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White Hot Stamper

The Pretenders
Leanring To Crawl

  (Item #: pretelearn_1703) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • The first Triple Plus (A+++) Shootout Winning copy to hit the site in quite a while - we've never heard it sound better
  • Both sides were richer and fuller than the competition with great energy and a nice open top end
  • With Robbie McIntosh having joined the band this is first and foremost a guitar rock record; his jangly, grungy riffs drive every song
  • "... with the exception of the instant-classic debut album, it's the Pretenders' finest work." - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

The Pretenders
Learning To Crawl

  (Item #: pretelearn_1704) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from beginning to end and on fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides were cleaner and clearer than most with a nice extended top end and most of the energy that's missing from the average copy
  • A tough nut to crack - few copies ever hit the site - but we know what the good pressings are now, and this is one of them
  • "... with the exception of the instant-classic debut album, it's the Pretenders' finest work." - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

The Pretenders
Get Close

  (Item #: pretegetcl_1701) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on side one with a side two that's nearly as good - this copy is rockin' from start to finish
  • Side one alone has three of this band's best tracks: My Baby, When I Change My Life and Tradition of Love
  • If you like your Pretenders with a Big Beat then this is the album for you - it's a real rocker, especially when it sounds this good
  • The best copies are not the ones you might expect, and it took us a long time to figure out which copies had the real Get Close magic
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The Pretenders - Get Close

The Domestic Pressings Are Awful

  (Item #: pretegetcl_shame) 



Sonic Grade: F

The domestic LP belongs in our Hall of Shame. It's awful, and the domestic CD is even worse, practically unlistenable in fact. I have one in my car; only the judicious use of the treble control, steeply downwards, makes the sound even tolerable.

But the album rocks -- it's great driving music.

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The Pretenders - Get Close

What to Listen For

  (Item #: pretegetcl_wtlf) 



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

The best copies have superb extension up top, which allows the grit and edge on the vocals to almost entirely disappear. Some of it is there on the tape for a reason -- that's partly the sound they were going for, this is after all a Bob Clearmountain mix and a Jimmy Iovine production -- but bad mastering and pressing adds plenty of grit to the average copy, enough to ruin it in fact.

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The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: pretelearn_2013) 



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

This copy has real rock and roll energy in its grooves, a quality which earned it serious points here at Better Records. With Robbie McIntosh having joined the band, this is first and foremost a ROCK GUITAR record; his jangly, grungy riffs drive every song.

Think of Middle of the Road -- everything that's good about this band on this album is there in the song: it's uptempo, with a driving beat and guitars well up in the mix. Only the best pressings convey the energy and enthusiasm of the band while avoiding the grunge, flatness and hardness that make the typical pressing all but unlistenable at loud volumes.

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The Pretenders - Pretenders

Nautilus Debunked

  (Item #: preteprete_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

Completely lifeless. This pressing can't rock.

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The Pretenders - The Pretenders

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: preteprete_fame) 



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

Forget the dubby domestic vinyl, these Brits are the only way to go. And this one is a great deal quieter than most. Most of the copies I bought from English record dealers were just BEAT. They kept telling me they played fine (on their Technics table I'm guessing), but I could not for the life of me replicate their experience for myself here in the states.

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