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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1908) 

Our Price: $699.99

  • 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."
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White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
A Love Supreme

  (Item #: coltrloves_1910) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, this is a truly killer early stereo pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Here's the explosive improvisational energy that made the album such a revelation in 1964 - copies of A Love Supreme that sound as good as this one are rare indeed
  • 5 stars: "Trane's classic quartet of Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, and Jimmy Garrison stepped into the studio and created one of the most thought-provoking, concise, and technically pleasing albums of their bountiful relationship (not to mention his best-selling to date)... It is almost impossible to imagine a world without A Love Supreme having been made, and it is equally impossible to imagine any jazz collection without it."
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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Someday My Prince Will Come

  (Item #: davissomed_1906_10) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • A KILLER copy of this Davis classic, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Our Six Eye Stereo pressing is Tubey Magical, full-bodied and high-rez, not to mention uncannily present - Miles will be in the room with you
  • Musically this is one of our favorite Miles albums - the sound is Demo Disc Quality on the copies that sound the way this one does
  • "The set opens with the title, a lilting waltz that nonetheless gets an original treatment here... Davis waxes light and lyrical with his Harmon mute... [Hank] Mobley plays a strictly journeyman solo, and then Coltrane blows the pack away with a solo so deep inside the harmony it sounds like it's coming from somewhere else."
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White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Crescent

  (Item #: coltrcresc_1908) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Amazing sound for this Impulse pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to it
  • The overall sound here is incredibly clean, clear and present with a solid bottom end and lots of space around all of the players
  • "John Coltrane's Crescent from the spring of 1964 is an epic album, showing his meditative side that would serve as a perfect prelude to his immortal work A Love Supreme... John Coltrane was "daringly human," and no better example of this quality transferred to musical endeavor is available than on this definitive, must have album that encompasses all that he was and eventually would become." - All Music
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White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
The Last Trane

  (Item #: coltrlastt_1908_10) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Coltrane's wonderful 1966 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one and and outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • A superb album compiled from three mono recording sessions from 1957 and 1958, featuring brilliant accompaniment by Donald Byrd and Red Garland, among others
  • The recording is huge and lively in the long and storied tradition of Rudy Van Gelder's Coltrane sessions from the fifties
  • The original Blue Trident Prestige mono pressings are clearly superior to anything that came after them, and that is of course what we are offering here
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White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Soultrane

  (Item #: coltrsoult_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This Prestige "stereo" pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one followed by an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two
  • Unlike most versions of this album, these sides are full-bodied, relaxed, Tubey Magical and tonally correct
  • Here is the palpable jazz energy, the life of the music, that's sure to be missing from whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl pressing is being stamped out these days
  • "... a classic of the 20th century jazz canon and an essential point of reference in Coltrane's own tumultuous career.... this is the album on which Coltrane first emerged as the primary innovator of the jazz world, wielding an astonishing technical virtuosity and a blinding vision of the possibilities of the tenor sax."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
My Favorite Things

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on this 1961 Coltrane classic - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
  • There is more richness, fullness and presence on this pressing than other copies offer, and that's especially true for whatever godawful Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently being foisted on an unsuspecting public
  • 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 standards of this caliber
  • 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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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Sun Ship

  (Item #: coltrsunsh_1910) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Coltrane's final album finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Huge space, size and clarity, with Tubey Magical richness befitting the 1965 recording date of this session at RCA studios
  • Released posthumously, this superb release captures one of the last recording dates for the Classic Quartet: drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison
  • 4 stars: "While a summation for this quartet, Sun Ship is also an exciting if unfinished prelude to Coltrane's final period of transformation."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
On A Misty Night

  (Item #: coltronami_1902_6_10) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Coltrane's superb compilation of two complete and very rare mono dates finally arrives on the site with oustanding nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound an all four sides
  • Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight down low and lots of space around all the instruments, this copy is guaranteed to fill your listening room with truly brilliant jazz music
  • This copy had more energy and more immediacy, as well as real analog richness, the one quality that makes the '50s sound like the '50s
  • 4 stars: "Coltrane incorporates a wider range of sound to a tremendous emotional effect.... [he] give[s] the performance a bit of a lift that may be part of the reason for its well-deserved placement in the rarefied strata of Coltrane's most revered works."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

John Coltrane
More Lasting Than Bronze

  (Item #: coltrmorel_1812_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This superb Prestige Two-Fer offer outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Compiled from two nearly complete Classic albums, Lush Life and Coltrane, this collection boasts masterful sound - thanks RVG!
  • Full-bodied, energetic, and tonally correct from top to bottom and, these pressings are guaranteed to bring Coltrane's music to life
  • "Rarely does a single performance uncover the essence of an artist with such aptness. The well-crafted melody is treated above all with dignity, which may be part of the reason it remains flawless."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane/Don Cherry
The Avant-Garde

  (Item #: coltravant_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This superb 1966 collaboration makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • These sides are doing pretty much everything right - they're cleaner and clearer, with better bass, more energy, more presence, and on and on
  • 4 stars: "Coltrane's integration into this band works with some extraordinarily fresh results. Neither Cherry nor Coltrane makes any radical departures on this album; however, it's the ability of each to complement the other both in terms of modal style and -- perhaps more importantly -- texture that lends heavily to the success of these sides. "
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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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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Miles Davis

  (Item #: davismiles_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two Miles Davis classics, representing another remarkably good sounding find from the relentless Record Hunting Audiophiles here at Better Records - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side four preceded by three outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, there were few copies in our shootout that could begin to do what this pressing was doing
  • Must Own Music with top sound - the better tracks here can hold their own with virtually any Miles record we know of
  • "[These two discs present] the Miles Davis Quintet from a pair of legendary recording dates which would generate enough music to produce four separate long-players ... Each is considered not only to be among the pinnacle of Davis' work, but of the entire bop subgenre as well."
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet

  (Item #: davismiles_new_miles_1904_9) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $50.99 / 34%)


  • An excellent sounding pressing with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it throughout - fairly 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 1956, this is the way to go
  • "[Miles] made simple, but emotionally powerful statements, knowing just when to step away, having said exactly enough. This material, recorded in big batches, is all of a piece, and it's all killer." - Stereogum
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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Milestones

  (Item #: davismilestones_1903_6_8ex) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This original Columbia Mono Six-Eye pressing has STUNNING Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • This one has some condition issues (see below), so we're discounting it accordingly
  • The All Tube recording chain at their 30th Street studios allowed Columbia's engineers to do some amazing work back then - here's the proof
  • 5 stars: "What is immedately noticeable upon listening to Miles Davis' classic first -- and only -- album with his original sextet is how deep the blues presence is on it. Though it's true that the album's title cut is rightfully credited with introducing modalism into jazz, and defining Davis' music for years to come, it is the sole selection of its kind on the record. The rest is all blues in any flavor you wish you call your own."
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Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1910) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper grades on both sides of this 1959 classic by the great Miles Davis
  • KOB is the purest embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Clarity and transparency, correct tonality, and in-the-room immediacy are a few of the many qualities to be found on the better copies we offer
  • 5 stars: "Kind of Blue 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

John Coltrane
On A Misty Night

  (Item #: coltronami_1909) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This copy of Coltrane's superb compilation of two complete, rare mono dates boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it an all four sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight down low and lots of space around all the instruments, this copy is guaranteed to fill your listening room with truly brilliant jazz music
  • This copy excelled in the area of real analog richness, which is the one quality that makes the '50s sound like the '50s
  • 4 stars: "Coltrane incorporates a wider range of sound to a tremendous emotional effect.... [he] give[s] the performance a bit of a lift that may be part of the reason for its well-deserved placement in the rarefied strata of Coltrane's most revered works."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
The Stardust Session

  (Item #: coltrstard_1903_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An excellent copy of this Coltrane double album - recorded in one day! - with all four sides rating Double Plus (A++) or close to it - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Spacious, open, transparent, rich and sweet, it's a remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Jazz with the benefits brought about by lower-distortion, wider-bandwidth cutting equipment in the '70s
  • Superb sound quality courtesy of Rudy van Gelder's engineering (1958/1963) and the talented mastering of David Turner at Fantasy (1972)
  • 4 Stars: "...Coltrane is heard near the end of his 'sheets of sound' period, perfecting his distinctive style and taking colorful and aggressive solos."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_1903_9_1909) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An outstanding copy of this classic Jazz Vocal album, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is huge and spacious with richness and Tubey Magic like nothing you've heard
  • I defy you to find a Male Vocal record produced in the last thirty years that can hold a candle to this one, sonically or musically
  • A wonderful collaboration between a horn player and a singer, perhaps the greatest one of all time
  • 5 stars: "John Coltrane's matchup with singer Johnny Hartman works extremely well. Hartman was in prime form on the six ballads, and his versions of 'Lush Life' and 'My One and Only Love' have never been topped. Classic, essential for all jazz collections"
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Someday My Prince Will Come

  (Item #: davissomed_1809_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An outstanding copy of this Miles Davis classic with Double Plus grades (A++) for sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This stereo pressing is Tubey Magical, full-bodied and high-rez, not to mention uncannily present - an outstanding pressing of a superb recording
  • Another engineering triumph for Fred Plaut at Columbia's legendary 30th Street Studios - the man is a genius
  • Musically this is one of our very favorite Classic Jazz albums - the sound is Demo Disc Quality on the better copies
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Ballads

  (Item #: coltrballa_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish on this superb stereo pressing of Ballads
  • Rudy Van Gelder was masterful at this is the kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic and energetic sound
  • If you're tired of hearing the newest veiled, ambience-challenged, recessed, lifeless Heavy Vinyl pressing to be produced from the 55 year old tapes (or the digital copies made from them), this is the record for you
  • 4 stars: "... a perfectly fine album of Coltrane doing what he always did -- exploring new avenues and modes in an inexhaustible search for personal and artistic enlightenment."
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Super Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane
Burrell / Coltrane

  (Item #: burrekenny_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This outstanding early Prestige mono pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Rudy Van Gelder does it again - RVG's sound is rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with the leaders both present and "real" in the way that only vintage analog pressings (in our experience) ever allow them to be
  • 4 stars: "The delicate "Why Was I Born" is one for the ages as Burrell and Coltrane are captured in a once-in-a-lifetime duet. Together they weave an uncanny and revealing sonic tapestry that captures a pure and focused intimacy... What remains is the best argument for the meeting of these two jazz giants."
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Green Haze

  (Item #: davisgreen_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A wonderful collection on 2 Prestige LPs, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them on all four sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Green Haze combines two complete Miles Davis albums recorded by RVG in 1955 - 'The Musings of Miles' and 'Miles'
  • Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
  • 4 stars: "This set could have been retitled 'The Birth of a Quintet.' The great trumpeter is featured in top form with pianist Garland, bassist Pettiford and drummer Jones for the first session, and with Garland, Jones, bassist Chambers and a tentative-sounding tenor-saxophonist named Coltrane a few months later... it is for the excellent rhythm sections and the playing of Miles Davis that this two-fer is highly recommended."
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Super Hot Stamper

Milt Jackson & John Coltrane
Bags & Trane

  (Item #: jacksbagsa_1812_5_10) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding sound on this vintage stereo pressing, with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades and playing fairly quietly
  • One of Tom Dowd's many excellent recordings of John Coltrane at the height of his powers - the sound is to die for
  • If you think the originals of Classic Jazz Albums such as this one are the only ones with the "right sound," this Hot Stamper pressing will surely be a revelation - it's guaranteed to MURDER any early pressing you play it against
  • 5 stars: "Vibraphonist Milt Jackson and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane make for a surprisingly complementary team on this 1959 studio session, their only joint recording."
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Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
John Coltrane

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_1972_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This Prestige 2 disc set from 1972 has very good Hot Stamper sound on three sides and even better Double Plus (A++) sound on the 4th
  • Combining Traneing In and Soultrane, this album gives you some of the best of Coltrane's late '50s music, complete in every way
  • Four Stars for Soultrane: "Not indicative of the quality of this set is the observation that, because of the astounding Coltrane solo works that both precede and follow Soultrane -- most notably Lush Life and Blue Train -- the album has perhaps not been given the exclusive attention it so deserves."
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Super Hot Stamper (with issues)

John Coltrane
My Favorite Things

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this 1961 Coltrane classic - mostly quiet vinyl too
  • You'll also find dramatically more richness, fullness and presence on this pressing than most copies can offer
  • A very difficult album to find with top quality sound and decent surfaces, but here's one, and we think you're going to love it (if you can put up with some marks on side two)
  • 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."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
More Lasting Than Bronze

  (Item #: coltrmorel_1909) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This superb Prestige Two-Fer offer outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom
  • Compiled from two nearly complete Classic albums, Lush Life and Coltrane, this collection boasts masterful sound - thanks RVG!
  • Full-bodied, energetic, and tonally correct from top to bottom and, these pressings are guaranteed to bring Coltrane's music to life
  • "Rarely does a single performance uncover the essence of an artist with such aptness. The well-crafted melody is treated above all with dignity, which may be part of the reason it remains flawless."
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John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: coltrloves_2018) 



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

The original Impulse pressings on the brown and orange label are the best, right?

Not in our experience. We think that plays into one of the biggest canards in all of record collecting, that the first pressings are always the best sounding.

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John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: coltrloves_2010) 



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

This is an original 1964 Impulse LP in superb condition. This record is ALIVE! When you hear a record like this, you don’t need to play the 180 gram reissue to know that the original KILLS IT. The sound here is right on the money and as good as I've ever heard it.

LATEST FINDINGS:

Click HERE to read about an even better sounding version of the album.

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John Coltrane - Blue Train

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: coltrbluet_2011) 



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

This Blue Note pressing has THE BEST SIDE TWO we've ever heard or expect to hear! It does EVERYTHING right, giving you the kind of Blue Train sound that most jazz fans have dreamed of forever but certainly have never heard before. The sound is absolutely KILLER, sounding dramatically more like live music than any copy we've played. It's full-bodied and rich with tons of energy, YOU ARE THERE immediacy and wonderful clarity. There's also a ton of tubey magic and an unbelievably strong bottom end, making this the kind of record that's going to BLOW YOU AWAY. I bet you never believed Blue Train could sound like this -- heck, we sure didn't!

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John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays the Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: coltrplays_2009) 



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

ONE OF THE VERY BEST COPIES WE'VE EVER HEARD of this phenomenal album! This is PURE GOLD for the jazz-loving audiophile. I can count the number of jazz records we've played this year in a league with this one both sonically and musically on one hand. Both sides here are AMAZINGLY GOOD -- exceptionally rich and full-bodied with superb transparency. Coltrane's sax sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD with the lots of that airy, breathy quaility that we just love here. The immediacy is OFF THE CHARTS!

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Live and Learn

  (Item #: coltrgiant_learn) 



A classic case of Live and Learn. Previously we had written:

The extension on both ends of the frequency spectrum is what really sets the best copies apart from the pack. All the top end and that deep bottom and simply not to be found on most copies, and never on even the best originals in our experience. The cutters back then just couldn't cut it.

Now, having heard some amazing originals, we know that the vintage mastering equipment of the day was perfectly capable of getting all the top, all the bottom, and tons of Tubey Magic besides onto the vinyl.

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: coltrgiant_2009) 



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

This Atlantic Stereo LP has EXCELLENT SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! As everyone should know by now, a killer copy like this is the exception, not the rule.

Side one had wonderful energy and the kind of full-bodied sound that is key to keeping the saxophone from tearing your head off when it really gets going. If you know anything about this music you know that Coltrane builds up a head of steam on practically every track on the album. He is blasting away here and it is a thrill to be sure.

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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.

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Rhino 45 RPM 2 Disc Set Debunked

  (Item #: coltrgiant_rhino_45) 



Sonic Grade: F

The sound of the new 45 RPM 2 disc version cut by Bernie Grundman sounds thick and dull, much like the Deja Vu he remastered years ago for Classic Records.

As is the case with so many of the Heavy Vinyl reissues released these days, the studio ambience you hear on these pressings is a pitiful fraction of the ambience the real pressings are capable of revealing, the ones mass-produced by Atlantic, original and reissue alike. We're not sure why audiophiles have trouble noticing such an obvious shortcoming but it and others like it sure don't get by our crack listening panel here at Better Records too often.

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Rhino Debunked

  (Item #: coltrgiant_rhino) 



Sonic Grade: D

Mastered by Kevin Gray, this record has ''modern'' sound, which is to say it's clean and tonally correct for the most part, but it's missing the Tubey Magic the originals and the good reissues both have plenty of. Any properly mastered, properly pressed '70s copy on the red and green label will be richer, fuller, sweeter, and just plain more enjoyable than this 180 gram version. It's below average, which is why it merits a D.

That said, "Giant Steps" is not an easy record to find in good condition, because any serious jazz lover would have played it plenty. It is inarguably one of John Coltrane's greatest achievements.

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John Coltrane - Impressions

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: coltrimpre_2012) 



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

BIG, BOLD JOHN COLTRANE SOUND -- ain't that something?! We had a big stack of pressings to compare and this one just blew us away, earning our top grade of A+++ for the first side and a strong A++ for the second. The clarity and transparency on this copy are mind-boggling, and the immediacy puts early '60s Coltrane blowing his brains out right there in your listening room!

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John Coltrane - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_2016) 



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

An outstanding copy of this classic Jazz Vocal album, with superb sound throughout. The sound is huge and spacious with richness and Tubey Magic like nothing you've heard. I defy you to find a Male Vocal record produced in the last thirty years that can hold a candle to this one sonically or musically. A wonderful collaboration between a horn player and a singer, perhaps the greatest of all time.

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John Coltrane - Lush Life

DCC and OJC Reviewed

  (Item #: coltrlushl_dcc) 



Sonic Grade: B or so (DCC)
Sonic Grade: C or so (OJC)

The DCC heavy vinyl pressing is a nice record; I remember liking it back in the day. I'm guessing it's a bit better than the '80s OJC, which is, like most OJC pressings, typically thin and hard. Neither one of them can hold a candle to the pressings we offer on the site. If for some reason we could not find copies of the album that substantially beat the sound of either of these two remastered LPs, we simply would not have anything to offer, since neither of these versions could be considered Hot Stampers. Nice records, sure, but Hot Stampers? Not a chance.

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John Coltrane - Lush Life

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrlushl_2016) 



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

We've been searching for years trying to find just what kind of Lush Life pressing -- what era, what label, what stampers, mono or stereo, import or domestic -- had the potential for good sound.

No, scratch that. We should have said excellent sound. Exceptional sound. We've played plenty of copies that sounded pretty good, even very good, but exceptional? A pressing of that caliber had eluded us -- until 2016.

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John Coltrane - My Favorite Things

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_2015) 



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

SUPERB SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! We played tons of these in our most recent shootout and both sides here were head and shoulders above the typical copies. Some were a bit squawky and some of them were a bit dull, but this one sounded excellent throughout. We have a tough time finding Hot Stamper pressings of this album -- most copies out there are very disappointing.

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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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John Coltrane - Standard Coltrane

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: coltrstand_2015) 



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

As you may have guessed by now, remastered is a bit of a dirty word around these parts. Most remastered records we play, from The Beatles to John Coltrane to ZZ Top, sound to us like pale imitations of the real thing, whether the real thing is an original or a reissue from back in the day.

But only a fool could fail to appreciate how correct and lively the best copies of this remastered record sound, and we're no fools here at Better Records. We judge records by one and only one criterion: how they sound. We pay no mind to labels, record thicknesses, playback speeds, mastering speeds or anything else you can read about on audiophile websites.

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John Coltrane - The Stardust Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrstard_2016) 



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

Superb sound quality courtesy of Rudy van Gelder (1958) and the brilliant mastering of David Turner (1972). The combination of old and new works wonders on this title as you will surely hear for yourself on these incredibly Hot sides.

We were impressed with the fact that these pressings excel in so many areas of reproduction. What was odd about it -- odd to most audiophiles but not necessarily to us -- was just how rich and Tubey Magical the reissue can be on the right pressing.

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John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C (at best)

We were only slightly impressed with both the Speakers Corner pressing of this album and the earlier Impulse Heavy Vinyl edition from the '90s. Neither one in our opinion is worth pursuing.

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Miles Davis - Basic Miles

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: davisbasic_2018) 



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

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

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Miles Davis - Green Haze

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: davisgreen_2018) 



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

A superb sounding Mono pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound or better on all four sides. The sound is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience - talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This Prestige Two-Fer simply combines two complete Miles Davis titles recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in 1955 - 'The Musings of Miles' and 'Miles.'

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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: daviskindo_obsess) 



Kind of Blue 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, dating all the way to back to 2005 when we heard our first killer red label copy (or, I should say, when we first heard a killer red label copy reproduced correctly).

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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Our A++++ Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: daviskindo_2013) 



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


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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Our First KOB Hot Stamper - June 2005

  (Item #: daviskindo_2005) 



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

This Columbia Red Label LP has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND!

Call me crazy, but I DON’T THINK YOU CAN CUT A BETTER SOUNDING KIND OF BLUE THAN THIS ONE!

I’m fully aware of how outrageous a statement that is, considering the fact that this is a '70s Red Label reissue. But I've long known of amazing sounding Kind Of Blue reissues.

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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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Miles Davis - Miles Davis

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: davismiles_2017) 



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

To the Jazz Fans of the World, we here present one of the best sounding jazz recordings we have ever had the privilege to place on a turntable. I cannot ever recall hearing a better sounding Rudy Van Gelder recording, and I have a theory as to why this tape is as good as it is: it's MONO.

WAY off the charts. Demo Disc Quality Sound of the Highest Order on the best tracks. The extension high and low sets these sides apart. The presence of the instruments and the space around them just cannot be beaten.

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Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come

Our Outstanding Reissue from 2014

  (Item #: davissomed_2014) 



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

The first Hot copy of this classic to hit the site in over five years! Side one rates A++ to A+++ -- super open and transparent with amazing immediacy.

This Red Label reissue DESTROYED the similar copies we played it against, and was also surprisingly competitive with our Super Hot (and Super Noisy) Six Eye ref copy. Most of these later pressings have superior clarity (compared to the earlier ones) but lack nearly all of the tubey magic. This one’s amazingly clean and clear, but still delivers on the tubey qualities -- it’s richer, warmer, and sweeter than any other Red Label pressing we played.

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Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come

Our Six-Eye Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: davissomed_2019) 



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

We've found Red Label copies in the past that sound pretty darn good but this Six-Eye was a HUGE step up in class over the reissues this time around. It was not even close. This one is doing it all, with in-the-room presence, massive amounts of energy, clear, note-like bass and a rich, breathy quality to Miles's horn that is simply not to be found on most pressings, be they originals, reissues, on Heavy Vinyl, at 45 RPM or what have you.

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Miles Davis - Workin’ And Steamin’

Our Shootout Winning Mono from 2010

  (Item #: davisworki_2010) 



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

To the Jazz Fans of the World, we here present one of the BEST sounding jazz recordings we have ever had the PRIVILEGE to place on a turntable. I cannot ever recall hearing a better sounding Rudy Van Gelder recording, and I have a theory as to why this tape is as good as it is: it's MONO. It also sounds like it's recorded completely LIVE in the studio, direct to one track you might say. As good a recording as Kind of Blue is, I think the best parts of this album are more immediate and more real than anything on KOB.

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Miles Davis - Workin’ And Steamin’

Our Shootout Winning Mono from 2018

  (Item #: davisworki_2018) 



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

A MONSTER Double Album that simply could not be beat - three of the four sides earned our highest sonic grade of Triple Plus (A+++). The best sounding tracks here can hold their own with ANY Miles Davis vinyl we've ever heard, and that's a whole lot of Mile Davis albums. You might be surprised that a reissue can beat the originals, but one play of this pressing should be enough to remove all doubt.

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Sonny Rollins - Taking Care of Business

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: rollitakin_2010) 



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

This is a Prestige Demo Two-Fer Double LP.

Big, full-bodied, MONO jazz sound at its BEST. This is what classic ’50s jazz is supposed to sound like! These transfers from 1978 by David Turner are in tune with the sound of these recordings. There's not a trace of phony EQ on this entire record, and the vinyl plays nice and quiet.

This Two-Fer includes all of Tenor Madness and most of Work Time and Tour De Force. Top jazz players such as Ray Bryant, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Kenny Drew, Max Roach and Paul Chambers can be heard on the album.

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The Recordings of John Coltrane

These Are Some that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: coltrane_john_) 



These are just some of the recordings by John Coltrane that we've auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

John Coltrane Albums with Hot Stampers

John Coltrane Albums We've Reviewed



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