A deep dive into the German and UK editions of The Beatles Collection BC13

Originally published at: A deep dive into the German and UK editions of The Beatles Collection BC13 | Boing Boing

Ah vinyl. The listening joy of discovering the new crackles and pops generated as a result of the last time the record was played. Every time is an adventure.

Um, say what?

If your turntable crackles and pops you’ve either got a shitty stylus or shitty vinyl. Or both.


Every time you play vinyl you wear it’s surface, resulting in degraded sound quality. Unless you have a laser-based player, but $16k is a bit rich for my blood.

I’ll stick to my CDs, thank you very much.

On a tangent: as I understand it, EU pressings of vinyl tend to have a tiny amount of lead (as in Pb, the element) added to the vinyl mix. A former RCA employee in charge of production told me this is why most EU pressings sound better, quieter, whereas in the US adding lead to the mix is not allowed (or perhaps just frowned upon.) I’ve also noticed that US hip hop DJs tended to dislike EU pressings, there were issues cutting/scratching with them.

Oh man, you’re just itching for an argument. No thanks. I mean, it’s a valid point, but about as useful as complaining about how “this CD of the Berlin Philharmonic is nowhere near as powerful as the actual live performance in the concert hall!”-- no sound recording is perfect, and unless you have a soundproof room no listening environment is perfect either-- crackles and pops are nothing compared to kids, dogs, birds, cars going by, the furnace kicking on. . . .

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Sure. And every time we put a satellite into orbit around a planet or moon, it slows the rotation. Of course, it’s so minute as to be beyond any reasonable measurement. Same with playing vinyl. In fact, commercial CDs have a dramatically shorter lifespan than vinyl and the sound quality is degraded before it’s even manufactured.

The fact is that all of the weird, self-righteous indignation about vinyl is usually either myth-making or poorly masked resentment for something I’ll never comprehend. I don’t listen to vinyl because the “hisses and pops” make me feel nostalgic; they’re a clear indication I have damaged something. I also listen to Spotify. I also have a large CD collection mouldering in the basement simply because it’s less convenient than streaming and offers no quality differences to streaming or downloading. I don’t make a point of criticizing and diminishing a format that has outlived all others and whose main criticisms seem to be from people who don’t even utilize it, yet feel compelled to trot out tired tropes and myths.

Oh, and those CDs will be landfill trash in a few decades whereas vinyl will outlive us all.


This is probably the same reason that colored or clear discs don’t sound as good and have a distinct rumble. The lack of carbon decreases drag on the stylus and produces a lot of surface noise. I can only assume that lead does something similar.

This is perhaps the only reasonable argument to be made. Like the old chestnut:

Q: What’s the best camera?
A: The one you have with you.

Dave Grohl was interviewed a few years ago and mentioned something about how he has access to all of the most expensive, sophisticated equipment money can buy, yet he most enjoys listening with his daughter in the car. And that’s just A-Ok!


The problem is that there is a lot of shitty vinyl around, especially anything between 1990 and 2010. I have pressings of techno and gabber that are almost transparent because they are so thin. We were a long way from the age of 180g vinyl pressings back then. And they weren’t on CD, which didn’t need stylus adjustments to stop it skipping on every beat.


Exactly. And this greatly informs the general consensus around vinyl. As I said:

You know, it’s also worth noting that quality doesn’t imply great cost which is one of the more common criticisms. My turntable cost $179 (with the upgraded stylus and platter I think it was ca. $300), the speakers I use are great second-hand studio monitors that go for a couple of hundred dollars on eBay and my receiver was gifted to me from a buddy that had a spare (ca. 1985 Pioneer). The phone I use to stream Spotify cost me $1200 and goes right into the same speaker/amp setup with a $20 BT receiver.

Edited for grammar.

From the Lou Ottens article, but it might be a better fit here.

CD is technically better, a perfectly produced CD will always sound better than a perfectly produced record, but that is also a weakness because CDs can take more punishment in audio production than vinyl can. There are some CDs that are so badly made (designed to sound as loud as possible and have little dynamic range) that if they put that mix on vinyl it would be unplayable, so they make a different mix for vinyl which does sound better as a side effect.

The warmness of vinyl is just distortion and personal taste. I have known people who prefer the sound of multi-generational copies on audio cassette to the original. There is no right or wrong on this part of the argument.

So vinyl is currently better, but it is not an intrinsic feature of vinyl. Copy it to FLAC or another lossless format and it loses a lot of it’s advantages because of portability issues, but if it’s about the tactile experience then vinyl still wins.

TL;DR version:
Just enjoy what you enjoy, and I’ll enjoy what I enjoy. Sometimes a technical advantage doesn’t always work out.


So that’s interesting. The medium shapes the production. Makes sense.

I mean… this.

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A vinyl record can be played many times without any degradation. I have now experienced several CD’s that are no longer playable due to degradation.

And even a vinyl record that has undergone the whole digital process can sound better due to it not being compressed.

Why so mad about vinyl? Let the vinyl people have it their way, what is your need for smashing it? Is music not just about the enjoyment of it, why all the hate?

Not true, unless you are talking about the infamous speaker destroying recording of the 1812 symphony.

Also, dynamic compression is not the same as data compression. Neither CD or Vinyl use data compression. There is also a difference between lossy and lossless data compression, and if any recording studio is using lossy compression at any point then they are hopelessly incompetent.

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The truth is in between. Some times yes, some times no. It is not definite.


No one’s mad, except apparently people who are really into vinyl and need everyone else to be too…


Yet the first reply to this thread talking about Beatles vinyl is “Ah vinyl. The listening joy of discovering the new crackles and pops generated as a result of the last time the record was played. Every time is an adventure.”. The thread is not a discussion about the quality of vinyl, but has turned into one because someone feels the need to criticize the medium.


Wasn’t me dude… Pay closer attention, maybe.

Regardless… Several people made entirely NEW accounts just to defend vinyl. For one person’s hot take on vinyl. Like… really? You like vinyl, and that’s great, but @the_borderer has made some important points about vinyl and why it sounds good when it does and THEY also did not have any sort of hot take, just some pretty well informed opinions about different mediums. You are attacking them and me, when neither of us railed against vinyl. Not that you should go on the attack for the person who did…

I suspect too, that people’s taste in how they like their music delievered to their ears is also part psychological - it transports them back to a moment of pleasure or joy that reminds them of something else. Evan Eisenberg’s book on sound recordings is pretty interesting on this topic:


But anyways, welcome to boing boing, we have lots of fun and interesting threads to enjoy here!


Is that Japanese company still in business?

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Dave Grrrrroan wrote the book on humble bragging.
If he hadn’t had said the kid in the car quote, I think it would’ve meant more to me haha.

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