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Airto - Free

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: airtofree_2006) 



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

This is a Minty looking CTI LP with VERY GOOD SOUND.

We're on a winning streak with RVG these days (September 2006), three in a row, in fact: Chet Baker (She Was Too Good To Me), Freddie Hubbard (Red Clay), and now this wonderful Airto record. The best music is found on side two, especially the last two tracks.

More Airto


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Andy Johns

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: allandyjohns) 



ANDY JOHNS is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Andy Johns engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Andy Johns Engineered Albums with Hot Stampers

Andy Johns Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Don Sebesky

One of Our Favorite Arrangers

  (Item #: alldon_sebesky) 



DON SEBESKY is one of our favorite arrangers.

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers and Arrangers series


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Eddie Kramer

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: alleddie_kramer) 



EDDIE KRAMER is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Check out our supply of Eddie Kramer engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Eddie Kramer Engineered Albums with Hot Stampers

Eddie Kramer Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Eddie Offord

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: alleddie_offord) 



EDDIE OFFORD is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Eddie Offord engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

Eddie Offord Engineered Albums with Hot Stampers

Eddie Offord Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Bad Company - Run With The Pack

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: badcorunwi_2013) 



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

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

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

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Chet Baker - You Can't Go Home Again

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: bakeryouca_2017) 



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

This copy on side one was simply more clear, bigger, richer and more natural than any other. Side two was excellent as well -- very rich and full-bodied -- but lacked a bit of the clarity that made side one stand out from the crowd of copies we played.

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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1912) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it 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."
More Count Basie


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie Big Band
Farmers Market Barbecue

  (Item #: basiefarme_1906_10) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from beginning to end on this famous Pablo, one we consider The Best Basie Big Band Record We've Ever Played
  • Both sides are super clear, rich, and full of Tubey Magic, with a solid bottom end and huge amounts of three-dimensional studio space
  • Demo Disc sound - guaranteed to beat the pants off of any Heavy Vinyl pressing, at any speed, of any title
  • "This was an excellent outing by the Count Basie Orchestra during its later years."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie Big Band
Farmers Market Barbecue

  (Item #: basiefarme_1911) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from beginning to end on this famous Pablo, one we consider The Best Basie Big Band Record We've Ever Played
  • Both sides are exceptionally clear, rich, and full of Tubey Magic, with a solid bottom end and huge amounts of three-dimensional studio space
  • Demo Disc sound - guaranteed to beat the pants off of any Heavy Vinyl pressing, at any speed, of any title
  • Allmusic: "This was an excellent outing by the Count Basie Orchestra during its later years."
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Basie Big Band - Farmers Market Barbecue

First Among Equals, or The Best Pablo Ever?

  (Item #: basiefarme_first) 



Musically FMB is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way. This should not be surprising: many of his recordings for Pablo in the '70s and early '80s display the talents of The Count and his band of veterans at their best.

Sonically it's another story. Based on our recent shootout for this title, in comparison to the other Basie titles we've done lately we would have to say that FMB is the best Basie big band title we've ever played. Since so many Basie big band recordings are so good, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves; after all, we haven't done shootouts for all of his Pablo large group recordings. To be safe we'll just call this one First Among Equals.

More Count Basie


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Me and You

  (Item #: basiemeand_1907_10) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An excellent sounding copy of Basie's 1983 release, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful session from 1983, this is the only way to go
  • This is the Basie Big Band album that came out right after 88 Basie Street, a hard act to follow - top engineering by Dennis Sands
  • "... recorded only a little more than a year before his death. However, the spirit of this music (helped out by some Ernie Wilkins) arrangements) make Count Basie seem ageless."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1909_01) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This vintage German pressing earned outstanding Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - Geoff Emerick, Eddie Kramer and Ken Scott all deserve kudos for their fine work here
  • Wonderfully Tubey Magical sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, The Fool On The Hill, Baby You're A Rich Man, Penny Lane and more
  • Until you play one of these True Stereo German pressings, you can't have heard MMT sound as big and lively as this LP - we guarantee it
  • A Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that still knocks us out to this day
More Magical Mystery Tour / More by The Beatles


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1909_12_02) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • Incredible Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from beginning to end, this copy is guaranteed to blow your mind - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A stunning copy with some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - superb work from Ken Scott here
  • Demo Quality Sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby You're A Rich Man and more
  • You won't believe how powerful the sound is - it's big, rich, open and lively beyond any expectations you may have had
  • A longtime Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that knocks us out every time we do the shootout for it
More Magical Mystery Tour / More by The Beatles


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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.

More Magical Mystery Tour


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlmagic_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 Magical Mystery Tour.

We discuss in detail what we're listening for and what the best copies seem to do so well that the run-of-the-mill copies simply do not. If you own a copy of the German MMT plays yours and listen for what we're listening for. It's all laid out in the track commentary.

More Magical Mystery Tour


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: beatlmagic_obsess) 



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

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

This link will take you to all of our other BEATLES albums.


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Are Your Cellists Digging In?

  (Item #: beatlmagic_walruscellos) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Over the last decade I Am The Walrus has evolved into a good test for side one, a fact that came as a complete surprise to me. As I was listening to the various copies in a shootout years ago I noted that the opening cellos and basses in the right channel were often tonally identical from copy to copy, but sounded quite a bit more lively and energetic on some pressings relative to others. Was it EQ? Level? Compression?

Why so much more passion from the players on some copies and not others?

More Magical Mystery Tour


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

We Was Wrong (Circa the '80s)

  (Item #: beatlmagic_wrong) 



This is a VERY old and somewhat embarrassing We Was Wrong from a few years back.

This German pressing has dramatically different sound than that found on other Hot Stamper pressings of MMT we've had on the site. I used to be convinced that its sound was clearly superior to the regular German MMT LPs. Back in the late '80s and into the '90s this was the pressing that I was certain blew them all out of the water. We know better now. We call this version the "Too Hot Stamper" pressing -- the upper mids and top end are much hotter than they should be.

More Magical Mystery Tour


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George Benson - Other Side of Abbey Road

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bensoother_2013) 



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

An A++ side one backed with an A+++ side two! We just shot out a bunch of these and this copy finished way ahead of the pack. George Benson and a top-notch backing crew (Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Ray Baretto, Freddie Hubbard and many more) knock these jazzy Abbey Road covers out of the park, and Rudy Van Gelder did a great job putting it to tape. Of course not every pressing sounds good, but the best copies like this one are killer!

More George Benson


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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey Jazz Messengers
Free For All

  (Item #: blakefreef_1911) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound for this Blue Note pressing, with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This LP was bigger, richer and clearer, with less smear and distortion, and more Tubey Magic, than many of the other pressings we played
  • An RVG recording from 1964 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and this pressing delivers that quality like no other copy you've heard - we guarantee it
  • 4 stars: "Free for All is a high point in drummer Art Blakey's enormous catalog. This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass."
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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
David Live

  (Item #: bowiedavid_1905_7_01) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on all four sides of this Bowie classic -- exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • One of our favorite live recordings - a great overview of Bowie's career through 1974
  • 1984, Rebel Rebel, Sweet Thing and Rock & Roll With Me come ALIVE in performance like you have never heard before
  • A-List players of the day deliver sonic treats, including multiple horn players, multiple percussionists, all-male chorus background vocals, the searing fuzzed-out guitar leads of Earl Slick, piano and Mellotron by Mike Garson, and the amazing Herbie Flowers on bass
See all of our David Bowie albums in stock


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David Bowie - David Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bowiedavid_2010) 



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

The best copies have Live Rock and Roll Energy like you will not believe. The band is ON FIRE. These are the A List players of the day and they gell like a band that's been together for years. The sonic treats include multiple horn players (David Sanborn KILLS on almost every track, and the baritone sax and oboe are rendered beautifully ) and multiple percussionists, all-male chorus background vocals, the seering fuzzed-out guitar leads of Earl Slick, piano and Mellotron by Mike Garson, the amazing Herbie Flowers on bass -- the list goes on.

More David Bowie


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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Young Americans

  (Item #: bowieyoung_1910_01) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This superb copy of Bowie's one and only soul album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • One of the five or ten best Bowie songs of all time is on this very album: Somebody up There Likes Me, with David Sanborn for more than six minutes soulfully blowing his brains out on the sax
  • On the more transparent copies such as this one, it's much easier to pick out all the background vocalists in the dense mixes that Bowie favors
  • One of our favorites by The Man, with so many killer tracks: Young Americans, Win, Fascination, Across the Universe and, of course, Fame
More Young Americans / More David Bowie


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

David Bowie
Young Americans

  (Item #: bowieyoung_1910_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This superb copy of Bowie's one and only soul album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of the five or ten best Bowie songs of all time is on this very album: Somebody up There Likes Me, with David Sanborn soulfully blowing his brains out on the sax for more than six minutes (!)
  • On an especially transparent copy such as this one, it's much easier to pick out all the background vocalists in the relatively dense mixes that Bowie favored here, and that's the kind of sound that wins shootouts
  • One of our favorites by The Man, with so many killer tracks: Young Americans, Win, Fascination, Across the Universe and, of course, Fame
More David Bowie


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White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Young Americans

  (Item #: bowieyoung_2001_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer copy of Bowie's one and only soul album with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • This pressing was simply bigger and fuller than the competition, with plenty of funky energy and three-dimensional studio space
  • On an exceptionally transparent copy such as this one, it's much easier to pick out all the background vocalists in the relatively dense mixes that Bowie favored here, and that's the kind of sound that wins shootouts
  • One of our favorites by The Man, with so many killer tracks: Young Americans, Win, Fascination, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Across the Universe and, of course, Fame
More Young Americans / More David Bowie


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David Bowie - Young Americans

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: bowieyoung_2007) 



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

THE BEST SOUND I HAVE EVER HEARD FOR THIS ALBUM! We’ve been playing this album for years, but we’ve sure never heard it sound like this. Both sides have BIG, FULL-BODIED SOUND that takes this soulful music to an entirely new level.

More David Bowie


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David Bowie - Young Americans

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bowieyoung_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

This is one of my favorite Bowie albums. Nobody seems to care about it anymore. They dismiss it as disco junk, but it actually has some of his best music on it. I especially like the song Win. David Sanborn's saxophone sounds like it's coming from 60 feet behind Bowie, a nice effect.

More David Bowie


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David Bowie - Young Americans

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bowieyoung_listen) 



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 average RCA copy of this album is bright, grainy and hard to some degree, like most RCA pressings I come across. If you've been stuck with an average copy, you're not going to believe how smooth and sweet the best ones sound.

This is one of my favorite Bowie albums. Nobody seems to care about it anymore. They dismiss it as disco junk, but it actually has some of his best music on it. I especially like the song Win. David Sanborn's saxophone sounds like it's coming from 60 feet behind Bowie, a nice effect.

More David Bowie


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White Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
God Bless The Child

  (Item #: burregodbl_1812_6_11) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Amazing sound from start to finish on this Shootout Winning TRIPLE TRIPLE (A+++) copy
  • One of our favorite CTI albums, and surely one of the best sounding, especially on this pressing
  • Credit goes to Rudy Van Gelder once again for the huge space that the superbly well-recorded orchestra occupies
  • AMG raves "This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent."
See all of our Kenny Burrell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
God Bless The Child

  (Item #: burregodbl_1910) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With a Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grade on side one and a solid Double Plus (A++) grade on side two, this one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • One of our favorite CTI albums, and surely one of the best sounding, especially on this pressing
  • Credit goes to RVG once again for the huge space that the superbly well recorded orchestra occupies
  • AMG raves: "This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent."
More Kenny Burrell albums


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Kenny Burrell - God Bless The Child

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: burregodbl_2015) 



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

This is one of our favorite orchestra-backed jazz records here at Better Records. A few others off the top of my head would be Wes Montgomery's California Dreaming (1966, and also Sebesky-arranged), Grover Washington's All the King's Horses (1973) and Deodato's Prelude (also 1973, with brilliant arrangements by the man himself).

On a killer copy like this the sound is out of this world. Rich and full, open and transparent, this one defeated all comers in our shootout, taking the Top Prize for sound and earning all Three Pluses.

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Super Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
Out Of This World

  (Item #: burreoutof_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This outstanding copy of Out Of This World boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • This superb RVG recording comes to life on this pressing - it's full-bodied and above all, lively (Rudy's trademark sound)
  • This collaboration between Burrell and Coleman Hawkins highlights the blues roots of these two jazz greats, veterans who can swing with the best of them (which is why their discographies run for pages)
  • "Bluesy Burrell combines the finest elements of blues and bebop jazz into a blend that demonstrates just how well the styles fit together and proves that blues need not be minimalist in nature, and jazz can be a bit less rigid, allowing breathing space amidst perfect chord work and superb rhythm."
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Super Hot Stamper

Canned Heat
Canned Heat

  (Item #: cannecanne_1806_1904-) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding original pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound, and the vinyl is about as quiet as we can find it
  • The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with rich, Tubey Magical vocals that are only found on these good vintage pressings
  • These "authentic renderings" of blues covers include classics such as Muddy Waters' Rollin' and Tumblin' and Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom
  • 4 stars: "This debut was issued shortly after their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival... While decidedly more obscure to the casual listener, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones "Story of My Life" is both a high point on this recording, as well as one of the fiercest renditions ever committed to tape."
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Canned Heat - Canned Heat

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: cannecanne_2019) 



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

The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with rich, Tubey Magical vocals that are only found on these good vintage pressings. These "authentic renderings" of blues covers include classics such as Muddy Waters' Rollin' and Tumblin' and Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom.

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Super Hot Stamper

Joe Cocker
Mad Dogs And Englishmen

  (Item #: cockemaddo_1911) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy with all four sides earning Double Plus (A++) grades and playing about as quietly as these good, clean originals ever do
  • The sound is rich and tubey, with driving energy and the top end and clarity that was simply missing from far too many of the copies we had to wade through in order to find this one
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Unlike a lot of other "coffee table"-type rock releases of the era, such as Woodstock and The Concert for Bangladesh, people actually listened to Mad Dogs & Englishmen -- most of its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique."
See all of our Joe Cocker albums in stock


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Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: cockemaddo_2012) 



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

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

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

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The Ornette Coleman Trio - At The Golden Circle Vol. 1

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: colemgolde_2007) 



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

This is a Blue Note LP with EXCELLENT sound! We didn’t have enough clean copies to do a shootout, but you can be sure that each side rates at least an A+ for sound.

Side one has tons of energy, gorgeous highs and a nice deep bottom end. Side two is rich and full-bodied with wonderfully textured brass. This is a superb copy with sound that does this complex music justice.

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White Hot Stamper

Ornette Coleman
Ornette On Tenor

  (Item #: colemornet_1910_02) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A big, bold, KILLER sounding Atlantic pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Engineered by the team of Tom Dowd (whose work you surely know well) and Phil Iehle, who recorded some of Coltrane’s most iconic albums for Atlantic: Giant Steps (1960) and Coltrane Jazz (also in 1961)
  • 5 stars in Downbeat - Allmusic notes: "It's an understatement to say that Ornette Coleman's stint with Atlantic altered the jazz world forever, and Ornette on Tenor was the last of his six LPs (not counting outtakes compilations) for the label, wrapping up one of the most controversial and free-thinking series of recordings in jazz history... far ahead of its time."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Coltrane Jazz

  (Item #: coltrcoltrane_jazz_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy of Coltrane's brilliant sixth studio album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This pressing captures the classic Coltrane sound that Tom Dowd and Phil Iehle achieved in the studio in 1961, with plenty of the Tubey Magic that makes a vintage jazz album like this one such a special listening experience
  • It's the rare pressing that isn't mediocre if not outright awful - it took us a long time to find the right stampers for this one (and plenty of other Coltrane albums too)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The first album to hit the shelves after Giant Steps... While not the groundbreaker that Giant Steps was, Coltrane Jazz was a good consolidation of his gains as he prepared to launch into his peak years of the 1960s."
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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrgiant_2016) 



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

As you might expect, the original Blue and Green label pressings have -- potentially -- superb sound on Giant Steps, but somewhat surprisingly -- assuming you've heard a White Hot original copy -- the Red and Green label pressings can sound every bit as good.

The Tubey Magical richness and warmth carried over into the '70s, at least on some copies of this title, and we're very glad they did, as finding clean original Coltrane albums from the early '60s is not so easy these days.

More Giant Steps / More John Coltrane


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
My Favorite Things

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_2002) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • We guarantee you will hear a dramatic increase in richness, presence and musical energy relative to any copy you've auditioned - or your money back
  • With McCoy Tyner on piano, Steve Davis on bass and Elvin Jones on the drums, this is a group that can do no wrong with these four standards from the Great American Songbook
  • 5 stars: "The unforced, practically casual soloing styles of the assembled quartet allow for tastefully executed passages a la the Miles Davis Quintet, a trait Coltrane no doubt honed during his tenure in that band. Each track of this album is a joy to revisit."
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John Coltrane - Ole Coltrane

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrole_2016) 



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

Olé! Here's a great copy of a wonderful Coltrane album that we seriously enjoy but just don't see enough to keep in our regular rotation. And that's a shame, because these Top Copies are a THRILL to hear. Both sides give you an exceptionally strong bottom end, and with two bass players contributing on much of the album that is essential for this music. The overall sound is lively, dynamic, and very transparent.

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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1908_11) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A Shootout Winning copy with KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Space, clarity, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found on this pressing - it's guaranteed to beat any copy you've ever heard
  • 5 stars: "KOB isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
More Kind of Blue / More Miles Davis


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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_2001) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding pressing with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - decent vinyl (for this album anyway, but there is a mark that plays)
  • Big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound, courtesy of Fred Plaut
  • Space, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found here - it's guaranteed to beat any copy you've ever heard
  • 5 stars: "KOB isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_2002) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding stereo pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
  • The pure embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Space, clarity, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found on this pressing - it's guaranteed to beat any copy you've ever heard
  • 5 stars: "KOB isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

White Hot on the '70s Red Label? Can You Really Be Serious?

  (Item #: daviskindo_wtlf) 



When it comes to Miles Davis' jazz classic Kind of Blue, the 6-eye originals are of course the best sounding, right?

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth. Based on scores of pressings it has been our experience that the best sound for this album is found on standard domestic Red Label pressings from the '70s. I'm fully aware of how outrageous a statement that may seem to those who believe that original pressings are always superior, but we've long known of top of the heap, can't be beat Kind Of Blue reissues, going on more than twenty years now.

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White Hot Stamper

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis & Johnny Griffin
Live At Mintons

  (Item #: davislivea_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The First Set makes it to the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Three-dimensional space and ambience, with Tubey Magic by the boatload - this is guaranteed to be one of the better sounding live jazz records you've heard
  • Rudy Van Gelder was masterful at this is the kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic, energetic sound
  • "Griffin and Davis, competitive tenors with different sounds, battle each other... Exciting music that deserves to be made more widely available." [And here is a wonderful copy ripe for the taking.]
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Donovan - The Hurdy Gurdy Man

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: donovhurdy_2013) 



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

The 1968 sound here is GLORIOUS — rich, sweet, Tubey Magical and very, very Analog.

Side one is where you will find The Hurdy Gurdy Man and it is crazy good sounding here. No wonder: Hurdy Gurdy was engineered by Eddie Kramer and produced by none other than John Paul Jones.

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Super Hot Stamper

Harry Edison & Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Simply Sweets

  (Item #: edisosimpl_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This outstanding copy of Simply Sweets boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound of this superb jazz quintet is big, lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness you will not find anywhere but on these vintage pressings
  • The legendary engineer Val Valentin put this one on tape, brilliantly - he's the man behind some of our All Time Pablo favorites
  • "Trumpeter Harry 'Sweets' Edison and tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis always made a potent pair. They both possessed immediately identifiable sounds, were veterans of Count Basie's Orchestra and never had any difficulty swinging."
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White Hot Stamper

Ellington-Basie
First Time - The Count Meets the Duke

  (Item #: ellinfirst_1909_12) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • You'll find Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this stunning Six Eye Stereo pressing of First Time!
  • Three-dimensional space and ambience, rich Tubey Magic by the boatload - this 30th Street recording shows just how good Columbia's engineers were back then
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Ellington's elegance and unique voicings meet Basie's rollicking, blues-based Kansas City swing, and it works gloriously. The Duke and his band accentuate their swinging dance band side, while Basie and company have never sounded as suave and exotic as when playing Billy Strayhorn arrangements. Everyone has a good time, and that joy infuses this album from start to finish."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Ellington-Basie
The Count Meets the Duke

  (Item #: ellinfirst_1912_02) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two stunning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, both coming in just shy of our amazing sounding Shootout Winner
  • Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, and Tubey Magic by the boatload - this 30th Street recording from 1961 shows just how good Columbia's engineers were back then
  • Fairly quiet throughout - good luck finding a Six Eye Stereo pressing this nice on your own, they sure don't grow on trees
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... a very successful and surprisingly uncrowded encounter... Ellington and Basie both play piano (their interaction with each other is wonderful) and the arrangements allowed the stars from both bands to take turns soloing."
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Super Hot Stamper

Ellington-Basie
The Count Meets the Duke

  (Item #: ellinfirst_2001) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this Black Print 360 Stereo pressing will be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, and Tubey Magic by the boatload - here's a 30th Street recording from 1961 that demonstrates just how good Columbia's engineers were back then
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... a very successful and surprisingly uncrowded encounter... Ellington and Basie both play piano (their interaction with each other is wonderful) and the arrangements allowed the stars from both bands to take turns soloing."
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Duke Ellington & Count Basie - The Count Meets the Duke

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: ellinfirst_2018) 



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

Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, and rich Tubey Magic by the boatload - this 30th Street recording shows just how good Columbia's engineers were back then. Quiet throughout - good luck finding a Six Eye Stereo pressing this nice on your own, they sure don't grow on trees.

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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Piano In The Background

  (Item #: ellinpiano_1902_5_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This original Six Eye has a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Full-bodied and warm, exactly the way you want your vintage analog to sound - the piano is surprisingly real here, solid and dynamic
  • Classic Records remastered the album in the 2000s, as has Speakers Corner, but if you think either one of those versions can hold a candle to the real thing from 1960, let us send you this record and disabuse you of that notion
  • 4 stars: "One of Ellington's rarer studio sessions... Ellington's solo abilities were always a bit underrated due to his brilliance in other areas, but this set shows just how modern he remained through the years as a player."
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Super Hot Stamper (UK)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  (Item #: emersemers_1909_01) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This vintage Island pink rim import pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
  • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet UK Vinyl)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson...

  (Item #: emersemers_1911_02) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This vintage Island Pink Rim import pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
  • Spacious, rich and dynamic, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is what we love about Eddie Offord's work here
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
  • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album... [which] showcased the group at its least pretentious and most musicianly ...there isn't much excess, and there is a lot of impressive musicianship here."
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Emerson Lake & Palmer

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: emersemers_2008) 



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

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

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Emerson Lake & Palmer

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: emersemers_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

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

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

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Super Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Pictures At An Exhibition

  (Item #: emerspictu_1710_12) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • Excellent sound throughout for this ELP Classic Live Album, with each side rating a sonic grade of Double Plus (A++)
  • Both sides here are Tubey Magical and exceptionally spacious, with a massive bottom end and plenty of Rock and Roll energy
  • Exceptionally QUIET vinyl for this title - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, take it from us, they don't come quieter
  • "...it teased the brain with its mix of melody and heavy rock, and for anyone with some musical knowledge, serious or casual, it was a sufficiently bold use of Mussorgsky's original to stimulate hours of delightful listening."
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Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: emerspictu_2009) 



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

This Minty looking original Island British Import LP has some of the best sound we have ever heard for this album. This copy KILLED a bunch of other Brit imports we played it against. It wasn't even close. This pressing was so much more TRANSPARENT -- you could hear into the crowd in a way that no other copy managed to let you do. When the band started playing the sound was much more clear and present than the other Brit copies we played.

Great live sound thanks to EDDIE OFFORD.

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Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Tarkus

  (Item #: emerstarku_1804_1904-) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • This UK copy of the band's sophomore album earned very good Hot Stamper grades on both sides
  • The best British pressings took top honors for sound in our shootout, with the kind of sweetness, openness, Tubey Magic, correct tonality, presence without aggressiveness, well-defined note-like bass, extended airy highs and all the rest that are the hallmarks of the Hottest of the Hot
  • Emerson admitted that Tarkus was one of his favorite albums, "not least because the title track has taken on a life of its own."
  • "Tarkus is a thoroughly written, focused piece of music. It remains among the Top Ten classic tracks in progressive rock history..."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Tarkus

  (Item #: emerstarku_1905_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sidesm or BETTER, this copy is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other copy of Tarkus you've heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This early British pressing with the Island Pink Rim label is guaranteed to rock like no other copy you've ever played
  • Eddie Offord's trademark Tubey Magic, energy, resolution, whomp factor and dynamics are all over this phenomenal recording
  • "More accomplished than the trio's first album, but not quite as polished as Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus is nevertheless a must-have."
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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Tarkus

  (Item #: emerstarku_1911_1) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sidesm or BETTER, this copy is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other copy of Tarkus you've heard
  • This early British pressing with the Island Pink Rim label is guaranteed to rock like no other copy you've ever played
  • Eddie Offord's trademark Tubey Magic, energy, resolution, whomp factor and dynamics are all over this phenomenal recording
  • "More accomplished than the trio's first album, but not quite as polished as Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus is nevertheless a must-have."
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Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Tarkus

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: emerstarku_2009) 



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

This British Island Sunray pressing has EXCELLENT A++ SOUND on BOTH SIDES. If you prog rock junkies are looking for your next fix, this killer copy is the hot ticket! Both sides have got it going on; you won’t find this kind of energy, transparency, or presence on most copies out there! This one is full of tubey magic on both sides, yet clean, clear, and open throughout. The transparency is OFF THE CHARTS.

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Super Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Trilogy

  (Item #: emerstrilo_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides or better, this UK Island pressing was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • From The Beginning has the kind of Tubey Magical liquidity that made it a staple in practically every stereo store I walked into in the '70s
  • An excellent recording by the Prog Engineering Master, Eddie Offord, that really shines on a pressing as good as this one
  • 4 stars: "By 1972, Eddie Offord's recording and producing techniques had reached a peak. He provided a lush, comfy finish to the album that made it particularly suited for living-room listening and the FM airwaves... Every track on this album has been carefully thought, arranged, and performed to perfection..."
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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!

We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade. Side one was so incredible we just had to give it an extra plus. It is off the charts. Side two we awarded our usual AGAIG Triple Plus rating. No other copy in our shootout rated as high on either side as these did.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
I Will Say Goodbye

  (Item #: evansiwill_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Bill Evans' 1980 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • These sides are doing just about everything right -- big, full-bodied, lively and dynamic with tight punchy bass
  • Rich, smooth, sweet, and wonderfully natural, this is the sound that impresses us here at Better Records
  • 4 stars: "For his final Fantasy album, Evans, bassist Eddie Gómez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund perform memorable renditions of such songs as Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance"... Fine post-bop music from an influential piano giant.
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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
Montreux II

  (Item #: evansmontr_1810_1903_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This epic live jazz recording finally returns to the site with two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A killer pressing, with a very strong bottom end, lovely richness and warmth, real space and separation between the instruments and wonderful immediacy throughout
  • Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, this 1970 release showcases Evans stylings alongside the brilliant talents of Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell
  • "Bill Evans' second recording at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970 was a highly anticipated concert, finding the pianist in peak form, accompanied by bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Marty Morell. "
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Bill Evans - Montreux II

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: evansmontr_2014) 



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

This vintage CTI pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the audience at the live show, this is the record for you. It's what Live Jazz Recordings are known for -- this sound.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
At The Montreux Jazz Festival

  (Item #: evansmontr_festival_1903_6_11) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Evan's Classic Live album from the Montreux Jazz Festival returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last
  • A killer Verve stereo pressing, with lovely richness and warmth, real space and wonderful immediacy throughout
  • Recorded live in 1968, this superb release pairs Evans' unique piano improvisations with bandmates Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette
  • 4 stars: "Evans, famous for a soft-spoken pianistic touch, seems driven to new vistas on this album. He experiments more with harmonic dissonance and striking rhythmical contrasts, making this his most extroverted playing since his freshman release, New Jazz Conceptions."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Everly Brothers
The Hit Sound Of...

  (Item #: everlhitso_2001_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • The engineering team of Eddie Brackett and Lee Herschberg provide the exceptional recording fidelity - they would go on to win the Best Engineering Grammy for Strangers in the Night the same year
  • "Snow's I'm Movin' On rocks, and Little Richard's Good Golly Miss Molly clearly provided the blueprint for CCR's cover several years later. While they may not make you forget the Animal's version of the House of the Rising Sun, they do a fine version themselves. They were still struggling to find where they belonged on this LP, but they take us on enough highs through the trip to make it a worthwhile 37 minutes."
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Super Hot Stamper

Peter Frampton
Frampton Comes Alive

  (Item #: frampframpton_comes_1909) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • All four sides of this double album earned Double Plus (A++) grades or close to it for their Big, Bold Live Rock sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too, a true Mint Minus on two sides
  • Mixed and mastered so that the guitar solos soar the way they do in live music -- what a thrill it is to hear them finally sounding the way they should
  • A killer copy like this one is a potent reminder of why we all went so crazy for this album back in the '70s - I did anyway
  • Allmusic agrees with us that many tracks here are "much more inspired, confident, and hard-hitting than the studio versions."
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Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: frampframpton_comes_2015) 



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

What a monster -- this White Hot Stamper Frampton Comes Alive boasts KILLER A+++ sound on sides one, two, and four and very strong A++ sound on side three! If you're looking for a top-shelf pressing of THE iconic Classic Rock Double Live Album, don't let this one pass you by. If you grew up with this album it's going to be a thrill to hear this copy rockin' on a big audiophile system.

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Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive

What to Listen For

  (Item #: frampframpton_comes_wtlf) 



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

What to listen for? Dynamic, soaring guitar solos!

On the best copies the guitar solos are the loudest parts of some songs, which, as everyone who's ever been to a rock concert knows, is exactly what happens in live rock music.

Not many live albums are mixed to allow the guitar solos to rock the way these do. Since Frampton is one of my favorite players, hearing his solos get loud on this album is nothing less than a thrill.

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Super Hot Stamper

Dexter Gordon
Doin' Allright

  (Item #: gordodoina_1902_8_12) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This superb 1961 release by Dexter Gordon finally returns to the site, now with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These early sides are rich, full-bodied and warm, yet clear and lively
  • A dynamic and energetic recording by Rudy Van Gelder that really jumps on a copy that sounds as good as this one does
  • 4 stars: "Gordon's Blue Note recordings led to his rediscovery. The tenor is teamed with the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Horace Parlan, bassist George Tucker, and drummer Al Harewood for a strong set of music..."
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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: hancomaide_2008) 



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

We just finished a big Maiden Voyage shootout, and while we didn’t come up with too many winners, we did manage to find this one KILLER copy. Side two has A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND -- it can't be beat! You won't believe how clean, clear, open, and transparent it is. Most importantly, the energy factor is OFF THE CHARTS, and the dynamics are INCREDIBLE. Too many copies we played left us cold and bored; this one kept us engaged throughout. It's got the silkiest highs and the breathiest brass we've ever heard for this album. Most copies we played this against couldn't even come close to the richness, sweetness, and warmth we heard here.

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Never Heard Maiden Voyage Like This

The Transparency on this Copy Is Superb!

  (Item #: hancomaide_testimonial) 


Hello Gentlemen,

I have to commend you once again. I have never heard Maiden Voyage like this before. The transparency on this copy is superb! I gave up listening to my reissue a while back. It had a heavy veil hanging over it that was obvious. Yet as the listener I yearned to hear past it because the music itself is so wonderful. Thanks for digging up this treasure. It will bring many hours of enjoyment now and in the future.

Records are a tangible investment for the listener. When you find a great copy you hang on to it because it engages you. It moves you in a real sense. A collector who collects for value of first issue is a collector too. However they collect as one would coins, stamps or baseball cards. The value is attributed to what is perceived not what is experienced. I do not slam anyone for this. If joy is found in this manner then, so be it.



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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage

Keeping the Players Together

  (Item #: hancomaide_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Freddie Hubbard on this album is nothing short of astonishing. I remember playing around with the stereo one day, listening for different effects as I made minor changes to the tracking weight, the VTA, adjustments to the Hallographs and the like, and at one point I noticed that the ensemble seemed to be really coherently connected, each of the players balanced with all the others.

It was a striking effect and it made me realize that musical values can often be overlooked while chasing after audiophile effects of one kind or another. Hearing the ensemble come together made me appreciate this album even more.

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Super Hot Stamper

Coleman Hawkins
Night Hawk

  (Item #: hawkinight_1812_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • With a nearly perfect balance of analog richness and high-res clarity and space, this reissue showed us once again just how good an engineer Rudy Van Gelder could be back in 1961
  • "This [album] has many fine moments from these two highly competitive jazzmen, particularly the lengthy title cut and a heated tradeoff on "In a Mellow Tone," on which Davis goes higher but Hawkins wins on ideas."
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White Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix
Are You Experienced

  (Item #: hendrareyo_2001_1) 

Our Price: $749.99

  • SUPERB! An insanely good copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides -- this one will blow you away!
  • The sound is dramatically bigger, cleaner, livelier and more present than you'll hear on any other copy
  • Incredible sound for Purple Haze, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire and Foxy Lady
  • No matter what version you've been playing, we guarantee you'll be blown away by the energy and punch on this import
  • "One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era." 5 stars
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Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: hendrareyo_2014) 



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

STUNNING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! It is no easy task trying to find good copies of this album (or any Hendrix album, really). This one is absolutely killer. The bottom end is big and weighty, the top is open and transparent, and there's plenty of rich, full tubey magic. It's going to be incredibly hard to find a pressing that comes anywhere close to this one.

No matter what version you've been playing, we guarantee you'll be blown away by the energy and punch on this one.

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Super Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix
Axis: Bold As Love

  (Item #: hendraxisb_1906_9) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This outstanding import pressing of Hendrix's Axis: Bold As Love boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last
  • Huge and present, rich and full, with the kind of weight and electrified energy this problematical album almost never has
  • On Axis you need rich, full tonality and plenty of space up top if the music is going to work, and on those counts this copy delivers like nothing you've heard
  • 5 stars: "...a solid collection of great tunes and great interactive playing between himself, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, and the recording studio itself. "
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Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hendraxisb_2016) 



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

What a copy! Super rich and full-bodied with a wide, tall soundstage and plenty of punch, this is exactly the right sound for this music. It sure ain't easy to find good-sounding Hendrix records, and most copies of Axis are positively painful. You need rich, full tonality and plenty of space up top if this album is going to work, and on those counts this copy certainly delivers!

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Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love

Classic Records Mono Debunked

  (Item #: hendraxisb_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

One of the worst things the dummies at Classic ever did. Flat and dry with no tubey magic whatsoever. It positively screams "CHEAP REISSUE."

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Super Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix
Band of Gypsys

  (Item #: hendrbando_1909) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Outstanding sound for this Robert Ludwig mastered Capitol Green Label pressing with each side rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER
  • Tons of bass, smooth vocals, and an overall freedom from distortion characterize the sound of both sides, and that's unusual because most copies of this record are just plain dreadful
  • Trust me on this one -- you're going to have a difficult and expensive adventure trying to find a great sounding copy of this one on your own
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Although he could be an erratic live performer, for these shows, Hendrix was on — perhaps his finest performances... not only an important part of the Hendrix legacy, but one of the greatest live albums ever."
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Jimi Hendrix - The Cry of Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hendrcryof_2016) 



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

With Eddie Kramer and Robert Ludwig on the payroll, doesn't this record have to be spectacular?

Good, yes, but spectacular? Not really. Some copies just don't rock, and those copies lose a huge number of points for that shortcoming on a Monster Rock record such as this. Some are leaned out, some have no real top end -- as Murphy's Law makes clear, if something can go wrong it will go wrong.

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White Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix
Electric Ladyland

  (Item #: hendrelect_1908_11) 

Our Price: $649.99

  • With 10.5 pluses out of a possible 12, this is one of the best copies from our recent shootout
  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on sides one, three and four and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second side
  • Probably the best-recorded of Hendrix's studio albums - huge studio space and Tubey Magical richness are key to the shootout winners like this one
  • 5 stars: "...not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix's original musical vision at its absolute apex."
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Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: hendrelect_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.

Sides three and four of this bad boy are OFF THE CHARTS, earning our top grade of A+++. Side three manages to combine superb transparency and presence with rich Tubey Magic and a strong, rockin' low end -- not an easy balance to strike! The guitars here, obviously one of the main draws on a Hendrix album, sound phenomenal.

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Jimi Hendrix - Hendrix In The West

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: hendrinthe_2013) 



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

We're still surprised at how well recorded the album is, and a pressing like this allows you to really hear the live Jimi Guitar God Magic.

Rock and roll Legend EDDIE KRAMER, the man who engineered these live recordings, really knocked it out of the park. Drop the needle on Little Wing and you are going to be FLOORED.

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Jimi Hendrix - Rainbow Bridge

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: hendrrainb_2009) 



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

THE NEW ALL-TIME CHAMPION FOR SIDE ONE! We played over a dozen copies this week, split evenly between domestics and Brit imports -- and this bad boy absolutely MURDERED the competition.

Drop the needle on Dolly Dagger or Pali Gap and prepare to be floored! You won’t believe the big-time presence, the mindblowing energy, or the massive WHOMP factor! This copy has the tightest bass we’ve ever heard for this album, plus an unbelievable amount of Tubey Magic.

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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Jimi Hendrix
War Heroes

  (Item #: hendrwarhe_1903_12) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find superb Double Plus (A++) from first note to last on this Hendrix classic - exceptionally quite vinyl for the most part too
  • The material here is unusually well-recorded - the sound is competitive with - maybe even better than - Hendrix's "real" albums
  • Features top-tier Hendrix rarities such as Izabella, Highway Chile, Bleeding Heart and Stepping Stone
  • "One of the few consistent compilations of unreleased Hendrix." -- Allmusic
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Super Hot Stamper

Jimi Hendrix
War Heroes

  (Item #: hendrwarhe_1909_1) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll find superb Double Plus (A++) from first note to last on this Hendrix classic
  • The material here is surprisingly well recorded - the sound is certainly competitive with - and maybe even better than - most of Hendrix's "real" albums
  • Features top-tier Hendrix rarities such as Izabella, Highway Chile, Bleeding Heart and Stepping Stone
  • "One of the few consistent compilations of unreleased Hendrix."
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The Jimi Hendrix Experience - War Heroes

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: hendrwarhe_2010) 



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

Hendrix fans, we have a very special record for you, with one very special quality that sets it well apart from other Hendrix records you may have heard in the past: THE BEST HENDRIX SOUND EVER. Side two of this copy beats any studio release we've ever heard, any postmortem release, any release we've ever had on our turntable. We love Hendrix, but finding good sounding pressings of his most famous albums is practically impossible. (Note that no Hot Stamper listing exists for Are You Experienced just to cite one example.)

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Super Hot Stamper

Billie Holiday
The First Verve Sessions

  (Item #: holidfirst_1902_6_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Excellent sound throughout with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • All four sides here are clear and full-bodied with wonderfully breathy vocals and the kind of vintage analog sound you won't hear from any modern reissue or CD, that's for sure
  • This double LP set captures some of Billie's best music from the years 1952 to 1954 and features Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown, Flip Phillips, Freddie Green, Charlie Shavers and more
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Freddie Hubbard - The Baddest Hubbard

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: hubbabadde_2008) 



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

This is the baddest copy of Baddest Hubbard we heard in our shootout. And by baddest, I mean THE BEST! It’s got tons of energy, a meaty bottom end, and amazing songs to boot. Red Clay, an AMAZING cut, sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD! The overall sound is HUGE and SPACIOUS. Hubbard was a master of funky jazz, and this pressing has the mastering that does his unique style justice.

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Freddie Hubbard - The Best Of... Live And In Studio

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: hubbabesto_2011) 



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

This is a Minty looking Pablo LP with Virtually No Sign Of Play (VNSOP).

This album has selected tracks from his 2 LP set ’Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival’ which are excellent. On the other side are three tracks recorded at Ocean Way which are equally good. All in all, this is some of the best later Hubbard work around.

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Freddie Hubbard - The Body and Soul of Freddie Hubbard

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: hubbabodya_2017) 



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

The bluesy version of Willow Weep For Me on side one is WONDERFUL. The rich, full-bodied sax sound is Right On The Money. The overall sound is totally transparent with superb clarity. Scrapple From The Apple (also on side one) has a silky top end anchored with deep, well-defined bass.

We had good success with both '60s originals and later copies pressed in the '70s.

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Freddie Hubbard - The Body and Soul of Freddie Hubbard

Speakers Corner Reviewed

  (Item #: hubbabodya_speakers_corner) 



Sonic Grade: B

An outstanding Freddie Hubbard straight ahead jazz album on Speakers Corner vinyl that belongs in any jazz lover's collection.

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

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Super Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
First Light

  (Item #: hubbafirst_1910) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This vintage pressing of First Light has outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Features an outstanding lineup including Herbie Hancock on keys, Ron Carter on bass, George Benson on guitar, Airto on percussion, and Jack DeJohnette on the drums.
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The result is a masterpiece of textured sound, gorgeously far-flung charts, sweet, tight grooves, a subtle mystic feel, and some of Hubbard's most exciting playing ever. While Red Clay [a Better Records favorite] and Straight Life are both fine albums, First Light is the one that connects on all levels -- and it did with the jazz-buying public as well. A masterpiece."
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