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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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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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Bernard Herrmann - Conducts Jane Eyre And Other Film Scores

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: herrmjanee_2010) 



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

This BEYOND White Hot Stamper Side Two completely blew our minds with Bernard Herrmann orchestral MAGIC. Side two is just OUT OF THIS WORLD. Since side two is where the Three Worlds of Gulliver suite is found -- the very same superbly recorded music that is on Harry's Super Disc List -- you can be sure that is this is some of the best sounding Bernard Herrmann music you will ever have the opportunity to hear, if not THE best. The sound is DEMONSTRATION QUALITY of the HIGHEST ORDER.

See all of our Bernard Herrmann albums in stock


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Bernstein / The Music of Leonard Bernstein / Rogers

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bernsmusic_2012) 



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

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

More of the music of Leonard Bernstein


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Blood, Sweat and Tears

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: bloodblood_2009) 



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

In my opinion this is the BEST SOUNDING rock record ever made. I may be biased by the fact that I like the music so much; nevertheless, on a big stereo a Hot Stamper pressing like the one is nothing less than ASTOUNDING. It has the power of LIVE MUSIC. You don’t find that on a record too often, practically never in fact. I put this record at the top of The Best Sounding Rock Records of All Time List for good reason -- it’s in a class of its own.

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Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills - Super Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bloomsuper_2012) 



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

Possibly the BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD! Neither side suffered from the problems we heard on copy after copy: bright, gritty, spitty, edgy, harsh, upper-midrangy vocals. The Red Labels tend to be worse in this respect, but plenty of original 360 pressings have that sound too. Let's face it: If the vocals are wrong this album pretty much falls apart. Here's a copy that gets the midrange right, along with most everything else, and that puts it way ahead of the pack.

More Al Kooper / More Stephen Stills


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Brewer & Shipley - Tarkio

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: brewetarki_2012) 



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

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

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

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Brewer & Shipley - Weeds

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: breweweeds_2017) 



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

It took two copies on two different labels to give you BETTER than Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the two sides of this 2-pack. These sides were beyond anything we had ever heard, with weight and Tubey Magic to put other records to shame. On the best copies the midrange is amazingly relaxed and natural, yet completely clear and present. This Bay Area Hippie Folk Rock has much in common with classic albums like Workingman's Dead and CSN's first.

See all of our Brewer & Shipley albums in stock


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Carole King - Tapestry

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: king_tapes_2016) 



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

Please note that we do not have a graphic for our chart to indicate the Four Plus grade, since we award it so rarely. Our rating system usually only goes to three pluses, but this side one was so amazing we had to give it a fourth!

This White Hot pressing gives you TRULY KILLER SOUND for this classic album! It's not easy to find great sound for Tapestry. Most pressings are either dull and veiled, or hard and edgy in the midrange -- not exactly the kind of sound we're after.

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Chabrier / Orchestral Music / Ansermet

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: chabrorche_2016) 



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

The Espana side earned our rare and coveted Four Plus (A++++) Sonic Grade - Wow! Monstrous size and dynamic power thanks to the brilliant Decca engineering of Roy Wallace. Without a doubt the most spectacular sound we’ve ever heard from CS 6438.

More of the music of Emmanual Chabrier (1841-1894)


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 4 Way Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosb4ways_2012) 



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

If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this copy will let you do it. It's not easy to find good sound on even one side of this album, let alone all four!

See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Four Plus Side Two from 2016

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame

We award this copy's side two our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea could even exist. We estimate that less than one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

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David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name...

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: crosbifico_2016) 



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

BEYOND TRIPLE TRIPLE! This Top Copy had a side one that blew us away enough to earn FOUR Pluses!

Here it is, folks... a TRUE ROCK DEMO DISC! A White Hot Stamper copy such as this will show you why we've long considered it one of the All Time Top Ten Rock Albums for Sound and Music. You will not believe how Tubey Magical and three-dimensional this album can be when you have a pressing with this kind of sound. The harmonic complexity and extension on the acoustic guitars are absolutely stunning!

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Dick Schory - Music for Bang, Baa-room and Harp

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: schorbangb_2016) 



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

This one is absolutely As Good As It Gets on side one. It's a real treat to hear such a crazy assortment of percussion instruments with this kind of amazingly clear, high-resolution sound! It's just bigger, richer and clearer than any side we can remember playing.

See all of our Dick Schory albums in stock


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Dire Straits - Dire Straits

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: diresdires_2011) 



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

The best side one we've ever heard, so freakishly impressive that we awarded it the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade! On top of that, side two earned an A++ grade and the vinyl plays unusually quietly -- solid Mint Minus throughout. This is probably the best Dire Straits album (certainly our favorite) and definitely their best sounding album; on a copy like this one it has the power to BLOW YOUR MIND. Water Of Love, Down To The Waterline and Six Blade Knife are all STUNNING on this pressing.

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Eagles - Eagles

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: eagleeagle_2011) 



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

A WHITE HOT side one that was so darn good, we had to break our own rules and give it FOUR BIG PLUSES -- A++++! This side one is a DEMO DISC like you will not believe. When the big chorus comes in on Take It Easy -- one of the toughest tests for side one -- you will be amazed by how energetic and downright GLORIOUS these boys can sound. Believe us when we tell you, it's the rare copy that can pass that test.

More of the Eagles' first album


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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. One of These Nights, Too Many Hands and Hollywood Waltz will blow your mind on this side one.

More by The Eagles


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Earth, Wind & Fire - That’s The Way of the World

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: earththats_2011) 



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

This BEYOND White Hot Stamper Two Pack has AMAZING SOUND for both sides, which makes it BY FAR the best copy that has ever hit the site! Side two (of record two) earned our highest and rarest grade, A++++. It went beyond any side of any copy we have ever played. When you hear "Reason" on this side you will be floored at how well recorded it is. Think about it: How many people on the planet have ever heard it sound this good? We hadn't until this copy came our way, and we've been playing the record since the '70s!

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Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: john_tumbl_2015) 



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

A side two for the ages -- it beat our best Ref Copy to earn a Four Plus (A++++) grade. Both sides are stunning with superb Demo Quality sound: huge, rich, spacious, dynamic and lively. An incredible recording and longtime member of our Top 100 -- our pick for Elton's very best music and sound.

More Elton John


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Elvis Costello - Armed Forces

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: costearmed_2009) 



This White Hot Stamper side one was HEAD AND SHOULDERS better than ANY side of ANY other copy we played. We are awarding it our very special "Four Plus" A++++ grade; the sound goes beyond anything we've heard before. It's also one of less than two dozen such records to ever hit the site.

At this point we've easily done more than a thousand Hot Stamper listings, so we are talking in the range of the top one or two percent for sound. Most audiophiles will go their whole lives without hearing a rock record sound this good, considering the tens of thousands of records we've had to buy, clean and play to find the handful of OFF THE CHARTS copies we've reviewed.

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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: costemyaim_2016) 



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

STUNNING! This insanely good pressing earned the rare FOUR PLUS (A++++) grade on side one -- it's OFF THE CHARTS! Side two is incredible as well, earning our standard top grade of Triple Plus (A+++) The sound is incredibly lively, punchy, and powerful; with all due respect, it should MURDER whatever copies you may have. Relatively quiet for this album, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides.

More Elvis Costello


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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: emerstrilo_2008) 



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

This British Island Sunray LP has THE BEST SOUND WE’VE EVER HEARD for this album; it ranks right up there with the best sounding copies of the first album, a Top 100 Demo Disc! From The Beginning has the kind of analog magic that made it a staple in practically every stereo store I walked into throughout the '70s. (Even if the crappy speakers they were demonstrating didn't have much bass, this record had the kind of bottom end that would make you think they did.)

See all of our Emerson, Lake and Palmer albums in stock


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Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: fleetrumou_2010) 



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

White Hot Stampers for Rumours with UNBELIEVABLY GOOD SOUND (and quiet vinyl) FROM START TO FINISH! Folks, if you’re looking for a Demo Quality version of one of the most beloved pop albums of all time, this is the record for you! Side one was so darned good that we had to bust out the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade, and side two is just about as amazing. It certainly ain’t a cheap record, but it’s beyond difficult to find copies of this classic with two sides that sound like this and play quietly. Trust us, we’ve been trying for years and have only come up with a small handful of copies that could even come close to this one.

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Gerry Rafferty - City To City

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: raffecityt_2012) 



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

This Gerry Rafferty White Hot Stamper LP has THE BEST SIDE ONE WE'VE EVER HEARD. So good in fact that we had to go above and beyond our usual top grade of three pluses and award this amazing copy a huge A++++! It's guaranteed to put to shame any UK import you may have. Since those are the only pressings with any hope of sounding good, it simply means that we are very confident in the sound of this copy.

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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!

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Heart - Little Queen

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: heartlittl_2015) 



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.

This is a Classic Rock Demo Disc to beat practically anything you could throw at it. Love Alive and Barracuda on this copy will deliver the full Rock and Roll Power of your system. If you've got The Big Sound, this is the record that will truly show it off.

Even though our graphic scale only goes to three pluses, you'll know the Four Plus sound on this side one the moment you hear it.

More Little Queen


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Holst / The Planets / Previn / LSO

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: holstplane_emi_2013) 



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

This Beyond White Hot Stamper Planets has Out Of This World sound on side two, where it earned a Four Plus sonic grade for its MINDBLOWING orchestral power, especially from the brass section, a subject we discuss at length below.

This is some of the best sound I have ever heard coming out of my two speakers, if not THE best. Side two of this very copy takes the recording to a level we had no idea was possible. Out of the fifty or so copies of The Planets we've played in the last decade or so, this is without a doubt the best side two of them all.

More of the music of Gustav Holst


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Jackson Browne - The Pretender

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: brownprete_2015) 



Amazing A++++ (Four Plus) sound, so good we rated it beyond our usual top grade of Triple Plus. Without a doubt it's the best sounding Jackson Browne record ever made, and this copy backs up everything we say and more.

Side one was super transparent, with breathy, present vocals. What really blew us away on this one is the sheer size and openness of the soundfield. We were so impressed that we went beyond our usual top grade of A+++, something we rarely do. But when a copy like this comes along and sets a new standard for an album's sonic potential, there's nothing else we CAN do!

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James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: taylodadlo_2011) 



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

This Hot Stamper original Columbia is THE KING, the Best Sounding Copy we have ever played -- the sound was OUT OF THIS WORLD! In fact, side two went so far beyond what we've come to expect from this album that we had to award it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade.

The soundstage and depth on our Hot Stamper copies is HUGE -- this is without a doubt the most spacious recording by James Taylor we've ever heard. If you want your speakers to disappear, replaced by a huge studio full of musicians playing their hearts out, this is the album that can do it.

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Janis Joplin - Pearl

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: joplipearl_2011) 



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

TWO EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD SIDES make this the best sounding copy of Pearl to ever hit the site! Folks, if you're a fan of this album this is THE copy to own, with an A+++ side one and a side two that was amazing enough to make us break out the rare A++++ grade. All of the elements are clearly on display here, giving you everything you ever wanted from Janis and then some!

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Jellyfish - Bellybutton

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: jellybelly_2012) 



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.

One of the very best copies we've ever heard! Both sides earned top honors in our shootout, with side one even surpassing our reference copy to earn a "Four Plus" A++++ grade. It goes far beyond anything we've heard before.

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: jethraqual_2013) 



This Original Reprise Aqualung has a STUNNING Beyond WHITE HOT side two that just may have the best sound we've ever heard for the album. It will absolutely MURDER the British Originals and make mincemeat out of any reissue! Folks, for hard rockin’, Tubey Magical, psychedelic early ’70s analog, it just does not get any better. Here's a knockout copy that will bring the power of Aqualung to life right in your very own listening room.

Keep in mind that most copies of Aqualung do almost nothing right. In fact, in one of our recent shootouts we didn't find a single copy worthy of a three-plus grade. This one was so impressive, we felt that A+++ was not enough. No, Three Pluses won't do for an Aqualung that sounds this good.

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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: jethrthick_2012) 



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

This A++++ Beyond White Hot Stamper copy of Thick As A Brick has the best side one we have ever heard! This copy is operating at A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL.

Side one has HUGE, room-filling, hi-definition sound, with levels of Tubey Magic one would simply never expect to hear coming from a run-of-the-mill domestic Reprise pressing such as this. But here they are; there's no denying the transparency, size and rock and roll energy of this mind-boggling side one. It's truly a Demo Disc of the highest order.

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Joni Mitchell - Wild Things Run Fast

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: mitchwildt_2013) 



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

One of our favorite Joni Mitchell albums. A Desert Island disc for me & one of the few good reasons to listen to new music in the '80s. I think it's one of Joni's masterpieces. (One is only supposed to be allotted one masterpiece, but considering all the stylistic changes she's been through, she's earned the right to have as many as she likes. I count at least three so far and perhaps there will be more coming down the road, although I very much doubt it.)

More Joni Mitchell


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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What a Record!

  (Item #: londojulieis_2016) 



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

We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a given recording to a level we've never experienced before and had no idea could even exist. We estimate that about one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

More Julie London


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Laurindo Almeida - Virtuoso Guitar

An Awesome Direct to Disc Copy

  (Item #: almeivirtu_2011) 



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

Virtuoso Guitar is yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This White Hot Crystal Clear 45 RPM Direct-to-Disc fulfills the promise of both the direct to disc recording medium AND the 45 RPM cutting speed so much in vogue these days. We had a big pile of these pressings to play through. When we came upon this one halfway through our shootout, it was so big, so clear, so dynamic, so energetic, so extended on the top and bottom, we almost could not believe what we were hearing especially compared to the others copies we played.


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Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ledzehouse_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.

A TRULY STUNNING COPY of this classic album! Both sides here are rich, warm and full-bodied with tons of energy and presence. It just doesn't get much better than this, folks! We gave side two a Four Plus grade -- note that we don't even have a graphic for that! -- and side one was also very strong.

More Houses of the Holy


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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: ledze1_2014) 



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.

It's hard to imagine any copy beating this one! The vinyl is Mint Minus throughout, and the sound is INSANELY GOOD! The chances of finding these surfaces with this sound -- we'll let you do the math. If you're a fan of this album - and who isn't - this is the copy you want. Side one blew our minds and earned a grade of A++++!

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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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Little Feat - Hoy-Hoy

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: littlhoyho_2011) 



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

This Warner Brothers Double LP is one of the all time TOP Little Feat albums and a longtime personal favorite. Three out of the four sides here are White Hot, as good as it gets -- A+++, and the fourth is just a half plus behind at A++1/2. It's been a very long time since a double album made it to our site with grades like these -- 11 1/2 pluses out of 12!

And side three was so good I noted that it might as well be A++++ -- no other side of the ten copies we played could touch it, not even the three other ones here. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (Live) is a real Demo Disc Quality track.

More Little Feat


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Miles Davis - Basic Miles

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: davisbasic_2018) 



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

We award this copy's side two our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea even existed.

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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Our A++++ Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: daviskindo_2013) 



This Shootout Champion and Hall Of Fame pressing has TWO AMAZING SIDES. Side one was so mindblowingly good that we awarded it our extra-special Four Plus (A++++) rating, and side two was almost as good, earning our standard top grade of A+++! This is one of the very best copies we've ever heard, and we have literally played more than a HUNDRED copies of this album over just the last five years.
More Miles Davis / More John Coltrane / More Bill Evans


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Paul McCartney and Wings - At the Speed of Sound

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mccaratthe_2016) 



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

This is a classic case of Live and Learn. We were wrong about At the Speed of Sound as a recording. As to whether or not there are great sounding pressings of it, having just done a big shootout for the album in 2016 we now know there most certainly are.

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Pink Floyd - Meddle

Hottest Side One We Had Ever Heard Back in 2007

  (Item #: pinkfmeddl_2007) 



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

This Harvest Green Lable British Import pressing has a side one that goes FAR beyond anything we’ve ever heard for this album. We had no choice but to award this side one the very rare A with FOUR pluses A++++. We’ve never given any side of any other Pink Floyd record such a high grade, so you can be sure that you’ve never heard them sound this amazing!

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Rimsky-Korsakov / Capriccio Espagnol / Black / London Fest.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rimskcapri_black_2013) 



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

AN AMAZING A++++ SIDE TWO, presenting the complete work by Rimsky-Korsakov. The Capriccio Espagnol here is one of THE BEST on record. Not only does it have incredibly powerful DEMO DISC sound, but the performance is superb on every level as well. The energy and excitement of the piece are brought to life by Stanley Black and the London Festival Orchestra like no other you have ever heard.

More of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)


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Rimsky-Korsakov / Scheherazade / Ansermet / Suisse Romande

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: rimskscheh_6212_2015) 



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

We did a monster shootout for this music in 2014, one we had been planning for more than two years. On hand were quite a few copies of the Reiner on RCA; the Ansermet on London (CS 6212, his second stereo recording, from 1961, not the earlier and noticeably poorer sounding recording from in 1959); the Ormandy on Columbia, and a few others we felt had shown potential.

The only recordings that held up all the way through -- the fourth movement being THE Ball Breaker of all time, for both the engineers and musicians -- were those by Reiner and Ansermet.

More music conducted by Ernst Ansermet (1883-1969)


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Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: stewaevery_2016) 



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.

A knockout Top Copy, with a side one so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied and open with excellent clarity -- you will be FLOORED.

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Santana - Inner Secrets

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: santainner_2011) 



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.

The sound went so far beyond our expectations, so far beyond even the White Hot Stamper pressing we discovered in this shootout, that we had to throw on another plus if the grading was to make any sense at all.

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Sergio Mendes - Stillness

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: mendestill_2013) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES, including a BETTER THAN WHITE HOT A++++ SIDE TWO! That's right folks, four pluses! This is an incredibly well-recorded album -- a member of our Top 100, in fact -- but the typical copy just can't bring it to life the way our Hot Stampers can. At its best, the soundfield itself has a three-dimensional quality that will absolutely blow you away.

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Steely Dan - Katy Lied

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: steelkatyl_2010) 



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

This White Hot Stamper side one is an ABSOLUTE KNOCKOUT. Even our usual top grade of A Triple Plus was not enough to tell the story, so we awarded this side one the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is HUGE -- big, bold, dynamic, and lively. The clarity and transparency exceeded all our expectations; we felt as if we were hearing every last Steely Dan-sweated detail. The overall sound is natural, relaxed, and musical. The highs are as sweet as they come (which is not as sweet as they should have been, more about that later) and the bottom end has the weight and punch this music needs to rock.

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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: steelpretz_2011) 



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.

This BEYOND White Hot side one (A++++) has nothing less than MASTER TAPE SOUND. Our Four Plus ranking is rare enough, but in this case it has the added benefit of conferring upon this very pressing the status of the BEST SOUNDING STEELY DAN RECORDING we have ever heard.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky Is Crying

Beyond White Hot Stamper Sound

  (Item #: vaughskyis_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another record that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

Little Wing ROCKS AS HARD on this Four Plus pressing as any song we have ever heard, with DEMO DISC SOUND to rival the greatest rock records of all time.

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Stevie Wonder - Innervisions

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: wondeinner_2008) 



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

WHITE HOT STAMPERS FOR INNERVISIONS FINALLY DISCOVERED! After struggling through multiple stalled shootouts, we’ve finally unearthed copies of this wonderful album that have the sound we’ve been waiting for. We’ve gone through SCORES of pressings in the hope that one day we'd find a copy like this -- with two Demo Quality sides, and fairly quiet vinyl, it's our first ever White Hot Stamper for Stevie Wonder's Innervisions.

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Stravinsky / The Rite of Spring / Monteux / Paris Con.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: stravriteo_2085_2013) 



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

The ULTIMATE Rite of Spring has arrived. This early pressing takes the sound of the recording to a place we never thought it could go. With Four Pluses (A++++) it's more than a full grade better than any copy to ever make it to the site. After hearing this copy we had to lower the grade on our supposedly White Hot (but too noisy to sell) reference LP.

The space and dynamic power of the sound of this side one were something we had never heard before on Stravinsky's groundbreaking work. Lush when quiet, clear and undistorted when loud, not one Rite of Spring in a hundred can do what this record can!

More of the music of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 / Marche Slave and More / Alwyn

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: tchai1812o_decca_2015) 



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

A BEYOND White Hot Quadruple Plus side one - hear Tchaicovsky's 1812 in Demo Disc sound. This is the most exciting and beautifully played 1812 we know of, with the best sound ever to boot on this copy. This is an exceptional Decca remastering of a superb Golden Age recording on very good vinyl.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Capriccio Italien / Black

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tchaicapri_21004_2013) 



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

The Capriccio Espagnol here is one of THE BEST on record. Not only does it have incredibly powerful DEMO DISC sound, but the performance is superb on every level as well. The energy and excitement of the piece are brought to life by Stanley Black and the London Festival Orchestra like no other you have ever heard.

This beyond White Hot Stamper may make you reevaluate virtually every classical recording in your collection. The energy, size, scope and immediacy found on this Four Plus copy is easily superior to that of any other recording of the work we have ever heard!

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Tchaikovsky / Concerto for Violin & Orchestra / Oistrakh

Not Too Big to Fail

  (Item #: tchaivioli_mhs_wtlf) 



Side two of this copy from our 2016 shootout provides a clear example of the effect known as the "The Violin That Ate Cincinatti."

Yes, it may be oversized, but it's so REAL and IMMEDIATE and harmonically correct in every way that we felt more than justified in ignoring the fact that the instrument could never sound in the concert hall the way it does here -- unless you were actually playing it (and even then I doubt if it would be precisely the same sound -- big, but surely quite different).

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: beatlahard_2012) 



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

The best side one we've ever heard! Side one was so amazing, clearly a step up over any side of any other copy we played, that we felt obligated to award it our "Four Plus" (A++++) grade. Out of the thousands of Hot Stampers we've listed over the years, about twenty have earned Four Pluses on any side. That alone makes this a very special copy indeed.

And side two was right up there with the best we played this time around as well, finishing in second place with a grade of A++ to A+++. Both sides are so RICH and TUBEY MAGICAL you will not believe this is the same A Hard Day's Night that has always sounded so hard, harsh and aggressive.

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The Beatles - Let It Be

Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlletit_2013) 



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

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

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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: beatlmagic_2007) 



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

THE BEST SOUNDING MMT EVER! Hot Stamper copies of this album are a regular feature on this site, but we’ve NEVER heard one like this -- on EITHER side! We had no choice but to award this album the very rare grade of A++++ (Four Pluses!) on both sides.

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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_2013) 



We are calling this White Hot Stamper 2-pack set THE ULTIMATE SGT. PEPPERS EXPERIENCE. These two sides give you EVERYTHING you could ask for from this album. Side one earned the rare Four Plus A++++ grade and side two was a killer A+++; both sides play a very quiet Mint Minus throughout. The sound is so big and rich throughout that we would be very surprised, shocked even, if you've ever imagined that Sgt. Pepper could sound this powerful and REAL.
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The Three - The Three (45 RPM)

Our Four Plus Copy from 2013

  (Item #: threethree_45_2013) 



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

We had six (yes, six!) of these 45 RPM pressings (and five Inner City's and a couple of Eastwind 33's -- it was a big shootout), and this side one had the most ENERGY of any of them. This is a quality no one seems to be writing about, other than us of course, but what could possibly be more important? On this record, it took the performances of the players to a level beyond all expectations.

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - You’re Gonna Get It!

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: pettyyoure_2011) 



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

This Minty looking Shelter original LP has THE TWO BEST SOUNDING SIDES we have ever heard for this album! It’s a freak in the world of Tom Petty records, which tend to have NO good sounding sides. And this is the band’s MASTERPIECE to boot, with four or five of their best and Hardest Rockin' songs. Both sides come flyin' out of the gate with uptempo straight ahead rockers that have the Big Sound we go crazy for here at Better Records. Side one was so unbelievable that we had to award it the rare Four Plus (A++++) rating.

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Tom Petty - Damn the Torpedoes

The Best Sounding Heartbreakers Album We've Ever Played

  (Item #: pettydamnt_2015) 



Damn the Torpedoes is the best sounding Tom Petty album we have ever played.

Credit must go to SHELLY YAKUS, someone who we freely admit, now with a sense of embarrassment, has never been one of our favorite engineers. After hearing this beyond-White Hot Stamper side two and a killer copy of Animal Notes we realize that we have seriously underestimated the man, and for that we deeply apologize.

If your Damn the Torpedoes doesn't sound good (and it probably doesn't), you sure can't blame him -- the master tape is mind-boggling in its size, weight, power and rock n' roll energy.

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Traffic - The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: trafflowsp_2008) 



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

HOLY COW! Side one of this British Island Sunray pressing BLEW THE DOORS off the competition in our big shootout. It took the music to an entirely new level for us, so we awarded it the very rare grade of A++++ -- that’s four pluses, my man!

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Outliers & Out-of-This-World Sound

  (Item #: bloodblood_outlier) 



A while back we did a monster-sized shootout for Blood, Sweat and Tears’ second release, an album we consider THE Best Sounding Rock Record of All Time. In the midst of the discussion of a particular pressing that completely blew our minds -- a copy we gave a Hot Stamper grade of A with Four Pluses , the highest honor we can bestow upon it -- various issues arose, issues such as: How did this copy get to be so good? and What does it take to find such a copy? and, to paraphrase David Byrne, How did it get here?
Thinking About Hot Stampers


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