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White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Hunky Dory

  (Item #: bowiehunky_1907_9) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Bowie's pre-Ziggy Folk Rock masterpiece earned sonic grades of Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides of this White Hot 2-pack*
  • The best tracks on the album are Demonstration Quality - Oh You Pretty Things is a KNOCKOUT here
  • Rich, spacious and sweet, with a HUGE soundstage - drop the needle on Changes and listen to how dynamic it is
  • 5 stars: "On the surface, such a wide range of styles and sounds would make an album incoherent, but Bowie's improved songwriting and determined sense of style instead made Hunky Dory a touchstone for reinterpreting pop's traditions into fresh, postmodern pop music."
See all of our David Bowie albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Ray Charles
The Genius of Ray Charles

  (Item #: charlgenius_of_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This KILLER 2-pack boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • It's incredibly rich, full and tubey throughout, as Ray tackles both big band classics and string-backed ballads from the Great American Songbook, all with truly magical results
  • Robert Christgau noted that "Charles tried many times, but except for Modern Sounds, he never again assembled such a consistent album in this mode."
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Charles' voice is heard throughout in peak form, giving soul to even the veteran standards."
See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Gregg Allman Band
Playin' Up A Storm

  (Item #: allmaplayi_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This stunning sounding 2-pack of the band's sophomore release boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • A surprisingly well-recorded album - the sound is exceptionally rich, smooth and natural in the best tradition of Seventies Analog
  • "Playin' Up a Storm is a well-made, expertly performed set of blues-rock, soul-pop, and straight-ahead rock & roll ...the thing that makes it one of Allman's best solo efforts is the terrific performances. Not only is he in fine voice, delivering each song with conviction, but his supporting band - featuring such luminaries as Dr. John and Bill Payne - is sterling."
See all of our Greg Allman albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

  (Item #: addermercy_1812_1908) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding 2-pack boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this 1965 release
  • One of the man's most enjoyable albums - the sound is bigger and livelier and above all balanced, avoiding many of the problems we heard on the originals
  • Joe Zawinul (Weather Report) wrote the title song, which became a big hit for Adderley (and later The Buckinghams), and he plays on the album
  • 5 Stars: "Adderley's irrepressible exuberance was a major part of his popularity, and no document captures that quality as well -- or with such tremendous musical rewards -- as Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."
See all of our Cannonball Adderley albums in stock


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2-Packs

The Best Case for Dramatic Pressing Variations

  (Item #: eagleeagle_2-pack) 



Just today (3/16/15) we put up a White Hot Stamper 2-pack of the Eagles' First Album. One of the two pressings that made up the 2-pack had a killer side two, practically As Good As It Gets.

What was interesting about that particular record was how bad side one was. Side one of that copy -- on the white label, with stampers that are usually killer -- was terrible. The vocals were hard, shrill and spitty. My notes say "CD sound. " When a record sounds like a CD it goes in the trade-in pile, not on our site.

More of the Eagles


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Are All MoFis Created Equal?

A Pair of Pink Floyd LPs Proved They Aren’t

  (Item #: pinkfdarks_mofi_2016) 



Many audiophiles are still under the misapprehension that Mobile Fidelity, with their strict "quality control", managed to eliminate pressing variations of the kind we discuss endlessly on the site.

Such is simply not the case, and it's child's play to demonstrate how false this way of thinking is, assuming you have these four things: good cleaning fluids and a machine, multiple copies of the same record, a reasonably revealing stereo, and two working ears. With all four the reality of pressing variations for ALL pressings is both obvious and incontrovertible.

See all of our Pink Floyd albums in stock


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Art Pepper - ... The Way It Was

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: peppethewa_2013) 



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

This Contemporary Yellow Label 2-pack has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC and QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! It’s airy, open, and spacious with superb clarity and an extended top end. The beautiful reading of Autumn Leaves on side two is DEMO DISC QUALITY! Both of the copies in this White Hot 2-pack have one side rated A+++ and one side that just didn't meet our standards, so we combined them to give you excellent sound for the entire album.

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Bad Company - Run With The Pack

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: badcorunwi_2013) 



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

SUPERB SOUND on Hot Stamper 2-pack! This is not an easy album to find with audiophile sound, and since our best sides were less impressive on their flipsides, we paired up these two copies to give you incredible sound for the album from first note to last.

Side two of the second record is the real deal, with BIG, RICH and ROCKIN' White Hot Stamper sound. Side one of the first record is nearly as good (A++ to A+++), boasting exceptional transparency, excellent balance and something we didn't hear on most copies: ENERGY.

More Bad Company


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Barney Kessel - Workin' Out

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: kesseworki_2013) 



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

This is a 2-pack set of original pressings that gives you wonderful sound for both sides of this great Contemporary album, A++ for the first and A+++ for the second. There is a catch, however, one that won't bother some of you at all but will drive a few of you crazy: the side one pressing is in mono and the side two is in stereo. All that mattered to us was that they both sounded great, and a quick flip to the not-so-hot side of either pressing will quickly show you why we paired these up.

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Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: dylanfreew_2016) 



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

This is a 2-pack of two Mono pressings, each with a killer Triple Plus (A+++) side. The White Hot sides are amazingly spacious, full-bodied, natural and clear with great presence. We greatly prefer the best Mono pressings to the best stereo copies, but they are very hard to come by.

This is our favorite of the early Dylan albums for both music and sound! We're picking up both mono and stereo copies when we see them clean (which is rare) but the best mono copies truly take this music to a whole new level.

More Bob Dylan


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Dave Mason - Let It Flow

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: masonletit_2014) 



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

This is a 2-pack set that gives you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides of this album. We Just Disagree and Let It Flow, Let It Go are the big hits here and they both sound great. This is one of the more consistent Mason solo albums, with more good songs and less filler than we've heard on some of his other works.

More Dave Mason


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Dopey Record Theories

Putting Bad Ideas to the Test

  (Item #: mitchcourt_theory) 



In a recent listing for one of our Hot Stamper 2-packs we noted that side two of record one has Joni sounding thin, hard and veiled. If you look at the stampers you can see it's obviously cut by the same guy (no names please!), and we're pretty sure both sides were stamped out at the same time of day since it's impossible to do it any other way. What accounts for the amazing sound of one side and the mediocre sound of its reverse? If your theory can't account for these huge differences in sound, your theory must be seen for what it is: hopelessly, fundamentally flawed. Mistaken. Inadequate. "Dopey" works too.
More Court and Spark


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Eagles - One Of These Nights

Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: eagleoneof_2017) 



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

This 2-pack contains the best side one we've ever heard! The sound is bigger, richer, tubier and livelier than we even thought possible. Side one was so amazing, such an obvious step up over every side of every other copy, we felt it deserved to be awarded our Four Plus (A++++) grade.

More by The Eagles


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Frank Sinatra - September of My Years

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: sinatsepte_2010) 



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

Have you been wondering when some amazing sounding Hot Stamper vinyl from The Chairman Of The Board was going to hit the site? Folks, TODAY IS THAT DAY! It is beyond tough to find amazing sounding (and quiet) copies of any of Sinatra's albums, but we managed to find some STUNNING copies of this lovely album, one that earned Five Big Stars in the venerable All Music Guide.

More Frank Sinatra


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Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners

Greatest "Copy" Ever

  (Item #: nash_songs_2015) 



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

WHOA! We've paired up two FOUR PLUS sides to create this stunning 2-pack with mindblowing Demo Quality sound for the whole album. These A++++ sides will show you just how amazing it can sound: super full-bodied, rich, warm and natural.

Please note that we award this very special grade so rarely that we don't even have a graphic to represent it in our sonic grade box. The scale usually only goes to three pluses, but these two sides went up to four!

More Graham Nash


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Herb Alpert - Whipped Cream & Other Delights

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: alperwhipp_2013) 



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

TWO STUNNING SIDES rating at or near A+++ for this White Hot Stamper 2-pack! Most copies of this album either sound terrible or play too noisy to bother with -- finding one that does anything right is a chore. These two killer sides are a completely different story, with the kind of big, spacious soundstage and rich, full-bodied tonality that puts the typical pressing to shame.

More Herb Alpert


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Holst / The Planets / Mehta

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: holstplane_6734_2010) 



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

This 2-pack boasts White Hot Stamper sound on side two for the Mehta Planets. Yes, it IS possible. Side two shows you what this record is actually capable of -- big WHOMP, no SMEAR, super SPACIOUS, DYNAMIC, with an EXTENDED top. It beat every London pressing we threw at it, coming out on top for our recent shootout. Folks, we 100% guarantee that whatever pressing you have of this performance, this copy will trounce it.

But side one of this London original British pressing was awful. We wrote it off as NFG after about a minute; that's all we could take of the bright, hard-sounding brass of War.

More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)


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Joni Mitchell - Song To A Seagull

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: mitchsongt_2013) 



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

It took two records to make this White Hot Stamper 2-pack, with INCREDIBLE A+++ SOUND FROM START TO FINISH. The result? One of the best sounding, if not THE best sounding copy to ever hit the site. If you're a Joni fan this is one of her strongest records, and one that definitely belongs in your collection. If you own any other pressing we're confident that this copy will positively blow your mind.

These two sides have the kind of sound quality you probably never imagined would be possible -- but it is! We played it, we heard it for ourselves, and now we offer it to you, the Joni Mitchell (nee Roberta Joan Anderson) fans of the world.

More Joni Mitchell


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Lee Konitz - Lee Konitz With Warne Marsh

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: konitwithw_2014) 



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

The 1955 mono sound by Tom Dowd on this White Hot 2-pack is DEMO DISC quality. The horns are breathy and clear, yet full and rich as can be. There may be a good reason that this pressing sounds as good as it does: it was remastered by one of the greatest mastering engineers of all time, George Piros.

Tom Dowd is the original recording engineer, and this one album should be all the proof you need that when it comes to jazz in mono, the guy is hard to beat. Rock in stereo, there the record is quite a bit more spotty (see, or better yet, listen to Cream, The Young Rascals, Delaney and Bonnie and too many others to list).

More albums engineered or produced by Tom Dowd


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Liszt / Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2 / Richter

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: lisztpiano_2016) 



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

This A++++ Beyond White Hot Stamper 2-pack has sound that must be experienced to be believed! The finest Liszt 1st & 2nd Concertos we know of for performance and unquestionably for sound when they sound like this. More like LIVE MUSIC than any classical recording I have played in longer than I care to remember - both sides are so big, rich and transparent we guarantee you have never heard a better piano concerto.

More of the music of Franz Liszt (1811-1886)


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Mark-Almond - To The Heart

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: markatothe_2017) 



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

It takes two copies paired up to get Triple Plus (A+++) sound for both sides, but here they are, a Triple Triple 2-pack. With Roy Halee's brilliant engineering, the sound is as big, rich, clear, open, and ANALOG as you could hope for. New York State of Mind and Here Comes the Rain, Parts 1&2 have a wonderfully relaxed, mellow, jazzy vibe. Allmusic users give this one 4 1/2 Stars and we think that's about right.



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Paul McCartney - McCartney

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: mccarmccar1_2013) 



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

This stunning 2-pack of McCartney's solo debut has AMAZING A+++ SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! It's been AGES since we've heard a copy like this. Both sides have the kind of clarity, transparency and immediacy you need for this album to sound its best. Those qualities let you hear all the detail, nuance, and texture to the instruments that you just don't get on the average pressing.

Both of the copies in this 2-pack have one amazing side and one side that just didn't meet our standards, so we combined them to give you excellent sound for the entire album.

More Paul McCartney and Wings


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Randy Newman - Randy Newman Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: newmalive_2013) 



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

We paired up a wonderful A++ side one with an even better A+++ side two to create this killer Randy Newman Live 2-pack, giving you wonderful sound for this whole album! We had a ton of these around and finally got to the task of comparing them. Many copies were too congested or had an unpleasant edgy quality to the vocals, but the Hot sides of the 2-pack give you the kind of sound that you want for this music.

More Randy Newman


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Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: waterprosa_2012) 



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

We paired together our best sounding side one with an equally impressive side two from a different copy to make this White Hot Stamper 2-pack for Roger Waters debut. That gives you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides! Let me tell you, it is DIFFICULT to find copies of this album that sound as good and plays as quietly as the two White Hot sides in this set. Those of you who like Floyd's The Final Cut will probably get a lot out of this one.

More Pink Floyd


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Schubert / The Trout Quintet / Curzon / Vienna Octet

Original Versus Reissue

  (Item #: schubtrout_6090_2013) 



This unusual 2-pack combines two very different pressings from very different eras to create a complete performance of The "Trout" Quintet with SUPERB Super Hot Stamper (or better) on both sides. One pressing, the one shown, is from the early '60s; the other is from 1982. How could an imported budget late reissue beat a superb Golden Age pressing on any side you ask? Well, the answer to that question is provided by the records we will send you.
More of the music of Franz Schubert (1797-1828)


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Sonny Rollins - The Bridge

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rollibridg_2013) 



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

We found STUNNING sound for Sonny Rollins' classic LP The Bridge this week, and as you might have guessed from the image to the left, it wasn't on an original pressing! It's beyond tough to find copies of this album on any label these days, but we had a big stack of pressings from different eras and auditioned them in a big shootout. We've paired up our best side one with our best side two to create this killer White Hot Stamper 2-pack.

More Sonny Rollins


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Tchaikovsky / Piano Concerto #1 / Richter / Karajan

Another Audio Myth Explodes

  (Item #: tchaipiano_myth) 



The original Large Tulip early pressings are the best on this record, right?

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth, as explained in the commentary for our recent Hot Stamper 2-pack. That pair of pressings was all the proof we required to back up our contention that either label can be the best on this classic DG recording. Original is better? Again, not so much. Original can be better fits more with our experience.

See all pressings of Tchaikovsky's music in stock


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The Dillards - Copperfields

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: dillacoppe_2013) 



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

For the first time on the site, Hot Stamper sound for The Dillards! Those of you who enjoy the country-fried style of the Flying Burrito Bros., Gram Parsons or The Byrds will probably get a lot out of this one. We paired up our best sounding side one with our most impressive side two to create this QUIET A+++ / A++ 2-pack. Great sounding pressings for this band are tough to come by, so don't let this one slip past you if you're a fan!

More Forgotten Rock and Pop Classics


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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Surprisingly Good Domestic Pressings Do Exist

  (Item #: rolliafter_2015) 



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

We've paired up a Double Plus (A++) copy for each side to create this Super Hot 2-pack, which is the only way we were able to find good sound for the whole album. Paint It Black is missing from the Brit version, but it's here and it sounds wonderful.

A big surprise -- domestic Super Hot Stamper sound for Aftermath! We didn't even know it was possible, but on a lark we pulled a big stack of these out of the back and played them against our best imports. We were blown away when the best domestic copies held their own and delivered some seriously good early Stones sound!

More Rolling Stones


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Hot Stamper 2-packs

Top Quality Sound from Start to Finish

  (Item #: 2-packs) 



Our unique Hot Stamper 2-packs combine two separate LPs, usually with Super Hot Stamper (or better!) sound for each side, giving you top quality sound for the entire album. In addition, on the two other sides you'll get a chance to hear what a more typical pressing (read: non-Hot Stamper) of the album sounds like.

Sometimes 2-packs include a record with two very good sounding sides, one of which has condition issues, but these are much more rare than the 2-packs we put up with records that just don't sound very good on one of their sides. Same vinyl, same press, very different sound. This is an undeniable reality in the world of records, at least for those of us who play them by the thousands. Our empirical findings may break all the rules -- rules shmules -- but that doesn't make them any less true.


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Tell Us More About "Hot Stampers"

Straight Answers to Your Questions

  (Item #: hot_stampers_faq) 



Many of the basic questions concerning Hot Stampers, including our grading system, 2-packs, coupons, the mailing list, as well as more general ordering and payment information, can be found in the original FAQ.

We recommend that you read it before continuing on with this one. The Hot Stamper FAQ below deals specifically with the kinds of issues that potential customers, as well as skeptics and forum posters (god bless 'em!), have raised with us over the years.

We think sitting down to play a Hot Stamper pressing is the best way to appreciate its superior sound, in the same way that hearing a vintage LP played back on a top quality audio system is the best way to appreciate the superiority of analog.

Click Here to Find Straight Answers to Your Hot Stamper Questions



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White Hot Stamper

Ambrosia
Ambrosia

  (Item #: ambroambro_2014x) 


  • Spectacular Sound from start to finish for this shockingly good 2-pack
  • Side one is at least A+++ - it's bigger and more energetic than we thought possible
  • Side two really rocks on this copy - it earned a nearly White Hot sonic grade
  • A Better Records All Time Favorite and Top 100 Demo Disc
See all of our Ambrosia albums in stock


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