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White Hot Stamper

Santana
Abraxas

  (Item #: santaabrax_1702) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Staggering Demo Disc Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it are here on this Santana Must Own classic
  • Driving Santana Latin Rhythmic Rock Energy - the sound is HUGE, with powerful drums and guitars that will jump out of your speakers
  • Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va both sound INCREDIBLE - but, really, every track here does (!)
  • 5 stars on Allmusic, and the only Santana recording to merit inclusion on our Top 100 Rock and Pop List<
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White Hot Stamper

Santana
Santana (III)

  (Item #: santasant3_1701_2) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • This Top Copy delivers some of the punchiest, liveliest Santana sound you'll ever hear, Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two
  • Amazing presence, clarity and transparency -- you hear into the huge, deep soundfield with nothing between you and the musicians
  • Surprising amounts of Tubey Magic -- some of the best sound this very well recorded band achieved in the studio
  • 4 1/2 stars in the All Music Guide: "This is essential Santana, a record that deserves to be reconsidered in light of its lasting abundance and vision."
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White Hot Stamper

Santana
Inner Secrets

  (Item #: santainner_1612_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A Top Copy -- Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side and close (A++ to A+++) on the second, a monster from start to finish
  • This sleeper in the Santana canon boasts some of the best sound they ever recorded - a shockingly good Demo Disc
  • The guitars have plenty of bite, and no matter how loud they get, they never seem to strain
  • When the background vocals come in, they are wall to wall and sweet as honey, with no trace of grain or edge
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Super Hot Stamper

Santana
Santana

  (Item #: santasanta_1701) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Two killer Double Plus (A++) sides - rich and relaxed with powerful guitar-fueled Latin Rock energy
  • The drums have real snap to them - correct percussion is critical to this music and this copy delivers
  • A Must Own album, clearly their Masterpiece, and one of the truly groundbreaking debuts in rock history
  • "Santana combined Latin rhythms with jazz-inspired improvisation, hard-rock guitar and lyrical, B.B. King-style blues - and even had a hit single, "Evil Ways." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

Santana
Abraxas

  (Item #: santaabrax_1701) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two huge, hard-rockin' sides rating Double Plus (A++) for sound - this copy is smokin'
  • The sound is rich, full-bodied and musical with punchy drums and guitar solos that really get LOUD
  • 5 stars on Allmusic, and a Top 100 title for its blistering solos that soar into space
  • "America was never the same after Carlos Santana discovered the smoldering Afro-Cuban magic of Tito Puente. A sinuous cha cha cha that sounds as if it had been waiting for Santana's soulful guitar licks to reinvent it, the Puente-penned "Oye Como Va" became the pillar of U.S. Latin rock." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper

Santana
Santana (III)

  (Item #: santasant3_1701) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides - lively and transparent with punchy drums and big guitars
  • 3 big hits that sound amazing here: No One To Depend On, Everybody's Everything and Everything's Coming Our Way
  • Surprising amounts of Tubey Magic on this recording - some of the best sound the band achieved in the studio
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "This is essential Santana, a record that deserves to be reconsidered in light of its lasting abundance and vision."
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Super Hot Stamper

Santana
Borboletta

  (Item #: santaborbo_1611) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Both sides of this jazz-funk-fusion 1974 release boast superb sound, with side two a staggering A++ to A+++
  • Both sides are huge and lively, with lovely Tubey Magic, yet smooth and high-rez, just the way they should be
  • - Santana albums tend to be very well recorded - just check out the luscious tone of the Hammond organ on Life Is Anew
  • "...his determination to replace effects with substance and one-note riffing with meatier improvisations is refreshing."
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Hot Stamper

Santana
Santana (III)

  (Item #: santasant3_1701_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This Must Own Santana classic (their third in as many years) has two Hot Stamper sides on reasonably quiet vinyl
  • The 3 big hits show the band at their best: No One To Depend On, Everybody's Everything and Everything's Coming Our Way
  • Lots of Tubey Magic on this recording - some of the best sound the band achieved in the studio
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "It's an album that has aged extremely well due to its spare production (by Carlos and the band) and its live sound. This is essential Santana, a record that deserves to be reconsidered in light of its lasting abundance and vision."
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Super Hot Stamper

Santana
Inner Secrets

  (Item #: santainner_1612_2) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Superb Big and Bold Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides on reasonably quiet vinyl
  • Power and energy are what make this album a true Demo Disc in the world of rock, and this copy has plenty of both
  • A sleeper in the Santana canon that boasts some of the best sound the band ever put to vinyl -- shockingly good sound
  • Top tracks here include three of their biggest barnburners: Dealer (Traffic), Stormy and Well...All Right (Blind Faith)
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Santana Discography

  (Item #: allsantana) 



1969 Santana
1970 Abraxas
1971 Santana III
1972 Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!
1972 Caravanserai
1972 Love Devotion Surrender
1973 Welcome
1974 Illuminations
1974 Borboletta
1976 Amigos
1977 Festival
1977 Moonflower
1978 Inner Secrets
1979 Marathon
1980 The Swing of Delight
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Letter of the Week

... Santana’s guitar is scorching! ...

  (Item #: santaabrax_letter) 



This week’s letter comes from our good customer Dan, who was positively astounded by our Hot Stamper pressing of Abraxas. We told Dan to listen to this record as loud as his ears could take it. Could he handle it!? Apparently he could!

Take it from the man himself: "As you suggested, I played this album as loud as my ears could tolerate and the result was astounding."

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Santana - Abraxas

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: santaabrax_mofi_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile LP debunked.

The remastered Abraxas never got past the first elimination round; it had to have been one of the worst half-speeds I have ever heard. Dead dead dead as a doornail.

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Santana - Abraxas

180g Columbia Debunked

  (Item #: santaabrax_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing

There is a 180 gram domestic pressing of Abraxas that’s currently available. The reason we never sold it is that it’s AWFUL. One side, I don’t remember which one, is actually Mono! You will see people selling this record on Ebay as an audiophile pressing. Believe me, no audiophile in his right mind would want this record. Just a word to the wise, a service of Better Records.

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Santana - Abraxas

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: santaabrax_2011) 



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.

SABOR! This White Hot Stamper Abraxas has a KILLER A++ to A+++ SIDE ONE and a KNOCKOUT A+++ SIDE TWO! Just about everyone out there knows how good this music was, but I bet you didn’t know it could sound like this. The sound of the drums and percussion on this copy is OUT OF THE STRATOSPHERE.

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Santana - Borboletta

  (Item #: santaborbo_fame) 



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

Top players include Stanley Clarke, Airto, Flora Purim and Michael Shrieve.

This is definitely not an album of "hits", nor is it trying to be one. The lengthy review in Rolling Stone explains it all, and is certainly worth a read if jazz-rock fusion is your thing.

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Santana - Inner Secrets

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: santainner_2011) 



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.

The sound went so far beyond our expectations, so far beyond even the White Hot Stamper pressing we discovered in this shootout, that we had to throw on another plus if the grading was to make any sense at all.

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Santana - Inner Secrets

Santana's Guitar Solos Soar

  (Item #: santainner_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.

On side two the final guitar solo Santana takes on Well All Right gets LOUDER in the mix than any guitar solo on any rock record with which I am familiar. The sound gets louder after the first chorus, then louder still right before the second solo, and then the solo itself gets even louder until it seems to be as loud as live music. (Operative word: seems.)

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Santana - Santana

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: santasanta_2009) 



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

Huge ENERGY, incredible DYNAMICS and amazing IMMEDIACY are what we found on this side two, and those three qualities are what made it the Side Two Winner of our shootout!

We just finished a big Santana shootout and this side two had us going like no other. It’s got that HUGE Santana sound that always gets us rocking along to the beat. The soundfield is big, wide, and open with a three-dimensional quality that lets you hear right INTO the music. The strong bottom end sets the perfect foundation for the mids and highs to really open up and do their thing. I can hear clearly that You Just Don't Care on side two is recorded LIVE in the studio.

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Santana - Santana (III)

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: santasant3_2012) 



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

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

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Santana - Santana

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: santasanta_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Santana is a record we admit to having liked a bit when it first came out. Since then we have changed our minds. As embarrassing as it may be, clearly We Was Wrong.

It’s just too damn compressed and lifeless. The Whomp Factor on this pressing is Zero. Since whomp is critical to the sound of Santana’s music, it’s Game Over for us. The review below is exactly what we wrote at the time the record came in.

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Santana - Santana

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: santasanta_depth) 



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

First off, a 360 label doesn't mean much on this record except the POTENTIAL for good sound. The badly mastered or pressed copies can be recognized easily: they are muddy and smeary. The recording itself has a bit of that too-many-tubes-in-the-signal-path quality to start with, so unless the record is mastered and pressed clearly and cleanly the whole presentation is likely to turn to mud.

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Santana Records to Avoid

180 Gram Imports!

  (Item #: Santanaimports) 



There are some 180 gram reissues from Germany that can’t hold a candle to good American copies. The Original Orange Label CBS pressings always have that smeary quality that we dislike so much. They are obviously made from sub-generation tapes. The transients suffer a great deal of damage when these dub tapes are used.
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Santana's Tubey Magic

Is It Really Just a Matter of EQ?

  (Item #: santainner_tubeymagic) 



This listing for a Hot Stamper of Inner Secrets has extensive commentary addressing two somewhat controversial subjects: tube vs. transistor mastering, and the playing of music at very loud levels.

One of the most interesting findings to come out of this comparison was the idea that some copies had tubey magic, especially in the midrange, while some sounded more like they were mastered using transistor equipment. The sound was more along the lines of what you would expect from a mid-’70s rock record made by a major label like Columbia: a bit more presence in the vocals; a little more grain; sound that’s not quite as rich and sweet, etc.

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The Turn Up Your Volume Test

Santana

  (Item #: santasanta_loud) 



Yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This album needs to be played LOUD. I used to demonstrate that specific effect a few years ago (!) when I found my first shockingly good Hot Stamper copy back in the late ’90s. I would play the first minute or so of track one at a pretty good level. There’s lots of ambience, there’s a couple of guys who shout things out, there’s a substantial amount of deep bass, and the whole recording has a natural smooth quality to it (which is precisely what allows you to play it at loud volumes).

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VTA Adjustment with Santana

Sometimes It Pays to Just Fake It

  (Item #: santasanta_vta) 



When this Heavy Vinyl pressing by Columbia came out back in 2003, I was dumbfounded at the incredible sound: huge depth and soundstage; an octave of bass below what would normally be considered bass (a 20 cycle note that sticks its head up from under the more common 40 cycle bass that drives the music); wonderful transparency and sweetness in the midrange; dynamics; and lastly, the kind of low-distortion, naturally un-hyped sound that this record shared with the Nirvana LP you’ve read about on the site. When you turn up the volume to very high levels, the sound gets better!
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Why Didn't Those @!#&/?% Record Companies Produce More Hot Stampers?

  (Item #: santasanta_press) 



A while back we received a letter from a good customer of ours lamenting how rare Hot Stamper pressings are.

Why were so many copies produced without HOT STAMPER sound when it was obviously possible is beyond me and quite frankly upsets me. But that is the way it is.

Our answer can be found below.

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Santana

  (Item #: _Santana) 


Santana albums in stock

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