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Spirit - Clear

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: spiriclear_2011) 



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

This amazing Hot Stamper Two Pack gives you a White Hot side one and a side two that's nearly its equal, earning a sonic grade of A++ to A+++. (The other sides were either too noisy or too awful sounding to be of any concern to us audiophiles.)

With the best sides here you get Tubey Magic like you never imagined, assuming you played the CD or the Sundazed vinyl. (I would take the CD in a heartbeat over the awful Sundazed LP of course. More on that later.)

More Spirit


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British Band Classics Vol. 2

The First Classical Record I Bought as an Audiophile

  (Item #: holstbriti_golden_import) 



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


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Tchaikovsky / Piano Concerto #1 / Richter/ Karajan

Our First Shootout Winner, 2008

  (Item #: tchaipiano_dg_2008) 



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

This fairly quiet Large Tulips early DG pressing in the heavy cardboard outer sleeve has THE BEST SOUND we have ever heard for this recording! Believe me, they don’t all sound like this! This copy is airy and sweet; just listen to the flutes -- you can really hear the air moving through them. There is still some congestion in the loudest passages, but that's unfortunately not something we can do anything about. Since it's on every copy we've ever played we just have to assume it's part of the recording.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Holst / The Planets / Mehta

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: holstplane_6734_2010) 



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

This 2-pack boasts White Hot Stamper sound on side two for the Mehta Planets. Yes, it IS possible. Side two shows you what this record is actually capable of -- big WHOMP, no SMEAR, super SPACIOUS, DYNAMIC, with an EXTENDED top. It beat every London pressing we threw at it, coming out on top for our recent shootout. Folks, we 100% guarantee that whatever pressing you have of this performance, this copy will trounce it.

But side one of this London original British pressing was awful. We wrote it off as NFG after about a minute; that's all we could take of the bright, hard-sounding brass of War.

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Holst / The Planets / Steinberg

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: holstplane_2008) 



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

Side one here is AGAIG, as good as it gets. It shows the listener more of everything that's wonderful about this wondrous work. Side two is very nearly as good, and was only beaten slightly by one other copy in our shootout. This pressing gives you the complete work in the best sound we can find.

More of the music of Gustav Holst


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Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 2 / Fennell

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: holstbriti_2016) 



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

Side one big, full and dynamic, with horns and winds that are never screechy. (Side two of this first LP is very screechy and not at all to our liking.)

Side two of the second record has the sound of live music. Huge space, clear yet rich, this is the sound we were looking for!

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 1 / Fennell

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: holstbriti_50088_2011) 



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

This RARE Super Hot Stamper Mercury Mono original pressing has the kind of BIG, LIVELY, tonally correct sound that not one out of fifty mono records we play can lay claim to. If more mono records sounded like this one I wouldn't be so down on mono all the time.

But they don't. Most mono records sound SMALL. When you have big speakers, set far apart and far from the back wall, in a pretty good sized room, small is just not the sound you want to hear! Especially when it comes to classical music. I want a front row seat, and this record is a first class ticket to one.

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Holst / The Planets / Mehta

Sealed with the Pioneer Booklet

  (Item #: holstplane_6734_pioneer) 



Factory Sealed CS 6734 with the super rare Pioneer spacecraft booklet inside the shrink!

A customer of mine who saw that we had a sealed Planets recently told me about this copy, which I offered to sell for him at an admittedly high price, knowing that there's a very good chance this is the last such copy on the planet. I have never seen one before, and I remember when this record came out, so probably few were made with this special booklet included. I'm guessing it has about a dozen pages or so, and probably talks about the Pioneer mission to Jupiter.

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Mendelssohn & Prokofiev / Concertos / Heifetz / Munch

  (Item #: mendeconce_2314_2011) 



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

This BETTER than Super Hot Stamper (A++ to A+++) White Dog pressing has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND on side one for the Mendelssohn concerto! It really has the Breath of Life. On top of that it's quiet, playing mostly Mint Minus, something that we don't run into too often with fifty year old Living Stereo pressings! Now I see why Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List. Most copies do not sound remotely as good as this one on side one. (Side two is a step down; it would almost have to be.)

More of the music of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)


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Saint-Saens - Organ Symphony

180g Klavier Debunked

  (Item #: saintsym3_klavier) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

Yet another murky, smeary Audiophile Piece of Trash from the mastering lathe of the formerly brilliant Doug Sax. He used to cut the best sounding records in the world. Then he started working for Analogue Productions and never cut a good record again as far as I know.

More of the music of Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)


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Saint-Saens et al. - Danse Macabre

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: saintdanse_2011) 



This is a Decca reissue that just happens to have the material found on one of the most famous and sought-after Shaded Dog pressings in the world, Witches' Brew, along with another track added, The Sorcerer's Apprentice conducted by Ansermet. (As a budget reissue they felt they needed to give you more music in order to get you to buy performances that were no longer current.)

This pressing is tonally much more natural from top to bottom. I used to think that it was the best way to hear the music on Witches' Brew. Like so much of what happens in the world of records, it is and it isn't.

More of the music of Camille Saint-Saens


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Benny Goodman - The Benny Goodman Story

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: goodmbenny_2010) 



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

This is a SUPERB SOUNDING Benny Goodman Mono album from 1955, here reissued with, in some ways, even better sound. Benny Goodman still had it in 1955, and he and his band really punch some life into this music that they had been playing for 20 years. The Capitol engineers really capture the power of his band, with correct tonality throughout. The originals (which are very hard to find) have a little more midrange magic but less punch. Each is good in its own way. This may be a reissue but it's a damn fine one.

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Neil Young - Harvest

Our Shootout Winner in 2008

  (Item #: youngharve_2008) 



A distinguished member of our Hall of Fame since 2008.

Harvest is undeniably one of the most beloved albums in all of classic rock. We get letters all the time from customers hoping to get their hands on Hot Stamper copies, but we'll never have the supply to keep up with the demand. It's a tough nut to crack, because a Hot Stamper Harvest has to get so many things right -- the lovely pedal steel guitar on Out On The Weekend, the LSO on A Man Needs A Maid and There's A World (engineered by Glyn Johns), Neil's grungy electric guitar on Alabama, and so much more.

More Neil Young


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Van Morrison - His Band And The Street Choir

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: morrihisba_2009) 



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

This is an EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD PRESSING of Van Morrison's underappreciated gem! This is the album that came out between Moondance and Tupelo Honey, but for some reason it don't get no respect. We think that's insane -- the material on this album is top-notch and the sound on the best pressings is out of this world!

Here's a copy that really makes our case for us. Both sides of this original Warner Bros. pressing sound AMAZING and play quietly. We went through a massive stack of copies and let me tell you -- most of them sure don't sound like this! Take this one home for some of the best Van Morrison sound you will ever hear.

More Van Morrison


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Tchaikovsky / Excerpts from The Nutcracker / Reiner / CSO

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tchainutcr_2328_2013) 



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

This RCA reissue pressing of LSC 2328 has some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for The Nutcracker, and we've played them by the dozens, on the greatest Golden Age labels of all time, including the likes of Mercury, RCA and London. In a somewhat (but not too) surprising turn of events, the reissue pressing we are offering here beat all the originals and early reissues we could throw at it. Finally, this legendary Mohr/Layton production can be heard in its full glory!

If you like your Nutcracker exciting and dynamic, this is the copy for you.

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Chabrier / Orchestral Music / Ansermet

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: chabrespan_JB10_2011) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper Decca reissue pressing has superb sound on both sides, with some of the loveliest orchestral music reproduction we’ve ever heard.

On both sides it is very RICH and TUBEY. Some might even say that it's too "Tubey Magical", but of course that's a matter of taste. If you like the dry sterility of the modern Heavy Vinyl pressing, perhaps this is not the right record for you. Or maybe this is EXACTLY the record you need, the one that can show you what real vintage Golden Age Glorious Analog is all about.

See more of our spectacular orchestral recordings in stock


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The Ames Brothers with Esquivel - Hello Amigos

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: amesbhello_2014) 



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

This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. This is vintage analog at its best, so rich and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to "improve" upon it.

This recording is the very definition of The Sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, nor will any CD ever be able to capture what is in the grooves of this pressing.

1960 - It Was a Very Good Year


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Chet Atkins - Workshop

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: atkinworks_2010) 



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

DEMO QUALITY SOUND! That is, if what you're demonstrating is Living Stereo magic at its best. Certainly this is no sonic blockbuster. It's not trying to be. It's just more of that rich, sweet Bill Porter tubey magic from Nashville. Has there ever been a CD that sounds like this? If there is, I sure haven't heard it.

More Chet Atkins


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Humble Pie - Performance - Rockin' The Fillmore

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: humblperfo_2015) 



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

One of the best -- if not THE best -- rock concert albums we have ever heard. Can you imagine if Frampton Comes Alive sounded like this? If you want to hear some smokin’ Peter Frampton guitar work from the days when he was with Humble Pie this album captures that sound better than any of their studio releases, and far better than Comes Alive on even the best copies.

See all of our Humble Pie albums in stock


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James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: taylomudsl_2009) 



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

Side two here has STUNNING MASTER TAPE SOUND, and side one is not far behind. Side two is open and transparent with shocking clarity. All of the little details that are missing from the average copy really come through here -- the sound of the room around the guitars, the transients of the hand percussion, and the weight of the piano, to name a few. The acoustic guitar sound is Right On The Money and the vocals sound amazing. The bottom end on this copy just can’t be beat -- we’ve never heard another copy of Mud Slide Slim with such deep, note-like bass. The highs are silky sweet and there’s real three-dimensionality to the soundfield.

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Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: rolliletit_2007) 



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

STUNNINGLY GOOD SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! This Hot Stamper Let It Bleed is the best copy we’ve EVER played, rating A++ on side one and A+++ on side two. ’Love In Vain’ is DEMO DISC QUALITY here. Who knew Let It Bleed could sound this amazing?

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Santana - Santana (III)

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: santasanta3_2012) 



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

TWO AMAZING DEMO QUALITY SIDES! If you want to bring the funky sound of Latin percussion to life in your living room, this is the ticket! We just finished a big Santana (3) shootout and this copy was the big winner with A+++ sound on BOTH SIDES. This is the most TUBEY MAGICAL Santana recording I have ever heard, and at its best is competitive with Abraxas for the title of Greatest Santana Recording!

More Santana


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Burt Bacharach - Casino Royale

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bachacasin_2008) 



TWO STUNNING SIDES! With sound like this, I now understand why this has been such a highly regarded long-term resident of the TAS Superdisc List. A copy like this IS a TRUE SUPERDISC -- but the average copy of this album is anything but. Who could take such harsh, grainy, thin, veiled, compressed sound seriously? What was Harry smokin’?

I can honestly and truthfully say that until we discovered the Hot Stampers for this album, I never thought this record deserved the praise Harry heaped upon it. Now I do. I once was blind but now I see, or something like that. And by the way, does his copy sound as good as this one? I would bet money right now that this monster is clearly the better pressing.

See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: littlwaiti_2009) 



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

This German import pressing of Waiting for Columbus is much better sounding than the typical Mastering Lab-mastered copy.

This German pressing is similar to one that came from my own personal collection, accidentally discovered way back in the early '80s as I recall. It KILLED my domestic original, and got some things right that even my treasured Mobile Fidelity pressing couldn't. We have been meaning to do a shootout for this album for at least the last five years, but kept running into the fact that in a head to head shootout the right MoFi pressing -- sloppy bass and all -- was hard to beat.

More Little Feat


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Talking Heads - Little Creatures

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: talkilittl_2009) 



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

This Original Sire LP rocks with the best of them. We’re huge fans of this album, and when you hear a copy like this one you’ll know exactly why. Not many records from this era sound as amazingly rich as this one, that’s for sure! This copy boasts the kind of tight, punchy, surprisingly deep note-like bass that absolutely makes or breaks this album. Without the proper bass foundation, this funky beat-crazy Talking Heads album can’t BEGIN to do what it’s trying to do: get your feet tappin’ and your body rockin’ to the music.

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Frank Sinatra - The Voice

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: sinatthevo_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1955.

This is a Six Eye Mono Original Columbia pressing. These originals have the midrange magic that is missing from the Classic Records heavy vinyl pressing.

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Carly Simon - Another Passenger

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: simonanoth_2010) 



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

A TOP PRESSING of what we consider to be the best -- and best-sounding -- Carly Simon album! I’ve been telling people for years how amazing this album can sound, but we almost never hear it sound quite like this! Side one rates A++, side two rates A+++ and both sides play quietly. Most copies are gritty and edgy, but this one is smoother, sweeter and much more musical.

More Carly Simon


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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: beatlahard_2012) 



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

The best side one we've ever heard! Side one was so amazing, clearly a step up over any side of any other copy we played, that we felt obligated to award it our "Four Plus" (A++++) grade. Out of the thousands of Hot Stampers we've listed over the years, about twenty have earned Four Pluses on any side. That alone makes this a very special copy indeed.

And side two was right up there with the best we played this time around as well, finishing in second place with a grade of A++ to A+++. Both sides are so RICH and TUBEY MAGICAL you will not believe this is the same A Hard Day's Night that has always sounded so hard, harsh and aggressive.

More Beatles


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Neil Young - Zuma

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: youngzuma_2011) 



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

The highest rated copy to ever hit the site, with Master Tape Sound on BOTH SIDES! This Reprise pressing has two INCREDIBLE SOUNDING (and QUIET) White Hot A+++ sides. If you are looking for a hard-rockin' Neil Young album that boasts Demonstration Quality sound powerful to blow away just about any rock record in your collection, this is the hot ticket. Everything you could ever wanted from this album is here. It is nothing short of a knockout!

More Neil Young


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Helen Humes - Songs I Like to Sing

Our Black Label Shootout Winner (2007)

  (Item #: humessongs_2007) 



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

This Contemporary Black Label Original LP has AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! It has that classic tube-mastered sound -- warmer, smoother, and sweeter than the later pressings with more breath of life.

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Nat "King" Cole - Love Is The Thing

The Breatkthrough We Were Waiting For

  (Item #: cole_lovei_2016) 



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

Love Is The Thing has long been one of the best sounding Nat "King" Cole recordings we had auditioned over the years. With a large variety of copies to play, including some interesting "finds" among them, we now know it actually is The Best. We have never heard the man sound better than he does on the hot copies of this record.

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Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning, 3 AM

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: simonwedne_2011) 



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

SUPERB SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! The voices are PERFECTION -- breathy, delicate, and full-bodied with astonishing clarity and presence.

Side one has MASTER TAPE SOUND -- super transparent, super clean, lots of ambience, and breathtaking immediacy. It's rich, full, warm, and sweet, and the acoustic guitars are OUT OF THIS WORLD -- you can really hear the transients as the strings are plucked. The bass is deep and tight and the tonal balance is Right On The Money. We rate side one an A+++, and side two sounds nearly as amazing!

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Crowded House - Crowded House

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: crowdcrowd_2014) 



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

This original domestic pressing offers better than Super Hot Stamper sound for both sides of Crowded House's wonderful debut.

Musically side one is absolutely brilliant from first note to last. Crowded House may have wanted to be the New Beatles, but those are some pretty big shoes to fill. They fell a bit short -- who can compete with The Beatles? -- but in their heyday, 1985-1993, they were better at making intelligent, original, melody-driven pop than practically any other group I was listening to. If you like the Art Rock of the '70s, this album shows that smart, adult rock music could still be made a decade or more later.

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Heart - Dreamboat Annie

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: heartdream_2012) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND and QUIET VINYL on BOTH SIDES! If you're an audiophile who loves classic rock, you just haven't lived until you've heard Magic Man and Crazy On You on a Hot Stamper pressing, and they don't get ANY hotter than this copy! We play dozens upon dozens of these every year, and based on that experience this Hot Stamper will be virtually unbeatable for EITHER side.

See all of our Heart albums in stock


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Heart - Dreamboat Annie

Nautilus Hot Stamper

  (Item #: heartdream_2009) 



This is a Minty looking Nautilus Half-Speed Mastered LP with SURPRISINGLY GOOD SOUND on side two. I think I finally figured out why people like these half-speed mastered records so much. If you get one like this, it's great! The mids and highs are transparent, sweet, open, and tonally correct. There's none of that MOFI 10k top end boost here! Listen critically to the vocals -- there's almost no phony hi-fi-ish quality to the midrange, the kind you hear on so many half-speed mastered records.

Flip the record over to side one and there they are, plain as day: audiophle BS vocals. That makes this a Hot Stamper on side two and a pretty much run-of-the-mill stamper for side one. Both sides actually have pretty good bass (for a half-speed), so maybe that's being a bit too harsh.

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Carly Simon - No Secrets

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: simonnosec_2012) 



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

This Elektra Butterfly Label LP is ONE OF THE VERY BEST SOUNDING COPIES OF THIS ALBUM I’VE EVER HEARD, with both sides receiving our top grad of A+++! We just finished playing a big old stack of pressings and this copy was clearly the best overall.

It ain't easy to find copies of the album that give you big, rich sound and breathy vocals, but this White Hot Stamper gives you all that and more, taking the sound of the album far beyond any expectations you may have. It's that good.

More Carly Simon


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10cc - The Original Soundtrack

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: tenccorigi_2009) 



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

WHAT A RECORD! Both sides are lively, energetic, super transparent and full of ambience. There’s more depth to the soundfield, more WHOMP to the bottom end and more texture to the instruments than you’re going to hear elsewhere. The bottom end is KILLER with some seriously meaty, well-defined bass. The drums sound AMAZING -- just listen to all that THWACK to the snare. The overall sound is BIG, BOLD, LIVELY, DYNAMIC, and POWERFUL -- in other words, As Good As It Gets!

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Van Morrison - Tupelo Honey

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: morritupel_2009) 



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

YIKES! It’s the new ALL-TIME CHAMPION for Tupelo Honey, with MASTER TAPE SOUND and pretty darn quiet vinyl on BOTH SIDES! I’ll bet just about anything that you’ve never heard Van Morrison sound as good as he does here in your entire life. We played a massive stack of copies this week and felt incredibly lucky to find one that sounded like this. I just don’t think you could make this music sound any better no matter what you did.

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Supertramp - Crime of the Century

Ken Scott's Producing / Engineering Masterpiece

  (Item #: supercrime_2011) 



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

AMAZING White Hot Stampers for the greatest KEN SCOTT production in history. This is his (and the band’s) MASTERPIECE, and now we have a pressing that allows us to revel in the GLORY that is Crime of the Century!

This killer copy rates A+++ on BOTH sides. Wow is the only word I can think of to describe it.

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The Beatles - Let It Be

Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlletit_2013) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES, including a MIND-BLOWING A++++ SIDE ONE for this White Hot Stamper 2-pack! At its best, this album has the real power of live music, but it takes a special pressing to make it happen. Both of these copies had one stunning side and one that just didn't impress us, so we've paired them up to give you incredible sound for the entire album!

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The Beatles - Abbey Road

Our First Shootout Winner (2007)

  (Item #: beatlabbey_2007) 



This Minty Apple British Import pressing has MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE! We just finished a big Abbey Road shootout (1/16/07) and this side one was IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN!

This is the first Hot Stamper Abbey Road we’ve ever listed ... and there's a good reason for that. It's practically impossible to find a properly mastered copy. For whatever reasons -- probably because this recording is so complicated and required so many tracks -- Abbey Road is the toughest nut to crack in the Beatles' catalog.

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Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: scaggsilkd_2011) 



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

This White Hot Stamper side one will BLOW THE DOORS OFF any Silk Degrees you have ever heard. Side one earned an A+++ grade with incredible clarity, a huge bottom end, silky sweet highs, and tons of energy. The strings have real texture, something you won't hear on too many pressings of this album. The mids are clear, the vocals are breathy and the piano is super solid.

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Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman

A Hall of Fame Pressing from 2004!

  (Item #: steveteafo_2004) 



This is a superb sounding original Brown Label A&M pressing. If you didn’t know better you might think you were listening to a Pink Label copy: it’s that good! In fact, having just played a Pink label Island 3U/3U original, I’m going to say that this pressing actually sounds better on side one than that famous import. This will no doubt shock many of you. But I have known of a better sounding brown label domestic pressing for close to 10 years.
See all pressings of Tea for the Tillerman in stock


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The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: parsoirobo_2012) 



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

For the first time ever, we've found Hot Stamper versions of I Robot! No copy in our shootout fared better than this one, which earned an A+++ on side one, an A++ on side two and played pretty quietly throughout. If you're a fan of this album who has been playing a typical copy, or -- even worse -- one of the MoFi versions, you are sure to be very impressed with the kind of sound this White Hot Stamper copy delivers.

More Alan Parsons albums (and albums he engineered)


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Doobie Brothers - Takin’ It to the Streets

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: doobitakin_2009) 



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

SUPERB SOUND on this A++ / A+++ White Hot Stamper -- who in his right mind thought this record could sound this good? Not us! We’ve been buying pressings for years with virtually nothing to show for it; that’s why you haven’t seen a Hot Stamper hit the site since 2007. The typical copy of this album has no real top or bottom; that’s what separates the men from the boys on Takin’ It to the Streets. That shrunken, flat, two-dimensional, lifeless, compressed, midrangy sound you’re so used to hearing on Doobies Brothers albums (to this day I still haven’t found a good Minute by Minute!) is the rule, and this pressing the exception.

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The Who - Live at Leeds

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: who__livea_2013) 



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

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Get ready to rock out, as this is one of the BEST SOUNDING live albums ever recorded. Young Man Blues on a copy such as this has drums that are so solid, punchy and present they positively put to shame the drum sound on 99 out of 100 rock records you've ever played. Keith Moon lives on!

More by The Who


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Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain

Mono Shootout Winner in 2008

  (Item #: davissketc_2008) 



This Mono Six Eye Columbia original pressing is the WINNER and [not-at-all] CURRENT CHAMPION of our Sketches of Spain shootouts. This record always sounded so thin and aggressive, with Miles’ horn always somewhat pinched and sour, but now it sounds wonderful. Who knew this record could sound so good?

Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List of Super Discs.

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Crosby / Nash - Whistling Down The Wire

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosbwhist_2012) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++! This is the pair's third and best album, with better sound than Wind on the Water as well as their strongest songwriting. This is arguably a better CSN record than the album titled CSN from 1977. For one thing, the harmonies are superior, even without Stephen Stills. (Crosby and Nash were in big demand in the Rock and Pop world of the '70s for their impressive background vocal skills.) For another it's clearly a better recording.

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Stevie Wonder - Innervisions

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: wondeinner_2008) 



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

WHITE HOT STAMPERS FOR INNERVISIONS FINALLY DISCOVERED! After struggling through multiple stalled shootouts, we’ve finally unearthed copies of this wonderful album that have the sound we’ve been waiting for. We’ve gone through SCORES of pressings in the hope that one day we'd find a copy like this -- with two Demo Quality sides, and fairly quiet vinyl, it's our first ever White Hot Stamper for Stevie Wonder's Innervisions.

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Andrew Gold - Andrew Gold

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: gold_andre_2010) 



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

As audiophiles we all know that sound and music are inseparable. My comments for this side two note how spacious and present and full of energy it is. After dropping the needle on a dozen or so copies, all originals by the way, you KNOW when the music is working its magic and when it's not.

As with any pop album there are always some tracks that sound better than others, but when you find yourself marvelling at how well-written and well-produced a song is, you know that the sound is doing what it needs to do. It's communicating the Musical Values of the material. This Hot Stamper copy brings Andrew Gold's music to LIFE.

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Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: zevonexcit_2011) 



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

EXCELLENT SOUND on BOTH SIDES of this Asylum LP! We just finished a big ol' shootout for Warren Zevon's rockin', rollickin' 1978 classic! This copy has EXACTLY the kind of sound you want for this fun music, and most copies just don't have it. I'm talking about a BIG punchy bottom end, you-are-there immediacy and TONS of energy. Those are the qualities that bring a song like Werewolves Of London to a whole new level! Side one earned our top grade of A+++ while side two was just a half a plus behind. This is about As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) for this album.

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Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority

Our Shootout Winner for 2008

  (Item #: chicachica_2008) 



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

This is the BEST SOUNDING CHICAGO RECORD we have EVER heard, and that includes not just this first album, but ANY Chicago album. This is the kind of album that most audiophiles would be sorely tempted to give up on. Who can blame them?

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Antonio Carlos Jobim - Tide

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: jobimtide_2008) 



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

GREAT SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We’ve been trying our hardest to find a Jobim record with Hot sound, because we love the music so much. It’s taken some time, but we’ve finally found a few magnificent copies of Tide -- and this one’s the champ!

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Paul Simon - Paul Simon

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: simonpauls_2008) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND on side one, backed with a great side two! We just finished our first big shootout for this wonderfully fun album, and I gotta tell you -- I don’t think any Paul Simon solo album was recorded any better! I can’t imagine that you'll find a better sounding side than the first side of this copy; it's doing EVERYTHING right.

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Neil Young - Comes A Time

Our Shootout Winning Copy from 2007

  (Item #: youngcomes_2007) 



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

This wonderful Neil Young record has sound comparable to the best copies of Harvest and After The Gold Rush -- but no one seems to have noticed! Where are the Demo Disc LP Lists with Comes a Time on them?

Don't bother to search; they don't exist, to my knowledge anyway. Not to worry, because this egregious oversight has been rectified. Comes a Time is now officially a member of our Rock and Pop Top 100. Who needs those other lists anyway?

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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: pinkfwishy_2016) 



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

Amazing! Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides, making this a Top Copy that will knock you out. The sound is, in a word, HUGE. You won't believe how full, rich and clear this one is.

This copy has the size, energy and presence to bring the music out of the speakers and right into your listening room!

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Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: youngrustn_2010) 



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

A great (A++) side one backed with an AMAZING (A+++) side two, this is without a doubt one of the very best sounding copies of Rust Never Sleeps we have ever had the privilege of playing here at Better Records. Side two simply cannot be beat. Drop the needle on Powderfinger to hear the Crazy Horse sound at its best -- the raging guitars, the big meaty bottom end, and the kind of immediacy that puts Neil Young and his band of misfits right in your listening room.

Tubey Magic in 1979? Yes, analog was still alive and well then -- both sides of this copy prove it. The disastrously synthesized '80s were on their way but thankfully they hadn't gotten here yet.

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The Dixie Dregs - Dregs of the Earth

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: dixiedregs_2012) 



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

If you want to hear what happens when five virtuoso instrumentalists manage to combine their talent for Jazz, Rock, Classical and Country (thanks god there aren't any vocals) into a potent mix that defies classification and breaks all the rules, this is the one. It reminds me of Ellington's famous line that there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. This is the kind of music you may have trouble describing, but one thing's for sure -- it's good. In fact it's really good.

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Peter, Paul & Mary - Moving

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: petermovin_2008) 



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

This White Hot Stamper [which sold for $400 in 2008 by the way] of Peter Paul & Mary’s MOVING absolutely DESTROYED the competition. No other copy we played rated as high as A++ on EITHER side; this one rates our top grade of A+++ on BOTH sides! The warmth and presence of the vocals on this copy are OFF THE CHARTS!

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Joni Mitchell - The Hissing of Summer Lawns

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mitchhissi_2011) 



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

AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES of this Asylum LP, with each rating A++ - A+++ or better! We just finished a big shootout for this album and this copy was consistently excellent from the first song to the last. We had no idea this album could sound this good! We had pretty much given up on it after hearing a few copies that bored us to tears a while back, but once we found the Hot Stampers we started to really enjoy this music.

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Van Morrison - Saint Dominic’s Preview

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: morrisaint_2010) 



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

TWO AMAZING A+++ SIDES ON QUIET VINYL -- this will likely be the best sounding Van Morrison you hear in your entire life! We've played a ton of these over the years and it's not all that often that we hear a copy that so capably presents the music. Both sides are very rich and super full-bodied with exceptional clarity and mindblowing YOU ARE THERE immediacy. We almost never find copies of Moondance or Astral Weeks that sound anything like this, and when we do they go for much more money.

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Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: pinkfdarks_2012) 



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

This Minty EMI Harvest German Import LP takes this album to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Both of these White Hot sides have HUGE, room-filling, hi-definition sound with all the Tubey Magic you could ever hope for. The transparency and the clarity are mind-boggling! Just listen to how clear the clocks are on Time, how breathy the vocals are on Breathe, how textured the synthesizers are and how silky the top end is from the beginning of the album all the way to the end.

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The Who - Who’s Next

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: who__whosn_2010) 



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

TWO AMAZING sides on QUIET vinyl -- a stunning A+++ Off the Charts, Hard To Beat, Shootout Winning side two mated to a superb A++ to A+++ side one! This week we sat down for an all day MASSIVE shootout for Who’s Next, a true Glyn Johns Classic and undeniably one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

This Decca Colorband Original pressing BLEW OUR MINDS with phenomenal sound from start to finish -- check out the BIG, BOLD, Rock ’em Sock ’em bottom end energy! No other pressing we played had this kind of POWER down below. If you’re ready to really rock out with The Who, this White Hot Stamper is your ticket to ride!

More by The Who


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America - Homecoming

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: amerihomec_2009) 



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

This Warner Bros. Green Label Pressing is THE NEW HOMECOMING KING! The tubey analog magic of this recording is ABSOLUTELY OFF THE CHARTS. The mindblowing presence and immediacy of this copy will put the lovely voices and sweetly strummed guitars of this band right in front of you. They don't make records that sound like this anymore.

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James Taylor - JT

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: taylojt_2007) 



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

SUPERB SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! Both sides have MASTER TAPE SOUND. With six plusses between the two sides it sure doesn’t get much better than this copy!

And don't think we're kidding about turning up your volume and rockin' out to songs like Honey Don't Leave L.A. and I Was Only Telling a Lie. Those are real rock songs and they show that old JT can rock with the best of them when he wants to.

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Boston - Boston

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bostobosto_2010) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND! We just finished another big Boston shootout; stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but most copies are pretty darn mediocre. If you want to deal with grainy highs, hooded mids, leaned-out bass and on overall lack of enthusiasm on the part of the band, I suppose that’s your prerogative, but this music is a heckuva lot more fun when it sounds like it does on this White Hot Stamper!

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Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: fleetfleet_2012) 



A distinguished member of our Hall of Fame.

In 2012 we noted that this WHITE HOT copy of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album has some of THE BEST SOUND WE HAD EVER HEARD, not only for this album, but for the band itself. As good as the best copies of Rumours are, they don’t really sound like this. Until we started doing these shootouts in about 2006 we had no idea this album was remotely this well recorded. There are layers and layers of subtle instrumental textures and recording effects throughout 1975's Fleetwood Mac that we had never even suspected were there. Then we played this copy.

See more of our Fleetwood Mac albums in stock


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Henry Mancini - A Warm Shade of Ivory

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: manciawarm_2010) 



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

With THE BEST side one we have ever played, backed with a side two that's very nearly as good, this is a very special copy indeed! This copy was getting everything right on side one. Wide and deep stage, smooth but textured strings, background vocalists who take breaths, room around the piano, clear attack, it's all here.

Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List of Super Discs. More about that later.

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Willie Nelson - Without A Song

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: nelsowitho_2009) 



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

A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND and QUIET VINYL on BOTH SIDES! We just finished a big shootout for this wonderful album, and this Columbia pressing was second to none.

Fans of Stardust are going to go crazy over this one. It's another solid album full of Wille belting out heartfelt renditions of standards. Once again, he's backed by a top-notch backing band fronted by the one and only Booker T. Jones. The arrangements are splendid -- just drop the needle on Autumn Leaves or A Dreamer's Holiday to hear these guys doing what they do best.

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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What to Listen For

  (Item #: londojulieis_clone) 



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

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

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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What a Record!

  (Item #: londojulieis_2016) 



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

We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a given recording to a level we've never experienced before and had no idea could even exist. We estimate that about one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

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Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: manzadiamo_2010) 



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

This White Hot Stamper English Import has the BIGGEST, BOLDEST SOUND we have ever heard for this album! If this copy doesn't wake up your stereo nothing ever will.

Like its brother, 801 Live, this album is an amazing SONIC BLOCKBUSTER, with sound that positively leaps out of the speakers.

More Phil Manzanera and Roxy Music


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Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child is Father to the Man

Our 2011 Shootout Winner for Side One

  (Item #: bloodchild_2011) 



A QUIET White Hot Stamper on side one for BS and T’s debut, one of my favorite albums of all time. Why do we so rarely list amazing copies of this album? Let me ask you this: have you played it recently? The average copy of this record is a sonic MESS. Even the best copies have problems.

We present here a FREAKISHLY GOOD SOUNDING SIDE ONE. This copy blew the doors off the competition, earning our highest grade of A Triple Plus and giving us a whole new appreciation for what this record can really sound like! Who knew? The brass has power on this copy like we almost never hear for this album. The bass was bigger and bolder than any other; finally, here is the kind of rock sound we are always looking for on the album but is so elusive.

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Crosby / Nash - Graham Nash/ David Crosby

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbgraha_2015) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of the album.

This album has some of the BEST SOUND Crosby and Nash ever recorded, but you'd never know that listening to the average pressing. You need plenty of deliciously rich Tubey Magic if this music is going to work, and on that count this copy certainly delivers.

More by C, S, N and/or Y


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Led Zeppelin - Presence

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: ledzeprese_2012) 



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

A STUNNING A++ TO A+++ side two (where Nobody's Fault But Mine can be found, one of the best Zep rockers of all time and the best reason to own this album), with MASSIVE room-filling size and rock ENERGY like you will not believe. How did they manage to get such rock and roll power into these grooves, the way they did on Zep II and IV? We can't even imagine, but it's there all right.

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Led Zeppelin - In Through The Out Door

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: ledzeinthr_2008) 



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

SUPERB A+++ SOUND! We play dozens of these each year, and almost never find one that sounds amazing and plays this quietly. When a copy sounds this good, the music REALLY works -- we had fun with this one. It's rich, full-bodied, and ALIVE like you wouldn't believe.

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Rabin / The Magic Bow / Slatkin

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: variorabin_bow_2010) 



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

This original Capitol Michael Rabin record is ONE OF THE VERY BEST VIOLIN RECORDINGS we have ever played here at Better Records. The sound is OUT OF THIS WORLD! The immediacy of the violin tone is unbelievable -- Rabin is in the room with you throughout the entirety of the record in a way that few recordings in our experience could hope to equal.

More recordings featuring the violin


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Various Composers / Paris 1917-1938 / Dorati / LSO

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: varioparis_2012) 



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

Super Hot Stamper sound for Eric Satie's wonderfully eccentric Parade (and the Auric piece as well) can be found on this rare original promo copy of Mercury 90435, a record that was previously on the TAS List if I'm not mistaken.

It certainly deserves to be. The sound is BIG and OPEN, and like so many Mercury recordings with the London Symphony, it's rich and full-bodied, not thin and nasally as is so often the case with their domestically recorded releases. Above all the sound is transparent, lively and dynamic. In many ways this album would certainly serve quite well as an audiophile Demo Disc: the timbre of the wide array of instruments used is (mostly) Right On The Money.

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Mussorgsky et al. - Danse Infernale

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: mussodanse_2009) 



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

It took two copies -- one for side one, one for side two -- to find two sides this good. We love this album but most copies are unbelievably dreadful. (Actually, if you’ve played a fair number of DG recordings over the years you might not have any trouble believing how bad the average one is, so I take that back.)

This German Import has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND -- of a kind. Being a DG recording, one of the things you won’t be demonstrating with this record is natural string tone -- it’s just not part of the DG sound. But, this record is ALIVE.

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


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Gerry Rafferty - City To City

Our First White Hot Stamper - 2011

  (Item #: raffecityt_2011) 



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

The BEST SOUNDING City to City to EVER hit our site -- White Hot on side one backed with a nearly White Hot side two, which means that the chances of finding an overall better sounding copy than this are vanishingly small, even for us.

In addition, we are especially delighted to report that not only is the sound better than ever, the music is too. The album as a whole, unlike so much of what came out in 1978 (Do Ya Think I'm Sexy asks Rod Stewart, followed by stony silence) does not seem to have dated in the least, with the possible exception of the big hit Baker Street, which is arguably somewhat over the top...

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Level 42 - World Machine

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: levelworld_2014) 



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

This White Hot Stamper British Polydor original pressing of Level 42's BEST ALBUM makes a mockery of most of what's out there -- who knew the sound could be this good? Punchy bass, breathy vocals, snappy drums; it's all here and it reallyl comes JUMPIN' out of the speakers on this pressing.

World Machine has been a personal favorite of mine since I first played it way back in 1985. Of course in 1985 I had only a domestic pressing, and if you want to hear what happens when you use a dub of the British master tape and then brighten the hell out of it in the mastering process, I heartily recommend you find yourself a copy.

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Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: hendrelect_2014) 



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

Sides three and four of this bad boy are OFF THE CHARTS, earning our top grade of A+++. Side three manages to combine superb transparency and presence with rich Tubey Magic and a strong, rockin' low end -- not an easy balance to strike! The guitars here, obviously one of the main draws on a Hendrix album, sound phenomenal.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our White Hot Winner from 2007

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2007) 



MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES -- Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this. To say this copy murders the competition is the understatement of the year. There is only ONE stamper that gives you the Deja Vu magic from top to bottom and this is it. All three of our Super Hot Stamper copies have exactly the same stampers on both sides, and if that doesn’t tell you something is up with those numbers I don’t know what would. (Of course the numbers are only part of the story, which explains why some sides get Three Pluses and some sides get only one.)
More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: buffalastt_2013) 



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

It's really shocking how good this album can sound on the right pressings. When you get hold of one and know how to clean it right, some of these pressings are a damn sight better than the vast majority of audiophiles think! And the music, of course, is CLASSIC. The best side one and the best side two in our last shootout, unfortunately, were less than impressive on their flipsides. We've paired them up to give you the best sound we can find for the entire album! And if you want to hear exactly what you're paying for, just turn either copy over and prepare to be underwhelmed.

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Paganini / Caprices / Ricci

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: pagancapri_6163_2011) 



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

This London White Hot Stamper pressing has DEMO QUALITY SOUND on side two! Sound of this calibre is nothing less than SHOCKING. If you like the sound of solo violin -- and who doesn't -- you will have a VERY hard time finding a better sounding recording of it than this. That's assuming you can get your Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) dead on the money, not something every audiophile can manage. If you can, lookout -- you are in for a sonic treat.

More of the music of Niccolò Paganini


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David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

Our Shootout Winning Copy from 2011

  (Item #: bowieziggy_2011) 



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

Is this one of the Greatest Rock Albums of All Time? Unquestionably. It's the pinnacle of Glam Rock. Every track is superb; not a moment is less than stellar from beginning to end.

Is it Bowie's Masterpiece? Absolutely. No other Bowie record ranks higher in my book. No other Bowie record would command a similar price, regardless of its sonic merits.

Is it amazingly well recorded? You better believe it. This is not just Bowie's masterpiece; it's Ken Scott's as well. For BIG, BOLD, wall to wall, floor to ceiling sound, look no further.

More Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars


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Cream - Wheels Of Fire

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: creamwheel_2007) 



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

It wasn’t easy, but we’ve cracked one of the toughest nuts around -- WHITE HOT STAMPERS FOR WHEELS OF FIRE! Sides one, two, and three on this RSO British LP have SUPERB SOUND AND QUIET VINYL! We’ve never heard White Room sound nearly as amazing as it does here -- you aren’t going to believe all the WHOMP!

More Eric Clapton and Cream


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Brewer & Shipley - Down In L.A.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: brewedowni_2013) 



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

One of the BEST copies we've played in many years, close to five I would guess. Brewer and Shipley's first and only release for A&M has long been a Desert Island disc in my world. I consider it one of the top debuts of all time, although it's doubtful many will agree with me about that since I have yet to meet anyone who has ever even heard of this album, let alone felt as passionate as I do about it.

More Brewer and Shipley


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Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills - Super Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bloomsuper_2012) 



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

Possibly the BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD! Neither side suffered from the problems we heard on copy after copy: bright, gritty, spitty, edgy, harsh, upper-midrangy vocals. The Red Labels tend to be worse in this respect, but plenty of original 360 pressings have that sound too. Let's face it: If the vocals are wrong this album pretty much falls apart. Here's a copy that gets the midrange right, along with most everything else, and that puts it way ahead of the pack.

More Al Kooper


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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_2007) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We just finished a huge shootout for this record -- British, German, and domestic pressings -- and this Parlophone British import pressing is THE ALL-TIME CHAMPION FOR BOTH SIDES! No other copy came close.

More Rubber Soul


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Ry Cooder - Paradise and Lunch

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: coodeparad_2010) 



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

This copy does almost everything you could ask for from this music -- good energy, tons of richness and clarity and lots of texture to all of the instruments. You'll feel like you are right in the studio with Ry and his top-notch crew as they kick out these fun, eccentric jams. LEE HERSCHBERG engineered this one as well as a great many others for Ry Cooder.

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Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: steelcount_2009) 



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

It's time for our annual Countdown to Ecstasy -- whatever that is -- and for 2009 this copy took TOP HONORS with superb sound on both sides! We just finished doing a huge shootout for this album with well over a dozen copies, winnowed down from close to twenty at the start, and the winner and new champion is this very copy -- on the yellow label no less!

We had done shootouts in the past in which all the best copies of this album were on the black label, but this time around the yellow labels came out victorious.

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June Christy - June’s Got Rhythm

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: chrisjunes_2013) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper original stereo Capitol LP from 1958 has SUPERB SOUND on both sides and some of the best June Christy music we've ever had the pleasure to play. Just listen to the piano on Gypsy In My Soul; it’s rich, warm and full-bodied. You’ll never hear an RVG recording with a piano that sounds like that. On side two drop the needle on Easy Living to get a taste of some of Capitol's luscious Tubey Magical midrange.

Musically this album is right up there with the best we know, the creme de la creme of female vocal recordings, albums on the level of Clap Hands and Something Cool and Lady in Satin.

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Average White Band - Average White Band

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: averaavera_2007) 



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

FREAKISHLY GOOD SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We’ve been playing this record for years, but we’ve sure never heard it sound like this! The bass -- so crucial to this music -- is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Keepin’ It To Myself sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD!

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The Band - Music From Big Pink

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: band_music_2012) 



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

This Capitol pressing has some of the best sound we've ever heard for this album! It’s beyond frustrating to try to find great sound for Big Pink -- most copies tend to be an absolute nightmare. The sound is rich, warm, sweet, and full-bodied with exceptional clarity and transparency. There's tons of ambience and you can really hear the sound of the room around the drums. The sound of the organ is AMAZING!

More by The Band


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Ambrosia - Ambrosia

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ambroambro_2010) 



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

Here's another INSANELY GOOD pressing of my all-time favorite album, which is every bit as good sonically as it is musically! Side two in particular (A+++, As Good As It Gets!) has DEMO DISC quality sound with the kind of SONIC ENERGY that not one out of a hundred titles can lay claim to.

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Bernard Herrmann / Citizen Kane & Other Classic Film Scores

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: herrmcitiz_2013) 



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

The Citizen Kane Suite on this album is to die for -- a real desert island disc for me. (The CD by the way is actually quite good. I have it in the car and play it often.)

The Concerto Macabre for Piano and Orchestra (from "Hangover Square") is superbly well recorded and a brilliant piece of music as well.

More of the music of Bernard Herrmann


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlwitht_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C+


Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The Mobile Fidelity pressing of this album has so many problems it would take an hour to describe them all. Suffice it to say, it’s thinner and brighter, with voices that are grittier and grainier. The overall effect is the sinking feeling that you are listening to a cheap reissue and not the real thing. Don’t the Beatles sound better than this? To be fair, some tracks are okay, others a disaster.

More With the Beatles


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

Original Liner Notes

  (Item #: beatlwitht_liner_notes) 



Fourteen freshly recorded titles – including many sure-fire stage-show favourites – are featured on the two generously filled sides of this record. The Beatles have repeated the successful formula which made their first ‘Please Please Me’ LP into the fastest-selling album of 1963. Again they have set eight of their own original compositions alongside a batch of ‘personal choice; pieces selected from the recording repertoires of the American R&B artists they admire most.
More With the Beatles


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Sergio Mendes And Brazil ’66 - Stillness

(Reversed Phase Copy)

  (Item #: mendestill_polarity) 



This is one of the Pressings We’ve Discovered with Reversed Polarity.

This was a SEALED copy of Stillness, one of my favorite records of all time. Side two of this album is possibly THE MOST MAGICAL side of an album I’ve ever played. I don’t know of any other record like it. It seems to be in a class of its own. It’s my current favorite test disc as well [or was at the time anyway]. All tweaks and equipment changes and room treatments must pass the Stillness test. To fail to make this record sound better is to fail completely. The production is so dense, and so difficult to reproduce properly, that only recently have I begun to hear just how good this record can sound.

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