HiRez Poll Beatles, The - ABBEY ROAD (5.1 Surround Mix) [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of The Beatles - ABBEY ROAD (5.1 Surround Mix)


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rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on the 2019 5.1 surround mix of the classic Beatles album "Abbey Road", originally released in 1969.
The 5.1 surround mix was created by Giles Martin & Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios and is included on Blu-Ray within the album's 50th anniversary box set.

Please note: this thread is strictly for reviews of the 5.1 surround mix. To review the Dolby Atmos mix, visit this link: HiRez Poll - Beatles, The - ABBEY ROAD (Dolby Atmos Mix) [Blu-Ray Audio]


 
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keywhiz

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Played this through twice.

This is easily the best sounding of the 3 Beatles reissues. Doesn’t hurt that it was the best sounding Beatles album to begin with, but Giles got this one right.

The mix of Sgt Pepper’s was too conservative. The mix of TWA was good, but the mastering was too hot, IMO. I’ve never checked to see if that one was brickwalled at all, but it FEELS like it is.

This is just damned good. From the first notes of “Come Together” rattling the things on my shelves, I knew that was going to be fun. Everything is crisp and present and discreet but remains true to the original album.

It’s not as adventurous as it COULD be, but is as much as it SHOULD be, IMO. We get isolated guitars parts and Billy’s organ and some vocals in the rears. We have the lead vocals nice and solid and anchored in the center. The bass guitar is maybe the most noticeable difference being up and loud in the mix. And I didn’t know George played so much bass on this album.

“She’s So Heavy”, before my least favorite track on the album, just FILLS the room with all 5 speakers blasting. It’s HEAVY!

We even get Giles playing and moving “Her Majesty” around the room at the end!

Wow. “Abbey Road” is in surround. Again, I wish they would have given us the non-album single-tracks recorded at the time in surround like we got with “Sgt Peppers”. But still.

Wow.

I’ll get to the “sessions” discs eventually. And the new stereo. But I’m here for the surround.

The book is nice. I wish they’d have made all the reissues in similar-sized packaging but I guess that’s part of the how unique each album is as well?

I might head over to SHF and read about how terrible so many people think it is for a laugh.

This is great. EASY “10”. It’s frickin’ Abbey Road in surround!
 
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zimmy

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Even if i voted 10 for the Dolby Atmos sound on this i also give the "normal" 5.1 mix an 10. I think this 5.1 mix is better than most of the other discs i have so i can´t give an lower vote. But with this said i also must say that the Dolby Atmos is even better so i guess that one is 10+.
 

Goona

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Even if i voted 10 for the Dolby Atmos sound on this i also give the "normal" 5.1 mix an 10. I think this 5.1 mix is better than most of the other discs i have so i can´t give an lower vote. But with this said i also must say that the Dolby Atmos is even better so i guess that one is 10+.
Agree Totally so also gave this one a 10, also for packaging and extras
 

Elad

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I have always liked Abbey Road but was not my favorite Beatles CD's That belongs to Revolver and Rubber soul. That was until I listened to Abbey Road today and was totally stunned. I enjoyed the total listening experience from beginning to end. Even songs I did not care about had a new freshness and heard things that made the songs interesting. I have a 7.1 system and tweaked the surrounds back up a little which created a more fuller sound to my ears.
For me Abbey Road was a revelation it hit all the marks on what makes the surround sound experience. 10.
 

Fantomas

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Yikes - that's just not true. It's not like a '70s quad mix with different instruments pinned to the corners, but every track has stuff clearly isolated in the rears. I thought the use of surround here was even more aggressive than the White Album.
It's fine if you thought so. Sometimes NOTHING is coming out of surrounds. It is not a proper surround mix.
 

albertop

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I’ve only heard the 5.1 once, earlier today. It’s a very immersive experience in my opinion, and I can understand the ones who say there’s nothing coming out of the surround speakers. Actually, there are so many discrete elements coming out of the rear channels, but they are not disjointed from what’s coming out of the front speakers. That’s why it might give the impression of a mix that was approached like a wide stereo, but it’s not! It had discrete instruments and effects in all channels and they all gel well together. The only critique I could raise would be for the vocals, which sound at times a bit too much in front of your face, and might sound disjointed from the rest. I’ll have to listen more, unfortunately I cannot take advantage of the Atmos mix. Damn.. :)
 

JonUrban

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First off, this is about as perfect a "box set" physically as you can get. It's LP sized, the box is sturdy and well constructed. The book slides out easily and is beautifully constructed with a strong binding and the photos and text are on quality paper that will not deteriorate after reading, or repeated reading. The 4 discs are secure in the inside covers of the book and in their own sleeves with original and alternate Abbey Road cover glossy photos, and the discs themselves have the classic green apple label on the two album discs, and the cut apple on the 2 extra tracks discs. And to top it all off, no marbles or scarves!

Overall, I don't think there's a better configuration out there that they could have used for this release. It's a shame that the Sgt. Pepper and White Album boxes were not like this one.

Onto the 5.1 mix. Well, if the past Beatles releases other than "Love" left us frustrated and annoyed at what could have been (1+, Sgt. Pepper), you could not help think about just how they would treat this final Beatles album, the one that was made on the most modern (at the time) equipment with the most audio tracks available in the studio. Would we get the cringe worthy "homage to the stereo mix" or would we possibly get something special?

When I first fired it up in my big room (and figured out that it was playing in stereo), I got it to DTS-Master Audio and listened and wasn't quite sure if my back speakers were working! Not a good sign. I then turned up the volume. NICE! As I went through the album song by song, an album that I loved and played to death in the past but haven't played in years due to burn-out, I started hearing stuff clearer and cleaner than I had remembered. Instruments and voices were more defined and detailed and exposed to the point at times when I did not expect to hear what I heard. Instead of every vocal being in the front, backgrounds were in the back, and things like the moog was in the back when it made sense "he sneaks up from behind...". Someone who made the mix GOT IT! It's a no brainer to put Sun King's crickets in the backs, but in this mix, there is important stuff back there. To me, that's the sign of a good mix. If you can kill the rears and miss stuff, then it's a good mix. If you kill the rears and everything's still there in the fronts, what's the point? And we all know there are surround mixes that do just that.

The "Surround is a gimmick" folks will point to the "Her Majesty" walk around the room, but if you recall the original stereo mix went across the front speakers, so this is merely an extension of that walk. So fuck them! :)

Needless to say, this is a 10. I am not going to get into the mix on each song, that's something others can do. All I will say is that I am glad I lived long enough to hear this, but I am saddened that other fans did not. I think of Ed Bishop, who I never met but knew from SHF and was made an honorary Mod here. He wanted so badly to hear the 5.1 White Album but apparently his bout with cancer did not allow that to happen, but I know he would have loved to hear Abbey Road as well. I think of Cai Campbell and the many other quad guys that are no longer here. One day I won't be here, and one day you won't either, but that's all part of the plan, so it goes. The main thing is that when things like this finally come out, no matter how great they are, I always think to myself "It's about time". Where has this been?

This music is part of my memory storage and like many other albums I've heard too many times, I really can't listen to some of it the same way I listened in 1970 or even 1980/90. I was listening to the bonus cuts and tracks and at one time I would have cherished them but today I just sorta cruised through them, jumping around listening to bits here and there because I did not want to increase the burn out as I wanted to save the listening time to the surround mix.

Oh well. Maybe the surround folks will start issuing new albums that we haven't heard so many times and we can really enjoy them.

So, yes, it's a 10. Get it if you can afford it. It's worth it. It's great. It's a winner. And "That's all Folks!"
 

skherbeck

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This is the best of The Beatles surround experiences for me so far. With The White Album, I had to make some minor adjustments reducing the treble, altering some of the song levels, and raising the rears at times... here, I don't feel the need to make any adjustments. There are plenty of discrete-sounding elements in the rears throughout, although many of these are not truly discrete; they are just emphasized more in the rears than the fronts. In general, drums, lead vocals, and bass are up front throughout. Guitars, keys, and orchestra can be emphasized or found discretely in the front or back, depending on the song. Backing vocals/harmonies are usually in the rears. Unfortunately, Mean Mr. Mustard and Golden Slumbers have very little going on in the surrounds. Looking back, I gave The White Album a 10 (although the score I calculated only added up to a 9)... here again, the numbers add up to a 9 (content 3/3, fidelity 3/3, surround mix 2/3, 1 bonus point), but I'm giving it a 10 anyways, so there. I'm glad I still have the Atmos mix to look forward to someday :)
 

bktouchstone

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I voted a 9 on this effort. The surround is very good, butiIt seems to me that the most effort was focused on the stereo mix, which is also very good, and the surround mix feels a bit rushed, but admittedly it is nearly right. Maybe one more pass would have done it. If I have any complaints to justify my "outlier" score they would be as follows: 1) I have never been very enthusiastic about this album, the material from Lennon/McCartney is some of their weaker material, and they had to glue a lot of stuff together just to complete it, 2) it's a testament to their genius that they were able to glue the medley together and still have it sound great, 3) To me, this is always the end of this joyous group so there is an inherent melancholy to it, to comment more specifically on the sound, 4) there is some sort of flub in the lower notes (I can't remember which song - one of the first) where it could easily have been edited out, it's either the bass or someone hit a mic, 5) Octopuses Garden chorus is much louder than the rest of the song, 6) heavy and muddy use of the LFE (turned it down to make it palatable but I have to say that I just reassembled my 5.1 system - hallelujah! - and the LFE could possibly need some additional calibration love), 7) missed opportunity - the cricket part of Sun King could have been very cool and 3-dimensional, but it is it's not. There are some other minor quibbles but they are minor and in general this deserves a 9 (IMO). On the positive side: 1) The sound is very dynamic, 2) Because sounds great, 3) Golden Slumbers/Carry that weight sounds great, 4) Here Comes the Sun sounds great. I am very hopeful that there will be some other remixes, in particular Rubber Soul and Revolver. For those I think a new stereo remix would satisfy, but a surround remix would put me over the moon. And hopefully before my senses lose more acuity to age...please...

As I continue to tweak my sound system, I may change my score, hopefully upward.
 

skherbeck

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I voted a 9 on this effort. The surround is very good, butiIt seems to me that the most effort was focused on the stereo mix, which is also very good, and the surround mix feels a bit rushed, but admittedly it is nearly right. Maybe one more pass would have done it. If I have any complaints to justify my "outlier" score they would be as follows: 1) I have never been very enthusiastic about this album, the material from Lennon/McCartney is some of their weaker material, and they had to glue a lot of stuff together just to complete it, 2) it's a testament to their genius that they were able to glue the medley together and still have it sound great, 3) To me, this is always the end of this joyous group so there is an inherent melancholy to it, to comment more specifically on the sound, 4) there is some sort of flub in the lower notes (I can't remember which song - one of the first) where it could easily have been edited out, it's either the bass or someone hit a mic, 5) Octopuses Garden chorus is much louder than the rest of the song, 6) heavy and muddy use of the LFE (turned it down to make it palatable but I have to say that I just reassembled my 5.1 system - hallelujah! - and the LFE could possibly need some additional calibration love), 7) missed opportunity - the cricket part of Sun King could have been very cool and 3-dimensional, but it is it's not. There are some other minor quibbles but they are minor and in general this deserves a 9 (IMO). On the positive side: 1) The sound is very dynamic, 2) Because sounds great, 3) Golden Slumbers/Carry that weight sounds great, 4) Here Comes the Sun sounds great. I am very hopeful that there will be some other remixes, in particular Rubber Soul and Revolver. For those I think a new stereo remix would satisfy, but a surround remix would put me over the moon. And hopefully before my senses lose more acuity to age...please...

As I continue to tweak my sound system, I may change my score, hopefully upward.
I was thinking exactly the same thing regarding the Octopus's Garden chorus, the crickets, Because, and Here Comes The Sun.
 

ar surround

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My vote of "10" plus much more is examined in the latest Life in Surround video!
I came upstairs to watch football highlights and saw that you posted this review. So I had to watch this first! It is an excellent review, Mike. I'm glad to hear that someone has a slight preference for the 5.1 given that I do not have an Atmos setup. Other reviewers seemed to prefer the Atmos quite a bit, giving the impression that it blows away the 5.1.

Actually, you really piqued my interest in the new stereo mix. I've got a system with huge old tower speakers driven by big amplifiers and occasionally listen in straight stereo at high volume levels because it gives a different presentation/perspective than surround.

Also, thanks for the cook's tour of your Atmos system. Nice dogs, too...but do they prefer the stereo, 5.1 or Atmos of Abbey Road? :cool:
 

Cyber 1

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First off, this is about as perfect a "box set" physically as you can get. It's LP sized, the box is sturdy and well constructed. The book slides out easily and is beautifully constructed with a strong binding and the photos and text are on quality paper that will not deteriorate after reading, or repeated reading. The 4 discs are secure in the inside covers of the book and in their own sleeves with original and alternate Abbey Road cover glossy photos, and the discs themselves have the classic green apple label on the two album discs, and the cut apple on the 2 extra tracks discs. And to top it all off, no marbles or scarves!
Agreed except why can't they include a proper inner sleeve so the disc's are not slid in and out of cardboard! Man most modern Lp's are now like that. There is absolutely no reason they can't do the same thing as Mofi does with it's current SACD disc's. Then it would actually be a complete "box set".
 
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