The Beatles – The White Album

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Reviews and Commentaries for The White Album

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  • An outstanding British pressing of The White Album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides
  • This copy of the Beatles’ Masterpiece (my personal favorite of all their albums) is going to thrill and delight the lucky person who snags it
  • If you’ve heard the half-speed and Heavy Vinyl versions of The White Album, then you know how riddled they are with unacceptable flaws and not enjoyable on high-quality equipment, unlike this copy which is guaranteed to be an unalloyed joy to play
  • “If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday – with the publication of the new Beatles double LP – should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making…” Right On!

Our Hot Stampers have always been a BIG hit with the folks who’ve been lucky enough to snare them. If you’re ready for a High-Quality copy of The White Album that’s sure to massacre all the pressings you’ve heard until now, you should jump right on this bad boy.

This vintage UK Apple pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the Best Sides of The White Album Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1968
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Now, this is obviously a ridiculous amount of money to drop on a single album, even a single double album. Consider it a reward for all the time, effort and money it took to get your stereo to where it is today.

I’d be shocked if twenty Audiophile pressings could bring you the kind of satisfaction and joy that just one side of this killer White Album is going to. Like every Hot Stamper, we back this one with a 100% Money Back Guarantee, so there’s nothing to lose… and amazing White Album sound for the rest of your life to gain.

What We’re Listening For on The White Album

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt — Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott in this case — would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Toughest One?

It’s exceedingly difficult to find audiophile quality sound on The White Album. Other than Yellow Submarine, side two of which almost never sounds good, The White Album is surely one of the toughest nuts to crack in The Beatles canon.

The Beatles were breaking apart, often recording independently of each other, with their own favorite engineers as enablers, and George Martin nowhere to be found most of the time. They were also experimenting more and more, pushing the boundaries of recorded sound. These new approaches and added complexity cause a loss of “purity” in the sound. Let’s face it, most audiophiles like simplicity: A female vocal, a solo guitar — these things are easy to reproduce and often result in lovely sound, the kind of sound that doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to achieve.

Dense mixes with wacky EQ are Difficult to Reproduce (our famous DOR Scale comes into play here), and the White Album is full of both, taking a break for songs like Blackbird and Julia.

This is my favorite Beatles album, a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one, and nothing less than a work of GENIUS. If some songs could have been recorded better, so what? They’re as good as they are going to get, and on a Hot Stamper pressing like this one, that means awfully good.

Extensive Track Commentary

We really spent some quality time on the track commentary for this one, so make sure you refer to it while comparing what we are saying to what you are hearing at home, using whatever copy you own.

If you end up with one of our Hot Stampers, listen carefully for the effects we describe. This is not an easy record to reproduce — everything has to be working in tip-top form to even begin to get this complicated music sounding the way it should — but if you’ve done your homework and gotten your system really cooking, you will hear the Beatles’ Masterpiece sounding better than it ever has before, and by a long shot.

This album should be part of any serious Rock Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.

The Observer Review from 1968

If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday – with the publication of the new Beatles double LP – should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making, which only the ignorant will not hear and only the deaf will not acknowledge.

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