The Definitive Sgt. Pepper’s In High Resolution – Computer Audiophile

There is no accounting for taste, but I believe most music aficionados / audiophiles will prefer this high resolution remix of Sgt.Pepper’s.

Interesting article by Chris Connaker on his Computer Audiophile website. Chris points out that he doesn’t have a history with this album; he was born eight years after it was released, and never really cared for it.

This is a topic that many people have written about. My feeling is that the original mix is the one I grew up with, that I’m familiar with. While the recent version may be “better,” it’s different; it’s not really the same music. But for someone who didn’t live with the album for many years, I can understand that this newer mix would be better.

Definitive? I don’t think so; it’s all relative to your experience with the music.

Source: The Definitive Sgt. Pepper’s In High Resolution – Reviews – Computer Audiophile

26 thoughts on “The Definitive Sgt. Pepper’s In High Resolution – Computer Audiophile

  1. I think “definitive” is a poor choice of words. The definitive version is the original mono mix. It has to be since it is what defined Sgt. Pepper. The word I and my bandmate who is also a huge Beatles fan both thought of after listening to the 5.1 mix was “revelatory.” The separation and clarity of the individual elements of the original recordings gave us a completely new perspective. (And I don’t mean “separation and clarity” in the audiophile BS sense. Giles Martin mixed from the individual pre-bounce recordings so he was able to isolate individual instruments.)

    I love the new version of Sgt. Pepper. I don’t think it’s “better” and I don’t think it should be considered instead of the original. I think it’s a new look into one of the best, most ground-breaking albums ever made and should stand next to the original.

  2. I think “definitive” is a poor choice of words. The definitive version is the original mono mix. It has to be since it is what defined Sgt. Pepper. The word I and my bandmate who is also a huge Beatles fan both thought of after listening to the 5.1 mix was “revelatory.” The separation and clarity of the individual elements of the original recordings gave us a completely new perspective. (And I don’t mean “separation and clarity” in the audiophile BS sense. Giles Martin mixed from the individual pre-bounce recordings so he was able to isolate individual instruments.)

    I love the new version of Sgt. Pepper. I don’t think it’s “better” and I don’t think it should be considered instead of the original. I think it’s a new look into one of the best, most ground-breaking albums ever made and should stand next to the original.

  3. The Winschermann performances of the Brandenburgs and Overtures are in a class by themselves; no other set comes close (though there are excellent individual performances). Is there something wrong with that?

    Any music is “raw material” for improved interpretation. The original mono version is as SPLHCB was originally conceived — so what? Does a playwright go into a snit when actors find things in his works he never thought of? Isn’t one of the marks of great art that it lends itself to multiple meaningful interpretations?

    Given his access to individual tracks, did Giles Martin experiment with surround positioning, to see if it offered any musical benefits?

    “I don’t mean ‘separation and clarity’ in the audiophile BS sense.” Well, what //do// you mean?

    • I apologize for the shorthand. By “separation and clarity” in the context of Giles Martin’s remix I mean that the instruments are actually separated apart from the original mix and can be heard more clearly. In contrast, the “audiophile BS sense” I referred to is when reviewers listen to the same source material on a different system or through a different cable or after using a different cleaning product or drawing on the edge of a CD with a green marker and sing praises about how the sound stage is so much more defined and they can hear things they never heard before. Kirk has written about this phenomenon.

      And that thing about the green marker isn’t me being facetious. There were people who claimed in all seriousness that this made CDs sound better. I think it was in the ’80s.

      Thanks for the Winschermann call-out. I’ve always loved the Gustav Leonhardt version but I’m happy to hear different interpretations. I’ll definitely check this out.

    • A remix isn’t really an interpretation. There is room for 100 recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos, as for most great classical works.

  4. The Winschermann performances of the Brandenburgs and Overtures are in a class by themselves; no other set comes close (though there are excellent individual performances). Is there something wrong with that?

    Any music is “raw material” for improved interpretation. The original mono version is as SPLHCB was originally conceived — so what? Does a playwright go into a snit when actors find things in his works he never thought of? Isn’t one of the marks of great art that it lends itself to multiple meaningful interpretations?

    Given his access to individual tracks, did Giles Martin experiment with surround positioning, to see if it offered any musical benefits?

    “I don’t mean ‘separation and clarity’ in the audiophile BS sense.” Well, what //do// you mean?

    • I apologize for the shorthand. By “separation and clarity” in the context of Giles Martin’s remix I mean that the instruments are actually separated apart from the original mix and can be heard more clearly. In contrast, the “audiophile BS sense” I referred to is when reviewers listen to the same source material on a different system or through a different cable or after using a different cleaning product or drawing on the edge of a CD with a green marker and sing praises about how the sound stage is so much more defined and they can hear things they never heard before. Kirk has written about this phenomenon.

      And that thing about the green marker isn’t me being facetious. There were people who claimed in all seriousness that this made CDs sound better. I think it was in the ’80s.

      Thanks for the Winschermann call-out. I’ve always loved the Gustav Leonhardt version but I’m happy to hear different interpretations. I’ll definitely check this out.

    • A remix isn’t really an interpretation. There is room for 100 recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos, as for most great classical works.

  5. Winschermann’s performances //dance//. (A lot of Baroque music is dance-based; he seems to be the only conductor who takes that approach.) You’ll probably enjoy them very much. They are, believe it or not, on a cheapo Canadian label, LaserLight. The recording was made specifically for that label. You might have to buy two sets of disks to get both the ‘burgs and the overtures.

    I’m in general agreement about snake oil. Interestingly, the gentlemen who discovered the green-paint effect (which supposedly reduced digital waveform jitter, which was supposedly audible) gave a demo in my apartment many years ago. I heard no difference. They also made Really Great FM antennas, which did work.

    I’d like to hear the remix, but can’t justify the cost.

    • No, not the only one. If dancing is what you want, then you simply must hear this:

      http://amzn.to/2E2TSAg

      It is one of the most energetic performances of Bach that I know.

      This set of Bach’s concertos and suites also dances a great deal; lovely sound too:

      http://amzn.to/2zEd0RL

      You can find the latter on the streaming services if you want to sample it; not sure about the former.

  6. Winschermann’s performances //dance//. (A lot of Baroque music is dance-based; he seems to be the only conductor who takes that approach.) You’ll probably enjoy them very much. They are, believe it or not, on a cheapo Canadian label, LaserLight. The recording was made specifically for that label. You might have to buy two sets of disks to get both the ‘burgs and the overtures.

    I’m in general agreement about snake oil. Interestingly, the gentlemen who discovered the green-paint effect (which supposedly reduced digital waveform jitter, which was supposedly audible) gave a demo in my apartment many years ago. I heard no difference. They also made Really Great FM antennas, which did work.

    I’d like to hear the remix, but can’t justify the cost.

    • No, not the only one. If dancing is what you want, then you simply must hear this:

      http://amzn.to/2E2TSAg

      It is one of the most energetic performances of Bach that I know.

      This set of Bach’s concertos and suites also dances a great deal; lovely sound too:

      http://amzn.to/2zEd0RL

      You can find the latter on the streaming services if you want to sample it; not sure about the former.

  7. The Malloch (Boston Early Music Soloists) performance also has the advantage of being on period instruments. Playing early and baroque on modern instruments changes the whole balance, and not for the better. Even Classical era music on modern instruments is often turgid compared to period instruments.

    • I’ve long felt that most performances of Classical music sound like too many instruments in an overly reverberant hall.

  8. The Malloch (Boston Early Music Soloists) performance also has the advantage of being on period instruments. Playing early and baroque on modern instruments changes the whole balance, and not for the better. Even Classical era music on modern instruments is often turgid compared to period instruments.

    • I’ve long felt that most performances of Classical music sound like too many instruments in an overly reverberant hall.

  9. No, not the only one. If dancing is what you want, then you simply must hear this:

    http://amzn.to/2E2TSAg

    Fascinating. The conductor — the late William Malloch — is the author of “The Art of Fuguing”, a wild and crazy arrangement of “The Art of Fugue”, a necessary recording in any serious (or not-so-serious) collection. I have the “Suites for Dancing” recording — which I came across by accident in the Used section of my record shop. It was very disappointing — and I don’t remember why. I’ll have to pull it out and listen again.

    The second set looks interesting. I’ll give it serious consideration.

    As a final thought… I find most performances of the Brandenbergs and Overtures to be the musical equivalent of slogging through a swamp. Boom-chugga-chugga, boom-chugga-chugga, boom-chugga chugga, This can’t be what JSB intended.

  10. No, not the only one. If dancing is what you want, then you simply must hear this:

    http://amzn.to/2E2TSAg

    Fascinating. The conductor — the late William Malloch — is the author of “The Art of Fuguing”, a wild and crazy arrangement of “The Art of Fugue”, a necessary recording in any serious (or not-so-serious) collection. I have the “Suites for Dancing” recording — which I came across by accident in the Used section of my record shop. It was very disappointing — and I don’t remember why. I’ll have to pull it out and listen again.

    The second set looks interesting. I’ll give it serious consideration.

    As a final thought… I find most performances of the Brandenbergs and Overtures to be the musical equivalent of slogging through a swamp. Boom-chugga-chugga, boom-chugga-chugga, boom-chugga chugga, This can’t be what JSB intended.

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