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White Hot Stamper

Love
Da Capo

  (Item #: love_dacap_2004) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish and one of the few White Hot copies to ever make it to the site
  • The recording quality here is big, rich and Tubey Magical, with lovely breathy vocals and a massive bottom end - thanks Bruce Botnick!
  • "... a truly classic body of work, highlighted by the atomic blast of pre-punk rock "7 and 7 Is" (their only hit single), the manic jazz tempos of "Stephanie Knows Who," and the enchanting "She Comes in Colors," perhaps Lee's best composition (and reportedly the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow")."
More Love


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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Out of Our Heads

  (Item #: rollioutof_1906_8_12_03) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This is one of the best copies to ever hit the site, as good as we've ever heard, Triple Plus (A+++) on both sides and fairly quiet vinyl
  • These British sides impressed us with their Tubey Magical, fairly natural sound
  • With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sonics, but this is as good as it gets as far as we know
  • 4 1/2 stars: "In 1965, the Stones finally proved themselves capable of writing classic rock singles that mined their R&B/blues roots, but updated them into a more guitar-based, thoroughly contemporary context. The first enduring Jagger-Richards classics are here..."
See all of our Rolling Stones albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Love
Da Capo

  (Item #: love_dacap_2002_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this early Gold Label stereo pressing is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other Love album you've heard - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1967 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy will do the trick, thanks to the superb engineering skills of Bruce Botnick
  • "... a truly classic body of work, highlighted by the atomic blast of pre-punk rock "7 and 7 Is" (their only hit single), the manic jazz tempos of "Stephanie Knows Who," and the enchanting "She Comes in Colors," perhaps Lee's best composition (and reportedly the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow")."
More Love


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_2003) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This stunning copy offers insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first
  • Huge, rich and energetic, this pressing brings the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to life like nothing you have ever heard (or your money back)
  • The two exclusive tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both have excellent sound here
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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White Hot Stamper

The Lovin' Spoonful
John Sebastian Songbook, Vol. 1

  (Item #: lovinjohns_2003) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides, the sound quality of the tracks on this compilation is impressive
  • Both sides are rich, full-bodied, Tubey Magical, and natural with a solid bottom end - no sign of radio EQ to be found
  • Features most of the band's best songs, including Do You Believe In Magic, You Didn't Have To Be So Nice, Six O'clock and Nashville Cats (a personal fave)
  • The Allmusic critic is not too crazy about this album, but the User Rating is 4 1/2 stars, which we think is about right
More of The Lovin' Spoonful


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_2004) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This stunning copy offers exceptionally good Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second
  • The two tracks exclusive to this album, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both have Demo Disc quality sound on this killer side one
  • Huge, rich and energetic, this pressing brings the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to life like nothing you have ever heard
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_2001) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This stunning copy offers exceptionally good Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second
  • The two tracks exclusive to this album, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both have Demo Disc quality sound on this killer side one
  • Huge, rich and energetic, this pressing brings the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to life like nothing you have ever heard
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Super Hot Stamper

Jefferson Airplane
Surrealistic Pillow

  (Item #: jeffesurre_1912) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding stereo copy of the band's sophomore release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last
  • It's the rare copy of this '60s Psych Classic that has this kind of freedom from distortion, as well as clarity, openness, and spaciousness
  • An incredibly difficult album to find with audiophile sound, but this copy has the goods and will beat whatever you throw at it
  • 5 stars: "Every song is a perfectly cut diamond ... a groundbreaking piece of folk-rock-based psychedelia that hit — literally — like a shot heard round the world..."
See all of our Jefferson Airplane albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
Out of Our Heads

  (Item #: rollioutof_2005) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, you will have a very hard time finding better sound for this album - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • These British sides certainly impressed us - they're spacious, full-bodied, had great bass and the midrange presence puts Mick front and center
  • With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sound, but this, folks, is about as good as it gets as far as we know
  • 4 1/2 stars: "In 1965, the Stones finally proved themselves capable of writing classic rock singles that mined their R&B/blues roots, but updated them into a more guitar-based, thoroughly contemporary context. The first enduring Jagger-Richards classics are here..."
More Rolling Stones


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
Between The Buttons

  (Item #: rollibetwe_1906_12) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An outstanding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - one of the better copies from our recent shootout, and pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • This is classic '60s Stones sound, courtesy of Dave Hassinger, working in L.A. (RCA) and London (Olympic + Pye)
  • If you're looking for the ideal combination of Tubey Magical richness and transparency, this British Decca LP in stereo is one of the few that will show it to you
  • 5 Stars - Richie Unterberger hailed it as one of the Rolling Stones' "strongest, most eclectic LPs" and, according to Robert Christgau, Between the Buttons was "among the greatest rock albums."
See all of our Rolling Stones albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (quiet vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
Aftermath

  (Item #: rolliafter_1909_01) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Both sides of this copy are outstanding, earning Double Plus (A++) grades for their Tubey Magical '60s British sound - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Lady Jane, Under My Thumb and Mother's Little Helper are three of the best sounding tracks on side one - all are lively and solid here
  • 5 stars: "... the group began incorporating the influences of psychedelia and Dylan into their material with classics like "Paint It Black," an eerily insistent number one hit graced by some of the best use of sitar (played by Brian Jones) on a rock record. Other classics included the jazzy "Under My Thumb," where Jones added exotic accents with his vibes, and the delicate Elizabethan ballad "Lady Jane," where dulcimer can be heard..."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1902_8_01) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this outstanding pressing of The Stones' 1964 release - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - the UK LPs are the only way to fly on the Stones' debut
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones
  • "The Stones’ debut knocked The Beatles from the chart summit… They were on their way." - BBC Review
More Rolling Stones


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Super Hot Stamper

Little Feat
The Last Record Album

  (Item #: littllastr_1912) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or better on both sides - this is the best studio album the band ever recorded - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The drums are rich and fat and deliciously ANALOG, a perfect match for the sound of the album as a whole
  • Consistently strong songwriting with dramatically more emotionally powerful tracks than their other releases
  • Features great songs like All That You Dream, Long Distance Love, Mercenary Territory and more
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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
No. 2

  (Item #: rollino2_1812_4_9_12) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This vintage Decca pressing has outstanding sound - both sides did very well in our recent shootout, earning Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This Mono pressing (made from the mono tapes) will show you the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones
  • Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides - here's the midrange magic that’s surely missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "...[No. 2 includes] one of the group's best blues covers, their version of Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied," which wasn't released in America until 1973 and features some killer slide playing by Brian Jones."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1912) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this outstanding pressing of The Stones' 1964 release
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness and presence on this copy than others you've heard, and that's especially true for whatever godawful Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently being foisted on an unsuspecting record buying public
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones
  • "The Stones’ debut knocked The Beatles from the chart summit… They were on their way." - BBC Review
More Rolling Stones


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Super Hot Stamper

Astrud Gilberto
The Astrud Gilberto Album

  (Item #: gilbeastru_1912ex) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides or close to them, this Van Gelder mastered copy was one of the best we played in our shootout (but the vinyl is iffy at best)
  • The sound here has real texture to the strings and breath to the vocals, key elements if this music is going to work
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The Astrud Gilberto Album was at least as good as Getz/Gilberto (despite what jazz fans say), for several reasons. Gilberto sounded beautiful on a range of material, from the sentimental "Dindi" to the playful "Agua de Beber," and as long as intelligent musicians were playing to her strengths (as they do here), the results were splendid."
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Astrud Gilberto - The Astrud Gilberto Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: gilbeastru_2011) 



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

This Minty looking Verve LP has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. It’s airy, open and spacious with a big wide soundfield and excellent clarity. The sound is smooth and sweet with wonderfully textured strings and a killer top end. Sonically this copy is Right On The Money (ROTM) and I can’t imagine it sounding a whole lot better than it does here.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Nice enough I suppose, but where’s the Midrange Magic?

The Classic 180g version was a revelation when it came out years ago. Bernie actually cut it pretty darn right. However, his mastering chain cannot compete with the one used on the best original pressings.

The evidence for this is overwhelming. There simply is no Bernie-Grundman-cut record that is the equal of the best pressings not cut on his current chain that I have heard over the years. (His old cutting system, the one that cut Stardust and Blue and much of the Contemporary catalog, was KILLER. Wonder what happened to it?)

See more of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's albums


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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Crosby, Stills & Nash's first album.

Although millions of copies of this album were sold, so few were mastered and pressed well, and so many mastered and pressed poorly, that few copies actually make it to the site as Hot Stampers. We wish that were not the case -- we love the album -- but the copies we know to have the potential for Hot Stamper sound are just not sitting around in the record bins these days.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Critical Listening Exercise (WTLF)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_test) 



This commentary from an older Hot Stamper listing for CSN’s debut makes note of some specific qualities in the recording that are a good test for midrange transparency and naturalness.

What’s magical about Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)?

Their voices of course. It’s not a trick question. They revolutionized rock music with their genius for harmony. Any good pressing must sound correct on their voices or it has no value whatsoever. A CSN record with bad midrange -- like most of them -- is a worthless record.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbsofar_depth) 



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

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

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosbsofar_2012) 



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

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

The killer sides here sound like they are made from the MASTER TAPE. They trounced any and all comers during the shootout. No other copies earned Three Pluses, only these two.

More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Dave Hassinger

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: alldave_hassinger) 



DAVE HASSINGER is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Dave Hassinger engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

"'Satisfaction' was [mixed] on four tracks," Hassinger recalls. "That was a big thing." He adds:

"When I first arrived at RCA there were three tracks. When it went to four tracks we were all thinking. What are we going to do with the extra track?"

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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Detail on Crosby Stills and Nash’s First Album

Holy Grail or Audio Trap?

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_detail) 



Detail may be the Holy Grail to most audiophiles, but detail can be a trap we all too easily fall into if we are not careful. Tonal balance is the key. Without it no judgments about detail have any real value.

One example: As good as the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressing is, the guitar at the opening of Helplessly Hoping tells you everything you need to know about what’s missing. The guitar on the Hot Stamper domestic copies has a transparency that cannot be found on Classic’s version. The Classic gets the tonal balance right, but their guitar doesn’t have the subtlety and harmonic resolution of the real thing.

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Franck / Piano Quintette & Brahms / Heifetz, Piatigorsky et al.

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: francpiano_2739_2013) 



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

A stellar reading of the Franck from this formidable group. Side one of this Shaded Dog is Super Hot: rich, smooth and sweet. The piano is exceptionally well-recorded, with real weight. The Brahms is very good if you can reverse your polarity.

See all pressings of Franck's music in stock
See all pressings of Brahms' music in stock


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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow (Mono)

Sundazed Reviewed

  (Item #: jeffesurre_debunk_sundazed) 



Sonic Grade: C-

Back around 2000 I spent a fair amount of time comparing this pressing with both an RCA 1S Black Label original, two different RCA Orange Label reissues, and the DCC 180 gram pressing. To make a long story short, if you're willing to buy this record for the songs that really sound amazing on it, like "Today", then you should try one.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

Do the Choruses of She Has Funny Cars Hold Up?

  (Item #: jeffesurre_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Before we get into the sound of Surrealistic Pillow, I'd like to point out that Hot Stampers for this title -- and the shootouts that allow us to find them -- are becoming increasingly rare. I'd be surprised if we can even find enough clean copies to play once a year nowadays. As unfortunate as it may be it is nevertheless a reality. With clean Led Zeppelin RL pressings frequently commanding $1000 and up on ebay, you can be pretty sure we won't have many of those to sell you in the months and years to come either.

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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: jeffesurre_2009) 



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

An OFF THE CHARTS side one with more tubey magic than you probably ever imagined! We always have fun playing a great copy of the psychedelic ’60s masterpiece, because the sound gives you so many of the qualities we love about good ol’ analog. No one’s recording albums any more with this kind of richness, sweetness, and warmth, that’s for sure! Drop the needle on My Best Friend or Today to hear that trippy Sixties San Francisco sound at its best.

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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

We Found a Good Sounding Orange Label Pressing

  (Item #: jeffesurre_2010) 



This QUIET orange label (!) pressing has surprisingly good sound, some of the best sound we have ever heard for that more-often-than-not dismal second label in fact. It actually beat a few of our black label originals, with more tubey magic and less distortion and harshness than we expect from these later pressings.

We always have fun playing this psychedelic ’60s masterpiece. The sound -- problematical as it may be -- gives you so many of the qualities we love about good ol’ analog. No one’s recording albums these days with this kind of richness, sweetness, and warmth, that’s for sure. Drop the needle on My Best Friend or Today to hear that trippy Sixties San Francisco sound at its best.

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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

What to Listen For

  (Item #: jeffesurre_wtlf) 



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

The best copies of Surrealistic Pillow have three things in common.

1) Low Distortion, 2) Driving Rock and Roll Energy and 3) Plenty of Tubey Magic.

It's the exceedingly rare copy that has all three. The more of each of these qualities any given pressing has, the higher the sonic grades we will award it.

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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

DCC Debunked

  (Item #: jeffesurre_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Sour and opaque, a major disappointment. You can do worse -- hence the D -- but why would you? Just keep buying clean early stereo pressings until you find a good one. The DCC is not worth the vinyl it's pressed on.

A Hall of Shame pressing and another DCC LP debunked.

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Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: ronstheart_2011) 



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

This original Capitol Orange Label LP has TWO SUPERB sides, with side two earning our top grade of A+++ for its White Hot sound! And side one was nearly as good at A++ to A+++. These are the highest grades we are awarding to any copy on the site, folks. It doesn't get any better. The sound is uncharacteristically smooth, sweet, clear and Tubey Magical, light years from the grungy grit and grain that plagues most copies of Heart Like a Wheel.

Things are different since our last big shootout back in 2009. We learned a lot about the record and have added plenty of new commentary to back it up. If you're a fan check it out.

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Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: ronstheart_depth) 



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

A key test on either side was to listen to all the multi-tracked guitars and see how easy it was to separate each of them out in the mix. Most of the time they are just one big jangly blur. The best copies let you hear how many guitars there are and what each of them is doing.

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Little Feat - The Last Record Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: littllastr_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and a Forgotten Classic from 1975.

This White Hot Stamper pressing has the sound I've been trying to find on a pressing of The Last Record Album for more than thirty years. Finally, here it is! This was my first Little Feat album, purchased way back in 1975, and it's still my favorite by the band. The recording is notable for having amazing bass; it goes REALLY deep in places (Long Distance Love) and it's punchy and rich throughout the album.

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Little Feat - The Last Record Album

Leaner and Cleaner Just Won't Cut It

  (Item #: littllastr_test) 



To our way of thinking, this is the kind of record one should bring to one's favorite stereo store to properly judge their equipment. They can play Famous Blue Raincoat; they do it all day long. But can they play The Last Record Album and have it sound musical and involving? Can they get it to ROCK? Will they even turn it up loud enough to find out? My jaded money is on no, for all three.

Rockin' The Last Record Album is a much, much tougher test than what they are used to, one that their systems will struggle to pass. (That's what makes it a good test, right?)

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Love - Da Capo

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: love_dacap_2010) 



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

ONE OF THE BEST SIDE ONES WE'VE EVER HEARD on unusually quiet vinyl! Since side two is just one long track that we just can't get too worked up about, this is EXACTLY the kind of copy we'd want to own. We had a chance to shootout a handful of copies recently and didn't hear anything that could compete with side one of thie Elektra Gold Label Original Pressing. We are HUGE fans of Love and side one has three of our favorite songs by the band: Stephanie Knows Who, Orange Skies and Seven & Seven Is. Get ready to rock out with this one!

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Lovin' Spoonful - The Very Best of the Lovin' Spoonful

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: lovinveryb_2013) 



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

As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) White Hot Stamper sound for some of the biggest hits of The Lovin' Spoonful, a band I wouldn't expect to hear sound good on vinyl if I lived to be a hundred, and yet, here it is! This pressing changes EVERYTHING.

This copy lets you hear versions of Younger Girl, Didn't Want to Have to Do It, Daydream, You Didn't Have to Be So Nice, Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?, and Do You Believe in Magic? with the kind of sonics never thought possible, not by us anyway. This copy is truly a revelation. And side two ain't too shabby either.

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Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: sealssumme_2017) 



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

This copy had a side one that could not be beat. The vocals were especially clear and breathy.

Speaking of stampers, all our best copies had the same numbers and letters in the dead wax, which -- contrary to popular opinion -- doesn't happen all that often but does from time to time.

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The Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts (Soria 3 LP Box Set)

Reverse Your Polarity

  (Item #: heifeconce_8976159_1) 



This is one of the pressings we’ve discovered with Reversed Polarity.

This IMMACULATE set has dry, edgy, screechy sound -- until you reverse your absolute phase! Then it sounds pretty good! It certainly will never win any awards, but it’s practically unlistenable without the phase reversed.

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The Lovin' Spoonful - John Sebastian Songbook, Vol. 1

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: lovinjohns_2017) 



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

Great sound for some the biggest hits of The Lovin' Spoonful, a band I wouldn't have expected to hear sound good on vinyl if I lived to be a hundred, and yet, here it is. This is one of the rare cases where, in our experience, the hits compilation sounds BETTER than the original records. Why? Who knows? We don't pretend to have all the answers. What we do have (that no one else has, if that's not too obvious) are the records that back up the claims we make for them.

See all of our The Lovin' Spoonful albums in stock


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The Lovin’ Spoonful - Daydream

Sundazed Debunked

  (Item #: lovindaydr_sundazed) 



Sonic Grade: D

The best sounding of the Lovin' Spoonful records I've heard on Sundazed, which means that the others would get an F for sound. Don't waste your money. I'd be surprised if the CDs weren't better sounding. (Many Sundazed CDs are actually quite good.)

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The Rolling Stones - No. 2

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rollino2_2016) 



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

The best word I could use to sum up both the sound and the music on this record is HONEST. If you want to hear how early Rolling Stones records sound when they sound right, this is the ticket. This is the real sound of the early, early Stones.

Probably what any modern engineer would want to do to the album would only end up making it worse. It is what it is and that’s good enough for us.

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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: rolliafter_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Lady Jane, Under My Thumb and Mother's Little Helper are three of the best sounding tracks on side one -- all three are lively and solid here. On side two Out of Time and I Am Waiting are especially well recorded.

DAVE HASSINGER rightly deserves the credit for the best sounding early Stones album -- this one.

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The Rolling Stones - Aftermath

Surprisingly Good Domestic Pressings Do Exist

  (Item #: rolliafter_2015) 



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

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

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

More Rolling Stones


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The Rolling Stones - Between The Buttons

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: rollibetwe_2018) 



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

An insanely good pressing with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last - one of the best copies to hit the site in many years. This is classic '60s Stones sound, courtesy of Dave Hassinger, working in L.A. (RCA) and London (Olympic + Pye). If you're looking for the ideal combination of Tubey Magical richness and transparency, this copy is one of the few that will show it to you.

More Rolling Stones


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The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: rollioutof_2016) 



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

This is the first truly killer copy to ever hit the site, quite possibly the best we've ever heard, A+++ on both sides. It's a problematical recording, but these British sides impressed us with their better balance, more bass, and least amount of grit and edge. With top engineers like Dave Hassinger and Glyn Johns one would hope for better sound, but this, folks, is about as good as it gets as far as we know.

See all of our Rolling Stones albums in stock


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The Rolling Stones - Rolled Gold

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rollirolle_2011) 



We took the best first LP and mated it to the best second LP from the set to create the overall Shootout Winner with EIGHT, count 'em, eight total pluses over the four sides! And side one was WHITE HOT. We certainly didn't expect to hear sound like that on a 1975 compilation of classic Stones hits such as this; most Stones compilations are awful sounding in our experience. Played Hot Rocks lately?

But these tracks have the potential to be taken from something very close to the real master tapes, a subject we discuss in one of our dirty little secret commentaries.

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The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: rollirolli_2019) 



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

Both sides of this Red Label British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and spacious with a huge bottom end. The best word I could use to sum up both the sound and the music on this record is HONEST. If you want to hear how early Rolling Stones records sound when they sound right, this is the ticket. This is the real sound of the early, early Stones.

Probably what any modern engineer would want to do to the album would only end up making it worse. It is what it is and that’s good enough for us. Since the tapes are now more than 60 years old, no modern reissue will sound remotely as good as this one.

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VTA Adjustment

Helplessly Hoping to Get It Right

  (Item #: crosbsofar_wtlf) 



This listing from 2005 (!) contains commentary about Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) adjustment using the track Helplessly Hoping from a Hot Stamper pressing of CSN’s So Far.
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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VTA Adjustment on Crosby Stills and Nash

Using the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl LP (2005)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta_200) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment for 200 gram vinyl, using the CSN track Helplessly Hoping.

Helplessly Hoping is a wonderful song with plenty of energy in the midrange and upper midrange area which is difficult to get right. Just today (4/25/05) I was playing around with VTA, having recently installed a new Dynavector DV-20x on my playgrading table (a real sweetheart, by the way), and this song showed me EXACTLY how to get the VTA right.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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