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White Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Saxophone Colossus

  (Item #: rollisaxop_1910) 

Our Price: $899.99

  • KILLER sound for this Prestige Gold Label Mono pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to it
  • This one has been a long time coming but boy was it worth the wait -- full-bodied, Tubey Magical and super dynamic with tight note-like bass, this is by far the best copy we have ever played
  • About as quiet a vintage copy as we are ever likely to find - this pressing plays Mint Minus Minus, which in our experience is practically a miracle
  • 5 Stars: "Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set... Essential music"
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White Hot Stamper

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

  (Item #: beachpetso_1911) 

Our Price: $549.99

  • This stunning copy offers Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • 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 album, a vintage pressing like this one is the way to go
  • The Beach Boys revolutionized the popular music of the day with their genius for harmony, and a killer copy like this has their voices sounding the way they should
  • 5 stars: "The group here reached a whole new level in terms of both composition and production, layering tracks upon tracks of vocals and instruments to create a richly symphonic sound."
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White Hot Stamper

The Kinks
Kinda Kinks

  (Item #: kinkskinda_1908_10) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • This outstanding copy of The Kinks' sophomore release earned Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl for a Kinks album too
  • This Pink and Green Reprise original MONO pressing is lively, balanced and vibrant, with a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical Richness the Kinks' recordings need in order to sound the way they should
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...this album showcased a much more sophisticated sound... it also put them right in the front of the British Invasion pack for seriousness and complexity, out in front of where the Beatles or almost any of the competition were in early 1965..."
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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan (in Mono)

  (Item #: dylananoth_1910) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A very special 360 Mono pressing of this Dylan classic, with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout and pressed on exceptionally QUIET vinyl - what are the chances?
  • Tonally correct, Tubey Magical, clear and present - here's a copy that can put a living, breathing, 23 year old Bob Dylan right between your speakers
  • Many of his most well-known songs are here: All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom, My Back Pages, It Ain't Me Babe and 7 more
  • 5 Stars: "Another Side of Bob Dylan is a more varied record and it's more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike. ...The result is one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair."
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Super Hot Stamper

Julie London
Lonely Girl

  (Item #: londolonel_1910) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A superb early mono pressing which offers outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl for this title too
  • Julie is in the room with you - intimate, breathy and Tubey Magical like nothing you've ever heard (especially if you own the Heavy Vinyl reissue)
  • One of the best Sultry Female Vocal recordings ever made - Julie is practically holographic
  • 4 stars: "Lone guitarist Al Viola plays gentle Spanish-tinged acoustic behind the hushed vocalist, and it suits London perfectly. While the singer was often chided for her beauty and lack of range, she deftly navigates these ballads without any rhythmic underpinnings to fall back on. London's intense focus on phrasing and lyrics recalls Chet Baker's equally telescopic approach."
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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

Miles Davis
The Beginning (aka: The Musings of Miles)

  (Item #: davisbegin_1910_) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Here is a killer early pressing of Miles' 1955 Prestige album with superb Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides and vinyl that is going to be very hard to find any quieter
  • Unusually rich, full-bodied, lively and present, sound that brings out the best in Miles' music
  • Recorded in All Tube Mono, this is the real sound of these four jazz giants playing live-in-the-home-studio of none other than a Mr Rudy Van Gelder
  • "Miles Davis was in the process of forming his first classic quintet when he recorded this date... The trumpeter is featured with pianist Red Garland, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, playing four standards plus a blues ("Green Haze") and "I Didn't," his answer to Monk's "Well, You Needn't.""
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White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1904_8_10) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • You'll find outstanding Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on this vintage pressing of The Stones' 1964 release
  • Both sides of this Red Label British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and spacious with a huge bottom end
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones - it is what it is, and trying to fix it will almost surely ruin what's good about it
  • "Set against the dependency on covers and the inexperienced vocalist, however, is a truly cooking and imaginative band. Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman provide a brawny frame for the intermeshing guitars of Richards and Brian Jones as the ensemble lovingly deliver some of their favourite shots of rhythm ‘n’ blues." - BBC
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Super Hot Stamper

The Kinks
The Kink Kontroversy

  (Item #: kinkskink_kontroversy_1911) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Here's a rare one -- a wonderful copy of an early Kinks album, in mono no less, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Both sides here are clean, clear, full-bodied and dynamic with excellent bass and tons of energy
  • Till the End of the Day was the big hit, and Where Have All the Good Times Gone is also a classic
  • Allmusic raves, "The Kinks came into their own as album artists -- and Ray Davies fully matured as a songwriter -- with The Kink Kontroversy..."
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Super Hot Stamper

Billie Holiday
All Or Nothing At All

  (Item #: holidallor_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding original pressing of Holiday's 1958 release, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This vintage pressing is well balanced, yet big and lively, with such wonderful clarity in the mids and highs as well as deep punchy bass and a big open and spacious soundfield
  • It's one of the better sounding Billie Holiday records we've heard, any guaranteed to beat any Heavy Vinyl reissue you've wasted your money on
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... features some of Billie Holiday's top Verve performances from the mid-'50s... she runs the emotional gamut from summery optimism to pathos-rich musings. Befitting her perennial after-hours mood, the majority of songs here feature Holiday in a low-down mood of the highest order."
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
April In Paris

  (Item #: basieapril_1910) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • April in Paris makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound fon this vintage mono pressing
  • This pressing showed us the sound we were looking for - big, bold, full-bodied mono, the kind they knew how to record in 1957
  • Here is the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s surely missing from whatever modern reissue has been made from the 60+ year old tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from those tapes)
  • 5 stars: "April in Paris is one of those rare albums that makes its mark as an almost instant classic in the jazz pantheon... The title track has come to define elegance in orchestral jazz... Recorded in 1955 and 1956, April in Paris proved Count Basie's ability to grow through modern jazz changes while keeping the traditional jazz orchestra vital and alive."
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
The Beginning (aka: The Musings of Miles)

  (Item #: davisbegin_1910_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This outstanding early pressing of Miles' 1955 Prestige album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Unusually rich, full-bodied, lively and present, sound that brings out the best in Miles' music
  • Recorded in All Tube Mono, this is the real sound of these four jazz giants playing live-in-the-home-studio of none other than a Mr Rudy Van Gelder
  • "Miles Davis was in the process of forming his first classic quintet when he recorded this date... The trumpeter is featured with pianist Red Garland, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, playing four standards plus a blues ('Green Haze') and 'I Didn't,' his answer to Monk's 'Well, You Needn't.'"
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

  (Item #: beachpetso_1909) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from beginning to end and exceptionally QUIET vinyl, this pressing has the Pet Sounds you've been looking for
  • Play this against any and all versions you have - this will be the last Pet Sounds you buy (unless you decide to upgrade to a Triple Plus copy)
  • The Beach Boys revolutionized the popular music of the day with their genius for harmony, and a killer copy like this has their voices sounding the way they should
  • 5 stars: "The group here reached a whole new level in terms of both composition and production, layering tracks upon tracks of vocals and instruments to create a richly symphonic sound."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Kinks
Kinda Kinks

  (Item #: kinkskinda_1907_2) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This superb copy of The Kinks' sophomore release earned Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides
  • This Pink and Green Reprise original MONO pressing is lively, balanced and vibrant, with a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical Richness the Kinks' recordings need in order to sound the way they should
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...this album showcased a much more sophisticated sound... it also put them right in the front of the British Invasion pack for seriousness and complexity, out in front of where the Beatles or almost any of the competition were in early 1965..."
See all of our Kinks albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
House of Byrd

  (Item #: byrd_house_1906_8_11) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Two rare Donald Byrd albums in one, both with stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on one side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on the other
  • The Tubey Magic is fully intact, making these two albums sound just the way a pair of classic All Tube 1956 Rudy Van Gelder jazz albums should
  • Composed of two superb LPs - 2 Trumpets and The Young Bloods - these wonderful pressings capture some of Byrd's best music and sound
  • "Art and Donald are in fine form, and if there is any competition it serves only to increase the musical yield."
  • "... These blowing sessions (typical of Prestige's albums of the 1950s) have their enjoyable moments with Farmer and Woods taking overall solo honors.
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White Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book

  (Item #: fitzgsings_rodgers_and_hart_1910ex) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Fitzgerald's second Songbook release finally arrives on the site with stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on all four of these wonderful mono sides
  • There's real Tubey Magic on this album, along with breathy vocals, in-your-listening-room midrange presence and no shortage of swingin' energy
  • We would love to find you a quiet, amazing sounding copy, but that just does not seem to be in the cards
  • 5 stars: "The second of Ella Fitzgerald's famed Songbook series features her singing 34 of the best songs co-written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The arrangements by Buddy Bregman for the string orchestra and big band only border on jazz but she manages to swing the medium-tempo numbers and give sensitivity to the ballads. "
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White Hot Stamper

Julie London
Lonely Girl

  (Item #: londolonel_1910_1ex) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This KILLER early mono pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • Shockingly Tubey Magical and solid, with huge amounts of studio space - the vocals are sweet and breathy and the overall sound is rich and full
  • One of the best Sultry Female Vocal recordings ever made - Julie is practically holographic
  • 4 stars: "Lone guitarist Al Viola plays gentle Spanish-tinged acoustic behind the hushed vocalist, and it suits London perfectly. While the singer was often chided for her beauty and lack of range, she deftly navigates these ballads without any rhythmic underpinnings to fall back on. London's intense focus on phrasing and lyrics recalls Chet Baker's equally telescopic approach."
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White Hot Stamper

June Christy
Fair And Warmer!

  (Item #: chrisfaira_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An incredible sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from the first note to the last - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • If you want to hear just how good an All Tube Capitol recording, in mono, from 1957 can sound, this record is guaranteed to do the trick
  • All the top West Coast Cool School jazz vets are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
  • "... the cool-toned singer is the main star. Highlights include a definitive "I Want to Be Happy," "Imagination," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." All of June Christy's Capitol dates are well worth picking up."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Birth of the Cool

  (Item #: davisbirth_1904_7_9ex) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer pressing of this Groundbreaking Jazz Classic, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and Double Plus (A++) on the second
  • This vintage mono pressing will show you just how well-recorded these 1949-50 sessions were
  • It's the records they made from these tapes (more often from the dubs of them) that have given everybody the wrong idea about these wonderful recordings
  • 5 stars: "So dubbed because these three sessions are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate."
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White Hot Stamper

The Who
My Generation

  (Item #: who__mygen_1807_7_10) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • This import pressing is killer, with more correct tonality, dramatically less distortion and much more energy than anything you've heard, guaranteed
  • Some tracks do sound better than others, but that’s par for the course with early Who material
  • "An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record."
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Super Hot Stamper

Billie Holiday
All Or Nothing At All

  (Item #: holidallor_1909) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • A superb copy of this outstanding double album with solid Double Plus (A+++) sound or BETTER on all four sides
  • This 2 LP set features most of the tracks from the original release plus another handful of recordings from the same period (1955-1956)
  • It's one of the better sounding Billie Holiday records we've heard, any guaranteed to beat any Heavy Vinyl reissue you've wasted your money on
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... features some of Billie Holiday's top Verve performances from the mid-'50s... she runs the emotional gamut from summery optimism to pathos-rich musings. Befitting her perennial after-hours mood, the majority of songs here feature Holiday in a low-down mood of the highest order."
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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

Frank Sinatra
Close To You

  (Item #: sinatclose_1906_9) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This early mono pressing of Sinatra's 1957 release boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are wonderful - full, musical and Tubey Magical with excellent clarity
  • Rich, sweet, and completely free of phony EQ, this record will put a living, breathing Sinatra standing right there between your speakers
  • 4 stars: "...one of Frank Sinatra's most gentle and intimate albums... has a delicate, lovely quality..."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Kinks
Kinks Kinkdom

  (Item #: kinkskinkd_1901_5_9) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This outstanding pressing of The Kinks excellent third album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • This Reprise Pink and Green original mono pressing is lively, balanced and vibrant, with a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical Richness these tracks need in order to sound their best
  • Fairly quiet vinyl for a vintage Kinks record - they don't come much quieter or sound much better than this one
  • "There are some terrific numbers here -- not just 'A Well Respected Man' and 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion,' but the exuberant 'Who'll Be the Next in Line' and 'I Need You,' the menacing 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else,' and the haunting 'See My Friends.'"
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

  (Item #: rollirolli_1810_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding nearly Triple Plus (A++) sound - close to our Shootout Winner - on this vintage pressing of The Stones' 1964 release
  • Both sides of this Red Label British Decca Mono are doing it right - they're big, rich and fairly tonally correct
  • This is the real, honest sound of the early, early Stones - it is what it is, and trying to fix it will almost surely ruin what's good about it
  • "The Stones’ debut knocked The Beatles from the chart summit… They were on their way." - BBC Review
See all of our Rolling Stones albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Billie Holiday
Music For Torching

  (Item #: holidmusic_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of Holiday's 1955 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl on side one too
  • A superb recording of jazz standards with a great lineup and Billie in top form - plenty of Tubey Magic and especially breathy vocals as well
  • Great performances with stellar sound for It Had to Be You, Come Rain or Come Shine, A Fine Romance and too many more to list
  • "The overall feeling on this 1955 recording is strictly after-hours: the party is long over but a few close friends remain for nightcaps and, is that the sun peeking through the windows?"
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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 (quiet)

Hampton Hawes
Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes...

  (Item #: hawesevery_volume_3_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound throughout for this Contemporary Yellow Label stereo pressing with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Note how correct the sound of the instruments is on these sides - dead-on instrumental timbre is unquestionably the hallmark of any Contemporary recording, and this one is as right sounding as any we have ever played
  • "The third of three Hampton Hawes trio dates with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson is on the same high level as his first two... [he] comes up with consistently creative ideas throughout this swinging bop date."
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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

  (Item #: dylanfreew_1903_6_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This 360 stereo copy has outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • You'll find this copy surprisingly spacious, full-bodied and natural, with relatively few of the problems that plague most pressings
  • It's clear these classic songs have stood the test of time: Blowin' in the Wind; Girl from the North Country; Masters of War; A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall; Don't Think Twice, It's All Right and many more
  • 5 stars: "This is rich, imaginative music, capturing the sound and spirit of America... Dylan, in many ways, recorded music that equaled this, but he never topped it."
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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
The Cole Porter Songbook

  (Item #: fitzgsings_porter_1901_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it for all four sides, this glorious 1956 mono recording is superb from first note to last
  • Full-bodied, musical, and smooth, with surprisingly spacious orchestral staging - this is just the right sound for this album and especially this kind of music
  • "The combination of Ella and Porter is irresistible and whether up-tempo or down-tempo, Ella’s three-octave range voice soars effortlessly as she makes each song come to life. It was all helped by the cream of L.A. session men and Buddy Bregman’s arrangement that oozes sophistication way beyond his twenty-four years. It is a perfect record." - Richard Havers
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Super Hot Stamper

Hampton Hawes
Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes...

  (Item #: hawesevery_volume_3_1904_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound throughout for this Contemporary Yellow Label stereo pressing with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER
  • Note how correct the sound of the instruments is on these sides. Dead-on instrumental timbre is unquestionably the hallmark of any Contemporary recording, and this one is as right sounding as any we have ever played
  • "The third of three Hampton Hawes trio dates with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson is on the same high level as his first two... [he] comes up with consistently creative ideas throughout this swinging bop date." -- All Music
See all of our Hampton Hawes albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jackie McLean
A Long Drink of the Blues

  (Item #: mclealongd_1904_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Shockingly good All Tube Mono sound from 1957 courtesy of Rudy Van Gelder, and the high-rez, tonally correct and wide-bandwidth mastering brings out even the most subtle nuances of the sound of this superb sextet
  • McLean's sax is joined on the first side by Curtis Fuller on trombone and Webster Young on Trumpet
  • 4 stars: "Although not quite as intense as McLean's later Blue Note dates, the ballad renditions show just how mature and original a soloist he was even at this early stage."
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Birth of the Cool

  (Item #: davisbirth_1810_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of this Groundbreaking Jazz Classic, with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • This vintage mono pressing will show you just how well-recorded these 1949-50 sessions were
  • It's the records they made from these tapes (more often from the dubs of them) that have given everybody the wrong idea about these wonderful sounding recordings
  • 5 stars: "So dubbed because these three sessions are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate."
See all of our Miles Davis albums in stock


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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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White Hot Stamper

The Yardbirds
Roger The Engineer

  (Item #: yardbroger_1804_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A stunning copy with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one - exceptionally quiet import vinyl too
  • Here are the full-bodied mids, punchy lows and clear, open, extended highs that let this Psych Classic by the band come alive
  • Over, Under, Sideways, Down - the big hit off the album - sounds great here in MONO
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... the Yardbirds' best individual studio album, offering some of their very best psychedelia."
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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
Billie Holiday


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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 2

  (Item #: fitzgsings_the_duke_1903_6_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides!
  • Forget the originals - like so many of the early songbook pressings, they suffer from painfully hard and honky mastering EQ (and gritty sounding vinyl)
  • We know whereof we speak when it comes to early Ella records - we've played plenty of them and found that most just don't sound very good
  • "Duke's spectacular catalog dazzles, and his sprightly, lush textures are transfigured under Fitzgerald's warm-timbred voice and elegant, precise delivery... each tune as familiar as it is delightful to hear in this new context."
See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


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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

Julie London
Make Love To Me

  (Item #: londomakel_1811_4_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This outstanding original Liberty Turquoise mono pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on both sides
  • Thanks to superb engineering and vintage All Tube mastering, this 1957 LP is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a breathy, intimate Julie London performing live in your listening room
  • It's also pressed on unusually quiet vinyl - Mint Minus Minus, with no issues to speak of - they don't come quieter
  • 4 stars: "Julie London's concise and melodic versions of standards were quite popular during the latter half of the 1950s. Her subtle sensuality and lightly swinging style made for a potent combination."
See all of our Julie London albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Rolling Stones
No. 2

  (Item #: rollino2_1812_4_9) 

Our Price: $129.99

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


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan (in Stereo)

  (Item #: dylananoth_1909) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An early 360 Label Stereo copy of this early Dylan classic with very good Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • The mono pressings are superb as well, but we were surprised at just how clear and present Dylan's voice sounded on this copy
  • Many classics are here: All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom, My Back Pages, It Ain't Me Babe and 7 more
  • 5 Stars: "Another Side of Bob Dylan is a more varied record and it's more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike. The result is one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

  (Item #: dylanbobdy_1809_1907) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding MONO copy of Bob Dylan's self-titled debut (recorded in mono) with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Both sides here have the immediacy, the warmth and the studio space the reissues fail to reproduce
  • "... a sterling effort, outclassing most, if not all, of what came before it..."
See all of our Bob Dylan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_stereo_1910) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This outstanding pressing of Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! boasts Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • Here's the midrange magic that’s missing from the 180g reissues, probably using a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • The vocal naturalness and immediacy here will put Ella practically in the room with you - sound like this lets her performance come to life
  • Our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year
  • "Another typically wonderful LP of Ella Fitzgerald in her prime...this is an excellent (and somewhat underrated) set."
More Ella Fitzgerald


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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_mono_1910) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This outstanding Mono pressing of Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! boasts Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - the vinyl does have issues though
  • Here's the midrange magic that’s missing from the 180g reissues, probably using a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • The vocal naturalness and immediacy here will put Ella practically in the room with you - sound like this lets her performance come to life
  • Our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year
  • "Another typically wonderful LP of Ella Fitzgerald in her prime...this is an excellent (and somewhat underrated) set."
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Super Hot Stamper

June Christy
Fair And Warmer!

  (Item #: chrisfaira_1907_1) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER from the first note to the last - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • If you want to hear just how good an All Tube Capitol recording, in mono, from 1957 can sound, this record is guaranteed to do the trick
  • All the top West Coast Cool School jazz vets are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
  • "... the cool-toned singer is the main star. Highlights include a definitive "I Want to Be Happy," "Imagination," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." All of June Christy's Capitol dates are well worth picking up."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Who
My Generation

  (Item #: who__mygen_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish on this killer MONO British pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Our Virgin UK import here is superb on both sides - clear and solid with the presence and hard-rockin' energy this music deserves
  • We've rarely heard these songs sound better than they do here - forget the domestic pressings, as well as anything that's supposed to be stereo of course
  • 5 stars: "An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. ... At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. The Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record."
More of The Who


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White Hot Stamper

June Christy
June's Got Rhythm

  (Item #: chrisjunes_1905_10) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • A KILLER Capitol Mono pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
  • Just listen to the piano on Gypsy In My Soul - it’s rich, warm and full-bodied. You’ll never hear an RVG recording with a piano that sounds like that!
  • Musically this album is right up there with the best we know, the creme de la creme of female vocal recordings
  • 4 stars: "Christy excels on a jazz-oriented set... Her versions of such songs as "I'm Glad There Is You," "My One and Only Love," "When Lights Are Low" and "Blue Moon" are tasteful, sincere and often quite memorable."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Hampton Hawes
Vol 2: The Trio

  (Item #: hawesvol2t_1901_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) pressing from '55/'56 mono tapes is EVERYTHING that's good about mono
  • Finishing right behind our Shootout Winner, here is the size, the weight, the solidity, the clarity, the energy, the rhythmic drive, and more!
  • Some of the best sound and the best music we have ever heard on any Hampton Hawes album
  • 4 1/2 Stars [but we give it 5]: "... this Hampton Hawes date would certainly make good company for any other top jazz piano trio records in your collection."
See all of our Hampton Hawes albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Billie Holiday
Music For Torching

  (Item #: holidmusic_1909_11) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy of Holiday's 1955 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • A superb recording of jazz standards with a great lineup and Billie in top form - plenty of Tubey Magic and especially breathy vocals as well
  • Great performances with stellar sound for It Had to Be You, Come Rain or Come Shine, A Fine Romance and too many more to list
  • "The overall feeling on this 1955 recording is strictly after-hours: the party is long over but a few close friends remain for nightcaps and, is that the sun peeking through the windows?"
More Billie Holiday


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Super Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
House of Byrd

  (Item #: byrd_house_1903_9) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Two rare Donald Byrd albums in one, both with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The Tubey Magic is fully intact, making these two albums sound just the way a pair of classic All Tube 1956 Rudy Van Gelder jazz albums should
  • Composed of two superb LPs - 2 Trumpets and The Young Bloods - these wonderful pressings capture some of Byrd's best music and sound
  • "Art and Donald are in fine form, and if there is any competition it serves only to increase the musical yield."
  • "... These blowing sessions (typical of Prestige's albums of the 1950s) have their enjoyable moments with Farmer and Woods taking overall solo honors.
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Super Hot Stamper

Hampton Hawes
Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes...

  (Item #: hawesevery_volume_3_1910_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Superb sound throughout for this Contemporary Yellow Label stereo pressing with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades
  • Note how correct the sound of the instruments is on these sides - dead-on instrumental timbre is unquestionably the hallmark of any Contemporary recording, and this one is as right sounding as any we have ever played
  • "The third of three Hampton Hawes trio dates with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Chuck Thompson is on the same high level as his first two... [he] comes up with consistently creative ideas throughout this swinging bop date."
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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

Hampton Hawes
Vol 2: The Trio

  (Item #: hawesvol2t_1812_1906) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • Made from '55/'56 mono tapes, this is everything that's good about '50s mono recordings - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
  • Some of the best sound and the best music we have heard on any Hampton Hawes album - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • 4 1/2 Stars [but we give it 5]: "... this Hampton Hawes date would certainly make good company for any other top jazz piano trio records in your collection."
See all of our Hampton Hawes albums in stock


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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."
See all of our John Coltrane albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

June Christy
Gone For The Day

  (Item #: chrisgonef_1804_1807) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • This very good sounding original Turquoise Capitol pressing boasts Hot Stampers on both sides
  • Musically, this album is right up there with the best female vocal records we have ever played
  • The best of these original monos from 1957 have all the TUBEY MAGIC these vintage Capitol pressings are famous for
  • Allmusic reviewers give it Four Stars and we would give it at least that many
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Donovan
The Real Donovan

  (Item #: donovreald_1710_1902) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • With a superbly balanced nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side two and nearly Double Plus (A+ to A++) side one, this is a great way to hear these songs from '65 & '66
  • If more mono records sounded as big and open as this one we would totally be on board with the current movement towards One Channel
  • The Real Donovan is a compilation of singles, along with some tracks sourced from the first two albums, and an EP, as well as a couple of b-sides
  • Catch the Wind and Colours are two of the better known songs here, but really, all these folk songs are well written and performed with real feeling
See all of our Donovan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

June Christy
The Intimate Miss Christy

  (Item #: chrisintim_1802_1905-) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, this original MONO copy will be hard to beat
  • If you want to hear a living, breathing June Christy in an intimate setting, this early pressing is the only way to go
  • The vinyl has some issues, so those looking for copies in top playing condition may want to look elsewhere
  • "The Intimate Miss Christy is a special treat for her fans as it finds the cool blonde singer backed only by Al Viola's guitar and Don Bagley's bass (though a flutist sits in on a few tracks)."
See all of our june Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

June Christy
The Misty Miss Christy

  (Item #: chrismisty_1805_1903) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • A superb sounding copy of this original Turquoise Label Capitol Mono LP with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Both sides here are rich, sweet and Tubey Magical, with Miss Christy's breathy vocals nicely staged front and center
  • All the top West Coast jazz guys are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Christy shows her swinging savvy on breezy gems like "Sing Something Simple," "There's No You," and "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." Both an essential Christy title and one of the best vocal albums from the '50s."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Barney Kessel - Carmen

Transparency Is Key

  (Item #: kessebarne_transparency) 



The best Hot Stamper Original Yellow Label Mono pressings have the Tubey Magic we've come to expect from Contemporary circa 1958, with that warm, rich, full-bodied sound that most engineers can't begin to understand. However, some pressings in our shootout managed to give us an extra level of transparency and ambience that the original pressings rarely do.

There's a room around this drum kit. So many copies don't show you that room, not if they have the full sound that a copy like this does. (It's amazing all the detail you can hear in a leaned-out record, but what good is that? The sound is leaned out! If you like that sound buy the OJC or the CD. Leave these wonderful originals to those of us who know the sound we're after.)

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Barney Kessel - Music to Listen to Barney Kessel By

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: kessemusic_2017) 



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

This Triple Triple (A+++) mono pressing blew everything else out of the water - nothing could touch it! How can you beat a Roy DuNann recording of five reeds, piano, guitar and a rhythm section that includes Shelly Manne and Red Mitchell? The timbre of the instruments is so spot-on it makes all the hard work and money you've put into your stereo more than pay off.

The Demo Disc sound on this copy is really something to hear - all tube, live-to-two-track direct from the Contemporary studio.

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Barney Kessel - Vol. 3: To Swing Or Not To Swing

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: kessetoswi_2017) 



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

This Early Contemporary Yellow Label Mono LP sure has AMAZING SOUND!

Man, this music is a blast when it sounds this good. I don’t think there’s a whole lot you could do to make this music sound any better! It’s one of the best early mono Contemporary LP I’ve ever played. It's so tubey magical and Kessel's guitar sound is out of this world.

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Barney Kessell - Easy Like

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: kesseeasyl_2005) 



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

This is an original Mono Contemporary Yellow Label DEMO LP. If you can stand some surface noise this is a very good sounding LP. The sound is good; however, it's almost impossible to find quiet pressings of these old Contemporary albums. This is about as quiet as they get.

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Billie Holiday - All Or Nothing At All

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: holidallor_2018) 



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

A KILLER sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish, on quiet vinyl to boot. This is one of the best sounding Billie Holiday records we have ever heard - it's even a clear step up from the originals we had on hand. This 2 LP set features most of the tracks from the original release plus another handful of recordings from the same period (1955-1956)

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Bob Dylan - Another Side of Bob Dylan

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: dylananoth_2009) 



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

We played a bunch of these recently and only a very small handful of sides had enough magic to be considered Hot Stampers. The typical pressing loses its steam in (at least) one of two ways: honky mids and veiled vocals. The copies with the honk can be nearly unlistenable when Dylan starts blowing his harmonica, and the copies with veiled vocals and no real immediacy bored us to tears.

This copy has the magic on side two. The sound is full-bodied, natural, and rich with excellent presence and real depth to the soundfield.

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Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan

Our Shootout Winner from 2013 in Mono

  (Item #: dylanbobdy_2013) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++ for this the MONO pressing! It's beyond difficult to find copies of this album with good sound, but we managed to get a hold of a hot one here. This is a true solo album -- guitar, vocals and harmonica -- and it's a lot of fun to hear a young (20!) Dylan playing the way he might have played in the coffee shops and folk clubs of Greenwich Village.

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Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: dylanfreew_2016) 



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

This is a 2-pack of two Mono pressings, each with a killer Triple Plus (A+++) side. The White Hot sides are amazingly spacious, full-bodied, natural and clear with great presence. We greatly prefer the best Mono pressings to the best stereo copies, but they are very hard to come by.

This is our favorite of the early Dylan albums for both music and sound! We're picking up both mono and stereo copies when we see them clean (which is rare) but the best mono copies truly take this music to a whole new level.

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Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2009 in Mono

  (Item #: dylantimes_2009) 



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

This 360 Label Original Columbia Mono LP, complete with the rare lyric sheet, has two LOVELY sounding sides that rate A++ or better. I was actually a big fan of the Sundazed Mono, but this has more of that Tubey Magic, richness, and overall naturalness that you find on old records, qualities that seem to be sorely lacking on even the best 180 gram remasterings. MoFi also did this record and ruined it in the process (shocker!).

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Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2016 in Mono

  (Item #: dylantimes_2016) 



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

This amazing Mono pressing is the first Triple Triple copy to ever hit the site! Both A+++ sides are incredibly rich and warm, with dynamics and smoothness to the harmonica you almost never hear. As impressive as the best stereo copies can be, the mono version is our preferred mix for the album.

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Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Playboys

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bakerplayb_2015) 



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

Side one is White Hot, side two nearly so, and both contain swingin' West Coast Jazz from 1956. These 1983 reissues on Boplicity are dynamic and lively, perfectly suited to the energy of the music. The 1956 All Tube mono recording here has this Hot/Cool jazz sounding the way it should.

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Donovan - Catch The Wind

Superb in Mono

  (Item #: donovcatch_2010) 



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

The sound when summed to mono is natural, with a correct top end. This is some of the best of the early, folky Donovan from 1965.

We were less than impressed with the sound of this electronically reprocessed album in stereo, but were very pleasantly surprised when we hit the mono button on our EAR phono stage. The weird, phasey top end disappeared almost completely on side two, and Donovan's voice and guitar sounded pretty darn right to us by the second track (the first track on side two is a mess).

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Donovan - The Real Donovan in Mono

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: donovreald_2013) 



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

Now here's a mono record we can get behind! If more mono records sounded big and open the way this one does we would totally be on board with the current movement towards One Channel. (As that has not been our experience we remain skeptical.)

This is by far the best sounding, quietest pressing we have ever played. It boasts Super Hot Stamper sound on side one, backed with even better than Super Hot Stamper sound (A++ to A+++) on side two, and it's pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl (for Hickory anyway).

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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_2009) 



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

Folks, this record came as a SHOCK -- the first and ONLY mono pressing we have ever played that not only was competitive with the best stereo copies, but actually bettered them in some ways. Some IMPORTANT ways I might add. We’ve only played a handful of mono pressings of Clap Hands over the years, and for good reason -- they’re exceedingly mediocre. On almost every one we’ve ever played Ella was distant, dull and lifeless. Feh! Who wants to play a record the sounds like that?

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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_2017) 



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

The first "Triple Triple" MONO copy to ever hit the site -- A+++ from start to finish. Our knockout mono pressing here was fuller, more natural and more involving than any copy we heard in our shootout. with immediacy to put Ella practically in the room with you, it's her performance that really comes to life. It's our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year.

Check out what the lucky owner of this copy had to say about it.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Like Someone In Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzglikes_2017) 



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

The space is HUGE and the sound so rich. The vocals have dramatically less hardness and the orchestra -- especially on side two -- is not brash for once.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

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Frank Sinatra - A Swingin’ Affair!

Reviewed in 2015

  (Item #: sinataswin) 



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

This is a very nice looking original Capitol Grey/Black Label LP. As for sonics, the record starts off a little problematically but things really start cookin’ by track two and the sound becomes sweet and warm. By the way this Capitol Label was only used from 1956 until 1957. This record plays Mint Minus Minus about as quiet as any early Capitol pressing you're likely to ever hear.

The record was number one in the UK for 7 straight weeks!


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Frank Sinatra - Close To You

Sounds Great in Mono

  (Item #: sinatclose_2010) 



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

This nice looking Capitol Rainbow Label pressing has SUPERB SINATRA SOUND! His voice is PERFECTION. Rich, sweet, and completely free of phony EQ (Mobile Fidelity take note!), this record will put a living, breathing Sinatra between your speakers. Normally I'm not a big fan of these slower, ballady Sinatra records, but he's so good here, it's difficult to find fault with music and sound like this.

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Frank Sinatra - Look To Your Heart

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: sinatlookt_2016) 



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

Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, with a side two that is right up there with it - outstanding sound quality from first note to last. This copy was the fullest, richest and smoothest, with the best bass and most natural vocals of any we played. Recorded from 1953-1955, this mono collection of singles and such gives us Old Blue Eyes in his Capitol-period prime.

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Frank Sinatra - Songs for Swingin’ Lovers

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: sinatsongs_2006) 



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

This is a Minty Capitol Black Label original LP with No Bar Code. They don’t come any better than this! It is amazingly quiet for an old Capitol, with excellent sound throughout.

Many of the Sinatra Capitol Black Label releases do not sound good. They're full of harmonic distortion like The Beatles' records from that era. This copy is the exception -- not the rule! The recordings are full of life and clearly made from a good tape.

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Frank Sinatra - The Voice

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sinatthevo_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

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

There is a boatload of TUBEY MAGIC to be heard on the original pressings, due no doubt to the fact that they are mastered with tube equipment, but not much on this Classic repress.

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Frank Sinatra - The Voice

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: sinatthevo_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1955.

This is a Six Eye Mono Original Columbia pressing. These originals have the midrange magic that is missing from the Classic Records heavy vinyl pressing.

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Hampton Hawes - Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: hawesevery_volume_3_2013) 



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

This hard-to-find '70s Contemporary reissue pressing of the 1956 mono recording has EXCELLENT sound, with both sides earning grades of A+ to A++. We don't run into Hawes' LPs the way we used to, so it was indeed a delight to find enough copies of this album to do a shootout.

Note how correct the sound of the instruments is on both sides. This is the unquestionably the hallmark of any Contemporary recording: correct instrumental timbre.

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Hampton Hawes - Vol 2: The Trio

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: hawesvol2t_2016) 



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

This Triple Plus (+++) pressing from '55/'56 mono tapes is EVERYTHING that's good about mono. The size, the weight, the solidity, the clarity, the energy, the rhythmic drive - it's all here and more. This killer pressing has the best sound and the best music we have ever heard on any Hampton Hawes album.

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Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 1 / Fennell

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: holstbriti_50088_2011) 



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

This RARE Super Hot Stamper Mercury Mono original pressing has the kind of BIG, LIVELY, tonally correct sound that not one out of fifty mono records we play can lay claim to. If more mono records sounded like this one I wouldn't be so down on mono all the time.

But they don't. Most mono records sound SMALL. When you have big speakers, set far apart and far from the back wall, in a pretty good sized room, small is just not the sound you want to hear! Especially when it comes to classical music. I want a front row seat, and this record is a first class ticket to one.

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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 Lee Hooker - House of the Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: hookehouse_2013) 



This 1959 Black Label (Unbreakable!) original deep groove Chess mono LP has some seriously good Super Hot Stamper sound on side one, earning a sonic grade of At Least A++. My notes for the sound of the third track read "very real". You get the feeling that whatever John Lee Hooker played and sang on that day in 1959 ended up on this record sounding just the way he performed it, live to one-track.
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JS Bach / The Goldberg Variations / Glenn Gould

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: bach_goldb_2011) 



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

Interesting record. The first side sounds about like what one would expect from an old Columbia six-eye mono piano recording -- not bad but not particularly good either, with a tonally correct but rather small and distant piano in the middle of a big room.

Imagine our surprise and delight when we flipped the record over and heard a shockingly ROBUST, CLEAR and PRESENT piano, sounding pretty much -- if one were to close one's eyes -- like a real piano in a practice hall. We call it at least Super Hot Stamper sound. Without more copies to compare it to, this may be for all practical purposes As Good As It Gets.

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Julie London - Calendar Girl

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: londocalen_2019) 



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

This Julie London 1956 Classic makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too. Both of these mono sides have plenty of Tubey Magic - they're fuller, more musical and more natural than most any other copy we played. Julie's voice sounds particularly nice on this copy - intimate, rich and warm, just as the way we like her to sound.

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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What a Record!

  (Item #: londojulie_is_2016) 



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

We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a given recording to a level we've never experienced before and had no idea could even exist. We estimate that about one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

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Julie London - Lonely Girl

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: londolonel_2017) 



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

A Knockout recording of female vocal with guitar: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side, seriously good Double Plus (A++) on the second. Julie is in the room with you - intimate, breathy and Tubey Magical like practically nothing you've ever heard. For late night listening this is surely one of the best Sultry Female Vocal recordings ever made - you won't believe how real the sound is.

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Julie London - Make Love To Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: londomakel_2018) 



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

This outstanding original Liberty Turquoise mono pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on both sides. Thanks to superb engineering and vintage All Tube mastering, this 1957 LP is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a breathy, intimate Julie London performing live in your listening room. It's also pressed on unusually quiet vinyl - Mint Minus Minus, with no issues to speak of - they don't come quieter.

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June Christy - Gone For The Day

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: chrisgonef_2010) 



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

Side two of this White Hot Stamper June Christy record on the original Capitol Turquoise label is AMAZING, both musically and sonically. It has all the TUBEY MAGIC we know these old records are famous for, but this copy gives you something you may never have heard on a vintage pressing before: real frequency EXTENSION, both high and low. Who knew an old record could have extended highs like these and such deep bass?

I can honestly say I have never heard any June Christy record sound as good as this copy does.

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June Christy - Something Cool

Cisco Reviewed

  (Item #: chrissomet_cisco) 



Sonic Grade: C-

This is a decent Cisco LP, which has now long out of print. Audiophiles who love female vocal albums and pass on this one are missing the boat, because finding a better sounding original in clean enough condition to play is practically impossible these days. Of course if you already have a clean original you sure don't need to waste your money on this LP.

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June Christy - Something Cool

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: chrissomet_2016) 



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

We are HUGE fans of this album at Better Records, but it's taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make this shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble!

The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Get the volume just right and June will be standing between your speakers and putting on the performance of a lifetime. This is one of our three or four favorite female vocal albums (along with Clap Hands, Julie Is her Name and not many others!) and this amazingly good copy will show you why -- the sound and music are As Good As It Gets.

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June Christy - The Intimate Miss Christy

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: chrisintim_2017) 



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

Both sides of this 1962 All Tube Recorded and Mastered record are just as rich and relaxed as you would expect. The balance is correct, which means the top is there as well as the bottom, with good vocal presence throughout.

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June Christy - This Is June Christy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: christhisi_2016) 



This wonderful recording from 1958 is a distinguished member of the Better Records Popular Hall of Fame.

It's very rare that a Shootout Winning copy of a June Christy album from the late '50s would have vinyl this quiet. Can't recall the last time that happened, or if it ever has.

Both sides of this '50s All Tube Recorded and Mastered record are just as rich and relaxed as you would expect. The balance is correct, which means the top is there as well as the bottom, with good vocal presence throughout.

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Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: davisbirth_2017) 



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

Birth Of The Cool in White Hot Stamper form! We've been trying to find copies of this classic music from 1949-1950 that really delivered in an audiophile sense, but as you might imagine it was one tough task. We checked out Mono and Stereo copies, Originals and Reissues... basically anything we could get our hands on. It wasn't easy and it wasn't cheap, but we managed to find a pressing here that delivers excellent sound throughout.

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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 - 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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