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Debunking the
Sham Audiophile LP


Visit this link to see why we believe that the vinyl pressing capable of communicating the most sublime qualities of recorded music through its superior fidelity is almost never going to be the one marketed directly to the audiophile community.

If you find this in any way hard to believe -- and how could you not? -- we encourage you to read our commentaries, many of which can be found by clicking on the link above. (There are literally hundreds of commentaries discussing the shortcomings of specific audiophile pressings peppered throughout the site, but the ones we've linked should do for a start.)

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We also suggest

These are some bad sounding LPs!

Our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard


Click to Detail

Reviewer Malpractice

There Oughta Be a Law...


Product Detail


Every Hot Stamper shootout is an opportunity to bash the trash that is marketed as an Audiophile Pressing, whether it's pressed on Heavy Vinyl, Half-Speed Mastered, or has some other attribute unconnected with audiophile quality sound.

These are their stories.

Blog Entry 8/22/08

Three of the Top Five sellers this week at Acoustic Sounds are records we found hard to like: Aja, Aqualung and Blue. Can you really defend the expense and hassle of analog LP playback with records that sound this bad? Why own a turntable if you're going to play records like these? I have boxes of CDs that sound more musically correct and I don't even bother to play those. Why would I take the time to throw on 180 gram records that sound even worse?

If I ever found myself in the position of having to sell mediocrities like the above in order to make a living, I'd be looking for another line of work. The vast majority of these newly-remastered pressings are just not any good. We feel a sense of embarrassment selling even the few titles we do. But people who come to the site want them, so how can we make everybody happy? (which, as I'm sure you know if you've read our commentaries, is not exactly high on our list of priorities, but it is on the list, somewhere. I think I saw it on there a while back anyway.)

Truth is, we can't make everybody happy. We never wanted to be the Walmarts of the audiophile record world -- we leave that distinction to our friends at Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc and Music Direct (Walmart, Target and Sears perhaps?). They sell anything and everything that some hapless audiophile might wander onto their site and find momentarily attractive, like shiny objects dangling from a tree, like the glitter of fool's gold; they know their market and they know where the real money is. (Hint: it ain't records, dear boy, it's equipment. If you haven't seen one of their thick full-color catalogs lately, count how many pages of equipment you have to wade through at the front before you get to the "recommended recordings.")


Oh, but before we go, let's just take a moment to refresh our memories concerning the review a certain reviewer gave to the Classic Records pressing of Neil Young's Greatest Hits:

""...the sound on this double set is absolutely, mind-blowingly, stunningly superior to whichever version you previously thought ruled. Orange and tan Warner-7Arts/Reprise original Everybody Knows This is Nowhere? Forget about it! 'Down By The River,' 'Cowgirl in The Sand' (given all of side 1), and 'Cinnamon Girl' have never sounded this expansive, dynamic, etched-in-granite pure and clean. Never has the bass been delivered with such stunning detail and 'pop.'...the tracks here from After the Goldrush sound so much better than on any other version I've heard, it's positively sick. Every song sounds better than I've ever heard before, thanks to the care taken in the transfer and mastering process. Wait until you hear 'Old Man,' or 'Heart of Gold,' from Harvest! ..."

It's positively sick all right, on that we are very much in agreement.

Keep in mind that this is a record we refused to carry after auditioning it.

Hope you all are enjoying reading about them as much as we are writing about them. Stay tuned for more. And feel free to buy some records in the meantime that really do sound good. The site is full of them.


If you're in the market for a Hot Stamper pressing of any of the three albums named above, you may be in luck. Click here for Aja, here for Blue, and here for Aqualung.

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