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Testimonials


  • I must confess, that like most audiophiles, I was not a believer in Hot Stampers. I thought my DCC Compact Classic and my 180 gram Box Set was the best. Boy was I dead wrong! I have been buying Hot Stampers from you on a regular basis for the past two months. They truly allow me to hear what was intended in the recording studio and, man, is it breathtaking. I received the Doors - LA Woman a couple of days ago and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think a record could be this realistic.

    I couldn't believe the amount of information I was hearing coming out of the groove of this LP -- the biggest, most realistic staging and largest acoustic space I have ever heard in my life. The highs were sweet and extended, the midrange was as natural as a midrange could ever be, and the bass was tight and rich with incredible weight down to the lowest region. Transparency and resolution on this LP are simply out of this world. I'm so blown away with this Hot Stamper that I think it's a bargain at $500.00.

    I truly believe you really have to experience a Hot Stamper, especially one like this, to see why I'm losing my mind. I'm slowly but surely replacing all of my favorite records with your Hot Stamper versions. Thank you for this masterpiece!




    Naz


  • Got the Meddle album already. I sat down as soon as I opened it and listened to both sides with the volume up. Absolutely blew me away. I heard things on there that I never heard before. Or I just heard them better. I didn't have to listen to my other copies. I knew right away this one was IT. Listening to a record like this just gets me thinking what the other Hot Stampers sound like.


    Steve


  • Thank you, I was amazed by the records you sent me. All these years listening to these albums and thinking I've heard them correctly but now it seems I had barely scratched the surface.


    Gustav


  • Thanks for sending the Righteous Brothers to me so quickly. I have a copy I've had for years that didn't give me much satisfaction on side one. I played yours, and it blew mine away. Just stunning. Your side two was somewhat flat and mediocre, but who cares since the great cut is on side one. Nonetheless, I played my old copy and my side two was nearly as good as your side one. Thanks for everything. The 'wall of sound' is alive and well.

    By the way, The Zep II that I purchased from you last month may be the best sounding record you've ever sold me. A bargain at $750. Now if I could only find a Dark Side Of The Moon that plays at that level. By the way, if you have a Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison that's a Triple/Triple, I would buy it without hesitation.




    Phil


  • Please accept my apology. This email has been written in my head many times before now. However, life, and its many responsibilities have forced their own priority and delayed the composition of this message.

    I have long been a skeptical person. My personality, and profession encourage skepticism. That skepticism was high when I first purchased a Ry Cooder album from you in 2014. Prior to that first purchase, I had been conducting research to discover what album pressings were likely to contain the best sound. I do not recall where I initially viewed your banner advertisement (possibly stevehoffman.tv, or audiokarma.org?). Either way, I clicked on the ad for your site and noticed a Ry Cooder album that I have always loved, and I took a chance. Boy was I surprised!

    Since then I have purchased many albums from you, and I have been extremely happy with nearly all of them (even 95% accuracy is rare in the physical word, and you have easily achieved accuracy beyond that point). I have often found myself listening to things on your albums that I never imagined would be captured on vinyl!

    Just as a side note, I want to thank you for including Sly Stone (a personal favorite), and War in your catalog of albums. Most audiophiles are not focused on those genres, but they are missing some interesting music. Thank you for your excellence!




    Justin


  • Bless You Tom! Much appreciated! Funny thing is, I never had this album or properly heard it before now. Back in the late '70s and early '80s, I too was buying audiophile pressings and Half Speed Masters and at first, I thought they were great! But before too long, one begins to notice what is wrong with them-- they sound tinkered with! I think that is exactly what MoFi did.

    I tried these again when I came back to vinyl in 2009. That first year I began buying audiophile pressings but when I played them back I found they were not the holy grail nor the sound I was look for at all! Certainly not even the claimed 'Sourced from the Original Master Tape' was true! More like, from the digital master/remasters or a third generation master. I spent a whole lot before I put the brakes on and went for original recordings/early pressings such as ED1 or ED2.

    Now, when I want a record for serious listening of something special, I know the only place to get what I want first time and every time for the best sounding records-- Better Records, of course!




    Michael


  • I've got to admit that I was skeptical when I purchased your Hot Stamper Dire Straits album. I told my brother I just paid $400 CAD (shipping and duties included) for a used record. Of course he thought I was nuts! I have an original Mercury copy that I bought in 1978 plus an audiophile copy mastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analogue tapes and plated and pressed at Pallas, Germany.

    I finally got the chance to do the shootout between all copies. The original totally sounded like shit. It was bright sounding, noisy and lacked bottom end and dynamics. The Grundman mastered copy was much quieter, it was much smoother and more dynamic but it didn't sound great. When I put on the Hot Stamper, within a few notes I knew it was far superior. It was far more dynamic as if I turned up the volume. It was also quiet and far more transparent but had that great bottom end.

    My brother came to visit me a few days ago and I did the shootout between all the copies again. The differences between all the copies was even far more obvious the second time I did the shootout. I can tell you that my brother doesn't think I'm nuts any more. I hope I can purchase more albums from you in the future.




    Tasi


  • Tom, I just listened to the White Hot Stamper (A+++) CSNY album. Amazing. I had no idea that vinyl could produce this sound. Worth every penny. The sound at low volume is amazing. The sound at high volume is spectacular. The clarity, the depth, the sound stage are very rich and alive with color and presence.

    Thank you! I am now going to investigate your piece on the cleaning process.




    Rocco


  • I want to thank you once again.

    Quite a few years ago now I contacted you and talked about this concept called “Hot Stampers”. It ended up both saving me a lot of misdirection and foolishly trying to rebuild my vinyl collection with new vinyl re-releases often called “audiophile” and “half-speed” issues.

    After a few confirmations of what you said I quickly sold all those copies and began building a real world class collection of vinyl “original” Hot Stamper level records. A good number came from your business and I also made a hobby of trying to do what you do in finding “Hot Stampers”. Fortunately Philadelphia has a reasonable number of used record stores but unfortunately, as you well know, this is a rigorous and costly endeavor, but it can be rewarding at times and at other times requires that I rely on you.

    So today I’m snowed in here and I fired up the rig and decided to do some small scale shoot outs and find the true great copies from my already culled collection. Put on several Hall and Oates and focused on “She’s Gone”. One was just clearly dynamic, clear and present. Then I put on several Dire Straits “Love Over Gold” and ended up with 3 killer copies (such a good lp). I then put on about 5 copies of Phil Collins “Face Value” with “If Leaving Me is Hard”. What a great love song, and narrowed it to 2.

    Yes my rig is really awesome for close up intimate listening at any level. It is something I have worked on for decades to become resolving, dynamic, harmonic, dimensional transparent, and involving. I can listen loud and close without distortion. When I suddenly find that “Hot Stamper” Phil Collins is in the room where I hear his voice articulate and rich with background singers just as good and the band perfectly balanced to his vocal.

    And it is then I think of your contribution to all of this and want to tell you. So that is what I am doing. I know what three stars means. I can’t afford many of them as I would assume some wealthy customers can but I really appreciate them and their unfortunate rarity and I appreciate all the work you have done to make this possible.


    Ed


  • I bought the Sticky you suggested (seemed like a dare). Like I said, I have several pressings, including the horrible MFSL. This sounds better than all of them, by far. My sense is that it's a tough album, deliberately a bit muddy and smeared and inconsistent from track to track, which made the quest even more appealing. This one is great; involving, NOT smeared, 3D -- most of all it invites me in, instead of saying "OK, this may be a bit cloudy, but try to enjoy anyway." I'm on my 5th listen. And Catch Bull at Four is also seriously good. Such an underrated album. I'll be back, inasmuch as most of my other vinyl sounds flaccid > compared to these.


    John


  • Wanted to drop You a note and let you know you have me now not a skeptic any more. Case in point, over the 12 days of Christmas I acquired a Led Zeppelin Pecko IV from you. I also received one from a family Member. You are absoutley correct in that not all pressings sound the same. I played both copies in a shout out and yours hands down was the better of the two. The most recent purchase has me sitting staring at my speakers in amazement. Both the Rumors and the But Seriously Folks are AMAZING!


    Kevin


  • I just wanted to thank you for doing the work you do. I've learned a great deal from your website (album descriptions, what to listen for, etc.) in the last couple years and it took me awhile to gather myself (and my resources) to finally become one of your customers. I've purchased four records from you in the last six months and am waylaid by the resonance. Granted, nothing I've purchased is from the White Hot realm, but from what I've been able to pull together, I am happy.


    Sam


  • Wow!! Extraordinary copy. On other copies Sinatra's voice sounds reedy and unnatural. Here, it is fully present, deep, rich and filled with highlights. The whole atmosphere of a live performance is captured and evokes a breathtaking sense of being there completely in the moment. The orchestra is alive and filling every space on the stage. I've never heard it sound remotely close to this level. Just brilliant. Thank you again. A real treat. Worth every penny.


    Phil


  • Story for you -- last Saturday evening, a designer of a new world-famous tonearm, the owner of an elite high-end audio salon in California and I met for dinner with a well-known reviewer for one of the big audiophile rags, then went back to one of their houses to listen to records I had been asked to bring. About 90% of the two dozen records I had selected were White Hot Stamper versions of classic rock staples.

    For the next three hours, I spun disc after disc, to their delight. Particular faves included Elvis Costello's "My Aim Is True," LedZeppelin II, 10CC's "The Original Soundtrack," CSNY's "Deja Vu," and Chicago's first LP.


    Bill


  • I wanted to congratulate you on the Mingus record I purchased. It is an absolute masterpiece. The performers are a who's who of the golden age of Jazz. The arrangements and performances are as good as any in large group jazz I've ever heard. The sound is as you say. Tonally perfect with wonderful spatial expansiveness and transparency. The only comparable large group jazz with comparable recorded fidelity I've heard is on Ellington Indigoes, which ironically you had for sale in the same mailer; and Duke Ellington is Mingus' idol in terms of arrangement and sound.

    This record is an absolute treat and a real sleeper in the jazz catalogue. The combination of the Duke, Debussy and Ravel creates textures that are unique in all of music, classical or jazz. Sketches of Spain is close, but not quite in the same league. Brilliant discovery on your part, and great fortune on mine. Thank you.


    Phil


  • The Moody Blues - A Question Of Balance... I had five copies before getting this copy from Better Records. It is clearly BETTER. They have exacted a science of this. The proof is in the record grooves... I can't try to figure out how or why, nor do I want to! It's always about the sound for me.

    Fabulous service!


    Andy


  • The Doobie Brothers album “Livin' on the Fault Line” has been my favorite album from one of my favorite bands of all time. It is full of great songs, phenomenal musicianship, and Michael McDonald at his best. As a retiree who has very modest means today I have “shot out” more than a dozen copies of this lp and have a very good copy and backup. So last week Tom put up a double sided Triple Plus White Hot Stamper of “Livin' on the Fault Line”. Could it be THAT much better than my best copy considering that my copy was the best of over a dozen and when played really sounds great? AND the Better Records copy would be almost 100 times the cost of my used record store “finds”.

    But I couldn’t resist so I pushed the button and the Better Records White Hot copy arrived yesterday. I couldn’t wait to play it. It was in minty condition. I heated up the rig and sat down and laid my Jan Allearts “needle" (economy model $3000 cartridge with its Fritz Geiger stylus, ruby cantilever and hand wound gold coils that extract just about everything a record groove contains) on the band of the song “Little Darlin”. Suddenly Michael McDonald was in the room in front of me. The sound was simply amazing! TOTALLY transparent. Dynamics were fantastic…..harmonics were great without losing the high end or low end to the midrange. I was listening to the master tapes!

    Now this record was not one of the Doobies biggies. It’s a sleeper… a lot were made but you can find them easily and the used prices in bins are dirt cheap. Your average copy sounds pretty good and a good one sounds great BUT this White Hot Stamper just put ALL of them to shame! This makes it a RARE find and Tom has alluded to how he hasn’t found many that sound this good. And that brings me to the thing that is most disturbing about collecting vinyl (forget cd’s)…..WHY could the record companies do such a really poor job shipping a majority of poor to good records when they also shipped a minority of fantastic Hot Stamper LP’s. I could say it’s the 80/20 rule where 20% of anything is great and 80% of everything is much less to awful. Like you want your car mechanic or your brain surgeon to be in the 20%! Then with vinyl you have to find the small percentage of the 20% that survived stems, twigs, coke, and horrible record players that destroyed most of all the records ever produced including the 20%.

    But hey… there’s Tom Port and Better Records to do the hard work of finding a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage. Are they expensive? Sure. But from all my attempts, I personally know just how much money and work it takes to produce these “finds”. It’s a LOT. Can I afford many? NO! But I have my small collection of Better Records Hot Stampers and it is separate from my main “excellent” collection of vinyl. It’s separate because I can hardly ever top a top Stamper from Better Records…..especially a Triple Plus from that rarified air of BR!


    EdZ


  • Thanks so much for London Calling. Despite having a fair few brilliant records with magic ability to release prodigious amounts of energy (Led Zeppelin, Chicago, BST etc.) I was blown away by the energy captured on this double set and I never thought it would sound soooo good sonically. I was living in London from 1978 and remember well what a noise this album made. I had it on double cassette and played it constantly, never bought the vinyl at the time but did buy the CD later. I never got the same buzz from the CD and to be honest they didn’t really sound all that good which I put down to the recording. One of my mates at the time was Nick Simonon, the bass player’s younger brother so I knew they could play really well when they wanted to. You get to thinking that you’re just getting old and things like London Calling were heard through the heightened emotions of youth and, well, sex and drugs and rock and roll as Mr Dury said. The absolutely brilliant, and I imagine rare, White Hot Stamper has put paid to that, witness a 58 year old singing badly at the top of his lungs as he pogos around the living room! So very very special, the record that is... not the 58 year old!


    Peter


  • I wanted to comment on the discussion as to the validity of the ‘Better Records’ business model and offerings to audiophiles. As a backgrounder, I am an electrical engineer that grew up in the 60s and 70s listening first hand to many of the classic LPs that Better Records now offers for sale. I was also a musician with perfect pitch (playing French Horn in the Symphony and keyboards in various bands), I had a killer stereo and spent a lot of time in recording studios that produced some of the top acts and albums of the era so I certainly had exposure to the best equipment and listening environments back in the day.

    I went on to being a CEO of various telecom/mobile software companies and somewhat lost touch with my musical purist roots. But I had 3 boys and one of them turned out to have the same music bug I had and he has gone on to pursuing a career as a recording engineer, re-introducing me to analog vinyl LPs, pushing me to re-engage in my greatest love, which I eventually did in spades: I tossed out my electrostatics and full digital sound chain and I built a set of Altec 604 monitors driven by a 300B tube amp and a killer turntable, and I went about spending about $30,000 on 1st pressing vinyl from around the world, cleaning them with an ultrasonic platform, and I learned a great deal during that process.

    For one, I fell back in love with high efficiency speaker systems, for another I realized that I was spending an average of $200-300 per LP to get what I wanted and in some cases, over $1000 in total (buying 7 different DSOTM pressings and travelling to the UK multiple times to find the best pressings), and I found out that Better Records was on to something: I got burned more than once myself when I was buying clean, never played 1st pressings of some of the top LPs and ending not feeling the love for the results. I appreciate the complexities of the old school vinyl pressing sound chain and its infinite variables, and more times than not I was back sourcing additional copies of the same LP looking for that 'magical pressing'. I eventually got a stunning DSOTM 2nd pressing (A3/B3) and bought another only to find that the 1st one was way ahead of the 2nd so it shows that even the same pressings can be highly variable - in sound quality/feel/depth/clarity/warmth, but also noise floor. So, yes, there are magical ‘Hot Stampers’ out there, but to find them takes patience and lots of $ and effort.

    When you score the perfect ‘Hot Stamper’ the result can be to draw you close to the very soul of the artist - bringing you right into the recording room with them, sometimes 50+ years after the fact. And when you put on a digital download or CD of the same LP it is a shocking insult in many many cases. So, back to Better Records: they are doing all of the foot work for you, and as an obsessive compulsive individual, I can say without a doubt that they are providing a hugely valuable service to audiophiles. They are purists and they listen on ‘big’ speaker systems that will highlight the limitations of MOFI 1/2 speed mastered LPs (typically flawed low frequency response and some mid-range colouration). I am very happy with Better Records and must say that they reduce my stress and have me impatiently waiting for their next shipment. 5 stars.


    Derek


  • I just wanted to say THANK YOU (!!!!!) a billion times over, for bringing me the most musical pleasure I've had in recent memory. I just spun the copy of "Barboletta" you guys sold me, and it's so jaw-droppingly SPECTACULAR I was actually (literally) weeping (or at least, eyes welling up). SO many micro-details I had NEVER heard before - little tonal shifts in the guitar, ride patterns in the background I'd never been able to previously discern, etc. On "Mirage" I was actually bouncing up and down in my listening chair like a complete idiot - I simply could not resist the incredible groove!!!

    I mean, we're talking MASTER TAPE here. I don't know how you guys do it - but thank the gods you do!!!!

    I can only afford to buy a few LPs from you every couple of years, but I hope ya'll know that your hard work and labor is SO appreciated by your loyal customers - because you're opening new musical vistas up to us, through hearing beloved albums the way they were MEANT to be heard.


    Steve M.


  • Tom, had a couple of copies of Traffic's Shootout at the Fantasy Factory on hand but none them came even close to this Hot Stamper copy that I purchased from you. Stevs Winwood's voice sounds great on this copy not strained or harsh. All of the instruments sound great too. I want to thank you and The Better Records Crew for all the time and dedication that it takes to find such wonderful recordings as this.


    Jim S.


  • Got my "Red Rose Speedway" today. OMG. OK, this was the FIRST album I EVER bought - new from the store, as a 12-year old kid just beginning to buy his own records with his own money. I haven't heard this in 30 plus years. SUCH GREAT SOUND!!! The first is a series of fantastic songs, from start to finish, and you guys DID IT AGAIN - simply superlative sound quality.

    You have NO idea how much joy you're giving me!!!!


    Steve M.


  • Wanted to say thanks for the Led Zep III, fantastic and beyond expectation. While the loud parts rock in an unbelievable way the quiet bits reveal the magic, the surreal presence, space and uncanny realism. Brilliant! I have an OK copy of Led Zep IV and the first section of Starway to Heaven is similar in that I love hearing the acoustic guitar and then the breathy recorders (oh those recorders) and then Plant’s voice seems to appear from nowhere right before your ears. I am so lucky to have the Zep III so thanks again.


    Peter


  • [The Abraxas White Hot Stamper] is a monster. Practically tore down the walls. The most remarkable drums I've ever heard, especially on side two. The sound is completely circumambient, completely enveloping, but always musical with lovely harmonics even when blasting in the tuttis. The Mobile Fidelity, which I own, is an attenuated portraiture of the real thing. I will soon be dropping it off at the local Salvation Army store.



    Phil


  • I just got my Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Super Hot Stamper. This may be the best record I have bought from you. Magical. I almost cried when I heard Girl From North Country. How you could give Side 1 only an A+ is shocking and a real testament to how hard you judge, but I think it was a Double Plus for sure. Side two blew me away. You guys are the best, I love this record.

    I have to say I have totally changed my record collecting since I discovered your site.
    It’s not about quantity it’s about quality. Otherwise it might as well be streamed.

    I think you’re the only people that really understand.




    Jamie


  • Just received by delivery this afternoon. I am just about beginning to realize what a good pressing really means...

    I have only been able to listen to Supertramp and The Final Cut until now. While Supertramp is excellent, the Final Cut is simply astounding!! I really am at a loss of words so I will just say that I really am listening to completely new music. I can't come to terms with the fact that there is so much information buried in those grooves that I am listening to, honest to God, for the very first time... And the Final Cut is my favorite Floyd!

    I couldn't be happier. I confess I am a little emotional now. By no means, is this a casual purchase but boy... I think this is worth its weight in gold!

    I'll be back for more!!




    Sujay


  • The two Tull albums I purchased a while back sounded great, especially Aqualung -- it didn't have that murky sound that I remember my original had (same thing with my Black Sabbath albums). I have a DCC pressing that I compared it to and I do like the Hot Stamper better. The reissues seem to have a little too much sugar coating in them which makes them sound phony. Not near as much as a CD. The Sergio Mendes 'Equinox' sounded so more alive than the copy I have. Keep up the good work


    Shane


  • Wow! Wow! Wow! I've been playing records all my life. A few years on the road kept me from home as well as my duty to country... but ever since my Dad introduced me to vinyl in the early 1960's I've been loyal and proud of it.


    Tom, your record albums are just beyond fantastic. Never before have I ever experienced the pleasure I received from the recent Sade album. I've got most of her work and have always loved Sade's sexy, dominating vocals. Listening to the percussion -- not to forget the saxophone --is just awesome!


    Tom I certainly thank you and your team for making this marvelous medium available to us hard-core music lovers and audiophiles.


    Frederick


  • I'm listening to this Bread Hot Stamper... just stunning. The simple 3 minute songs... Keyboards coming out of the speakers and the bass from this pressing is just ridiculously deep, solid and tight. I can't believe how much I love this music in all its glory.


    Andy


  • As a new comer to your business, and to the entire concept of “Hot Stamper” records, I was naturally skeptical. Many of us have invested in a wide variety of vinyl that simple failed to live up to expectations. Initially I was going to order one and only one record from you, and test your bold promises. Instead, I ended up ordering a nice variety to truly put it to the test… investing a couple thousand dollars on faith. In short, I am now your customer for life.

    As a point of reference, my system includes a pair of Wilson Audio Alexia powered by 2 mono-block McIntosh tube Amps and a Mc-tube preamp. Most importantly, a Brinkmann mag drive turntable with a Sumiko low output moving coil cartridge. So, not the world's best system, but enough to discern what is to follow.

    I ordered the following:
    * Carole King Tapestry, ((White Hot Pressing)
    * The Doobie Brothers, What Were Once Vices (White Hot Pressing)
    * James Taylor, Sweet Baby James (White Hot Pressing)
    * Paul McCartney, McCartney (Super Hot Pressing)
    * Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (Super Hot Pressing)
    * Steely Dan, Countdown to Ecstasy (Super Hot Pressing)
    * Donald Fagen, The Nightfly (White Hot Pressing)

    I warmed up my amps with the tuner for an hour or so and then sat and listened to some of my other records and reacquainted myself with the music from my system. First up was “What Were Once Vices…”. It was immediately apparent that I was getting a range as wide, if not wider than anything I had ever heard from my stereo. Then when I got to the last song on side one, “Road Angel” the guitar and drum interplay in the instrumental jam completely blew me away. Midway through I took the volume from loud to louder, and it exposed nothing but pure, sweet rock and roll. Literally gave me goose bumps.

    I then listened to “Countdown to Ecstasy” and in this instance I owe a clean original copy, so I put it to the test. Back to back. I did not have to go past “Bodhisattva” to know it was no-contest. If I had to apply a percentage, something like 20% more music comes from the Hot Stamper, and this (like all of my orders) is one of my all time favorite albums.

    I won’t go on and on, suffice to say that the experience repeated itself on all of the above. Even the Fagen copy was WAY better than the 1982 MoFi copy I paid an arm and a leg for. I have always thought that record had a true analog quality, was surprised the first time I learned it was laid down on a digital track. The Hot Stamper even adds to this…great sounding record. Oh and one last… JT’s voice is so unbelievably warm matched perfectly with the clear reverberating guitar, followed by lingering cymbal crashes. For me it is like the difference between 2-D and 3-D. Depth. Before I go, where I am as a customer going forward. I will always be a visitor to the web site. Obviously, I cannot replace my record collection, but I can supplement it with the occasional gem of a record.

    In closing, Thank you to you and your crew. You are doing God’s work! :) Seriously, nothing pleases me more than to relax and listen to my music the way it was meant to be heard.


    Best wishes,
    Rick


  • Just received Deja Vu - so good. I have never ever heard the vocals sound so natural and so full of power and energy. The only similar record I have is After The Gold Rush and I got that from you guys too. I know in one sense you’re only doing your job but who the hell else does what you do? Thanks again guys for a brilliant record, a fantastic piece of history and art that I can hear whenever I want to.


    Peter


  • This LET IT BLEED is a gorgeous monster. Everything just jumps off the page, so to speak. I have been listening to a first pressing Decca, which I have owned for years, but your copy made it sound egregiously insipid. As I kept turning up the volume, the room seemed to be nodding its head and egging me on to keep increasing it. I never reached the point where too much was too much. Great copy

    The Mahavishnu EMERALD was brilliant. It brought out all the exciting dimensions of my system. The exquisite strings floated above the musical melee which tattooed its obligato deliriously across its raucous underbelly. The sound reached out like tongues of flame making the speakers completely disappear in their rocking wake. This is an amazing record that projects and dances the music in every direction and then some. Everything is alive. So completely alive. A real treat. A great recording that tells me my system is completely responsive.


    Phil


  • I just had to write in appreciation of a killer Beach Boys pressing I bought from you last year. It's so funny to me because it's the Beach Boys Christmas Album, which is the kind of thing I'm sure audiophiles tend to dismiss. But wow, the sound of the vocals on this thing are just incredible! So much presence and texture in them; and this from a mid 70s pressing in stereo! I only wish I could find more sound like this for the Beach Boys, especially from Pet Sounds, but that presents a completely different set of problems I'm sure. Anyway, I was completely impressed by the A+ sound on these sides. I can only imagine what the White Hot Stamper holds in its grooves.


    Ben


  • Just thought I'd drop you a line on the two albums I just received yesterday. I had some free time on my hands today so I was able to do some comparisons. I have an original Days of Future Passed, which sounds about as dull as they come. I have that reissue I bought from you years ago and the mofi. The reissue was pleasing to the ear but lacked that lifeforce which makes listening to records so involving. The mofi was always my favorite, but this Super Hot Stamper I was hearing the whole recording studio. There was a lot more depth and realism which I didn't hear in the other records. The Level 42 World Machine was always a fun record to listen to. The cd was just bright and bass heavy, so I bought an import lp off you years ago. It sounded pretty good until you turned it up, then it became so shrill I had to turn it back down. The Super Hot Stamper sounds great and I can turn it up as loud as I want. The sound stage is deep and believable which for an 80's record is a rarity. That Simply Red Picture Book Super Hot Stamper I purchased last year was a gem also.


    Shane


  • After many disappointing attempts to pair my brother's original and extremely well-worn Sgt. Pepper, I came across Better Records and decided to try a Hot Stamper copy. This is absolutely the best vinyl I have found since I began re-collecting 8 years ago. I can only imagine how good Super and White Hot sound -- but I will be sure to find out!


    Kevin


  • I got around to listening to The Wall last weekend, a 3+ / 3+ / 2+ / 3+ copy. It was yet another of those
    cannot-concentrate-on-anything-else experiences, simply astonishing. I kept putting the volume up little by little and it just got better and better and better. The quality is mind-blowing. I want you guys to know how much pure pleasure you're able to generate, and it's priceless. Thank you all.


    Rich F.

  • Thanks to you guys, I finally get it. I realize now that most of my LP purchases over the years, whether heavy vinyl or not, were lousy representations of what was out there. I think that conditions you. If you've only ever known sex with a condom, you have no idea how much better sex is without. Hope that wasn't too out of line. Thanks again, guys, for fighting the good fight.

    Cheers,
    Dave R.

  • My testimonial on this one is simple: Holy f@#%!

    Kenney Jones' drums are absolutely ripping my listening room apart! They're so three-dimensional it's almost scary. That extended riff, with just the tambourine accompanying him, is just extraordinary. It gets going like a railroad train and just keeps building in power ... Jeez. Really?

    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    Bill P.

  • I went to a 'listening party" at a local high end audio retailer. People were invited to bring a record, have it professionally cleaned, and played back on as many as three different systems ranging from about $3,000 to over six figures for the complete system.

    I brought my Hot Stamper of Clear Spot by Captain Beefheart that I got from you.

    I know. That's like cheating, right?

    As usual, the record blew all listeners away.

    I had one person tell me that, while the style of music wasn't his cup of tea, it sounded so compelling he wanted more.

    Jim Kaplan
    Publisher, Record Collector News

  • So I put on my Nautilus SuperDiscs (Listen To The Difference) pressing of The Cars Candy-O.

    Sounds okay. But this is supposed to be a "SuperDisc". Okay does not cut it.

    So I put on my Better Records A+++ copy of the same title. Voila! The sound became magical.

    Maybe some Nautilus pressings are very good? Maybe my copy is a lemon?

    Thanks, again, for making my stereo perform at its best!


    Craig D.


  • Listening to my very first Hot Stamper purchase was by far the most significant event in my life as an audiophile. I discovered the Better Records website way back in 2007, but being a hardcore skeptic I didn't purchase anything until almost two years later. Although I agreed with the premise that different pressings have varying degrees of sound quality, I simply could not believe that any record could sound so much better to justify the prices. Frankly, I thought that the buyers of these records were folks with more money than sense.

    What finally drove me to purchase my first Hot Stamper was my attempt to find a decent copy of Carole King's Tapestry album. I had decided to try the Better Records approach and gathered half a dozen copies, as well as the Classic heavy vinyl reissue that I had read good things about. Talk about an exercise in futility. Despite a thorough cleaning with Disc Doctor, no copy sounded significantly better than any of the others. However, Better Records just happened have a 1+ copy of Tapestry on sale for $75 at the time, so I decided to take the plunge and buy it, even though I still thought the price was outrageous.

    What followed next absolutely stunned and amazed me. Although I was prepared to shoot out the Hot Stamper against my own copies, I knew within the first minute of play that it would be totally unnecessary. The Hot Stamper sounded like a completely different recording. I cannot stress this enough. Everything sounded much, much more lifelike and REAL, as if I was listening to the performance inside the recording studio, instead of sitting outside hearing it through the walls. Of particular note was the fact that I could hear the personality in Ms. King's voice, with all the attendant subtle inflections and timbre; she sounded like a real person, not just a recording of one. The $75 price was suddenly transformed into a real bargain, and the skeptic in me died completely.

    Since that time I have purchased well over a hundred Hot Stampers, everything from Sergio Mendes to Led Zeppelin, ranging from 1+ to 3+, including a 4+ copy of Katy Lied (killer sound, let me tell you). Every single one has allowed me to repeat the experience I had when I first played that copy of Tapestry. I have also upgraded more than a dozen copies and was again blown away each time by how much better the sound gets on a 2+ or 3+ copy. Despite having done many equipment changes while moving up the high-end food chain, nothing has given me a bigger thrill than listening to a Hot Stamper for the first time. In fact, my equipment upgrading has gone rather slowly because each new Hot Stamper makes my system sound as though I had upgraded everything.

    I have found that what really separates the Hot Stampers from other records in my collection is volume. The Hot Stamper copies consistently sound better when volume is increased: more detail and musical depth is revealed, allowing one to become totally immersed in the sound. In fact, I listen to these records with my eyes closed because it's so easy to believe I'm at a live performance. The exact opposite occurs when I crank up one of my average records. The problems inherent in the pressing force me to turn that sucker down before my ears start bleeding. I can crank my Hot Stampers up and not experience any ear strain or pain at all, just pure audio bliss.

    All of which, as far as I'm concerned, makes Hot Stampers absolutely essential for any high-end system. But I truly did not know just how bad most of my records sounded until I heard what a Hot Stamper had to offer. This includes all of my MOFI, Nautilus and other reissues, every one of which was trounced by the Hot Stamper I bought to replace it. With these Hot Stampers I now have a gold standard by which to measure all my other recordings.

    I have waited till now to write my very first testimonial for the simple reason that I wanted to get mine (most of them, anyway) before encouraging the buying competition to get theirs. Because, let’s face it, every Hot Stamper sold is one less copy available from an already limited supply. And when it comes to providing high-end source material for high-end systems, Better Records is the ONLY game in town.


    Anthony L.


  • My younger brother came over for dinner a few years ago. As usual, he asked to have a listening session. He is a dedicated Beatles fan and he prefers to listen to them in mono. After warming up the system, I played a stereo copy of side two on Sgt. Pepper I purchased from Better Records that was graded A+++. We listened to the first cut and he asked that I play it again. Then again. Then again. After listening to the rest of the side, we were interrupted by my wife calling us to dinner. He told me he couldn't make small talk at dinner so please let him lie on the couch and excuse him from the meal. We ate dinner without him. After the meal, I approached him on the couch and he said he had to go home. He said he was stunned by the sound and that it had put him in a mesmerized state where he needed to be alone so he could contemplate what it had done to him. This is a true story. To this day, he refers to the wondrous sound he heard that night every time we get together. And no,now I don't ever play that recording for him before dinner.


    Phil R.


  • They say the first time is the best......................I have now purchased and enjoy well over 50 Hot Stampers. My first one a few years ago was The Beatles Let It Be. I was very skeptical to be honest, but there was a money back guarantee, so I went for it. It was $250, I think. It was an A+ on Side 1 and A+++ on Side 2.

    It arrived and I put on my serious listening ears, put on Get Back on Side 2 (A+++) and dropped the needle. Instantly, I was like a dog hearing a new sound for the first time. My head was cocked a little and I was trying to fathom exactly what I was hearing. I was hearing presence, breathing, clarity in voices before they started playing and I literally sat there with what I am sure was a dazed looked on my face, with open mouth and all. I could not believe it. Everything jumped out of my B&W's. The sound was something that no CD could duplicate, no matter how clean the CD sounded. I have an all tube, all analog system and I sat there in amazement. I played The Long and Winding Road next and the instruments literally had me teared up from how it much jumped out at me.

    Well, I was hooked and I have since bought a lot of Hot Stampers and I enjoy them all. Along with some of my Japanese vinyl, there are by far the most treasured LPs in my entire collection. You can bet when friends come over, we choose records from the Hot Stamper stack. I really have a ball watching the look on their face when they hear it for the first time.

    As I once wrote to Tom, I appreciate the fact that Better Records provides a service. They go out and buy numerous copies of an LP. Then some of them sit and listen to them all to narrow down to the best of the best. I have no problem paying their price, as I know they have a definite cost involved and the end result is a phenomenal sounding LP. they provide a great service to us audio nuts.

    I buy very, very few records elsewhere, mainly some import copies but by and large, Better Records are the best. Keep up the great work.


    Bryan S.


  • We know Better Records are big fans of Return to Forever,Romantic Warrior, and so are we. I saw a white hot copy (Both sides!) on your website, and immediately ran upstairs to tell my son. We both drooled over the listing for a couple minutes, My son turned to me and said " Dad.I'll split it with you!" Done! We listened to all of side one the day it came, Magic! Even better than we imagined! From time to time, we pull the album out and listen to an entire side. Just as great now as it ever was! The gift that keeps on giving!


    Charles and Paul S.


  • Man, you guys did it again!!! You NEVER disappoint. :-)

    I just got done spinning Sinead's "Lion & the Cobra." OMG. This is an album that almost never sounds good. But the copy you sold me sounds INCREDIBLE. FINALLY, a copy that does this brilliant, impassioned music justice. I sat there (not kidding - embarassingly) with tears streaming. Ridiculous.

    Perhaps even more of a testimony, my 14-year-old son heard it from upstairs, came downstairs to check it out - and actually ended up staying through both sides! We both looked at each other when it was done, and shook our heads in disbelief. AMAZING.

    Can't thank you guys enough - for your dedication to quality in sound reproduction, and for allowing music of incredible quality to be well represented - as it SHOULD be.


    Steve M.


  • Just about every single Hot Stamper I've purchased has replaced a copy of the same recording that had already been in my collection. All of them have been a significant step-up in sound quality and listening enjoyment over the copy I had been playing. It's like having my very own vinyl listening, judging, and recommendation service!


    Mark J.


  • After years of buying the latest reissue lps at premium pricing and being frustrated with the sound quality. I bought a copy of Jackson Browne's "The Pretender" from you and was floored by the sound quality and dynamics and realized that your company takes all the BS out of the Audiophile shopping experience. Since then I've used your store a bunch.


    Rob R.


  • Please add that one to my box and thank you for bearing me in mind! I already have what I think is a pretty good copy of this LP that I bought from a dealer in UK who finds good stuff for me and on the whole doesn't let me down. However, he's not in the same league as Better Records - in fact, no one is, as far as I can make out. I think I now know who are the best four LP dealers in UK but not one of them is a patch on Better Records. You guys really are the best of the best bar none.


    Name withheld upon request


  • I just wanted to thank you for enriching the lives of us audiophiles.

    As I upgrade my system (and this time I made quite a break through), I am beyond astounded each time one of the Hot Stampers you all sent me comes right along for the ride and blows my mind all over again.

    I recently ordered the a Hot Stamper of Dark Side Of The Moon. You know I've been dreaming of the day I can buy a grand copy from you. Until then, I buy the just nearly not as good copies you sell.

    The A Side 1 and A to A+ Side 2 of DSOTM that you sold me a while back still has the power to blow my mind at parts. I am looking forward to seeing what a copy that costs almost four times the price can do. If it can! But I believe it one exists, you are the ones that found it.

    You guys rock.

    Best, Jeremiah

    PS The West Side Story I picked up from you a few months ago was just something else. I was sitting on my couch watching the stage as Tony and Maria sang through the WSS songbook. I mean, there they were. Sure Mono has a particular feel and you can only quiet down an old 6-eye so much, but it was just beautiful.

  • I was very happy with what I received. All four records sound wonderful and are well worth the outlay. I have had several copies of "El Rayo-X" and "Everybody knows this is nowhere". They sounded quite good but I assumed that there must be some better sounding pressings out there. Now here they are.


    Paul S.
    Switzerland


  • Picked up your SHS of "Ziggy" last week--my daughter is 13 and starting to get into Mick Ronson, and I got this to show her what I think is his best work, not just on guitar, but in essentially creating the overall sound for the "Ziggy Stardust" album. What I didn't expect was how fantastic this album sounds. I've had other copies and they sound like I'm wearing a blanket over my head. Alongside my HS copy of "Freak Out" (first record I ever bought from you guys, I think), this has to be the most dramatic improvement over a typical recording I've ever heard! Records like this justify Better Records in spades--wow!!


    Stephen F.
    Fortville, IN


  • Wow. Such crystalline clarity. Such range. It filled my room with champagne. Heretofore, only on 78s did [Billie Holiday's] voice sound so authentic and dramatically expressive. Brilliant copy. Thank you

    Phil R.
    Los Angeles, CA


    Hey Guys, just listened to "Slowhand" and did you know that on "Wonderful Tonight" you can hear that the snare drum is wood, not steel?...Unbelievable! The whole album is a "Holy S%$*@ experience.

    Kevin B.
    Englishtown, NJ

  • You continue to do an excellent job of educating audiophiles as to the true essence of why they should be collecting good sounding records. If only more of the ones who do not follow Better Records could listen to what you're saying.

    The number of so-called audiophile LP's being offered continues to proliferate but, how many of them deliver the goods? Those of us that have been enlightened know that the answer is very few. This is a sad testament to a hobby that should be rooted in sound quality but exposes most of the participants as merely being accumulators of sub par product. How bewildering.

    People collect records for all kinds of reasons; certain labels, certain artists, jacket artwork, genres etc. etc. Records are like stamps, coins or baseball cards for most of these folks. I don't have an issue with these people; they may as well be collecting Beanie Babies, for all I care.

    What bewilders me are the people who can't see (hear) the forest for the trees. They continue to look at their record collections as an investment (and nothing more) while encouraging the labels to flood the market with more and more inferior platters. They fancy themselves as audiophiles, even going so far as to purchase megabuck equipment for bragging rights to bolster their credibility as such. But how many times have we, the true fans of great sound, heard outrageously-priced hardware that, sonically, left us cold?

    I am a true believer in Better Records and the superior sound contained on your Hot Stampers as well as several I've discovered in my own collection. A great sounding LP can make a modestly-priced system, like my own, sound like a million bucks. Thanks to what I've learned from you (a much better ability to do critical listening), I've been thinning the herd of a once-bloated collection of uninspiring-sounding audiophile LP's and I'm not sad to see them go. There's a reason why I haven't given a great many of them a spin on the turntable in a number of years; I know they don't sound good.

    Thanks for helping make so many critical elements of the listening experience so much clearer for me, enabling me to enjoy my system and the LP's I play on it more than I ever have before and not get sucked in by the overwhelming amount of snake oil being pedaled out there. Your dedication to doing the right thing is very much appreciated.

    Bob M.
    Huntington Beach, CA

  • Just got my Super Hot Stampers of Remain In Light and Station To Station;. I was very much looking forward to the arrival of theses LPs...I was not disappointed. Verily, I was completely floored!

    First, my apologies. I have been reading your website for over two years, gleaning information to help me find Hot Stampers, or at least good sounding records. I had not made a purchase until this past week. I was starting to feel guilty; you have given me so much great direction and guidance over these years, and I had not supported you in the proper way.

    So I made a modest purchase of these two records, to assuage my guilt and support your efforts. You will be getting much more business from this satisfied customer.

    I have Remain In Light on LP, CD and even the FLAC file release. My new Hot Stamper truly puts these recordings to shame. No, really, TO SHAME! If this ever gets on the Better Records Testimonials: "People let me tell you...it's sent a chill up and down my spine..."!

    I really can't believe how well balanced the sound is: great bottom end, mids are pronounced and the shrillness is GONE! No smear anymore! Breathtaking.

    My copy of Station to Station is just as wonderful.

    I've been convinced of "Hot Stamper" recording for quite some time now, thanks to Tom and the BR crew; I've found some great recordings after conducting my own modest shoot-outs. Found some real gems. But the best results that I have ever got, and there are only a few, have now been easily matched and outstripped by my first BR purchase!

    Rob
    Millarville, AB, Canada

  • Just to let you know my response on Neil Young records (and others) I purchased from Better Records. I just read your comment:

    "Which brings up a sore subject: the Classic Records 2 LP set of the Greatest Hits on Heavy Vinyl. The song Comes a Time is on it. Do you think it sounds even remotely as good as it does here? If you do, you don't need Better Records, you need better equipment."


    I do have that record, sent it back twice as I thought I got a miss pressing in view of the terrible sound quality. No luck. Now the only purpose it serves is that the cover is on the wall -- I think I can still further upgrade my equipment, but already for several years I TRULY ENJOY THE SOUND of all those Hot Stampers I got through your company. Yes they cost something but they do deliver also true joy!

    Rens J.
    Netherlands

  • Yesterday I was marveling at the bottom-end and overall clarity of my new Stevie Winwood album. I think it's right up there with Miles of Aisles, which sounded so good it made my wife cry (seriously) . But as always, I came up with a dark thought: Are Hot Stampers the only way to get my system to sound this good? I have VERY few personally-selected LPs that can compete with a Hot Stamper. Even though I usually buy the "Budget" stampers, it looks like a future of hundred-buck-plus albums for me.

    Gordon R.
    Chicago, IL

  • I want to tell you I bought America’s 1st lp from you some couple of years back. White Hot designation at that time. I don’t know if you have found one better since then. Paid big dollars and I still cannot believe the sound. Worth every penny. When I play that LP, I cannot avoid getting goose bumps or getting totally enveloped with the music. The guitars and vocals are flat out surreal. It is just as amazing as the Eagles 1st lp Hot Stamper. Un******believable that any record could sound that good.

    Bill P.
    Bluffton, OH

  • Stop putting records I want on your site. I'm finding them very difficult to resist. I've come to expect my socks to get blown off every time. The recent Dixie Chicken was no exception, by the way. I dropped the needle on side one and knew within a couple of seconds, "Oh yeah, this is the shit!". My socks were across the room, needless to say.

    Robert B.
    Summervile, SC


    You got me again. After hearing the Elton John record I was thoroughly pleased. It realized what I was imagining when I read your description on the website. I can only imagine what the Super Hot Stamper LP would sound like as a White Hot Stamper. Can't wait to hear the Coltrane Hot Stamper.

    Andrew S.
    Chicago, IL

  • Just a note to thank and curse you for opening my ears. On one hand, the audio enhancements (Aurios, Stillpoints, Talisman and Disc Doctor fluid) you've suggested have greatly improved my stereo system. I also upgraded my phono cartridge and had the entire front end fine-tuned.

    Now, LPs I'd once regarded as mediocre have shown new life and become much more enjoyable. On the other hand, those I'd once thought sounded impressive, have revealed themselves to be uninspiring. My entire Steely Dan collection, for example, has become a major disappointment. Almost all the half speeds, heavy vinyl and otherwise "audiophile" type pressings have revealed themselves to be impostors.

    What's an audiophile to do? In my case, all the improvements I've made have resulted in a thinning of the herd, so to speak, but I simply can't listen to crappy vinyl anymore. I've always maintained that the music should be the most important thing but, what's the point of listening to sub par pressings when you find yourself becoming easily distracted and wanting to hear something with some life in the grooves?

    So I say damn you but thank you, Tom, for steering me in the right direction. I'll have a smaller collection as a result but will appreciate the sonics of what's left much more. You are a credit to a hobby which is, otherwise, drowning in snake oil!

    Bob M.
    Huntington Beach, CA


  • We listened to Pretzel Logic that he ordered from you several times over the weekend – WOOF!!! Good Stuff – Where do you find these copies???? Really a tremendous difference in sound.

    Sabine G.
    Sarasaota, FL



    Recently bought a Tarkio Hot Stamper and what a great album it is. This record has truly great ANALOG sound. The kind of sound my CD "audiophile" friends can only dream about. This recording is a lot of fun to listen to. There is much more to it than the songs that had airplay. Anyway another great find from the better records crew.

    Jim S.
    Cedar Lake, IN


  • Yesterday, I attended an audio event in Verona, NJ, where I had purchased my stereo.

    Guests included Aesthetix designer, Jim White, and Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings.

    I spent my time in the "analogue" room. This room had the flagship equipment (Vandersteen 7 speakers, Aesthetix Jupiter series amps, pre-amps, phono stage, Clearaudio's Goldfinger Statement cartridge, etc).

    I listened for a while, hearing all the issues with almost every record they played. I then asked the store's "turntable guru" to play some of the records I brought with me.

    They thumbed through my boxes and asked me what the difference was between my two copies of Abbey Road. When I explained the superior side X on either copy, the audience found this concept amusing, based on their positive laughter. Any doubters would soon become believers.

    They played Abbey Road's side 2 (3+ side, of course). While "Here Comes The Sun" was playing, Garth had his eyes closed. At the track's conclusion, he exclaimed "Outstanding!", and the record played on.

    Next, we listened to ELP's "Lucky Man". Garth said it was the best he had ever heard.

    I do not really know Garth, but I suspect he does not easily offer up such compliments in a room full of people. Others in the room, including the store's turntable guru, were all very impressed. Several folks approached me, all pointing out parts of the music that blew them away.

    There were comments about some folks hearing that Better Records was a scam, and others saying that you are the real deal. The discussion ended with "Hearing is believing". No one doubted your records after this listening session.

    I scored points with these important folks, thanks to your records. I provided the source material to allow their equipment to shine.

    Any doubt these folks had about your company was put to rest. All that listened were very impressed, and I thought you'd want to know.

    Craig D.
    South Plainfield, NJ

     

  • I put on side one of my A+++/A+++ "Dreamboat Annie."

    I've found my new Demo Disc.

    The drums are from another world. Cranked to the halfway mark on my preamp, I feel the drums and bass in my chest like they're right here in my living room.

    The guitar solo on "Magic Man" is intoxicating -- especially the twisting interplay when the second guitar comes in. And when the synthesizer comes in and slides down the scale to hit that low note, I swear the hair on the back of my neck stood up!

    The air around the vocals on "Dreamboat Annie" was unbelievable. There's an ethereal reverb in the opening stanza, just a hint, that i'd never really noticed before. And then the acoustic guitar on center stage grabs you by the lapels, before moving to the right channel so the drums and bass can take center stage and the electric guitar can come crashing in from the left side.

    I can actually hear the bass so well, I'm convinced now the bass player is using a pick, rather than just strumming with his fingertips.

    This just became my new favorite record. At least, that is, until I try another of my White Hot Stampers ... ha!

    Thanks for all you're doing to help me build the right system.

    Bill P.
    Alexandria, VA


  • You've done it again. I thought the Hot Stamper copy I bought back in June sounded extraordinary. But this White Hot Stamper puts it to shame. This is truly unbelievable.

    Paul's bass on the opening track blew me away. Ringo's drums are so strong it's scary. I ALMOST had to turn it down (I live in a top-floor apartment and push my neighbors below me right to the edge), but screw it, this sounds so good at my regular listening volume I'll happily put up with a complaint if I must. Hell, I'll invite him in and put him in The Chair, and that'll be the end of THAT.

    And you weren't kidding about George's vocals and his sitar on Within You, Without You. That's always been one of my least-favorite cuts on the album, but I'll skip it no longer.

    I cannot recall a purchase that's made me happier since I went back to vinyl a year ago. It's THAT good.

    Now what am I gonna do with this Hot Stamper copy I bought back in June? It's been played twice since you sent it. Come to think of it, I'm keeping it as an insurance policy, just in case. You never know!

    Thanks, gentlemen. Exquisite, just exquisite.

    Bill P.
    Alexandria, VA


  • I was totally blown away by the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 album you sent me. The lovely, sweet female vocals and the awesome percussion was to die for. For a supposed easy listening album, I was getting very excited! In fact, I cannot stop listening to it. My only compliant is it is too short in duration. When it is over, I want (need?) more! Do his other albums sound like this? If so, I will be buying more.

    This is what I love about you guys, you turn me on to albums I would never have even thought to listen to. For example, on your recommendation, I ordered Harry Nillsson's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night. This is an album I would never have given a second look at, yet, as soon as the needle hit the groove, I was floored. The vocal presence is startling. It is like Harry is in the room singing to me. It reminds me a lot of one of my other favourites I bought from you a while back - a White Hot copy of Willie Nelson's Stardust.

    Willie, Harry and Sergio as demo discs...who would have thought!

    Jody S.
    Toronto, ON


  • Oh. My. God.

    Apologies for sounding like a 13-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, but ... screw it, that's the way I feel. I've just finished sides one and four of the Allman's "Live at Fillmore East," and I am in awe. I have never never NEVER heard this album sound so good, and I've been listening to it for almost 40 years, in every format one can.

    It's not just the drums (and cymbals!), it's the whole thing. It's energetic, the bass is powerful yet refined, the soundstage is HUGE, and it's got more air than any live rock recording I've ever heard.

    You've outdone yourselves on this one, gentlemen. Well worth my $500, and probably a steal at twice the price ... but don't get any ideas!

    Keep it up, and thanks,

    Bill P.
    Alexandria, VA


  • Just a quick note to thank you for the extraordinary copy of "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out." I won't enumerate all the remarkable qualities of the pressing since you know them well. I'll just say that I haven't felt better listening to an album in decades. What a remarkable experience.

    By the way, since I bought this as a birthday present for my brother please let me know if another copy of equal or better quality becomes available. You know how this copy made my Londons and Japanese pressing sound.

    Randal C.
    Sarasota, FL


  • I never thought, not even for a second, that in my life I'd EVER buy a record for $300. Never Ever! But here I am. Most records I'd come across in my life were from used/antique stores, and so they were warped, brittle, noisy, or out of tune (a fact I didn't notice until I graduated from a music college). But your Beatles "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" - music I've known my ENTIRE LIFE- sound like new as a Hot Stampers.

    I appreciate the fact these records, although expensive, are sold simply on the basis of quality. In a increasingly fake, plastic "if this one doesn't just return it for another broken one" world, you sell a product that is singular and unique. And completely worth every penny. I appreciate the fact you evaluate the record's sound (i.e. mastering) as a musician would - focusing on tonal correctness - prizing the record's ability to accurately reproduce a recording of how instruments actually sound in real life. On its face, it seems so simple, yet it is of utmost importance. Thanks!

    Kyle M.
    Waterloo, IA


  • Hey guys, before I talk about my very first Hot Stamper let me say this. I have been going to your site for well over two years and was very reluctant to spend the kind of money that you charge for a used record. Come on! Are you kidding?? But I was very intrigued by the description of your system. I had felt that the weakest part of my system may be the cartridge. So I sprung for the 17d3. WOW! A first class improvement. So I thought "Well if these guys are right about the cartridge, maybe there is something about these used records. After all I can always send it back, right?" So I ordered the B-52's first album (125.00) and played it.And played it. No No No, get up off your knees and stop begging. You can't have it back. It's MINE. Although I do not have this album in any format, it is now a reference or demo if you wish, that lets me know how good my system really is. It has also revealed to me that I have records that sound pretty darned good. It has also given me a lesson on critical listening. I have been listening to music for over 55 years, and you are never to old to learn. Last week I received my new VPI with Disc Doctor package, and it seems to have been a wise addition. I have found a few treasures that have been lurking in my collection. And I ordered a Peter Gabriel today. I am a happy camper.

    Kevin B.
    Englishtown, NJ


  • You don't need any more adulation; you know I am a fan. I just had to send you a note to share an audio phenomena I am experiencing. I recently got Supertramp Breakfast In America 3+ / 3+ and now Zeppelin IV 2.5+ / 3+. These were albums that were always average for me and I previously got copies just to have in the collection. The White Hot Stampers, however, opened up a completely different listening experience. Holy smokes, these albums are really, really good; until I got the WHS's I just could not hear them. Probably, more accurately, lesser albums were harsh and not engaging. Once you hear copies like these anything less becomes unlistenable. These albums really rock, long live White Hot Stampers!

    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT


  • Just wanted to write and tell you how much I love that Neil Young After The Gold Rush White Hot Stamper I picked up last week. Really awesome. This ranks up with the best I've bought from you guys. The sound is incredible. Neil's voice is right in the room. The guitar sounds real and that harmonica is super. I love when he performs just him and nobody else. I'm really stuck on Neil's albums. The sound is just soooo good. I'm working on my system to get more out of these records. Oh yeah, I picked up one of your "Beatles for Sale" albums for $65. Really nice for the money. Those Beatle albums can really be awesome. Have to get a White Hot Stamper Beatles album someday.

    Steve E.
    Boulder Creek, CA


  • Just got done listening to The Cars Hot Stamper. Even on my modest system its AWESOME!. I never heard The Cars sound like that before! I'd like to upgrade this copy when a better one comes along. I'm now convinced and the decision is made, I'm getting an audiophile turntable and moving into vinyl! Thanks for your help.

     

    Mike Z.
    Phoenix, AZ


  • I was surfing the internet recently and googled Better Records. I was astounded to see some seriously negative dogging of you and your business, especially by one gentleman. He obviously did not believe in Hot Stampers and was dead-set on making sure that everybody else in the world felt the same way also. That's too bad. Here is how I look at it:

    * You and your staff are in this to make a living. That's ok, it's what makes America work. Profit is quite all right, as long as you provide a valued product and/or service for what you charge.

    * It costs money to spend the time going out, searching for and buying a large number of copies of an LP so you can have a shootout. Not to mention, employees like to get paid, too. Let's not forget the equipment and supplies.

    * I value both your product and service. Proof is that I have purchased 28 Hot Stampers from you in the last year and a half, and I am thrilled to have them. Why? Because they really do sound better. I know, because I compare them to the copies I already had before buying yours. It's not magic, it's the result of spending the time and money to get copies, compare and then market the ones that have that amazing sound.

    * I find myself buying a lot less vinyl at my favorite record shops since getting into Hot Stampers. Quality, not quantity.

    Anyway, for those out there that wonder if this product is for real, do what I did -- try one, there is a money back guarantee. Trust me, you can hear the difference. I have a special section in my cabinet for the Hot Stampers. They are the most revered, most often played and best sounding. Congrats on a cool product and service.

    Bryan S.
    Divide, CO

  • Thank you so much for the Dark Side of the Moon White Hot Stamper. It is everything you said. I feel I own and can listen to something that a king or a millionaire would own, not an old codger like me!

     

     

    Regards,
    Peter D.
    Auckland, New Zealand

  • Wow, yep! This Let It Be Hot Stamper is doing what it's supposed to. I haven't felt this way in a long time. It's INSANELY good!

    I would have paid $15,000 for this feeling had I known it was there. No, I'm not going to. I'm just sayin'.

    Absolutely gorgeous.

     

    Billy M.
    Lexington, KY

  • Just played The Hot Stamper copy of The Allman Bros. Live at the Fillmore East. It was really nice to hear this music that I am so familiar with sound so good! The midrange is smooth with lots of air around the instruments. The bass is much better than it is on my copy and the drums sound great as well. It is truly great to listen to well recorded music on vinyl that easily beats any CD out there now or ever.

     

    Thanks,
    James S.
    Cedar Lake, IN

  • I really liked the Osacr Peterson West Side Story and appreciate the effort you put in to find me a Hot Stamper. This was an album my mother bought for me and I have fond memories of lying on my back under my parents RCA console stereo looking up at the glowing tubes and listening to it. Thank you. Much better than the DCC cd. It now sounds like I remember it.

    Mr. Magic was also a surprise. It never sounded that good and was better than I remember it.

    The one that has completely blown me away was the Jackson Browne 3+ side one. It never sounded like that ever. I had a 1.5 and it was good; kind of like I remember it. This copy is a completely different musical experience. I enjoy the presentation more and have a much better appreciation of the music. You guys did it again.

    Thanks as usual,
    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT

  • I've not written in a while and wanted to share a few thoughts. Upper most in my mind is a new perspective on The Beatles' White Album. I've long been a proponent of a particular school of thought regarding this particular record. You may have heard it before. It goes like this: "If one removed all of the filler from this record, it would make one pretty killer Beatles single LP". I now must confess this is a fallacious argument, as it is most certainly based on having only heard the common Capital orange and black label pressings. I now stand corrected and happily enlightened.

    Not only is the overall sound of this Hot Stamper copy so superior tonally, it is smooth, lush, and virtually free of the usual gritty, grainy harshness - the sound jumps out of the speakers. It has a wide, deep sound stage and lots of deep, tight bass. After the initial pleasant shock of the sound in general, what emerges is a plethora of overlaid tracks and instruments I'd no idea were even there in the first place. To my ears it is quite apparent that every track was carefully, even lovingly made. This reminds me of a comment somewhere on your site where it is pointed out that hearing a really good pressing of a song you never thought you liked before can suddenly make you a convert. That is definitely the case with this one. All of the Paul and Ringo songs I always thought were lame filler now emerge as really excellent! Imagine my dismay!

    Robert B.
    Summerville, SC

  • Hey, I think you guys made a mistake! The card states A+, but I think you gave me an A++++ ! I was never a huge Billy Joel fan, but to get that Hot Stamper for 50 bucks; well I had to go for it. I was not disappointed: tremendous power especially in the bass, but his voice came through like he was standing there. It's just so damn musical. Oh, and dead quiet too! This is my new "demo disk".

    Thanks,

    Gordon R.
    Chicago, IL

  • I played the A Little Touch Of Schmilsson White Hot Stamper and loved it. The strings on side one are meltingly sweet, especially on You Made Me Love You. Anytime you get a hot Nilsson stamper please keep me in mind.

     

    All the best,
    Phil R.
    Los Angeles, CA


  • I received your "Hot Stamper" rated version of Frank Zappa's Waka Jawaka Hot Rats yesterday and was able to listen to it last night. I'm not sure if you know what the initials WTF stand for. So with apologies, I will spell it out.What the #$%@ did you guys do to make the record sound so good? Did you really just listen to record after record until you came across this one? Are there tricks? Did you spray some magic fairy dust on it? Is it gonna wear off?

    I've been listening to my personal copy intently for the last few days and I really doubted if your copy could sound very much better than mine. Because my copy sounds damn good. But the copy you sent me rated "Hot Stamper" was off the charts. it wasn't just in the clarity of the detail of the instruments and the soundstage. It's so wonderful to listen to. What a treat! Is it worth 10X more than a decent copy of it commonly available? Yes. Absolutely. At least to me. In the same way that my Clear Audio turntable is worth the 10X times more than it cost me for the Rega Planar 2 I bought used 20 years ago. The listening experience is transformed into something much more realistic than ever before. I'm sure this record will be one of my very favorites to listen to for the next 20 years!

    Thanks for all that listening. In advance.

    Jim Kaplan
    Publisher, Record Collector News

  • I am completely stunned. I am blown away with the White Album you sent. It is as if I am there in the studio. The music has so much more shading, tone, and phrasing that gives it much more meaning and enjoyment; which has been lost on me for 40 years. I can now hear it and I get it. Wow! You guys never cease to amaze with what you find. Thanks as usual.

    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT


  • I really wanted to thank you for The Cars. What a sweet-sounding record! Everything about that one is so right; the guitars, the bass, the drums, the vocals, everything sounds completely natural.

    I have a good friend whose favourite band are The Cars. He has an expensive high-end system, but doesn't want the "hassle" of vinyl. Swears blind that nothing beats the DCC gold CD of 'The Cars', so I invited him round at the week-end and asked him to bring his DCC CD with him to compare on my relatively modest system. After we had heard his CD, the look on his face when I dropped the needle on my record was absolutely priceless! A big thank you for the heads-up on that one.

    Owais M.
    Burnham, UK

  • Got my albums today, and I’m stunned, flabbergasted, and amazed. I purchased a "Hot Stamper” Yes Fragile, and immediately spun Side B. For the first two minutes, listening to "Long Distance Runaround,” I sat there with jaw slack, repeatedly shouting expletives. My son finally came downstairs to see what was going on. I simply couldn’t believe my ears. I have never, ever, heard as good a recorded rendition – and I’ve heard (and owned) numerous copies over the years.I literally heard stuff I’ve never heard before – for example, in the last chorus of "Heart of the Sunrise”, I could for the first time ever clearly hear Wakeman’s Minimoog layered on top of Anderson’s vocal. I knew it was there in the front part ("Sharp…Distance”) but never knew it was there on the "How can the wind with its arms…” part. Amazing.

    I’ve been doing the audiophile thing for 20 years now – exclusively analog. And for the last many years, I’ve read your website, but remained skeptical. This is my first purchase! But it most certainly won’t be my last. My only lament is that I lack the funds to buy all of the albums that I now realize I MUST have! So, THANK YOU – for your dedication to finding and making available high quality recordings; and for bringing such incredible music into my home space!!! I look forward to doing much business with you in the future!


    Steve M.
    East Lansing, MI

  • I was just now able to give this Let It Be Hot Stamper a thorough listen. I really sat back and put my listening ears on, as I have listened to this album a lot, both on vinyl and on CD.

    It took about three songs into the LP before I was truly able to comprehend what I was hearing and how different it was compared to any other copy I have heard. I still am not sure exactly how to described it in words, but it is amazing and unlike anything I have ever heard before. Not only did I hear things I haven’t heard before, the things I have heard hundreds of times prior reached out and grabbed me like I couldn't ever foresee. I heard a voice in the background of the opening to "Get Back" in clarity this time, where on other copies it was not much more than a mumble. I guess the closest I can describe it is that this LP has a combination of punch, clarity and realism that I never knew existed on any recorded media before. Some of the guitar riffs were beyond description. The voices are "live" and the bass is incredibly tight.

    Now, being a collector of records for both listening pleasure and sheer collectability, I have paid a lot for some rare stuff. Because of that, I was very leery of paying this crazy price for this copy. Even after listening to it twice, I was still wanting to tell you that it sounded amazingly good, but I was going to send it back because it was just too much money. But, I then asked myself, do you want to send it back? My immediate answer to myself was hell no, it sounds way too good and I need to have this for my demo disc to my friends.

    Anyway, I am impressed, Tom. I will be an avid watcher going forward and will be picking off some additional Hot Stampers as they show up on your site. Someone wrote you a while back and said he was better off getting a few Hot Stampers instead of a bunch of run of the mill vinyl. I agree!!

    I am rocking at a different level now.

    Bryan S.
    Divide, CO

  • Well, I feel there is little I can say that could do justice to how this copy of the White Album sounds. It is simply mind-blowing! And it's exactly the kind of sound reproduction that this masterpiece deserves. I've listened to quite a few pressings of this album before, but I have never heard such a transparent, full-bodied sound on any previous copy. And of course, the White Album is not exactly the most transparent recording to begin with.

    Truly marvelous, and a privilege to be able to listen to the best sound of the best music there is!

    You guys are real treasure hunters! Many thanks for the great service!

    Bogdan P.
    Bucharest, Romania

  • I am sitting by the door in anticipation as I type this. It's my birthday to boot, so it will make an awesome present, once the dang Fed Ex guy gets here. Right before I hit send, the doorbell rang. I had been playing records all day in anticipation, warming up my system for this album. Everything was sounding great, and my stereo was begging for some Supertramp. I was going to listen to my old copy first to compare it. Ah, NO F***ING NEED. Holy hell. This copy you just sent me blew the windows out of my house, and didn't rip my head off while doing so. Everything is so clear. I can hear every word clear as day, the bass is tight and clear, every instrument in its place and sounding magnificent. This is truly an incredible pressing and it is night and day [better] even though my old copy was still a $250 Hot Stamper. Thank you. Your services are greatly appreciated. (Not by my neighbors however). Looking forward to my next one already.


    Jeremiah H.
    Sacramento, CA

  • Well you guys did it again. I had a good promo copy of Baddest Hubbard, lively and big soundstage. I was listening and questioning how much better can it sound. I put on the WHS and found out exactly how much better it could sound. More natural, more relaxed, just better any way you cut it. I knew it in the first ten seconds of track one; that Better Records sound is unmistakable.


    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT


  • Received my Chicago 2 Hot Stamper last night. Played side 4 A+++ first. Didn't expect it to sound so amazing. Reminded me of my Miles Davis Kind of Blue where you say zero distortion, zero compression. No shrillness, no muffled vocals just clear music. All instruments come through with clarity. Relatively quiet too. And this goes for most of the 4 sides of the album. I played the hell out of my CTA and Chicago 2 back in the day when they came out. Never sounded anything like this. Thanks for a super record.


    Steve E.
    Boulder Creek, CA

  • I'm having the time of my life with the new speakers and the VPI turntable. Before I stumbled across your website I was using the bottom of the line Rega turntable and my speakers were so small I don't even want to mention them. Although they had ribbon tweeters and excellent sound they were nothing like the Legacy Focus. So I thank everyone at Better Records for all that I have learned. You guys steered me to the right equipment.

    I used to go to the used record store every weekend and buy a handful of records. I won't be doing that anymore. I'm hooked on the Hot Stampers. Wish I had the money to buy more than I do. I think it's better to treat myself to one good Hot Stamper than a bunch of cheap used records. You don't get tired of listening to them. There's no listening fatigue. I find it hard to stop and eat while I'm listening. Anyway you can tell I'm thrilled.

    Steve E.
    Boulder Creek, CA
  • I got the shipment today and it was meticulously packed. It all got here in perfect shape.

    I could not resist doing a little side-by-side comparison of Aja tonight, as I have several copies. When I realized that different pressings sounded different (before I found your site) I began accumulating multiple copies, but I find it quite difficult to get loads of mint minus copies of anything. [It's not as easy as it used to be, that's for sure.]

    Anyway, I was totally blown away. The Hot Stamper copy went WAY beyond what I expected in terms of the sonic shortcomings I could hear on the other pressings. Just... amazing... music.

    The good news is my record collection should shrink by at least 75% in size as I sell off all the old multiple copies!

    Adrian B.
    San Francisco, CA

  • The Van Morrison blew me away. The difference between a 1 [Hot Stamper A+] or 2 [Super Hot Stamper A++] and the WHS 3 [White Hot Stamper A+++] is staggering. I have consistently been amazed at the improvement with the 3+ copies. Just when I don't think it can get better a 3+ copy shows me how wrong I am.

    My listening is improving as well, or more accurately I'm getting spoiled.

    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT


  • I want to say a big THANK YOU for the Hot Stampers you sent to me. Wish You Were Here is maybe the best sounding record I’ve ever heard (as you know I have a lot of Hot Stampers). I’m so amazed and lucky – I can’t describe it. The copy sounds out of this world with soooo well-defined bass, stunning clarity, warmth and richness, immediacy, astonishing transparency… It murders my old copy. Another Passenger and Honky Chateau are also Demo Discs of the highest order.


    Erik S.
    Berlin, Germany

  • Hope you don't mind me E-mailing you with comments on my recent purchase of Dreamboat Annie but I'm busting to tell somebody. Now for the comments. I am stunned. I had one "run of the mill" copy and one of the Nautilus albums which I thought was pretty good. It's good if you never hear a Hot Stamper. The Hot Stamper just blew them both away. I read the description of the HS on your site and every word was spot on. The energy, the bass, the clarity was all there. I still can't get over it. Near the end of Magic Man the synthesizer goes down to a very low octave and just drags you with it and keeps you there. It's amazing. It's hard to understand why these people on the audio forums mock and degrade you guys. I guess they are afraid to spend a little money and see what a Hot Stamper sounds like. I have a feeling even if they knew how good the HS was they still would not buy one simply because it's more money than they are willing to part with. So to justify not buying one they put the Hot Stamper down. It's just my opinion. They sure don't know what they're missing. Only bad thing about you guys is once you hear how good a record can sound the rest of your collection kind of takes a back seat to the HS. Oh well, I can't stop now.

    Steve E.
    Boulder Creek, CA

  • Who could imagine that I would freak out in Indianapolis? It was a real roll of the dice to pony up the $125 for a Hot Stamper of "Freak Out"--this is a notoriously poor sounding record, and I've had 3 cracks at it already. However, it is also one of the 50 most important records of all time -- its influence in 1966 on the burgeoning idea that pop music could be treated as an art form, and specifically its influence on pretty much every mover and shaker in music at the time, belies its technical shortcomings. If there was ever a case study in everything you folks profess to be about it is this record.

    Wow. For the first time ever, and I've had this record for almost 30 years, I felt like I could actually hear Zappa's musical vision for this project. I had no idea it was even possible for this album to sound even remotely this good. All of the percussion, the intricate orchestral arrangements, the imposingly powerful bass on "Who Are the Brain Police," it's all there like I'd never heard it before!

    "How Could I be Such a Fool?" is astonishingly beautiful (indicating that Zappa's dismissive liner notes were perhaps a reflection of his insecurity). There was so much care taken on this album, and I feel like I may be one of a handful of people in the world who's really heard it. You've provided me with a life experience, worth every penny and more.

    Stephen F.
    Indianapolis, IN

  • I just wanted to thank you for helping me own my first "White Hot Stamper." I have had two copies of After the Gold Rush and none of them comes close to my WHS copy. I'm perfectly happy owning Hot Stampers and a few Super Hot Stampers, but this WHS is really different. To begin with, it is a quiet copy that allows you to hear and almost feel the texture of the instruments. It also has lots of energy, tight bass, big sound stage, and most of all a silky top end.

    Without exaggeration, the overall sound is like as if I have upgraded my entire system.

    My biggest challenge now is, with few exceptions, all my favorite non-Hot Stamper albums need upgrading too. But with you guys around, I just have to wait till my favorite albums show up on your Hot Stampers list.

    Gerardo G.
    Manila, Philippines

  • In the fall of 2007 I ordered my first Hot Stamper from you, Please Please Me. Since then I have bought several more Hot Stampers from you, and occasionally you or Todd have written me asking how I like them. I have always replied saying I haven't listened to them yet, because I'm waiting to buy a good enough turntable to do them justice.


    Good news: I now have a very good turntable. Even better news: I have now listened to the first few Hot Stampers, and the combination of my new turntable and your Hot Stampers is heavenly. The records are so good I cannot concentrate on anything else while they are playing, I just have to listen, and I want them to go on for ever. The detail and clarity are breathtaking and it's difficult to believe the sound can be really that good, but it is. It's like the musicians are there in the room, it's amazing. For example, Please Please Me and McCartney's Unplugged are stunning, but in truth all the ones I've listened to so far are stunning. I'm really looking forward to listening to the rest.

    Please keep on finding those Hot Stampers.

    Rich F.
    Isle Of Man

  • Recently purchased The Hot Stamper of R&L Thompson's Shoot Out The Lights. What a wonderful copy! Easily put to shame the copies I have on hand by a long shot. It's great to hear a copy of this record that does the music justice. An exceptional find on your part. Great doing business with you.


    Jim S.
    Cedar Lake, IN


  • Wow! this copy of Exile on MS is amazing! it sounded fantastic before my amps even were warm. The drums sound like they are in the same room as the room with the microphone; the horns sound like....... well like... horns. The copy I had before was brand new and sucked. This $350 copy is worth the dough and I am surprised. I am tempted to stop buying vinyl at all unless it has been pre-tested by your team (this will be tough). I had NO IDEA there was this much difference between copies.


    Brian S.
    Seattle, WA

  • These last few days have showed me that your "Hot Stampers" are not only a marvellous medium to enjoy music in a far superior way, but also are very very helpful as reference test records.


    A short time ago I received my new speakers, many steps higher in performance than my previous ones. At the same time I made heavy changes to my turntable. I installed a better tonearm and cartridge and also tried a new plinth.

    The result, as you can guess, was the need to realign the system from the bottom up. An annoying undertaking if it were not for all the "Hot Stampers" I've had the chance to get hold of. Knowing where the journey should go made it much easier to apply all the tricks I usually make use of.

    And as you've pointed out several times, the upgraded setup made it possible to hear my "Hot Stampers" sound better than ever before.

    Klaus M.
    Wolfsberg, Austria

  • Well, you found another INCREDIBLE Hot Stamper with "Axis: Bold as Love." What a mind-blowing experience! This was at least my fifth copy of this album and it shamed all other sad sacks I had bought. I really don't know how you do it, but I'm infinitely grateful that you do. The notion of a "great sounding Hendrix album" almost sounds like an oxy moron, but again you struck sonic gold and unearthed one of those rare few that offer a deeply satisfying listening experience - to put it mildly!


    My appreciation for Hendrix's towering musical achievements has doubled, maybe even tripled, from hearing this Hot Stamper. That's quite a feat for an artist I already considered to be one of the best ever! All this because of those magical Hot Stamper grooves. This goes to show what a difference amazing sound can have on the ability to appreciate an album or artist.

    Oh, and I once owned a copy of the abysmal Classic pressing. Among its many other failings is the decision to re-release it in mono. Mono!? "Axis" is one of the creative examples of stereo mixing known to man! Reducing this album to mono is a travesty, but I guess that didn't bother Classic Records.

    Anyhow, keep 'em coming, Tom! You indeed sell the best sounding records in the world.

    Dan L.
    Chicago, IL

  • I want to express my gratitude to your long-lasting efforts with regard to music. It has fully changed my whole life as a listener of music. [emphasis added] It’s a great pleasure and I reached a complete different level of enjoyment and listening habits. To hear a Hot Stamper it’s also often a physical and emotional experience (sensation of heat, tears in the eyes, palpitations etc.). Thanks to your great Hot Stampers I might experience with so much pleasure. Meanwhile I sold out near all my pseudo-audiophile LP’s (i.e. MFSL, Nautilus, DCC, Simply Vinyl etc.) – they are useless.

    And last but not least it’s very important to buy these hot LPs now and here, before deafness, tinnitus (my greatest fear) and dementia are going to kill us. All LPs are worth their price, because I can imagine how much effort it takes to do the shootouts. (I did some.)

    Erik S.
    Berlin, Germany

  • I want to say a big THANK YOU for the Hot Stamper’s you sent to me. Two of them are now top ten titles in my collection: Cat Stevens Tillerman: I’m so amazed and lucky – I can’t describe it. The sound is so natural and beat my expectations in many ways - it sounds out of this world. This copy has sweet, breathy vocals, well-defined bass (!!), stunning clarity, warmth and richness, immediacy, astonishing transparency (it burns direct in your DNA – I’ll never forget!) and loads of ambience and more. It murders my pink Island original UK copies. It was a privileg to be able to hear this copy - a HIGHLIGHT event. It’s a DemoDisc of the highest order. And it’s worth the price.

    The other big winner is CSN’s first album. This is one of the few LP’s with a sound that you won’t soon forget. I live since a week with this good feeling and I can’t hear or rate any other LP at this time (‘til Tillerman arrived).

    Erik S.
    Berlin, Germany

  • Man, you weren't kidding. Hallographs, utilizing a process as comprehensible to me as voodoo magic, have got to be the most AMAZING sonic upgrade ever. Hallographs allow my stereo to induce not just pleasure, but euphoria. That's not hyperbole. I don't know how these tall sticks of wood, albeit expertly crafted, do whatever it is they do, but the sound emanating from my speakers reached a whole new league of sonic reproduction. Edginess to the highs? Gone. Bass bloat? Gone. High volume distortion? Gone. Meanwhile, it adds rich tones, warmth, detail, clarity, dynamics, life-like three-dimensional sound, and a wonderful ease and naturalness to the overall sound. To top it off, I've been able to calibrate focus and immediacy vs. soundstaging and depth. Did I mention it adds a beautifully rich tone? That I could achieve such wonderful sound with Hallographs in my mid-sized room should be an encouragement to any of your customers who, like me, are still working their way up to a large listening room. I was worried that I might not get much out of the Hallos in the absence of a full range of placement options, and nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the tens of thousands of dollars of stereo equipment I've purchased, nothing I've done has ever offered a more DEEPLY SATISFYING audio improvement than Hallographs. When can I get a second pair?

    Dan L.
    Chicago, IL

  • I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team. Your Hot Stampers have returned that analog magic to my listening room. I am stunned by some of the albums I have gotten. Given my travel schedule, I don't get to listen to all the albums I buy. I have been catching up over the holidays. You guys have taken critical listening to a whole new level and are consistent in your evaluations and accurate in your write ups. My listening skills and appreciation of great recordings has improved over this past year.


    The attitude of your team has made doing business a delightful experience. Todd and Fred are always helpful and responsive. I equally enjoy your insights and advice as well. Fundamentally, at the most basic level after all the " equipment upgrades" in my life, I am truly enjoying listening to music again. That may not seem very profound, but for me it is a revelation.

    The only one not pleased with my new discovery is my wife. She does not appreciate the value equation of your product; my musical selections; nor does she like the amount of time I am spending in my listening room. Often she calls me on my cell phone from other parts of the house asking me when am I coming out!

    Please keep up the good work; it is one of a kind.

    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT

  • I received my Deja Vu 2 Pack yesterday. Even though I have not yet listened to all of the mother load that I got on Marathon week - I had to take a listen to this tonight. Whew - Mother of God!


    I have never heard even a semi-decent copy of this album before on either LP or CD - although the music is outstanding and chock full of memories for anyone my age. This White Hot Stamper is transcendental nirvana. Tom was not kidding when he said master tape sound. The vocals and instrumentals were so alive it was unbelievable. Some of the songs were so good that I just tilted my head back and opened my mouth real wide and just zoned out. Crosby's vocal on Almost Cut My Hair is masterful. I took your advice and played it twice at even louder volumes. Yikes - better than acapulco gold. Neil Young's Country Girl was so huge - a vast wall of sound with every single voice and instrument standing out. This album is even better than I ever thought it was. I was just not prepared to hear how it really sounds after all that crap I had been listening to for 30 years.

    I have come to a conclusion - no matter whether I had the best $50,000 amps in the world or a $29,000 phono supply or the $150,000 Wilson Alexandria speakers or all that other incredible stuff that audiophiles lust for - not one of those items can make a shit record sound anything but like a shit record. There is no overcoming the original source material that you play on your stereo system.

    Buying a Hot Stamper for what can seem like a lot of money - especially if you want a whole lot of them - is really a bargain for those who have invested in a super audio system (with analog capability of course). It is true that the better your system is the more you will get out of Hot Stampers - but at some point in the process it is more effective to spend available resources on the LPs rather than on more better mega equipment. I just don't believe an additional $20,000 spent on a better amplifier can deliver as much as $20,000 spent on Super or White Hot Stampers played with my current amplifier. Additionally, I do believe that even a modest analogue system will sound fabulous when you have master tape sound coming out of it.

    Bless Tom and all the folks at Better Records. My system enjoyment quotient has increased dramatically this year since I have been buying the good stuff to play on it. Keep up the good work.

    John R.
    Cliffside Park, NJ

  • I just listened to Bridge over Troubled Water that arrived while I was on my trip to India. It was really spectacular. I have heard this music a zillion times over the last 40 years but it never ever once sounded like this. Amazing. I have to get Bookends and PSRT also.

    John R.
    Cliffside Park, NJ


  • Just wanted to let you know I finally played the Little Creatures Hot Stamper last night for the first time. Very, very nice record. Admittedly, I have more copies of Little Creatures than any sane person should. Many of these copies sound very good, the Hot Stamper is a step above the rest. Great slam. More space between instruments. Love it.


    I have spent the last month or so collecting various versions of Elvis Costello - Armed Forces for a shootout. It's a top five record for me and with my daughter heading for college soon, a White Hot copy is out of reach at this point. First press UK's, later UK "Porky's" and first run German "Porky's" have all been gathered. Honestly, the whole process is a pain in the ass and very time consuming. The results have been interesting and I have acquired what I believe to be a very good record but it probably would have been cheaper to give you a call.

    Keep up the good work.

    Sean M.
    Poughquag, NY

  • Two fantastic finds; well done once again. The After the Gold Rush you sent is incredibly revealing. The pressing removed the veil. This Lp typically sounds dull and I don’t mean the songs. I dropped the needle on side one and started singing by the end of the first verse. I had planned to have a critical listen first as I always do, so I have a reference in which to make comparisons. If an album is great I start to sing the second time thru. That should tell you what I think of this pressing. When I played my copy it lasted one verse and one chorus before it was removed from the platter. Exceptional pressing!!!


    Re: Rubber Soul. I have 3 copies of this LP, all Parlophone and all earlier pressings than the one I purchased from you. One doesn’t really count because it is from the very first pressings that had problems. However, the other 2 are very good pressings. One is very transparent but extremely bass shy. The other is very much the opposite. It has lots of womp but is grainy. The pressing from Better Records is beautifully transparent especially in the voice and is nowhere near as bass shy.

    I believe that being closest to the source usually reveals more accuracy. That goes for most every discipline of study. This pressing, though not being the actual closest, was the winner. Go figure!

    Thanks again for doing the research to find these gems.

    Mark H.
    Langley, British Columbia

  • Received the LP a few days ago,and thank you. I love Blood On The Tracks, I have 6 copies of it and none of them come near yours. I can stop looking now. Thank you.

    Arun K.
    Kuala Lumpur

     


     

  • The domestic copy you sent me of Houses of the Holy trashed my UK pressing. Side 1 is so engaging. What a difference a good Stamper makes; to be engaged by the music not just entertained. Thanks again.

    Mark H.
    Langley, British Columbia

     



  • Tom, I have not listened to the other two yet, but I had to shoot you a quick email about the Doors Soft Parade. It is totally killer!


    It's for records like this that we pour money into high performance audio systems! Bravo! Never heard the Doors sound like this before!

    It's hard to describe that pressing. It has everything you could want in a vinyl LP. Huge wide and deep soundstage, Jim's voice and each instrument in its own 3D place in the soundstage, phenominal tonal balance over the entire range of the music, great texture of voice and instruments, real here-with-you presence and the decay of notes is for real. Yeah, you're right, this one has the magic.

    Ed M.
    Tampa, FL

  • I absolutely love my Hot Stamper of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and of Dark Side of the Moon, and so many others that you have sold to me.


    I find myself just playing the same side over and over, never tiring of the music. Which is something I never do with a CD..... no matter with a Reimyo CD player, or CEC TL-1X with Audiologic DAC, or even Acoustic Arts DAC, which actually sounds pretty good, but still fatiguing, and missing the immediacy and soul of a good LP -- and in addition to sounding better, there is just something about having an original copy made back when the music was fresh and newly released, putting me back in my college years, and somehow linking up the past to the present.

    The music is living there in those grooves, even better now because I can actually hear the music with a decent system. I don't think many record players back in 1972- 1978 could begin to do these records justice.

    Thanks so much for all the great music - makes my years of developing and investing in my stereo worthwhile.

    Kurt B.
    Danville, CA

  • Wow! Were you ever right when you said the Aurios MIBs are "Quite Possibly the Biggest Analog Upgrade Out There".

    After listening with the MIBs in place for about 3 hours, there's no doubt they make a huge difference. Every record/track I heard on LPs I know very well sounded more dynamic. I don't want to use the worn phrase "on steroids". The music had much better pace and sounded more real and natural. The contrasts from high to low across the bandwidth were more apparent. The timbre of the instruments also sounded more real and natural. Soundstage became more dimensional in all directions. I heard details that previously were not as audible or were not audible at all.

    One thing that was most impressive is that the Aurios actually seem to enlarge the scale of the music; it sounder bigger. LPs I listened to: Love Over Gold (Dire Straits); Slow Train Coming (Bob Dylan); The Hunter (Jennifer Warnes); One Flight Up (Dexter Gordon). All of these sounded significantly better than I had ever heard before adding the MIBs. Love Over Gold was just incredible! It simply was not the same record without the Aurios MIBs. It blew me away. After listening to both sides, I had to listen again and asked my wife to join me. She was as impressed as I was. So your string of satisfied customers remains intact. I will not let these out of my sight!

    John A.
    Makati, Philippines

  • I also have come to a conclusion. I could have a nice 50k system with a great (Hot Stamper) album and get better sound, than I could with a great 200k system and a nice audiophile album.


    The audio mags have it all wrong (although, I know it is their business to sell equipment). It is a garbage-in garbage-out model. I know I am stating the obvious for you guys, but it just hit me the fool's errand of the quest for sonic nirvana through equipment upgrades. Thanks for ending the madness.

    Mike H.
    Sandy, UT

  • My July 4 weekend was great. I had lots of company this weekend for three days straight. I slayed a bunch of them with my new collection of Hot Stamper LPs from Better Records. Honestly, these LPs make my system sound like I just dropped another $100,000 into it suddenly. I played Harry Belafonte (Carnegie Hall Live Concert) and Willie Nelson (Stardust) for some guests that grew up in another part of the world who had never ever even heard of these people. They had no clue about what they were going to hear. I watched them and they were mesmerized - leaning forward in their seats practically holding their breath - holding themselves still like a deer caught in the headlights. Not a sound spoken - even the females! The sense of being live was so palpable that most were simply speechless. Confusion was rampant since all that sound was coming from OLD BLACK VINYL.


    My smile was a mile wide. Thanks for that satisfying experience.

    John R.
    Cliffside Park, NJ

  • I have so far bought just 2 items from yourselves (Disc Doctor Cleaning fluid and the Magic Pillow). Thanks for advertising/putting me onto those 2 products. Both are outright winners in every way. The disc doctor fluid trounces my old disc washing fluid and allows so many more musical details to be heard it's not even funny.


    As far as the Pillow goes I was ready to be skeptical about this. I had my CD player on Walker Valid points and thought all was well (given the obvious limitations of CD). After being placed on the pillow my CD player revealed much more of the subtle details in the music and the soundstage is even better (wider).

    It was one of those "how can this be?" moments. Next stop Hot Stampers.

    Martin P.
    Banff, Alberta

  • Just wanted to say I was blown away by this copy. Having lived with the MoFi pressing since the box set first came out in the 80's I was dumbfounded when the horn blast opening the title track practically leapt out of my speakers. I am so impressed that I just placed an order for 3 more Hot Stamper Beatles vinyl. It's time to replace the MoFi.

    Honrado L.
    Millbrae, CA


  • I have been reading your website for the last few months, and I have become totally inspired to find great LPs... I finally decided to dip my toe into the Hot Stampers and bought a copy of Heart Like a Wheel... everything that you say is true!! I was amazed when I found an old original that was barely listenable (to compare)!


    I am a convert. What you are doing is not just selling great records, but teaching the LP buying community the secrets to great LP listening.

    Joel S.
    Santa Monica, CA

  • I’ve been spending time this week listening to the seven records that arrived from you last week, and have been having a fabulous time doing it. So I thought I’d write to say THANKS – you guys really know how to pick ‘em! Top honors in the batch definitely goes to the AC/DC Back in Black Hot Stamper. Wow, does it ever ROCK! And it’s not even the best one you had - which makes me wonder just how amazing the best copies sound. It really beats the pants off of my George Marino remaster, to say nothing of my old Canadian pressing. The sheer energy that leaps off the vinyl is incredible. To me, this record supports again the hypothesis that I first tested when I bought my Joni Mitchell Hot Stamper from you last fall: That I don’t have to wait until I manage to put together a really topnotch stereo system before I can enjoy at least some of what Hot Stampers have to offer. Obviously, as my system gets better I imagine I’ll enjoy them even more; but even with my current budget-ish system, recently much improved with Aurios and an EAR 834p (both recommended by you – thank you!), the Back in Black Hot Stamper shines. There’s truly nothing finer than listening to a record that sounds that good!


    Anyway, all in all, it’s a pleasure purchasing from you, so thanks again. I’ll be back for more once my budget allows.

    Martin H.
    London, Ontario

  • Just listened to the Very Hot Stamper of "Who's Next" and thought I'd drop a little note: Holy F&*K that was POWERFUL!!! No record I own ever did that And I'm talking bone-rattling, earth-shaking, sock-you-in-the-gut POWERFUL. I've always known that The Who were one of the most intense bands in the history of rock n' roll. Hell, everybody knows that and it's part of the reason we love 'em so much. But with this record, I experienced the sheer physical force of their music like I NEVER have before. I couldn't believe I heard bass notes hang in the air and resonate for long stretches. Bass notes never just hang like that! No record I own ever did that.

    But this particular slab of vinyl offered more than just low-end power. Its grooves exploded with such energy, dynamics, and pure EXCITEMENT that I was honestly concerned my cartridge was going to jump off the record and say "Sorry, this is just too much." Remarkably, it held up for the whole wild ride.

    Anyhow, after that shockingly great experience, I (reluctantly) spun the Classic version of this album for comparison purposes. You're right, there's no going back. The difference is almost comical. On the track "Going Mobile", while it certainly has well-defined bass and great detail, it sounded like a different take - a much worse take. The conviction in Townshend's singing and guitar playing had been sucked out, as if he was bored of his own new song. I would have been sad hearing it if I didn't know there was much better copy sitting on my shelf. So thank you for helping me take a dozen GIANT steps closer to the true sound of this phenomenal album.

    Dan L.
    Chicago, IL

  • Holy Squatsauce, Batman! That is definitely the best-sounding Pretzel Logic I have heard. I don't remember the black label copy sounding like this one. It clearly eclipses my Pink Probe copy and the difference was not subtle. Lots more life and more dynamic, clearly better highs and bass, voices and instruments stand out from the mix. Makes me wonder what the master tape sounds like and how much the US music-lover is missing on all the pathetic-sounding pressings around. Thanks.


    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • I have to commend you once again. I have never heard Maiden Voyage like this before. The transparency on this copy is superb! I gave up listening to my reissue a while back. It had a heavy veil hanging over it that was obvious. Yet as the listener I yearned to hear past it because the music itself is so wonderful. Thanks for digging up this treasure. It will bring many hours of enjoyment now and in the future.

    Mark H.
    Langley, British Columbia


  • Just a note on another Hot Stamper shootout I recently did, this time on Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman. It was interesting comparing itto the regular MFSL half-speed, the MFSL UHQR pressing, and a UK Pink Island 3U pressing, which was my all-time champ.


    Well, I found out why another of your customers proclaimed Tea to be his new reference recording when I heard the US A&M Hot Stamper pressing. Wow! I was astonished at how much better this version was. I have never heard this pressing sound quite like this. There was a huge wall of sound and instruments and voices had real body, bass was absolutely titanic, and dynamics made me wonder whether my speakers would be damaged. This thing is a monster, one of the best recordings in my 10,000 LP collection.

    So as usual, back on the shelf go the expensive MFSL versions, hopefully gaining value but never to be played again. Yes, the Tea Hot Stamper is a new reference, definitely. And a US pressing, go figure.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • I just spun the bargain "ticks and pops" A+++ Mona Bone Jakon. I listened to this record hundreds of times growing up, but never like this! Silky smooth voices and guitars, so lifelike! Nice bass extension also... I have to laugh, because I think that the condition of this record is excellent!


    Now I know how the other half lives! Listening to this Hot Stamper reminds me of my image of the rich man, eati ng only the center of the watermelon. These Hot Stampers are amazing, I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t hearing it! Best $180 I’ve ever spent on an LP.

    Joel S.
    Santa Monica, CA

  • It has been a real ear-opener to find out that all of the time and money I spent on half-speed and other remasterings unfortunately didn't get me the best versions of recordings, most disappointing. So I figured the UK version would be the best one around, and you know what, it was the best I had heard until I tried your Super Hot Stamper. And I shouldn't have been surprised to find it was in another sonic league entirely.

    Wow! You definitely are right when you claim this to be one of the best pop recordings extant. When the drums in Changes IV come in I was amazed at how much they sound like a live drum kit. Cat's voice is eerily present, guitars have both pluck and body, bass drums have that sock-in-the-gut impact, and the soundstage is huge and transparent.

    Like a lot of other Hot Stampers, it almost seems as if it is another recording altogether, so much more alive and dynamic. At the end of Morning Has Broken you can hear the pianist step off the piano foot pedal--never heard this before outside of the piano in our living room. I am looking forward to getting one of your Tea for the Tillerman Hot Stampers for another shootout.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • I am one of Tom’s longest (non-existent?) customers. I own hundreds of his Hot Stampers, imagine that… I could have put one of my kids through college or bought a car or two, taken up cocaine or heroine… and so on. Instead, I have a priceless collection of music that makes me smile every time I spin one.


    Yes, they are expensive and I could do it myself. I could spend hours and days and months buying 10, 20 30 copies of each album I want and then shoot them out. I am worn out already… LA probably has the greatest stash of good lps in the world, right? Dallas has squat. I even have discount privileges at Half Price Books as they are my client and friend (I have hung out for a few hours in the receiving space with 30 or 40 4’x4’ pallets with solid records stacked 3’ high, wow, impossible task as I thumbed through the top layer of 1 pallet…).

    Tom and his people are paid for their time to collect, sort and listen. It is all about access, time and good ears. I have neither access nor time, so Tom gets my business. My ears are getting smarter, but they are not even close to Tom's. He has been LISTENING for decades.

    Gary C.
    Dallas, TX

  • I just played your Hot Stamper pressing of Neil Young After the Gold Rush, and WOW! I don''t always agree with everyone else on which record pressings sound best, but this record knocked my socks off. No doubt about this one. I compared it to a recent German/Dutch reissue, which I remember sounding better than the crappy US pressing I previously had, and the difference was amazing. The soundstage was huge, I heard instruments playing right in front of me, dynamics were great, the bass drum on Only Love Can Break Your Heart was deep and extended, guitars were full, and so on. I hadn''t played this record in a while mainly because it was, well, a lousy recording, which is a shame because it is one of my favorite records. I am sure I will be playing this version a lot more. Too bad for those who haven''t heard this pressing.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • I have listened to my copy the day it arrived. I'm not very good at describing the sound of an album, that's why I love reading your commentaries, because it accurately describes what I actually hear. The HS Tillerman is now my reference album where I test all improvements/adjustments I make in my system or my turntable. All the Hot Stamper copies I have bought from you really beat all other copies I have. A good example is my Hot Stamper Santana.The instruments sound tonally right, distinctly separate from each other. There is no harshness on the top end and the bass is tight and defined. I had five copies of the album before I got my HS copy, all are"360" including a WLP copy. None of the five came close to the sound of my Hot Stamper.

    Gerardo G.
    Manila, Philippines

  • No doubt - the best record ever played on my set up. I had a few experts in for evaluating -- they all (like me) were fairly skeptical. But after just a few tracks everybody was convinced... WOW. You describe the album very well on your site. Another thing is how easy and smooth everything sounds and all the acoustic instruments... I could go on for a long time! As you understand I’m very happy with this copy.

    Ebbe P.
    Norway


  • I tried your Hot Stamper Steely Dan Katy Lied. You gotta be kidding me. Are you sure this is the same recording? I remember your saying that this one is your favorite SD record and I could never understand why, at least until I heard this secret recording. Other than the HS copy you basically had a choice between the dull and lifeless bland US pressing, or the Mobile Fidelity version, which has those undescribable phasey, disembodied instruments and voices that sound unmusical to me.


    I even tried British and Japanese pressings with no luck. I just figured this was just a bad recording, which made sense in light of all the press about the problems during the recording and mixing sessions, and I don't think I bothered to listen to it again for at least the past 5 years.

    But wow, this is clearly in another league. The voices and instruments are in three dimensions, the bass and dynamics are far far better, the saxes are up-front and breathy. I couldn't believe how good Daddy Don't Live in that New York City No More and Chain Lightning sounded. Even my subwoofer that I roll off at 30Hz got a good workout. It sounds like live music. So how did you sneak your tape recorder into the studio sessions, anyway?

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • Ordered J. Taylor "Flag", arrived in perfect condition, outstanding packaging. Thanks! My first Hot Stamper---admittedly a little skeptical. Have two copies of this (one of my favorite JT albums, if not the favorite). One from the initial release and one from a few years later (a near mint copy). Had some fun listening to the Hot Stamper vs. these two pressings. Also invited my amigo, Joe, a trusted friend and music lover. Well, what can I say--- we both agreed, a truly and unanimous 'Better Record' ----Surprise--- Nice work! You have our upmost respect for your time and energy put into this endeavor, wish we could indulge ourselves more of your recommendations. Will do what we can. Thanks for the experience, a real joy and education.

    Rick K.
    Tucson, AZ

  • Today I was blown away by yet another Hot Stamper I bought from your store: Santana's Abraxas. Now, I have always been in awe of the musicianship of the band's first three albums, but it was not until I heard the grooves in this Hot Stamper that I realized they are geniuses. Santana's guitar is scorching on this record! Those leads just burst out of the musical soundcape that's behind him. But it never sounded like that in the hundreds of times I've heard it. Sure, his leads always stood out, but they didn't leap out.


    As you suggested, I played this album as loud as my ears could tolerate and the result was astounding. Though my stereo is still short of being able to reproduce a live concert (for now!), it felt pretty damn close to that experience with this record! Mike Shrieve's drums positively exploded with power after that organ intro on "Hope You're Feeling Better". There's no denying it, playing this music at a polite volume would be a sin, and one I happily did not commit. This record is just poppin' all over the place with dynamics, and the only way to hear everything is to set the dial to 11.

    On a similar topic, I recently purchased the Mofi pressing of Santana's first album and later stumbled upon your commentary on it. It is indeed good, but no nowhere near alive. My Hot Stamper of "Abraxas" gives me an excellent reference point for the Santana sound, and I can see just how much is missing now from Mofi's pressing of their debut.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say thank you again a keep up the great work at Better Records!

    Dan L.
    Chicago, IL

  • Stunning. Staggering. Impeccable sonic perfection. I've never heard anything like it.

    How do you find a record like this?

    Phil R.
    Los Angeles, CA



  • Just listened to the Yes album Fragile. FANTASTIC!!!!! I didn't know Yes LPs could sound likethis. Any Yes LPs I've ever heard were harsh sounding andafter a couple of minutes my ears would start to hurt.Thanks!

    Franklin W.
    McAllen, TX

     



  • I have to tell you that I was floored at the sound of the Hot Stamper Jethro Tull Aqualung I just bought. Darn you again and your Hot Stampers.


    Through the years after becoming an audiophile I bought many different copies looking for the ultimate-sounding LP, finally settling on the MFSL version, which I bought when it came out. So I had a good time comparing 4 copies: the MFSL half-speed, the DCC version, the 25th anniversary digitally remastered copy, and the Hot Stamper.

    It has been a real disappointment to have found out in the past 5 years or so that all of the money I spent on audiophile versions has not given me the ultimate-sounding copies. I am sure I can sell them for big bucks, which I may indeed do someday.

    So again, it was a real revelation to hear the Hot Stamper. I have never heard a copy with the space and detail of this record like I did with the HS. It was like the musicians were right in my room with amazing presence, weight, and space. The transparency was simply unreal. And the highs and lows were balanced with the rest of the spectrum. Drums and voices jumped from the speakers, but were not overhyped, and I heard details I had never heard before. It was like hearing this vastly familiar recording for the first time, kind of like hearing the sinister laughs on Dark Side of the Moon inside my head on the HS copy of that record. Nice job on this one.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • Well, I knew you guys were serious upon receiving the LP in 4 layers of wrapping and padding but when I put the disc on I was pretty stunned. Virtually everything was popping and so musical and rich sounding. Nothing like the 3 other pressings I've had of this recording in the past, the last of which I actually sailed out the window after 2 minutes of playing.

    Every Night just sounds incredible, especially when he drops the bass an octave. And Maybe I'm Amazed gave me goosebumps for the first time since I bought it the week it came out. Also heard something on that track I never did (or could hear) before. During the guitar solo there's a single high pitched vocal kind of buried in the background. Almost sounds like a mistake, making me think it could be Linda and Paul did what he could. Pretty wild.

    My only very slight criticism is there is some surface noise but this is very overshadowed by all the positives. Overall it is superb. Thanks so much!

    Rick M.
    New York, NY

  • I received this DSOTM yesterday. From the very beginning, I heard vocals I never heard before, in my 12 years of listening to this album. There was such a dramatically engaging 'dreamlike' flow to the music, that I have never experienced before! The soundstage was so 3-dimensional, the speakers disappeared, and moment after moment, I completely forgot I was sitting in my living room!

    NEVER would I have thought a single record could make this kind of difference... it was TRULY one of those rare experiences - a revelation, of recreating an actual concert in one's listening room.

    While my system is quite modest by most accounts, this is a new chapter in the music playback book, to hear/ listen to something that is so lifelike, everything else disappears.

    I look forward to enjoying this for a lifetime.

    Dan E.
    Brighton, MI

  • I am very pleased with all of my purchases from you. In particular, the Carole King 'Tapestry' was breathtaking! You weren't wrong when you claimed that Side One was the world's best sounding version. I have had so many different versions of this album, both in analogue and in digital form, and nothing even comes close. This is my wife's favourite album of all time and even she had to admit that the premium that I paid for it was money well-spent.


    A big thank you for drastically improving the quality of my music collection!!

    Owais M.
    Tokyo, Japan

  • Dropping you a line to tell you that these two Hot Stampers have four of the greatest sounding sides of music I have experienced. The new HS Aja and Fragile blew me away. I often start a listening session with the good intention of documenting the experience for you. I quickly blow that idea off and just start falling into the music. It would take thousands of words to explain the total experience. These two records have a presence and soundstage that put me in the studio (again, like your Sgt. Peppers) or feet from the stage. It would take thousands of words to explain the total experience. These two records have a presence and soundstage that put me in the studio (again, like your Sgt. Peppers) or feet from the stage.


    In your description of Aja, you commented on Becker’s guitar floating on a bed of cool studio air front and center on “I got the news.” I became more interested and awed at the controlled pressure he was using on the strings with his left hand. The “harmonic” sounds of the notes were completely narcotic. With Fragile, the translucent layering of instruments and their note decay, danced across the room like sparks, making my head swim. At times the soundstage of Fragile extended well over my head.

    I am lucky to have a well equipped and tuned stereo and room, but I would give them up in order to hold on to the Hot Stampers I have collected over the years from you.

    Gary C.
    Dallas, TX

  • This is the best sounding LP I have ever heard including all the ones I have bought from you or ever heard in my life at a show etc. Holy Shit! This is a GREAT LP - sound and music. I must confess, I never heard this LP before - even once. I did recognize the lead song though having heard it on the radio several times. MY GOD! I listened to it twice over both sides. This is fantastic. The music slayed me.


    I took Tom's advice and played it real loud. Once I turned it up hard - well it got even better and better and better. Wow! You can't have this one back. Every single song on both sides is a winner. I especially got a kick out of the last song on side one - which is an old fashioned instrumental that got me jumping all over the place.

    One of the great things about doing business with you guys is that you know and love your music. This means I get good advice and direction about what LPs are great music and about the performers. This means I can get great stuff that not only I know I love but stuff I don't know yet that I will love. Wow - there just is no way to be able to buy that. No way at all. Thanks so very much. Please tell Tom that I am really happy with this LP. Katy Lied now has to be on my short list to get soon.

    John R.
    Cliffside Park, NJ

  • It was like a magic carpet ride into a dark cave filled with jewel boxes of brilliant stones. Bejewelled sound. An extraordinary melange of glorious guiltars, voices, drums. The expanding contours of the music filled my room. The best sounding rock album I've ever heard.

    Phil R.
    Los Angeles, CA

     



  • I want to say THANK YOU for the Beatles White Album Hot Stamper. I’m so amazed and lucky – I can’t describe it. You graded it correct (A+/A++/A++/A++ to A+++) and it is worth the price, the sound is exactly “sweet, breathy vocals; well-defined bass; stunning clarity; warmth and richness; immediacy; astonishing transparency and spaciousness; clear transients; loads of ambience and more.”

    I’m at the source here in good old Germany concerning the German Apple pressings, collected 10 copies (also a UK first issue and one in a box). 4 were crap, half a dozen had the condition for a shootout. But not one single side reach a rating above A-, I was near a nervous breakdown. Now this problem is solved and I can simply enjoy the album in the future.

    Erik S.
    Berlin, Germany

  • The Off The Wall Hot Stamper is a fantastic album and worth every penny. I am not what you would call an audiophile and won’t ever claim to be but I know what I like. I have listened to this album 5 times and I am just amazed that all the recordings can SOUND SO GOOD.

    I especially like Girlfriend, She’s Out of My Life where Michael’s voice strains and I can hear him take a couple of breaths before the last couple of words and I Can’t Help It is exceptional. Wow! is the word that describes this album and I am glad I got mine.

    Thanks for all the great sounds.

    Desi L.
    Renton, WA

  • Sometime ago I received a very decent copy of Heart Like a Wheel from Better Records, (in fact two copies each with different sounding sides)........then a while later up came a sealed Cisco 180g reissue, so I grabbed it thinking how nice it would be - a fresh copy, clean and quiet...

    The other night I played the Cisco, and sure it is quiet, and smooth, but it just seemed generally lacking somehow, so I put on one of the Better Records copies - wow what a difference! The old copy has tons of clarity, detail, life and punch - it thoroughly blew away the Cisco - perhaps no surprise to you, but it once again reinforces my belief in Better Records!

    Jason B.
    Mount Lawley, Australia

  • Just a quick note on the Fleetwood Mac Rumors Hot Stamper I just bought. I have a Nautilus pressing and my original pressing I bought in college when it came out. I have never liked this record as much as Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac, perhaps partly because its sonics were somewhat inferior.


    So I played the Nautilus and quickly remembered what a piece of sonic detritus this thing is. How can audiophile labels like Nautilus put out something that is as thin, bright, flat, and compresssed as this thing is? It obviously reinforces your point that most audiophiles are lemmings when it comes to audiophile records. If some audiophile guru said the Japanese pressing of Girl Scout Troup #657 singing the Girl Scout Theme Song was sonic nirvana, it would show up on every internet record website for $50 each.

    Next up was my original pressing with an F16 matrix on side one, and man, what a relief after following the Nautilus disaster. In fact, I resisted buying a pricey Hot Stamper because I always felt my pressing to be pretty darned good, which it was. So I was shocked to hear just how much better the Hot Stamper was.

    I played Dreams on side one and it took all of about 5 seconds of hearing the massive bass and startlingly dynamic cymbal crashes on this track to find the Hot Stamper worth every penny I paid for it. If the drum kit on Oh Daddy doesn't get your pants flapping, time for a new stereo. Voices were eerily present, guitars had great detail, pianos had weight just like in real life (we have a piano in our house), and best of all, the highs were arrayed in space and were delicate and detailed.

    Since the Nautilus is too thin to make a good frisbee and would probably fetch big bucks on ebay I will stuff it back on my shelf forever, unless I need a good laugh, and add the HS Rumors to my favorite recordings.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • I couldn't resist the opportunity to grab your recent Hot Stamper of Chicago 7. It arrived yesterday and I rushed up to my "music room" and dropped the needle on "Wishing You Were Here". Oh Wow......never heard it like this. The tonality was just simply beautiful. The three dimensionality was incredible. The extension of bass to highs was simply total and balanced. The voices were "right there". I thought that this is what happens when you are hearing through to the master tape on an LP that hasn't destroyed or even impaired the original sound. It pulls you from the first song to the next and on. It draws you into the music and makes you forget about all the "stuff" around it.


    This journey to the Hot Stamper level of audio reminds me of skiing. You wake-up having packed carefully for your trip. You travel hours, maybe even fly to the mountain. Then you drive up the mountain to the lodge and haul everything to the changing room. After struggling to put on the ton of clothing and equipment you trek across to the lifts and travel to the very top of the mountain. At the top you are now temporarily exhausted and wonder if all this effort and work could in any way be worth it... Then you jump off and fly down the mountain and realize that yes, it was worth it. The exhilaration and adrenaline rush is an immediate flash back to why you do this. It's the Holy Grail!

    Well, getting a Hot Stamper gives me a similar feeling. The work to build a great sounding stereo system: the mixing and matching of components and voicing of the sound to your room and your preferences is part of the "trip to the mountain". For me the years of not really understanding that the source material was so variable and generally defective has made the journey a lot worse. I envy those who discover Better Records early and never have to travel the quest to good sound by looking in the wrong places. But better late than never. As you say "Life is too short to listen to crappy records".

    Ed Z.
    Philadelphia, PA

  • Just wanted to say thanks for finding a record like this. I looked in my collection and thought, wow I have an anadisc (Serial #5), let's see how they compare?


    The MOFI is so bad! It sounds like there are three layers of Saran wrap on it... slow, murky and all the other things that your commentary says... the food analogy would be crappy soggy french fries... bloated... lifeless... There is no comparison to the sound on side two.... the organ is rolling and alive and sounds like the Hammonds I have heard through Leslie cabinets... on the MOFI it was like the organ was behind glass doors... flat... no life.... I could go on and on. The other songs were so much better on the Hot Stamper... makes me want to go frisbee my MOFI or maybe just sell it on ebay.

    Ed F.
    Burlingame, CA

  • Just a quick word on the last set of records that I received a couple of days ago, safe and sound. Have to agree with you - that mono of Dylan's 'The Times Thay Are A-Changin' really is jaw-droppingly good, and with quiet vinyl to boot as well!


    As for Simon & Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', I have bought quite a few copies of this LP and, to my ears, nothing sounded as good as the Classic reissue... that is, until I got your Hot Stamper. Again, you got this one spot-on. The Classic just doesn't come close in terms of warmth and tonality.

    Owais M.
    Tokyo, Japan

  • Your Thursday flyers are one of the highlights of my week. Some people think I don't have a life... and they're probably right. I've found myself steadily gravitating towards Hot Stampers. A large part of this has been because the majority of the LPs Better Records offers contain music I like.


    Because funds are limited a tension arises in allocating expenditure on hardware and software (i.e. the LPs). But only with continuous (but judicious) improvement in the hardware can one truly appreciate how good each Hot Stamper is. You are right, it is expensive, time consuming and an obsession. Just keep those insightful random thoughts coming along. I have been at this for 25 years and am still learning.

    Lee-Sai C.
    Perth, Australia

  • I just had a chance to listen to the Please Please Me record you sent me. WOW! It is sooo much better than the tinny sound I remember from before. The tonality of their voices is incredible. And there's background detail that I never heard before. Thanks for another great recommendation! I am very happy with this purchase.

    Paul M.
    San Jose, CA

  • I received your Pink Floyd 'Wish You Were Here' Hot Stamper and compared it to my CBS Half-Speed (I found a bunch of these Half-Speeds in a bargain bin years ago and did a shootout to select the best one) and the pressing that I considered the best, the Japanese Mastersound Half-Speed, for which I paid dearly. Drum roll, please while Vanna hands me the sealed envelope............ and the winner is: Surprise -- the Hot Stamper! And it wasn't even close.


    Once I heard the center-of-the-earth bass on the Hot Stamper 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', it was all over. I was amazed at how bright the CBS was, transparent yes, but bright and no bass and no body to the saxophones and voices. The Mastersound was better-balanced in that the highs were tamed, but no real dynamics and bass was flabby. I have heard this record hundreds of times, but never heard the details in the guitars and cymbals and keyboards like this. And did I mention the huge, huge soundstage with a wall of sound like that of other Pink Floyd records? Nice job as usual.

    Roger L.
    Ojai, CA

  • Got the Meddle album already. I sat down as soon as I opened it and listened to both sides with the volume up. Absolutely blew me away. I heard things on there that I never heard before. Or I just heard them better. I didn't have to listen to my other copies. I knew right away this one was IT. Listening to a record like this just gets me thinking what the other Hot Stampers sound like.

    Steve E.
    Boulder Creek, CA

 

 

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