E-mail from an Enthusiast and Dons Reply


Subject: Sgt Pepper Half Speed Master
Date: 29 August 2005 4:04:13 PM

Hi Don,

I saw on an English web site they credited you with mastering this.
I have a pressing barely played in over 20 years. I have No. 189. I am of course a Beatle nut and an audiophile!

One has turned up in England for sale at 1500 pounds that's around AU$3300!!

Could you spare a little time to tell me anything about the whole story?

I remembered seeing an article somewhere further down the line where they said that EMI London had sent THE actual master tapes. Is this true?
Any other facts and figures or even faded memories would be appreciated.

If you can much appreciated,
Paul Cherry


From: don@donbartley.com
Subject: Sgt Pepper Half Speed Master
Date: 31 August 2005 12:43:51 AM

Hello Paul, 

Thanks for you interesting message and yes that was a special time for me as I am also a Beatle "nut". The whole project was handled very well by EMI. I was given all the time that I needed to get it right and I seem to remember spending about 3 days on it. As it was a "half speed" transfer there were many test cuts done, two of which I still have and I have never played them since that time. I remember spending many hours setting up for the "secret" track in the lock groove at the end and somehow, I managed to get it exactly the same as the original Abbey Road "cut". The tapes used were specially sent out form Abbey Road, they were not the originals but 1:1 direct copies of the originals. They were 30 ips, Dolby A and I remember feeling quite privileged and lucky the moment I started to play them. The amazing thing about this project was that I was allowed to EQ at my leisure and I must say that was a challenge especially working at half speed. I do remember listening to the test cuts at the time and thinking how fantastic it sounded. Since then I have quite a few people comment on its quality, including Ed Kuepper, who said it's the best version he has ever heard.

Thanks again Paul and it's good to know that a good vinyl is still the way to go.
Kind Regards.
Don Bartley. IMS

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