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White Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
My Favorite Things

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_2002_1) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • Insanely good throughout: Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish, making this one of the BEST copies to ever hit the site
  • We guarantee you will hear a dramatic increase in richness, presence and musical energy relative to any copy you've auditioned - or your money back
  • With McCoy Tyner on piano, Steve Davis on bass and Elvin Jones on the drums, this is a group that can do no wrong with these four standards from the Great American Songbook
  • 5 stars: "The unforced, practically casual soloing styles of the assembled quartet allow for tastefully executed passages a la the Miles Davis Quintet, a trait Coltrane no doubt honed during his tenure in that band. Each track of this album is a joy to revisit."
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White Hot Stamper

Cream
Disraeli Gears

  (Item #: creamdisra_2001) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A KILLER UK stereo copy of Cream's second studio album with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • You aren't going to believe how hard this pressing rocks, with all the WHOMP and ENERGY you never knew was there
  • Surprisingly good sound for classics like Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time."
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White Hot Stamper

Derek and the Dominos
Layla

  (Item #: dereklayla_2002_1) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Absolutely KILLER with all four sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you've heard, and that's especially true if you own whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market, made from who-knows-what tapes
  • One of the most difficult albums to find great sound for, but the music makes it worth all the time and trouble we spent finding this pressing
  • 5 stars: "What really makes Layla such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion."
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White Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Eat A Peach

  (Item #: allmaeatap_1906_10_01) 

Our Price: $399.99
Sale Price: $349.99 (You save $50.00 / 13%)


  • One of the best copies of Eat a Peach to ever hit the site - Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on ALL FOUR SIDES!
  • These superb sides have the immediacy that will put these wild and crazy southern rockers right in your living room
  • Includes phenomenal hits Melissa, One Way Out, Blue Sky, Ain't Wastin' Time No More and more
  • 5 stars: "The record showcases the Allmans at their peak .. proof of Duane Allman's immense talents and contribution to the band."
See all of our Allman Bros. albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Cream
Disraeli Gears

  (Item #: creamdisra_1902_7_10_12_) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A KILLER UK stereo Reaction copy of Cream's second studio album, with two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides
  • You aren't going to believe how hard this pressing rocks, with all the WHOMP and ENERGY you never knew was there
  • Surprisingly good sound for classics like Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time."
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White Hot Stamper

Ornette Coleman
Ornette On Tenor

  (Item #: colemornet_1910_02) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A big, bold, KILLER sounding Atlantic pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Engineered by the team of Tom Dowd (whose work you surely know well) and Phil Iehle, who recorded some of Coltrane’s most iconic albums for Atlantic: Giant Steps (1960) and Coltrane Jazz (also in 1961)
  • 5 stars in Downbeat - Allmusic notes: "It's an understatement to say that Ornette Coleman's stint with Atlantic altered the jazz world forever, and Ornette on Tenor was the last of his six LPs (not counting outtakes compilations) for the label, wrapping up one of the most controversial and free-thinking series of recordings in jazz history... far ahead of its time."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Derek and the Dominos
Layla

  (Item #: dereklayla_2002) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one and outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides two, three and four, this copy delivers top quality sound for this famously difficult recording - exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Some of our favorite Clapton songs are here: Bell Bottom Blues, Tell The Truth, Little Wing, Layla and Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
  • One of the most difficult albums to find audiophile sound for, but a lot easier for us now that we know what pressings can actually sound good
  • Clapton's greatest album: "But what really makes Layla such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion."
See all of our Eric Clapton albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Aretha Franklin
Lady Soul

  (Item #: frankladys_1906_9_01) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This superb copy of Aretha's 1968 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Surprisingly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with plenty of natural ambience - Aretha's vocals are present, breathy, and explosively dynamic
  • You'd need either a lot of copies, a lot of luck, or both, to come up with a pressing that sounds this good and plays this quietly
  • 5 stars: ...an inspired blend of covers and originals from the best songwriters in soul and pop music..."
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White Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
461 Ocean Boulevard

  (Item #: clapt461oc_1902_6_10) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This killer UK pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Big and full-bodied with wonderfully breathy vocals, strong rhythmic energy and virtually none of the smear that plagues so many copies
  • As good as the best domestic pressings can be, these British LPs simply capture more of the 461 midrange magic than they do
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the pop concessions on the album don't detract from the rootsy origins of the material, whether it's Johnny Otis' 'Willie and the Hand Jive,' the traditional blues 'Motherless Children,' Bob Marley's 'I Shot the Sheriff,' or Clapton's emotional original 'Let It Grow.'"
See all of our Eric Clapton albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Charles Mingus
Oh Yeah

  (Item #: minguohyea_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This surprisingly good sounding reissue of Mingus's brilliant Oh Yeah from 1962 boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Tubey Magical, lively and clear, with three-dimensionality that will fill your listening room from wall to wall, this is the way Oh Yeah should sound
  • Phil Iehle and Tom Dowd made up the engineering team for these sessions, which explains why the best copies of the album sound so damn good
  • A raucous (and ROCKIN') deviation from traditional jazz, this compilation incorporates R&B and soul influences - Mingus even lends his rich vocal stylings to a few songs
  • 5 stars: "Oh Yeah is probably the most offbeat Mingus album ever, and that's what makes it so vital."
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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
E.C. Was Here

  (Item #: claptecwas_1910_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding Dutch import pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings - here is the energy, the dynamic power, the low end whomp, and the Clapton-live-in-your-listening-room presence you've never experienced on the album before, guaranteed
  • "E.C. Was Here makes it clear that Clapton was and always would be a blues man. The opening cut, "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," clearly illustrates this, and underlines the fact that Clapton had a firm grasp on his blues guitar ability, with some sterling, emotionally charged and sustained lines and riffs... [the album] remains an excellent document of the period."
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Super Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
Coltrane Jazz

  (Item #: coltrcoltrane_jazz_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy of Coltrane's brilliant sixth studio album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This pressing captures the classic Coltrane sound that Tom Dowd and Phil Iehle achieved in the studio in 1961, with plenty of the Tubey Magic that makes a vintage jazz album like this one such a special listening experience
  • It's the rare pressing that isn't mediocre if not outright awful - it took us a long time to find the right stampers for this one (and plenty of other Coltrane albums too)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The first album to hit the shelves after Giant Steps... While not the groundbreaker that Giant Steps was, Coltrane Jazz was a good consolidation of his gains as he prepared to launch into his peak years of the 1960s."
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White Hot Stamper

Ray Charles
The Genius of Ray Charles

  (Item #: charlgenius_of_1904_6_10) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This KILLER 2-pack boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • It's incredibly rich, full and tubey throughout, as Ray tackles both big band classics and string-backed ballads from the Great American Songbook, all with truly magical results
  • Robert Christgau noted that "Charles tried many times, but except for Modern Sounds, he never again assembled such a consistent album in this mode."
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Charles' voice is heard throughout in peak form, giving soul to even the veteran standards."
See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Allman Brothers
Eat A Peach

  (Item #: allmaeatap_1909) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides - these two discs are rockin' from first note to last
  • The heartfelt radio-friendly songs such as Melissa and Little Martha keep up the energy and add to the enjoyment factor
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl for this title -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • 5 stars: "The record showcases the Allmans at their peak, and it's hard not to feel sad as the acoustic guitars of "Little Martha" conclude the record, since this tribute isn't just heartfelt, it offers proof of Duane Allman's immense talents and contribution to the band."
See all of our Allman Bros. albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cream
Disraeli Gears

  (Item #: creamdisra_1912) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This outstanding UK RSO pressing of Cream's second studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The best sounding pressngs have raw, hard-rockin', Power Trio Magic in SPADES while avoiding most of the grit and grain that plagues most UK copies, and all the domestic ones
  • This is the kind of big, bold sound you want for classics like Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time."
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Super Hot Stamper

Charles Mingus
Oh Yeah

  (Item #: minguohyea_1912) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This surprisingly good sounding reissue of Mingus's brilliant Oh Yeah from 1962 boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Tubey Magical, lively and clear, with three-dimensionality that will fill your listening room from wall to wall, this is the way Oh Yeah should sound
  • Phil Iehle and Tom Dowd made up the engineering team for these sessions, which explains why the best copies of the album sound so damn good
  • A raucous (and ROCKIN') deviation from traditional jazz, this compilation incorporates R&B and soul influences - Mingus even lends his rich vocal stylings to a few songs
  • 5 stars: "Oh Yeah is probably the most offbeat Mingus album ever, and that's what makes it so vital."
More Charles Mingus


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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Another Ticket

  (Item #: claptanoth_1903_7_01) 

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


  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This vintage pressing has the richness, clarity and British Blues Rock Energy that was missing from many of the copies we played, which of course explains why it earned such good grades
  • "The first and last Clapton studio album to feature his all-British band of the early '80s, it gave considerable prominence to second guitarist Albert Lee and especially to keyboard player/singer Gary Brooker (formerly leader of Procol Harum), and they gave it more of a blues-rock feel than the country-funk brewed up by the Tulsa shuffle crew Clapton had used throughout the 1970s."
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Super Hot Stamper

Milt Jackson & John Coltrane
Bags & Trane

  (Item #: jacksbagsa_1812_5_10) 

Our Price: $99.99

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

Cream
Disraeli Gears

  (Item #: creamdisra_1907_12) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding UK Reaction pressing of Cream's second studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • The best sounding pressngs have raw, hard-rockin', power trio magic in spades and much less grit and grain
  • Excellent sound for classics like Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time."
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Super Hot Stamper

Ray Charles & Milt Jackson
Soul Meeting

  (Item #: charlsoulm_1905_10) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding pressing of Ray Charles and Milt Jackson's 1958 collaboration boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them on both sides - exceptionally quiet too
  • Wonderful sound from start to finish -- full-bodied and warm with wonderfully sweet vocals
  • Kenny Burrell lends his innovative guitar stylings to this soulful jazz collaboration
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Oscar Pettiford, Connie Kay, and Kenny Burrell in the various lineups, this is bluesy jazz in a laid-back manner; it surprised many hardcore R&B fans when these albums were originally issued."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Eat A Peach

  (Item #: allmaeatap_1910) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides - these two discs are rockin' from first note to last
  • The heartfelt radio-friendly songs such as Melissa and Little Martha keep up the energy and add to the enjoyment factor
  • 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
  • 5 stars: "The record showcases the Allmans at their peak, and it's hard not to feel sad as the acoustic guitars of "Little Martha" conclude the record, since this tribute isn't just heartfelt, it offers proof of Duane Allman's immense talents and contribution to the band."
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Super Hot Stamper

Herbie Mann
Live At The Village Gate

  (Item #: mann_livea_1802_1904-) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • This outstanding vintage pressing of Herbie Mann's Live Must Own Classic boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of the better flute jazz albums we've heard, both in terms of sonics and music
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Mann's hit version of "Comin' Home Baby" from this live set became his first big hit. In addition to 'Comin' Home Baby,' Mann and his men perform memorable versions of 'Summertime' and 'It Ain't Necessarily So'; the latter is 20 minutes long."
See all of our Herbie Mann albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Ray Charles
The Best Of

  (Item #: charlbesto_1803_1808) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL
  • This collection of instrumentals gives you a taste of Ray's prowess at the piano, with surprisingly good sound to boot
  • All these recordings are from the late 50s, including a live performance from the Newport Jazz Festival
See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
There's One In Every Crowd

  (Item #: claptthere_1901_1904-) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • Clapton's third solo studio album returns to the site for the first time in almost a year, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Balanced, musical and full throughout - this pressing is a big step up from many of the other copies we played
  • This original stereo pressing is one of only a handful ever to hit the site - boy are these hard to find in clean condition with good sonics
  • The sound and music here are very similar to 461 Ocean Boulevard, so if you're a fan of that title, you'll find much to like here
See all of our Eric Clapton albums in stock


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Aretha Franklin - Aretha Arrives

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: frankareth_2012) 



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

This Atlantic Green & Blue label pressing has TWO GOOD SIDES on relatively quiet vinyl. We pulled together enough clean copies for a big shootout recently and most of them sounded the way you'd probably expect -- thin, bright, and grainy. This copy did a much better job of communicating the music, giving you the kind of life and energy this music needs to work its magic.

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Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: frankladys_2011) 



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

A++ sound and quiet vinyl on both sides of this 1968 soul classic, an album that received a top Five Star rating from the All Music Guide! We've been playing a ton of Aretha Franklin records around here in recent days, but it's hard to find pressing that separate themselves from the pack to give you audiophile-friendly sound for her recordings, which (naturally) seem to be optimized more for the radio than for your hi-rez audio rig. Every now and then, however, we'll luck into a copy that delivers some real soul magic in its grooves, and this was one of those copies. Chain Of Fools and Aretha's great version of Natural Woman sound JUST RIGHT.

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Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: frankyoung_2011) 



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

This Atlantic pressing is a MONSTER, easily one of the best we've ever played, and unusually quiet to boot. You will have a very tough time finding a copy with even one side this good, let alone two. The music, of course, is top notch -- and it's even better when you don't have bad sound or crappy vinyl getting in the way. I imagine the Queen Of Soul herself would be very impressed with the way she sounds on this White Hot Stamper pressing.

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Cream - Disraeli Gears

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: creamdisra_2016) 



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

This copy’s got the kind of tubey analog sound you need for this music -- it’s warm, rich, smooth, and pretty much free of the nasty grain that gets in the way on most pressings. There’s good extension up top, and the bottom end is meaty and well-defined.

The lesson we learned is that when the extremes are properly transferred to the vinyl, the middle will take care of itself.

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Cream - Wheels Of Fire

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: creamwheel_2007) 



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

It wasn’t easy, but we’ve cracked one of the toughest nuts around -- WHITE HOT STAMPERS FOR WHEELS OF FIRE! Sides one, two, and three on this RSO British LP have SUPERB SOUND AND QUIET VINYL! We’ve never heard White Room sound nearly as amazing as it does here -- you aren’t going to believe all the WHOMP!

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Derek and the Dominos - Layla (2 LPs)

Remastering the Remaster (and Keeping It a Secret)

  (Item #: dereklayla_SVLP_revisited) 



NEWSFLASH! [circa 2010]

Noticing that this title had recently come back into print, and remembering that we used to like the SVLP of Layla, we decided to order a current copy of the album from SIMPLY VINYL. Soon enough it came in, we played it, and we were pretty shocked to hear that the damn thing sounded just plain AWFUL.

Was I wrong about it before? Only one way to know. I pulled out my old Review Copy from way back when it first came out and sure enough that early pressing sounded dramatically BETTER than the new one. The stampers were completely different of course; someone had remastered it recently and ruined it.

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Derek and The Dominos - Layla

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: dereklayla_listen) 



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.

The best copies of Layla are Tubey Magical, energetic, and tonally balanced. Most importantly, they sound CORRECT; you get the sense that you are hearing the music exactly as the band intended. The best sounding tracks have presence, clarity, and transparency like you have never heard -- that is, unless you've gone through a pile of copies the way we do.

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Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: sprindusty_2011) 



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

The Gold Standard for Female Vocal Blue-Eyed Soul is here in White Hot Stamper form! It takes us AGES to pull together enough clean copies to get this shootout going, and this one was a HUGE step up from most of them. We're always looking for a killer pressing (who out there doesn't want to hear Son Of A Preacher Man sound great?) but it is difficult to find one that does half as many things right as this one does!


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Eric Clapton - E.C. Was Here

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: claptecwas_2019) 



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

Check out Clapton's superb arrangements and performances of two of the best songs from his short-lived Blind Faith period: Presence of the Lord and Can't Find My Way Home. They're two of the highpoints on an album filled with good material that does not seem to get the credit it is due. I bought this album when it came out in 1975 and never really got into it. Of course I had an inferior domestic pressing and a stereo that couldn't have done the album justice anyway, but in my defense I would have to say that there really wasn't any such stereo system on the face of the earth; we still had a long way to go.

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Eric Clapton - There's One In Every Crowd

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: claptthere_2017) 



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

Clapton's third solo studio album returns to the site for the first time in almost a year, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish. Balanced, musical and full throughout - this pressing is a big step up from many of the other copies we played. The sound and music here are very similar to 461 Ocean Boulevard, so if you're a fan of that title, you'll find much to like here.

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Jerry Jeff Walker - Mr. Bojangles

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: walkemrboj_2016) 



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

The clear winner of our recent shootout, this Atco original boasts White Hot stamper sound on both sides. The biggest and clearest of any we played, the sound was also full-bodied and present like no other. The engineering team of Tom Dowd and Phil Iehle work their magic on this one, just as they did for so many John Coltrane albums of the '60s.

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John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays the Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: coltrplays_2009) 



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

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

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Live and Learn

  (Item #: coltrgiant_learn) 



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

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

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

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: coltrgiant_2009) 



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

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

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

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrgiant_2016) 



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

As you might expect, the original Blue and Green label pressings have -- potentially -- superb sound on Giant Steps, but somewhat surprisingly -- assuming you've heard a White Hot original copy -- the Red and Green label pressings can sound every bit as good.

The Tubey Magical richness and warmth carried over into the '70s, at least on some copies of this title, and we're very glad they did, as finding clean original Coltrane albums from the early '60s is not so easy these days.

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Rhino 45 RPM 2 Disc Set Debunked

  (Item #: coltrgiant_rhino_45) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

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

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Rhino Debunked

  (Item #: coltrgiant_rhino) 



Sonic Grade: D

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

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

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John Coltrane - My Favorite Things

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: coltrmyfav_2015) 



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

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

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Lee Konitz - Lee Konitz With Warne Marsh

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: konitwithw_2014) 



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

The 1955 mono sound by Tom Dowd on this White Hot 2-pack is DEMO DISC quality. The horns are breathy and clear, yet full and rich as can be. There may be a good reason that this pressing sounds as good as it does: it was remastered by one of the greatest mastering engineers of all time, George Piros.

Tom Dowd is the original recording engineer, and this one album should be all the proof you need that when it comes to jazz in mono, the guy is hard to beat. Rock in stereo, there the record is quite a bit more spotty (see, or better yet, listen to Cream, The Young Rascals, Delaney and Bonnie and too many others to list).

More albums engineered or produced by Tom Dowd


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Ray Charles - The Best Of

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: charlbesto_2007) 



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

This Atlantic anthology White Label Promo has EXCELLENT SOUND. Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL! Both sides play quietly, mostly Mint Minus throughout.

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Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: stewaatlan_2014) 



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

This copy just murdered the competition. The last consistently good Rod Stewart album? It gets my vote.

The copies we liked best were the biggest and richest, and the least thin and dry. Many of the brighter copies also had sibilance problems which the richer and tubier ones do not.

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The Allman Brothers ... At Fillmore East

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: allmaatfil_2011) 



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

There was a time when we never dreamed we’d find a copy of this hard rockin’ live album with SUPERB SOUND and QUIET VINYL on all four sides, but we got a hold of a seriously hot one here! This is one of the all-time great live albums, and with a copy like this one YOU ARE THERE at the Fillmore!

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