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Super Hot Stamper

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin IV

  (Item #: ) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An outstanding Hard Rockin' Zep IV with excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • This copy is dramatically fuller and smoother than most, making it possible to get the volume up good and high where it belongs
  • Black Dog, Rock & Roll, Stairway, When the Levee Breaks and the rest - all sound better than you've ever heard them, guaranteed
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "Zeppelin fuse their majestic hard rock with a mystical, rural English folk that gives the record an epic scope."
See all of our Led Zeppelin albums in stock


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801 - 801 Live

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: 801__live_2007) 



The best Island copies of this album ROCK HARDER than practically any record we've ever played. If you have the system for it, this one will bring a Live Art Rock concert right into your living room!

It's right at the top of the list of my Favorite Albums -- a Desert Island Disc if ever there was one. I stumbled across it more thirty years ago and I've loved it ever since. It all started when a college buddy played me the wildly original Tomorrow Never Knows from the album and asked me to name the tune. Eno's take is so different from The Beatles version that I confess it took me an embarrassingly long while to catch on.

More Phil Manzanera


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Are You a Detail Freak?

At Better Records We Call that Pitfall Number 1

  (Item #: 801__live_detail) 


Is that where the music is -- in the details? Brighter ain’t necessarily better; most of the time it’s just brighter.

This album isn't about clarity. It's about the sound of a live Rock and Roll concert. It's about the raw power of one of the most phenomenal rhythm sections to ever be captured in performance.

More Phil Manzanera / More Brian Eno


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801 Live

It's All About the Bass (Except for that One Time When It Wasn't)

  (Item #: 801__live_listen) 



What's especially interesting about this copy is that we went crazy for it even though it did not have the best bass of the copies we played, which, as you will see below, clearly contradicts what we had previously written. We thought that the copies with the best bass had the best everything else too, but that was not what we heard this time around.

THIS copy got the music to work its magic, and it did it with most, but not all, of the bass of the best. Not sure how to explain it. Rules were made to be broken maybe?

More Phil Manzanera & Roxy Music


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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Back In Black

  (Item #: acdc_backi_1903_) 

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


  • With Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this Back in Black ROCKS like no other copy you've heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides play exceptionally well for a Robert Ludwig original, which is absolutely the only way to go on the album
  • Top 100, and if you turn it up good and loud, one of the biggest, boldest, hardest rockin' records ever made
  • 5 stars: "... tawdry celebration of sex is what made AC/DC different from all other metal bands — there was no sword & sorcery, no darkness, just a rowdy party, and they never held a bigger, better party than they did on Back in Black."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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AC/DC - Back In Black

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: acdc_backi_2016) 



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

Musically Back In Black has everything you'd want from this kind of hard rock -- a tight, punchy rhythm section; raging guitar riffs; and deliciously decadent lyrics screamed to perfection. What surprised us is how amazing this music sounds on the right copy. You've probably heard these songs a million times, but we bet you haven't heard them sound like this. This is the kind of record that you'll want to keep turning up. The louder you play it, the better it gets -- but only if you've got a great pressing like this.

Side two earned our rare A++++ grade. Our sonic grade graphics only go up to three pluses, but this side two took it all the way to four!

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AC/DC - Back In Black

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: acdc_backi_fame) 



If you love HUGE drums, meaty guitars, and monster riffs as much as we do, you’re going to freak out over the MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES. Moments after dropping the needle we heard a prominent low octave to the intro bells that we hadn’t noticed on other copies. We kept our fingers crossed and waited for the band to kick in, hoping for some serious bottom end power. And man oh man, it was there all right! I am pleased to report that the whomp factor on this copy was nothing short of MASSIVE.

I ask you, what album from 1980 sounds better than Back in Black?

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Letter of the Week

Wow, does it ever ROCK!

  (Item #: acdc_backi_testimonial_0409) 


Another new and satisfied Hot Stamper customer. Martin recently received a batch of records from us including his very first Hot Stamper, AC/DC - Back In Black, which by all accounts is not a bad place to start! Needless to say he was very impressed with the sound.
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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

  (Item #: acdc_dirty_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of the band's 1976 release - one of the few copies to hit the site in many years!
  • These sides have plenty going on down low, real meat on the bones, all the life and energy you could ask for - pretty much everything that the average copy was lacking
  • 5 stars: "... it captured the seething malevolence of Bon Scott, the sense that he reveled in doing bad things, encouraged by the maniacal riffs of Angus and Malcolm Young who provided him with their most brutish rock & roll yet."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
For Those About To Rock

  (Item #: acdc_forth_1901_1) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Once again Robert Ludwig delivers the Rock and Roll Power -- incredibly big, bold and full-bodied with a massive bottom end
  • Both sides are pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "On For Those About to Rock We Salute You, AC/DC’s best album, the case for the band’s talents is finally made with undeniable force and clarity. You want anthems? Here, they abound." - Rolling Stone
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Let There Be Rock

  (Item #: acdc_letth_1808_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound - this is clearly the right sound for this guitar-fueled heavy rock
  • One of the better copies from our most recent shootout, the sound is big, full, lively and spacious with hard-rockin' energy to spare
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... as lean and mean as the original lineup ever got... this is a high-voltage, brutal record, filled with "Bad Boy Boogie... It has a bit of a bluesier edge than other AC/DC records, but this is truly the sound of the band reaching its peak... it's sweaty, dirty, nasty rock, music that is played to the last call and beyond, and they've rarely done that kind of rock better than they did here."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley and His Orchestra
African Waltz

  (Item #: adderafric_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This copy of Cannonball's crazy-fun 1961 album offers outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • ALIVE with musical energy, there's also plenty of space for the players to occupy, a quality vital to this big group's big sound
  • "The surging, compelling, thoroughly earthy sound of this orchestra, led by CANNONBALL ADDERLEY and including as impressive a roster of jazz stars as has ever been assembled, has already been responsible for a major breakthrough on the musical front... Quickly and enthusiastically accepted by a wide public, it leaped almost overnight into the bestseller category."
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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Cannonball's Bossa Nova

  (Item #: addercanno_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An exceptionally rare and superb sounding early stereo pressing - it boasts Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last
  • These originals are by far the best way to go, in stereo of course, putting Cannonball's breathy, melodic sax right between your speakers, with the rest of the band - including Sergio Mendes on keys - spread out around him
  • Truly an undiscovered gem in the Adderley catalog - the audiophiles here at Better Records were digging both the music and especially the superb sound
  • Another top quality recording from the superbly talented Ray Fowler, the house engineer for Riverside and the man behind many of the best Thelonious Monk and Cannonball Adderley recordings done for that great jazz label
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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
In San Francisco

  (Item #: adderinsan_1805_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this groundbreaking live jazz album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this Riverside Stereo LP is shockingly good for a live album, and the vinyl is as quiet as we can find it
  • Cannonball joins forces here with his brother, cornetist Nat Adderley, at The Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, to create an album Orrin Keepnews lauded as, "the birth of contemporary live recording"
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Both Cannonball and Nat Adderley play with stunning, bluesy brilliance here... Outside of Somethin' Else, Adderley's 1958 masterpiece, In San Francisco may be the saxophonist's defining moment."
See all of our Cannonball Adderley albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley - Bill Evans
Know What I Mean?

  (Item #: adderknoww_1904) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this wonderful copy of one of our favorite Cannonball Adderley albums
  • 1961 recording technology coupled with the mastering technology used by the gifted George Horn results in top quality sound
  • These guys are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their presence on every track -- assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one
  • 4 stars: "It's hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love on this very fine recording."
See all of our Cannonball Adderley albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

  (Item #: addermercy_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $30.99 / 24%)


  • 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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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Somethin' Else

  (Item #: addersomet_1803_1904) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound throughout with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A triumph for Rudy Van Gelder, a Top Blue Note title, and as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball
  • The best copies of this album set a standard that practically no other jazz record we're aware of can meet
  • 5 stars: "Both horn players are at their peak of lyrical invention, crafting gorgeous, flowing blues lines."
  • "...signs of Milesian influence are the calm, conversational delivery of the title track and the newfound lyricism in Adderley’s playing that followed from his nightly experience at the trumpeter’s side."
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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: addersomet_2013) 



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

A+++ SOUND, giving you a KILLER copy of one of the most beloved Blue Note albums ever! The music here is stunning -- as I'm sure most of you know, this is as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball himself -- but the good news for audiophiles is that it's also one of the BEST SOUNDING BLUE NOTE ALBUMS we know of! When you hear it on a copy like this, it's just about As Good As It Gets.

More Cannonball Adderley / More Miles Davis


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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Rudy Van Gelder Outdoes Himself

  (Item #: addersomet_setting_the_record) 



After doing this shootout, the current consensus here at Better Records is that this album deserves to hold three -- count 'em, three -- somewhat related titles:

One, The Best Sounding Blue Note record we have ever played.

Two, The Best Sounding Jazz Record we have ever played.

Three, Rudy Van Gelder's Best Engineering (based on the copies we played).

More Cannonball Adderley / More Miles Davis


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Aerosmith -Toys in the Attic

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: aerostoysi_2011) 



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

Looking for killer sound for both sides of this fun album? You've come to the right place! This unusually lively pressing combines a stunning A+++ side one with an equally wonderful, giving you White Hot Stamper sound from start to finish! The transparency here is exceptional, allowing you to hear all the musician's contributions without the veiling and congestion that you get on most pressings. Sweet Emotion is a KNOCKOUT on this copy.


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Albeniz / Suite Espanola / De Burgos

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: albensuite_2006) 



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

This London LP from 1968 has some of the MOST DYNAMIC SOUND I have ever heard on a classical recording. The sound here is BIGGER and BOLDER than any pressing of this record I’ve ever played. The dynamics are absolutely startling in their power here. To be fair the other copy we have on the site has a more extended top end, which is a shortcoming that this copy has -- it's a bit rolled off in the extreme highs. But that other copy lacks weight, so that the orchestral climaxes are thin and feel strained.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)


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Albeniz / Suite Espanola / De Burgos

What to Listen For

  (Item #: albensuite_wtlf) 



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

Wow, is this record ever DYNAMIC! I would put it in the top 2 or 3 percent of the most dynamic recordings we have played over the course of the last twenty five years. It also has tons of DEPTH. The brass is at the far back of the stage, just exactly where they would be placed in the concert hall, which greatly adds to the realism of the recording.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz


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Contemporary Jazz
Albums in Stock

  (Item #: allcontemporary) 



Visit this link to find our in-stock Contemporary Jazz label albums.


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Fleetwood Mac Discography

  (Item #: allfleetwoodmac) 



1968 Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1968 Mr. Wonderful
1969 Then Play On
1969 English Rose (compilation)
1969 Pious Bird of Good Omen (compilation)
1970 Kiln House
1971 Future Games
1971 Black Magic Woman (compilation)
1969 Greatest Hits
1972 Bare Trees
1973 Penguin
1973 Mystery to Me
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find
1975 Fleetwood Mac
1977 Rumours
1979 Tusk
1980 Fleetwood Mac Live [bad sound]
1982 Mirage


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Glyn Johns

  (Item #: allglynjohns) 



GLYN JOHNS is one of our favorite producers and engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Glyn Johns engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

It was only about 2000 or so that we discovered what an amazing engineer and producer Glyn Johns is. A Hot Stamper of the first Eagles album (his masterpiece) on the original Asylum White Label blew my mind, produced and engineered by none other, so I quickly started looking around for other records he might have had a hand in. How about Who's Next. Let It Bleed. On The Border (my personal favorite Eagles album). Led Zeppelin's debut (my favorite Zep LP). A Nod Is As Good As A Wink. All his.

More Engineers, Producers and Arrangers


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Ken Scott

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: allkenscott) 



KEN SCOTT is one of our favorite record engineers and producers. Click on the link to find the albums on our site that Ken worked on, along with plenty of our commentaries about the sound of his recordings.

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
The Allman Brothers

  (Item #: allmaallma_1812) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them
  • The sound is clean, clear and open with the kind of fat bottom end that brings this Blues Rock to life
  • Exceptionally quiet -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout - they don't come quieter
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. There isn't a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers Band
... At Fillmore East

  (Item #: allmaatfil_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With four outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this Pink Label original is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other copy you've heard
  • This is one of the all-time great live albums, and with a copy like this one YOU ARE THERE at the Fillmore
  • The WHOMP factor here kicks up the excitement - here is the low-end foundation that lets the extended guitar jams work
  • 5 stars: "At Fillmore East is like a great live jazz session, where the pleasure comes from the musicians' interaction and playing... The pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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The Allman Brothers ... At Fillmore East

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: allmaatfil_2011) 



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

There was a time when we never dreamed we’d find a copy of this hard rockin’ live album with SUPERB SOUND and QUIET VINYL on all four sides, but we got a hold of a seriously hot one here! This is one of the all-time great live albums, and with a copy like this one YOU ARE THERE at the Fillmore!

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Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Brothers and Sisters

  (Item #: allmabroth_1811) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • A very respectable copy, with each side earning Hot Stamper grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • 4 stars on Allmusic and the band's commercial peak, featuring great songs as well as stellar guitar work from Dickie Betts
  • "The Allman Brothers Band's first new studio album in two years shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica," helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Brothers and Sisters

  (Item #: allmabroth_1901_1903) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • An awesome pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Dramatically better than practically every other pressing we played - super lively, full-bodied and clear with real extension up top and down low
  • 4 stars on Allmusic and the band's commercial peak, featuring great songs as well as stellar guitar work from Dickie Betts
  • "The Allman Brothers Band's first new studio album in two years shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica," helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Eat A Peach

  (Item #: allmaeatap_1803_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $50.99 / 34%)


  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides - these two discs are rockin' from first note to last
  • The heartfelt radio-friendly songs such as Melissa and Little Martha keep up the energy and add to the enjoyment factor
  • Exceptionally quiet for this title -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • 5 stars: "The record showcases the Allmans at their peak, and it's hard not to feel sad as the acoustic guitars of "Little Martha" conclude the record, since this tribute isn't just heartfelt, it offers proof of Duane Allman's immense talents and contribution to the band."
See all of our Allman Bros. albums in stock


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The Allman Brothers - Eat a Peach

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: allmaeatap_2008) 



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

THE ALLMAN’S MASTERPIECE CONQUERED AT LAST! I don’t think you could find a more tubey magical Southern Rock record than this! We just shot out a huge stack of these double LPs, no mean feat, and this Original Capricorn pressing manhandled the competition, rating A++ or better on ALL FOUR SIDES. Not only that, but the vinyl plays mostly Mint Minus throughout -- exceptionally quiet for an old Allman Brothers record.

More Allman Brothers


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Idlewild South

  (Item #: allmaidlew_1904_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This original Atco pressing has outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout, with the kind of energy this music needs
  • Easily the group's best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • 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 practically any pressing you can find.

More Allman Brothers


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Super Hot Stamper

Gregg Allman
Laid Back

  (Item #: allmalaidb_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $20.99 / 14%)


  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans' album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals on side two, this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Recorded in the same year as the Brothers and Sisters album, this solo debut release is a beautiful amalgam of R&B, folk, and gospel sounds, with the best singing on any of Gregg Allman's solo releases."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Gregg Allman
Laid Back

  (Item #: allmalaidb_1901_1903) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $50.99 / 17%)


  • An astounding Triple Triple (A+++) copy that blew away every other pressing in our recent shootout
  • We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Recorded in the same year as the Brothers and Sisters album, this solo debut release is a beautiful amalgam of R&B, folk, and gospel sounds, with the best singing on any of Gregg Allman's solo releases."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Gregg Allman Band
Playin' Up A Storm

  (Item #: allmaplayi_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • 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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White Hot Stamper

The Gregg Allman Band
Playin' Up A Storm

  (Item #: allmaplayi_1904_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • 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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Pablo Jazz

One of Our Favorite Labels for Audiophile Sound Quality

  (Item #: allpablo) 



Visit this link to find our in-stock Pablo Jazz albums.

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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Rhett Davies

  (Item #: allrhettdavies) 



RHETT DAVIES is one of our favorite producers and recording / mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Rhett Davies engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

Davies recorded some of our favorite albums of all time and we want to pay tribute to this unsung hero, a man who has brought so much joy and pleasure to audiophiles through albums like those listed below.

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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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.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ambrosia
Ambrosia

  (Item #: ambroambro_1904) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Spectacular Prog Rock sound explodes on this copy of the band's phenomenally well-recorded debut album, mixed by none other than Alan Parsons
  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER throughout, this copy has the sound we were looking for - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big Whomp Factor here - the bottom end is huge and punchy on this copy, like nothing you've heard
  • A Better Records All-Time Favorite & Top 100 Demo Disc: " Its songs skillfully blend strong melodic hooks and smooth vocal harmonies with music of an almost symphonic density."
See all of our Ambrosia albums in stock


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Ambrosia

The First Four Plus Copy We'd Ever Heard, Going All the Way Back to 2008

  (Item #: ambroambro_2008) 



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

This White Hot Stamper original LP goes BEYOND DEMO DISC sound. What that means exactly I’m not sure, but I know it when I hear it, and this record has THAT SOUND. Side one of this copy has ENERGY and LIFE we have never heard before.

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Ambrosia - Ambrosia

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ambroambro_2010) 



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.

Here's another INSANELY GOOD pressing of my all-time favorite album, which is every bit as good sonically as it is musically! Side two in particular (A+++, As Good As It Gets!) has DEMO DISC quality sound with the kind of SONIC ENERGY that not one out of a hundred titles can lay claim to.

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Ambrosia - Ambrosia

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: ambroambro_obsess) 



AMBROSIA is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it. It's also part of our extensive Listening in Depth series. There is no question that this band, their producers and their engineers sweated every detail of this remarkable recording. They went the distance. In the end they brought in Alan Parsons to mix it, and Doug Sax to master it. The result is a masterpiece, an album that stands above all others.
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Ambrosia - Life Beyond L.A.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: ambrolifeb_2013) 



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

This White Hot Stamper Ambrosia LP has the kind of sound you would never expect to find in the grooves of this album. It was a THRILL to hear, especially at the volumes at which we played it! The transparency and openness were off the charts, and unmatched by any other copy in our shootout. We're big fans of this band here at Better Records -- we love their take on complex, big production rock!

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Ambrosia - Life Beyond L.A.

Which Stampers Sound the Best?

  (Item #: ambrolifeb_stampers) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning music and recordings.

There's a unique story behind this title, which goes something like this. I recount it because it's a classic and hopefully instructive case of Live and Learn.

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Ambrosia - One Eighty

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: ambrooneei_2013) 



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

This is smooth, rich ANALOG at its best, easy on the ears as we like to say.

This is clearly the poppier side of Ambrosia, containing as it does two of their highest-charting mainstream hits, Biggest Part of Me (#3) and You're the Only Woman (#13). I myself of course prefer the proggy first two albums, falling as they do into the broad category of Art Rock where my favorite albums by Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Supertramp, 10cc, later-period Beatles, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Traffic and so many others from the last forty-plus years can be found.

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Super Hot Stamper

America
America

  (Item #: ameriameri_1805_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding early WB Green Label pressing of the band's debut album with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of our favorite Hippie Folk Rock albums - the instruments and voices will appear to be right in your listening room
  • The Tubey Magical acoustic guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction - thanks Ken Scott!
  • 4 stars: "America's debut album is a folk-pop classic, a stellar collection of memorable songs that would prove influential on such acts as the Eagles and Dan Fogelberg..."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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White Hot Stamper

America
America

  (Item #: ameriameri_1902_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This incredible copy of the band's debut album boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • One of our favorite Hippie Folk Rock albums - the instruments and voices seem to be right in your listening room
  • The Tubey Magical acoustic guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction - thanks Ken Scott!
  • 4 stars: "America's debut album is a folk-pop classic, a stellar collection of memorable songs that would prove influential on such acts as the Eagles and Dan Fogelberg..."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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America - America

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: ameriameri_2009) 



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

TUBEY MAGICAL practically MASTER TAPE SOUND on side one! A good sounding copy of this album is a real treat; a superb sounding copy like this one is an EXPERIENCE! We’ve been playing this album for years but I cannot recall a copy with a more extended top end than the ones here. The transparency is off the charts. Side one is natural, relaxed, musical, sweet, tonally correct from top to bottom and overflowing with Tubey Magic.

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America - America

Listening for Harmonically Correct Acoustic Guitars

  (Item #: ameriameri_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The guitars on this record are a true test of stereo fidelity. As it says below, most of the pressings of this record do not get the guitars to sound right. They often sound veiled and dull, and on a copy with a bit too much top end they will have an unnatural hi-fi-ish sparkle.

(This kind of sparkle can be heard on practically every record Mobile Fidelity made in the ’70s and ’80s. Tea for the Tillerman, Sundown, Year of the Cat, Finger Paintings, Byrd at the Gate, Quarter Moon in a 10 Cent Town -- the list would be very long indeed, and these are just the records with prominent acoustic guitars!)

See all of our America albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

America
America's Greatest Hits

  (Item #: amerihisto_1809_1903) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding copy of America's 1975 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Both sides have amazing clarity and presence, which is especially noticeable on the vocals
  • THE BIG SOUND on both sides lets this Greatest Hits compilation hold its own against the originals
  • "An essential collection for fans who like their '70s folk with a pop sheen, loads of hooks, and top-drawer arrangements."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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Super Hot Stamper

America
Homecoming

  (Item #: amerihomec_1804_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • An outstanding copy of America's second album, boasting Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Side one is where practically all the best songs can be found, so this nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) copy is the way to go on Homecoming
  • Some of the most tubey, warm acoustic guitar reproduction you could ever ask for - this is the sound of real analog!
  • Ventura Highway sounds amazing here, as does everything else; it's a Demo Disc for acoustic guitars and vocals
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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White Hot Stamper

America
Homecoming

  (Item #: amerihomec_1902) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A stunning copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - the first such copy we've found in almost two years (!)
  • This is a simply wonderful Green Label original pressing - big, rich and Tubey Magical with excellent transparency and breathy harmony and lead vocals
  • Some of the most tubey and warm acoustic guitar reproduction you could ever ask for - this is the sound of real analog!
  • Ventura Highway sounds amazing here, as does everything else; it's a Demo Disc for acoustic guitars and vocals
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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Super Hot Stamper

Gene Ammons
The Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug

  (Item #: ammongenea_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish for this Moodsville Classic - on fairly quiet vinyl too!
  • These two killer Rudy Van Gelder recordings capture the truly wonderful sound of Ammons' smooth, rich, breathy, bluesy sax
  • We love the reverb RVG placed on the drums here - it's sounds just right for a classic jazz album from the '60s
  • "...the tradition of the tenor ballad was fully defined by Gene Ammons and Ben Webster... this [album] is the source of a tradition. One of the absolute necessities to any jazz collection."
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Gene Ammons - Goodbye

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: ammongoodb_2010) 



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

If you want to know why Gene Ammons is considered one of the greats, skip the jam that starts out side one and go right to the ballad Alone Again (Naturally). Nobody played with more emotion than Gene Ammons.

More recordings engineered by Rudy Van Gelder


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis and the All Stars
The Best of Louis Armstrong

  (Item #: armstbesto_1902_2) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Both sides here are incredibly clean, clear, full-bodied and lively with lots of space around all of the players
  • "The sextet, including veterans Peanuts Hucko on clarinet and Trummy Young on trombone, relaxes into a perfect New Orleans groove, allowing Armstrong to stretch out to especially good effect on the haunting dirge "St. James Infirmary" " - All Music
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
The Essential Louis Armstrong

  (Item #: armstessen_1812) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • With solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout, this original stereo copy will be hard to beat
  • Big, rich, and Tubey Magical, Louis Armstrong has rarely sounded this good on record - we should know, we've played his albums by the score
  • This pressing boasts rich lower mids and nice extension up top, critical to getting the right sound for this vintage recording
  • "... a definitive look at the Louis Armstrong All-Stars in their later years, when Tyree Glenn was on trombone and the group was riding high from the success of "Hello Dolly."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1810_1901) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This outstanding pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime interpretations of The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven
  • Classic Records remastered this title back in their heyday, but if you have any doubts that our Hot Stamper will murder it we encourage you to do the shootout for yourself
  • "Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An insanely good sounding original pressing with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one
  • One of the best copies from our most recent shootout (especially on the first side) - the sound is big, full, lively and spacious
  • Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime interpretations of The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven
  • "Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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Louis Armstrong - I’ve Got The World on a String

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: armstivego_2009) 



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

I first heard this album on the wonderful Classic Records pressing from the '90s. I remember really enjoying the music and liking the sound of Bernie Grundman's remaster very much. We reviewed and recommended the album (along with Under the Stars) in our old paper catalogs.

I have no idea what I would think of their version these days -- well, to be honest I do have some idea of what I would think of it -- but their version is at least good enough to make the case that Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime skills interpreting The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven.

More Louis Armstrong


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Louis Armstrong - I’ve Got The World on a String

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: armstivego_classic_records) 



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


Sonic Grade: B (probably)

I first heard this album on the wonderful Classic Records pressing from the '90s. I remember really enjoying the music and liking the sound of Bernie Grundman's remaster very much. We reviewed and recommended the album (along with Under the Stars) in our old paper catalogs.

More Louis Armstrong


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Super Hot Stamper

The Association
Insight Out

  (Item #: associnsig_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - Windy and Never My Love are simply amazing here - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The Tubey Magical sound, the lively, tight playing by The Wrecking Crew, not to mention some killer Chart Topping '60s pop, make this THE Association record to own
  • With this copy the Sound of the Sixties will fill your room like never before - wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with layers upon layers of depth
  • "The harmonies and choruses are among the most beautifully textured singing in a rock outfit this side of the Beach Boys."
See all of our Association albums in stock


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The Association - Insight Out

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: associnsig_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

The real stars of Windy (and the album itself) are Hal Blaine and Joe Osborne, the famous session drummer/ bass player team from The Wrecking Crew who create the driving force behind these songs. Osborne's web site puts Windy front and center as the first track demonstrating what a top rhythm section can do for a pop song. This whole album can be enjoyed simply for the great drum and bass work, not to mention the sound that both instruments are given by the Master of Tubey Magical Pop Recording, Mr. BONES HOWE.

More of The Association


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Chet Atkins - Class Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: atkinclass_2013) 



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

This RCA original pressing from Nashville, circa 1967, has DEMO DISC quality sound from start to finish, first note to last. Class Guitar is more or less a solo session from 1967, concentrating mostly on classical guitar pieces, with a few pop and jazz hits of the day thrown in for the sake of variety. Chet's good buddy and main man Jerry Reed joins him on rhythm guitar on some tracks. Both sides have plenty to offer the discriminating audiophile, with the spaciousness, clarity, tonality and freedom from artificiality that are the hallmark of the best Living Stereo recordings.

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Chet Atkins - Chet Atkins In Hollywood

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: atkininhol_2007) 



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

This Minty looking RCA Victor LP has an AMAZING SIDE TWO backed with a great side one. Side two is full of the tubey magic that’s missing from the Classic Records version and it has a wonderfully extended top end. Side one lacks some of the top end extension found on side two but the first track has that tubey Nashville sound that we love here at Better Records. The rest of the side is pretty damn good as well.

Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List of Super Discs.

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Super Hot Stamper

Chet Atkins
Teensville

  (Item #: atkinteens_1802_1805) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • Both sides of this original Chet Atkins classic earned excellent Double Plus (A++) grades for sound and play on relatively quiet vinyl
  • This vintage stereo pressing is the first copy to hit the site - we've known this was a great sounding record for a very long time, and now we have a copy to prove it
  • Includes gobs and gobs of 1960 Living Stereo Tubey Magic - the record is just overflowing with it
  • "What shines through is Atkins' understated elegance. All of the numbers are arranged as pop instrumentals and his guitar playing is so tasteful..."
See all of our Chet Atkins albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Average White Band
Average White Band

  (Item #: averaavera_1802) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound from beginning to end on this AWB album, clearly their masterpiece
  • There's not a weak track on the album - if you've forgotten how good this music, here is your chance to get reaquainted
  • "AWB embraced soul and funk with so much conviction that it was clear this was anything but an "average" white band." - Allmusic 4 1/2 Stars
See all of our Soul and R&B albums in stock


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Azimuth, VTA, Anti-Skate and Tracking Weight

We Got to Live Together

  (Item #: Azimuth) 



With a shout out to my man Sly!

In this listing you can find commentary and advice about tonearm azimuth adjustment, Ansermet’s recordings, Speakers Corner 180g pressings, and more.

More of the Best Recordings Made in Victoria Hall


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The B-52's
The B-52's

  (Item #: b-52sb-52s_1806_1903) 

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


  • Amazing Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides of the B-52s classic debut - close to the best copy we played in our recent shootout
  • Listen to the huge, spacious soundstage and amazingly rich, full-bodied and uncolored tonality that earned this recording a place in our Top 100
  • Tubey Magic in 1979? Somehow they managed to pull it off. So dynamic too. What a recording!
  • A New Wave Classic and 5 stars in the All Music Guide: "These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture... was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture... a hell of a good time."
See more of our B-52s albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The B-52's
The B-52's

  (Item #: b-52sb-52s_1901) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one and a side two that's close to it, this vintage pressing has plenty of analog magic in its grooves
  • Tubey Magic in 1979? Somehow they managed to pull it off. So dynamic too. What a recording!
  • A New Wave Classic and 5 stars in the All Music Guide: "These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture... was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture... a hell of a good time."
See more of our B-52s albums in stock


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The B-52s - The B-52s

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: b-52sb-52s_2013) 



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

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES for this amazingly well-recorded album! We think some of you will bo shocked at just how good the sound can be. And you may or may not be surprised at just how FUN the music is! It's sure to be a future member of our Rock and Pop Top 100. (UPDATE: It has officially made the list.)

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JS Bach / Mozart - Two Violin Concertos

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: bach_conce_1129_2011) 



This original plum label Victrola pressing from 1965 has SUPERB sound on both sides. The Bach piece is a rich tapestry of strings spread across the stage and clearly separated left to right. There's not much depth but that seems of little consequence; all the instruments are heard in their proper space and location. The tonality is right on the money throughout.

The Mozart concerto starts out sounding a bit opaque, but about an inch or so into the side it opens up wonderfully, with sweet, spacious, natural sound from there on out. Jaime Laredo plays both works superbly, and the Living Stereo quality sound brings his playing to life in a way that few recordings can.

More of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


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JS Bach / Glenn Gould Plays Bach / Gould

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: bach_parti_2012) 



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

This 3 LP set on the early White Arrows 360 Label has three sides that earned sonic grades of Super Hot or better, with two sides being White Hot and pretty darn amazing for an old Columbia pressing (Columbia being an egregiously bad label when it comes to the sound of their classical records).

This set is highly regarded in classical circles and does not sit in the used record bins for cheap, even in reissue form, which limits our ability to find them and try them. On top of that there are six sides to play for every copy, so if is very unlikely we will be able to find a better copy for you down the road than this one anytime soon. The surfaces are about Mint Minus Minus, not bad for a solo piano record but not exactly quiet either.


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JS Bach / Suites for Solo - Cello Two and Five / Starker (SR90370)

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: bach_suite_2010) 



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

EXCELLENT CELLO REPRODUCTION and MOSTLY QUIET VINYL on side one, where you get Bach's entire Suite No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello. Side two has excellent sound as well but the vinyl is noisy so take this one at a bargain price and hear how wonderful solo cello can sound when recorded and mastered for maximum effect, live in your listening room!

The sound of Starker's cello here is HUMONGOUS -- it'll fill up your room, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling! It's also tonally correct from top to bottom, a quality we heard on NONE of the new Mercury heavy vinyl reissues. The cutting is super low distortion on this later label copy as well. This copy will show you in short order why these Starker Mercury records are so highly prized.


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Super Hot Stamper

Burt Bacharach
Reach Out

  (Item #: bachareach_1810) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • This copy had extension high and low and dynamic power that greatly impressed us
  • Tons of hits - The Look Of Love, Message To Michael, Alfie, What The World Needs Now, I Say A Little Prayer and more
  • Engineering by Phil Ramone (Casino Royale) and Henry Lewy (Sergio Mendes, Joni Mitchell) each doing their own tracks - compare and contrast for yourself
See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Burt Bacharach - Reach Out

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bachareach_wtlf) 



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

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

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

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

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Why Own a Turntable if You're Going to Play Mediocrities Like These?

  (Item #: bad180) 



This commentary was posted in 2007 and amended later with the statement that we would no longer be ordering new heavy vinyl titles starting in 2010. By 2011 we had eliminated them completely from our site. If you bought any Heavy Vinyl pressing from us, ever, now is the time to get rid of it and hear what a Hot Stamper can do for your musical enjoyment.

Three of the Top Five sellers this week (8/22/07) at Acoustic Sounds are records we found hard to like: Aja, Aqualung and Blue. Can you really defend the expense and hassle of analog LP playback with records that sound as mediocre as this Rhino pressing of Blue?


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Good Audio Advice

and Otherwise

  (Item #: badadvice) 



[This is an updated version of a commentary written in 2009.]

The latest Mapleshade catalog (Spring 09) has, along with hundreds of recommendations, this little piece of audio advice that caught my eye:

For much improved bass and huge soundstage, put your listening chair or sofa right against the wall behind you. Move your speakers in to 5’ in front of you and 7’ or more apart. No room treatments will yield this much bass improvement.

I literally had to read through it a couple of times to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating, but every time I read it it still said the same thing, so I know I can’t have been dreaming. This is crazy talk! What the hell is wrong with these people?
More Audio Advice


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Super Hot Stamper

Bad Company
Straight Shooter

  (Item #: badcostrai_1901_1) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • An outstanding copy of Straight Shooter, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you're playing this one good and loud you'll feel like you're in the room with the boys as they kick out the jams
  • Take it from us, it is not easy to find a copy that's right, with size, clarity, balance and energy
  • 4 stars: "Vocalist and songwriter Paul Rodgers wrote two acoustic-based rock ballads that would live on forever in the annals of great rock history: 'Shooting Star' and the Grammy-winning 'Feel Like Makin' Love.'"
See all of our Bad Company albums in stock


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Bad Company - Straight Shooter

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: badcostrai_2009) 



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.

We just finished a shootout for this hard-rockin’ album, our first since way back in January of ’08, and what we were hearing this time around BLEW OUR MINDS. This record got a whole lot better over the course of the last twenty months or so. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the drum sound on this record is the most present, punchy and realistic I have ever heard on a record.

More Bad Company


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White Hot Stamper

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A KILLER copy with stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Rich, clear and lively, with 3-D studio space, this is the band's Masterpiece sounding right
  • On the best copies - like this one - the music just JUMPS out of the speakers
  • 4 1/2 stars: "There's absolutely no filler... everybody is in top form. "Baby Blue" is textbook power-pop — irresistibly catchy fuzz riffs and sighing melodies — and with its Harrison-esque slide guitars, "Day After Day" is so gorgeous it practically aches. This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed."
More Badfinger


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Super Hot Stamper

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A KILLER copy with Double Plus sound (A++) or BETTER on both sides - if you choose to own only one Badfinger album, make it this one
  • Clean, clear and dynamic with real studio space and transparency, this is the way to hear the band's masterpiece - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • The sound here just JUMPS out of the speakers, which is exactly what the best copies of the album are supposed to (but rarely) do
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed."
More Badfinger


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Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_diamo_2014) 



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

The last shootout for this record took place in 2007. It's remembered as not an especially happy affair. We can confidently report that this time around things are sounding a lot better than we expected, with rich, smooth, natural analog sound on the better copies. This is undoubtedly the result of our much better cleaning regimen and the many improvements to the system and room we have made over so many years.

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Joan Baez - Joan Baez

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joanb_2014) 



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

This former member of the TAS list is the kind of recording that has everything going for it: Golden Age equipment in a live acoustic with a simple arrangement for voice and guitar (or two).

The purity and complete freedom from distortion allow the listener to imagine himself, to borrow a phrase, in the Living Presence of the performer. With a record this good it takes no effort whatsoever to suspend disbelief and imagine Joan and her guitar directly in front of you, a command performance if you will.

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Anita Baker - Giving You The Best That I Got

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bakergivin_2013) 



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

This White Hot Stamper Anita Baker LP has an AMAZING A+++ SIDE TWO and a great A+ - A++ side one, both very quiet, giving you excellent sound for this '80s soul classic! We remembered this as a good recording and were still surprised with how good the best copies sounded. All Music Guide gave it four out of five stars, calling it "far superior to most of 1988's uninspired R&B releases."

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Super Hot Stamper

Chet Baker
Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe

  (Item #: bakerplays_1901_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big, rich, smooth, open, natural, with plenty of tight bass - what's not to like? This copy is killin' it
  • Some of the best jazz guys of the day back up Chet on this one: Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams, Bill Evans, Herbie Mann and more
  • "...the timelessness of the melodies, coupled with the assembled backing aggregate, make Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe (1959) a memorable concept album."
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Chet Baker - Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: bakerplays_2017) 



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

This is a wonderful Chet Baker record that doesn't seem to be getting the respect it deserves in the wider jazz world. You may just like it every bit as much as the Chet album, and that is one helluva record to compare any album to, in our estimation about as good as it gets in most respects.

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Super Hot Stamper

Anita Baker
Rapture

  (Item #: bakerraptu_1901_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This quiet-storm classic earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER for sound on both sides and plays on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • Rapture is one of the best sounding recordings from the era - with all due respect to Whitney Houston, if I could only have one album of '80s female vocals, it would have to be this one
  • Key to the sound is richness and Tubey Magic, along with strong midrange presence, and on this Super Hot Stamper you get all three
  • 5 stars: "Rapture gave Baker one moving hit after another, including "Sweet Love," "Caught up in the Rapture," "Same Ole Love," and "No One in This World."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1810_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sonic grades on both sides, this is a great sounding copy of an absolutely essential album
  • Big bass, rich meaty guitars and smooth silky vocals make this a Band album like you have never heard before.
  • Not only is the sound superb, but both sides here play Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as we can find them
  • 5 stars: "The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal..."
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Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Very good Hot Stamper sound is found on both sides of this essential album, on reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • With rich meaty guitars and smooth silky vocals, this is a Band second album that does this music proud
  • 5 stars: "The Band, the group's second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort... The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal..."
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The Band - The Band

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: band_band_depth_) 



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

The best copies have no trace of phony sound from top to bottom. They're raw and real in a way that makes most pop records sound processed and wrong. Our best Hot Stampers have plenty of the qualities we look for in The Band. Energy, presence, transparency, Tubey Magic... you name it -- you will find it there. The biggest strength of this recording is its wonderful, natural midrange. And tons of bass.

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The Band - Music From Big Pink

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: band_music_2012) 



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

This Capitol pressing has some of the best sound we've ever heard for this album! It’s beyond frustrating to try to find great sound for Big Pink -- most copies tend to be an absolute nightmare. The sound is rich, warm, sweet, and full-bodied with exceptional clarity and transparency. There's tons of ambience and you can really hear the sound of the room around the drums. The sound of the organ is AMAZING!

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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Northern Lights - Southern Cross

  (Item #: band_north_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • These sides are bigger, more natural, warmer and more solid than most of the others we played
  • This is The Band's undiscovered gem, containing the most powerful tearjerker they ever wrote: "It Makes No Difference"
  • 4 stars: "...the Band's finest since their self-titled sophomore effort ... "Acadian Driftwood" stands out as one of Robertson's finest compositions, the equal to anything else the Band ever recorded."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Rock Of Ages

  (Item #: band_rocko_1902_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Superb sound throughout with all four sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The best copies are surprisingly TRANSPARENT -- just listen to all the "room" around the vocals on these four sides
  • A classic double live album with a consistently well-arranged and energetically performed set of songs
  • "It could be argued that it captured the spirit of the Band at the time in a way none of their other albums do." -- All Music, 4 stars
  • One of the few copies from our shootout that had no marks that play, a rarity for this title!
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This unusually strong copy of an exceptionally well-recorded classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, 88 Basie Street has got it going on
  • With 18 pieces in the studio this is a real powerhouse - the sound is rich, powerful, dynamic and HUGE
  • 4 stars: "One of Basie's final albums, the very appealing title cut seems to sum up his career, a lightly swinging groove with a strong melody. Two small-group performances with guest Joe Pass on guitar add variety to a particularly strong set."
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Chairman of the Board

  (Item #: basiechair_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of Chairman Of The Board, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget the honky, hard-sounding Roulette originals, and of course the second-rate Classic Records pressing - this reissue is the way to go
  • From first note to last, this copy is big, clear, rich and lively, with huge amounts of space around the band
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This 1958 date for Roulette was a rare chance for the orchestra to perform on its own, and listeners to hear how powerful the band could be when its concentration was undiverted... The record is admittedly heavy on the blues, but it's a brassy, powerful vision of the blues... A dynamic date, it shows the "new testament" edition of Basie's orchestra in top form."
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie And His Orchestra
I Told You So

  (Item #: basieitold_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • A Top Basie Big Band title in every way - musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on!
  • This is the way it must have sounded in 1976, in the New York studios where the famous RCA engineer Bob Simpson was still behind the board
  • 4 stars: "This is one of Count Basie's best big-band studio recordings for Norman Granz during his Pablo years. The arrangements by Bill Holman are both challenging and swinging, containing enough surprises to make this session a real standout."
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