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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Deja Vu

  (Item #: crosbdejav_1909) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • A stunning Shootout Winning copy that is guaranteed to blow your mind - each side earned Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • The sound is HUGE -- lively, present and rich in a way that nothing you've heard can compete with
  • One of our all time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
  • 5 stars: "...this variety made Déjà Vu a rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners, while mass audiences reveled in the glorious harmonies and the thundering electric guitars..."
More Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1910_1) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A real monster copy of CSN&Y's classic live double album with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on ALL FOUR SIDES!
  • This live album gives you the "naked" sound of the real thing - the real voices and the real guitars and the real everything else, in a way that would never happen again
  • Their brilliant engineer, Bill Halverson, worked his magic here, but only the best pressings let his genius shine the way this one does
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
More Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_1906_8_10) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • This stunning copy offers insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Huge, rich and energetic, this pressing brings the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to life like nothing you have ever heard
  • The two exclusive tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both have Demo Disc sound here
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Deja Vu

  (Item #: crosbdejav_1910) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A stunning copy with Double to Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • This killer stereo pressing is wonderfully Tubey Magical, full-bodied and solid, with note-like, clear bass
  • One of our all time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
  • 5 stars: "... variety made Déjà Vu a rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners, while mass audiences reveled in the glorious harmonies and the thundering electric guitars..."
More Deja Vu


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White Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Clouds

  (Item #: mitchcloud_1906_9) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Triple Triple! A stunning copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish- this is As Good As It Gets, folks!
  • Check out the clear transients on Joni's guitar -- you can really hear her moving her hands around the fretboard and pulling on the strings
  • It's tough to find this album in clean shape with this kind of warm, natural sound (something the new reissue is no doubt profoundly lacking)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Clouds is a stark stunner, a great leap forward for Joni Mitchell. Vocals here are more forthright and assured than on her debut and exhibit a remarkable level of subtle expressiveness. Guitar alone is used in accompaniment, and the variety of playing approaches and sounds gotten here is most impressive."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (quiet vinyl)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Deja Vu

  (Item #: crosbdejav_1909_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A superb Big and Bold copy that earned seriously good sonic grades of Double Plus (A++) on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is HUGE -- lively, present and rich in a way that nothing you've heard can compete with
  • One of our all-time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
  • 5 stars: "...this variety made Déjà Vu a rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners, while mass audiences reveled in the glorious harmonies and the thundering electric guitars..."
More Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young


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White Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1905_10) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, this copy of Still's amazing debut is as good as it gets
  • Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album
  • A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are the very definition of Big Production Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Listening to this album three decades on, it's still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_1904_9) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $169.00 (You save $30.99 / 15%)


  • You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this outstanding copy of So Far - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this superb pressing is full-bodied and lively, with solid and present vocals, as well as vocal dynamics that are hard to find on most rock records
  • The two exclusive tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both sound fantastic here
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Consistently outstanding sound for CSN&Y's classic live double album, with all four sides boasting solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER and mostly quiet vinyl
  • This live album gives you the "naked" sound of the real thing - the real voices and the real guitars and the real everything else, in a way that would never happen again
  • Their brilliant engineer, Bill Halverson, worked his magic here, but only the best pressings let his genius shine the way this one does
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (with issues)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Deja Vu

  (Item #: crosbdejav_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb Big and Bold copy that earned seriously good sonic grades of Double Plus (A++) on both sides
  • The sound is HUGE -- lively, present and rich in a way that nothing you've heard can compete with
  • One of our all time favorite albums at Better Records and one that almost never sounds THIS good
  • 5 stars: "...this variety made Déjà Vu a rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners, while mass audiences reveled in the glorious harmonies and the thundering electric guitars..."
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Joni Mitchell
Clouds

  (Item #: mitchcloud_1906_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A lovely vintage pressing of Clouds, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Check out the clear transients on the acoustic guitar -- you can really hear her moving her hands around the fretboard and pulling on the strings
  • It's tough to find this album in clean shape with this kind of warm, natural sound (something the new reissue is no doubt profoundly lacking)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Clouds is a stark stunner, a great leap forward for Joni Mitchell. Vocals here are more forthright and assured than on her debut and exhibit a remarkable level of subtle expressiveness... This essential release is a must-listen."
See all of our Joni Mitchell albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Again

  (Item #: buffaagain_1902_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • You'll find Double Plus (A++) Tubey Magical Analog sound from start to finish for Buffalo Springfield's sophomore release
  • Consistently brilliant songwriting and production: Mr. Soul; A Child's Claim To Fame; Expecting To Fly; Bluebird; Hung Upside Down; Sad Memory; Rock & Roll Woman; Broken Arrow and more!
  • The vinyl plays exceptionally quietly, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus - this is as quiet as they pressed them
  • A Desert Island Disc for yours truly - 5 Stars:"...this record stands as their greatest triumph... its classic status cannot be denied"
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills and Nash
Daylight Again

  (Item #: crosbdayli_1905_9) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $30.99 / 24%)


  • This outstanding copy of Daylight Again (the last good record these guys would ever make) earned solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades - relatively quiet vinyl too
  • This is the embodiment of the Classic CSN sound we love - rich, full-bodied, warm, punchy, dynamic and clear
  • Steven Barncard, one of our favorite recording engineers, no doubt deserves most of the credit
  • Allmusic on Wasted on the Way and Southern Cross: "Both were extracted as singles and became among the best-known tracks not only on Daylight Again, but also in the post-'60s CSN canon."
See all of our Crosby, Stills and Nash albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Last Time Around

  (Item #: buffalastt_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides and reasonably quiet vinyl, this was clearly one of the most enjoyable copies we played in our last shootout
  • Relaxed, rich and tubey, yet clear, this is the kind of sound you always wanted from The Buffalo Springfield but had no way to hear, until now
  • Some of the best songs the band ever wrote are right here: I Am A Child, Kind Woman and too many more to list
  • If Buffalo Springfield Again deserves a Five Star rating then Last Time Around does too - it's every bit as brilliant
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills and Nash
CSN

  (Item #: crosbcsn_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This superb sounding copy of CSN earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides
  • The sound is big and rich, yet still wonderfully clean, clear and open with fantastic energy - you will not believe all the space and ambience here
  • Includes CSN classics Just A Song Before I Go and Fair Game
  • 4 stars: "It has held up remarkably well, both as a memento of its time, and as a thoroughly enjoyable musical work."
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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
4 Way Street

  (Item #: crosb4ways_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Consistently outstanding sound for CSN&Y's classic live double album, with all four sides boasting solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER
  • This live album gives you the "naked" sound of the real thing - the real voices and the real guitars and the real everything else, in a way that would never happen again
  • Their brilliant engineer, Bill Halverson, worked his magic here, but only the best pressings let his genius shine the way this one does
  • Rolling Stone raves that "Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others' way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date."
More Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young


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Super Hot Stamper

Buffalo Springfield
Retrospective - The Best Of...

  (Item #: buffaretro_1904_1) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
  • The Tubey Magical richness on the best pressings is a joy to hear
  • Kind Woman and I Am A Child sound incredible - listen to all that space
  • A wonderful compilation, 5 stars on Allmusic - this is absolutely Must Own Music
See all of our Buffalo Springfield albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills

  (Item #: stillsteph_1802_1904-) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • A Stephen Stills classic, this pressing boasts Hot Stamper sound and relatively quiet vinyl on both sides
  • This is Stills' masterpiece and, when all the elements are working together on a good pressing, the music sounds amazing
  • A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are both landmarks of Big Production Rock
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Listening to this album three decades on, it's still a jaw-dropping experience, the musical equal to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Déjà Vu, and only a shade less important than either of them."
See all of our Stephen Stills albums in stock


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Crosby, Still and Nash - Replay

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbrepla_vta) 



This is another very handy record for setting your Vertical Tracking Angle. The end of Shadow Captain has loud vocals and punchy bass, which are a bit difficult to reproduce. (Forget trying to get this song to sound good if you don’t have an exceptionally good copy.)

The next song is To The Last Whale, which starts with Nash and Crosby's multitracked voices in a big hall. With the correct VTA, their voices should sound silky and sweet. If your arm is too far down in the back, they will get a bit dull. Too high, and they will lose that breathy, "fluffy" quality. And once you get their voices to sound just right, make sure the ending of Shadow Captain is still punchy and dynamic.

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30 Years of Bad Sounding Deja Vu's

Wiped Away in an Instant!

  (Item #: crosbdejav_30years) 



A testimonial from a customer for his Hot Stamper Deja Vu discusses what it takes to get good sound from your stereo. (Hint: it's a good sounding record, duh.)

I have come to a conclusion - no matter whether I had the best $50,000 amps in the world or a $29,000 phono supply or the $150,000 Wilson Alexandria speakers or all that other incredible stuff that audiophiles lust for - not one of those items can make a shit record sound anything but like a shit record. There is no overcoming the original source material that you play on your stereo system.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Bloomfield / Kooper / Stills - Super Session

All Things Are Never Equal

  (Item #: bloomsuper_equal) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning (usually old) records.

Can the Red Label reissues sound any good?

Why yes, they can, and here's why. Every once in a while, when it comes time to stamp out some more copies of slow but still-selling records, "back catalog" as they are known in the trade, someone has to go into the vault and find a tape with which to master. Maybe that person finds a real master tape. Or maybe that person finds a master tape and makes a really high quality dub of it to master from.

More Al Kooper / More Stephen Stills


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Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills - Super Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bloomsuper_2012) 



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

Possibly the BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD! Neither side suffered from the problems we heard on copy after copy: bright, gritty, spitty, edgy, harsh, upper-midrangy vocals. The Red Labels tend to be worse in this respect, but plenty of original 360 pressings have that sound too. Let's face it: If the vocals are wrong this album pretty much falls apart. Here's a copy that gets the midrange right, along with most everything else, and that puts it way ahead of the pack.

More Al Kooper / More Stephen Stills


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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Extracting the Midrange Magic

  (Item #: buffaagain_wtlf) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts concerning music and recordings.

So many copies of this album sound so bad and play so poorly that most audiophiles have by now written it off as a lost cause. But we didn't. We kept at it, and our main motivation was the music.

Extracting the midrange magic from a album like this should be the goal of every right-thinking audiophile. Who cares what's on the TAS Super Disc List? I want to play the music that I love, not because it sounds good, but because I love it. And if the only way to find good sounding copies of typically poorly-mastered, beat-to-death records such as this one is to go through a big pile of them, well then, I guess that's what we'll have to do.

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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: buffaagain_2007) 



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

This original Plum and Tan Atco label Hot Stamper pressing has TWO AMAZING SIDES and fairly quiet vinyl. A Double Plus (A++) Sound and Mint Minus vinyl makes the copy the Black Swan of this shootout, that’s for sure.

You have never heard a better pressing of what many consider to be Buffalo Springfield's Masterpiece, Buffalo Springfield Again. We guarantee this copy will blow your mind or your money back! Only one side of one copy had better sound, and that one was noticeably noisier, so we crowning this one King of the Buffalo Springfield Again Shootout for 2007.

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Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: buffabuffa_2010) 



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

This is the first White Hot Stamper pressing of Buffalo Springfield's self-titled LP to ever hit the site, and folks, you are in for shock if you know this album at all. Although for the most part this is no Demo Disc, this super-rare pressing is SO MUCH BETTER than any other version we know of that it just blows our minds. I had my mind blown about ten years ago when I found my first one, and nothing has changed. It's still the best pressing ever.

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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Listening for Tubey Magic Down Low

  (Item #: buffalastt_wtlf) 



On even the best copies there's a bit too much Tubey Magic in the bass I regret to say. Tubbiness and bloat were par for the course. This may explain why so many copies have rolled off bass; the engineer cut the bass because he heard how tubby it was and figured no bass is better than bad bass.

Which is just not true. Cutting the bass leans out and "modernizes" the sound, making the voices sound thin and dry. This pretty much ruins everything on this album just the way it ruins everything in practically every modern recording I hear. Having your bass under control on the playback side isn't easy -- in fact it's probably the hardest thing to achieve in audio -- but it can be done, and with good bass control the slightly wooly bass is just part of the sound you learn to accept.

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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: buffalastt_2013) 



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

It's really shocking how good this album can sound on the right pressings. When you get hold of one and know how to clean it right, some of these pressings are a damn sight better than the vast majority of audiophiles think! And the music, of course, is CLASSIC. The best side one and the best side two in our last shootout, unfortunately, were less than impressive on their flipsides. We've paired them up to give you the best sound we can find for the entire album! And if you want to hear exactly what you're paying for, just turn either copy over and prepare to be underwhelmed.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Nice enough I suppose, but where’s the Midrange Magic?

The Classic 180g version was a revelation when it came out years ago. Bernie actually cut it pretty darn right. However, his mastering chain cannot compete with the one used on the best original pressings.

The evidence for this is overwhelming. There simply is no Bernie-Grundman-cut record that is the equal of the best pressings not cut on his current chain that I have heard over the years. (His old cutting system, the one that cut Stardust and Blue and much of the Contemporary catalog, was KILLER. Wonder what happened to it?)

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Crosby Stills & Nash

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Crosby, Stills & Nash's first album.

Although millions of copies of this album were sold, so few were mastered and pressed well, and so many mastered and pressed poorly, that few copies actually make it to the site as Hot Stampers. We wish that were not the case -- we love the album -- but the copies we know to have the potential for Hot Stamper sound are just not sitting around in the record bins these days.

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Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Critical Listening Exercise (WTLF)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_test) 



This commentary from an older Hot Stamper listing for CSN’s debut makes note of some specific qualities in the recording that are a good test for midrange transparency and naturalness.

What’s magical about Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)?

Their voices of course. It’s not a trick question. They revolutionized rock music with their genius for harmony. Any good pressing must sound correct on their voices or it has no value whatsoever. A CSN record with bad midrange -- like most of them -- is a worthless record.

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Crosby, Stills & Nash on Nautilus

THE Most Bloated Bass in Half Speed History

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_nr_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

An audiophile record dealer (of course; who else?) once raved to me about Crosby Stills and Nash on Nautilus. I said "What are you talking about? That version sucks!" He replied "No, it’s great. Helplessly Hoping sounds amazing."

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Crosby, Stills and Nash - CSN

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: crosbcsn_2013) 



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

This original LP is clearly the best sounding side one of this album we have ever played. Most copies of CSN are unbelievably flat, harsh, thin and opaque.

Which means simply that our approach is the only one that offers any hope of success. With a large enough batch of copies, cleaned using the best fluids, on the best machines, it is possible to find a side one this good. Without a pretty big batch of well-cleaned pressings your chance of success is hardly worth calculating. Even with the best intentions, frustration is likely to set in long before a Hot Stamper as good as this one has much chance of being found.

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Crosby, Stills and Nash - CSN

You Do the Best You Can with What You've Got to Work With

  (Item #: crosbcsn_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

CSN chose the Albert brothers to engineer this album. Their most famous album is Layla. Ever heard a great sounding Layla? Me neither. Can you hear the sound of Layla in your head? That's more or less what this album sounds like. There are better and worse Layla's -- we've done the shootout many times -- just as there are better and worse CSNs.

The problem with the sound cannot be "fixed" in the mastering, and here's how we know: on either side some songs have the breath of life and some don't. That's a recording problem. .

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 4 Way Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosb4ways_2012) 



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

If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this copy will let you do it. It's not easy to find good sound on even one side of this album, let alone all four!

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 4 Way Street

What to Listen For

  (Item #: crosb4ways_wtlf) 



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

If the singers get hard and shrill in the louder passages, then what you have is a pretty typical pressing. Add grit and grain, smeared transients, opacity, surface noise and a lack of weight down low and you'll know why it takes us years to find enough copies to shoot out -- because this is what most pressings sound like.

More 4 Way Street / More CSN&Y


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: crosbdejav_obsess) 



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

For their second album, Crosby, Stills and Nash added Neil Young to their roster and proceeded to record what we consider to be one of the Ten Best Sounding Rock Records of all time.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Latest Developments

  (Item #: crosbdejav_wrong_2016) 



There are two areas in which we would like to amend some of the previous comments we've made about Deja Vu. The first has to do with early pressings. Many years ago we wrote the following:

As we noted in previous commentary, the originals are uniformly awful. Want some inside info on stampers to avoid, free of charge? C and D are pretty bad news most of the time.

Although that's still true -- Deja Vu is a very difficult album to find with good sound no matter what stampers you have -- we now know that there are very good sounding copies, Shootout Winning copies in fact, with early stampers.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

A Review of the Classic Records Pressing

  (Item #: crosbdejav_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP badly mastered for the benefit of credulous audiophiles.

If you bought the Classic Record Heavy Vinyl pressing, you should know by now how badly Classic Records ripped you off.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

A Tale of Two MoFi Pressings

  (Item #: crosbdejav_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F (or not!)

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Just for fun about 10 years ago I pulled out a MoFi pressing of Deja Vu I had laying around. I hadn't played their version in a long time. I could have gone a lot longer without playing it, because what I heard was pretty disappointing. Playing their record confirmed all my prejudices. The highs sizzled and spit. The heart of the midrange was recessed and sour.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Four Plus Side Two from 2016

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock 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 could even exist. We estimate that less than 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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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES -- Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this. To say this copy murders the competition is the understatement of the year. There is only ONE stamper that gives you the Deja Vu magic from top to bottom and this is it. [We know now that that isn't true.]

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbsofar_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of So Far.

For example, on Find the Cost of Freedom the best copies have DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. You could say everything that needs to be said about the beauty of analog with this one track alone. It's not even two minutes long, but it's two really wonderful minutes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the height of their powers. The voices should sound as sweet and as silky as any CSN three part (four part?) harmony you have ever heard. This song rivals Helplessly Hoping for vocal blend.

More So Far


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: crosbsofar_2012) 



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

We've put together two Shootout Winning White Hot Stamper sides to give you the ultimate So Far. It took two separate records to do it, however, as most copies of the album do not rise above the level of mediocre, and mediocre is not what we sell here at Better Records.

The killer sides here sound like they are made from the MASTER TAPE. They trounced any and all comers during the shootout. No other copies earned Three Pluses, only these two.

More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Music Does the Driving

  (Item #: crosbstillsandnash_overview) 



Of course it's easy to argue that finding good sound on an album with two or more members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in any configuration, has never been easy. It's the rare copy of either of the first two albums that's even listenable, and the CSN album from 1977 doesn't sound nearly as good as any of the first three Crosby/Nash albums. Which simply means that the "good" sound of our Hot Stamper copies is far better than what most audiophiles own of any of these guys in combination.
See all of our Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young albums in stock


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Detail on Crosby Stills and Nash’s First Album

Holy Grail or Audio Trap?

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_detail) 



Detail may be the Holy Grail to most audiophiles, but detail can be a trap we all too easily fall into if we are not careful. Tonal balance is the key. Without it no judgments about detail have any real value.

One example: As good as the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressing is, the guitar at the opening of Helplessly Hoping tells you everything you need to know about what’s missing. The guitar on the Hot Stamper domestic copies has a transparency that cannot be found on Classic’s version. The Classic gets the tonal balance right, but their guitar doesn’t have the subtlety and harmonic resolution of the real thing.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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How to Find a Hot Stamper Deja Vu

Hint: Ignore Conventional Wisdom

  (Item #: crosbdejav_conventionalwisdom) 



A testimonial from a customer for his Hot Stamper Deja Vu provides a forum for the discussion of just what are the higher fidelity pressings.

Never make the mistake of confusing Better Sounding pressing with More Original pressing; they have nothing -- and I mean nothing -- to do with each other. It’s just another Record Collecting Canard. The audio world is full of them.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Stephen Stills - Manassas

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: stillmanas_2009) 



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

Our first Hot Stamper shootout for Manassas produced a number of good sounding sides on the original pressings, but we held back our highest sonic grade because even the best of the best still had problems. Most copies we played were a disaster: grungy, veiled, no real top end, grainy, stuck in the speakers, tubby bass -- these and other problems were all too common. When a double album sounds like this it makes for a very long day.

After playing four or five bad sounding copies we almost threw in the towel. Everyone kept asking me: Does this record ever sound good?

More Stephen Stills


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Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

Bill Halverson's Engineering Masterpiece?

  (Item #: stillsteph_wtlf) 



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

When all the elements are working together as they do here, the music on Steve Stills' first album is postively AMAZING. Until I hear something better, I'm going to have to call this BILL HALVERSON's Engineering Masterpiece.* Yes, on the best copies it's that good.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: stillsteph_2008) 



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

TWO YEARS LATER, Stephen Stills Hot Stampers are BACK! We’ve had an unbelievably hard time finding copies of this album that lived up to our expectations, prompting much of my crew to argue that it just could not be done. Folks, today is the day where the Doubting Thomases of Better Records are proven WRONG. We didn’t find copies that sounded just as good as I remembered -- no, we found copies that went BEYOND what I had hoped for. To the CSN(Y) fans who visit our site, and I know there are lots of you, prepare to be BLOWN AWAY. You are going to freak out over this record!

More Stephen Stills


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Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: stillsteph_2018) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and a Forgotten Rock Classic.

Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down are to die for, but there's really not a bad track on the album. A triumph of engineering for Bill Halverson and Andy Johns - this and Deja Vu are the very definition of Big Production Rock.

More Stephen Stills


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The Brilliant Recorded Legacy of

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young

  (Item #: allcsny) 



Recordings featuring the work of David Crosby
Recordings featuring the work of Stephen Stills
Recordings featuring the work of Graham Nash
Recordings featuring the work of Neil Young

Some of our favorite engineers worked on the albums of these four men, principally Bill Halverson, as well as...


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The Turn Up Your Volume Test

Almost Cut My Hair

  (Item #: crosbdejav_volume_2014) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The only time Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young actually sound like a real rock and roll band is on the track Almost Cut My Hair. According to Stephen Barncard, one of the engineers on Deja Vu, the track was actually recorded live in the studio. Boy, it sure sounds like it. The amount of energy the band generates on this one song exceeds the energy of the entire first album put together.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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VTA Adjustment

Helplessly Hoping to Get It Right

  (Item #: crosbsofar_wtlf) 



This listing from 2005 (!) contains commentary about Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) adjustment using the track Helplessly Hoping from a Hot Stamper pressing of CSN’s So Far.
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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VTA Adjustment on Crosby Stills and Nash

Using the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl LP (2005)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta_200) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment for 200 gram vinyl, using the CSN track Helplessly Hoping.

Helplessly Hoping is a wonderful song with plenty of energy in the midrange and upper midrange area which is difficult to get right. Just today (4/25/05) I was playing around with VTA, having recently installed a new Dynavector DV-20x on my playgrading table (a real sweetheart, by the way), and this song showed me EXACTLY how to get the VTA right.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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Yes, You Too Can Get an Old Buffalo Springfield Record to Sound This Good!

  (Item #: buffalastt_commentary) 



Not long ago we found a White Hot Stamper pressing of Last Time Around that really blew our minds. We were surprised to hear
...some of the breathiest, silkiest vocals we’ve ever heard on ANY Buffalo Springfield album, with startling presence and immediacy to boot! This side two had BY FAR the most energy and life of any side of any copy we've ever played. Man, does it ROCK.

Even as recently as 2010 we would not have expected to find that kind of sound on a vintage '60s pop/rock album. We know better now.

More Buffalo Springfield


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