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The Brilliant Recorded Legacy of

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young

  (Item #: allcsny) 



Recordings featuring the work of David Crosby
Recordings featuring the work of Stephen Stills
Recordings featuring the work of Graham Nash
Recordings featuring the work of Neil Young

Some of our favorite engineers worked on the albums of these four men, principally Bill Halverson, as well as...


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Idlewild South

  (Item #: allmaidlew_1802_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout with the kind of energy, body and punch this music needs
  • Easily the group's best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this
  • Cue up Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear the Allman Brothers magic in these grooves
  • 5 stars "The best studio album in the group's history, electric blues with an acoustic texture, virtuoso lead, slide, and organ playing, and a killer selection of songs, including "Midnight Rider," "Revival," "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'," and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"..."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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The Allman Brothers - Idlewild South

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: allmaidlew_2016) 



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

The first Top Copy to ever hit the site! Double Plus (A++) on side one, Triple Plus (A+++) on side two

  • Easily the group's best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this
  • Drop the needle on Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear what this copy can do. You get lots of extension here both up top and down low that makes the overall sound far more engaging and musical than what you'd hear on a typical copy.
    More Allman Brothers


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Burt Bacharach
    Make It Easy On Yourself

      (Item #: bachamakei_1803_1806) 

    Our Price: $119.99

    • Two great sounding Double Plus (A++) sides - big, tubey, balanced and above all, natural, on quiet vinyl too
    • With engineering by the legendary Phil Ramone, this is an exceptionally well-recorded album, as this pressing makes clear
    • The brass is great on both sides, rich and full with the right amount of bite, not to mention lively and DYNAMIC
    • "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" are great songs that solidify Bacharach as a master of quirk." - Allmusic
    See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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    The Beatles - The Blue Album

    Reviewed in 2005

      (Item #: beatl1967-1) 



    Sonic Grade: D

    A Hall of Shame pressing.

    I used to like these British compilations; I raved about them in fact. Now I find them too bright. If you have a treble control or a very smooth system you may find them enjoyable.

    More of The Beatles


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    The Beatles - The Blue Album

    Reviewed in 2010

      (Item #: beatl1967_2010) 



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

    This is a WONDERFUL SOUNDING early German Import 2 LP set -- pressed on fairly quiet vinyl to boot! We are on record as finding the British pressings of 1967-1970 too bright; certainly most of them are anyway. This German set has much more natural sound to my ear -- it's RICH, SMOOTH and SWEET, with plenty of tubey magic and little of the grain and grunge of the Brits. (The original domestic pressings, as anyone who has ever played one can attest, mastered at Sterling no less, are absolutely godawful.)

    More of The Beatles


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    Hot Stamper

    The Beatles
    Let It Be

      (Item #: beatlletit_1706x) 

    Our Price: $69.99

    • Very good sound on this Hot Stamper copy of Let It Be, excellent from start to finish on quiet vinyl
    • A late-period album with real rock 'n' roll power - we love the "live-in-the-studio" rockers like I’ve Got a Feeling
    • Without the humdrum quality of the average Parlophone pressing, here's a Let It Be that finally has some life to it
    • AMG: "...it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
    More Beatles / More Let It Be


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    The Beatles - Let It Be

    Heavy Vinyl Debunked

      (Item #: beatlletit_180_debunk) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    Hall of Shame and another Heavy Vinyl Beatles LP debunked.

    At the end of a recent shootout for Let It Be (June 2014) we decided to see how the 2012 Digitally Remastered Heavy Vinyl pressing would acquit itself when played against the 12 (yes, twelve!) British copies we had just spent hours critically auditioning.

    More Let It Be


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    Super Hot Stamper

    The Beatles
    Let It Be

      (Item #: beatlletit_1804) 

    Our Price: $129.99

    • A Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one backed with a Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy will be very hard to beat
    • There's no studio wizardry, no heavy-handed mastering, no phony EQ -- here is some of the most realistic, natural Beatles sound you can get
    • Superb copies like this one make good on the promise that Let It Be captures the greatest rock band of all time playing and singing their hearts out
    • "The album is on the whole underrated, even discounting the fact that a substandard Beatles record is better than almost any other group's best work ... it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
    More Let It Be


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    White Hot Stamper

    The Beatles
    Let It Be

      (Item #: beatlletit_1805) 

    Our Price: $499.99

    • A wonderful Shootout Winning copy with unbeatable Triple Plus (A+++) sound, or close to it, from beginning to end
    • There's no studio wizardry, no heavy-handed mastering, no phony EQ -- here is some of the most realistic, natural Beatles sound you can get
    • Truly great copies like this one make good on the promise that Let It Be is the sound of the greatest rock band of all time playing and singing their hearts out
    • 4 1/2 stars: "...when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
    See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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    The Beatles - Let It Be

    Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: beatlletit_2013) 



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

    TWO AMAZING SIDES, including a MIND-BLOWING A++++ SIDE ONE for this White Hot Stamper 2-pack! At its best, this album has the real power of live music, but it takes a special pressing to make it happen. Both of these copies had one stunning side and one that just didn't impress us, so we've paired them up to give you incredible sound for the entire album!

    More Let It Be


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    The Beatles - Let It Be

    MoFi Reviewed

      (Item #: beatlletit_mfsl) 



    Sonic Grade: B or B-

    Although I haven't played my copy in quite a while -- it might have been as far back as 2007 or 2008 if memory serves -- I recall that it struck me as one of their better titles.

    All things considered, it's actually pretty good, assuming your copy sounds like mine (an assumption we really can't make of course -- no two records sound the same -- but for the purposes of this review we're going to assume it anyway). I would give it a "B" or "B-". It can't hold a candle to the real thing, but at least MoFi didn't ruin it like they did with so many of the other Beatles albums.

    More on Let It Be


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    The Beatles - Let It Be

    Listening In Depth

      (Item #: beatlletit_wtlf) 



    Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about the business of critically evaluating copies of Let It Be.

    This is the first time we've discussed individual tracks on the album. Our recent shootout, in which we discovered a mind-boggling, rule-breaking side one, motivated us to sit down and explain what the best copies should do on each side of the album for the tracks we test with. Better late than never I suppose.

    More on Let It Be


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    The Beatles - Past Masters Volumes 1 & 2

    Digital Remastering at its Worst

      (Item #: beatlpastm_2010) 



    Sonic Grade: D

    A Hall of Shame pressing.

    The '90s import pressings of this album are bright and aggressive and very digital sounding, but if you want better sounding versions of these songs you're gonna have to buy a lot of albums to find them.

    All the songs that aren't on the original 13 British albums, so for those of you with the MOFI Beatles box, this gives you all the tracks you don't have.


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    Bernstein / The Music of Leonard Bernstein / Rogers

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: bernsmusic_2012) 



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

    This London Phase 4 British import has some of the most SPECTACULAR sound I have ever heard reproduced from disc. The sound is so BIG and BOLD that it handily puts to shame 95% or more of all the Golden Age Shaded Dogs, London Bluebacks, Mercury Living Presence's, EMI's and Decca's we've ever played. If we had a Classical Top 100 list, this record would belong in a Top Ten taken from it, right near the top judging by what I heard when I played it.

    More of the music of Leonard Bernstein


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    The Music of Leonard Bernstein

    Hot Stampers Revealed

      (Item #: bernsmusic_stampers) 



    Looking to pick up a Hot Stamper locally on your own? Easy -- all the best Decca and London copies (UK pressed only of course) are 1L on both sides. I suppose it's only fair to point out that all the worst copies are 1L on both sides, the reason being that all the copies are 1L on both sides, regardless of how they sound. And here you thought we were actually trying to be helpful.

    But we are being helpful. We're being honest with you. Stamper numbers are often misleading. They're misleading in the same way that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The numbers only tell a part of the story, and more often than not they tell the wrong part of the story.

    More from our Thinking About Hot Stampers series


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    Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: blackblack_2015) 



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

    We played the album very loud, as loud as we could, and still we wanted more volume! That's what a good record is all about -- the louder you play it the better it sounds.

    If you like the raw, rockin’ sound of early Zep, you should have a blast with this album. It's a shockingly good recording, and the music is of course as heavy as it gets for 1970.

    More Black Sabbath


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    Black Sabbath - Paranoid

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: blackparan_2011) 



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

    This Warner Bros. pressing has TWO EXCELLENT SIDES. It's tough to find great copies of Paranoid and even tougher to find good sound on the original Green Label -- most are awful, if even playable. Drop the needle on either side of this copy and you'll quickly hear how correct this one sounds. It's got a HUGE bottom end, excellent presence, a good amount of tubey magic and TONS of energy. The very best copies we've played take the music a bit further, but you'll have a hard time finding one that sounds much better and plays any quieter than this one!

    More Black Sabbath


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    Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears 3

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: bloodbloo3_2012) 



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

    This White Hot Stamper side one shows you just how good Roy Halee's engineering used to be, comparable to his brilliant work on BS&T's previous album, the one we extol to this day as (probably) the best sounding rock record ever made. (Dark Side of the Moon is its only competition in my mind. Both are staggering in every way.)

    This side one has the BIG JAZZ-ROCK sound -- stretching from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, with energy and power that only a handful of albums can begin to compete with.

    More Blood, Sweat & Tears


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    David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: bowiemanwh_2015) 



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

    The sound is rich and full, just the way the Brits like it. The heavy compression that both Bowie and Scott favor works its magic at every turn, adding fatness and richness and lovely harmonics to the guitars and the drums.

    More David Bowie


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    1970 Albums

      (Item #: BR_1970) 


    1970 Albums

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    Bread - On The Waters

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: breadonthe_2012) 



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

    Hot Stampers have finally been discovered for the most consistent and BEST SOUNDING of the Bread albums (not counting the Best of Bread compilation, one of our long time favorites here at Better Records, but a compilation nevertheless). This is the record that put their heavily Beatles-inflected Pure Pop on the map, and at the top of the charts with their Number One hit single Make It With You.

    More Pure Pop for Now People


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Brewer & Shipley
    Tarkio

      (Item #: brewetarki_1708_1804) 

    Our Price: $119.99

    • A consistently good pressing from start to finish, earning Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides
    • Tubey magical, rich and sweet, the album is the epitome of the glorious warm sound of a Stephen Barncard recording at its best
    • A Desert Island Disc for yours truly - if you love Hippie Folk Rock, e.g., American Beauty, this album might just knock you out
    • "Notable not just for the inclusion of "One Toke Over the Line" but also for the great back porch stoned ambience of the entire recording, this 1970 effort from the band is ripe with dope references and subversive humor."
    More Hippie Folk Rock


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    Brewer & Shipley - Tarkio

    Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: brewetarki_2012) 



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

    This White Hot Stamper side one of our beloved Tarkio, Brewer and Shipley's Folk Rock Masterpiece, is without a doubt the BEST SOUND we have ever heard on any pressing bar none. This side sets a standard that no other copy on any side could touch. True, we awarded a Triple Plus grade to an amazing side two copy, but this side one is still the better of the two. We could easily have called it Four Pluses but chose to go with the simpler A+++ and this explanation.

    However you frame it, this side is OFF THE CHARTS in a big way. It's amazingly rich, yet clear and transparent as any we played -- what a combination!

    More Brewer and Shipley


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    Brewer & Shipley - Tarkio

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: brewetarki_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of Tarkio.

    This Bay Area Hippie Folk Rock has a lot in common with The Grateful Dead circa Workingman's Dead and American Beauty (the latter recorded by the same engineer, Stephen Barncard), and like those superbly well-recorded albums, it lives or dies by the reproduction of its acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies.

    More Brewer and Shipley


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    Brewer & Shipley - Tarkio

    Do All the Robert Ludwig Mastered Copies Have Hot Stampers?

      (Item #: brewetarki_RL) 



    Even though all the original Pink Label pressings are mastered by Robert Ludwig, they have a marked tendency to be dull, thick and opaque. The sound is just too smooth. The best copies however have the top end and the transparency to let you hear all the guitar and vocal harmonics, surrounded by the large acoustic of the studio.

    This time around we discovered something new: one specific stamper that seemed to be the only one with the potential for an extended top end. This special stamper did not always fare well; some copies with it were mediocre. We have always found this to be the way with the "right" stampers; they often let us down and sometimes they really let us down hard.

    More Brewer and Shipley


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    Britten - The Suites for Cello / Rostropovich

    Reviewed in 2011

      (Item #: brittsuite_6617_2011) 



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

    This solo Cello recording on London from 1970 has Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides, with a cello that might not be realistically portrayed, but is certainly portrayed POWERFULLY.

    Honestly, we kid you not, the cello occupies all the space between the speakers, which, being about seven feet apart, makes for a cello that's seven feet wide!


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    Hot Stamper

    The Byrds
    Untitled

      (Item #: byrdsuntit_1710_1) 

    Our Price: $99.99

    • Excellent Hot Stamper sound on all four sides of this very good early pressing - reasonably quiet vinyl too
    • Rich and warm with plenty of bass and a lovely musical quality that's missing from many we've played
    • Features a 15 minute Eight Miles High on the live disc that just kills -- especially when you have a big, energetic copy like this
    • Allmusic 4 Stars: "Untitled was always the [later Byrds album] to own, even if you weren't a huge fan. 'Eight Miles High' is the high point, a 15-minute jam that showcases this band's prowess."
    See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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    Super Hot Stamper

    The Byrds
    Untitled

      (Item #: byrdsuntit_1710_2) 

    Our Price: $149.99

    • A wonderful sounding copy: Double Plus (A++) on the first three sides and a side four that's close enough for rock and roll
    • The sound is rich, full-bodied, and open with impressive transparency and presence - quiet vinyl too (M- on side 3!)
    • Features a 16 minute Eight Miles High on the live disc that just kills - especially on a lively copy like this
    • Allmusic 4 Stars: "Untitled was always the [later Byrds album] to own, even if you weren't a huge fan."
    See all of our Byrds albums in stock


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    The Byrds - Untitled

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: byrdsuntit_2016) 



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

    WOW! The best pressing to ever hit the site, and it's Triple Plus (A+++) on ALL FOUR SIDES. The overall sound is really rich, full-bodied, and open with impressive transparency and presence. Features a 16 minute Eight Miles High on the live disc that just kills -- especially on a lively copy like this.

    More of The Byrds


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Ray Charles
    The Best Of

      (Item #: charlbesto_1803_1) 

    Our Price: $119.99

    • An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
    • Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL
    • This collection of instrumentals gives you a taste of Ray's prowess at the piano, with surprisingly good sound to boot
    • All these recordings are from the late 50s, including a live performance from the Newport Jazz Festival
    See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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    White Hot Stamper

    Ray Charles
    The Best Of

      (Item #: charlbesto_1803_1806) 

    Our Price: $249.99

    • An amazing sounding copy: Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it on both sides
    • Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL
    • This collection of instrumentals gives you a taste of Ray's prowess at the piano, with surprisingly good sound to boot
    • All these recordings are from the late 50s, including a live performance from the Newport Jazz Festival
    See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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    Ray Charles - The Best Of

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: charlbesto_2007) 



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

    This Atlantic anthology White Label Promo has EXCELLENT SOUND. Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL! Both sides play quietly, mostly Mint Minus throughout.

    More Ray Charles


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    Ray Charles - Love Country Style

    Reviewed in 2007

      (Item #: charllovec_2007) 



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

    This ABC White Label Promo LP is one of the BEST SOUNDING Ray Charles records we have ever heard! This is analog at its best: rich, warm and sweet with tons of TUBEY MAGIC.

    More Ray Charles


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Chicago
    Chicago II

      (Item #: chicachica2_1710_1806) 

    Our Price: $199.99
    Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


    • Excellent sound throughout with all four sides rating an exceptionally good grade of Double Plus (A++) or BETTER
    • Big, rich, and present throughout, with real rock and roll energy, just the right sound for this album
    • One of the toughest classic rock albums to find good sound for, bar none - a tough nut to crack
    • 4 1/2 stars: "The contents of Chicago II underscore the solid foundation of complex jazz changes with heavy electric rock & roll that the band so brazenly forged on the first set."
    See all of our Chicago albums in stock


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    Chicago - Chicago II

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: chicachica2_2010) 



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

    Chicago-Loving Audiophiles of the World, gather round, this is the week we took on one of the toughest challenges in all of Analog Rockdom -- Chicago II.

    Ever played one? Then you know that the average copy of this album is an unmitigated DISASTER. The smeary sub-gen brass alone is enough to drive you from the room.

    More Chicago


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    Chicago - Chicago II

    360 Original or Red Label Reissue?

      (Item #: chicachica2_360_vs_red) 



    Both can be good. I did the shootout (TP) and often tried to guess the label for the copy I was hearing, for fun more than anything else. I have to admit that my batting average was not much better than chance.

    The 360s tend to be a little fuller and smearier, but plenty of red label copies sound that way and some 360s don't, so trying to match the sound to the label was even more pointless than usual.

    When comparing pressings in a shootout it's too late for the label to have any predictive value. We've already bought the records, cleaned them all up and now just want to know what they actually sound like -- not which ones might be the best, but which ones are the best.

    More Chicago


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    Philippe Entremont - The Chopin I Love

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: chopichopi_2015) 



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

    This is an undiscovered Columbia gem from 1970. Both musically and sonically this record is superb. Who knew Columbia could record a piano this well? You could play fifty vintage piano recordings and not find one as good as this! We know, we've played plenty, including a number of Entremont's Columbia records that don't sound too good to us. Maybe we need to find a Hot Stamper of some of the weaker titles, but it hasn't happened yet. A word of advice: avoid the piano concertos. We have yet to hear a good one. Those steely Columbia strings are far from our idea of good sound.

    More of the music of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)


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    Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: claptericc_2013) 



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

    TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++! Man, what a revelation to hear this old favorite sound so incredibly rich and open. And at Mint Minus on both sides, this one is exceptionally quiet to boot! You'll have a VERY difficult time finding one that plays this quietly and sounds this good lying around in the bins, that's for sure.

    More Eric Clapton and Cream


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    A Classic of Classic Rock

    The Heart and Soul of Better Records

      (Item #: claptericc_classic_rock) 



    We had a killer pressing a few years back which sounded a whole lot better than I ever thought the album could sound. Man, what a revelation to hear an old favorite -- a Forgotten Classic --sound so amazingly spacious and sweet.

    I've been playing this album since 1970, the year it came out. Back then my collection was made up of albums by The Beatles, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills and Nash, America, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Chicago, James Taylor, Spirit, The Band, Loggins and Messina, Blind Faith, Bread, The Who ...

    More Eric Clapton, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes


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    Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton

    Good Horns, Probably Good Everything

      (Item #: claptericc_wtlf) 



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

    The sound of the horn arrangements backing practically every song on the album are key to the quality of the pressing and mastering. Blurry, smeary, leading-edge-challenged horns are the kiss of death on this album, as are grainy, gritty, transistory ones. When the horns have clarity, correct tonality, plenty of space around them and a solid, full-bodied sound, probably every other instrument in the soundscape will too.

    More Eric Clapton and Cream


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Joe Cocker
    Mad Dogs And Englishmen

      (Item #: cockemaddo_1709_1804) 

    Our Price: $149.99

    • An outstanding copy with all four sides earning Double Plus (A++) grades
    • The overall sound is rich and tubey, with driving energy and most of the top end and clarity that's missing from many we played
    • What it most reminds me of is Ray Charles doing a choice set of modern pop classics, mixing it up by off-handedly throwing in a few hits of his own
    • "... its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique." - 4 1/2 Stars
    See all of our Joe Cocker albums in stock


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    Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs and Englishmen

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: cockemaddo_2012) 



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

    This original A&M 2 LP pressing has FOUR EXCELLENT SIDES, including a shootout-winning A+++ SIDE TWO!

    We did not give out a lot of top grades on this record -- Super Hot is WAY better than most of what we heard (which to be honest was just not very good, a subject we discuss below). Overall this is the best copy to ever hit the site, boasting plenty of soulful rock and roll energy.

    More Joe Cocker


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    Ry Cooder - Ry Cooder

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: cooderycoo_2014) 



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

    The music reminds me a lot of early Little Feat, which is a good thing. The sound is somewhat similar as well, which is to say that it is natural and musical, nothing like the hyped-up hi-fi sound of his TAS-listed album Jazz -- and that's a good thing as well.

    There are some great songs here, including My Old Kentucky Home, One Meat Ball and How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live. It may even be his best album.

    More Ry Cooder


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Cream
    Live Cream

      (Item #: creamlive_1803) 

    Our Price: $139.99

    • With excellent Double Plus sound (A++) or close to it from first note to last, this is a killer copy of Live Cream
    • Super lively and clear with the kind of bass that most pressings just don't have
    • Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as you're likely to find on an early UK pressing
    • 4 stars on Allmusic: "This could well be their most consistently brilliant album for sheer musicianship."
    See all of our Cream albums in stock


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    White Hot Stamper

    Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Cosmo's Factory

      (Item #: creedcosmo_1803_1806) 

    Our Price: $349.99

    • KILLER sound throughout with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) sound on the first
    • The sound is incredibly present and punchy with great clarity, excellent bass, freedom from grain and real swamp rockin' energy
    • So many great songs: Run Through the Jungle, Lookin' Out My Back Door, Who'll Stop the Rain, etc.
    • A 5 star album and arguably the best record the band ever made: "...an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams..."
    See all of our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums in stock


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Cosmo's Factory

      (Item #: creedcosmo_1804_1) 

    Our Price: $149.99

    • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, from first note to last, both are fairly quiet vinyl (for this album anyway)
    • Surprisingly good bottom end weight, midrange presence, freedom from grain and real swamp rockin' energy
    • So many great songs: Run Through the Jungle, Lookin' Out My Back Door, Who'll Stop the Rain, etc.
    • A 5 star album and arguably the best record the band ever made: "...an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams..."
    See all of our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums in stock


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    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: creedcosmo_2015) 



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

    Clean copies of the album are rare enough as it is; good sounding clean copies are as rare for this title as for practically any we offer.

    Fortunately we've made some strides of late finding the "right' pressings for this band, and with better cleaning technologies we are finding that the better copies such as this one are sounding the way we want our Creedence records to sound.

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    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo’s Factory

    Analogue Productions Debunked

      (Item #: creedcosmo_debunk) 



    Sonic Grade: D-

    Years ago a customer sent me his copy of the Analogue Productions LP (mastered by Hoffman and Gray) in order to carry out a little shootout I had planned among the five copies I could pull together: two MoFi's, the Fantasy ORC reissue, a blue label original, the AP, and another reissue.

    Let’s just say there were no real winners, but there sure were some losers.

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    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Pendulum

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: creedpendu_2012) 



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

    This copy will THRASH any copy you put it up against. This will be especially true if you put it up against the Analogue Productions Heavy Vinyl from years back, which will undoubtedly sound thick, opaque, airless and congealed next to a properly mastered Fantasy original such as this.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
    Deja Vu

      (Item #: crosbdejav_1804_1806) 

    Our Price: $349.99

    • A superb Big and Bold copy that earned seriously good sonic grades of Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on both sides, just shy of our shootout winner!
    • The sound is HUGE -- lively, present and rich in a way that nothing you've heard can compete with
    • Unusually quiet vinyl for this album -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
    • One of our all time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
    • "A rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners" - Allmusic 5 stars
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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

    Our Shootout Winner from 2007

      (Item #: crosbdejav_2007) 



    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.

    MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES -- Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this. To say this copy murders the competition is the understatement of the year. There is only ONE stamper that gives you the Deja Vu magic from top to bottom and this is it. [We know now that that isn't true.]

    More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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    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.

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    30 Years of Bad Sounding Deja Vu's

    Wiped Away in an Instant!

      (Item #: crosbdejav_30years) 



    A testimonial from a customer for his Hot Stamper Deja Vu discusses what it takes to get good sound from your stereo. (Hint: it's a good sounding record, duh.)

    I have come to a conclusion - no matter whether I had the best $50,000 amps in the world or a $29,000 phono supply or the $150,000 Wilson Alexandria speakers or all that other incredible stuff that audiophiles lust for - not one of those items can make a shit record sound anything but like a shit record. There is no overcoming the original source material that you play on your stereo system.

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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

    A Tale of Two MoFi Pressings

      (Item #: crosbdejav_classic_records) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP badly mastered for the benefit of credulous audiophiles.

    If you bought the Classic Record Heavy Vinyl pressing, you should know by now how badly Classic Records ripped you off.

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    How to Find a Hot Stamper Deja Vu

    Hint: Ignore Conventional Wisdom

      (Item #: crosbdejav_conventionalwisdom) 



    A testimonial from a customer for his Hot Stamper Deja Vu provides a forum for the discussion of just what are the higher fidelity pressings.

    Never make the mistake of confusing Better Sounding pressing with More Original pressing; they have nothing -- and I mean nothing -- to do with each other. It’s just another Record Collecting Canard. The audio world is full of them.

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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

    A Tale of Two MoFi Pressings

      (Item #: crosbdejav_mofi_debunk) 



    Sonic Grade: F (or not!)

    A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

    Just for fun about 10 years ago I pulled out a MoFi pressing of Deja Vu I had laying around. I hadn't played their version in a long time. I could have gone a lot longer without playing it, because what I heard was pretty disappointing. Playing their record confirmed all my prejudices. The highs sizzled and spit. The heart of the midrange was recessed and sour.

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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

    An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

      (Item #: crosbdejav_obsess) 



    DEJA VU is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

    We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

    This link will take you to all of our other Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums.


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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

    Latest Developments

      (Item #: crosbdejav_wrong_2016) 



    There are two areas in which we would like to amend some of the previous comments we've made about Deja Vu. The first has to do with early pressings. Many years ago we wrote the following:

    As we noted in previous commentary, the originals are uniformly awful. Want some inside info on stampers to avoid, free of charge? C and D are pretty bad news most of the time.

    Although that's still true -- Deja Vu is a very difficult album to find with good sound no matter what stampers you have -- we now know that there are very good sounding copies, Shootout Winning copies in fact, with early stampers.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
    So Far

      (Item #: crosbsofar_1806) 

    Our Price: $199.99

    • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound throughout - we rarely have this title on the site!
    • Huge, rich and energetic, this is the way you want to hear the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
    • The two non-album tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, both sound fantastic here
    • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
    See all of our CSNY albums in stock


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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

    Our Shootout Winner from 2007

      (Item #: crosbsofar_2007) 



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

    This Hot Stamper copy has SUPERB SOUND ON SIDE TWO -- the best we’ve ever heard. It sounds like it was made from the MASTER TAPE, and believe me, not many of them do. This LP killed any and all of the competition during this shootout; no other copy earned Three Pluses on Side Two. The sound is BIG and BOLD as it gets -- it practically LEAPS out of the speakers. That's what we call Hot Stamper sound. No other copy did that, on side two anyway. Side one has the highly-coveted unreleased material, so this copy, with "only" an excellent side one, is being priced somewhat more competitively and represents real value for money.

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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: crosbsofar_2012) 



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

    We've put together two Shootout Winning White Hot Stamper sides to give you the ultimate So Far. It took two separate records to do it, however, as most copies of the album do not rise above the level of mediocre, and mediocre is not what we sell here at Better Records.

    The killer sides here sound like they are made from the MASTER TAPE. They trounced any and all comers during the shootout. No other copies earned Three Pluses, only these two. The sound is BIG and BOLD as it gets -- the music practically LEAPS out of the speakers. That's what we call Hot Stamper sound.

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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: crosbsofar_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of So Far.

    For example, on Find the Cost of Freedom the best copies have DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. You could say everything that needs to be said about the beauty of analog with this one track alone. It's not even two minutes long, but it's two really wonderful minutes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the height of their powers. The voices should sound as sweet and as silky as any CSN three part (four part?) harmony you have ever heard. This song rivals Helplessly Hoping for vocal blend.

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    VTA Adjustment

    Helplessly Hoping to Get It Right

      (Item #: crosbsofar_wtlf) 



    This listing from 2005 (!) contains commentary about VTA adjustment using the track Helplessly Hoping from a Hot Stamper pressing of CSN’s So Far.
    See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

    Music Does the Driving

      (Item #: crosbstillsandnash_overview) 



    Of course it's easy to argue that finding good sound on an album with two or more members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in any configuration, has never been easy. It's the rare copy of either of the first two albums that's even listenable, and the CSN album from 1977 doesn't sound nearly as good as any of the first three Crosby/Nash albums. Which simply means that the "good" sound of our Hot Stamper copies is far better than what most audiophiles own of any of these guys in combination.
    See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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    Miles Davis - At Fillmore

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: davisatfil_2010) 



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

    This is an Original Columbia 2 LP set on QUIET vinyl with tonally CORRECT sound. The music found here was recorded in the wake of Davis’ highly influential fusion opus Bitches Brew. Keith Jarrett is featured on organ along with a band that includes Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. It culls tracks from a four night stay at the Fillmore East in 1970.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Miles Davis
    Bitches Brew

      (Item #: davisbitch_1803x) 

    Our Price: $199.99

    • An amazing sounding pair of vintage 360 pressings, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on all four sides - quiet vinyl too
    • Recorded in the legendary 30th St studios, the sound is spacious and real, a clear step up from any Red Label copy we played
    • Miles is joined by a litany of greats including Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, et al., all of whom would go on to pursue this style of jazz for decades to come
    • "Thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion..." - 5 Stars
    See all of our Miles Davis albums in stock


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    Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: davisbitch_2009) 



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

    STUNNING MASTER TAPE A+++ SOUND ON SIDES ONE AND FOUR. We had no idea this music could sound anywhere near this good; every Hot Stamper shootout we had tried before this week was a complete bust. It’s not an easy album to find in clean condition, let alone a copy that sounds like this and plays quietly throughout! If jazz-fusion is your bag, sides one and four of this copy will take you on a trip like few other records could. You can hear right in to the soundfield, and you can be sure that there’s a whole lot going on in there.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Derek and the Dominos
    Layla

      (Item #: dereklayla_1709_1) 

    Our Price: $219.99

    • This copy delivers top quality sound - three sides rated Double Plus (A++) or better, with the first side not far behind
    • Some of our favorite Clapton songs are here: Bell Bottom Blues, Tell The Truth, Little Wing, Layla and Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
    • One of the more difficult albums to find audiophile sound for, but a lot easier for us now that we know what pressings can sound good
    • Clapton's greatest album: "But what really makes Layla such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion."
    See all of our Clapton, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes albums in stock


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    White Hot Stamper

    Derek and the Dominos
    Layla

      (Item #: dereklayla_1805) 

    Our Price: $749.99

    • Triple Plus (A+++) sound on sides two, three and four and Double Plus (A++) sound on the first side
    • These sides do it all and then some -- the sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied, present, lively and solid
    • One of the more difficult Clapton albums to find great sound for, but the music makes it worth all the time and trouble it takes
    • 5 stars, and Clapton's greatest album: "But what really makes Layla such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion."
    See all of our Clapton, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes albums in stock


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    Derek and The Dominos - Layla

    Imports Versus Domestics

      (Item #: dereklayla_2008) 



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

    All four sides of this bad boy have the Layla Sound we had hoped for -- Tubey Magical, energetic, and balanced tonally. Most importantly, it sounds CORRECT; you get the sense that you are hearing the music exactly as the band intended. The best sounding tracks have presence, clarity, and transparency like you have never heard.

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    Derek and The Dominos - Layla

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: dereklayla_listen) 



    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 of Layla are Tubey Magical, energetic, and tonally balanced. Most importantly, they sound CORRECT; you get the sense that you are hearing the music exactly as the band intended. The best sounding tracks have presence, clarity, and transparency like you have never heard -- that is, unless you've gone through a pile of copies the way we do.

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    Derek and the Dominos - Layla (2 LPs)

    Remastering the Remaster (and Keeping It a Secret)

      (Item #: dereklayla_SVLP_revisited) 



    NEWSFLASH! [circa 2010]

    Noticing that this title had recently come back into print, and remembering that we used to like the SVLP of Layla, we decided to order a current copy of the album from SIMPLY VINYL. Soon enough it came in, we played it, and we were pretty shocked to hear that the damn thing sounded just plain AWFUL.

    Was I wrong about it before? Only one way to know. I pulled out my old Review Copy from way back when it first came out and sure enough that early pressing sounded dramatically BETTER than the new one. The stampers were completely different of course; someone had remastered it recently and ruined it.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Neil Diamond
    Tap Root Manuscript

      (Item #: diamotapro_1710) 

    Our Price: $89.99

    • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on side one, nearly as good on side two - an excellent copy
    • Cracklin' Rosie here is Neil's first Number One hit, with backup (and near-guaranteed success) by the Wrecking Crew
    • Side two is a suite with a lovely children's chorus and fascinating African instruments and rhythms
    • AMG 4 Stars: "... this album confirmed Diamond's breakthrough as a recording star."
    See all of our Neil Diamond albums in stock


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    Hot Stamper

    Willie Dixon
    I Am The Blues

      (Item #: dixoniamth_1802_1) 

    Our Price: $69.99

    • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this '70s pressing, a Willie Dixon late classic
    • A longtime favorite of ours, with unusually good sound for a blues recording, even one from as late as 1970
    • Features updated versions of many Dixon Classics: Spoonful, Hoochie Coochie Man, I Can't Quit You Baby and more
    See all of our Willie Dixon albums in stock


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    Willie Dixon - I Am The Blues

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: dixoniamth_2013) 



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

    TWO EXCELLENT SIDES for this Red Label pressing, including a shootout-winning, A+++ side one. The sound here is big and open, with the kind of life and presence we just don't hear on the typical pressings. And the material is TOP NOTCH -- Dixon was one of the blues' greatest songwriters, responsible for Spoonful, Hoochie Coochie Man, Little Red Rooster, Back Door Man and other songs you've probably heard your favorite classic rock band covering.

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    Willie Dixon - I Am The Blues

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: dixoniamth_wtlf) 



    Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

    It was pretty easy to separate the men from the boys in this shootout. A quick drop of the needle on each side would immediately answer our number one question: "How BIG is the sound?" The copies that lacked top end extension or heft in the bottom end were just too uninvolving. This is the BLUES, baby -- you think it's supposed to sound small and distant?

    Another problem we ran into on many copies was excessive smoothness. When a copies was overly rich or smeary, it usually lacked the "gritty" feel that music like this should have.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    The Doors
    Morrison Hotel

      (Item #: doorsmorri_1803_1806) 

    Our Price: $249.99

    • A wonderful early pressing of this hard-rockin' Doors album, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
    • Rich, big and full-bodied, with clarity and energy to spare, this is the way you want to hear the Doors' Bluesy Rock
    • Exceptionally quiet vinyl on both sides - we can't remember a copy in our shootout playing quieter
    • Roadhouse Blues, Waiting For The Sun and Maggie McGill are KILLER on this pressing - all you Doors fans are gonna flip
    • Circus Magazine praised it as "possibly the best album yet from the Doors" and "Good hard, evil rock, and one of the best albums released this decade."
    See all of our Doors albums in stock


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    The Doors - Morrison Hotel

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: doorsmorri_2008) 



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

    THE NEW ALL-TIME CHAMP FOR MORRISON HOTEL! Not only does this AMAZING Elektra LP rate A+++ on both sides, but it plays astonishingly quiet, mostly Mint Minus throughout! Drop the needle on Blue Sunday for some of the best organ sound you'll ever hear on a rock record!

    More by The Doors


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    The Doors - Morrison Hotel

    Rhino / Universal Heavy Vinyl Debunked

      (Item #: doorsmorri_debunk) 



    Sonic Grade: D (at best)

    Hall of Shame and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

    A few years back we played the 180 gram reissue of Morrison Hotel. Initially we thought it pretty good, but the longer it played, the more its artificiality became apparent -- and annoying. Just listen to the vocals -- they're all wrong. Jim Morrison has one of the richest and most distinctive voices in the history of rock. When it doesn't sound like the guy I've been listening to for close to forty years, something is very, very wrong.

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    Bob Dylan - New Morning

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: dylannewmo_2010) 



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

    Side one of this Columbia pressing is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! That's where the great song If Not For You is found, and on this copy it is SMOKIN'. There's tons of energy, real texture to the vocals, and more presence than we heard elsewhere. Check out that BIG bottom end! This side earned our top A+++ grade.

    Side two is strong as well, earning a plus and a half -- A+ to A++, as we say. The sound is clean, clear and transparent, but not quite as lively or present. It's still better than many of the copies we played against it.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Duke Ellington
    Up In Duke's Workshop

      (Item #: ellinupind_1712_1804) 

    Our Price: $119.99

    • Excellent Double Plus (A++) Ellington Big Band sound - taken from 1969-1972 recordings - can be found on both of these outstanding sides
    • Pablo has here compiled some of Ellington's best later music and mastered and pressed it wonderfully as well
    • "At first listen it is rougher, seems to be less evolved than his earlier easier-to-notice stylistic approach. If you give this a couple of plays, you will find it totally mesmerizing."
    • "Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years."
    See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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    Duke Ellington - Up In Duke's Workshop

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: ellinupind_2017) 



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

    The notes for this shootout winning side one read: "lively, big, present, with great bass" and that's the way we like our Big Band to sound!

    The first track on side two is not quite up to the standard set by some of the other pieces here but by track two or three all is well sound-wise.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer

      (Item #: emersemers_1804) 

    Our Price: $149.99

    • This killer copy offers incredible Prog Rock sound - it earned Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
    • The sound has amazing transparency, clarity and fullness - the organ is massive here - quiet vinyl too
    • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
    • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
    • Allmusic 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
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    White Hot Stamper

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer

      (Item #: emersemers_1806_1) 

    Our Price: $599.99

    • This British Pressing is stunning from start to finish: Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it on both sides
    • The sound is HUGE, with amazing transparency, clarity and fullness - the organ is massive here
    • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
    • Lucky Man on this copy has Demo Disc Quality Sound like you've never heard on any ELP album (or any other album for that matter)
    • "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
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    Emerson Lake & Palmer

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: emersemers_2008) 



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

    TWO SUPERB SIDES! We just finished a MAJOR shootout for this great album, and this Top Copy is going to make an AMAZING Demo Disc for the Lucky Man who takes it home! If you’ve got the system to play this one loud enough, with the bass power this album demands, you are in for a treat. The organ that opens side two will rattle the foundation of your house if you're not careful. This music really needs that kind of megawatt reproduction to make sense. It's big bombastic prog that wants desperately to rock your world. At moderate levels it just sounds overblown and silly. At loud levels it actually WILL rock your world.

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    Emerson Lake & Palmer

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: emersemers_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

    The Brit copies may take top honors for side one ("sweetness, openness, tubey magic, correct tonality, presence without aggressiveness, well-defined note-like bass, extended airy highs") but the Hot Stamper Cotillion copies KILL on side two. They really ROCK, with greater dynamic contrasts and seriously prodigious bass, some of the best ever committed to vinyl.

    The Brits tend to be a bit too "pretty" sounding. They're too polite for this bombastic music. This music needs the whomp down below and lots of jump factor to work its magic.

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    Bill Evans - Montreux II

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: evansmontr_2014) 



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

    Both sides here have the kind of solid, full-bodied tonality that's really crucial to making sense of this music. There's plenty of space and ambience here as well!

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    Super Hot Stamper

    Fleetwood Mac
    Kiln House

      (Item #: fleetkilnh_1801_1) 

    Our Price: $149.99

    • Excellent sound from beginning to end with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades
    • Tubey Magical smooth sound is key to the best copies, and this copy delivers, with the analog richness the music needs
    • A grossly underappreciated album from Fleetwood Mac's awesome post-Peter Green period
    • Danny Kirwan is brilliant here; Kiln House is the last of the Mac's grungy guitar-based albums
    See all of our Fleetwood Mac albums in stock


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    Hot Stamper

    Fleetwood Mac
    Kiln House

      (Item #: fleetkilnh_1803) 

    Our Price: $99.99

    • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound from first note to last on this copy of Kiln House
    • Three of the best songs Fleetwood Mac ever did are here: Tell Me All The Things You Do, Station Man and Jewel Eyed Judy
    • A grossly underappreciated album from Fleetwood Mac's awesome post-Peter Green period
    • Danny Kirwan is brilliant here; Kiln House is the last of the Mac's grungy guitar-based albums
    See all of our Fleetwood Mac albums in stock


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    The Fleetwood Mac You Don't Know

    Kiln House

      (Item #: fleetkilnh_know) 



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

    Kiln House is one of the all-time great Fleetwood Mac albums. It’s the first they recorded after Peter Green left. With Green gone Jeremy Spencer’s influence came to the fore. He was apparently quite a fan of Buddy Holly. His songs are straightforward and unerringly melodic.

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    Aretha Franklin - Spirit In The Dark

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: frankspiri_2012) 



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

    Two incredible sides -- an A+++ side one backed with an A++ to A+++ side two -- for one of the best sounding albums Aretha recorded! We've done a ton of Aretha shootouts over the years and I'd put this one up with Amazing Grace as her top titles for sound. Everything we wanted from this music, this copy was DOIN' IT, plain and simple. It's lively, open, present and natural. The soundfield is big and spacious and the bottom end is killer. Aretha fans, you won't want to miss out on this one!

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    Free - Fire and Water

    on a Mythical Pink Island

      (Item #: free_firea_myth) 



    Free’s Third Album on the Original British Island Pink Label — Wow!

    Found one at a local record store a while back. It was the first one I’d ever seen in nice enough condition to buy. Checking the dead wax was a bit of a shock though. Guess where it was mastered. Right here in the good old U S of A. In fact, at one of the worst mastering houses of all time: Bell Sound in New York.

    See all of our Free albums in stock


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    Super Hot Stamper

    Genesis
    Trespass

      (Item #: genestresp_1803_2) 

    Our Price: $199.99

    • This British pressing is one of the few copies to ever hit the site - it boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
    • The sound here is rich and Tubey Magical, about as clear as it will get, with prog rock energy and nice extension on both ends
    • This copy plays very quietly for an early UK pressing of Trespass - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
    • "...tasteful, subtle and refined." - Melody Maker
    See all of our Genesis albums in stock


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    Hot Stamper

    Genesis
    Trespass

      (Item #: genestresp_1804) 

    Our Price: $99.99

    • Excellent Hot Stamper sound on both sides - full and musical with energy and tight bass
    • The sound here is rich and Tubey Magical, about as clear as it will get, with prog rock energy and nice extension on both ends
    • "...tasteful, subtle and refined." - Melody Maker
    See all of our Genesis albums in stock


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    Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: grandclose_2013) 



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

    TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES, giving you As Good As It Gets sound for this hard-rockin' album! We just finished a shootout for this album, and most pressings were off our table in moments. The difference between this and the rest of our copies was NIGHT AND DAY! If you're a fan of this album, you are going to flip out when you hear this copy.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    The Grateful Dead
    American Beauty

      (Item #: grateameri_1803_1805) 

    Our Price: $299.99

    • An outstanding original Green Label copy with solid Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - this is the way American Beauty is supposed to sound
    • Man, quiet copies of this album - like this one - are getting hard to find, and pricey too, and they sure don't sound as good as this very often
    • This is one of Stephen Barncard's greatest recording achievements - the richness and clarity are really something here
    • 5 Stars, a Top 100 album, and a true Must Own Album - "American Beauty remains the Dead's studio masterpiece."
    See all of our Grateful Dead albums in stock


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    The Grateful Dead - American Beauty

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: grateameri_2009) 



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

    MASTER TAPE SOUND AND MOSTLY QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES, BABY! We went through all of 2008 without finding a single Hot Stamper copy of this great album, but today I am pleased to report that American Beauty Hot Stampers are back in stock at Better Records! Drop the needle on any track on either side -- I guarantee you’ve never heard this band sound so good, or your money back.

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    Grateful Dead - American Beauty

    Hot Stamper MoFi

      (Item #: grateameri_mofi) 



    Sonic Grade: B

    Another MoFi LP reviewed.

    This is a very nice looking Mobile Fidelity LP with SURPRISINGLY GOOD SOUND. The transparency and presence in the midrange is OUT OF THIS WORLD. The bass actually sounds in control on this copy, there''s no typical bloated MOFI bass to be found here. This is the best sounding Mobile Fidelity American Beauty we have ever heard. It's not perfect by any means, but it's hugely better than we expected.

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    Super Hot Stamper

    The Grateful Dead
    Workingman's Dead

      (Item #: grateworki_1802) 

    Our Price: $199.99

    • This excellent copy gives you outstanding Tubey Magical Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
    • We love that amazingly rich, big bottomed sound that can only be found on the better sides such as these
    • A Better Records Top 100 album, and a truly superb recording of the Dead at the peak of their creativity
    • 5 stars: "A heartbreakingly beautiful, unquestionably pure statement."
    See all Grateful Dead pressings in stock


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