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<BR>The Fantasy Worlds of BH and HP<p>Decca Vs. London</p>

The Fantasy Worlds of BH and HP

Decca Vs. London

There’s a reason this record is on the TAS List of Super Discs -- if any LP should be called a Super Disc, this one should. (With Phase Four sound you might even call it a Super-Duper-Disc.)

But Harry is, not atypically, rather misinformed about the catalog number and country of manufacture. He exclusively admits the Decca pressing to his list, and that is clearly contrary to our experience in general as well as our findings for this shootout . The best Decca pressing we played rated no better than a B+ for either side. That’s five -- count them, five -- sonic grades lower than the A Triple Plus sides of our best London copy.

More Bernard Herrmann

Sku # : herrmfanta_decca

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Site Overview

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If you are one of those audiophiles who's been following Harry down the rabbit hole for years, discovering a little site called Better Records may just turn out to be a life-changing event. Here you can find records that live up to the hype, ours and his.

Taxing the Limits

This is especially true for an orchestral dreadnought such as this, which requires mastering and pressing of the highest quality. Music like this taxes the limits of LP playback itself, with deep organ notes (listen for the famous Decca rumble accompanying the organ if you have the deep bass reproduction to hear it); incredible dynamics from every area of the stage; masses of strings playing at the top of their registers with abandon; huge drums; powerful brass effects everywhere -- every sound an orchestra can produce is found on this record, and then some. (You will hear plenty of sounds that defy description, that's for sure. Some of the time I can't even imagine what instrument could possibly make such a sound!)

Click on the picture below to see the amazing instrumentation and recording effort that went into the making of Citizen Kane, no doubt the kind of work that went into the recording of this album as well. Nine harps. The serpent. Tuba using a mute. All the colors of the orchestra and some new ones too. Bernard Herrmann was a genius!

Your Hard Work Pays Off

A recording of this size and scope will bring virtually any stereo system to its knees. This is the real Power Of The Orchestra! You had better have a top quality front end if you want to play this record properly, not to mention plenty of power and big speakers. This is not the record for the Weekend Budget Audiophile. If you haven't put in the years of effort and invested the tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and room treatments it takes to play records of this difficulty, your system is probably not up to the challenge this album represents. If, on the other hand, you have done the work and spent the money, this is the album that will show you what you have achieved.

Selling the Hype

Record dealers that sell records based on their reputation -- and that means pretty much all of them -- are selling the hype. If they haven't played the record, they can't tell you what it sounds like, TAS List or no TAS List. The catalog number may be right, but finding the sound that lives up to the description can only be done one way: by playing the record. Most copies of The Fantasy Film World, whether they have a Decca label or a London one (all of the ones we are selling are mastered and pressed by Decca; some get one label and some get the other) leave much to be desired.

Domestic Pressings

By the way, the domestically pressed copies of this album are a joke and not worth buying at any price. Copies of any merit will say Made in England on the label. Avoid the rest.

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