The Best Sounding Beatles CDs

Give me your opinions. To date, which are the best sounding Beatles CDs? I'm aware of the Rolltop box sets, the Original Master Reordings, the Japanese imports, The Parlaphone remasters...... But I have never heard a single one.

I have always listened to them on vinyl. I had the MFSL set, The Parlaphone Blue box set (My personal favorite), The Red Mono box set and several other versions. But I've never heard the CD versions.

Which CD versions sound the best?
I don't know if you're just talking about collective sets, since that what's you mention. The recently released CD titled, "Love" is quite good acoustically. Sgt. Pepper was revolutionary for its time, and still sounds engaging to me.
Hi Jax. My primary concern is in terms of CD sonics, mix and remastering quality.

I'm coming from a tough standard having listened to these albums on vinyl.
I've heard most and all pale in comparison to the Parlophone vinyl. It would be nice to see a quality remastering job done on this catalog for CD. I suggest copying your Blue Box to CD-R. In my opinion that will sound better than anything that is currently available assuming you have mint copies.
Absolutely agree with Narrod.

Jax is right about the Love. That sounds as good as redbook gets for the Beatles in my opinion.

In my house we throw on Cd and then vinyl to compare and turntable and cartridge makers should give me a percentage.

Have Fun!
I'm coming from a tough standard having listened to these albums on vinyl.

Understood. I'd stand by my recommendation of "Love" - Have you heard it? Sonics, mix and mastering quality are all top notch. As far as the rest of their offerings, you and others will know far better than me. Just thought to mention that more recent, creative compilation, which I was very impressed with.
None that I've heard. The UK and US vinyl releases are cleary superior to the compact discs.

Don't own "Love" as I don't buy novelty recordings.
"Don't own "Love" as I don't buy novelty recordings."

You should give it a listen. It's not a replacement for the originals but George Martin and his son did a wonderful job remixing the songs. I know Paul and Ringo were quite pleased with the results.
Narrod, you seem absolutely passionate in your convictions towards this collection. I also try to remain a purist in terms of "novelty" recordings.

But I'm gonna give this one a shot. I'll let you know of my impressions afterwards.

This of course after I do the following.......

What do any of you think about the MFSL editions?
The MoFis are quiet high quality vinyl. I'm not a fan of most of their releases because they sound like they have tipped up highs. I prefer any of the analog Parlophone releases. I also like the Japaness red vinyl mono issues.
"Don't own "Love" as I don't buy novelty recordings."

Well now Buscis2 will know where to go when he needs to borrow some Grey Poupon ;-)

I'm pretty sure you can get "Love" on vinyl, so you won't have to do your grinding routine. I believe it was produced and mixed as a collaboration between George Martin (The Beatles original producer) and his son Giles Martin. If I'm remembering correctly, they used all music and background sounds that were on original master tapes (nothing added outside of what The Beatles had, at some time, put on tape) - someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'll be curious to hear what you think when you hear it. Given your predisposition, you may not like it at all.

Seriously, great music is great music. What's so offensive about the notion that someone could take it and mix it into a different form to make something, well, novel? All great art is inspired or derivative of something previously created in some remote way shape or form. I can think of covers and creative use of previously recorded music to form something new that I enjoy very much (Eno/Byrne, Gavin Bryars, Laurie Anderson, The Rachel's to name a few of the later - covers being more obvious). There was a thread on Beatles covers that discussed the idea that there were covers out there that others considered a "better" performance than the original version by the Beatles. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

Like you I really prefer the Parlophone Box for a vinyl listening session since I don't own many of the ultra rare original Parlophones.

If forced into CD listening mode I always reach for the Japanese Parlophone CD's with the letters TOCP-5111 designation on the side of the jewel case.

For once I agree with Audiofeil regarding the Love album.
It is a sonic tour de force if you want to demonstrate your sound system and there are moments of brilliance ---but overall it pains my soul to think that such liberties can be taken with something so precious as this band.

If it makes people want to further explore the Beatles then it serves a useful purpose-----but as a long time fan I am left wondering what is next----- perhaps Yoko singing harmony on I'm a Loser ?
Agree...Love cd is stellar...too bad the Beatles current catalogue on CD is not up too bout the RED and BLUE comps on Vinyl? Decent sound?
"how bout the RED and BLUE comps on Vinyl? Decent sound?"


I had owned them in Blue and Red Vinyl just to have as a novelty. The recordings (even pressed on good vinyl) were horrible.

Once again, In terms of original vinyl recordings, the Parlaphones were incredible. The MOFI Black box set (on JVC virgin vinyl) were O.K., but they were smile curved and had an annoying 60hz buzz in the background. See link below:
Yellow Submarine was given a decent cd mastering
many of those songs are improvements over the original cd release

Let it Be Naked edition was also remastered sans spector strings
I've heard people say that the Parlophone pressings are best but they must be referring to original pressings. I have some later pressings that are very harsh.

Best I've heard (and own) are German imports which I bought in the late 70's. Great smooth sound with good mid range which is key with such great vocals. In particular, Revolver and Sgt Pepper from Germany are way better than MFSL. I think MFSL really blew it when they "mastered" the Beatles albums. Imports are way better sounding.
"I own every MFSL vinyl and for the most part they suck."

Pretty much.

And I find their CDs to be bright and edgy. But I also find the same results with many of the Japanese imports. Europe, for some reason produces some very fine recordings. Original Parlophone was wonderful. Duestche Grammaphone and Telarc are also very high quality recordings. Some of the original RCA "Red Seal" were also good quality.

However, MFSL recordings always seem to exhibit one type of an issue or another. Considering the fact that they are suppose to be "Audiophile Recordings", I find it interesting that the Standard issue Parlophones blow the MFSLs out of the water.
>>Considering the fact that they are suppose to be "Audiophile Recordings", I find it interesting that the Standard issue Parlophones blow the MFSLs out of the water<<

I don't. MFSL, for the most part, is a marketing ploy. There are only a handful of their releases that best the originals. "Crime of the Century" comes to mind immediately.

OTOH, there are some real stinkers. I don't think it gets much worse than "Aja" and "Sticky Fingers" unless you happen to have the 8 track.
"I don't think it gets much worse than "Aja" and "Sticky Fingers" unless you happen to have the 8 track."

That statement would have 100% validity until you listen to the MFSL version of Al Stewarts "Year Of The Cat".

I think they recorded that album using a kerosene powered mixing console and transfered the music signal between two tomato soup cans with a piece of string as an interconnect.

They then transferred the signal to the master cutter using smoke signals.

That (at least) added a limited degree of warmth.
None of the CDs sound as good as vinyl. The Parlophone cd's were released in 1987 when cd technology was young and most of the early cd's from that period did not sound very good. I think that the best sounding Beatles CD is probably Revolver followed closely by Help and Abbey Road. Also the first four on Parlophone, Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day's NIght, and Beatles for Sale were issued in Mono only.