available for you with some dedication. We must make a distinction that there is Good Quality Hi-Res and Poor Quality Hi-Res.

Over the last decade as the music industry was in turmoil, and “The Loudness Wars” took over the stage front and center, savvy music enthusiasts found that they could extract the music from vinyl and render a superior sound signature than the music industry was releasing on CD, .mp3 digital, or on a significant portion of vinyl re-issues. As a matter of fact it was often highly superior, although this phenomenon was not universal, as a piece of vinyl and it’s resulting rip, logically is only as good as it’s original source. The idea that “You can’t polish a turd”, comes into play in this realm. In those cases where the vinyl is as close as possible to the original analog source studio tapes, after a decade of tweaking their setups, rigorous testing of rips that hold up in large listening communities, and finding the best quality vinyl pressings in the world has become in some respects an “Objective Pseudo-Science” in the last few years. Try and wrap your head around that, don’t think too hard as your head might explode. When you find yourself amongst that precipice, it is a truly astonishing event. I must reiterate that all these events are a result of a desire for quality that was not available, so it goes that Quality Hi-Res vinyl rips were born.

Fast forward to recent months…

So the industry was unable to control this underground viral movement, with the collapse 73423dof the music industry and as nature abhors a vacuum, there was not much choice left for them to come on board. That is not to say that the record industry came aboard easily. It has also been said that there are two factions in the music industry, one which fights to do quality control of released recordings Vs. the business or money side of the industry. In the end it’s sadly all about money over art, and as a result of the recent growing demand for Portable Hi-Res Audio Players (DAP’s) already on the market, as well as the opening of Hi-Res Audio online vendors such as HD Tracks and others, made it critical that the music industry take notice.

The final piece of the puzzle, was the insistence of the Legendary Musician Neil Young and his new Pono Player (To be released in October), the Coming Pono Music Store, as well as it’s streamlined Ecosystem…which finally shifted the tide in our favor. It took all these factors to finally bring the music industry to the table. It was only a matter of time as well, after convincing  the recording industry to see the advantage of a new revenue stream, before they folded.

There has been a lot of Hi-Res Audio that has been officially released over the last few years and what we music junkies have found is that there is still many cases where the best known sourced vinyl still beats out the official Hi-Res Audio releases. So as a result of the desire for the highest quality audio, which can only be sourced from vinyl, it still 8453ndremains an important tool in our arsenal.

So all of the aforementioned still, for the most part, holds true. It is because we can use High Quality Vinyl Rips as a source of “reference recordings”, that keeps the bar yet raised very high. There is still a lot of change that needs to come from the artists and music industry before we can say that we have an adequate amount of “Reference Recordings” in Hi-Res Digital Format. This is the goal which Pono Music and it’s “Quality Control Ecosystem” will attempt to meet and I believe they can do it. Some have said that a lot of the music that the Pono Music Store will have access to will in many cases consist of what the Artists and Music Industry has already made available for Hi-Res purchase. A lot will depend on the many famous artists stumping for Pono and the influence they have with their labels. Again I prefer to remain optimistic.

To finish we must ask ourselves have we answered the original question, “Is It A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats?”. In answering, amongst the current surge in vinyl collections and nostalgia for a physical item as well as it’s strength as a indispensable format for comparison, we must remember one thing, that while we for a time gave up on vinyl, just know that vinyl never gave up on us. Again my process my review.

 

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] [Second Pass Edit 07/02/14]

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

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You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

It’s what I call Guerrilla Listening Sessions…I’m on Fire here!!!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

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The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] Part 1 of 2

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  • Click On Photos To Enlarge:
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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

This first section was written early on, I have returned to edit to make it seemless with part two, no latency here. I do not yet know how this mega post review is going to be laid out yet. I know that sounds strange, but I know what releases make the grade, just not sure how I will lay it out here. So this should be interesting. I have been listening to only Led Zeppelin for two weeks now and I am ready to lay it all on the line. Well almost, I had to listen to other stuff like The Black Crowes first three albums in Hi-res to rest my mind. OMG The Black Crowes in Hi-rez (listening now) & The Black Sabbath Dio Albums as well (I’m In good hands fo’ sho’!!!) Obviously that is not to say that this list did not take many years of listening to compile. I had my favorites, but I had to take into account the Deluxe Reissues released at the beginning of this month. This includes the first three records of the catalog reissues, in all three formats available, including CD’s, 24Bit/96kHz Hi-Res, and vinyl.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

At first I had a very hard time being as subjective as possible because although there are the releases that I clearly prefer. There were also many releases that had decent quality, although I still did not prefer them (or find their sound quality better) over my original favorites… some were close but clearly not superior. Therefore different from the few reviews I have done so far, I decided to add some new factors into my decisions specific for this review based on availability, price, and reputation. Of course sound quality will always be the number one determining factor, but there are releases (especially the Original and early Vinyl) that come very close to the best although they are still inferior IMHO.The thing is many people do not know the difference, so I build this guide with you in mind so you can go directly to the pressings recommended and know you are getting decent sound quality even if you have to settle with sources farther down the list. Still although there is lots of good, the bad is still quite bad…I expose the comparable sources with easier availability at a better price and acceptable sound quality to boot. The Law of diminishing returns is in full effect.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

What it came down to here fundamentally was what sound signature each listener is used to. So I am happy to announce there are a lot of choices for the general listening public, it depends a lot on what you know as “The Led Zeppelin Sound” as well as your budget and dedication to the craft of mastering and pressing. For example some reviews I am able to wipe out a whole swath of choices because say there were no good quality CD releases. That is definitely not the case here, with some searching It is possible to find an excellent quality CD in the used CD bins at any record store (or online) on the cheap, as long as you know what the specific years, mastering, and pressings from which the CD or vinyl for sale was cut.

 

 

Here is the Led Zeppelin Discography Referred to throughout this review:

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Led Zeppelin (1969)
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Houses of the Holy (1973)
Physical Graffiti (1975)
Presence (1976)
In Through the Out Door (1979)
Coda (1982)

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First We’ll Start with the CD’s:

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

For the CD’s there were two early masterings… The Original 1980’s Atlantic Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore’s and the 1990’s Marino/Page Remasters. It does not matter which countries for the Diament/Sidore’s (US, German, Canadian, Japanese, etc.) the specific year of release is more important as it varies sometimes by one or more years depending on country. Although Barry Diament has stated publicly that he can hear a difference in CD sound quality from one pressing plant to the next. You probably will not be able to tell the difference unless you are a super fan and have multiple copies of which to compare, if at all.

Recommended CD’s Original 1980’s Atlantic Diament/Sidore Example:

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Led-Zeppelin/release/895323

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

So my standard recommendations would be to look for any of the 1980’s Original Atlantic Diament/Sidore CD’s, they have the punch and dynamics to be highly recommended here. The only caveat would be Led Zeppelin IV (the only title to be mastered by Joe Sidore only), It is well known that he had a sub par copy of the Original Analogue Masters. You would think that with the importance of LZ IV they would get it right, but he only had access to inferior tape. Then again on the other side of the coin they have never made available the Original Analog Master Tapes of Led Zeppelin IV, or any other release ever from Zep, other than for the Original Vinyl from the Complete Catalog, but that’s another story. This is not a killer for me as I still prefer the 1980’s Original Atlantic Led Zeppelin IV mastered by Sidore. If you’re feeling dangerous then try 1990’s Zeppelin IV George Marino Remaster (cheap used) and compare it against the 1980’s Original. Also the Marino Zep IV’s suffer from early fades, unforgivable by some. Get both on the cheap and compare yourself, you’ll see what I mean.

Overall none of the 1990’s Marino Remasters are recommended here as they Distort when turned up loud. They are a victim of “The Loudness Wars” and they do not have 20974_1074039588034_3176351_nthe same tight punch that the 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s have. One other problem to note on some of the early 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s, from a few pressing plants have the channels reversed, so be aware if you are a long time listener. This is not restricted to CD’s, it affects vinyl as well. Again if you don’t know the difference, just listen and enjoy!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Here we can jump on quickly to the June 2014 digital remasters of the first three records just released this month. All of the formats (24Bit/96kHz Hi-res, CD & Vinyl: All Digitally Sourced) were sourced from  24Bit/192kHz digital transfers of the original analog tapes. They were then mastered, compressed, and dithered down to their respective formats. IMO I still like the 1980’s Diament/Sidore’s over these 2014 remaster CD’s, however they are an acceptable CD pressing (espcially over the 1990 Marino Remasters) and if your not hung up on the sound of the Original 1980’s CD’s you will still get good sound and that is great news for all. Dynamically speaking they are not as good as the 1980’s Originals, you will find an prime example here where a lower DR is not the be all end all for the sound quality. Remember kids it’s all about the mastering!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Coming from the same source as the CD’s, with the added improvement of higher bit depth and sample rate, the Hi-Res 24Bit/96kHz although different in many ways and (IMO) a step down in sound quality from the Original 1980’s CD’s. The 2014 Deluxe Reissue vinyl is included in this, I could not hear much difference between the 2014 Hi-Res and the 2014 vinyl, except for the added warmth typical of vinyl. The 2014 remasters have superior detail over the 1980’s Diament /Sidore’s but I still prefer raw sound of the original 1980’s CD’s. One complaint that I can render from all these 2014 remasters is that they have a more clinical sound signature. So if your a vinyl hound and are not on an endless search for a clean copy of the original vinyls then the 2014 Remastered Vinyl and Hi-Res are a worthy and easily accessible format. With that said I still believe that the 1980’s Diament/Sidore Mastered CD’s are better than all formats of the 2014 Deluxe Reissues. When I mentioned a step down that is subjective opinion on my part, as I said earlier what you make of these 2014 digital remasters will depend on what the “Led Zeppelin Sound” is to you. Many will hear the clarity and detail of the remasters and say they are better. Food for thought.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

The last angle has to do with price and availability. The Original 1980’s Japanese Diament/Sidore mastered CD’s have excellent sound as well, the problem is their availability and price. Add in the Original Red OBI and the price goes up significantly. So unless you are a collector or find one of these CD’s on the cheap I would just go with the other 1980’s Diament/ Sidore’s recommended. One last thought stay away from the 2008 SHM Japanese Releases either in the original box set or separately. Here is an incidence where Japanese does not mean better sound. They are said to be sourced from the 1990’s remasters, and when I heard them, all I got was louder and more compressed in a bad way. They may be no different from the 1990’s Marino CD’s but just a tad louder. You know how I feel about “Louder”. Next!

Recommended CD’s Original 1980’s Japanese Atlantic Diament/Sidore Example:

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Led-Zeppelin/release/3864824

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] Part 2 of 2

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

CD Vs Vinyl Vs Hi-Res Digital Vs. Hi-Res Vinyl Rips…

Read this well articulated piece on Led Zeppelin Vinyl, before reading on…my previous concerns are touched on here as to value and the Law of Diminishing Returns:

Taken From The “Every Record Tells A Story” Blog…Link Below Excerpt,

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

“in contrast to the general rule of record collecting that if you buy an early pressing from the country of origin of the artist, you are most likely to be nearer the source tapes, and therefore the sound ought to be better. It seems Led Zep are an exception: they had such great success in the USA that this generally fairly reliable guideline doesn’t hold true – after the first album at least. I didn’t know it at the time, but my US pressing was pretty early and has excellent sound – probably better than an equivalent UK version.”

http://everyrecordtellsastory.com/2014/03/03/led-zeppelin-a-vinyl-buyers-guide/

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can get back to form with the Original Vinyl as well as the Classic 45 Reissues and others. How I will do this is start by listing each record of the full Led Zeppelin Catalog. With each record I will list in order IMHO what the best pressings / releases are, and I will incorporate the Original 1980’s Atlantic Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore releases as well as the 2014 Deluxe Remasters.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

You can feel safe knowing I’m in the ballpark after listening to no less than 138 Led Zeppelin Vinyl Sources over the last two weeks. I already had my favorites but had to make a few swaps here and there after some aggressive A/Bing as well as some recent acquisitions. ADHD helps in this regard.:) Also I heard someone say in another forum vinyl rips are not the same as listening to vinyl….bullshit, if your sources drivelines and methodology are the best anywhere, whatever is on that vinyl will come through so transparent and quiet with very limited post processing. Therefore I can say with complete confidence that this technology does not just reveal limitations of the source tapes…it enhances them!

 

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin I (1969) Best Releases / Pressings:

L1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (Original US George Piros/Monarch Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (German Strawberry Pressing) Mach5 Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – I (1969) (Original UK Plum LP) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

6. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

7. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

8. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

9. Led Zeppelin – I (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

This is the list for Zep 1 but as I said before, don’t fret if you can’t get a hold of any original Zep Vinyl…you will go broke. Just reach and search for the pressings/releases farther down the list.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin II (1969) Best Releases / Pressings:

L2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – II (1969) (Original US Robert Ludwig Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2006) (Classic Records 200 Gram Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

4. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

6. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

7. Led Zeppelin – II (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

The Original US Robert Ludwig Mastered Vinyl Blows all others away. Clarity, Control, and punch…unsurpassed. From which all other Led Zeppelin II’s are judged!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

Led Zeppelin III (1970) Best Releases / Pressings:

L3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led zeppelin – III (1970) (Original Canadian Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – III (1970/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) ZxAryMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – III (1970) (Original UK Atlantic) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

6. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

7. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster) HD Tracks 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

8. Led Zeppelin – III (1969/2014) (2014 Deluxe Digital Remaster CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

I could not find a clean Original US Atlantic Vinyl Rip, if I could it probably would rank high on this list from what I’ve heard from others. Conjecture of course.

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Bron-y-aur!

 

 

Led Zeppelin IV (1971) Best Releases / Pressings:

L4

 

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1. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US Pressing) Mach5 Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (Original US 1841 Broadway LP George Peckham “Porky” PECKO DUCK Matrix) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

4. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971) (ZoSo) (Rare UK 1st Stamper) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

5. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [HI-RES]

6. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1985) (1985 US Atlantic Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

7. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1985) (1985 Atlantic Japan Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

8. Led Zeppelin – IV (1971/1994) (1994 Atlantic US George Marino/Jimmy Page Re-Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

As I said earlier that this is the only CD that was Originally Mastered by Joe Sidore only with an inferior copy of the analogue tapes…I still prefer it over the 1994 George Marino Re-Master but others go for this remaster even with the unforgivable early fades, overly compressed, and loud mastering. Uncrankable without distorting and ear fatigue city. Not much choice other than the vinyl and hopefully the coming 2014 Deluxe Reissues. See for yourself.

5848_1033372411380_7414260_nCRP

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy (1973) Best Releases / Pressings:

L5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973) (Original UK “Porky” George Peckham Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973) (Original US Robert Ludwig Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3.  Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [HI-RES]

4. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (1973/1987) (1987 Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Japan Atlantic Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

 

UK George Peckham Porky Beats out US Robert Ludwig IMHO. This is my favorite Zeppelin album with II right at it’s heels!

5848_1033372771389_3219632_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) Best Releases / Pressings:

L6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) (Original US Pressing)  Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/2006) (Classic Records 2LP 200gr Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

3. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

4. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) (UK) Early AT33PTG Vinyl Rip   > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Swan Song 2XCD Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

 

If you can get hold of 1987 US Atlantic Swan Song 2XCD Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s it is highly recommended.

5848_1033372451381_82134_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976) Best Releases / Pressings:

L7

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976/2006) (Classic Records 45 RPM Reissue) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976) (German Second Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

3. Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976/1987) (1987 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5848_1033371651361_1157678_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

 

Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door (1979) Best Releases / Pressings:

L8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979) (Original US Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

2. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

3. Led Zeppelin – In Through The Out Door (1979/1988) (1988 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5848_1033371411355_2020598_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Led Zeppelin – Coda (1982) Best Releases / Pressings:

L9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.Led Zeppelin – Coda (1982/2006) (Classic Records Reissue) LegMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

2. Led Zeppelin –  Coda (1982/1988) (1988 US Atlantic Swan Song Barry Diament/Joe Sidore Mastered CD) 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless Flac

5848_1033371531358_6534788_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

==========================================================

 

 

800px-Hindenburg_burning

Final Verdict Overall: I recommend that if you cannot get a hold of the Early Vinyl, you search out the 1980’s Barry Diament/ Joe Sidore Mastered CD’s. They are the unsurpassed digital version of the RAW Led Zeppelin “Sound”. As you can see from my rankings all versions of the 2014 Deluxe Reissues fall behind the 1980’s Diament/Sidore Masterings. As I said earlier you may love the 2014 Deluxe Reissues. Whether or not that is the case is up to you. This may be a good time to start to get a trained ear by acquiring different pressings as you probably already have one or two releases. If not and want to just save your cash, you now know which releases to go directly after and enter bliss.

I hope this gives you some reference information. I will be updating it over time as the music continues to evolve. The next batch of Deluxe Issues are slated for Early Fall 2014. Thank you all for you questions, comments, and words of wisdom. Do What Thou Whilt!

End\

==========================================================

 

So there you have it…thanks for reading and your massive support.

Bless Bless!

199283_1018999052055_2128570_n

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Mirror: The Portal To The Back end Side Of This Site:

http://playlists.christmachine.com/hd-tracks/christmachine-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-12-the-best-of-the-led-zeppelin-catalog-pressingspost-special-second-pass-edit-070214mirror-post-special/

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

 

 

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The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

****NOTE ~ None of the 1960’s US Capitol Rainbow Pressings or The 1983 US Capitol Rainbow Re-Issues make the cut. The 1983’s are close but not acceptable.

 You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

===============================================
The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

2
The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing)Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

**The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

3The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963) (Original UK Mono Pressing) FnlMstr Vinyl Rip >  Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)(Original UK Tube Cut) 2011 UltMstr Vinyl Rip  4Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964/1982 Reissue) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 16Bit/44kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964) (Japanese Toshiba BC-13 Box Set Pressing) [RAW] Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

1The Beatles – Die Beatles (1964) (Original German Hör zu Pressing)  Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\
Comment From BZ: It is much heralded amongst Beatles [Collectors] people[sic] for being a version of that first LP that has not been subjected to any processing or equalization. In effect, it is advertised as the “truest” and “purest” vinyl represntation of the initial 14 Beatle songs ever offered in long play form. It has been sourced from a beautiful copy of
the original LP. [Ed Note: Different copy…same quality and pressing]
http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=244569

5

 

The Beatles – Beatles For Sale (1964) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

6

 

 

The Beatles – Help! (1965) (Japanese Toshiba BC-13 Box Set Pressing) [RAW] Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Help! (1965/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) 2012 FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\
7
The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

8

The Beatles – Revolver (1966/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

Another Great Source:

**The Beatles – Revolver (1966) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

UPDATE FOR SGT. PEPPER’S MEGA THREAD ~ SAME PRESSING, SAME SOURCE, HIGHER RESOLUTION:

 

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/the-beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-the-ultimate-review-my-process-vinyls-vs-digitals-w-mono-and-stereo-love-miley-cyrus-eat-your/

 

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/the-beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-the-ultimate-review-my-process-vinyls-vs-digitals-w-mono-and-stereo-love-miley-cyrus-eat-your-lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds-fing-h/
#1ST PLACE : THREEWAY Tie for The Best Of The Best\9

Depending on your preference for either stereo better or mono, these two[Three] (UPDATE NEW RIP) are #1

#2 in Mono Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) [VINYL] (UK Mono Original) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless FLAC\ UK Parlophone Mono PMC 7027 (Original Issue)

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing -1 Matrix) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

UPDATE SAME PRESSING, SAME SOURCE, HIGHER RESOLUTION:
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing -1 Matrix) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

#2ND PLACE : THREEWAY Tie for The Best Of The Best10

Depending on your preference for either stereo better or mono, these two[Three] (UPDATE NEW RIP) are #2

#1 in Mono Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper(1967/1982 Reissue) (Japan Red Wax Mono) 2011 UltMstr Vinyl Rip  Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

#5 in Stereo Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. P’s L H C B (1967) (UHQR)  FnlMstr FMV-NC Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Update:
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

11

 

 

The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour (1967/1971) (Original German Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

12

 

The Beatles – The White Album (1968)(UK White Vinyl Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – The White Album (1968) (UK White Vinyl Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

14

 

 

The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969) (Original UK Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

 

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969) (japanese Red Wax Mono) DESS Buster 2010 15Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 16Bit/44kHz Lossless Flac\ AKA The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (Japanese Red Wax Mono) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969) (2012 EU Remaster) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/96kHz [Hi-Rez]

Another Great Source/ Honorable Mention:16

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine Songtrack (1999) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/96kHz [Hi-Rez] Remixed & Re-Mastered & This is the Black Vinyl version not the Yellow Vinyl…Yellow is noisy and this black is quiet. Also this pressing is very “Clinical” Sounding but it may have the best Sounding Sgt. Peppers version anywhere IMO. I noticed there was so much more detail to this track and after a spectral analysis there was a lot more “cool” data to the file and I checked it against every version of Sgt. Peppers I have and I was right. Vinyl purists tend to detest this version because it does not contain the Original
Mixes.\

 

 

17

 

 

The Beatles – Let It Be (1970) (Original UK Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

18

 

 

 

The Beatles – Hey Jude (1970) (Original UK Pressing) FnlMstr FMV-NC Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

There are High Hopes That Pono Music Store Versions in the future (I doubt they’ll get anymore than the Digital 24Bits already released and they don’t make it on to this list) or The coming Mono Vinyl Box Set! (Don’t Hold your breath it took a few decades to get the 2009 digital remasters…the Mono’s were the best of the bunch and that is not saying much.) Sozzz 🙁

 

Mirror: The Portal To The Back end Side Of This Site:

 http://playlists.christmachine.com/a-intro/christmachine-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-11-the-best-of-the-beatles-catalog-pressings-mirror-post-special/

 

Next Up  ~ Led Zeppelin Catalog!

======================================

End\

 

I hope this gives you some reference information. I will be updating it over time as the music continues to evolve. Thank you all for you questions, comments, and words of wisdom.

 

So there you have it…thanks for reading and your massive support.

Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

The Beatles – “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The Ultimate Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals W/ Mono And Stereo Love!…Part #1

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

 

The Beatles – “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The Ultimate Review: My Process ~ Vinyls Vs. Digitals W/ Mono And Stereo Love!…Part #1

Ok I’m going to be straight, I’ve been working on this project for a long time…it’s finished but because it’s so frickin’ big, halfway through my formatting goes whack..but the project is done and backed up. So it says in this review that I wanted it all to be in one article…so since that is too much for the computer God to handle….I’m going to break it into two parts. One I will re-format the whole thing… and post the first part right now. Tomorrow will be part two on Vinyl Comparisons and also compare them with this post…Part 1 CD and Digital.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

PART #1 Out Of Respect For Miley Cyrus’ Lips….

This review as you will see is the definition of a Mega-Post. This is not just about the 4777730album in review here but also the start of a new way of reviewing all  reference releases of a particular album. You do not even need to be a Beatles fan to get something meaningful from this piece. There is no one place on the internet that presents the aggregation of data that you will see here about a particular album in one review. It is the culmination of a belief I had about this process, where I wanted to present said data in a way that was not done anywhere else. A place where one could come in the future and use this information to cross reference formats and learn about our art forms as the music continues to evolve.1

Instead of doing many hours of research to find all the information in many places, one could learn at an audiophile level in one single review here. This post (and other reviews that will follow) did not take months of research and listening with a trained ear, it took decades. With the ability to weed out the best, as well as having the sources, I can present a stripped down structure that one can sink their teeth into quite easily. Presenting reviews in this organically evolving way is new to me as well so I will get better at it over time. I must reiterate that everyone’s desired sound signature is subjective and different, and what I write is obviously not law. You may agree with some of what I say 2and disagree in other areas. The real point is that the framework of what is considered “the best” has variations but there is much agreement amongst audio fanatics.

The final thing I want to say about the reviews that I will do here is to the audiophiles. I know there will be controversy as to what I write because some will say well…duhhh, of course this or that mono or stereo or CD or Vinyl or digital is the best known source. First, I would say to that, this is for all those who cannot do what we do with the same fervor. Second, someone needs to do it somewhere…so here we are. Third, I could not do it without the years of knowledge and dedication shared by the real artists beyond the bands….the rippers, and to them I say a huge thank you. Someday I hope that you and your “art” will be recognized as it is, just like Banksy did for graffiti. The way I look at this is I am the writer and archivist of the text…I hope to be seen someday as a freelance journalist that connects the music underground with mainstream in a new exciting way. That is of course if my writing can improve! Well that’s enough for now…enjoy the art, and welcome to “The Machine”.

The following preamble will be present at the beginning of all reviews and is subject to change as things evolve.

Our reviews will not be the normal kind of review that you usually see about an artist release. These will be different as we will be aggregating all sources available …320kbps(Lossy Audio taken from the CD FLAC Rip), CD (EAC Lossless 16Bit/44.1kHzpepper_f header Rip), HD Tracks (Hi-Res Digital Downloads from 24/96 to 24/192), 24/48 ALAC Hi-Res Apple Lossless, Vinyl Rips (Often from different countries & catalogs transferred by different rippers with different set-ups), as well as other high quality sources as the become available such as Pono music. That’s not to say I will not add any subjective commentary(I’ll be open as to what I like and do not) but I will try to remain as objective as possible. As we know music listening is a very subjective, or personal experience, therefore I will try to stick best with theory to give you what I believe is the best format to own of any given release.

 

====================

 

Part 1 of 2 / Both In This One Review (Part1 = CD & Digital / Part 2 = Vinyl):

 

The album I present to you today is one of the most influential recordings in history. It is beach-boys-standard-pet-soundsconsidered one of the pinnacles in rock music and cultural history, and as I’ve said before influencing everything that would come thenceforth. It would put the biggest artists of their day on their heels, from Stevie Wonder to The Rolling Stones. As the Beatles took inspiration from The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds” and others, now the rest of the world would parse this album to bits to find it’s mystical secret. It was the point at which the Beatles would finally shake off there “Boy Band” image with a bang. Drugs, Magic, and Hedonism would become En Vogue…but that imageswas the public reaction and not the true spirit of the album. Considered the first concept album, John, Paul, George, and Ringo wanted to write this album reflecting visions of their experiences growing up in the working class England. The pivotal years in history 1966 and 1967 are really considered the beginning of the age of mind expansion, the only exception would be for Ken Kesey’s visions in 1964. This album as you now know was and is The Beatles 1967 release “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

When I was young my pops would play Beatles cassettes with music transferred from Strawberry_Fields_Forevervinyl, but for some powerful reason I remember Abby Road and Sgt. Peppers the most. One thing that happened to me that was strange was the Sgt. Peppers cassette had “Strawberry Fields Forever” on it….so I grew up thinking that track was always part of the original track order.

When I was a teen I would get into friendly arguments with imagespeople because I would always say when someone played Pepper’s, “Where is Strawberry Fields” and they would argue rightly that it was not on Peppers, it’s on MMT.  I would question my belief but that was always the way I heard it…what gives? Well there’s one of two answers and I’m not sure which one is correct. “Strawberry Fields” was written first along with Penny Lane in what is considered to be the era just previous to the Sgt. Peppers sessions. Brian Epstein needed a single to put out as Peppers was not finished. P1060729So George Martin gave Brian SF and Penny Lane to put out beatles-strawberry-fields-forever-odeonas a single. Now, In modern times, George Martin has been quoted as saying not putting SF on Peppers was one of the biggest mistakes of his career.

So what are the two possibilities for my mistake, because I listened to MMT and 174461bSF was on that album. The first one is easy, my pops would sometimes record vinyl to cassettes for ease of use. What may have happened was there was time left at the end of the cassette and what did everyone used to do, add any extra tracks to fill the cassette. So what may have transpired was the SF vinyl single was recorded on the end of the leftover tape. Simple right?

The second possibility is more complex. There were several vinyl bootlegs that circulated 1967 Coverover the years with alternate material with differing track orders, and there is one that I came across and it may help explain my conundrum. There is little known about this vinyl bootleg but it seems to have been made around the time of the original release. It contains alternate takes and some mono and some stereo tracks put together. It’s known as “1967 AKA TSPLHCB”. The vinyl has a lot of surface noise but it does contain a strange version of SF. Notice in the photos that the album cover is completely different as well as the labels and track listing. So this may have been what I was listening to, I was too young to remember. I was floored when I found it though.

1967_00101967_0009

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see I may have been tricked by those pesky kids! Anyway I don’t need to go on about the history of Peppers because it has been done a thousand times and as I have 15painting_piano_daysaid this review will be quite different. It’s logical that should get any controversy out of the way before I start. As I count my versions of Peppers I come to the number of 35 different sources. Some were transferred or ripped on different setups or different software. Many of the vinyls were done by two or three rippers, the main setup difference would be with cartridges but I have several of each of the best releases each done with the same setups. So there is no  variation with them. As far as the CD releases I only source and acquire CD releases done with EAC (Exact Audio Copy), so that closes that argument as well.

(Tracklisting For the length of these posts)

A1 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
A2 A Little Help From My Friends
A3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
A4 Getting Better
A5 Fixing A Hole
A6 She’s Leaving Home
A7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
B1 Within You Without You
B2 When I’m Sixty-Four
B3 Lovely Rita
B4 Good Morning, Good Morning
B5 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
B6 A Day In The Life

or

1 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
2 A Little Help From My Friends
3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4 Getting Better
5 Fixing A Hole
6 She’s Leaving Home
7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8 Within You Without You
9 When I’m Sixty-Four
10 Lovely Rita
11 Good Morning, Good Morning
12 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13 A Day In The Life

 

————————–

 

SOURCES:

 

CD’s #1 and #2:

So I’ll start with the easy sources as they are quite definitive and will get them out of the way. I have two CD’s one original Canadian Capitol released in the 80’s and one an American reissue from the 90’s. Although the 80’s CD is not as loud as the 90’s CD, they both are unlistenable…they are overly harsh, loud, flat, and bloated. So my fellow Americans if you own any Peppers CD’s from the 80’s and 90’s then you have been listening to garbage and unless you’ve heard the original vinyls from the UK 67, the digital releases from 2009, or the digitally sourced vinyl from 2012, you most likely have never heard Peppers the way the Beatles intended you to hear it. Not only that but your killing your ears as the overly compressed, dynamically sterile, and extremely loud early CD releases in America are ear fatigue city.

 

Original CD#1

Beatles, The ‎– Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1987 Canadian CD

R-150-518355-1186224770

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-Sgt-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band/release/571937

 

Official DR value:    DR 9

The Beatles ‎– Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Label: Capitol Records ‎– C2 0777 7 46442 2 8, Capitol Records ‎– C2 46442 (1987) Ripped by EAC to 16/44.1 FLAC

 

Original CD#2

The Beatles ‎– Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1995 US CD

R-150-518355-1186224770

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-Sgt-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band/release/2551836

 

Official DR value:    DR 9

Beatles, The ‎– Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band /Label: Capitol Records ‎– CDP 7 46442 2, Parlophone ‎– CDP 7 46442 2, Apple Records ‎– CDP 7 46442 2 (1992) Ripped by EAC to 16/44.1 FLAC

R-518355-1186322273R-518355-1186309114

Again there are NO Original Sgt. Pepper’s CD releases that are recommended. All original CD issues are dead on arrival for this review since the release of the 2009 digital remasters in 24.44.1 USB, Mono, and Stereo (16/44.1). These I will get into later in this review.

One question that needs to be answered was, well if all early CD releases were poor representations compared to the original UK vinyls then what did people do for 30 years, just listen to crap? Well yeah but with one caveat…unofficial bootlegs. As I usually talk about how pirates help to push for better releases by releasing, selling, or trading CD copies of the superior sourced ripped vinyl on the black market. I am not giving away any secrets here…There was a famous needle-dropper who for many years sold memberships to a private club which would send people, via post CD’s that were mastered at home from all the original Beatles vinyl rips. This is one major area where I disagree with piracy, that is someone selling other peoples copyright material for there own personal monetary gain. If he gave it away to people who already owned an original CD and maybe people just paid for shipping, that I get. Glad to say many ethical vinyl rippers today trade or give away there artwork for free.

One more thing about by that needle-dropper who sold copyright infringing works. I don’t know if this is true, as I did not know this person…a few of the bootleg rips did land my way, but I read an online statement that said since the Beatles had finally released some quality recordings in 2009 that they would be going into retirement. This person also stated that the real reason they did what they did was to get the band to finally release some quality controlled recordings…If you ask me this is probably how things started out but then it took a lot of time to keep up with demand, therefore he must have felt the need to be compensated financially. I have also heard that he has not really “retired” just not as active as before. Just as I write this I find a website selling his whole catalog of Beatles CD’s, but I don’t know if it’s the same person as there are many other CD’s from other artists being sold there. So who knows. I continue…

 

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SOURCES:

 

HD Tracks & Other Hi-Res Outlets:

There has been no release or even a planned release of quality controlled sourced masters direct to Hi-res digital. Since The Beatles released the USB Key Files in 2009 in 24Bit/44.1, the Mono and Stereo CD Boxes in 2009, and the Vinyl Remasters in the EU and US in 2012. This makes Hi-res files even more of a dream because they probably feel like they already released them via The USB Key. Plus would you release the Analog Digital masters RAW to the public and end the cash cow. Michael Fremer has an unmastered CD of Peppers from the original analogue tapes…so few if any have the holy grail. Also remember that all four remaining interests in the Beatles fortune Olivia Harrison, Yoko Ono, Paul, and Ringo…all have to give their approval on any given release. Who knows what Apple Corp. and Pono Music can drum anything up in the future.

 

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SOURCES:

 

2009 Mono CD, Stereo CD, and Digital USB Key 24/44.1 Remasters:

In 2009 three Box Sets, as mentioned earlier were released, the 24/44.1 Digital USB Key, the The Mono Box Set, and the The Stereo Box Set…all of which contained Sgt. Peppers. The band, especially John Lennon, was clear that Pepper’s and other albums were recorded and meant to be listened to in mono. Here’s the story via George Harrison from Wikipedia:

“Digital” Intention

The Mono Box Set was released to reflect the fact that the Beatles’ catalogue (aside from Abbey Road, Let It Be and Yellow Submarine) was originally released in mono, with the stereo versions as an addition. Many feel that these mono mixes reflect the true intention of the band. For example, in the case of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, all the mono mixes were done together with the Beatles themselves, throughout the recording of the album, whereas the stereo mixes were done in only six days by Abbey Road personnel George Martin, Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush after the album had been finished, with none of the Beatles attending.[5] George Harrison commented:

“At that time […] the console was about this big with four faders on it. And there was one speaker right in the middle […] and that was it. When they invented stereo, I remember thinking ‘Why? What do you want two speakers for?’, because it ruined the sound from our point of view. You know, we had everything coming out of one speaker; now it had to come out of two speakers. It sounded like … very …naked.[6]”

 

 

The 2009 Limited Edition Stereo USB Key 24/44.1 :R-2042525-1260396913

 

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-The-Beatles-Stereo-USB/release/2042525

 

Official DR value:    DR10

Official DR value of De-Limited FLAC’S:    DR11

R-2042525-1260396920

The USB Key is  flash drive inserted in the top of a green apple. Sgt Peppers was included in this release as both 24/44.1 FLAC files and the popular.mp3 320kbs. The full artwork was presented in a .swf file. “Digitally Remastered for Superior Sound”.

The process of sourcing and transferring from the original analog masters to the digital R-2042525-1260396926remasters is best summed up by “Stefan” via the Hoffman forums.

Quote:
“1. Analog master tape playback
2. 24/192 digital recording using Prism A/D
3. Digital touch-ups/fixes using Cedar retouch
4. D/A using Prism
5. Mastering EQ using Abbey Road analog console
6. 24/44.1 digital recording using Sadie A/D
7. Digital limiting
8. Dither/bit reduction to 16-bit resolution.The flac files were produced from step 7 and the CDs were produced from step 8.”

So I guess we can take comfort in the fact that in another 42 years, there lies the possibility of a release of the 24Bit/192kHz digital remasters..

 

The USB Sound:

Well to start looking at the Pepper’s USB waveforms, peak limiting was used therefore losing some of the dynamic range in the process. An unofficial de-limited set is circulating, where the gain was lowered and new peaks are interpolated, restoring some of that lost dynamic range but I have not heard them yet. [Update 05/17/14] I just received the unofficial delimited version of Pepper’s, review and Speks will be posted below.

For the official USB Pepper’s, the sound is leaps and bounds beyond the original CD releases. The tracks are detailed and the sound stage is better but not fully there yet. I could tell the difference between the 320 .mp3 and the 24 bit (Using a blind shuffle test) as the 320’s lose a lot of the dynamics and detail from compression.  The .mp3’s  are sourced from the 24/44.1 digital remasters and although some of that spark gets lost…I would say that the 320’s are easier on the ears than the original CD’s.
So although a bit sterile, clinical and overly loud…I would recommend Pepper’s from this set but it’s not the best of the best. Another thing I can say after a lot of listening, is that the 24Bit USB Key Pepper’s is the best of the released digital formats. Below are the spek analysis for the tracks, titles (Bit Depth and Sample Rate) noted in the spek shots. First the 24/44.1 and then below that the 320’s.
The final review for this release is for the unofficial de-limited 24Bit USB pepper’s. The differences are notable both in the sound by listening and the sight measurement of the spectrogram. It’s not a large difference, but a small amount in an area were every few percentage points in better sound quality is welcomed. The poignancy of the clinical sound is slightly more tame as the mix is less hot. Above the newly interpolated peaks there is more room to breathe and with the cooler mix as a result of the lowered gain it sounds better in certain areas, or at least the same. In these kind of mixes that are tamed and the quality of the sound is not adulterated, often times what I do not hear means less ear fatigue.So in short the USB Key is a good source, nice to find early in this review.

 

24/44.1  USB Digital Stereo

01 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2009 Digital Remaster).flac02 - With A Little Help From My Friends (2009 Digital Remaster).flac03 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (2009 Digital Remaster).flac

 

 

 

04 - Getting Better (2009 Digital Remaster).flac05 - Fixing A Hole (2009 Digital Remaster).flac06 - She's Leaving Home (2009 Digital Remaster).flac

 

 

 

07 - Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (2009 Digital Remaster).flac08 - Within You Without You (2009 Digital Remaster).flac09 - When I'm Sixty Four (2009 Digital Remaster).flac

 

 

 

10 - Lovely Rita (2009 Digital Remaster).flac11 - Good Morning Good Morning (2009 Digital Remaster).flac12 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (2009 Digital Remaster).flac

 

 

 

13 - A Day In The Life (2009 Digital Remaster).flacR-2042525-1260396937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 320 .mp3s USB Digital Stereo
01 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2009 Digital Remaster.mp302 - With A Little Help From My Friends (2009 Digital Remaster).mp303 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (2009 Digital Remaster).mp3

 

 

 

04 - Getting Better (2009 Digital Remaster).mp305 - Fixing A Hole (2009 Digital Remaster).mp306 - She's Leaving Home (2009 Digital Remaster).mp3

 

 

 

07 - Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (2009 Digital Remaster).mp308 - Within You Without You (2009 Digital Remaster).mp309 - When I'm Sixty Four (2009 Digital Remaster).mp3

 

 

 

10 - Lovely Rita (2009 Digital Remaster).mp311 - Good Morning Good Morning (2009 Digital Remaster).mp312 - Sgt Pepper's LHCB (Reprise) (2009 Digital Remaster).mp3

 

 

 

13 - A Day In The Life (2009 Digital Remaster).mp3R-2042525-1260396942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24/44.1  USB Digital Stereo (2009 24-Bit Remaster, 2014 De-limited)

01 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac02 - With A Little Help From My Friends (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac03 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac

 

 

 

04 - Getting Better (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac05 - Fixing A Hole (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac06 - She's Leaving Home (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac

 

 

 

07 - Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (2009 Digitall USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac08 - Within You Without You (2009 Digitall USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac09 - When I'm Sixty Four (2009 Digitall USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac

 

 

 

10 - Lovely Rita (2009 Digitall USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac11 - Good Morning Good Morning (2009 Digitall USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac12 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flac

 

 

 

13 - A Day In The Life (2009 Digital USB Remaster-2014De-Limited).flacBooklet In9

 

 

 

 

 

 

——————–

Source:catalogueimageCrp

 2009 Stereo EU CD Remaster:

Official DR value:    DR10

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-The-Beatles/release/1919340
Booklet front

Sgt. Pepper’s: CD8-1 – CD8-13

I hate to start this section of this way but just as we were moving uphill with the USB Key, the Pepper’s 2009 CD Remaster brings it right back down again. The Pepper’s for this Digital CD Box Collection is sourced from the same 24/44.1 transfer (just a dithered/ bit reduction to 16 Bit), however the Pepper’s CD has lost some of the beauty of the USB Key.

Many people argue that one cannot tell the difference but my system is very revealing and this release is not as detailed as the USB. It is still not only too loud, but now a different Booklet backdimension of loud, to the point of shrill brightness especially in the vocals and guitars. Other differences include, overly compressed, less transparency, and the instruments and vocals are not as tightly controlled as the USB. I can here them lose control in the sustained upper frequencies, which were tight in the USB. The treble sounds tinny in many areas especially with the vocals and cymbals. The USB resulted in no ear fatigue…the remastered CD here did quite quickly.

As I said loud similar to the USB but more sterile, clinical, and fine details sound buffed out. One characteristic I have not yet touched on, is that neither the USB or this stereo discremaster has the punch or tightly controlled slam of some of the vinyl or the Mono Box Pepper’s release review which is up next. If you are not of the belief that many CD’s today are way too loud (See Loudness Wars) then you will have no problem with this CD. If you want to hear it sound the way it should, read on. I do not recommend this release unless you want to damage your ears or only listen on a room stereo setup. If there is any redeeming quality, it is listenable and superior to the original CD’s from the 80’s and 90’s. Below are the Speks for you to see and compare if you like.

 

16/44.1  EU CD Stereo  (2009 Remaster)

01 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.flac02 - With A Little Help From My Friends.flac03 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.flac

04 - Getting Better.flac05 - Fixing A Hole.flac06 - She's Leaving Home.flac

07 - Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!.flac08 - Within You Without You.flac09 - When I'm Sixty-Four.flac
10 - Lovely Rita.flac11 - Good Morning Good Morning.flac
12 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band (Reprise).flac13 - A Day In The Life.flacR-1919340-1286213529

Booklet In8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

——————————

 

Source:

 

2009 Japanese (True) Mono CD Remaster:box OBI

 

Official DR value:    DR12

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-The-Beatles-In-Mono/release/3913099

Sgt. Pepper’s: CD8-1 – CD8-13

Now we’re getting somewhere! The True Mono version of Pepper’s is quite stunning. Most of the problems associated with the stereo remaster are gone. The recording is very transparent. The mix is tight and controlled in all areas. There is sibilance in Ringo’s “Friends” but it disappears  inafter that. The highs are well controlled and mids are even and revealing. I hear lots of detail that pops up everywhere in unexpected places. There is that great slam with the bass and drums and no bloat. It’s still louder than the original vinyl releases but it is not over the top. The mix has headroom, breathes, and even has the effect that you forget you are listening to inlaymono…producing a nice open sound stage and dare I say it a wide fidelity image.

It’s quite interesting as well because it feels very nostalgic listening to such a landmark album, which I only listened to the stereo versions growing up, the way it was meant to be heard. Now knowing what I do, I listen to a lot more early mono releases from other bands as this type of mono made me realize why it just works 05 Discbetter for some albums. As I said before the Beatles were involved in the mixing of the mono material and you can see their vision fully realized. Everyone knows the genius of the Beatles but when you finally have that “a -ha” moment for their mono, one can almost see the thinking process as well as the music that was in their heads. More importantly what intention was playing out in their minds after the songs had been written but not yet recorded.

This release of Pepper’s is fully recommended, as it does what it’s supposed to do sound right. So far the best of the modern releases are, first, the Pepper’s Mono 16Bit/44.1kHz 2009 Remaster CD and second,  the 2009 24Bit/44.1 USB Key 2009 Remaster.

 

Next up vinyl, but before that a set of the speks for the mono release are posted below.

 

16/44.1  Japan CD (True) Mono (2009 Remaster)

01 Sgt. Pepper's LHCB.flac02 With A Little Help From My Friends.flac03 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.flac
04 Getting Better.flac05 Fixing A Hole.flac06 She's Leaving Home.flac

07 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!.flac08 Within You Without You.flac09 When I'm Sixty-Four.flac

10 Lovely Rita.flac11 Good Morning Good Morning.flac12 Sgt. Ps LHCB (Reprise).flac

13 A Day In The Life.flacbox backOBI  front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is the End Of Part 1 of 2…Vinyl is added to the mix tomorrow and compared to what you see here!

 

 

 

 

Bless Bless!

Braindamage Inc.

 

CM ☕

 

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