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801 - 801 Live

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: 801__live_2007) 



The best Island copies of this album ROCK HARDER than practically any record we've ever played. If you have the system for it, this one will bring a Live Art Rock concert right into your living room!

It's right at the top of the list of my Favorite Albums -- a Desert Island Disc if ever there was one. I stumbled across it more thirty years ago and I've loved it ever since. It all started when a college buddy played me the wildly original Tomorrow Never Knows from the album and asked me to name the tune. Eno's take is so different from The Beatles version that I confess it took me an embarrassingly long while to catch on.

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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Back In Black

  (Item #: acdc_backi_1903_1905) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this Back in Black ROCKS like no other copy you've heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides play exceptionally well for a Robert Ludwig original, which is absolutely the only way to go on the album
  • Top 100, and if you turn it up good and loud, one of the biggest, boldest, hardest rockin' records ever made
  • 5 stars: "... tawdry celebration of sex is what made AC/DC different from all other metal bands — there was no sword & sorcery, no darkness, just a rowdy party, and they never held a bigger, better party than they did on Back in Black."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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AC/DC - Back In Black

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: acdc_backi_2016) 



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

Musically Back In Black has everything you'd want from this kind of hard rock -- a tight, punchy rhythm section; raging guitar riffs; and deliciously decadent lyrics screamed to perfection. What surprised us is how amazing this music sounds on the right copy. You've probably heard these songs a million times, but we bet you haven't heard them sound like this. This is the kind of record that you'll want to keep turning up. The louder you play it, the better it gets -- but only if you've got a great pressing like this.

Side two earned our rare A++++ grade. Our sonic grade graphics only go up to three pluses, but this side two took it all the way to four!

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AC/DC - Back In Black

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: acdc_backi_fame) 



If you love HUGE drums, meaty guitars, and monster riffs as much as we do, you’re going to freak out over the MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES. Moments after dropping the needle we heard a prominent low octave to the intro bells that we hadn’t noticed on other copies. We kept our fingers crossed and waited for the band to kick in, hoping for some serious bottom end power. And man oh man, it was there all right! I am pleased to report that the whomp factor on this copy was nothing short of MASSIVE.

I ask you, what album from 1980 sounds better than Back in Black?

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Conducting Your Own Shootouts

How Novel Patterns Emerge

  (Item #: ambroambro_2014) 


When you sit down to play ten or twelve copies of an album, one right after the other, patterns in the sound are going to emerge from that experience, patterns which would be very likely to pass unnoticed when playing one copy against another or two over the course of the twenty or thirty minutes it would take to do it.

In the case of this album, the pattern we perceived was simply this: About one or two out of that dozen or so will have punchy, solid, rich, deep bass. (There is a huge amount of bass on the recording, so recognizing those special copies is not the least bit difficult if you have a full-range speaker and a properly treated room.)

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Super Hot Stamper (quiet vinyl)

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_1907) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This vintage German pressing earned outstanding Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides - it's pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • Some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - Geoff Emerick, Eddie Kramer and Ken Scott all deserve kudos for their fine work here
  • Wonderfully Tubey Magical sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, The Fool On The Hill, Baby You're A Rich Man, Penny Lane and more
  • Until you play one of these True Stereo German pressings, you can't have heard MMT sound as big and lively as this LP - we guarantee it
  • A Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that knocks us out every time we do the shootout for it
More Magical Mystery Tour / More by The Beatles


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1909) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This vintage pressing boasts outstanding Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - Geoff Emerick, Eddie Kramer and Ken Scott all deserve kudos for their fine work here
  • Wonderfully Tubey Magical sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, The Fool On The Hill, Baby You're A Rich Man, Penny Lane and more
  • Until you play one of these True Stereo German pressings, you can't have heard MMT sound as big and lively as this LP - we guarantee it
  • A Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that knocks us out every time we do the shootout for it
More Magical Mystery Tour / More by The Beatles


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

We Was Wrong (Circa the '80s)

  (Item #: beatlmagic_wrong) 



This is a VERY old and somewhat embarrassing We Was Wrong from a few years back.

This German pressing has dramatically different sound than that found on other Hot Stamper pressings of MMT we've had on the site. I used to be convinced that its sound was clearly superior to the regular German MMT LPs. Back in the late '80s and into the '90s this was the pressing that I was certain blew them all out of the water. We know better now. We call this version the "Too Hot Stamper" pressing -- the upper mids and top end are much hotter than they should be.

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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: blackblack_2015) 



Yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

We played the album very loud, as loud as we could, and still we wanted more volume! That's what a good record is all about -- the louder you play it the better it sounds.

If you like the raw, rockin’ sound of early Zep, you should have a blast with this album. It's a shockingly good recording, and the music is of course as heavy as it gets for 1970.

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Super Hot Stamper

Blondie
Eat To The Beat

  (Item #: blondeatto_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Here's a superb early pressing of the band's followup to Parallel Lines with both sides earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for their big, lively sound - pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Turn it up as loud as you want - the top end and vocals are balanced, smooth and tonally correct, not gritty or edgy
  • The drums and bass of Die Young Stay Pretty are as real sounding as if you were standing five feet from the band
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The British... made Eat to the Beat another chart-topper, with three major hits, including a number one ranking for Atomic and almost the same success for Dreaming."
See all of our Blondie albums in stock


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Blondie - Eat To The Beat

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: blondeatto_2018) 



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.

This is Mike Chapman's Big Beat Sonic Masterpiece -- yes, the sound is actually bigger and better than the sound on Parallel Lines -- akin to the debuts of The Knack and The Cars, and every bit as huge and punchy as either.

Eat to the Beat lives and dies by its energy, its bass and above all by its transient snap.

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Super Hot Stamper

Blood, Sweat & Tears
Blood, Sweat & Tears

  (Item #: bloodblood_1812_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


  • Both sides of this outstanding original 360 pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades for sound
  • This is surely Roy Halee's engineering masterpiece, and here's the kind of pressing that makes our case
  • The sound is HUGE, rich, dynamic and POWERFUL - a permanent member of our Top 100 and a Demo Disc par excellence
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Their finest moment and a testimony to the best of the jazz/rock movement ... The album is bold, brassy and adventurous."
See all of our Blood, Sweat & Tears albums in stock


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Blood, Sweat and Tears

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bloodblood_2016) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

In my opinion this is the BEST SOUNDING rock record ever made. Played on a BIG SPEAKER SYSTEM, a top Hot Stamper pressing is nothing less than a thrill, the ultimate Demo Disc.

Credit must go to the amazing engineering skills of ROY HALEE. He may not be very consistent (Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years) but on this album he knocked it out of the park. With the right copy playing on the right stereo, the album has the potential to sound like LIVE MUSIC.

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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Let's Dance

  (Item #: bowieletsd_1811_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • These two excellent sides, both rating Double Plus (A++) grades for sound, are guaranteed to deliver the funky goods on this '80s classic - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We love the low end weight and midrange smoothness on these killer copies - they're big, clear and rich with some of the most powerful, punchiest bass you've ever heard
  • A real Demo Disc at high volumes on the right system - Modern Love, China Girl and the title track are knockouts when you play them good and loud
  • Top 100 of course - Let's Dance is one of the best sounding Bowie albums ever recorded - this superb pressing is proof!
See all of our David Bowie albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Let's Dance

  (Item #: bowieletsd_1812_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • It's all here: huge amounts of rock solid bass, clear guitar transients, breathy, natural vocals, and jump out of the speakers presence and energy
  • A real Demo Disc at high volumes on the right system - Modern Love, China Girl and the title track are knockouts when you play them good and loud
  • Top 100 of course - Let's Dance is one of the best sounding Bowie albums ever recorded - this superb pressing is proof!
See all of our David Bowie albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Let's Dance

  (Item #: bowieletsd_1909) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • With STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides, this copy is one of the best we have ever heard
  • It's all here: huge amounts of rock solid bass, clear guitar transients, breathy, natural vocals, and jump out of the speakers presence and energy
  • A real Demo Disc at high volumes on the right system - Modern Love, China Girl and the title track are knockouts when you play them good and loud
  • Top 100 of course - Let's Dance is one of the best sounding Bowie albums ever recorded - this superb pressing is proof!
See all of our David Bowie albums in stock


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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bowieletsd_2008) 



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

This Let’s Dance may look like an ordinary record, but it sure doesn’t sound like one. The sound is OUT OF THIS WORLD! You’re looking at THE Big Beat Demo Disc of All Time. What the Hot Stamper copy of Back in Black was to Super-Fidelity HARD Rock, this White Hot Stamper of Let’s Dance is to Super-Fidelity FUNKY Rock. In other words, this is the FREAKISHLY HOT STAMPER copy that gives you As Good As It Gets, Demo Disc, Mind Altering Sound.

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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bowieletsd_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

With Let's Dance the name of the game is ENERGY, and boy does this copy have it! Both sides have the deep, punchy bass and sweet, extended highs that Bowie's music needs to come ALIVE. With that big bass and smooth top end this is one record you can turn up GOOD and LOUD without fear of fatique. On a big pair of dynamic speakers you will really get your money's worth from the best Hot Stamper pressings.

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In the Market for New Speakers?

See How Well They Handle the Energy of Far More Drums

  (Item #: brubetimef_exercise) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The drum solo Joe Morello lets loose on Far More Drums is one of the best on record. I was playing that very song recently and it occurred to me that it is practically impossible for a screen or panel speaker of any nature to reproduce the sound of those drums properly, regardless of how many subs you have.

Most of the music is not in the deeper bass anyway. It’s the whack of instruments whose energy is in the lower midrange and midrange that a screen speaker will struggle with, while a good large-driver dynamic speaker seems to handle the energy in that range with ease.

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White Hot Stamper

Buckingham Nicks
Buckingham Nicks

  (Item #: buckibucki_1908) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An incredible copy with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them
  • Rich and Tubey Magical with a massive bottom end - this is a true Demo Disc for bass (much like the first Mac album they sang on)
  • Recording Engineer great Keith Olsen mastered the perfect mix, with rich, full sound, in the great tradition of English Rock
  • "An engaging listen and served as a proving ground of sorts for both artists' songwriting chops and for Buckingham's skills as an emerging studio craftsman. Crisp, ringing acoustic guitars and a bottom-heavy rhythm section framed the pair's songs..."
More Buckingham Nicks / More Fleetwood Mac


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Super Hot Stamper

Buckingham Nicks
Buckingham Nicks

  (Item #: buckibucki_1909) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This outstanding copy of the duo's 1973 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Rich and full-bodied, clean, and clear, while the bass is big and punchy, and the energy level is off the charts
  • Recording Engineer great Keith Olsen mastered the perfect mix, with rich, full sound, in the great tradition of English Rock
  • "An engaging listen and served as a proving ground of sorts for both artists' songwriting chops and for Buckingham's skills as an emerging studio craftsman. Crisp, ringing acoustic guitars and a bottom-heavy rhythm section framed the pair's songs..."
More Buckingham Nicks / More Fleetwood Mac


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Amazing Demo Discs for Bass

Peter Cetera and Chicago

  (Item #: chicachica1_bass) 



First in a series of Demo Discs for Bass.

Talk about beefy bass; this album is the poster boy for rock solid bottom end. When you have a copy of Chicago's first album with a hot side three you have a Bass Demo Disc LP that's going to rock your world, not to mention the foundation of your house. (How they managed to get the bass so right and screw up so many other things I will never know.)

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Phil Collins - Face Value

Whomp Factor

  (Item #: collifacev_whomp) 



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.

Until we heard some of the better copies we were simply not able to appreciate just how important good bass definition and serious weight down low are to the sound of this record. When the bass is wooly or thin, as it is on so many copies -- not clear, not deep, not full enough -- it throws the rest of the mix off. When the bass is huge and powerful the music itself becomes huge and powerful.

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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1905) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this vintage UK pressing will show you just how good Elvis's Best Recording can sound on vinyl
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded, a True Demo Disc, just amazing on a pressing like this
  • 5 Stars and a Better Records Top 100 album - every track is Elvis at this best
  • "In contrast to the stripped-down pop and rock of his first two albums, Armed Forces boasted a detailed and textured pop production... However, the more spacious arrangements -- complete with ringing pianos, echoing reverb, layered guitars, and harmonies -- accent Costello's melodies... It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1906_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two insanely good nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this vintage UK pressing came in just shy of our Shootout Winner and will show you just how good Elvis's Best Recording can sound on vinyl
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded, a True Demo Disc, just amazing on a pressing like this
  • 5 Stars and a Better Records Top 100 album - every track is Elvis at this best
  • "In contrast to the stripped-down pop and rock of his first two albums, Armed Forces boasted a detailed and textured pop production... However, the more spacious arrangements -- complete with ringing pianos, echoing reverb, layered guitars, and harmonies -- accent Costello's melodies... It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row."


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Elvis Costello Arrayed His Forces

and Produced His Single Best Sounding Record

  (Item #: costearmed_best) 



We consider Armed Forces to be one of the best sounding rock records ever made, and a top copy is proof enough to back up our claim. The best copies are extremely transparent and silky sounding, but with unbelievably punchy, rock solid bass and drums.

The sound of the rhythm section of this album ranks up there with the very best ever recorded. Beyond that, the musical chops of this band at this time rank with the very best in the history of rock. Steve, Bruce and Pete rarely get the credit they deserve for being one of the tightest, liveliest backing bands ever to walk into a studio or on to a stage.

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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: costemyaim_obsess) 



MY AIM IS TRUE is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

This link will take you to all of our other ELVIS COSTELLO albums.


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My Aim Is True Can Really Rock

If You Have the Speaker System to Play It

  (Item #: costemyaim_volume) 



Another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

There is a line in the Hot Stamper commentary below concerning driving punk rock bass. Man, this record lives or dies by your ability to reproduce the powerful bottom end that propels this music. Pardon me for cueing up a broken record again, and with all due respect to the things they do well -- they must do something well, right? People keep buying them -- small speakers and screens are not going to cut it on My Aim Is True. This is precisely the kind of album they don’t do well.

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Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Punch The Clock

  (Item #: costepunch_1803_1902) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • You'll find Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this Elvis Costello classic - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • "Punch the Clock won't alter anyone's opinion of Elvis Costello because it doesn't represent much of a change for him. He remains the most consistently interesting songwriter in rock & roll, and there is evidence that a new, more emotionally generous sensibility may soon be present in his work." Rolling Stone
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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What We Listen For on Elvis Costello's Trust

The Bass Is (Almost) All

  (Item #: costetrust_listen) 



There’s a TON of low-end on this record; regrettably, most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can’t tell you how much you’re missing when the bass isn’t right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.)

It’s without a doubt THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of the sound on this album. When the bass is right, everything falls into place, and the music comes powerfully to life. When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn’t swing the way it’s supposed to.

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Super Hot Stamper

Cream
Goodbye

  (Item #: creamgoodb_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Both sides of this British pressing boast outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound - they really ROCK
  • The low end speed and energy on this copy are crazy good - it's like a Cream concert in your listening room
  • The best pressings, the ones that are full-bodied and smooth, let you crank the levels and reproduce the album good and loud the way it was meant to be heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • "The live music on the whole is better than that on Wheels of Fire, capturing the trio at an empathetic peak as a band."
See all of our Eric Clapton and Cream albums in stock


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Cream - Goodbye

Some of the Best Live Rock Sound Ever Recorded

  (Item #: creamgoodb_2016) 



When you get a good side one of Goodbye you'll hear exactly why we are calling it one of the Best Sounding Live Rock Albums of all time.

Goodbye has the Big Rock Sound that we go crazy for here at Better Records. The top copies just plain ROCK HARDER than all the others. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top. But what really sets them apart is the tremendous Energy they contain in their grooves. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies like practically nothing you have ever heard.

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White Hot Stamper

The Doobie Brothers
Toulouse Street

  (Item #: doobitoulo_1901_1906) 

Our Price: $249.99
Sale Price: $199.00 (You save $50.99 / 20%)


  • A killer original Green Label pressing with amazing Tubey Magical Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Two of our favorite engineers - Stephen Barncard & Donn Landee - worked their magic here, and they really knocked it out of the park
  • Back in the '70s I had no idea that any pressing could be this punchy in the bass, this dynamic in the choruses, yet still have smooth, sweet vocals (partly because I heard it on crap equipment at Pacific Stereo)
  • 4 stars: "...it all still sounds astonishingly bracing 30 years later; it's still a keeper, and one of the most inviting and alluring albums of its era."
See all of our Doobie Brothers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Doobie Brothers
Toulouse Street

  (Item #: doobitoulo_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An original Green Label pressing with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides, this copy is really rockin' - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Two of our favorite engineers - Stephen Barncard & Donn Landee - worked their magic here
  • Smooth sound, punchy in the bass, dynamic in the choruses, sweet vocals - this is The Better Records Sound
  • 4 stars: "...it all still sounds astonishingly bracing 30 years later; it's still a keeper, and one of the most inviting and alluring albums of its era."
See all of our Doobie Brothers albums in stock


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The Doobie Brothers - Toulouse Street

Templeman, Barncard and Landee Work Their Magic

  (Item #: doobitoulo_wtlf) 



Two of our favorite engineers worked their magic on this one: STEPHEN BARNCARD and DONN LANDEE. This copy surely has all the Tubey Magic one could ask for, but it's the size, space and clarity here that really shocked us.
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The Doors - The Doors

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: doorsdoors_2007) 



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

THE BEST SOUNDING COPY OF THIS ALBUM WE’VE EVER HEARD! This Elektra Gold Label SLAUGHTERED the DCC, MURDERED the MoFi, and DECIMATED every last pressing we played it against! You aren’t going to believe all the TUBEY MAGIC on this copy!

More by The Doors


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Super Hot Stamper

Eagles
Eagles

  (Item #: eagleeagle_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A truly killer early pressing, earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • You will be floored by the huge, rich, Tubey Magical guitars exploding out from your speakers on Take It Easy
  • One of the Best Sounding Rock Records Ever Made, a member of our Top Ten and without a doubt Glyn Johns' engineering (and producing) Masterpiece
  • A Top 100 Tubey Magical Demo Disc that is guaranteed to blow your mind on a pressing that sounds as good as this one does
See all of our Eagles albums in stock


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Eagles - Eagles

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: eagleeagle_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy or copies of The Eagles amazingly well recorded first album.

The Eagles first album is without a doubt Glyn Johns' masterpiece -- rock records just don't sound any better! It's exactly the kind of record that makes virtually ANY Audiophile Record pale in comparison. EVERYTHING you could ask for as an audiophile is all here and more.

More of the Eagles' first album


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White Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  (Item #: emersemers_1907) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • This Island Pink Label import pressing is stunning from start to finish: Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it on both sides - exceptionally QUIET vinyl, especially for this title, too
  • The sound is HUGE, with amazing transparency, clarity and fullness - the organ is massive here
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
  • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
More Emerson, Lake and Palmer


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Super Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  (Item #: emersemers_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This vintage Cotillion pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too, especially for this title
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
  • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
More Emerson, Lake and Palmer


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Super Hot Stamper (UK)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  (Item #: emersemers_1909) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This vintage Island pink rim import pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • ANALOG at its Tubey Magical finest - you'll never play a CD that sounds this good as long as you live
  • Lucky Man and Take A Pebble on this copy have Demo Disc Quality Sound like you won't believe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Lively, ambitious, almost entirely successful debut album, made up of keyboard-dominated instrumentals and romantic ballads showcasing all three members' very daunting talents.'"
More Emerson, Lake and Palmer


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Super Hot Stamper

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Pictures At An Exhibition

  (Item #: emerspictu_1710_1902) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Excellent sound throughout for this ELP Classic Live Album, with each side rating a sonic grade of Double Plus (A++)
  • Both sides here are Tubey Magical and exceptionally spacious, with a massive bottom end and plenty of Rock and Roll energy
  • Exceptionally QUIET vinyl for this title - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, take it from us, they don't come quieter
  • "...it teased the brain with its mix of melody and heavy rock, and for anyone with some musical knowledge, serious or casual, it was a sufficiently bold use of Mussorgsky's original to stimulate hours of delightful listening."
See all of our Emerson Lake and Palmer albums in stock


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Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: emerspictu_2009) 



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

This Minty looking original Island British Import LP has some of the best sound we have ever heard for this album. This copy KILLED a bunch of other Brit imports we played it against. It wasn't even close. This pressing was so much more TRANSPARENT -- you could hear into the crowd in a way that no other copy managed to let you do. When the band started playing the sound was much more clear and present than the other Brit copies we played.

Great live sound thanks to EDDIE OFFORD.

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Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: fleetfleet_2012) 



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

In 2012 we noted that this WHITE HOT copy of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album has some of THE BEST SOUND WE HAD EVER HEARD, not only for this album, but for the band itself. As good as the best copies of Rumours are, they don’t really sound like this. Until we started doing these shootouts in about 2006 we had no idea this album was remotely this well recorded. There are layers and layers of subtle instrumental textures and recording effects throughout 1975's Fleetwood Mac that we had never even suspected were there. Then we played this copy.

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Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

A Demo Disc for Bass

  (Item #: fleetfleet_bass) 



Another in our series of Demo Discs for Bass.

One of the special qualities this album has is AMAZINGLY well-defined, punchy, deep BASS -- the kind you just never hear on most records (or most pressings of this album for that matter).

The bass is typically bloated on most copies of this album, something that is especially true for the MoFi. When you get a copy with note-like, properly balanced bass, the whole album works. Bass is the foundation of the music. When the bass is blubbery and ill-defined, the music itself sounds blurred. It loses its focus.

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Super Hot Stamper

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours

  (Item #: fleetrumou_1811_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent sounding copy with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Tubey Magical Analog - The sound is open, spacious and transparent, with a huge three-dimensional soundfield
  • When you hear it sound as good as it does here, you'll know why we consider Rumours a Better Records Top 100 Demo Disc
  • 5 stars: "Each tune, each phrase regains its raw, immediate emotional power—which is why Rumours touched a nerve upon its 1977 release, and has since transcended its era to be one of the greatest, most compelling pop albums of all time."
More Rumours / More Fleetwood Mac


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White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours

  (Item #: fleetrumou_1904_9) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A KILLER copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • The sound is open, spacious and transparent, with a huge three-dimensional soundfield
  • When you hear it sound as good as it does here, you'll know why we consider Rumours a Better Records Top 100 Demo Disc
  • 5 stars: "Each tune, each phrase regains its raw, immediate emotional power—which is why Rumours touched a nerve upon its 1977 release, and has since transcended its era to be one of the greatest, most compelling pop albums of all time."
  • This one has some condition issues (see below), so we have discounted the record drastically
More Rumours / More Fleetwood Mac


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours

  (Item #: fleetrumou_1906_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A KILLER copy with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound throughout, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Tubey Magical Analog - The sound is open, spacious and transparent, with a huge three-dimensional soundfield
  • When you hear it sound as good as it does here, you'll know why we consider Rumours a Better Records Top 100 Demo Disc
  • 5 stars: "Each tune, each phrase regains its raw, immediate emotional power—which is why Rumours touched a nerve upon its 1977 release, and has since transcended its era to be one of the greatest, most compelling pop albums of all time."
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Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: fleetrumou_2010) 



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

White Hot Stampers for Rumours with UNBELIEVABLY GOOD SOUND (and quiet vinyl) FROM START TO FINISH! Folks, if you’re looking for a Demo Quality version of one of the most beloved pop albums of all time, this is the record for you! Side one was so darned good that we had to bust out the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade, and side two is just about as amazing. It certainly ain’t a cheap record, but it’s beyond difficult to find copies of this classic with two sides that sound like this and play quietly.

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Heart - Little Queen

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: heartlittl_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 Little Queen.

One of the little tricks I used toward the end of my marathon Little Queen tweaking session from a few years back (which lasted more than six hours one Saturday evening, leaving me euphoric but exhausted) was to listen to the ending of Barracuda.

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Whomp Factor on Little Queen

Testing Tips You Can Try at Home

  (Item #: heartlittl_wtlf) 



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

Heart's Little Queen has long been a favorite Test Disc. It works especially well as a test for something we here at Better Records like to call Whomp Factor -- the energy found at the low end of the frequency spectrum. Some call it slam, we prefer whomp.

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Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

Huge, Powerful Live Rock Sound

  (Item #: hendrjimih_2012) 



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.

This live album, taken from concerts recorded from 1968 to 1970, is wonderful sounding on the best tracks. If you're in the market for live Hendrix on a Hot Stamper, you'll be hard pressed to do any better. The bass on this recording is huge, which is exactly what this kind of music needs most. At the levels we were playing this album it was really rockin'.

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Bernard Herrmann - The Fantasy Film World of...

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: herrmfanta_2008) 



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

Two AMAZING SOUNDING DEMO DISC LPS for the price of one! We’ve mated the HOTTEST SIDE ONE of one copy with the HOTTEST SIDE TWO of another to produce the best sounding complete Fantasy Film World we have ever heard. A+++ sound, with the kind of orchestral power that few recordings in the history of the world can lay claim to. There's a reason this record is on the TAS Superdisc list -- if any LP should be called a Superdisc, this one should. (With Phase Four sound you might even call it a Super-Duper-Disc.)

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The Knack - Get The Knack

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: knackgetth_2009) 



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

This Monster Power Pop Debut by the Knack is an AMAZINGLY well-recorded album, with the kind of Wall to Wall Big Beat Live Rock Sound that rivals Back in Black and Nevermind -- if you're lucky enough to have a copy that sounds like this one! (If you're not then it doesn't.)

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White Hot Stamper

Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin II

  (Item #: ledze2_1907_) 

Our Price: $999.99

  • A stunning copy that is absolutely guaranteed to rock your world like no other; QUADRUPLE Plus (A++++) on side one and nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on side two
  • This is freakishly good sound - we created a Top Ten list just to put this album on it
  • With clean copies selling for up to $1000+ on ebay, we're having to pay a fortune for the album these days
  • Not the quietest copy we've ever heard (they never are these days) but luckily there's plenty of EXCELLENT LOUD music to obscure the noise; no Inner Groove Distortion either
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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: ledze2_2017) 



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

This pressing just knocked us out from beginning to end -- this is the Zep II sound you want.

At least 80% of the copies we buy these days -- for many hundreds of dollars each I might add -- go right back to the seller. The biggest problem we run into besides obvious scratches that play and worn out grooves is easy to spot: just play the song Thank You at the end of side one. Most of the time there is inner groove damage so bad that the track becomes virtually unlistenable.

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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: ledze2_loud) 



It's official: we're inaugurating a Top Ten Best Sounding Rock / Pop Album List, and the first member to be inducted is none other than our old favorite, Led Zeppelin II.

It's also yet another in a very long line of records that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume. We're convinced Zep II has to be the hardest rocking album of all time. The best copies -- often with the same stampers as the not-as-good copies by the way -- have a LIFE and a POWER to them that simply cannot be found on other records.

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Super Hot Stamper (quiet vinyl)

Led Zeppelin
Presence

  (Item #: ledzeprese_1907_1) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • You'll hear massive amounts of Zeppelin Rock and Roll energy on this copy - both sides rated Double Plus (A++) for sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Here is a pressing with the power, the dynamic contrasts, the low end whomp, as well as the in-the-room midrange presence (pun only slightly intended) you 've been waiting for
  • Featuring a stripped down, harder rock sound, Presence really benefits from the killer bottom end found on this early LP
  • "Presence has more majestic epics than its predecessor, opening with the surging, ten-minute Achilles Last Stand and closing with the meandering, nearly ten-minute Tea for One."
See all of our Led Zeppelin albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Led Zeppelin
Presence

  (Item #: ledzeprese_1908) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll hear massive amounts of Zeppelin Rock and Roll energy on this copy - both sides rated Double Plus (A++) for sound
  • Here is a pressing with the power, the dynamic contrasts, the low end whomp, as well as the in-the-room midrange presence (pun only slightly intended) you've been waiting for
  • Featuring a stripped down, harder rock sound, Presence really benefits from the killer bottom end found on this early LP
  • "Presence has more majestic epics than its predecessor, opening with the surging, ten-minute Achilles Last Stand and closing with the meandering, nearly ten-minute Tea for One."
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Super Hot Stamper

Led Zeppelin
Presence

  (Item #: ledzeprese_1909) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll hear massive amounts of Zeppelin Rock and Roll energy on this copy - both sides rated Double Plus (A++) for sound
  • Here is a pressing with the power, the dynamic contrasts, the low end whomp, as well as the in-the-room midrange presence (pun only slightly intended) you 've been waiting for
  • Featuring a stripped down, harder rock sound, Presence really benefits from the killer bottom end found on this early LP
  • "Presence has more majestic epics than its predecessor, opening with the surging, ten-minute Achilles Last Stand and closing with the meandering, nearly ten-minute Tea for One."
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White Hot Stamper

Love
Love

  (Item #: love_love_1903_7_9) 

Our Price: $699.99
Sale Price: $599.00 (You save $100.99 / 14%)


  • An incredible sounding copy of Love's first album with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout -- exceptionally quiet vinyl on side one too!
  • A classic from 1966, a combination of proto-punk and psychedelia featuring My Little Red Book, Hey Joe and more
  • The first Love album is without a doubt the punchiest, liveliest, most POWERFUL recording in the Love catalog
  • Engineered by none other than Bruce Botnick, here is the kind of massive bottom end weight and energy that we like to call WHOMP
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Love's debut is both their hardest-rocking early album and their most Byrds-influenced..."
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Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head

Rhett Davies Truly Awesome Engineering Masterpiece

  (Item #: manzadiamo_masterpiece) 



You may recall reading this bit about RHETT DAVIES engineering on Dire Straits' debut:

"...until something better comes along, THIS IS HIS MASTERPIECE. It has to be one of the best sounding rock records ever made, with Tubey Magic mids, prodigious bass, transparency and freedom from hi-fi-ishness and distortion like few rock recordings you have ever heard."

Well, something better has now come along, and it's called Diamond Head.

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Dave Mason - Alone Together

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: masonalone_2012) 



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

Alone Together appears to be criminally underrated as music nowadays, having fallen from favor with the passage of time. It is a surely a MASTERPIECE that belongs in any Rock Collection worthy of the name. Every track is good, and most are amazingly good. There's not a scrap of filler here. The recording by Bruce Botnick (mix by Al Schmitt) is hard to fault as well.

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Lincoln Mayorga - The Missing Linc

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: mayormissi_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Hall of Fame.

Super Hot, and definitely not your typical Sheffield pressing. Some of them are aggressive, many of them are dull and lack the spark of live music, some of them have wonky bass or are lacking in the lowest octave -- they are prey to every fault that befalls other pressings.

Which should not be too surprising. Records are records. Pressing variations exist for every album ever made. If you haven't noticed that yet, start playing multiple copies of the same album, while listening carefully and critically.

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White Hot Stamper

Lincoln Mayorga
and Dist. Colleagues (S9)

  (Item #: mayorvolume_1_1903_1907) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • A stunning Shootout Winning pressing of this famous audiophile recording, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • This copy will be awfully hard to beat for sound - get your VTA right and the bottom end on this LP will turn into a Bass Demo Disc like nothing you've heard
  • It's very difficult to find this album in clean condition, and even more difficult to find one that sounds as good as this one does
  • One of the rarest Hot Stamper records bar none -- only a handful have ever made it to the site
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Super Hot Stamper

Lincoln Mayorga
and Dist. Colleagues (S9)

  (Item #: mayorvolume_1_1906) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An outstanding pressing of this famous audiophile recording, with Double Plus (A++) on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • As a rule we don't mention the specific shortcomings of each copy we sell, but I've taken the liberty of doing so for this pressing
  • It's very difficult to find this album in clean condition, and even more difficult to find one that sounds as good as this one does
  • One of the rarest Hot Stamper records bar none -- only a handful have ever made it to the site
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Big Speakers, Loud Levels and More Power to the Orchestra

  (Item #: mussopictu_6177) 



The darker brass instruments like tubas, trombones and french horns are superb here. Other Golden Age recordings of the work, as enjoyable as they may be in other respects, do not recreate the full weight of the brass, probably because of compression, limiting, tube smear, or some combination of the three.

The brass on this record has a power like no other. It's also tonally correct. It's not agressive. It's not irritating. It's just immediate and powerful the way the real thing is when you hear it live. That's what really caught my ear when I first played Ansermet's recording.

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The Pentangle - The Pentangle

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: pentapentangle_2016) 



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

This is an honest-to-goodness Demo Disc. When for a (thankfully) brief time back in the '70s I was selling audio equipment, the song "Pentangling" was a favorite demo cut to play in the store. The sound of the string bass and snare drum are amazingly natural; I don't know of any other pop album from the era that presents the vibrant timbre of those two instruments better.

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Pink Floyd - The Wall

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: pinkfthewa_2012) 



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

SAY IT ISN'T SO! This is the ULTIMATE White Hot Stamper pressing of The Wall, the finest ever to hit our site BAR NONE!

All four sides of this monster earned top A+++ grades in our massive recent shootout. This copy gives you ALL of the magic that Floyd laid down to tape. You get incredible clarity, breathtaking transparency, wonderful punch to the bottom, sweetness and full extension up top, tubey magical acoustic guitars, full-bodied vocals and serious depth and dimension to the soundfield. Folks, if you love The Wall you will TREASURE this copy for the rest of your listening days.

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Prokofiev / Lt. Kije / Abbado

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: prokoltkij_33_2011) 



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

This German 33 RPM White Hot Stamper pressing of our favorite recording of Prokofiev's wonderful Lt. Kije Suite has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND. For starters, there are very few records with dynamics comparable to those found here. As this is my favorite performance of all time, with this kind of Demo Disc sound I cannot recommend the record any more highly.

More of the music of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)


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Prokofiev / Lt. Kije / Abbado (45 RPM)

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: prokoltkij_45_2012) 



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

This Japanese 45 RPM remastering of our favorite recording of Prokofiev's wonderful Lt. Kije Suite has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND. For starters, there are very few records with dynamics comparable to these. Since this is my favorite performance of all time, I can't recommend the record any more highly.

Most of what's "bad" about a DG recording from 1978 is ameliorated with this pressing. The bass drum (drums?) here must be heard to be believed. We know of no Golden Age recording with as believable a presentation of the instrument as this.

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Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees

David Hungate Gives a Master Class on the Bass

  (Item #: scaggsilkd_wtlf) 



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

One of the main qualities separating the winners from the also-rans on this title is the quality of the bass. This is first and foremost rhythmic music. David Hungate just kills on this album; he's giving a master class on rock and roll bass on practically every track. And, for us audiophiles, the good news is the bass is very well recorded -- big, punchy and well up front in the mix.

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Steely Dan - Aja

Listening in Depth

(with Free Cisco Debunking Tool)

  (Item #: steelaja_depth) 



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

Our track commentary for the song Home at Last makes it easy to spot an obvious problem with Cisco's remastered Aja: This is the toughest song to get right on side two. Nine out of ten copies have grainy, irritating vocals; the deep bass is often missing too. Home at Last is just plain unpleasant as a rule, which is why it's such a great test track.

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Super Hot Stamper

Cat Stevens
Teaser & The Firecat

  (Item #: stevetease_1901_1907) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • This timeless Classic Folk Rock recording on the original A&M label offers superb Demo Disc Quality sound on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • With Double Plus (A++) grades this copy is guaranteed to rock your world with their richness, clarity, transparency and ENERGY
  • AMG 5 Stars and a Top 100 album - it just may be the Best Sounding record Cat Stevens ever made - quiet vinyl too
  • Tuesday’s Dead, Morning Has Broken, Bitterblue, Moonshadow, Peace Train - and that's just side two! What side of any album has five songs of such quality?
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Super Hot Stamper (Issues)

Cat Stevens
Teaser & The Firecat (UK Island)

  (Item #: stevetease_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This timeless Classic Folk Rock recording on the British Island label offers superb Demo Disc Quality sound on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • With Double Plus (A++) grades this copy is guaranteed to rock your world with their richness, clarity, transparency, and ENERGY
  • AMG 5 Stars and a Top 100 album - it just may be the Best Sounding record Cat Stevens ever made - quiet vinyl too
  • Tuesday’s Dead, Morning Has Broken, Bitterblue, Moonshadow, Peace Train - and that's just side two! What side of any album has five songs of such quality?
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Cat Stevens - Teaser & The Firecat

Light, Medium or Heavy on the Congas?

  (Item #: stevetease_congamania) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises, in this case, a study in Congamania!

During the shootout for this record a while back we made a very important discovery, a seemingly obvious one but one that nevertheless had eluded us for the past twenty plus years (so how obvious could it have been?). It became clear, for the first time, what accounts for the wide disparity in ENERGY and DRIVE from one copy to the next. We can sum it up for you in one five letter word, and that word is conga.

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Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: stewaevery_2016) 



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.

A knockout Top Copy, with a side one so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied and open with excellent clarity -- you will be FLOORED.

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Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story

His Best Sounding Album Bar None

  (Item #: stewaevery_loud) 



I Know I’m Losing You ROCKS AS HARD as any song from the period, with DEMO DISC SOUND. If you have BIG DYNAMIC SPEAKERS and the power to drive them to serious listening levels, you will be blown away by the power of this recording. You know what this album is? It's the Nirvana Nevermind of the early '70s. It has that kind of power in the bass and drums.

But it also has beautifully realized acoustic guitars and mandolins, something that virtually no recording for the last twenty years can claim. In that sense it towers over Nevermind, an album I hold in very high esteem.

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Super Hot Stamper

Supertramp
Crime of the Century

  (Item #: supercrime_1906) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A huge and powerful pressing of Supertramp's Masterpiece, offering outstanding Double Plus (A++) quality sound on both sides
  • Ken Scott engineered this one to have Cinerama-sized height, width and depth to rival the best albums you've ever heard
  • Clearly their Magnum Opus and a great leap forward, this album earned 4 stars in AMG and a permanent spot on our Rock & Pop Top 100 Album List
  • "The tuneful, tightly played songs, pristine clarity of sound, and myriad imaginative sound effects, helped create an album that Sounds magazine likened to 'Genesis, The Beach Boys...a smattering of [Pink] Floyd.'"
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Supertramp - Crime of the Century

Ken Scott's Producing / Engineering Masterpiece

  (Item #: supercrime_2011) 



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

AMAZING White Hot Stampers for the greatest KEN SCOTT production in history. This is his (and the band’s) MASTERPIECE, and now we have a pressing that allows us to revel in the GLORY that is Crime of the Century!

This killer copy rates A+++ on BOTH sides. Wow is the only word I can think of to describe it.

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Talking Heads - Little Creatures

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: talkilittl_2009) 



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

This Original Sire LP rocks with the best of them. We’re huge fans of this album, and when you hear a copy like this one you’ll know exactly why. Not many records from this era sound as amazingly rich as this one, that’s for sure! This copy boasts the kind of tight, punchy, surprisingly deep note-like bass that absolutely makes or breaks this album. Without the proper bass foundation, this funky beat-crazy Talking Heads album can’t BEGIN to do what it’s trying to do: get your feet tappin’ and your body rockin’ to the music.

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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
JT

  (Item #: taylojt_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding copy of an exceptionally well-recorded album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is surprisingly present and punchy with great clarity, excellent bass, and classic James Taylor energy
  • The big hits Your Smiling Face and Handy Man both sound great here - thanks Val Garay!
  • 4 stars: "JT was James Taylor's best album since Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon because it acknowledged the darkness of his earlier work while explaining the deliberate lightness of his current viewpoint, and because it was his most consistent collection in years."
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Super Hot Stamper

James Taylor
JT

  (Item #: taylojt_1907_9) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding copy of an exceptionally well-recorded album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is surprisingly present and punchy with great clarity, excellent bass, and classic James Taylor energy
  • The big hits Your Smiling Face and Handy Man both sound great here - thanks Val Garay!
  • 4 stars: "JT was James Taylor's best album since Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon because it acknowledged the darkness of his earlier work while explaining the deliberate lightness of his current viewpoint, and because it was his most consistent collection in years."
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James Taylor - JT

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: taylojt_depth) 



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

The good copies REALLY ROCK on a song like Honey Don't Leave L.A. or I Was Only Telling A Lie, yet have lovely, sweet transparency and delicacy on the ballads such as Another Grey Morning or There We Are.

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10cc - Deceptive Bends

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: tenccdecep_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and another in our series of Demo Discs for Bass.

The remarkable level of transparency found on this copy allows you to pick out each background vocal and follow it throughout the choruses. The bass here is PERFECTION: it’s deep, punchy and POWERFUL. When you get the right pressing of this album, the bass is so good it will make every other rock record you own sound positively anemic.

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10cc - The Original Soundtrack

The Best Sounding Record on the Site?

  (Item #: tenccorigi_depth) 



On any given day a Super Hot side one (or better) of The Original Soundtrack might be the best sounding record on the site.

"On any given day" being a day when we don't have a hot German copy of Dark Side of the Moon to offer, or a killer Eagles first album, or a top copy of the self-titled BS&T, or an RL Zep II, or a White Hot Teaser and the Firecat. Most days we don't have such records on the site, and on those days this 10cc album is a recording Tour De Force that would be bigger, bolder, more dynamic, and simply more powerful than any other record we could throw against it.

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Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights

The Best Sounding Record of the Decade?

  (Item #: thompshoot_2015) 



Without a doubt this is the best record Richard and Linda Thompson ever made together, possibly the best record Thompson was ever involved with, but it also holds one other important distinction, one of great interest to us audiophiles: it's the BEST SOUNDING record he (they) ever made as well.

As I was playing the finalists for side two (at ear-splitting levels I might add) an odd thought crossed my mind. Where had I heard this kind of monstrous, punchy bass and these soaring, perfectly distorted guitars, so big and so powerful, before? There was something about the sound - the awesome energy, the freedom from compression or spatial restraint of any kind - that was strangely familiar from another shootout.

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The Three - The Three (45 RPM)

Our Four Plus Copy from 2013

  (Item #: threethree_45_2013) 



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

We had six (yes, six!) of these 45 RPM pressings (and five Inner City's and a couple of Eastwind 33's -- it was a big shootout), and this side one had the most ENERGY of any of them. This is a quality no one seems to be writing about, other than us of course, but what could possibly be more important? On this record, it took the performances of the players to a level beyond all expectations.

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War - Why Can’t We Be Friends

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: war__whyca_2007) 



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

This is a United Artists LP with DEMO DISC SOUND on BOTH sides. If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS, with jump-out-of-the-speakers direct-to-disc sound quality, this is the album for you. Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here -- punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. (Got subs? A concrete foundation under your listening room? Low Rider is a cinch to blow your mind!)

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Grover Washington - Winelight

A Demo Disc for Bass (on the Right Copy)

  (Item #: washiwinel_bass) 



Another in our series of Demo Discs for Bass.

What's unusual about this album -- shocking really -- is how MEATY the bottom end is. I don't know of a pop jazz recording with beefier, more articulate or weightier bass. The only record I can think of in this genre of jazz with comparable bass is Mangione's Children of Sanchez. We played some copies of that album recently and were just knocked out with how well recorded the bass is, just the way we were knocked out by the best copies of Grover Washington's Winelight from a recent shootout. Both of these albums really set the standard for recording this kind of music.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Who
Live At Leeds

  (Item #: who__livea_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A hard-rockin' copy - this British Track pressing boasts powerful Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • The recording is huge and lively with startling dynamics and in-the-room-presence like nothing you've heard
  • Drums so solid, punchy and present they put to shame 99% of the rock records on the planet
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl - no early British pressing will play any better than this one
  • Cited as the best live rock recording of all time by The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the BBC Q magazine, and Rolling Stone. In 2003, it was ranked number 170 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
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The Who - Live at Leeds

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: who__livea_2013) 



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.

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Get ready to rock out, as this is one of the BEST SOUNDING live albums ever recorded. Young Man Blues on a copy such as this has drums that are so solid, punchy and present they positively put to shame the drum sound on 99 out of 100 rock records you've ever played. Keith Moon lives on!

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The Who - Live at Leeds

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: who__livea_rocks_harder) 



The best copies of Live at Leeds just plain ROCK HARDER than other copies. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top.

But what really sets them apart is their tremendous energy. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies of Live at Leeds like few records you have ever heard. When we find that kind of power and energy on a record, all other things being equal, we know their stampers are White Hot.

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The Who - Who By Numbers

More Bass or More Detail, Which Is Right?

  (Item #: who__whoby_wtlf_2015) 



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

With Doug Sax mastering from the real tape, you get a Rock Solid Bottom End like you will not believe. Talk about punchy, well-defined and deep, man, this record has BASS that you sure don't hear too often on rock records.

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The Turn Up Your Volume Test

Who’s Next

  (Item #: who__whosn_loud) 



Yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

Now if you like to play records at 70 db, little of the following discussion will make much sense. There are some dumb ideas floating out there in Audiophile land, but playing music at quiet levels surely has to be one of the dumbest.

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The Who - Who’s Next

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: who__whosn_obsess) 



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

We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

Who Albums with Hot Stampers

Who Albums We've Reviewed



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Super Hot Stamper

XTC
English Settlement

  (Item #: xtc__engli_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Outstanding sound from start to finish, with all four sides rating Double Plus (A++) or BETTER - exceptionally quiet too
  • You won't believe how good this record sounds - on a Big System this is a sonic tour de force, a MONSTER Demo Disc
  • This copy has huge amounts of open studio space and that Tubey Magical, rich, fat, dense British Rock Sound we love
  • 4 stars: "... an album that moved away from the pop gloss of Black Sea in favor of light, though still rhythmically heavy, acoustic numbers with more complex and intricate instrumentation. There are plenty of pop gems... but the main focus seems to be the more expansive sound... the textural sound of the album is quite remarkable."
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XTC - English Settlement

What to Listen For

  (Item #: xtc__engli_wtlf_2017) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF).

For Big Production Rock Albums like English Settlement there are some obvious problem areas that are often heard on at least one or two sides of practically any copy of this four sided album.

With so many heavily-produced instruments crammed into the soundfield, if the overall sound is at all veiled, recessed or smeared -- problems common to 90+% of the records we play in our shootouts -- the mix quickly becomes opaque, forcing the listener to work too hard to separate out the elements of interest.

A Big Speaker Record if ever there was one.


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Yes - Fragile

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: yes__fragi_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with plenty of advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Fragile.

EDDIE OFFORD took charge of Yes's engineering with Time and a Word (1970) and we are very lucky that he did. Although his masterpiece is surely ELP's first album, both The Yes Album and Fragile are so well recorded they clearly belong at the top of any list of All Time Great Sounding Rock Albums.

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Yes - Fragile

Roundabout Vs. South Side of the Sky

  (Item #: yes__fragi_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Fragile.

This shootout taught us that track one is not as well recorded as the rest of side one. On copy after copy, and there were well over a dozen, it was the other big track on side one, South Side of the Sky, that had consistently better sound. You really hear it in the choruses, where the voices are so full-bodied, powerful, rich and energetic on that fourth track, and less of all of these qualities on the first.

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