Loading...
 [ LOGIN/REGISTER ]  [ MY ACCOUNT ] Items in the shopping cart:0    Current total:$0.00
   

Commentary Overview

Audio Commentary  >  Start Here  >  Commentary Overview

We discuss practically anything that concerns recordings or their reproduction here for those who want to collect better sounding records and hear them at their best.

For further reading, be sure to check out our On The Record blog.

 

Found : 224   Display : 1-20
Page :
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · ..
    << · < Prev · Next > · >>
Sort by:








British Band Classics Vol. 2

The First Classical Record I Bought as an Audiophile

  (Item #: holstbriti_golden_import) 
by Mercury LP



British Band Classics Volume Two was the first Mercury classical LP I ever bought. After hearing it at an audiophile friend's house I went down to Tower Records and found one in the bin. I think the price was $3.99 for the Golden Import pressing, which of course was the only one available. That was what I had heard, so I had no idea that the original even existed, let alone sounded better and would one day sell for many hundreds of dollars. This was the '70s, when you could walk into a record store and buy new records, and long before HP created a feeding frenzy for vintage Mercs.
More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


  more Info











Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What to Listen For

  (Item #: londojulieis_clone) 
by Liberty LP



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

On side one listen to how rich the bottom end is on Barney Kessel's guitar. The Tubey Magic on this side is off the charts. Some copies can be dry, but that is clearly not a problem on this one. The naturalness of the presentation puts this album right at the top of best sounding female vocal albums of all time.

More Julie London


  more Info











Steely Dan - Katy Lied

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: steelkatyl_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The trick with Katy Lied is to find the right balance between richness, sweetness and clarity.

Take three or four Katy Lied pressings, clean them up and play just one or two of the tracks we discuss below. You won't find any two copies that get those tracks to sound the same. We do our shootouts with dozens of copies at a time and no two sound the same to us.

More Steely Dan


  more Info











Heart - Little Queen

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: heartlittl_2015) 
by Columbia Records



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This is a Classic Rock Demo Disc to beat practically anything you could throw at it. Love Alive and Barracuda on this copy will deliver the full Rock and Roll Power of your system. If you've got The Big Sound, this is the record that will truly show it off.

Even though our graphic scale only goes to three pluses, you'll know the Four Plus sound on this side one the moment you hear it.

More Little Queen


  more Info











Billy Joel - 52nd Street

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: joel_52nds_listen) 
by Columbia Records



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

We heard some amazing sound coming from the grooves of 52nd Street, but let's give credit where credit is due -- the recording and mastering engineers involved with this album. Jim Boyer and Ted Jensen can both take great pride in the SUPERB work they have done here.

More Billy Joel


  more Info











Mussorgsky - Ravel / Pictures at an Exhibition / Ashkenazy

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mussopictu_6559_2011) 
by London LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This original London pressing of the solo piano version of Pictures has uncannily natural piano reproduction, which is why we are awarding this side one our highest sonic grade, A Triple Plus.

The fact that the recording takes place in Kingsway Hall in 1967 no doubt plays a large part in the superb sound. The hall is bigger here than on other copies, the piano even more solidly weighted, yet none of this comes at the expense of the clarity of the playing. There is no smear, allowing both the percussive aspects of the piano and the extended harmonics of the notes to be heard clearly and appreciated fully.

More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)


  more Info











Sonny Rollins - The Bridge

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rollibridg_2013) 
by RCA LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

We found STUNNING sound for Sonny Rollins' classic LP The Bridge this week, and as you might have guessed from the image to the left, it wasn't on an original pressing! It's beyond tough to find copies of this album on any label these days, but we had a big stack of pressings from different eras and auditioned them in a big shootout. We've paired up our best side one with our best side two to create this killer White Hot Stamper 2-pack.

More Sonny Rollins


  more Info











Paul Simon - Graceland

What to Think When the New Version Is Completely Unrecognizable?

  (Item #: simongrace_debunk) 
by Warner Brothers LP



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

Where did this thick, dull, bloated, opaque turd come from? Having played at least 50 copies of the album over the last ten years, I can honestly say I have never heard one that sounded very much like this new version (maybe some record club copy we picked up by accident did, can't say it never happened).

Can that possibly be a good thing?

More Graceland


  more Info











Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street

What to Listen For

  (Item #: rolliexile_wtlf) 
by Atlantic LP



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

The best copies will tend to have the qualities detailed below, and the more abundant these qualities are on any given pressing, the higher its grade will be.

Yes, it is a science, an empirical one, which can only be carried out by the use of strict protocols and controls, but it sure ain't rocket science. All you need is the system, the room, the records, the time and the will to do the painstaking critical listening required to complete the task.

More Rolling Stones


  more Info











Graham Nash's Wild Tales

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: nash_wildt_2015) 
by Atlantic LP



This is a Forgotten Classic from Graham Nash.

Like the man's first album, no one pays much attention to this music nowadays, but Better Records is trying to remedy that situation by making available to the audiophile public numerous copies of this album, every one of which is guaranteed to turn you into a fan. This is not new music, but it may be new music to you, so "discovering" it will be every bit as much fun for you in 2016 as it was for me in 1973.

More Graham Nash


  more Info











Neil Diamond - Stones

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: diamostone_2015) 
by Uni Domestic LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

On the Hot Stamper copies that do have sweet and rich ANALOG sound, credit naturally belongs with Neil's go-to engineer, ARMIN STEINER. He was one of the engineers on Spirit's first album (a truly phenomenal recording from 1968), assisted on Ram, recorded some of the best sounding, most Tubey Magical Chart Topping Pop Rock for Bread in the early '70s, and, if that's not enough, has more than a hundred other engineering credits.

More Neil Diamond


  more Info











Stevie Wonder - Fulfillingness’ First Finale

A True Stevie Wonder Masterpiece

  (Item #: wondefulfi_wtlf) 
by Tamla



In my humble opinion this is clearly the second of Stevie Wonder's two MASTERPIECES. It could also be one of the Great Albums You May Not Know.

Over the course of the last year or two, for the first time in my life I've really gotten to know the album well, having found a CD at a local store to play in the car. I've listened to Fulfillingness’ First Finale scores of times and now see that is some of the best work Stevie Wonder ever did, right up there with Innervisions and miles ahead of any other Stevie Wonder album.

More Stevie Wonder


  more Info











Neil Young - Comes A Time

What to Listen For

  (Item #: youngcomes_wtlf) 
by Reprise LP



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) AND another in the long list of Forgotten Classics.

So many copies we played just sounded flat, with dull guitars and hard vocals. Some made Neil sound like he was singing from the back of the studio. Still others noticeably lacked leading edge transients of any kind, blunting the attack of the various stringed instruments.

More Neil Young


  more Info











Roxy Music - Avalon

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: roxymavalo_2011) 
by EG Records LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This British original EG Super DeLuxe pressing of Avalon has White Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides. We guarantee you have never begun to hear this music sound this clear, open and present. Right from the start the synths on track one were breathy and floating on a bed of cool studio air -- we knew this side was going to be awesome, and of course the more we played it the better it got. Nothing could touch it.

More Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music


  more Info











Linda Ronstadt - Simple Dreams

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: ronstsimpl_2011) 
by Asylum Records



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Clearly this is one of Linda's best albums, and I would have to say, based on my fairly extensive experience with her recorded output, that it is in fact THE BEST SOUNDING record she ever made. I love Heart Like a Wheel, but it sure doesn't sound like this, not even on the Triple Plus copies that win our shootouts.

Kudos once again must go to VAL GARAY, the man behind so many of our favorite recordings: James Taylor's JT (a Top 100 title), Andrew Gold, Prisoner In Disguise, etc.

More Linda Ronstadt


  more Info











Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: warnefamou_depth) 
by Cypress LP



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

I'm a huge fan of this music. It's the only album Jennifer Warnes ever made that I would consider a Must Own record or a Desert Island Disc.

In my humble opinion it's clearly her MASTERPIECE.

More Jennifer Warnes


  more Info











Men At Work - Business As Usual

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: menatbusin_2015) 
by Epic LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The only way to hear this album sound right is on Australian, Dutch, British and even Japanese vinyl. Yes, we have heard them all. We've liked about one out of every one hundred Japanese pressings we've played over the last twenty years. We were surprised to find that the Japanese copy of Business As Usual we played many years ago was pretty good, for what that's worth, and of course we can't be sure that on our current system with our current ears we would feel the same.

More Men At Work


  more Info











Cat Stevens Catch Bull at Four

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: stevecatch_depth) 
by A&M LP



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

If you're familiar with what the best Hot Stamper pressings of Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat or Mona Bone Jakon can sound like -- amazing is the word that comes to mind -- then you should easily be able to imagine how good this killer copy of Catch Bull at Four sounds.

All the ingredients for a Classic Cat Stevens album were in place for this release which came out in 1972, about a year after Teaser and the Firecat. His amazing guitar player Alun Davies is still in the band, and Paul Samwell-Smith is still producing as brilliantly as ever.

More Cat Stevens


  more Info











Joni Mitchell - Song To A Seagull

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: mitchsongt_2013) 
by Reprise LP



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

It took two records to make this White Hot Stamper 2-pack, with INCREDIBLE A+++ SOUND FROM START TO FINISH. The result? One of the best sounding, if not THE best sounding copy to ever hit the site. If you're a Joni fan this is one of her strongest records, and one that definitely belongs in your collection. If you own any other pressing we're confident that this copy will positively blow your mind.

These two sides have the kind of sound quality you probably never imagined would be possible -- but it is! We played it, we heard it for ourselves, and now we offer it to you, the Joni Mitchell (nee Roberta Joan Anderson) fans of the world.

More Joni Mitchell


  more Info











Led Zeppelin - IV

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: ledzeIV_depth) 
by Atlantic LP



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

We always have a great time doing Zep IV shootouts. It's one of those all-too-rare cases where amazing music and amazing sonics coexist on the same slab of vinyl. You just need to find the right slab, a proposition that turns out to be much harder than it sounds.

You probably know by now just how tough it is to find audiophile quality sonics on this album. Far too many copies just leave us cold, but the best pressings, whether British or domestic, are so good, and so much fun at the loud volumes we employ, that it ends up being worth all the time, trouble and expense it takes to wade through the vinyl dreck to find them.

More Led Zeppelin


  more Info




Found : 224   Display : 1-20
Page :
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · ..
    << · < Prev · Next > · >>

         

Right right-line
  | NEW TO THE SITE? |  CONTACT US   |