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Gregg Allman - Laid Back

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: allmalaidb_2017) 



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

We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans' album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters. Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals, this is the sound we love at Better Records.

More Allman Brothers


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Kenny Loggins - Celebrate Me Home

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: loggiceleb_2011) 



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

This WHITE HOT Stamper side one shows you just how good this record can sound, which is surprisingly good, considering how many copies of the album are just plain awful. Finally, most of the grit, grain and transistory opacity have fallen away, leaving in its place the rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical '70s sound one would expect.

More Kenny Loggins



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Dave Brubeck - Countdown - Time In Outer Space

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: brubecount_2016) 



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

Clean and Clear, Yet Rich and Sweet. This copy managed to find the perfect balance of these attributes. You want that rare copy that keeps what is good about a Tubey Magical analog recording from The Golden Age of Jazz while managing to avoid the pitfalls so common to them: smear, lack of top end extension, opacity and blubber. To be sure, the fault is not with the recording (I guess; again, not having heard the master tape) but with the typically mediocre pressing.

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Barbra Streisand - Je M'Appelle Barbra

'60s 360 Vs. '70s Red

  (Item #: streijemap_2015) 



For Barbra Streisand's early albums the original pressings on the 360 label have just got to be better, right?

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth. The best of the 360 pressings in our shootout did well, just not as well.

Our good later label pressings had all the richness and Tubey Magic of the 360s -- one really couldn't tell which pressing was on the turntable by the sound -- but had a bit more space, clarity and freedom from artificiality.

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Robert Palmer - Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley

  (Item #: palmesneak_2013) 



TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this British Sunray Island pressing. SSTTA is very hard to find nowadays, but we managed to put together a big enough stack to make a shootout possible, and this copy acquited very well indeed -- it was miles ahead of the typical pressing. As is usually the case with these originals, the vinyl is a bit noisier than ideal at Mint Minus Minus.

No doubt this is the best album Robert Palmer ever made. With Lowell George's unmistakable slide guitar and members of the Meters providing backup, as well as the amazing Bernard Purdie on drums, it's the only Robert Palmer release that consistently works all the way through as an album. The entire first side is excellent from top to bottom, with the title track being our favorite RP song of all time.

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Arthur Lyman - Taboo: The Exotic Sounds of Arthur Lyman

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: lymantaboo_2013) 



This out-of-this-world WHITE HOT Stamper side two of Taboo blew our minds with its uncanny three-dimensional recreation of space. It's so transparent and boundless you'll feel like you are standing right on the stage with these guys and their birds! If you're an audiophile, both the sound and the music are crazy fun. If you want to demonstrate just how good 1959 All Tube Analog sound can be, this is the record that can do it, maybe better than any other.
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Arthur Lyman - Bwana A

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: lymanbwana_2011) 



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

White Hot Stamper sound, with a big stage, Tubey Magic and correct tonality from top to bottom. There's plenty going on at the extreme top - the rare copy that has it all!

Everywhere else the sound is tonally and timbrally Right On The Money. It's very lively, with tight, clear bass. Listen to how open the sound is. That sound is just not to be found on popular albums anymore.

More Exotica


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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgellaswingb_2017) 



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

The sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a record this good! The space is HUGE and the sound so rich.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

More Ella Fitzgerald


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Rachmaninoff / Symphonic Dances / Johanos

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rachmsymph_2011) 



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

This famously good sounding Vox pressing has been remastered a number of times, but you can be sure that the Hot Stamper we are offering here will beat any of those modern pressings by a wide margin in any area that has to do with sound (surfaces are another matter).

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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The Everly Brothers - The Golden Hits of...

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: everlgolde_2018) 



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

Our original Gold Label stereo LP here has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s no doubt missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 50+ year old tapes. As good as that pressing may be, we guarantee that this one is dramatically more REAL SOUNDING. It gives you the sense that Phil and Don are right in the room with you.

More Everly Brothers


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Ramsey Lewis Trio - The In Crowd

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: lewisincro_2017) 



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

This original Argo Blue Label Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in a real jazz club, this is the record for you. It's what Vintage Records are known for -- this sound.

More Ramsey Lewis


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Wes Montgomery - While We’re Young

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: montgwhile_2010) 



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

This Minty Milestone Two-Fer Promo Double LP set features material from two Wes Montgomery albums: The Incredible Jazz Guitar and So Much Guitar.

There's a reason Steve Hoffman chose So Much Guitar to do on Gold CD. It's a superb recording, and it sounds great here.

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Shelly Manne & His Friends - Bells Are Ringing

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mannebells_2016) 



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

Side One

Rich and Tubey Magical in the best way, because it's still clear and spacious.

Side Two

Tight, deep bass and an extended top, with a solid piano in between, this side is hard to fault.

Better Than a Dream, the second track on this side, has one of the best sounding jazz pianos I have ever heard. My notes say "you cannot record a piano any better" and I stand behind that statement one hundred percent.

More Shelly Manne / More Andre Previn


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Shelly Manne & His Men - At The Blackhawk Vol. 2

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: manneblack_2_2008) 



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

WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC! This Contemporary Yellow Label LP is West Coast Jazz at its best! The sound is SUPERB -- airy, open, and spacious with an STUNNINGLY GOOD bottom end. You won’t believe how ALIVE the bass sounds -- the depth and definition are OUT OF THIS WORLD! Each instrument here sounds just right -- weighty, percussive piano; punchy drums; and lovely leading edge transients on the brass. Contemporary got live nightclub jazz sound down to a T here.

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Mel Torme - Swings Shubert Alley

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tormeswing_2012) 



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

The first Hot Stamper copy of this great album to hit the site in many, many years! We are HUGE fans of this album at Better Records, but it's taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make this shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble!

The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Turn it up and Mel is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime! One of our very favorite male vocal albums, and this copy will show you why -- the sound and music are the tops.

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Various Artists - Stereo Sampler Vol. 1 (SRD-1)

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: variostereo_2012) 



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

This Mercury Sampler has SUPERB Super Hot Stamper sound on side one, or better -- who knows if this isn't as good as it gets? We can't find enough clean copies to test so we're sticking with A++ or better just to be safe. Either way, this is the BIG, BOLD classic Mercury sound. Let's Dance - David Carroll - from Let's Dance (SR-60001) has the sweet Tubey Magic of the best Living Stereos and the percussion excitement of Bang Baa-room and Harp!

See all of our Exotica albums in stock


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Ella Fitzgerald - Newport Jazz Festival Live at Carnegie Hall

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: fitzgnewpo_2007) 



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

This is a very good sounding live album, recorded when Ella Fitzgerald could still sing. Most of her stuff for Pablo which followed this leaves much to be desired in my opinion. This album is certainly not the equal of her best work from the '60s, but I'm guessing it's better than anything she did after this.

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Shorty Rogers & His Giants Bossa Nova

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: rogerbossa_2008) 



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

This QUIET Original Reprise LP has EXCELLENT sound -- rich, smooth and sweet. It’s wonderfully natural, and that’s a sound we love here at Better Records.

This is swingin’ West Coast jazz at its best. A highly recommended jazz album for those of you who care to explore artists out of the jazz mainstream.

More Shorty Rogers


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Sonny Rollins - Rollins (2 LPs)

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: rollirolli_2008) 



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

This Prestige Two-Fer Double LP boasts EXCELLENT SOUND, right up there with some the best sounding copies we’ve played. Three sides out of four sounded surprisingly good, which is three good sides more than the average copy can claim. Oddly enough, the stampers are identical. Sample to sample variation? Fresh off the stamper transparency? Who's to say? I can't explain it, but I know a better record when I play one. This copy is clearly more transparent, no pun intended. It's also been through our extensive cleaning process, which as you can imagine helps the sound immeasurably.

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Elton John - Too Low For Zero

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: john_toolo_2017) 



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

There's some real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals, in-your-listening-room presence and plenty of rock and roll energy.

More Elton John


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Elton John - Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: john_donts_2017) 



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

The tonality here is rich, tubey and warm. It doesn't get thick or murky as so many copies have a tendency to do. Elton's vocals sound wonderful and the bottom end is strong.

The amazing engineer KEN SCOTT (Ziggy Stardust, Magical Mystery Tour, Honky Chateau, Crime of the Century, Truth, Birds of Fire) is the man responsible for the sound here.

More Elton John


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Coleman Hawkins / Ben Webster - Encounters

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: hawkiencou_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: B

Probably a fairly good Classic Records jazz album. Years ago we wrote:

"A top top jazz title! This is one of our favorite Classic Records LPs from the old days when we were selling Heavy Vinyl. We haven't played this record in a long time but we liked it very much when it was in print in the '90s."

We can't be sure that we would still feel the same way. My guess is that this is still a fairly good record if you can get one for the 30 bucks we used to charge.

More Coleman Hawkins


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Peter Frampton - Where I Should Be

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: frampwhere_2010) 



One of my personal Records to Die For. This album presents a more mature Peter Frampton doing some of the most consistently inspired material of his career, including R&B covers like May I Baby and You Don’t Know Like I Know, with horn charts that really cook — in other words, a great album.
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Dave Brubeck Trio Featuring Gerry Mulligan - Compadres

Stick with Stereo on This One

  (Item #: brubecompa_mono) 



Stick with stereo on this album. The Mono pressings -- at least the ones we've played -- aren't worth anybody's time (scratch that: any audiophile's time). The mono is dramatically smaller, more recessed and more lifeless than even the worst of the stereo pressings we played.

Here are more records we don't think sound very good in MONO.

Here are some titles that have the potential to sound amazing in MONO.

More Dave Brubeck / More Gerry Mulligan


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Barbra Streisand - Guilty

Bab's Best and Most Underrated (By Too Many Audiophiles Anyway)

  (Item #: streiguilt_masterpiece) 



This ain't no zombie audiophile BS, the kind of sleep-inducing reverb-drenched trash that passes for "female vocals" in bad audio showrooms around the globe. (Paging Diana Krall.) This is Barbra and The Bee Gees at the peak of their Pop Powers. It just doesn't get any better.

This is THE BEST ALBUM Babs ever made, and you can take that to the bank. It's also one of the best sounding, if not THE best sounding of her later Monster Pop Productions. Can't say for sure as I haven't played all that many. Her first album is a true Demo Disc as well, but that one's all about the Tubey Magical '60s Columbia era, the Golden Age of Natural Sound, a world away from Guilty and its layers and layers of tracks. Having said that, there are multi-tracks and then there are multi-tracks.

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Gershwin / An American In Paris & Rhapsody In Blue

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: gershrhaps_6091_2015) 



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

I’ve always loved these performances, but the shrill Columbia sound has been hard to get past. So many copies suffer from upper-midrangy, glary, hard sound and blary brass. I've come to accept that this is nothing more nor less than the "Columbia Sound", and as a consequence rarely put much effort into surveying their recordings.

I won't say all that's changed; it really hasn't. The vast majority of Columbia classical pressings are still going to sound as awful as they have in the past.

More of the music of George Gershwin


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Haydn / Symphonies No. 89 & 90 / Somogyi

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: haydnsym89_westminster_2011) 



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

This White Hot Stamper side two (Symphony 90) is some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for any Haydn Symphony, and recently we heard some awfully good ones such as those performed by Dorati for Mercury. I rank these performances right up there with Dorati's, and on this side two I would have to say that the sound found on this early Westminster pressing (WST 17043) is EVEN BETTER than the sound of that Hot Stamper Merc. This pressing is nothing short of SUPERB in every way. Who knew?

More of the music of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)


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Mark Levinson - Acoustic Recording Series, Volume 2

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: ravelvalse_levinson_2008) 



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

The sound on the record is excellent. It was engineered by Mark Levinson, on special equipment designed to create virtually noiseless ultra-low-distortion master tapes, without noise-reduction systems. It’s mastered by Robert Ludwig.

The first side contains Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales played on the piano by Lois Shapiro. Side two contains her performance of Haydn’s Sonata No. 49.

More Audiophile recordings


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Haydn / Symphonies No. 22 & 90 / Ansermet

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: haydnsym22_2012) 



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

Nearly White Hot Stamper sound (A++ to A+++) for side one of this early British Stereo Treasury pressing, which should not come as too much of a shock -- this is after all a vintage Golden Age performance by Ansermet and L'Orchestre de La Suisse Romande, a 1966 recording from the glorious Victoria hall in which so many of our favorite recordings were committed to analog tape through the all-tube chain Decca had perfected.

More of the music of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)


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Haydn / Symphonies 100 & 101

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: haydnsym100_vanguard_2010) 



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

The New York Times review for these performances called them "matchless" and we see no reason to disagree! With Super Hot Stamper sound for No. 100, "Military", we're confident you will have a very hard time finding better sound and music from Haydn than is found on this original Black Label Vanguard Stereophonic Demonstration Disc.

More of the music of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)


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Debussy & Ravel / String Quartet - Julliard String Quartet

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: debusquart_2413_2005) 



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

Near Mint SUPER RARE Demonstration Copy Shaded Dog of this Debussy and Ravel string quartet recording.

I haven't seen a clean one of these in probably close to ten years. This record looks like it has been played very little.

The sound is also very natural. Not bright or close miked -- much more the way it would actually be heard in a smaller more intimate setting.

More Living Stereo


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Lowell George - Thanks I’ll Eat It Here

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: georgthank_listen) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of Thanks I’ll Eat It Here.

"Lowell's style is so distinctive and his performances so soulful, it's hard not to like this record if you've ever had a fondness for Little Feat. After all, it's earthier and more satisfying than any Feat album since Feats Don't Fail Me Now and it has the absolutely gorgeous "20 Million Things," the last great song George ever wrote."

See all of our Little Feat albums in stock


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Various Composers - East of Suez

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: varioeasto_2012) 



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

Hot Stamper sound on this 101 Strings album, can you believe it? Then again, why shouldn't it have amazing Golden Age Stereo sound? It's recorded in the late '50s, using all tube equipment and probably a minimum of mikes -- there's no reason to assume the sound should be substandard just because the retail price of the record was only $1.98 (see second image).

More Exotica


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Morton Gould and His Orchestra - Baton & Bows

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: gouldbaton_2014) 



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

This Living Stereo Shaded Dog pressing has a great side two. As I'm sure you've found, many vintage pressings are dull and opaque. This one has tonally correct strings, as well as the top end and rosiny texture that's so often missing.

More Living Stereo



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Morton Gould and His Orchestra - Love Walked In

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: gouldlovew_2011) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper (or better!) Living Stereo Shaded Dog pressing has SUPERB TUBEY MAGICAL Golden Age sound the likes of which you will not believe. (If you've bought some of our best Hot Stamper Living Stereo recordings then you will have no trouble believing it I'm sure.)

Side two displays some of the richest, most three-dimensional orchestral sound we have heard in quite some time. The fifth track is especially notable for a pizzicato arrangement that makes it a DEMO DISC track to beat them all. Plucked strings simply do not sound any better!

See more of our most Tubey Magical recordings


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Lou Reed - Transformer

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: reed_trans_2017) 



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

Transformer is an absolute tour de force of '70s Glam Rock / Classic Rock / Alternative Rock. You've got Lou Reed teamed up with David Bowie (in the producer's chair!), Mick Ronson, Herbie Flowers and Klaus Voorman, and on top of that the album was recorded at Trident and mixed by the great Ken Scott.

More Lou Reed / More David Bowie


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The Everly Brothers - The Very Best of the Everly Brothers

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: everlveryb_2014) 



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

This compilation contains some real Warners recordings (from after 1960, when they signed with the label) mixed with some re-recordings of their best classic Cadence material, to make an album with as many hits and great songs as a single album can hold.

In stereo, on the original WB Gold Label, with really quiet vinyl -- this is the one!

More Everly Brothers


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The Everly Brothers - The Everly Brothers Best

Reviewed in 2015

  (Item #: everlbest_2015) 



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

This is only the second Everly Brothers Hot Stamper to make it to the site, and I'm sure the reasons for that fact are not hard to fathom. I must look at fifty EB records for every one I buy, and even with a good scrubbing most of those are not going to pass muster.

More Everly Brothers


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Richard & Linda Thompson - Hokey Pokey

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: thomphokey_2017) 



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

This is one of R&L Thompson’s best albums, their second, following the luminous I Want to See the Bright Lights Shine from a year earlier. Rich and full-bodied, with big bass and gobs of studio ambience, this is the way this music was meant to be heard.

More Richard Thompson


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Dionne Warwick - Very Dionne

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: warwiveryd_2011) 



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

SUPERB Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides of this original Scepter pressing, with QUIET VINYL no less. Folks, don't expect to see records like this coming to the site too often. We can't find them anymore in this kind of clean condition, so if you like the lovely Ms Warwick, consider taking this one home and giving her (the record, not Dionne) a spin on your table.

More Popular Vocal recordings


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Dionne Warwick - Soulful

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: warwisoulf_2008) 



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

There's a reason this record is on the TAS list, but you'd never know it by playing the average pressing. Most copies of this record just sound like an old Dionne Warwick record. You would never even know how magical this recording is by playing a copy that for all intents and purposes appears to be the pressing that Harry Pearson is recommending on his Super Disc list. The catalog number is the same; the sound is not. Unless you have at least half a dozen copies of this record -- and we had more than double that -- you have very little chance of finding even one exceptional side.

More Popular Vocal recordings


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Dionne Warwick - Dionne!

We're Throwing in the Towel

  (Item #: warwidionn_2015) 



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

Compiling the strongest material from the first four albums -- all produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David -- somehow, against all odds if you stop to think about it, this Columbia record club exclusive pressing ended up being mastered exceptionally well, obviously from superb tapes.

More Popular Vocal recordings


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Stanley Turrentine - Jubilee Shouts

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: turrejubil_2005) 



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

Two Minty looking Blue Note LPs of two previously unreleased sessions featuring the great tenor saxophonist with Tommy Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, Horace Parlan, Sonny Clark and others.

If you want to hear Turrentine at his best, skip right to track two, the beautiful ballad Then I'll Be Tired Of You, featuring his brother Tommy on trumpet. The music is powerful and the sound is excellent.

More Stanley Turrentine


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Yes - Fragile

Analogue Productions LP Reviewed

  (Item #: yes__fragi_ap) 



Sonic Grade: C

The Analogue Productions 180g reissue shown here is mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Grey, two guys I respect, but the results of their latest collaboration leave much to be desired. The overall sound is lean. This is especially noticeable on the too thin-sounding guitars and vocals. Believe me, it's no fun to play a Yes album with thin guitars and vocals.

More Yes


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Prokofiev / Love for Three Oranges Suite / Dorati

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: prokolovef_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

Dreadful sound. The Mercury series on Classic is a disaster.

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

More of the music of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)


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Muddy Waters - Folk Singer

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: waterfolks_2005) 



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

This is a Minty Chess reissue LP. If you want an amazing sounding Folk Blues album, I can’t think of a better one. Top recommendation.

More Muddy Waters


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Little Milton - Blues’N Soul

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: miltoblues_2012) 



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

Pristine looking Stax LP with excellent sound and some really heartfelt Blues music.

This is a Stax reissue from 1982. My experience with the stuff that Fantasy remastered has been very good over the years. This is another winner.

"Milton's early-'70s output indeed began to walk the fine line between the blues and soul and includes the song Behind Closed Doors." -- AMG

More Soul, R&B and Blues


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Enoch Light - Reeds and Percussion

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: lightreeds_2014) 



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

This is one of the most phenomenal sounding records I have ever heard in my life. Take the best sound you ever heard from the best authentic Mercury classical record (not that Heavy Vinyl BS) and translate it into pop arrangements for clarinets, flutes, saxes, oboes, bassoons, and what do you have? Sound that leaps out of the speakers with absolutely dead on tonality.

But what is most shocking of all is how vivid and accurate the timbre of every instrument is.

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The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads

Mono or Stereo?

  (Item #: rollioutof_mono) 



On this London LP, even though it says the record is electronically re-processed stereo, the songs we heard on side one were dead mono.

Here are some records that we think sound amazing in MONO.

Here are some records that we don't think sound very good in MONO.

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Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Live and Learn

  (Item #: deeppmadei_2006) 



This is a classic case of Live and Learn. What we had to say below about Made in Japan back in 2006 is just plain emabarrassing.

"This is a very nice looking EMI British Import Double LP that plays Mint Minus. This copy sounds tonally correct and pretty lively. The DCC may be better but it’s a LOT MORE MONEY I haven't played that record since it came out years ago so who's to say."

Ouch.

More Deep Purple


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The Allman Brothers - Idlewild South

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: allmaidlew_2016) 



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

The first Top Copy to ever hit the site! Double Plus (A++) on side one, Triple Plus (A+++) on side two

  • Easily the group's best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this
  • Drop the needle on Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear what this copy can do. You get lots of extension here both up top and down low that makes the overall sound far more engaging and musical than what you'd hear on a typical copy.
    More Allman Brothers


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    Spirit - Clear

    Sundazed Heavy Vinyl Debunked

      (Item #: spiriclear_sundazed) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    A Hall of Shame and another Sundazed record debunked.

    Although it's been many years since I last played it, I'm fairly confidant that the Sundazed only hints at the real sound of the best copies. Most Sundazed records would end up in our Hall of Shame if we ever bothered to audition them.

    Being in the "record business", such as it is, I played my share and more of awful sounding Heavy Vinyl.

    More Spirit


      more Info











    Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

    Simply Vinyl Debunked

      (Item #: nilssschmi_simply_vinyl) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    A Hall of Shame Pressing.

    Awful in every way.

    Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

    More Harry Nilsson


      more Info











    Van Halen - Van Halen

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: vanhavanha_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.

    We recently took the time to shoot out a bunch of original pressings of Van Halen's debut. I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise to most of you that the average copy is, well, quite average sounding. Not bad, just mediocre. Not rockin' all that hard and not all that much fun. You know the kind of record I'm talkin' about.

    More Van Halen


      more Info











    The Beatles - Let It Be

    Bell Sound Cutting - Not Recommended!

      (Item #: beatlletit_bell) 



    If you want to know what you heard when this record came out, here it is. (Trust me, you don't.)
    More on Let It Be


      more Info











    Stan Getz - Jazz Classics

    Reviewed in 2011

      (Item #: getz_jazzc_2011) 



    The album contains tracks culled from two different sessions featuring a very young Stan Getz. The sound on the tracks taken from a 1953 session with the Jimmy Raney quintet (tracks one and two on both sides) is amazing! Energetic, tonally balanced, clean and clear -- we've never heard a better sounding Stan Getz recording! Unfortunately, the tracks from the 1949 session with Terry Gibbs, while interesting historically, sound like old 78's -- not our cup of tea.
    More Stan Getz


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    Frank Sinatra - Sinatra Sings... of Love and Things

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: sinatsinatra_sings_2015) 



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

    The music is excellent as one can see from the track listing. It's hard to go wrong with these later Capitol Sinatra records. They're almost always a fun listen.

    This album comprises the last group of singles Capitol released of Sinatra's music. Reprise had started in 1960 and the rest of Sinatra's music would come out on his own label. Somehow he managed to record and release six studio albums in 1962, with this compilation making a total of seven for the year. Even more remarkable, all seven of them made the Top Ten of the pop charts.

    More Frank Sinatra


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    Perez Prado - Pops and Prado

    A Killer Bob Simpson Recording

      (Item #: pradopopsa_2016) 



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

    A wonderful copy with a White Hot Stamper side two - unbelievably Tubey Magical and spacious. Side one was Super Hot and maybe a bit better - the top is extended, and the reverb is positively luscious. This is vintage analog at its best -- the magic really comes through on this pressing. Credit for the Demo Disc sound of this one must go to the amazing Bob Simpson, working in glorious Webster Hall.

    BOB SIMPSON won the Grammy for engineering Belafonte at Carnegie Hall you may recall.



      more Info











    Henry Mancini - More Music From ’Peter Gunn’

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: mancimorem_2011) 



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

    The Super Hot Stamper Sound found on side two of this original Living Stereo pressing will show you just how LIVELY and FUN this music can be! The sound is really JUMPIN', much more than the other copies we played (and this side one as well). You also get a healthy dose of Tubey Magic on both sides as befits Mancini recordings on RCA.

    More Henry Mancini


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    Henry Mancini - The Music From ’Peter Gunn’

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: mancimusic_2010) 



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

    This early White Dog pressing (4s-6s) has plenty of the Living Stereo Magic RCA was justly famous for back in 1958. Both sides earned a sonic grade of A+ to A++. (The best Hot Stamper copies of More Music from Peter Gunn show you just how well this kind of music can be recorded.)

    Listen to all that crazy reverb on the piano and drums -- it may not be the most natural sound in the world but it's pretty cool when it's done this well.

    More Henry Mancini


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    Henry Mancini -The Mancini Touch

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: mancimancini_touch_2010) 



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

    This original Living Stereo pressing had nearly White Hot Stamper sound on side one, earning a sonic grade of A++ to A+++, with the least amount of smear of any copy we played. (As you may know, smear and opacity are endemic to old Living Stereo pressings such as this.) The sound is SUPER 3-D. You're not going to believe all the ambience surrounding this room full of musicians, especially on the drums! We LOVE that sound. The DEPTH that can be heard in this recording is almost hard to believe.

    More Henry Mancini


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    Willie Nelson - Pretty Paper

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: nelsoprett_2010) 



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

    Imagine the sound of a Hot Stamper Stardust, but instead of Pop Standards you hear Willie, his voice still in its prime, singing Christmas songs, backed by similarly tasteful and understated arrangements. That's what you get on this copy of Pretty Paper in a nutshell.

    Released just a year after Stardust in 1979, many of the same musicians are featured, as well as the same producer, the amazing Booker T.. And the most shocking thing of all is just how good the sound is.

    More Willie Nelson


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    Willie Nelson - Phases And Stages

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: nelsophase_2017) 



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

    The first Hot Stamper copy of this great album to ever hit the site and it's one for the ages. It's taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make this shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble. The presence and immediacy here are outstanding. Turn it up and Willie is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. He's clearly one of our favorite male vocalists, and this superb copy will show you why.

    More Willie Nelson


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    Michel Legrand - Legrand Jazz

    Our Stereo Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: legralegra_2017) 



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

    This album is more common in mono than stereo, but we found the sound of the mono pressing we played seriously wanting. It's dramatically smaller and more squawky and crude than even the worst of the stereo pressings we played.

    We had a copy we liked years ago but that was years ago. We don't have that copy anymore and we don't have a stereo that sounds the way our old one did either. Here are some other records that we don't think sound very good in MONO.

    More Michel Legrand


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    Bob Dylan - Infidels

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: dylaninfid_2017) 



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

    This is one of the better sounding Dylan records from the '80s. It's not exactly Blood on the Tracks, the only Dylan album we think is qualified to be on our Top 100 Rock and Pop List, but it sounds good for a record from this era.

    More Bob Dylan


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    Bob Dylan - Street-Legal

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: dylanstree_2017) 



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

    This copy has an insanely good Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two.

    Which breaks the rules a bit because most side twos earned a sonic grade that was about a half plus higher than the average copy's grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album.

    Here are some other albums with notable Side to Side Differences.

    More Bob Dylan


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    Red Garland Trio - Bright And Breezy

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: garlabrigh_2017) 



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

    If you have full-range speakers some of the qualities you may recognize in the sound of the piano are WEIGHT and WARMTH. The piano is not hard, brittle or tinkly. Instead the best copies show you a wonderfully full-bodied, warm, rich, smooth piano, one which sounds remarkably like the ones we've all heard countless times in piano bars and restaurants.

    More Red Garland


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    John Klemmer - Touch

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: klemmtouch_2010) 



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

    This Super Hot Stamper copy of Touch is one of the best sounding records Mobile Fidelity ever made, and the ONLY record of theirs I know of that can't be beat by a standard real-time mastered pressing.

    We’re talking DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND here. The spaciousness of the studio and the three-dimensional placement of the myriad percussion instruments and bells within its walls make this something of an audiophile spectacular of a different kind -- dreamy and intensely emotional.

    More John Klemmer


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    Steve Miller - Fly Like An Eagle

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: milleflyli_2013) 



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

    The hottest copy -- by far -- of Fly Like An Eagle to ever hit the site! We've been collecting these for years in hope of finding a knockout pressing, but shootout after shootout stalled. They pressed tons of copies of this album and most of them sound terrible -- grainy, dry and flat. We went into this shootout without high expectations this week, but we were BLOWN AWAY by the sound of the best copies. And here's one that just couldn't be beat, earning A+++ grades on BOTH SIDES. What a monster!

      more Info











    Elton John - Greatest Hits

    Reviewed in 2006

      (Item #: john_great_2006) 



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

    This is an EXCELLENT sounding British DJM pressing of Elton’s Greatest Hits, with all the tubey magic that that implies. These are the real tapes, folks, pressed on that see-thru purple DJM vinyl.

    The sound of course varies from track to track. 'Your Song' and 'Saturday Night' are GREAT here. The other tracks on side one are good but not like those two.

    More Elton John


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    The Doors - L.A. Woman

    Rhino Heavy Vinyl Reviewed

      (Item #: doorslawom_rhino) 



    Sonic Grade: B

    The pressing we auditioned from the Doors Box Set was surprisingly good. It's rich and smooth with an extended top end -- tonally correct in other words -- and there's lots of bass. This is all to the good. For the thirty bucks you might pay for it you're getting a very good record, assuming yours sounds like ours, something we should really not be assuming, but we do it anyway as there is no other way to write about records other than to describe the sound of the ones we actually have on hand to play.

    See all of our Doors albums in stock


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    Frank Sinatra - Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim

    Rhino Debunked

      (Item #: sinatjobim_rhino) 



    Sonic Grade: C-

    Not recommended. The originals are better and not that hard to find. (The sound on the best original pressings is superb.) Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

    More Frank Sinatra


      more Info











    Mahler / Symphony #4 / Reiner

    Reviewed in 2007

      (Item #: mahlesym4_2364_2007) 



    A Living Stereo record from the Golden Age of Classical Recordings, in this case 1960.

    This Mahler work is very accessible and enjoyable. Lovely, smooth, sweet string tone. This, along with the 1st Symphony, are my favorites.

    Comparing the Classic Reissue with the white dog above reveals that Bernie Grundman got the tonal balance right (not a common occurrence), but the magic of the RCA string tone has mysteriously been replaced by the thick, glossy strings you might expect on a Phillips record. Consider that the same effect could probably be achieved if you were to buy a Crown amplifier and hook it up to your speakers. I had a Crown DC-300A in 1973 and I don't want it back.


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    Mahler - Symphony No. 4 - Solti

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: mahlesym4_6217_2017) 



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

    Deep bass; rich, smooth strings, lots of lovely hall space - this copy was right up there with the best we heard, and clearly won the shootout for side two. You will hear immediately why this side two could not be beat - it's wonderful.

    More of the music of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

    More recordings engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson

    More recordings made in Kingsway Hall



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    Little Feat - Hoy-Hoy

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: littlhoyho_depth) 



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

    The recording quality of many of these songs is OUT OF THIS WORLD, as good as any rock record I can think of. Although Waiting For Columbus is arguably the best sounding live rock 'n roll album ever made, some of the tracks on this album are every bit as good or BETTER. (And the promo EP is practically in a league of its own for sound!)

    More Little Feat


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    Judy Collins - Judy Collins #3

    Our Shootout Winner from 2007

      (Item #: collijudyc_3_2007) 



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

    This is a Minty Elektra Red Label LP with two AMAZING sounding sides! Typical copies are dull and thin sounding, making Judy Blue Eyes’ beautiful voice sound honky and weak like she has a head cold. This copy is the remedy!

    More Judy Collins


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    Al Schmitt

    One of Our Favorite Producer-Engineers

      (Item #: allal_schmitt) 



    AL SCHMITT is one of our favorite engineers and producers . Click on the links below to find our in-stock Al Schmitt engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
    Al Schmitt Engineered or Produced Albums with Hot Stampers

    Al Schmitt Engineered or Produced Albums We've Reviewed



      more Info











    Rodrigo - Boieldieu / Harp Concertos / Zabaleta

    Reviewed in 201

      (Item #: rodriharpc_2011) 



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

    This White Hot Stamper pressing of DG's recording of Rodrigo's famous concerto for harp has amazing DEMO DISC SOUND, but only on side two. The harp is clear, with no smear whatsoever, but what's really shocking is how huge the soundstage is, and how much depth it has. While playing this side the speakers just disappeared and a huge concert hall appeared in their place! The harmonics of the harp are rendered superbly well. It's hard to imagine one could record a harp concerto better than this. It is superb in every way.


      more Info











    King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

    A Good Pressing from Mobile Fidelity

      (Item #: kingcinthe_mofi) 



    Sonic Grade: B

    Another MoFi LP reviewed.

    The MoFi pressing shown here is surely one of their best. Unfortunately we have little tolerance for the dynamic compression, overall lifelessness and wonky bass heard on practically every record they ever remastered. One of the reasons your MoFi might not sound wrong to you is that it isn't really "wrong." It's doing most things right, and it probably will beat whatever you can find to throw at it.

    More King Crimson


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    Bonnie Raitt - Streetlights

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: raittstree_2013) 



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

    Our first Hot Stamper shootout for Bonnie Raitt's classic fourth album yielded a surprisingly good copy, this one, with practically unbeatable (nearly) White Hot Stamper sound on side two, backed with a Super Hot side one that easily put most of the other copies we played to shame. The first three songs on side one -- That Song About the Midway, Rainy Day Man, Angel from Montgomery -- represent some of the strongest material Bonnie ever got to work with, and they alone would serve to qualify this as a Must Own Bonnie Raitt album.

    More Bonnie Raitt


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    Bonnie Raitt - Luck of the Draw

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: raittlucko_2012) 



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

    Here's the first (Super) Hot Stamper copy of Luck Of The Draw to ever hit the site! What took us so long? It's simple, most copies out there just plain don't deliver, and for a long time we weren't sure we'd ever have a copy that would be a clear enough winner over the DCC pressing to merit Hot Stamper status.

    More Bonnie Raitt


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    Bonnie Raitt - Bonnie Raitt

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: raittbonni_2013) 



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

    The average Green Label Warner Bros. copy we played was lackluster to say the least. The words on some of my notes read flat, veiled, dry, dark, edgy: None too promising, but we persevered and found this one! The reissues we heard tended to be modern and thin. Definitely not our sound.

    More Bonnie Raitt


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    Jennifer Warnes - The Hunter

    Import Debunked

      (Item #: warnehunte_2007) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    A Hall of Shame pressing on import vinyl from 1992. Years ago we wrote:

    This is a SUPER RARE Private Music German Import LP. The last two copies of this record listed on eBay went for over $600!

    All of which was true. We left out, however, what an awful record The Hunter is in every way. If you like your Big Production Pop to sound as phony as possible, this is the album for you. Not one instrument sounds remotely like it should, and that is surely an insult to audiophiles of every stripe. (The problem was that most self-identified audiophiles failed to notice how execrable the sound was.)

    More Jennifer Warnes


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    Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: electnewwo_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

    As a result of Jeff Lynne's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production approach, it will be the rare copy that provides enough transparency and resolution to bring out all the elements in these incredibly dense mixes, strings included. But when you find a copy that does, what a THRILL it is. This is the band's MASTERPIECE in my humble opinion. For audiophiles ELO on LP doesn't get any better.

    More Electric Light Orchestra


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    INXS - Kick

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: inxs_kick_2017) 



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

    For a recording from 1987 there is a surprising amount of Tubey Magical Analog sound to be found here. There is almost always a trace of hardness in the loudest vocal parts; that's where the 1987 recording technology raises its head, but the better copies such as this one keep it to a bare minimum.

    The copies that were the richest and had the biggest bottom end, without being smeary or dark from a lack of top tended to do the best in our shootout. The copies that lacked weight or lower midrange fullness were most often rejected; rhythmically driven Funk Rock simply doesn't work without plenty of richness and bass.

    More INXS


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    Chris Thomas

    One of Our Favorite Producer-Engineers

      (Item #: allchris_thomas) 



    CHRIS THOMAS is one of our favorite engineers and producers. Click on the links below to find our Chris Thomas engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
    Chris Thomas Engineered or Produced Albums with Hot Stampers

    Chris Thomas Engineered or Produced Albums We've Reviewed



      more Info











    Prince - Purple Rain

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: princpurpl_2017) 



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

    The shootout winner for this album earned top grades and showed us a Purple Rain we had never heard before.

    The best copies sound pretty much the way the best copies of most Classic Rock records sound: tonally correct, rich, clear, sweet, smooth, open, present, lively, big, spacious, Tubey Magical, with breathy vocals and little to no spit, grit, grain or grunge. That's the sound of analog, and the best copies of The Purple Rain have that sound.

    More Prince


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    Steely Dan - Katy Lied

    An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

      (Item #: steelkatyl_obsess) 



    KATY LIED is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it. And scroll down to see a wonderful testimonial from one of our good customers about a killer copy we sent him years ago.

    We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

    This link will take you to all of our other STEELY DAN albums.


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    The Electric Flag - A Long Time Comin'

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: electalong_2017) 



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

    The first White Hot copy to ever hit the site and it has KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides. The all-star lineup here features Michael Bloomfield, Buddy Miles, Richie Havens and many more. It’s raunchy and bluesy, somewhat reminiscent of Super Session, but without Al Kooper.


      more Info











    The Traveling Wilburys - Volume One

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: travetrave_2011) 



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

    MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE backed with an excellent side two, both on very quiet vinyl! It took us ages to put together enough clean copies to get this shootout going again. Many of the pressings we played suffered from too much compression and a phony hi-fi quality. We knew there had to be great copies out there somewhere, so we kept dropping the needle until we found a few good men. Here’s the best of them all -- it rates our top grade of A+++ on side one and A++ on side two. Drop the needle on Handle With Care to hear how wonderful this music can sound when it’s cut right!


      more Info











    Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets

    Our Shootout Winning Copy frrom 2007

      (Item #: eno__herec_2007) 



    This British Island Sunray LP is the copy we've been waiting for! We love this music but we'd never heard a copy of this album that could hold its own sonically with our Hot Stamper copies of Taking Tiger Mountain -- until we played this one.

    We hardly ever see enough clean copies of this to do a full shootout, but we know Hot Stamper sound when we hear it and this copy's got it -- on BOTH sides. It's got a wonderfully meaty bottom end that was missing from many of the copies we've played before. Baby's On Fire is super punchy, and Cindy Tells Me has AMAZING bass. The vocals are full-bodied and breathy with lots of texture and wonderful presence. The clarity here is superb -- none of the smearing so common to the domestic pressings.

    More Eno


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    Frank Zappa - Weasels Ripped My Flesh

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: zappawease_2013) 



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

    TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Nothing else in our shootout could touch this copy. The sound is incredibly BIG and BOLD throughout with shocking clarity, amazing presence, and wonderful transparency.

    If you’re not already a Zappa fan, be warned that experimental song structures, feedback, dirty lyrics, avant garde jazz freakouts and gas mask solos (yes, you read that right) all figure into the mix here. I don’t know of anyone else who could shape that all into one amazing, fairly cohesive LP except for Zappa.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    John Denver - Poems, Prayers and Promises

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: denvepoems_2017) 



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

    This original Orange Label RCA pressing was clearly superior to everything we played - it's fuller, bigger and clearer than them all. Superb engineering by Ray Hall. The recording is from 1971 but in some ways it sounds as good as if it had been made in 1961, and that's high praise in these parts.

    See all of our John Denver albums in stock


      more Info











    Kenny Rankin - Silver Morning

    Reviewed in 2005

      (Item #: rankisilve_2005) 



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

    This is a wonderful Kenny Rankin album. I played side one all the way through and enjoyed it immensely. I don’t know why this record is so rare -- it’s got great songs like Blackbird and People Get Ready, which to me sound like they almost could have been hit songs.


      more Info











    Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: nilssnilss_2013) 



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

    We're huge Harry Nilsson fans here at Better Records, and it warms our hearts that many of our customers seem to be as well. We've been trying to track down great copies of this album for ages, but they are tough to come by in any condition and are often noisy and/or mediocre when we find 'em. This copy has the kind of rich, full, analog sound that we've been trying to find for years with so little luck.

    More Harry Nilsson


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    Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: pinkfobscu_2009) 



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

    EXCELLENT SOUND and some seriously strange music! This obviously isn’t Floyd’s greatest album, but we still found a lot to like about this record and specifically this copy. It’s a British Import Harvest Green Label pressing that rates close to A+ on both sides -- slightly better on side one, not quite there on side two. Those of you who enjoy Meddle will certainly get a lot out of this one.

      more Info











    Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: pinkfatomh_2013) 



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

    This is an album that almost never sounds good. We've spent a ton of money over the years chasing British originals and various other pressings looking for that Pink Floyd magic, but most copies were terribly disappointing sonically. This was the best copy we've heard in many years -- richer, bigger sounding and more solid than everything else we were able to put against it. It's far from a Demo Disc but if you like this music I don't think you can find better sound for it.

    More Pink Floyd


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    David Gilmour - About Face

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: gilmoabout_2015) 



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

    For my money this is a far better sounding record than Pink Floyd's eighties releases The Final Cut (1983) or A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987), and the music is pretty darn good as well. If you're a Floyd fan I think you'll enjoy revisiting the album, especially when it sounds as phenomenal as this one does.

    Hot Stampers in this case give you a bigger soundfield, more richness and fullness, tighter bass, and more transparency.

    More Pink Floyd


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    Muddy Waters - I'm Ready

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: waterimrea_2012) 



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

    EXCELLENT BLUES SOUND AND MUSIC on this late '70s ABC album produced by Johnny Winter! King and Winter collaborated on three albums and this is the middle one, great pressings of this album like this one bring this music to a whole new level! It's so very difficult to find blues records that sound natural and honest to the style while still giving you the energy, presence and clarity needed to bring the music to life -- this baby has got that magic.

    More Muddy Waters


      more Info











    Muddy Waters - Hard Again

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: waterharda_2012) 



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

    This Hot Stamper pressing of Muddy Water's Five Star 1977 collaboration with Johnny Winter and harmonica great James Cotton has two great sides and quiet vinyl! We dropped the needle on one of these recently and liked the sound, so we picked up a bunch of copies and had a rollickin' fun shootout. Many of the other copies we played lacked the kind of energy and big bottom end that you get on this pressing, qualities that help kick up this music to the next level.

    More Muddy Waters


      more Info




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