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Super Hot Stamper

Stevie Wonder
Songs In The Key Of Life

  (Item #: wondesongs_1911) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This outstanding copy of Stevie Wonder's epic double album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Tubey Magical Richness, and the immediacy and transparency few copies have - all qualities essential to getting the best sound from Stevie's Magnum Opus
  • A true musical genius (according to Eddie Murphy) here joins forces with other legends including Herbie Hancock, George Benson, and Deniece Williams
  • 5 stars: "...Stevie Wonder's longest, most ambitious collection of songs... that — just as the title promised — touched on nearly every issue under the sun, and did it all with ambitious (even for him), wide-ranging arrangements and some of the best performances of Wonder's career. "
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White Hot Stamper

George Benson
White Rabbit

  (Item #: bensowhite_1902_7_11ex) 

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


  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - this CTI pressing of Benson's Must Own Masterpiece is almost As Good As It Gets
  • Open and transparent on both sides, with wonderfully full-bodied guitars, solid bass and huge amounts of swingin' jazz energy
  • Superb engineering by Rudy Van Gelder - White Rabbit features jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, and more
  • "For George Benson's second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such... In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins."
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Super Hot Stamper

Stanley Turrentine
Sugar

  (Item #: turresugar_1906_10) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last, this copy is rich, musical and, above all, enjoyable - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A dynamic and energetic recording by Rudy Van Gelder that really jumps on a copy like this
  • With top talent like Freddie Hubbard and George Benson, you will have a hard time finding a funkier Soul Jazz record
  • AMG raves: "If jazz fans are interested in Turrentine beyond the Blue Note period — and they should be — this is a heck of a place to listen for satisfaction."
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Super Hot Stamper

George Benson
White Rabbit

  (Item #: bensowhite_1910) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • An outstanding copy of Benson's 1972 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from top to bottom
  • Open and transparent on both sides, with wonderfully full-bodied guitars, solid bass and huge amounts of swingin' jazz energy
  • Superb engineering by Rudy Van Gelder - White Rabbit features jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, and more
  • 4 stars: "For George Benson's second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such... In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins."
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Super Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
Sky Dive

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_1909_12) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this copy will be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is the kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic, energetic sound Van Gelder was getting in the early '70s and we LOVE him for it
  • Hubbard got hold of a seriously talented group of funky jazz players to support him here, with Don Sebesky doing his usual inventive arrangements
  • 4 Stars: "Freddie Hubbard's fourth CTI recording certainly has a diverse repertoire. The charts for the brass and woodwinds are colorful; there is a fine supporting cast that includes guitarist George Benson, Keith Jarrett on keyboards, and flutist Hubert Laws; and Hubbard takes several outstanding trumpet solos."
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Super Hot Stamper

George Benson
Tell It Like It Is

  (Item #: bensotelli_1803_1905-) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, this is an excellent copy of this Benson album from 1969
  • We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does here, or your money back
  • Allmusic loves Benson's playing here, noting his "...often brilliantly tasty guitar fills and brief solos in many styles and three reverb-heavy vocals."
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Freddie Hubbard - First Light

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: hubbafirst_2011) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper original CTI pressing has a truly SUPERB side two that just put to shame most of what we played. Smeary blurred trumpet blasts? Not here. Nope, the transient bite and energy of the trumpet is as REAL as it gets.

Hubbard was a master of funky jazz, and this pressing was one of the few in our shootout with the kind of high quality mastering that can do justice to his uniquely energetic, lightning fast jazz style.

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Freddie Hubbard - Sky Dive

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_2011) 



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

With a sonic grade of A+++ this White Hot Stamper original CTI pressing has a side two that won Top Honors in our recent shootout. It's CLEARLY the best sounding side we have ever offered of this funky jazz classic, but it has serious condition issues, including a mark that plays at the end of track one all the way into track two. If you can live with that mark you will hear some amazing sound and music on side two. And if you buy this copy and realize you can't, feel free to send it back for a full refund.

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Freddie Hubbard - Sky Dive

What to Listen For

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_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.

Smear is by far the most common problem with the copies we played. When the transient bite of the trumpet is correctly reproduced, maintaining its full-bodied tone and harmonic structures, you know you have a very special copy of Sky Dive (or First Light or Red Clay, etc., etc.). When the sound is blurry, thick, veiled, dull or slow, you have what might be considered something more like the average copy.

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Freddie Hubbard - Straight Life

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: hubbastrai_2017) 



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

Straight Life is a great album for anyone who wants to hear some well recorded, seriously adventurous jazz. We freely admit that side one is fairly "out there," but side two balances it out with much more accessible, melodic material. A wonderfully sensitive and emotional version of Here's That Rainy Day closes out the side with George Benson proving to be an especially sympathetic accompanist on guitar.

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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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George Benson - Bad Benson

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bensobadbe_2012) 



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

White Hot Stamper sound on side two, which means this copy has the power to show you just how well-recorded the album really is, and how much energy and drive there is to both the sound and the music. No other side of any copy earned the full Three Plus White Hot grade, so this is a very special side indeed.

We didn't run into any awful CTI originals the way we do with the typical rock record from the '70s, but it's the rare copy that has a real top end, or much in the way of transparency, or freedom from smear. This copy has all three, without any sacrifice in richness or Tubey Magic.

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George Benson - Breezin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: bensobreez_2016) 



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

Excellent sound for George Benson's 1976 classic Breezin'! This copy should blow the doors off your old copy or any MoFi pressing -- guaranteed. It's got all the elements this smooth masterpiece needs to come to life today, almost 40 years later if you can believe it. There's tons of energy, strong presence, excellent bass and a huge soundfield with real depth. You can hear right into the music, something just not possible on most copies out there.

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George Benson - Breezin’

Hot Stamper MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: bensobreez_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Another MoFi reviewed, and surprisingly this one isn't awful.

It has an excellent side two backed with a pretty good side one. Side two has excellent bass -- for a MoFi -- and lots of energy -- for a MoFi. It’s slightly smooth but overall it’s very musical. The best domestic copies are going to eat its lunch, but try to find one that sounds good. Most of them are awful.

This MoFi copy, though lacking in many ways, is MUCH BETTER sounding than the other MoFi copies we played it against, which were muddy and compressed.

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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!

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George Benson - Tell It Like It Is

A&M Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: bensotellit_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

The Half-Speed is pretty -- pretty lifeless if you ask me, in the way that so many Half-Speed mastered records are. It’s cut very clean, but until you play a good A&M pressing, you don’t know how much meat has been stripped from the bones. The best A&M pressings sound like a Rudy Van Gelder recording, which, of course, they are.

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George Benson - White Rabbit

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bensowhite_2015) 



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

We recently conducted another extensive shootout for White Rabbit and it was a BLAST. It always is. Benson and his funky jazz all-stars buds (Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Airto to name a few) tear through some great material here, and on both sides of this copy the sound as KILLER.

If you want to hear the best George Benson record we know of, this is the one. The Grammy-winning Breezin' from 1976 is a perfectly good album but it's quite a bit more commercial than the earlier White Rabbit here from 1972, his first album to make the top ten on the jazz charts.

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Stanley Turrentine - Sugar

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: turresugar_2016) 



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

The best copies seem to have more space and are even more clear while at the same time keeping the sound rich and tonally correct from top to bottom. That sound is exactly what you will hear on this side two! It won our shootout because it gave us the feeling that we were hearing everything that was being recorded in the studio exactly the way Rudy, Stanley and his jazz buds wanted us to. In those long ago sessions at Van Gelder Studios in November of 1970, this is how it went down.

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