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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Aja

  (Item #: steelaja_2002) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • A STUNNING copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - you won't believe how BIG and BOLD the sound is!
  • Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music, here is the sound you always wanted Aja to have
  • A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on an exceptional pressing like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records ... a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest. "
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Super Hot Stamper

Glenn Frey
Soul Searchin'

  (Item #: frey_souls_1912) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, this copy will be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We were shocked to find out that this album actually sounds very analog - rich, smooth, sweet and natural
  • Elliot Scheiner (Royal Scam, Aja, Nightfly) produced and also did some engineering - he is to be commended for his excellent work here
  • "Though I left Detroit and went to California to cut my teeth on country-rock, I've remained obsessed with the music of my adolescence, the great soul hits of the '60s and early '70s."
See all of our Glenn Frey / Eagles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Van Morrison
His Band And Street Choir

  (Item #: morrihisba_1905_10) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With both sides earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER, this is a killer copy of a wonderful sounding, shockingly underrated album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The band is swinging, the material top-notch - Domino, Crazy Face, Blue Money and other classics are right here
  • We vote this The Best Sounding Van Morrison Album - a classic of 1970 Tubey Magical analog - and his only title to make our Top 100
  • "As 'Domino' opens the album with a show of strength, 'Street Choir' closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van's two or three finest songs." Rolling Stone
See all of our Van Morrison albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Gaucho

  (Item #: steelgauch_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better sounding copies we played in our recent shootout
  • This original pressing has three-dimensional ambience, tubey richness, you-are-there immediacy, tight bass, clear guitar transients, silky highs, and truckloads of analog magic on every track
  • 4 stars in the AMG, 4 1/2 in Rolling Stone, and one of this exceptionally well recorded band's Three Best Sounding Albums - a true Must Own
  • "Despite its coolness, the music is quite beautiful. With its crystalline keyboard textures and diaphanous group vocals, ''Gaucho'' contains the sweetest music Steely Dan has ever made." New York Times
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Super Hot Stamper

Van Morrison
His Band And Street Choir

  (Item #: morrihisba_1909_01) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $74.99 (You save $25.00 / 25%)


  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades, this is a killer copy of a wonderful sounding, shockingly underrated album
  • The band is swinging, the material top-notch - Domino, Crazy Face, Blue Money and other classics are right here
  • The Best Sounding Van Morrison Album - a classic of 1970 Tubey Magical analog - and his only title to make our Top 100
  • "As 'Domino' opens the album with a show of strength, 'Street Choir' closes it with a burst of both musical and poetic energy which is not only better than anything else on the album but may well be one of Van's two or three finest songs." Rolling Stone
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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Steely Dan
The Royal Scam

  (Item #: steelroyal_1912) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding copy of Royal Scam has energy and drive, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER - mostly quiet vinyl too
  • This pressing of The Dan's hard-rockin' classic from 1976 has the right sound for this music - rich and meaty, with powerful rhythmic energy
  • "Drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie lashes out the rolling grooves on most of the nine tracks, establishing the album's anxious feel, and Larry Carlton's jaw-dropping guitar work provides a running commentary to Fagen's strangulated vocals... These are not the sort of Steely Dan songs favored by smooth-jazz stations."
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Super Hot Stamper

Glenn Frey
No Fun Aloud

  (Item #: frey_nofun_1901_1905) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this copy of Glenn Frey's debut album
  • Big and lively, with rich, breathy vocals, this pressing will show you just how good No Fun Aloud can sound
  • Frey's phenomenal talent as an artist is matched only by his songwriting genius on this album, which includes hits "The One You Love," "I Found Somebody" and more
  • "... it's Frey's perfectly guided vocals and impeccable talent for crafting laid-back love songs that make the album noteworthy."
See all of our Glenn Frey / Eagles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
The Royal Scam

  (Item #: steelroyal_1910) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This early pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it and fairly quiet vinyl on both sides - this is a Royal Scam with energy and drive
  • This copy of The Dan's hard-rockin' classic from 1976 has the right sound for this music - rich and meaty, with powerful rhythmic energy
  • "Drummer Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie lashes out the rolling grooves on most of the nine tracks, establishing the album's anxious feel, and Larry Carlton's jaw-dropping guitar work provides a running commentary to Fagen's strangulated vocals... These are not the sort of Steely Dan songs favored by smooth-jazz stations."
More Royal Scam / More Steely Dan


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Billy Joel - Songs in the Attic

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: joel_songs_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

Records with too much bass and especially too much top end can't be played loud. The louder you play them the worse they get. Try playing the average MoFi at a loud volume. All that extra 10k starts to make your brain hurt. The CBS half-speed of this album is like that. It's frustrating -- the music makes you want to turn it up but the sound says forget it. Not the good pressings. They sounds BETTER when you play them loud.

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Billy Joel - Songs in the Attic

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: joel_songs_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

You know how you can tell when you have a Hot Stamper? It's the side you play through to the end. When the sound is right you want to hear more. Since the opening track of this record is one of the keys to knowing whether it's mastered and pressed properly, once you get past the sibilance hurdle on track one, the next step is to find out how the challenges presented by the rest of the tracks are handled on any given LP. Some advice follows.

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Billy Joel - Songs in the Attic

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: joel_songs_2007) 



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

DEMO DISC LIVE ROCK CONCERT SOUND, Baby! This one has it ALL. The sound has so many wonderful ANALOG qualities when you get a good copy -- the hash and hardness of the typical pressing just disappears, leaving surprisingly transparent and sweet sound on virtually every track. The WHOMP FACTOR here is off the scale. There are few studio recordings that have these kinds of dynamics. We forget how compressed most of them are. It takes a record like this to show you how much LIFE there is in LIVE MUSIC.

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Rickie Lee Jones - Pirates

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jonespirat_2016) 



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

The typical copy of this album has a number of problems: midrange honk; hardness to the vocals; lack of presence; congestion; insufficient energy; blunted transients; grainy highs and so on. The Warner Bros. team of this era (Herscberg, Titleman, Waronker, etc.) brought us some wonderful recordings, but you'd never know it from listening to the typical '80s WB Tan Label LP, which tend to be pretty poor. Of course, search hard enough and you can find a copy that delivers some of the magic of the master tape, and that's exactly what we have here.

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Steely Dan - Aja

Cisco Debunked

  (Item #: steelaja_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing from Cisco / Impex.

I’ve had the opportunity to play our Hot Stampers against the Cisco for friends on more than one occasion. The problem is, the more you listen to the Cisco pressing, the worse it sounds. We wanted to like it, but the more we played it, the more we realized just how wrong it was in too many important ways.

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Steely Dan - Aja

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: steelaja_2007) 



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

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for -- AJA HOT STAMPERS! Believe me, they don’t get hotter than these. From the first note of Black Cow, you get presence like you’ve never heard -- the sound positively JUMPS out at you! This is the most spacious, transparent, DYNAMIC copy of Aja we've EVER heard -- a DEMO DISC in the truest sense of the word.

We had the chance to go back and do a final round shootout for all the best copies, and this one was BY FAR the most DYNAMIC and PRESENT of them all. Bernie turned off ALL the compression for this bad boy. The ENERGY of the ensemble playing here was simply in a league of its own.

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Steely Dan - Aja

Listening in Depth

(with Free Cisco Debunking Tool)

  (Item #: steelaja_depth) 



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

Our track commentary for the song Home at Last makes it easy to spot an obvious problem with Cisco's remastered Aja: This is the toughest song to get right on side two. Nine out of ten copies have grainy, irritating vocals; the deep bass is often missing too. Home at Last is just plain unpleasant as a rule, which is why it's such a great test track.

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Van Morrison - Moondance

Our Half-Speed Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: morrimoond_ddlabs_2009) 



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

We've combined our two best half-speed mastered SuperDisk pressings to give you Super Hot sound for both sides. Of all the half-speed versions we had here, two of them each had one amazing side.

"But Tom," you might say, "I thought you hated audiophile versions of rock records!" Well, we sure don't hate 'em when they sound like this! The best Green Label copies are going to be a step up in class, but you're going to have a hard time finding sound this good for Moondance no matter what kind of pressings you're playing.

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Van Morrison - Moondance

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: morrimoond_2009) 



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

For the first time ever... a WHITE HOT STAMPER pressing of Moondance on QUIET VINYL! This Warner Bros. Green Label copy has a side two that just can not be beat -- A+++ all the way.

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Van Morrison - Moondance

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: morrimoond_2018) 



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

Musically, the record Moondance most reminds me of is After The Gold Rush. Neil Young set out to make a commercial album that had nothing but strong songs built around catchy melodies, with the highest quality production values. What better describes Moondance? Every song is good, you can sing practically every one of them from memory, and in fact you'll probably feel like singing along with every one of them as they are playing. And the whole album is produced with some of the best sound that was available at the time. (Shelly Yakus engineered, his first time behind the board on a major project if Wikipedia is to be believed.)

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