Loading...
  [ LOGIN/REGISTER ]   [ MY ACCOUNT ] Items in the shopping cart: 0    Current total: $0.00
   
Left space

Advanced Products Search
Keywords :
 
Price Range : $ ~ $
Manufacturer :
Category :

Found : 213   Display : 1-100
Page :
1 · 2 · 3
    << · < Prev · Next > · >>
Sort by:








Paganini / Violin Concerto 1 & 2 / Menuhin

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: paganvioli_emi_2013) 



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

Another remarkable Demo Disc from the Golden Age of recording, in this case 1961, with the benefit of more modern mastering from the '70s, a combination that works wonders on this title, as you will hear from both of these White Hot sides.

The sound is so transparent, undistorted, three-dimensional and REAL, without any sacrifice in solidity, richness or Tubey Magic, that we knew we had our shootout winner with this copy.

More recordings featuring the violin


  more Info











The Doors - The Doors

What to Listen For

  (Item #: doorsdoors_wtlf) 



What to Listen For? you ask?

ENERGY and RAW POWER. Few audiophiles have any idea how well recorded this album is, simply because most pressings don't do a very good job of encoding the life of the master tape onto the vinyl of the day, regardless of whether that day is in 1967 or 2017.

The first Doors album is without a doubt the punchiest, liveliest, most powerful recording in the entire Doors catalog.

More by The Doors


  more Info











Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Lightly

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgella_swings_lightly_2017) 



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

Exceptionally lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by our man, Marty Paich. Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - these were the days when Ella was on top of the world.

See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


  more Info











Queen - The Game

What to Listen For

  (Item #: queengame_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 sounding side ones were rarely as good as the best sounding side twos.

Even the good side ones tended to have a trace of harmonic distortion and compression that is simply nowhere to be found on the good side twos. How and why this is we have no idea. Since every copy had the same sonic issues we discounted it in our grading. Only the better copies bring the hits on side one to life and give them the size and power we know they can have.

More Queen


  more Info











Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Hits

What to Listen For - Punchy Drums

  (Item #: fleetgreat_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.

Many pressings are compressed, murky, veiled and recessed, especially the early ones. To find one that is transparent, clear, present and punchy is no mean feat.

On either side listen for the drums to punch through the mix.

More Fleetwood Mac


  more Info











Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back!

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: preslelvis_is_back_2015) 



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

What a great Elvis album. Fever is the killer jam on the first side and the material throughout is of very high quality.

Finding clean real Elvis records -- not those crappy compilations and vault-leftovers, but real Elvis albums from his golden period when he was the true King of Pop (sorry Michael) -- has never been a walk in the park. We do the best we can.

More Elvis Presley


  more Info











Ella Fitzgerald - The Johnny Mercer Song Book

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgjohnn_2017) 



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

The huge, rich orchestral sound captured so beautifully by Val Valentin is always one of the many highlights to be found on the songbook series. By the time this album came out in 1964 Ella had already recorded 18 LPs worth of songbooks - this was the last, going out on a high note. Some of the Mercer Classics here are Too Marvelous For Words, Day In - Day Out, Laura, Skylark, Midnight Sun, I Remember You.

See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


  more Info











10cc - Deceptive Bends

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: tenccdecep_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Deceptive Bends.

We've long been huge fans of this album both musically and sonically. It's the kind of recording where the sound JUMPS out of the speakers. It reminds me of Crime Of The Century that way. It's also one of the most DYNAMIC popular recordings I know of. If this album doesn't wake up your system, it's time to scrap it and start over! Musically it's one of my all time favorite albums, a real Desert Island disc.

More 10cc


  more Info











The Beatles - Help

Germans Versus Brits

  (Item #: beatlhelp_2011) 



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.

More Help


  more Info











Testing for Sibilance with 10cc's Deceptive Bends

  (Item #: tenccdecep_test) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Deceptive Bends.

On side two the tonal balance is especially critical. Any boost to the top end will cause the vocals on the second track to SPIT LIKE CRAZY. This is a good test for how well your cartridge and arm are doing their jobs.

More 10cc


  more Info











The Eagles - One Of These Nights

What to Listen For

  (Item #: eagleoneof_wtlf) 



What to Listen For you ask?

That's easy: Soaring Guitar Solos and Huge Choruses.

If you have an exceptionally good sounding copy of the album, One Of These Nights is the kind of record that can really come alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

More by The Eagles


  more Info











Santana - Santana

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: santasant1_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.

More Santana


  more Info











The Bloated Cello Sound Some Audiophiles Seem to Love

  (Item #: brittsonat_cello) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate any and all cello recordings you may own.

On this pressing we were a bit surprised by how unusually natural the cello sounded -- more like the real instrument and less like the typical recording of it.


  more Info











Saint-Saens / Symphony No. 3 ("Organ") / Fremaux

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: saintsym3_2016) 



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

One of Saint-Saens' greatest masterpieces finally comes to Better Records with true Demo Disc sound. Huge, lively, spacious, dynamic - both sides earned our top grade of Triple Plus (A+++). What this copy did better than any other was show us just how rich, smooth and Tubey Magical the 1973 sound could be.

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


  more Info











Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - Sonny and Brownie

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: terrysonny_2013) 



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

SUPERB A+++ DEMO DISC SOUND and DEAD QUIET VINYL on both sides of this A & M pressing! What a record! I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar that you couldn't find ANY version of this music that sounded better than this. The sound is RIGHT ON THE MONEY from top to bottom, start to finish. The immediacy, clarity and transparency are OFF THE CHARTS -- this record puts a killer blues jam right there in your living room!


  more Info











Michel Legrand - After the Rain

An Amazing Pablo Jazz Album You Never Heard Of

  (Item #: legraafter_2013) 



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

This album is PURE MAGIC! I know of no other jazz album like it. It's lyrical and moody, yet comes to life at a moment's notice when the horn players start to feel the spirit. If you're familiar with the music he wrote for The Thomas Crown Affair (he won an Academy Award for "Windmills of Your Mind"), you may have a good feel for subtle, impressionistic, often moody quality of After the Rain . Or check it out on youtube (while trying to imagine the sound being at least one million times better).

More Michel Legrand


  more Info











Chet Atkins - Mister Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: atkinmiste_2009) 



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

This RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL as it gets. It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn't know how to not make a Living Stereo record with shockingly good sound. Practically anything the guy touches is GOLD!

More Chet Atkins


  more Info











Oscar Peterson Trio - The Trio - Live From Chicago

What to Listen For

  (Item #: petertrio_wtlf) 



What to Listen For? you ask?

Some copies are poorly mastered, so poorly that Ray Brown's bass all but disappears from the trio! Other copies made Thigpen's snare sound hard and too forward in the mix. This is obviously just a mastering EQ problem, since the good copies, such as this one, get all those elements to balance beautifully.

More Oscar Peterson


  more Info











XTC - English Settlement

What to Listen For

  (Item #: xtc__engli_wtlf_2017) 



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

For Big Production Rock Albums like English Settlement there are some obvious problem areas that are often heard on at least one or two sides of practically any copy of this four sided album.

With so many heavily-produced instruments crammed into the soundfield, if the overall sound is at all veiled, recessed or smeared -- problems common to 90+% of the records we play in our shootouts -- the mix quickly becomes opaque, forcing the listener to work too hard to separate out the elements of interest.

A Big Speaker Record if ever there was one.


  more Info











Bud Shank And the Sax Section

The Bass Sax - What a Sound

  (Item #: shankandth_wtlf) 



What to Listen For you ask?

The reason this album is so appealing to us audiophiles is that the sound of each of the saxophones is clearly recognizable as they weave in and around these arrangements. On the back cover you can see a fellow holding a bass saxophone, an instrument you don't hear too often -- perhaps it's fallen from favor. (It solos at the beginning of Sidewinder on side one. Once you hear it you will be dying to play that song for your audiophile buddies, I guarantee it. What a sound!)

More Bud Shank


  more Info











Randy Newman - 12 Songs

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: newma12son_2016) 



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

Both sides here were incredible. You get a very strong bottom end, lovely richness and warmth, real space and separation between the instruments and wonderful immediacy throughout. The heavy, "swampy" vibe of the music comes through well without the sound getting too murky or muddy.

More Randy Newman


  more Info











Squeeze - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: squeecosif_2016) 



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

If you're a fan of Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson and even quite a few other lesser-knowns from this era, Squeeze is the band for you. I put them right up there with Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel in the pantheon of Best British Pop Music of All Time.

This has long been a favorite album of mine, a Desert Island Disc if you will, with some of the most powerfully produced, intelligently written and passionately performed songs in the entire Squeeze canon.

See all of our Squeeze albums in stock


  more Info











Franck / Piano Quintette & Brahms / Heifetz, Piatigorsky et al.

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: francpiano_2739_2013) 



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

A stellar reading of the Franck from this formidable group. Side one of this Shaded Dog is Super Hot: rich, smooth and sweet. The piano is exceptionally well-recorded, with real weight. The Brahms is very good if you can reverse your polarity.

See all pressings of Franck's music in stock
See all pressings of Brahms' music in stock


  more Info











Roxy Music - Country Life

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: roxymcount_2015) 



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

Many of the best songs Ferry ever wrote and Roxy ever played are on this album. Musically it's right up there with the first album and Siren, both early '70s Art Rock landmarks.

In our experience the right British original Sunray (Pink Rim) Island pressing will always win the shootout if you have a good pile of copies to play. There are some bad sounding Island LPs out there, so don’t assume the Sunray is the answer. It’s potentially the right answer. Without at least five copies in hand you won't know for sure whether the copy you like is truly a Hot Stamper or not-that-hot-of-a-stamper.

More Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry


  more Info











Jimmy Smith - Got My Mojo Workin’

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: smithgotmy_2010) 



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

Verve LP with RVG Stampers and very good sound. This album has that analog richness, warmth and smoothness that we prize so highly here at Better Records. Jimmy does some pop tunes, some Ellington and more on this one, which has a real funky feel to it, with Jimmy really getting into it and grunting along with the music in places.

More Jimmy Smith


  more Info











Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Long After Dark

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: pettylonga_2015) 



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

Petty's fifth album boasts the monster rocker You Got Lucky and reasonably good sound considering that the album was recorded in 1982, not an especially good year or decade to be recording music.

The climaxes and the bigger choruses of the songs should be as uncompressed and uncongested as possible to earn our higher grades. When the music gets loud it should stay tonally correct and undistorted, and not all copies can do that, not at the serious levels we like to play our records.

More Tom Petty


  more Info











Queen - A Night at the Opera

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: queennight_2017) 



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

Triple Plus (A+++) on side one and nearly that on side two (A++ to A+++) make this the best copy to ever hit the site. The sound is HUGE with WHOMP like nothing you have ever heard on this album - finally, the code has been cracked.

See all of our Queen albums in stock


  more Info











Frank Sinatra - Moonlight Sinatra

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: sinatmoonl_2017) 



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

Out of this world Triple Triple (A+++) sound - this is sure to be one of the best Sinatra records you'll ever hear. Both of these Shootout Winning stereo sides are unbelievably rich and Tubey Magical - this is some killer Frank Sinatra sound. We've been working on this shootout for years - this is the first - and best - copy we have to show for our efforts.

See all of our Frank Sinatra albums in stock


  more Info











10cc - 10cc

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: tencctencc_2014) 



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

These British original pressings are surprisingly hard to find; Sheet Music is a tough one these days too. We're lucky to find one clean copy of either title in a given year. We'll be looking harder from now on though, because this record sounds great and the music is a blast.

See all of our 10cc albums in stock


  more Info











Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: roxymforyo_2017) 



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

This album is a MASTERPIECE of Art Rock, Glam Rock and Bent Rock all rolled into one. Spacious, dynamic, present, with HUGE MEATY BASS and tons of energy, the sound is every bit as good as the music. (At least on this copy it is. That's precisely what Hot Stampers are all about.)

See all of our Roxy Music albums in stock


  more Info











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.

More Please Please Me


  more Info











The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn!

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: byrdsturnt_2011) 



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

This Columbia 360 label pressing has AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES and the vinyl is about as quiet as any of these 360 Label pressings can be found!

It took us a long time, but we pulled together enough clean copies for a big shootout, and these two great sides were head and shoulders above the competition. The sound is natural, lifelike and realistic with serious immediacy and plenty of rock and roll energy.

See all of our Byrds albums in stock


  more Info











Turntable Set Up Advice

Using Court and Spark

  (Item #: mitchcourt_setup) 



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

There are loud vocal choruses on many tracks, and more often than not at their loudest they sound like they are either breaking up or threatening to do so. I always assumed it was compressor or board overload, which is easily heard on Down to You. On the best copies there is no breakup -- the voices get loud and they sound clean throughout.

More Joni Mitchell


  more Info











Coleman Hawkins - Hawk Eyes

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hawkihawke_2016) 



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

This 1960 Saxophone Ballad session from 1960 has to be seen as yet another recording triumph for Rudy Van Gelder

The best pressings of these OJC and Prestige reissues from the '70s and '80s sound like the vintage jazz albums they emulate, and sometimes they even beat the originals at their own Tubey Magical game. They can be every bit as rich, sweet and spacious as their earlier-pressed brethren in our experience.

See all of our Coleman Hawkins albums in stock


  more Info











The Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: grateworki_2012) 



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

STUNNING MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE TWO, as good as it gets! I don’t think you could ask any more from this music than what this magical side two gives you -- breathy vocals with mindblowing immediacy; incredible depth and width to the soundfield; rich, round bass with real WEIGHT; a silky, extended top end; tons of ambience; tons of tubey magic and so on. It’s also open, spacious, and super transparent. The sound positively JUMPS out of the speakers and fills the room. Black Peter is INSANELY GOOD on this side -- you’re gonna flip when you hear it.

More Grateful Dead


  more Info











Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: sealssumme_2017) 



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

This copy had a side one that could not be beat. The vocals were especially clear and breathy.

Speaking of stampers, all our best copies had the same numbers and letters in the dead wax, which -- contrary to popular opinion -- doesn't happen all that often but does from time to time.

See all of our Seals & Crofts albums in stock


  more Info











Richard & Linda Thompson - I Want To See The Bright...

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: thompiwant_2016) 



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

The first White Hot Stamper of this 1974 classic to make it to the site, and it's wonderful on both sides. Rich, full-bodied, with big bass and gobs of studio ambience, this is the way this music was meant to be heard. Kurt Loder writing in Rolling Stone noted that there's "not a single track that's less than luminous."

See all of our Richard & Linda Thompson albums in stock


  more Info











Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: chicachica1_depth) 



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

The average copy of this album is an unmitigated DISASTER. The smeary brass alone is enough to drive anyone from the room. To a list of its faults you can confidently add some or all of the following: 1) blobby, blurry, out of control bass; 2) opaque veiled mids; 3) rolled off highs, or no highs, whichever the case may be, common to virtually every pressing you find (cont.)

More Chicago


  more Info











Harry James & His Big Band - The King James Version

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: jameskingj_2008) 



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

This White Hot Stamper has the best side two we have ever heard! Side two fulfills the promise of the direct to disc recording approach in a way that few -- very few -- direct to disc pressings do. To be honest, the typical pressing of The King James Version leaves much to be desired. As a rule two areas are especially lacking: there is a noticeable lack of presence on most copies, causing the brass to get stuck in the speakers and lose its bite; and, every bit as bad, the sound is often just plain compressed, lacking energy and life. The musicians on most copies are just not giving it their all.

More Audiophile recordings


  more Info











Ted Heath - Swings In High Stereo

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: heathswing_2010) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper has DEMO QUALITY SOUND. Just listen to Heath's arrangement of My Funny Valentine on side one, or Big Ben, the second track on side two, for audiophile Big Band sound. Many consider Ted Heath's early London recordings to be some of the best big band ever recorded. The American big bands rarely got the kind of sound that the Decca engineers were able to achieve on records like this. For one thing they didn't have Kingsway Hall, Kenneth Wilkinson or the Decca "Tree."

See all of our Large Jazz Ensemble albums in stock


  more Info











Beethoven / Concerto No. 3 / Hendl / Graffman

Reviewed in 2014

  (Item #: beethpiano_2396_2014) 



This rare RCA Shaded Dog has SUPERB SOUND as well as a top performance. Super Hot Stampers for both sides means that this pressing has the real Living Stereo magic in spades. Unlike most of the RCA concerto recordings (Rubinstein's come immediately to mind in this regard), the brilliant soloist featured here is not overly spotlighted, hence the more credible "concert hall" sound. The piano is part of the orchestra, allowing all the contributions of the musicians to be heard clearly, with each of the orchestral sections laid out beautifully across an especially huge and deep Orchestra Hall stage.
More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


  more Info











Cream - Goodbye

Some of the Best Live Rock Sound Ever Recorded

  (Item #: creamgoodb_2016) 



When you get a good side one of Goodbye you'll hear exactly why we are calling it one of the Best Sounding Live Rock Albums of all time.

Goodbye has the Big Rock Sound that we go crazy for here at Better Records. The top copies just plain ROCK HARDER than all the others. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top. But what really sets them apart is the tremendous Energy they contain in their grooves. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies like practically nothing you have ever heard.

More Cream


  more Info











Paul McCartney & Wings - Band On The Run

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: mccarbando_2011) 



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

This British Original looking EMI Black Label LP has THE BEST SOUND I HAVE EVER HEARD FOR THIS ALBUM. Most pressings of this album leave a lot to be desired. They typically sound like they're made from second-rate dubs.

A song like Jet can be positively painful on most of the LPs that you run across. Here, practically for the first time, it actually sounds good, with plenty of deep bass that I'm not used to hearing. Following Jet is probably the best sounding track on side one, Bluebird. It's amazingly sweet and transparent on this LP. Like I say, I don't think I've ever heard a better copy.

More Paul McCartney


  more Info











Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Four Plus Side Two from 2016

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame

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

More Deja Vu


  more Info











Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention - Absolutely Free

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: zappaabsol_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame from 1967.

BY FAR the best copy to ever hit the site - White Hot on side one and Nearly White on side two. You will not believe how rich and Tubey Magical this copy is, and yet so CLEAR and undistorted. If you've suffered through reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound of this copy,

See all of our Frank Zappa albums in stock


  more Info











Dvorak / Symphony No. 9 / Kertesz / Vienna Phil.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: dvorasym9_decca_2013) 



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

Presenting yet another remarkable Demo Disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording Technology, in this case 1961, with the added benefit of mastering courtesy of the more modern equipment of the '70s, in this case 1970. (We are of course here referring to the good modern equipment of 40 years ago, not the bad modern mastering equipment of today.)

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak


  more Info











Carly Simon - No Secrets

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: simonnosec_2012) 



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

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

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

More Carly Simon


  more Info











Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What a Record!

  (Item #: londojulieis_2016) 



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

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

More Julie London


  more Info











Crosby / Nash - Graham Nash/ David Crosby

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbgraha_2015) 



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

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

More by C, S, N and/or Y


  more Info











Gino Vannelli - Powerful People

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: vannepower_2014) 



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

This is some of the best sound we heard in our shootout, coming in right behind our winning sides. Few copies were as BIG and BOLD as this, and that is unquestionably our sound.

Overall this copy is far richer and fuller than most, and that's a big deal on Powerful People, an album which is almost always pure midrange -- no bottom, no top, just midrange. Until we did this shootout I wasn't sure we would ever find a copy with any real bass or top end. For that very reason we had more than once abandoned this project in past years.

More Gino Vannelli


  more Info











Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: deeppmadei_2015) 



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.

Machine Head Live? That would not be far off, and the fact they brought MARTIN BIRCH along with them all the way to Japan in order to engineer a live album that was only supposed to sell to the Japanese market (!) could not have been more fortuitous for us audiophiles.

More Deep Purple


  more Info











Count Basie - 88 Basie Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: basie88bas_2011) 



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

A White Hot Stamper 2-pack giving you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides of this killer Basie album!

This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on! With 18 pieces in the studio this album can be a real powerhouse -- if you have the right copy -- and this two-pack with White Hot Stamper sound for each side shows you just how lively and dynamic this music can be. It's got Demo Disc qualities, no doubt about it.

More Count Basie


  more Info











Neil Diamond - Stones

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: diamostone_2015) 



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

On the Hot Stamper copies that do have sweet and rich ANALOG sound, credit naturally belongs with Neil's go-to engineer, ARMIN STEINER. He was one of the engineers on Spirit's first album (a truly phenomenal recording from 1968), assisted on Ram, recorded some of the best sounding, most Tubey Magical Chart Topping Pop Rock for Bread in the early '70s, and, if that's not enough, has more than a hundred other engineering credits.

More Neil Diamond


  more Info











Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 4 Way Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosb4ways_2012) 



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.

If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this copy will let you do it. It's not easy to find good sound on even one side of this album, let alone all four!

See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


  more Info











The Pentangle - The Pentangle

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: pentapenta_2016) 



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

This is an honest-to-goodness Demo Disc. When for a (thankfully) brief time back in the '70s I was selling audio equipment, the song "Pentangling" was a favorite demo cut to play in the store. The sound of the string bass and snare drum are amazingly natural; I don't know of any other pop album from the era that presents the vibrant timbre of those two instruments better.

More Pentangle


  more Info











Transparency

and that Wonderful Feeling of Being There

  (Item #: transparency) 


Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

For our review of the new Heavy Vinyl After the Gold Rush we wrote:

Cleverly the engineers responsible for this remaster have managed to reproduce the sound of a dead studio on a record that wasn't recorded in one.

This pressing has no real space or ambience. Now the album sounds like it was recorded in a heavily baffled studio, but we know that's not what happened, because the originals of After the Gold Rush, like most of Neil's other albums from the era, are clear, open and spacious.

In other words, they are TRANSPARENT.


  more Info











Zoot Sims - Passion Flower

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: sims_passi_2014) 



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

One of the all time great Pablo sleepers. Why is no one else writing about records like these? The music is wonderful and the sound is top drawer on the best copies. If you've tried and failed with other Pablo Zoot Sims records -- some of the ones we didn't care for are pictured above, and there are plenty more where those came from -- fear not: this title is one of his best, musically and sonically.

If you want to hear the Duke’s music swing in top sound, get this album.

See all of our best Pablo records in stock


  more Info











The Weavers - Almanac

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: weavealman_2015) 



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

White Hot stamper sound on side two - a Demo Disc for acoustic folk music. Better than Super Hot on side one - sound that's sweeter than wine. This copy is stereo, and for good reason: the mono pressings are full of vocal distortion. Reasonably quiet vinyl for an early Vanguard pressing.

See all of our Weavers albums in stock


  more Info











Henry Mancini - The Blues and The Beat

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: manciblues_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1960.

If you like your large group recordings to have huge three-dimensional space and depth, look no further. This is vintage RCA Living Stereo at its best - transparent, Tubey Magical, big and bold. Let's give credit where credit is due, to the amazing AL SCHMITT.

We know his work well; he happens to have engineered many albums with SUPERB SOUND: Aja, Hatari, Breezin', Late for the Sky, Toto IV, as well as some we can't stand (the entire Diana Krall digital-echo-drenched catalog comes to mind).

More Henry Mancini


  more Info











John Coltrane - My Favorite Things

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_2015) 



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

SUPERB SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! We played tons of these in our most recent shootout and both sides here were head and shoulders above the typical copies. Some were a bit squawky and some of them were a bit dull, but this one sounded excellent throughout. We have a tough time finding Hot Stamper pressings of this album -- most copies out there are seriously disappointing.

More John Coltrane


  more Info











Ted Heath - Shall We Dance

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: heathshall_2016) 



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

One of the best sounding records we have ever played, the Gold Standard for Tubey Magical Big Band. Both sides are huge, rich, weighty and dynamic like few records you have ever heard. Three elements create the magic here: Kingsway Hall, Kenneth Wilkinson and the Decca "Tree" microphone setup.

More Big Band Jazz


  more Info











Squeeze - Argybargy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: squeeargyb_2016) 



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

If you think you might enjoy the mashup of Pub Rock and New Wave that this group unleashed on the pop music scene of the '70s and '80s I could not recommend any album of theirs more highly than Argybargy. It's a MASTERPIECE.

Squeeze's prime period with Jools Holland on keyboards encompasses four albums, any of which is worth owning. The band really gets going with their second album, Cool for Cats (1979), then pulls it all together and takes it to another level for their breakthrough third, Argybargy (1980).

More Squeeze


  more Info











Linda Ronstadt - What’s New

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: ronstwhats_2015) 



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

The sound is EXTRAORDINARILY rich, smooth, full-bodied and natural on both sides. We have never heard What's New sound like this.

With two White Hot sides this pressing gets two critically important elements of the recording more right than any copies we have ever heard: the strings in the orchestra, and, even more importantly for obvious reasons, Linda's voice. Both sides give you a much more natural sounding Linda than you have ever heard. She's fuller, sweeter, breathier, less spitty (some tracks more than others) and just plain less artificial than any others we played.

More Linda Ronstadt


  more Info











Coleman Hawkins - At Ease With Coleman Hawkins

Our OJC Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hawkiateas_2016) 



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

This 1960 Saxophone Ballad session has to be seen as yet another recording triumph for Rudy Van Gelder. The best pressings of these OJC reissues from 1989 sound like the vintage jazz albums they emulate, and sometimes they even beat the originals at their own Tubey Magical game. They can be every bit as rich, sweet and spacious as their earlier-pressed brethren in our experience.

In the case of At Ease with Coleman Hawkins, we simply have never seen an original copy clean enough to buy, so we have no reference for what an original would sound like.

More Coleman Hawkins


  more Info











Carole King - Tapestry

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: king_tapes_2016) 



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

Please note that we do not have a graphic for our chart to indicate the Four Plus grade, since we award it so rarely. Our rating system usually only goes to three pluses, but this side one was so amazing we had to give it a fourth!

This White Hot pressing gives you TRULY KILLER SOUND for this classic album! It's not easy to find great sound for Tapestry. Most pressings are either dull and veiled, or hard and edgy in the midrange -- not exactly the kind of sound we're after.

More Carole King


  more Info











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.)

More Santana


  more Info











Supertramp - Even In The Quietest Moments

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: supereveni_2015) 



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

A killer pressing! So much clearer, cleaner and more transparent than we remember from last time around, with more Tubey Magic too.

The bottom end is big and punchy, the top is smooth and sweet, and the vocals are present and breathy. On a transparent copy such as this the drums really punch through the dense mixes clearly, giving the music more life and energy. The piano sounds correct, the sax is full and breathy -- you'd be very hard-pressed to find better sound for this album than this. Very hard pressed indeed.

More Even in the Quietest Moments


  more Info











Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Playboys

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bakerplayb_2015) 



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

Side one is White Hot, side two nearly so, and both contain swingin' West Coast Jazz from 1956. These 1983 reissues on Boplicity are dynamic and lively, perfectly suited to the energy of the music. The 1956 All Tube mono recording here has this Hot/Cool jazz sounding the way it should.

More Chet Baker / More Art Pepper


  more Info











Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: nelsoblues_2016) 



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

Oliver Nelson's masterpiece debuts at Better Records with at least White Hot Stamper sound on both sides. Side one was so HUGE and Tubey Magical we called it at least White Hot - it's out of this world. If all you know is the Van Gelder original cutting, you will surely have your mind blown by this Hot Stamper LP.

More Oliver Nelson


  more Info











Journey - Escape

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: journescap_2013) 



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

A White Hot shootout winning Ultimate Side Two, on quiet vinyl no less. Side one is Super Hot, big and lively. The chorus really ROCKS on Don't Stop Believin'. The Number One album that single-handedly catapulted them into the Big Time. Stone in Love, Who's Crying Now and Open Arms all sound amazing.


  more Info











Billy Joel - 52nd Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: joel_52nds_2014) 



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

Both of these copies have one killer A+++ side and one that just didn't impress us, so we've paired them up to give you the best sound we possibly can for the entire album! This is in our opinion the Best Sounding Billy Joel Album, and when you hear this pressing you'll understand exactly why. Super open and transparent with real detail and texture, they just don't get any better than this.

More Billy Joel


  more Info











Loggins & Messina - Full Sail

Choruses that Really Get Up and Going

  (Item #: loggifulls_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.

At about the two minute mark the big chorus in Watching the River Run is also a great test for weight, resolution, dynamic energy, and freedom from strain in the loudest parts. When the whole band is projecting, really belting it out, the shortcomings of practically any copy will be most evident. It was a key test every pressing had to pass.

More Loggins & Messina


  more Info











Elton John - Rock of the Westies

Rockin' Like No Other

  (Item #: john_rocko_rocks) 



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 AND a Forgotten Classic from 1975.

Rock of the Westies is a SHOCKINGLY better album than I remember it being from years back. It's a knockout, with a great bunch of Elton John / Bernie Taupin rockers that still hold up forty years later.

More Elton John


  more Info











Perez Prado - Prez

What to Listen For

  (Item #: pradoprez_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.

If you like the sound of percussion instruments of every possible flavor, including some you have never tasted before, you will have a hard time finding a more magical recording of them than this.

Big and spacious, yet clear, dynamic and energetic. The brass is never "blary" the way it can be on so many Big Band or Dance Band records from the '50s and '60s. (Basie's Roulette records tend to have a bad case of blary brass as a rule.)

More Living Stereo


  more Info











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.

More Pretenders


  more Info











Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night

What to Listen For

  (Item #: sinatstran_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.

What to listen for you ask? The superb engineering of LEE HERSCHBERG and EDDIE BRACKETT! The sound is, in a word, luscious.

More Frank Sinatra


  more Info











Rod Stewart - Never A Dull Moment

What to Listen For

  (Item #: stewanever_wtlf) 



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

Most copies tend to be dull, veiled, thick and congested, but the trick with the better pressings is being able to separate out the various parts with ease and hear right INTO the music.

Just listen to those meaty electric guitars, the note-like bass or that amazing snare drum sound with such a huge THWACK -- that's the raw power of rock n' roll, baby.

More Rod Stewart


  more Info











Ry Cooder - Jazz

Transparency Is Key

  (Item #: coodejazz_wtlf) 



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

The best copies realistically convey the live-in-the-studio quality of the sound. This is a tight ensemble working at the top of their game, no surprise there; Ry surrounds himself with nothing but the best.

But the better copies have such amazingly transparent sound you can't help feeling as though you really are in the presence of live human beings You really get the sense of actual fingers plucking those guitar strings. You hear mouths blowing air through horns and woodwinds.

More Ry Cooder


  more Info











Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: fleetfleet_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 album.

So few copies we ran across in our shootout had that "jump out of the speakers" sound we knew was possible from our previous shootouts of the album. When finally one did, boy did it ever. What a knockout. Hot Stampers? The best copies are on fire!

If you have a big speaker system and have taken advantage of the audio revolutions we discuss throughout the site, this is the kind of record that shows just how much progress you've made.

More Fleetwood Mac


  more Info











Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: jonesricki_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 RLJ.

On the best of the Hot Stamper copies it becomes abundantly clear just how well the string bass was recorded -- assuming you like the close-miked, maximum-presence quality they were after. You hear all the fingering, the wood of the body resonating; all the stuff you could never hear live unless you were ten feet from the guy. Natural it's not, but natural is not what most hit records are all about anyway.

Credit -- or blame -- belongs squarely with LEE HERSCHBERG.


  more Info











Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Mastering Better Than The Master

  (Item #: nelsoblues_rvg) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts concerning the sound of old records.

For those of you who are still holding on to the idea that the original pressings are better, our Hot Stamper LPs may come as quite a surprise. Yes, we can all agree that Rudy Van Gelder recorded it, brilliantly as a matter of fact. Shouldn't he be the most natural choice to transfer the tape to disc, knowing, as we must assume he does, exactly what needs fixing and what needs to be left alone?

More Oliver Nelson


  more Info











Michael Jackson - Off The Wall

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: jacksoffth_depth) 



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

On the better copies the multi-tracked chorus and background vocals are as breathy, rich, sweet and Tubey Magical as any pop recording we know of. An extended top end opens up the space for the huge, dense production to occupy. There is Midrange Magic To Die For exceeding anything to be found on Thriller.

More Off the Wall


  more Info











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).

More A Hard Days Night


  more Info











Burt Bacharach - Reach Out

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bachareach_wtlf) 



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

What to listen for? Brightness, Blare, Lifelessness, Smear.

We played a good-sized stack of these recently, but not many of them sounded like this one. The majority of copies had a tendency to be bright, which is MURDER when the horns start blaring at the levels we like to play our records at.

In addition there are plenty of copies out there that lack energy, while others suffer from transient smearing, clearly audible on the brass.

See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


  more Info











Prokofiev / Peter & The Wolf / Rossi

How Does the Narrator Sound?

  (Item #: prokopeter_van_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate ANY version of Peter and the Wolf.

The narrator for this piece almost always sounds like he's in a sound booth, of varying sound quality to be sure. (Bernstein's narration is one of the worst in this respect, sounding more like Aqualung than Lennie.)

Somehow Boris Karloff sounds like he is on stage with the orchestra here. He's either been recorded on stage, or precisely the right amount and kind of reverb has been added to his voice to match the sound of the hall.

See more of the music of Sergei Prokofiev


  more Info











Offenbach / Gaite Parisienne / Dorati

The Ultimate Test

  (Item #: offengaite_test) 



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

This is an excellent record to test with. As you no doubt know, there is a lot of "action" in this piece of music. To get the strings and the brass to sound lively yet natural is a bit of a trick. When I first played this record years ago I was none too happy about the string tone. After making a few tweaky adjustments, the strings became much clearer and more textured. The overall presentation still sounded rich but was now more natural.

More of the music of Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)


  more Info











Gino Vannelli - Powerful People

The Most You Can Hope For

  (Item #: vannepower_summation) 



Like most of the better audiophile records -- from long ago as well as those being produced today -- the most you can hope for from these reissues is that they can fix a few problems you might be saddled with on the particular pressing you own.

But if you work at it, the "right" plain old record, properly cleaned and played, will show you sound that the audiophile edition can barely begin to reproduce. Having auditioned by the thousands the kinds of records you see on the site, the reality of this truth is irrefutable to us now, and has been for a very long time. Our customers know exactly what we are talking about; they've heard it for themselves. That's why they keep coming back.

More Gino Vannelli


  more Info











Gino Vannelli - Powerful People

What Was I Thinking?

  (Item #: vannepower_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

At the time of our last shootout in 2014 I still had the MoFi pressing of Powerful People in my personal, very small (at this point) record collection. Almost all the best sounding records from my collection had long ago been sold off, going to good homes that I can only assume would play them more than I had in the last ten years. If it's a record you see on our site, chances are good I have listened to it until I'd practically turned blue in the face.

More Gino Vannelli


  more Info











The Who - Quadrophenia

What to Listen For

  (Item #: who__quadr_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 the best copies the energy factor is OFF THE CHARTS. The highs are silky sweet, the bottom end is meaty, the drums are punchy and the vocals are present and tonally correct. The piano has real weight, the synths float breathily in the air, and there's wonderful three-dimensional depth to the soundfield.

See all of our Who albums in stock


  more Info











Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food

What to Listen For

  (Item #: talkimores_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.

With Our Love turned out to be one of our favorite tests for side one. The picking of the rhythmic guitar in the intro told us just about everything we needed to know about smear, veiling and resolution. On most copies the instrument is simply blurry, the notes mashed together. When you've got a copy with its transients intact, resolving properly and clearly right there in front of you, you have the makings of a Hot Stamper side one.

More Talking Heads


  more Info











Carly Simon - Another Passenger

What to Listen For

  (Item #: simonanoth_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.

There's one quality in particular that added immensely to our enjoyment of the music -- gobs and gobs of Tubey Magic. The copies that were opaque, dry, flat and "modern" sounding -- which pretty much describes practically every Heavy Vinyl record we've played in the last five years -- bored us to tears, not surprisingly in the very same way that most Heavy Vinyl does.

More Carly Simon


  more Info











Carly Simon - Carly Simon

What to Listen For

  (Item #: simoncarly_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.

Too many copies we played erred on the hi-fi side, with not enough warmth. The copies that sound incredibly clean and clear just didn't do much for us; they weren't able to convey the intimacy and emotion of the music. I'm sure you've had a similar experience playing CDs of some of your old favorites. You keep wondering why you liked the music in the first place. Don't blame the music. Blame those crappy CDs.

See all of our Carly Simon albums in stock


  more Info











Deep Purple - Made In Japan

What to Listen For

  (Item #: deeppmadei_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.

We've raved about a number of live albums over the years. Some of the better sounding ones that come readily to mind (in alphabetical order) are Belafonte at Carnegie Hall, David Live, Johnny Cash At San Quentin, Donny Hathaway Live, The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, Performance - Rockin The Fillmore, Live Wire - Blues Power, Waiting For Columbus, Get Your Ya-Ya's Out and Live at Leeds. I would be proud to have any of them in my collection.

More Deep Purple


  more Info











Earth, Wind & Fire - That’s The Way of the World

What to Listen For

  (Item #: earththats_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.

We're pretty sure that the first track on side one, Shining Star, is made from a dub, a common occurrence with planned hit singles. The rest of the songs on side two are a step up in class; when you play the side, see if you don't hear some veiling and smearing.

More Earth, Wind & Fire


  more Info











Yes - Fragile

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: yes__fragi_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 Fragile.

EDDIE OFFORD took charge of Yes's engineering with Time and a Word (1970) and we are very lucky that he did. Although his masterpiece is surely ELP's first album, both The Yes Album and Fragile are so well recorded they clearly belong at the top of any list of All Time Great Sounding Rock Albums.

More Yes


  more Info











Chabrier / Orchestral Music / Ansermet

What to Listen For

  (Item #: chabrorche_wtlf_2016) 



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 many copies the strings are dry, lacking Tubey Magic. This is decidedly not our sound, although it can easily be heard on many London pressings, the kind we've played by the hundreds over the years. If you have a rich sounding cartridge, perhaps with that little dip in the upper midrange that so many moving coils have these days, you will not notice this tonality issue nearly as much as we do. Our 17D3 is ruler flat and quite unforgiving in this regard.

More of the music of Emmanual Chabrier (1841-1894)


  more Info











Prokofiev / Peter & The Wolf / Bernstein

What to Listen For

  (Item #: prokopeter_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.

What makes this an especially good Peter and the Wolf? The timbre of the solo instruments -- bassoon, oboe, flute -- each of which serves to represent a character in the story. Shockingly lifelike, the tonality is unerringly Right On The Money (ROTM) throughout. That makes this pressing both a superb Demo Disc as well as a top quality Audio Test Disc.

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


  more Info











Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights

Bigger, Taller, Wider, Deeper

  (Item #: thompshoot_size) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what to listen for (WTLF).

One of the qualities we don't talk about nearly enough on the site is the SIZE of a record's presentation. Some copies of the album don't extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and don't seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. Other copies do, creating a huge soundfield from which the instruments and voices positively jump out of the speakers.

When you hear a copy that can do that, needless to say (at least to anyone who's actually bought some of our best Hot Stamper pressings) it's an entirely different listening experience.

More Richard Thompson


  more Info











Neil Young - Harvest

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: youngharve_depth) 



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

Many copies we played would work for the heavy songs and then fall short on the softer numbers. Others had gorgeous sound on the country-tinged numbers but couldn't deliever any whomp for the rockers. Only a select group of copies could hold their own in all of the styles and engage us from start to finish; we're pleased to present those exceptional pressings as the Hot Stamper copies of Harvest that so many of you have been begging for.

More Neil Young


  more Info











Lena Horne & Gabor Szabo - Lena & Gabor

Now That's a Good Sounding Drum Kit!

  (Item #: hornelenaa_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.

This is the most realistic drum kit I have heard on a non-jazz album in my life. The drum sound on the first track is exactly the sound we all know from hanging around small clubs and our friends' garage bands. There is simply no audible processing on any part of the kit. The drums are centered behind the vocals and lead instruments, with what sounds like to me the barest of miking, surrounded by just the right amount of unbaffled studio space.

See all of our Gabor Szabo albums in stock


  more Info




Found : 213   Display : 1-100
Page :
1 · 2 · 3
    << · < Prev · Next > · >>

Right right-line
  | NEW TO THE SITE? |  CONTACT US   |