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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1701) 

Our Price: $649.99

  • Incredible Triple Plus (A+++) sound from beginning to end; it's very rare that a Triple Triple copy hits the site
  • A Top Copy with some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - superb work from Ken Scott here
  • Demo Quality Sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby You're A Rich Man and more
  • You won't believe how powerful the sound is -- big, rich, open and lively beyond any expectations you may have
  • A Better Records Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that we fall in love with all over again after every shootout
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
White Album

  (Item #: beatlwhite_1701) 

Our Price: $649.99

  • With 10.5 Pluses out of a possible 12, this copy is getting the sound of The White Album right like nothing you've ever heard
  • Sides two and four both earned our top Triple Plus (A+++) grade and side one was right behind (A++ to A+++)
  • Some of the most powerful and immersive Beatles sound you will ever hear -- you will be KNOCKED OUT
  • All four sides have stunning Demo Quality tracks including Dear Prudence, Blackbird, Yer Blues and Revolution
  • 5 stars on Allmusic, which should surprise no one - this is TP's personal pick for the best Beatles album of them all
See all of our Beatles pressings in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1610_1) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A Stunning Copy -- Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side and very close to our top grade on the second (A++ to A+++)
  • The sound is incredibly rich, lively and full-bodied, with superb clarity and powerful dynamics the likes of which you may have never heard
  • When you hear a copy sound like this it gives you a completely new appreciation for what is arguably their masterpiece
  • Allmusic 5 Stars and a permanent member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Please Please Me

  (Item #: beatlpleas_1703) 

Our Price: $549.99

  • What a copy! Incredible Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • This copy has superb presence, clarity and size -- they just don't get any better than this!
  • A Better Records Top 100 album, 5 stars on Allmusic: "Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh"
  • A Triple Plus PPM would clearly be a top pick for a Beatles Demo Disc - your jaw will drop
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Revolver

  (Item #: beatlrevol_1610) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A stunning copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two, true Mint Minus vinyl on both
  • This pressing will show you the energy, clarity and bottom end weight you had no idea was even possible on Revolver
  • Here There and Everywhere and Tomorrow Never Knows are among the many Demo Quality songs here
  • "Even after Sgt. Pepper, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album and it's still as emulated as it was upon its original release."
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1610_1) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two
  • As quiet as these can be found -- a true Mint Minus on both sides
  • The sound is wonderful -- lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness you never expected
  • Norweigan Wood and In My Life sound superb here, along with the rest of the great songs, 14 in all
  • A Better Records Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Masterpiece of mid-'60s Folk Rock
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_1703) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A stunning copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, a Double Plus (A++) on side one, amazing from first note to last
  • Huge, spacious and detailed, with the Tubey Magic of a fresh tape, this is the way you want to hear Sgt. Pepper
  • Most pressings - especially the new ones - have nothing like this kind of Tubey Magic, space and energy
  • A Better Records Top 100 - "It's possible to argue that there are better Beatles albums, yet no album is as historically important as this."
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1701) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • Here's a stunning pressing, bursting with Fab Four energy and enthusiam
  • Both sides rate Triple Plus (A+++) or just shy - big, spacious and absolutely jumping out of the speakers
  • This one gets the heart of the music right - the vocals - and that's what makes The Beatles FUN to listen to
  • 100% Lennon-McCartney originals: "Decades after its original release, its punchy blend of propulsive rhythms, jangly guitars, and infectious, singalong melodies is remarkably fresh." AMG 5 Stars
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1703) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • A wonderful Top Copy, Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side, Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • There's no studio wizardry, no heavy-handed mastering, no phony EQ -- here is some of the most realistic, natural Beatles sound you can get
  • Truly Top Copies make good on the promise - this is the sound of the greatest pop/rock band of all time playing and singing their hearts out
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "...when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Help

  (Item #: beatlhelp_1611) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A Top Copy, with superb Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - you've never heard Help sound like this
  • Want to hear The Beatles at their Tubey Magical best? Just play You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away on this copy
  • Everything that's great about Help is here - jangly 12 string guitars, harmonically rich tambourines, and breathy vocals
  • Side one alone boasts 7 classics: Help!, The Night Before, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, Another Girl, You’re Gonna Lose That Girl and Ticket to Ride - whew!
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1612) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Only the second Top Copy to hit the site in over a year: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side, Double Plus (A++) on the second
  • Both sides have superb energy and presence -- the band is RIGHT THERE and full of LIFE
  • An underrated Beatles album - Allmusic gives it Five Big Stars and we like it every bit as much as they do
  • I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Rock And Roll Music, I'll Follow The Sun. Eight Days A Week, Words Of Love, Every Little Thing, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, What You're Doing and 4 more - 14 tracks in all (!)
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1701_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides -- spacious, rich, full, big and lively
  • Relatively quiet vinyl from start to finish for this vintage German pressing
  • What a set of songs: Fool on the Hill, I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby You’re A Rich Man, All You Need Is Love, Penny Lane and many more
  • A Psych Masterpiece from 1967 and a Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_1611) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $199.00 (You save $100.99 / 34%)


  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades, with sound that is absolutely stunning in its space and immediacy
  • So big and rich, so clear and transparent, we'd be very surprised if you've ever even imagined a Sgt. Pepper that sounds this powerful and REAL
  • A Pepper that sounds this good on a top quality audiophile rig can expand your mind and really take you places
  • AMG 5 stars, BR Top 100, and of course much more correct than any audiophile or heavy vinyl pressing
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
White Album

  (Item #: beatlwhite_1702_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • This British pressing earned consistently high Double Plus (A++) grades on almost all four sides, falling just short on side 4
  • This copy of the Beatles' double album masterpiece is going to thrill and delight the lucky person who snags it.
  • Some of the most powerful and immersive Beatles sound you will ever hear -- we guarantee you will be KNOCKED OUT
  • "If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday - with the publication of the new Beatles double LP - should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making..." Right On!
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1701) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A wonderful copy of The Beatles' last and arguably greatest album, with exceptional Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Here's an Abbey Road that's big, rich, sweet and present, with strong energy, wonderfully breathy vocals and huge guitars
  • A copy this good might just give you a new appreciation for one of the Greatest Rock Albums of All Time
  • Allmusic 5 Stars, a permanent member of the Better Records Top 100, and a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
With The Beatles

  (Item #: beatlwitht_1703) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A crazy good Top Copy, with both sides rating a Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++), just shy of White Hot!
  • Superb space and immediacy, rich and smooth and so Tubey Magical -- exactly the right sound for this music
  • So many great songs: Til There Was You, You've Really Got A Hold On Me, Devil In Her Heart...
  • Allmusic: "It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Revolver

  (Item #: beatlrevol_1703_1) 

Our Price: $219.99

  • This vintage Parlophone LP impressed the hell out of us, earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades
  • The sound is lively, conveying the energy and enthusiasm of the Beatles with every mind-expanding song
  • Revolver is an album that belongs in any collection - why not own one whose 14 songs all sound positively amazing?
  • 5 stars in the AMG: "...its daring sonic adventures and consistently stunning songcraft set the standard for what pop/rock could achieve."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1701) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • There's superb nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides of The Fab Four's very well recorded fourth album
  • Especially rich and spacious, this is the album that moves away from the mostly midrangy sound of A Hard Day's Night and With the Beatles
  • A criminally underrated album by the Fab Four - Allmusic gives it Five Big Stars and we like it every bit as much as they do
  • I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Rock And Roll Music, I'll Follow The Sun. Eight Days A Week, Words Of Love, Every Little Thing, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, What You're Doing and 4 more - 14 tracks in all (!)
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1610_2) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An exceptionally good sounding vintage pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Superb sound for Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Michelle - and that's just side one!
  • A Better Records Rock & Pop Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Must Own Folk Rock Masterpiece
  • "The lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Revolver

  (Item #: beatlrevol_1703) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Excellent Hot Stamper sound on both sides - full and musical with energy and tight bass, with quiet vinyl as well
  • Guaranteed to beat the original, the Heavy Vinyl (mono or stereo), the Half-Speed - you name it, this copy will beat it
  • A Better Records Top 100 title, one that many consider the Greatest Rock Album of Them All
  • 5 stars in the AMG: "Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album."
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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_1608) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Our Hot Stamper British Parlophone pressing here has wonderful sound for this True Beatles Classic
  • It deftly balances Tubey Magical richness and fullness with transparency and clarity
  • This is a Pepper profoundly more correct and musical than any audiophile or heavy vinyl pressing
  • AMG 5 stars, Better Records Top 100, and an album that's still fresh and involving 40+ after its creation
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1612_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Both sides earned seriously good grades of Double Plus (A++) - they're bursting with Fab Four energy and enthusiasm
  • Play I’ll Cry Instead, If I Fell or Things We Said Today to hear some real early Beatles Vocal Magic
  • This one gets the heart of the music right - the vocals - and that's what makes The Beatles FUN to listen to
  • 100% Lennon-McCartney originals: "Decades after its original release, its punchy blend of propulsive rhythms, jangly guitars, and infectious, singalong melodies is remarkably fresh." AMG 5 Stars
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Help

  (Item #: beatlhelp_1701) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This British copy has big, rich, exceptionally musical Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Both sides are play relatively quietly, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus from start to finish
  • This copy is lively and present, with excellent transparency -- this is the way The Beatles should sound
  • With jangly 12 string guitars, harmonically rich tambourines, and breathy vocals, this is a killer copy
  • Side one alone boasts 7 classics: Help!, The Night Before, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, Another Girl, You’re Gonna Lose That Girl and Ticket to Ride - whew!
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1612) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An ourstanding pressing - exceptionally good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Rich and full-bodied, with a sturdy bottom end, this is the way this music is supposed to sound
  • A late-period album with real rock 'n' roll power - I've Got a Feeling kills here
  • With none of the boring quality of the average copy, here's the energy and drive you didn't know was possible on Let It Be
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1610) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Two excellent sides on reasonably quiet vinyl for this early Beatles classic
  • The sound is lively and fun with excellent clarity and punchy bass
  • Wonderful Analog Beatles sound at an especially attractive price
  • 100% Lennon-McCartney originals: "the pinnacle of their early years." AMG
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1608_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This British Parlophone copy is guaranteed to give you an entirely new appreciation for the band's fourth album
  • Rich and smooth, with plenty of Tubey Magic, this is the way the better copies of For Sale sound
  • An underrated album that sounds much better than most audiophiles think it does - better music too
  • Allmusic gives it Five Big Stars, and we agree completely
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1610_2) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Very good sound on this Hot Stamper copy of Let It Be, excellent from start to finish on quiet vinyl
  • A late-period album with real rock 'n' roll power - we love the "live-in-the-studio" rockers like I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Without the humdrum quality of the average Parlophone pressing, here's a Let It Be that finally has some life to it
  • AMG: "...it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Help!

  (Item #: beatlhelp_1609) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • This copy offers excellent sound for all 14 songs - a very good sounding British Help! indeed
  • The energy, presence and clarity on this copy are way beyond compare
  • If you were as disappointed as we were by the new Stereo and Mono Heavy Vinyl, try the real thing on Parlophone
  • You know side one, but most of the songs on side two are classics as well: Act Naturally, It’s Only Love, You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, I’ve Just Seen a Face and -- wait for it -- Yesterday (!)
More of The Beatles Help album in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Please Please Me

  (Item #: beatlpleas_1612_1) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • This British stereo pressing offers excellent Hot Stamper sound for both sides of the boy's debut, on quiet vinyl
  • Here's proof that any Hot Stamper will soundly (ahem) beat the Heavy Vinyl pressing, and anything else you care to throw at it
  • 5 Stars at Allmusic and a Top 100 album, as well as our clear favorite of the band's first five releases
  • Glorious live-in-the-studio sound to rival The Beatles' best recordings - the immediacy and energy are really something to hear
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
With The Beatles

  (Item #: beatlwitht_1610_2s) 

Our Price: $69.99
Sale Price: $49.00 (You save $20.99 / 30%)


  • Both sides earned very respectable Hot Stamper grades and play fairly quietly
  • Open and musical, with the smoothness and clarity that most copies simply don't offer the listener
  • So many great songs: All My Loving, Til There Was You, Roll over Beethoven, You've Really Got A Hold On Me, Devil In Her Heart, Money (That's What I Want)...
  • Allmusic: "It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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1963

The Beatles Come to Town (and Plenty of Other Great Albums Are Released as Well)

  (Item #: 1963) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1963 was a wonderful year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1963.

And HERE to see the records from 1963 that we've reviewed, a substantially larger group as you can imagine.


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1967

Featuring Landmark Albums by The Beatles, The Doors, Hendrix, The Moody Blues et al.

  (Item #: 1967) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased in Hot Stamper form on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1967 was an AMAZING year for Rock music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1967.

And HERE to see the records from 1967 that we've reviewed, a substantially larger group as you can imagine, more than 80 at the time of this writing.


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Mobile Fidelity and the Limited Edition Pressing

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_limited) 



Many audiophiles are still under the misapprehension that Mobile Fidelity, what with their strict ’quality control’, managed to eliminate pressing variations of the kind we discuss endlessly on the site.

Such is simply not the case, and it's child's play to demonstrate how false this way of thinking is, assuming you have these four things: good cleaning fluids and a machine, multiple copies of the same record, a reasonably revealing stereo, and two working ears (I guess that's actually five things, my bad). With all five the reality of pressing variations for ALL pressings is both obvious and incontrovertible.

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MoFi Mastering Variations

Will the Real Sgt. Pepper Please Stand Up?

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_mofi) 



This can be a pretty good sounding MoFi when it’s mastered by the right guy.

Say what? Yes, dear reader, this album was mastered by two different engineers at Mobile Fidelity, and one of them did a much better job than the other.

This copy, which is far more rare by the way, has the better mastering -- much less top end boost was added. As an aside, I used to like the other version better, but as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I realize that this pressing is superior, being noticeably less phony sounding, more like a good Parlophone and less like the typical Mobile Fidelity album.

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Testing New Paradigms and Old

  (Item #: paradigms) 



It is our strongly held belief that if your equipment (regardless of cost) or your critical listening skills do not allow you to hear the kinds of sonic differences among pressings we describe, then whether you are just getting started in audio or are a self-identified audio expert writing for the most prestigious magazines and websites, you still have a very long way to go in this hobby.

Purveyors of the old paradigms -- original is better, money buys good sound -- may eventually find their approach to records and equipment unsatisfactory (when it isn't just plain wrong), but they will only do so if they start to rely more on empirical findings and less on convenient theories and received wisdom.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Rubber Soul


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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.

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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

It's (Almost) All About the Midrange

  (Item #: beatlahard_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of A Hard Day's Night.

This music has a HUGE amount of upper midrange and high frequency information. (Just note how present the tambourines are in the mixes.) If the record isn't cut properly, or pressed properly for that matter, the sound can REALLY be unpleasant.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlahard_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with plenty of advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of A Hard Day's Night.

On If I Fell, the Beatles vocals should sound warm, sweet, and clear. If they do, at the very least you have a contender, and possibly a winner. Not many pressings are going to bring out all the subtle qualities of both Paul and John's leads, as well as the wonderful harmonies they created so effortlessly (or at least seemed to).

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The Beatles - Abbey Road

We Was Wrong -- The MoFi Can Sound Great!

  (Item #: beatlabbeywrong) 



This Minty MoFi is the Killer MFSL Abbey Road of All Time. We’ve never done a shootout like this in the history of Better Records. Picture it: five Mobile Fidelity copies of Abbey Road, ostensibly identical limited editions, pressed on premium virgin vinyl in Japan. Longtime readers of the site will not be surprised to learn that they all sound different, and in very different ways.

Why is this shootout a first? Simple: we never had five open copies in stock at any one time. Having done a big shootout for the Brit copies in January (2007), we knew how good this album could sound. How would the MoFi stack up to the best Brits? We decided to find out.

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The Beatles - Abbey Road

A Fun and Easy Test: MoFi Versus Apple

  (Item #: beatlabbey_mofi_test) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

There is a relatively simple test you can use to find out if you have a good Mobile Fidelity pressing of Abbey Road. Yes, as shocking as it may seem, they actually do exist, we've played them, but they are few and far between (and never as good as the best Brits).

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The Beatles - Abbey Road

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlabbey_depth) 



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

Those of you who follow the site (or do your own shootouts) know that it’s much tougher to find great copies of Abbey Road than it is for MMT or Please Please Me. Most of the copies we’ve played just aren’t good enough to put on the site. For whatever reasons -- probably because this recording is so complicated and required so many tracks -- Abbey Road is arguably the toughest nut to crack in the Beatles' catalog.

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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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The Beatles - Beatles ’65

Reversed Polarity

  (Item #: beatlbeatl65) 



This is one of the pressings we’ve discovered with Reversed Polarity.

This is a Capitol Records Purple Label LP with THE BEST SOUND I have ever heard for a Capitol Beatles LP (as of 7/5/06). But there’s a catch. It only sounds good if you reverse your absolute phase. If you don’t, or can’t, forget it.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The Beatles' albums


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The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: beatlforsa_2009) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE! We feel Beatles For Sale is a criminally underappreciated album, and a killer copy like this will show you exactly why. The startling presence and immediacy allow the emotional qualities of these lovely songs to really come through. The clarity of the vocals is going to blow you away. No matter what copy you’ve been listening to, I’m completely confident that this one will slaughter it. We play a ton of these every year, but there’s a good reason you don’t see too many of them hit the site -- most of them bore us to tears.

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The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlforsa_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of For Sale. We note that Words of Love is a tough track to get right:

There are some lively, jangly guitars behind the smooth voices. Many copies seem to sacrifice one for the other, leaving you with either irritating guitars or dull voices. The better copies get them both right.

More Beatles For Sale


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The Beatles - Help

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlhelp_2013) 



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

Folks, you may have noticed that not many copies of Help with knockout sound make it to the site very often. They're just not easy to find, but we're happy to report that our last shootout produced some real knockouts! If you like your Beatles albums to sound rich, natural, lively and clear -- and who doesn't -- you can't go wrong here.

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The Beatles - Help

Germans Versus Brits

  (Item #: beatlhelp_0311_) 



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

We've heard some excellent German pressings before, but this time [circa 2011] nothing could match up to our best Brit copies. What the best British copies have is more of the TUBEY MAGIC that can typically be heard on early pressings, due no doubt to the fact that they are mastered with tube equipment.

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The Beatles - Help

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlhelp_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series, this time for The Beatles' amazing fifth album, released in 1965, Help.

Much like we said about the Please Please Me Hot Stampers, on the top copies the presence of the vocals and guitars is so real it's positively startling at times. Drop the needle on You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and turn up the volume -- on the best copies it will be as if John and Paul were right there in your living room!

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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 - Let It Be

Bell Sound Cutting - Not Recommended!

  (Item #: beatlletit1) 



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

If you're in the market for a Hot Stamper pressing, you may be in luck. Click here to see what we currently have on hand.

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The Beatles - Let It Be

Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: beatlletit_180_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

At the end of a recent shootout for Let It Be (June 2014) we decided to see how the 2012 Digitally Remastered Heavy Vinyl pressing would acquit itself when played against the 12 (yes, twelve!) British copies we had just spent hours critically auditioning.

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The Beatles - Let It Be

John's Really Digging a Pony. Are You?

  (Item #: beatlletit_dig_a_pony) 



What blew our minds about the Shootout Winning side one we played recently was how outrageously big, open and transparent it was on the song Dig a Pony. As the song started up the studio space seemed to expand in every direction, creating more height, width and depth than we'd ever experienced with this song before.

But there is no studio space; the song was recorded on Apple's rooftop. The "space" has to be some combination of "air" from the live event and artificial reverb added live or later during mixing. Whatever it is, the copies with more resolution and transparency show you a lot more of "it" than run-of-the-mill pressings do (including the new Heavy Vinyl, which is so airless and compressed we gave it a grade of F and banished it to our Shame Hall).

Read more about Let It Be


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The Beatles - Let It Be

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlletit_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about the business of critically evaluating copies of Let It Be.

This is the first time we've discussed individual tracks on the album. Our recent shootout, in which we discovered a mind-boggling, rule-breaking side one, motivated us to sit down and explain what the best copies should do on each side of the album for the tracks we test with. Better late than never I suppose.

See other commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Let It Be


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The Beatles - Let It Be

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlletit_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B or B-

Although I haven't played my copy in quite a while -- it might have been as far back as 2007 or 2008 if memory serves -- I recall that it struck me as one of their better titles.

All things considered, it's actually pretty good, assuming your copy sounds like mine (an assumption we really can't make of course -- no two records sound the same -- but for the purposes of this review we're going to assume it anyway). I would give it a "B" or "B-". It can't hold a candle to the real thing, but at least MoFi didn't ruin it like they did with so many of the other Beatles albums.

See other commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Let It Be


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Are Your Cellists Digging In?

  (Item #: beatlmagic_walruscellos) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Over the last decade I Am The Walrus has evolved into a good test for side one, a fact that came as a complete surprise to me. As I was listening to the various copies in a shootout years ago I noted that the opening cellos and basses in the right channel were often tonally identical from copy to copy, but sounded quite a bit more lively and energetic on some pressings relative to others. Was it EQ? Level? Compression?

Why so much more passion from the players on some copies and not others?

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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlmagic_depth) 



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

We discuss in detail what we're listening for and what the best copies seem to do so well that the run-of-the-mill copies simply do not. If you own a copy of the German MMT plays yours and listen for what we're listening for. It's all laid out in the track commentary.

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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: beatlmagic_2007) 



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

THE BEST SOUNDING MMT EVER! Hot Stamper copies of this album are a regular feature on this site, but we’ve NEVER heard one like this -- on EITHER side! We had no choice but to award this album the very rare grade of A++++ (Four Pluses!) on both sides.

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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

We Was Wrong (Circa the '80s)

  (Item #: beatlmagic_wrong) 



This is a VERY old and somewhat embarrassing We Was Wrong from a few years back.

This German pressing has dramatically different sound than that found on other Hot Stamper pressings of MMT we've had on the site. I used to be convinced that its sound was clearly superior to the regular German MMT LPs. Back in the late '80s and into the '90s this was the pressing that I was certain blew them all out of the water. We know better now. We call this version the "Too Hot Stamper" pressing -- the upper mids and top end are much hotter than they should be.

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The Beatles - Past Masters Volumes 1 & 2

  (Item #: beatlpastm_0610) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

The '90s import pressings of this album are bright and aggressive and very digital sounding, but if you want better sounding versions of these songs you're gonna have to buy a lot of albums to find them.

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

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The Beatles - Please Please Me

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: beatlpleas_obsess) 



PLEASE PLEASE ME is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

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 BEATLES albums.


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlpleas_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series, this time for The Beatles' amazing debut from 1963, Please Please Me.

The first Beatles record is nothing short of amazing. It captures more of the live sound of these four guys playing together as a rock and roll band than any record they ever made afterwards. (Let It Be gets some of that live quality too and makes a great bookend for the group.)

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The Beatles - Please Please Me

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlpleas_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Half Speed reviewed.

By the way, if you own the MoFi LP, do yourself a favor and buy one of our Hot Stamper pressings. (Actually any good British import pressing will do.) What's the first thing you will notice other than correct tonality, better bass and a lot more "life" overall?

No spit! As we've commented elsewhere, because of the wacky cutting system they used, MoFis are full of sibilance.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

What to Listen For

  (Item #: beatlpleas_wtlf_2014) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) on PPM.

The Beatles' first album is a recording overflowing with sonic qualities prized by audiophiles and music lovers alike: Tubey Magic, energy, immediacy, richness, breathy vocals; in short, all the stuff you will never hear -- or not hear to the same extent -- on anything but the best vintage analog vinyl LPs.

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The Beatles - Please Please Me

Which Is More 3-Dimensional
Mono or Twin Track?

  (Item #: beatlpleas_3d) 



With all due respect to Sir George Martin, we've played a number of mono pressings of this album in the past twenty or so years and have never been particularly impressed with any of them. The monos jam all the voices and instruments together in the middle, stacking them one in front of the other, and lots of musical information gets mashed together and simply disappears in the congestion.

But is Twin Track stereo any better? Yes, when you do it the way Norman Smith did on Please Please Me.

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The Beatles - Revolver

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: beatlrevol_2012) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND on BOTH sides of this British White Hot Stamper LP! Having played scores of copies over the years, this is As Good As It Gets as far as we know. Want to be blown away by Beatles sound you never imagined you would ever have the chance to experience for yourself? Drop the needle on Taxman on this very side one -- that's your ticket to ride, baby! We were blown away and we guarantee you will be too.

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The Beatles - Revolver

1981 Parlophone Mono Reissue

  (Item #: beatlrevol_mono) 



Sonic Grade: F

A great sounding record in stereo, potentially anyway, but this later reissue in mono is so awful it deserves a special place in our Hall of Shame.

My notes for side one: hard, sour, no bass. Side two: dumbass small mono, so unclear.

We love the mono mix of For No One, but not when it sounds like this! The only Beatles vinyl we offer on our site are stereo pressings. Our reasons for doing this are straightforward enough. (Continued below)

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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy (or our copy) of Rubber Soul. (If you have the MoFi pressing please click on the Track Listing tab below to read about its most glaring shortcoming.)
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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.

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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Twin Track for Me but Not for Thee

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_twin_track) 



How is it that none of the critics of "twin track stereo" -- the two-track recording approach used on the first two albums, with the elements hard-panned left and right -- has ever come clean about the obvious twin track sound of Rubber Soul? We used tracks four, five and six to test side two with, and in all three the vocals are hard-panned right with most of the instruments hard-panned left. Why is it wrong for Please Please Me to sound that way -- the mono mix being the critic's choice -- but fine for Rubber Soul to be heard that way?
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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band

Our Shootout Winner from 2005

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_2005) 



Drumroll please... FREAKISHLY GOOD SOUND ON BOTH QUIET SIDES! This White Hot Sgt. Pepper’s is absolutely stunning with huge amounts of LIFE, ENERGY, PRESENCE, and IMMEDIACY! The huge soundfield will fill up your living room -- and then some!

Side One is a TUBEY MAGICAL MONSTER! We rate the first two tracks an A++ because the bass is a bit more bloated than we would like. But in true champion form, the bass tightens up during "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" to earn its THIRD PLUS and to show the world what tonal balance sounds like. The top end is silky and delicate with lots of extension. The vocals here are virtually strain free, which is a miraculous feat for any Beatles album.

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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_2009) 



This British Import Parlophone pressing has, without a doubt, ONE OF THE BEST SIDE TWOS WE’VE EVER HEARD. I guarantee you’ve never heard A Day In The Life sound as good as it does here -- we sure haven’t! The superb presence, clarity, and transparency allow elements to come through that are lost on all but the very hottest copies. Take a listen to how clear the piano comes through in the mix and compare it to any other copy you can find to see what I’m talking about.
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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Our Shootout Winning Copy from 2012

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_0812) 



A White Hot Stamper A+++ side two, doing everything that the top copies could and doing it better than any other we played -- and it's German! It's so big and rich that we would be very surprised, shocked even, if you've ever imagined that Sgt. Pepper could sound this powerful and REAL.

Within You, Without You is a Demo Quality track on a copy like this. George's vocals are so big and breathy, with so much space around them (accompanied by space around all of the instruments in these dense mixes as well) that it just goes to show how much more resolving the later pressings are than earlier ones. The sitar in the left channel is RIGHT THERE, with all of the remarkable harmonics of the instrument intact, and no loss of Tubey Magic to be heard.

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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

UHQR Debunked

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

We charge hundreds of dollars for a Hot Stamper Sgt. Pepper, which is a lot to pay for a record. But consider this: the MoFi UHQR typically sells for more than the price we charge and doesn’t sound as good.

Of course the people that buy UHQRs would never find themselves in a position to recognize how much better one of our Hot Stampers sounds in a head to head shootout with their precious and oh-so-collectible UHQR. They assume that they’ve already purchased the Ultimate Pressing and see no need to try another.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Beatles - The Blue Album (2 LPs)

  (Item #: beatl1967-1) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

I used to like these British compilations; I raved about them in fact. Now I find them too bright. If you have a treble control or a very smooth system you may find them enjoyable.

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The Beatles - The Blue Album

(2 German LPs)

  (Item #: beatl1967_0610) 



A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.

This is a WONDERFUL SOUNDING early German Import 2 LP set -- pressed on fairly quiet vinyl to boot! We are on record as finding the British pressings of 1967-1970 too bright; certainly most of them are anyway. This German set has much more natural sound to my ear -- it's RICH, SMOOTH and SWEET, with plenty of tubey magic and little of the grain and grunge of the Brits. (The original domestic pressings, as anyone who has ever played one can attest, mastered at Sterling no less, are absolutely godawful.)

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The Beatles - The White Album Testimonial

Enlightened (With No Need to Travel to India)

  (Item #: beatlwhite_testimonial) 



This week’s testimonial letter comes from our good customer Robert, who was "enlightened" -- his word, not ours -- by the Hot Stamper pressing we sent him. An excerpt:

This reminds me of a comment somewhere on your site where it is pointed out that hearing a really good pressing of a song you never thought you liked before can suddenly make you a convert. That is definitely the case with this one.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The White Album


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The Beatles - The White Album

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlwhite_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with plenty of What to Listen For (WTLF) tips.

It's exceedingly difficult to find audiophile quality sound on The White Album. The Beatles were breaking apart, often recording independently of each other, with their own favorite engineers as enablers, and George Martin nowhere to be found most of the time. They were also experimenting more and more with sound itself, which resulted in wonderful songs and interesting effects. However, these new approaches and added complexity often result in a loss of sonic "purity."

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The White Album


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The Beatles - The White Album

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beatlwhite_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

The last time I played the MoFi I could not believe how ridiculously phony and compressed it was. And to think I used to like their version when it came out back in the '80s!

Take Yer Blues. The MFSL pressing positively wreaks havoc with all the added bass and top end The Beatles put on this track. The MoFi version is already too bright, and has sloppy bass to start with, so the result on this track is way too much BAD bass and way too much BAD spitty 10k-boosted treble, unlike the good imports, which have way too much GOOD bass and treble.

See more of our in-stock copies of The Beatles albums


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: beatlwitht_2008) 



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

Here’s a BIG one for you Beatles nuts... the first A+++ / A+++ copy of With The Beatles to ever make it to the site!

MASTER TAPE SOUND AND QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! This is one of the toughest Beatles albums to get to sound right, as long-time readers of our site surely know. That's why we haven't listed a Hot Stamper for this album since late 2006 -- we just can't find them!

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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.

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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.
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The Beatles - With the Beatles

The Early Pressings Are the Best, Right?

  (Item #: beatlwith_original) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

So many Parlophone copies would have you think With The Beatles is a gritty, edgy, crude recording -- especially if you made the mistake of buying an early pressing. The early pressings are consistently grittier, edgier and more crude than the later pressings we played.

So much for the old canard that Original Always Equals Better. When it comes to With The Beatles it just ain't so, and it doesn't take a State-of-the-Art system or pair of golden ears to hear it.

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The Beatles Heavy Rubber Soul

Finally, MF and Better Records Can Agree on Something

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_180) 



We are so excited to tell you about the first of the Heavy Vinyl Beatles remasters we've played! As we cycle through our regular Hot Stamper shootouts for The Beatles' albums we will be of course be reviewing more of them*. I specifically chose this one to start with, having spent a great deal of time over the last year testing the best vinyl pressings against three different CD versions of Rubber Soul.

The short version of our review of the new Rubber Soul vinyl would simply point out that it's awful, and, unsurprisingly, it's awful in most of the ways that practically all modern Heavy Vinyl records are: it's opaque, airless, energyless and just a drag.

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The Beatles Heavy Vinyl Sgt. Pepper’s

Well, I Guess If You Don't Know Any Better...

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_180_debunk_2015) 



Sonic Grade: D

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

You might agree with some reviewers that EMI's engineers did a pretty good job with the new Pepper. In the March 2013 issue of Stereophile Art Dudley weighed in, finding little to fault on this title but being less impressed with most of the others in the new box set. His reference disc? The MoFi UHQR! Oh, and he also has some old mono pressings and a domestic Let It Be. Now there's a man who knows his Beatles. Fanatical? Who wouldn't be? We're talkin' The Beatles for Chrissake.

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The Beatles on Vinyl

Is Your Stereo System
Up to the Challenge?

  (Item #: beatles_test) 



The sound of the best pressings of The Beatles -- when cleaned with the Walker Enzyme fluids on the Odyssey machine -- are truly revelatory.

So much of what holds their records back is not bad mastering or poor pressing quality or problems with the recording itself. It's getting the damn vinyl clean. (It's also helpful to have high quality playback equipment that doesn't add to the inherent limitations of the recordings.)

See more of our commentaries on The Beatles


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The Beatles White Album 10 Copy Shootout

"I was near a nervous breakdown."

  (Item #: beatlwhite_testimonial2) 



Our good customer Erik in Germany purchased one of our hottest Hot Stamper White Albums ($700), on German vinyl no less (!) and decided to do his own shootout with the ten -- count ’em, ten -- copies he had on hand.
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The White Album


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The Beatles' Sgt. Peppers on LP

Practical Advice on What to Avoid

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_rules) 



Chris, our erstwhile customer, sent us a letter a while back describing his search for a good sounding Sgt. Pepper.

The first thing that comes to mind when reading his letter is that many record collecting rules were broken in going about his search the way he did. But then I thought, What rules? Whose rules? Where exactly does one find these rules? If one wants to avoid breaking them they need to be written down someplace, don’t they?

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Fab Four on Parlophone

The Original Beatles Pressings Are the Best, Right?

  (Item #: beatles_myth) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

Back in 2005 we compared the MFSL pressing of Help to a British Parlophone LP and were -- mistakenly, as you may have already surmised -- impressed by the MoFi.

More of The Beatles


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Vivaldi Ensemble / Vivaldi, The Beatles

Bad Direct Disc Music & Sound

  (Item #: vivalsprin_rdc-2) 



Sonic Grade: F

An awful Direct to Disc recording. The bad sound and pointless music -- this is the kind of crap we audiophiles used to put up with back in the '70s before we had much of a clue -- means that it clearly belongs in only one place on our site: the Hall of Shame.

More of the music of Antonio Vivaldi


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What We Listen For:

The Spirit and Enthusiasm of the Musicians

  (Item #: beatlrevol_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

This discussion, brought about by a Hot Stamper shootout we conducted for Revolver many years ago (2007!), touches on many issues near and dear to us here at Better Records: pressing variations, system upgrades, dead wax secrets, and the quality we prize most in a recording: LIFE, or, if you prefer, energy.

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The Beatles

  (Item #: _Beatles) 


Beatles albums in stock

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Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_2013) 



We are calling this White Hot Stamper 2-pack set THE ULTIMATE SGT. PEPPERS EXPERIENCE. These two sides give you EVERYTHING you could ask for from this album. Side one earned the rare Four Plus A++++ grade and side two was a killer A+++; both sides play a very quiet Mint Minus throughout. The sound is so big and rich throughout that we would be very surprised, shocked even, if you've ever imagined that Sgt. Pepper could sound this powerful and REAL.
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