These sound great. Some reviewers complained about distortion on Sgt. Pepper's. I didn't hear any. So far the pressings are clean with no pops or scratches. I hooked the turntable up to my home theater-Yamaha RX-V371 A/V receiver, some old Kenwood mini surround speakers and a Yamaha sub woofer. I played back on straight 2-channel stereo. And you know what? They sounded like crap!. Just like when I play CDs on this system.
So I hooked up the turntable to the PC and and I'm now listening to Abbey Road through Realtek HD Audio and my little PC speakers and sub-woofer. And you know what? It sounds great! I have the format set to 2-channel 16-bit 192000 Hz (Studio Quality). Music has always sounded better on my PC. The home theater is great for DTS and Dolby True HD audio while watching Blu-Rays, but CDs and (now) vinyl-not so much.
Cant wait to get the house and set up a room with a tube amp and big floor-standing speakers.
I'm still using the cartridge that came with the turntable. Maybe this weekend I'll connect the Shure cartridge to see if it sounds better.
To be honest, when I originally listened to these, I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have. Today, I sat down and gave these a critical listen. I'm not sure how I missed this the first time, but these are very noisy pressings-very disappointing! Apparently a lot of customers in the U.S. have the same complaint, based on reviews.
EMI used a company called Rainbo, who seem to have a bad reputation for making bad pressings. I've been out of the vinyl scene since 1983, so I didn't know anything about this. The European discs are pressed by Pallas which is supposed to be better, but some English customers complained about warped records.
I processed a return through Amazon for a refund-I don't want to take the chance of getting another lemon based on what others have experienced-some have been through 2 or 3 sets.
I ordered the EU set from Amazon.co.uk. I'll let you know if the quality is better.