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How to spot counterfeit Beatles 2009 Remaster CD or Box

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How to spot counterfeit Beatles 2009 Remaster CD or Box
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This guide refers in particular to the individual remastered stereo discs sold separately, but the points about general quality and finishing apply to all remaster formats.  I've added a para about the mono set at the bottom.

The Beatles are probably the most ripped off band in the world, so it's no surprise the counterfeiters fell on the excellent and critically acclaimed remastered re-release of 2009 with glee.  Unfortunately some of them are appearing on e-bay, sometimes from unsuspecting resellers.

Obvious buyers wisdom might steer you away from sellers who have a job lot of a particular title, especially the less popular releases, similarly a Video CD rom containing all the accompanying videos might be regarded as a clue when it's not with one of the boxed editions.  You probably won't notice any loss of quality in the music but it's there, or not if you see what I mean.  Bare in mind these CDs are a premium plus product made to very high production standards and that any imperfection is a definite pointer that things aren't right.

For a start, genuine EMI discs don't come in a flimsy plastic sleeve of the sort found with data CD-R!  (Actually, the one let down of the remasters is there is no inner sleeve at all for the stereo remasters, genuine mono box albums have a protective envelope around each album and a period reproduction lined paper inner sleeve within).  On the label side of the disc, the print area should come right down almost to the hub, about 3mm, not stop someway short to leave a clear or silver area around the hole like a data CD-R.  Most importantly, the silver side has 'manufactured by optimal media production' etched around the centre, the EAN (repeated on the label side), a sequence issue number (not on the label) and what looks like a scannable bar code.

The stereo outer sleeve is a glossy three way fold out made from LP grade card (the sort used in the UK).  On the inside the flaps are stuck down and printed to show the image printed underneath and inside between the flaps where the sleeve folds.  If all you see is blank card on the inside of the folds then it's a fake.  This is especially noticeable on those albums that have one big picture spread across the inside, such as Sgt Pepper or Rubber Soul.  Some albums extend this big picture across the CD pocket cutaway as well, but not all, others just have block colour.  It's harder to spot when there are two images on the inside.  The resolution of the pictures is excellent, there should be no loss of image because of darkness (such as you might get with a scanned copy).

If the CD is sealed it should have a rectangular sticker telling you it's a limited edition.  Again, if sealed there should be a folded flyer inside advertising the rest of the Remastered series.

EMI made the amazing mistake of announcing the MONO BOX SET would be a limited edition of 10,000 and only sold as a box set.  As if that wasn't stupid enough they then announced a second run of several 100,000 to be made in Japan.  For the fakers this was all their Christmasses come at once, and now there are loads of 'cheap Asian import' versions of the mono box all over Ebay.  Sellers meanwhile have learnt not to start at 99p and you'll see silly starting prices for obvious fakes.

There are some good vids on You-Tube to show you whats what with fake mono box sets.  But in brief, DON'T ... production quality is very bad, the most common errors being the actual music is in stereo because the fakers have merely put mono labels on a stereo copy disc (including the 'making of' movie), the white presentation box is the wrong size (smaller), the books (when present) have typos and pages in the wrong order, the sleeves are not stuck together very well and the reproduction inner sleeves are absent.  Put the CD in a computer and it will register as the stereo version if it's a stereo.  Very few remastered mono discs are sold separately.  You can try asking the seller if it really is a mono music but they probably won't know how to tell.

I have some high definition and close up photo's of the points I mention here, send me a message and I will be glad to post them to your e-mail address.

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