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Super Hot Stamper

AC/DC
Let There Be Rock

  (Item #: acdc_letth_1808_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound - this is clearly the right sound for this guitar-fueled heavy rock
  • One of the better copies from our most recent shootout, the sound is big, full, lively and spacious with hard-rockin' energy to spare
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... as lean and mean as the original lineup ever got... this is a high-voltage, brutal record, filled with "Bad Boy Boogie... It has a bit of a bluesier edge than other AC/DC records, but this is truly the sound of the band reaching its peak... it's sweaty, dirty, nasty rock, music that is played to the last call and beyond, and they've rarely done that kind of rock better than they did here."
See all of our AC/DC albums in stock


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Adam / Giselle / Fistoulari

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: adam_gisel_2011) 



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

Remastered by Philips from a Golden Age Classical Recording by Mercury, originally released in 1961.

This Mercury Golden Import 2 LP set has VERY GOOD sound. The average copy tends to be a bit dark and recessed, but this one is refreshingly free from those problems. It's not quite up to Hot Stamper status, but it is a very enjoyable record!

More Mercury Recordings


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Adam / Giselle / Wolff

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: adam_gisel_2301) 



A Living Stereo record from the Golden Age of Classical Recordings, in this case 1959.

It may not be in the top tier of Living Stereo titles, but it is a lovely one nonetheless and quite rare.

More Living Stereo


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Adam / Giselle / Karajan

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: adam_gisel_6251_2010) 



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

This Dutch Import is the best sounding copy I have ever heard. It is dead silent and rich!

Big spacious hall sound. Lovely mid-hall perspective. Very smooth and sweet. You can listen to music like this for hours and never get tired -- the opposite of your typical Classic Records pressing.

More Orchestral Music on London


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
In San Francisco

  (Item #: adderinsan_1805_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this groundbreaking live jazz album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this Riverside Stereo LP is shockingly good for a live album, and the vinyl is as quiet as we can find it
  • Cannonball joins forces here with his brother, cornetist Nat Adderley, at The Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, to create an album Orrin Keepnews lauded as, "the birth of contemporary live recording"
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Both Cannonball and Nat Adderley play with stunning, bluesy brilliance here... Outside of Somethin' Else, Adderley's 1958 masterpiece, In San Francisco may be the saxophonist's defining moment."
See all of our Cannonball Adderley albums in stock


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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: addersomet_2013) 



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

A+++ SOUND, giving you a KILLER copy of one of the most beloved Blue Note albums ever! The music here is stunning -- as I'm sure most of you know, this is as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball himself -- but the good news for audiophiles is that it's also one of the BEST SOUNDING BLUE NOTE ALBUMS we know of! When you hear it on a copy like this, it's just about As Good As It Gets.

More Cannonball Adderley / More Miles Davis


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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: addersomet_classic) 



Sonic Grade: B?

Another Classic Records LP reviewed.

There are certainly some incredible sounding pressings of this album out there, but who has the resources it takes to find one? Most of the Blue Notes we come across these days turn out to have mediocre sound, and many of them have severely damaged inner grooves. Even the mintiest looking copies often turn out to be too noisy for most audiophiles, Blue Note vinyl being what it is.

More Cannonball Adderley / More Miles Davis


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Aerosmith -Toys in the Attic

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: aerostoysi_2011) 



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

Looking for killer sound for both sides of this fun album? You've come to the right place! This unusually lively pressing combines a stunning A+++ side one with an equally wonderful, giving you White Hot Stamper sound from start to finish! The transparency here is exceptional, allowing you to hear all the musician's contributions without the veiling and congestion that you get on most pressings. Sweet Emotion is a KNOCKOUT on this copy.


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Albeniz / Iberia - Ansermet

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: albeniberi_2017) 



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

The sound of this copy is so transparent, undistorted, three-dimensional and REAL, without any sacrifice in solidity, richness or Tubey Magic, that we knew we had a real winner on our hands as soon as the needle hit the groove.

We were impressed with the fact that it excelled in so many areas of reproduction. The illusion of disappearing speakers is one of the more attractive aspects of the sound here, pulling the listener into the space of the concert hall in an especially engrossing way.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)


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TAS List Thoughts on Albeniz

Where on The List Is This Record?

  (Item #: albeniberi_tas) 



Another nail in the coffin for HP’s TAS List. The fact that questionable entries such as Reiner’s Pines of Rome make the cut, and an amazing recording such as this doesn’t, should tell you everything you need to know concerning the value of such an incomplete list.

This is truly DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! Records simply do not get any more spacious, open, transparent, rich and sweet.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)


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Albeniz / Falla / Granados / Spain / Reiner

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: albenspain_2230) 



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

Spain has been an audiophile favorite for a very long time. Everybody should know it by now, what with both Chesky and Classic Records remastering it in the '90s, dismally of course, as neither of these companies showed the slightest sense that they understood how lackluster, if not downright awful, the products of their efforts turned out. No doubt Analogue Productions will see fit to ruin the recording the way they ruined Scheherazade.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz


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Albeniz / Suite Espanola / De Burgos

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: albensuite_2006) 



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

This London LP from 1968 has some of the MOST DYNAMIC SOUND I have ever heard on a classical recording. The sound here is BIGGER and BOLDER than any pressing of this record I’ve ever played. The dynamics are absolutely startling in their power here. To be fair the other copy we have on the site has a more extended top end, which is a shortcoming that this copy has -- it's a bit rolled off in the extreme highs. But that other copy lacks weight, so that the orchestral climaxes are thin and feel strained.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)


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Albeniz / Suite Espanola / De Burgos

What to Listen For

  (Item #: albensuite_wtlf) 



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

Wow, is this record ever DYNAMIC! I would put it in the top 2 or 3 percent of the most dynamic recordings we have played over the course of the last twenty five years. It also has tons of DEPTH. The brass is at the far back of the stage, just exactly where they would be placed in the concert hall, which greatly adds to the realism of the recording.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz


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Our Favorite Studios (First of a Series)

Columbia 30th Street Studios

  (Item #: allcolumbia30th) 



Columbia 30th Street Studios is one of our favorite recording venues. Click on the link above to find our in-stock Hot Stamper pressings of albums recorded at that location from 1949 to 1981. The list of recordings made there stretches from West Side Story to Kind of Blue, all the way up to Pink Floyd's The Wall in 1979. (Who knew?)
More Recording Venues We Love


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Dave Hassinger

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: alldave_hassinger) 



DAVE HASSINGER is one of our favorite recording and mixing engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Dave Hassinger engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

"'Satisfaction' was [mixed] on four tracks," Hassinger recalls. "That was a big thing." He adds:

"When I first arrived at RCA there were three tracks. When it went to four tracks we were all thinking. What are we going to do with the extra track?"

See more entries in our Favorite Engineers series


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EMI

Home to a Select Group of Our Favorite Classical Recordings

  (Item #: allemi) 



We've never been all that hot on EMI's orchestral recordings. We discuss the issue at some length below for those of you who may be interested. An excerpt:

We could never understand why audiophiles revered EMI the way they did back in the '70s. I chalk it up to the limitations of the equipment, bad rooms and poor record cleaning.

EMI Classical Albums with Hot Stampers

EMI Classical Albums We've Reviewed


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Fleetwood Mac Discography

  (Item #: allfleetwoodmac) 



1968 Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1968 Mr. Wonderful
1969 Then Play On
1969 English Rose (compilation)
1969 Pious Bird of Good Omen (compilation)
1970 Kiln House
1971 Future Games
1971 Black Magic Woman (compilation)
1969 Greatest Hits
1972 Bare Trees
1973 Penguin
1973 Mystery to Me
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find
1975 Fleetwood Mac
1977 Rumours
1979 Tusk
1980 Fleetwood Mac Live [bad sound]
1982 Mirage


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Glyn Johns

  (Item #: allglynjohns) 



GLYN JOHNS is one of our favorite producers and engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Glyn Johns engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.

It was only about 2000 or so that we discovered what an amazing engineer and producer Glyn Johns is. A Hot Stamper of the first Eagles album (his masterpiece) on the original Asylum White Label blew my mind, produced and engineered by none other, so I quickly started looking around for other records he might have had a hand in. How about Who's Next. Let It Bleed. On The Border (my personal favorite Eagles album). Led Zeppelin's debut (my favorite Zep LP). A Nod Is As Good As A Wink. All his.

More Engineers, Producers and Arrangers


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Super Hot Stamper

Mose Allison
Mose Alive!

  (Item #: allismosea_1808_1902) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $79.00 (You save $20.99 / 21%)


  • An outstanding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it on both sides
  • Both sides are rich, full and tonally right on the money with a nice extended top end
  • Pretty darn quiet -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout, these are tough to find in this shape!
  • "Allison was one of the finest songwriters in blues of the 20th and early 21st centuries." - All Music Bio
See all of our Mose Allison albums in stock


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Our Favorite Engineers (A Continuing Series)

Kenneth Wilkinson

  (Item #: allkenneth_wilkinson) 



KENNETH WILKINSON is one of our favorite engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Kenneth Wilkinson engineered albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Recordings made in Kingsway Hall


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
The Allman Brothers

  (Item #: allmaallma_1812) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them
  • The sound is clean, clear and open with the kind of fat bottom end that brings this Blues Rock to life
  • Exceptionally quiet on both sides - this pressing plays Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout, and that's as quiet as they come
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. There isn't a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
... At Fillmore East

  (Item #: allmaatfil_1905) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • With four insanely good sides, all rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it, this Pink Label original is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other copy you've heard, and the vinyl is as QUIET as it gets
  • This is one of the all-time great live albums, and with a copy like this one YOU ARE THERE at the Fillmore
  • The WHOMP factor here kicks up the excitement - here is the low end foundation that lets the extended guitar jams work
  • 5 stars: "At Fillmore East is like a great live jazz session, where the pleasure comes from the musicians' interaction and playing... The pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Brothers and Sisters

  (Item #: allmabroth_1901_1904) 

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


  • An awesome pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on both sides, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Dramatically better than practically every other pressing we played - super lively, full-bodied and clear with real extension up top and down low
  • 4 stars on Allmusic and the band's commercial peak, featuring great songs as well as stellar guitar work from Dickie Betts
  • "The Allman Brothers Band's first new studio album in two years shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica," helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Idlewild South

  (Item #: allmaidlew_1904_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This original Atco pressing has outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout, with the kind of energy this music needs
  • Easily the group's best sounding studio recording and especially impressive on a copy like this - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Cue up Midnight Rider or In Memory Of Elizabeth Read to hear the Allman Brothers magic in these grooves
  • 5 stars "The best studio album in the group's history, electric blues with an acoustic texture, virtuoso lead, slide, and organ playing, and a killer selection of songs, including "Midnight Rider," "Revival," "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'," and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"..."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Gregg Allman - Laid Back

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: allmalaidb_2017) 



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

We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans' album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters. Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals, this is the sound we love at Better Records.

More Allman Brothers


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Roy Wallace

One of Our Favorite Engineers

  (Item #: allroy_wallace) 



ROY WALLACE is one of our favorite recording engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Roy Wallace engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Roy Wallace Engineered Albums with Hot Stampers

Roy Wallace Engineered Albums We've Reviewed



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Laurindo Almeida - Virtuoso Guitar

An Awesome Direct to Disc Copy

  (Item #: almeivirtu_2011) 



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

Virtuoso Guitar is yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This White Hot Crystal Clear 45 RPM Direct-to-Disc fulfills the promise of both the direct to disc recording medium AND the 45 RPM cutting speed so much in vogue these days. We had a big pile of these pressings to play through. When we came upon this one halfway through our shootout, it was so big, so clear, so dynamic, so energetic, so extended on the top and bottom, we almost could not believe what we were hearing especially compared to the others copies we played.


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Ambrosia - Life Beyond L.A.

Which Stampers Sound the Best?

  (Item #: ambrolifeb_stampers) 



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

There's a unique story behind this title, which goes something like this. I recount it because it's a classic and hopefully instructive case of Live and Learn.

More Ambrosia


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Super Hot Stamper

America
America

  (Item #: ameriameri_1805_1904) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding early WB Green Label pressing of the band's debut album with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of our favorite Hippie Folk Rock albums - the instruments and voices will appear to be right in your listening room
  • The Tubey Magical acoustic guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction - thanks Ken Scott!
  • 4 stars: "America's debut album is a folk-pop classic, a stellar collection of memorable songs that would prove influential on such acts as the Eagles and Dan Fogelberg..."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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White Hot Stamper

America
America

  (Item #: ameriameri_1902_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This incredible copy of the band's debut album boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • One of our favorite Hippie Folk Rock albums - the instruments and voices seem to be right in your listening room
  • The Tubey Magical acoustic guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction - thanks Ken Scott!
  • 4 stars: "America's debut album is a folk-pop classic, a stellar collection of memorable songs that would prove influential on such acts as the Eagles and Dan Fogelberg..."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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America - America

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: ameriameri_2009) 



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

TUBEY MAGICAL practically MASTER TAPE SOUND on side one! A good sounding copy of this album is a real treat; a superb sounding copy like this one is an EXPERIENCE! We’ve been playing this album for years but I cannot recall a copy with a more extended top end than the ones here. The transparency is off the charts. Side one is natural, relaxed, musical, sweet, tonally correct from top to bottom and overflowing with Tubey Magic.

More America


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America - America

Listening for Harmonically Correct Acoustic Guitars

  (Item #: ameriameri_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The guitars on this record are a true test of stereo fidelity. As it says below, most of the pressings of this record do not get the guitars to sound right. They often sound veiled and dull, and on a copy with a bit too much top end they will have an unnatural hi-fi-ish sparkle.

(This kind of sparkle can be heard on practically every record Mobile Fidelity made in the ’70s and ’80s. Tea for the Tillerman, Sundown, Year of the Cat, Finger Paintings, Byrd at the Gate, Quarter Moon in a 10 Cent Town -- the list would be very long indeed, and these are just the records with prominent acoustic guitars!)

See all of our America albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Gene Ammons
Blue Gene

  (Item #: ammonblueg_1904) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This wonderful Prestige jazz classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of the best sounding Ammons records we know of - it's huge, rich and Tubey Magical, with a solid bottom end and energy to beat them all
  • Clean and clear and open are nice qualities to have, but rich and full are harder to come by on this record - this pressing has it all
  • "Some ballad performances in his oeuvre are a testament to an exceptional sense of intonation and melodic symmetry, powerful lyrical expressiveness, and mastery both of the blues and the bebop vernacular that can now be described as, in its own way, 'classical.'"
See all of our Gene Ammons albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Gene Ammons
The Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug

  (Item #: ammongenea_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish for this Moodsville Classic - on fairly quiet vinyl too!
  • These two killer Rudy Van Gelder recordings capture the truly wonderful sound of Ammons' smooth, rich, breathy, bluesy sax
  • We love the reverb RVG placed on the drums here - it's sounds just right for a classic jazz album from the '60s
  • "...the tradition of the tenor ballad was fully defined by Gene Ammons and Ben Webster... this [album] is the source of a tradition. One of the absolute necessities to any jazz collection."
See all of our Gene Ammons albums in stock


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Gene Ammons / Sonny Stitt - Prime Cuts

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: ammonprime_2005) 



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

This Two-fer contains the complete albums: Boss Tenors and Boss Tenors in Orbit from 1962, two classic jazz recordings with EXCELLENT SOUND.

More Gene Ammons


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Anderson / Fiddle-Faddle and more / Fiedler

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: anderfiddl_2638_2011) 



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

This famous Fiedler / Boston Pops recording of Leroy Anderson's music has Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides! I frankly admit to never having taken this title seriously. I imagine few hard core Shaded Dog collectors have ever bothered to play it, which is their loss, not ours. It's very well recorded, with tons of Golden Age Living Stereo magic. Talk about BIG and RICH, both sides will show you exactly why modern audiophiles drool over these recordings. You simply cannot find this sound anywhere else.

More Living Stereo


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
The Essential Louis Armstrong

  (Item #: armstessen_1812) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • With solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout, this original stereo copy will be hard to beat
  • Big, rich, and Tubey Magical, Louis Armstrong has rarely sounded this good on record - we should know, we've played his albums by the score
  • This pressing boasts rich lower mids and nice extension up top, critical to getting the right sound for this vintage recording
  • "... a definitive look at the Louis Armstrong All-Stars in their later years, when Tyree Glenn was on trombone and the group was riding high from the success of "Hello Dolly."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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Louis Armstrong - The Essential Louis Armstrong

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: armstessen_2017) 



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

We're always on the lookout for Louis Armstrong records with good sound. In our experience finding them is not nearly as easy as one might think. Far too many of his recordings are poorly recorded, with sound that simply can't be taken seriously -- fine for old consoles but not so good on modern audiophile equipment.

More Louis Armstrong


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_1905) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $20.99 / 14%)


  • With two excellent sides each rating a solid Double Plus (A++), this vintage stereo pressing was one of the better copies in our most recent shootout
  • Both sides are big, spacious and absolutely jumping out of the speakers, with rich, smooth sound
  • We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one
  • 4 1/2 stars: "One of the best things about this configuration is the sound of the Duke’s piano - an underrated pianist, he seldom recorded in such an intimate context."
More Louis Armstrong / More Duke Ellington


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Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Reunion

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: armstgreat_2017) 



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

With two Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sides, this original stereo copy simply could not be beat. So big, so rich, so Tubey Magical, we guarantee you have never heard Louis Armstrong sound remotely as good as he does here. We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record, but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one.

More Duke Ellington


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1810_1904) 

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


  • This outstanding pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime interpretations of The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven
  • Classic Records remastered this title back in their heyday, but if you have any doubts that our Hot Stamper will murder it we encourage you to do the shootout for yourself
  • "Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An insanely good sounding original pressing with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one
  • One of the best copies from our most recent shootout (especially on the first side) - the sound is big, full, lively and spacious
  • Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime interpretations of The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven
  • "Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time."
See all of our Louis Armstrong albums in stock


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Louis Armstrong - I’ve Got The World on a String

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: armstivego_classic_records) 



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


Sonic Grade: B (probably)

I first heard this album on the wonderful Classic Records pressing from the '90s. I remember really enjoying the music and liking the sound of Bernie Grundman's remaster very much. We reviewed and recommended the album (along with Under the Stars) in our old paper catalogs.

More Louis Armstrong


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Chet Atkins - Christmas with Chet Atkins

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: atkinchris_2006) 



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

This is a very nice looking RCA reissue LP with DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! I can’t believe how good this late reissue sounds! It may not have all of the tubey magic of the best originals, but it does have the tubey magic that Bill Porter recorded and that the RCA engineers managed to transfer accurately to this LP. I can tell you I'll never pass up another one of these. Without a doubt this has to be the best sounding Christmas record we have for sale.

More Chet Atkins


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Chet Atkins - Class Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: atkinclass_2013) 



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

This RCA original pressing from Nashville, circa 1967, has DEMO DISC quality sound from start to finish, first note to last. Class Guitar is more or less a solo session from 1967, concentrating mostly on classical guitar pieces, with a few pop and jazz hits of the day thrown in for the sake of variety. Chet's good buddy and main man Jerry Reed joins him on rhythm guitar on some tracks. Both sides have plenty to offer the discriminating audiophile, with the spaciousness, clarity, tonality and freedom from artificiality that are the hallmark of the best Living Stereo recordings.

More Chet Atkins


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Chet Atkins - Class Guitar

A Great Sounding Dynagroove Record from 1967

  (Item #: atkinclass_dynagroove) 



Having played dozens of Chet Atkins titles over the last few years, we can say with confidence that sometime in the mid-'60s the quality of the sound becomes somewhat more hit and miss with each passing year. But it was always hit and miss before then, just less hit and miss. The man was making three or four albums a year back then. They can't all be good.

So, in the world of Chet Atkins (and recording artists the world over), it's win a few, lose a few. This, we are happy to report, is one of the clear winners. I doubt any of his other albums from 1967 sound as good as this one. (One day we will surely find out.)

More Chet Atkins


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Chet Atkins / Chet Atkins in Hollywood

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: atkininhol_1993_classic) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

It's been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, but I remember it as nothing special, tonally fine but low-rez and lacking space, warmth and above all Tubey Magic. I don't think I've ever played an original that didn't sound better, and that means that the best grade to give Classic's pressing is probably a D for below average.

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Chet Atkins - Chet Atkins In Hollywood

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: atkininhol_2007) 



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

This Minty looking RCA Victor LP has an AMAZING SIDE TWO backed with a great side one. Side two is full of the tubey magic that’s missing from the Classic Records version and it has a wonderfully extended top end. Side one lacks some of the top end extension found on side two but the first track has that tubey Nashville sound that we love here at Better Records. The rest of the side is pretty damn good as well.

Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List of Super Discs.

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Super Hot Stamper

Chet Atkins
Teensville

  (Item #: atkinteens_1802_1805) 

Our Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $39.00 (You save $10.99 / 22%)


  • Both sides of this original Chet Atkins classic earned excellent Double Plus (A++) grades for sound and play on relatively quiet vinyl
  • This vintage stereo pressing is the first copy to hit the site - we've known this was a great sounding record for a very long time, and now we have a copy to prove it
  • Includes gobs and gobs of 1960 Living Stereo Tubey Magic - the record is just overflowing with it
  • "What shines through is Atkins' understated elegance. All of the numbers are arranged as pop instrumentals and his guitar playing is so tasteful..."
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Chet Atkins - Travelin’

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: atkintrave_2011) 



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

This original White Dog Black Label RCA pressing may not say Living Stereo on the label, but it sure has the kind of Living Stereo sound we audiophiles have come to love. It's got the sound of RCA's Nashville studios and Bill Porter's engineering all over it, not to mention the kind of 1963 Tubey Magical Analog that would be long gone by the time the decade came to an end.

Along with George Harrison, who wrote the liner notes for Chet Atkins Picks on The Beatles, we're proud to call ourselves Chet Atkins fans.

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Average White Band - Average White Band

Reviewed in 2018

  (Item #: averaavera_2018) 



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

Having done this shootout a number of times since we first discovered a hot sounding copy all the way back in 2007, it's hard to imagine this music sounding any better than this very copy. It's smooth, sweet, airy, open, spacious and ALIVE. The best sounding songs here truly have Master Tape Sound.

We've been playing this record for years, but until finding a very Hot copy back in 2007 we had no idea what a sonic monster it could be. The typical copy tends to be smeary, with sour horns and not very much energy.

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Better Records’
Record Collecting Axioms

  (Item #: axiom) 



In an old commentary for a shootout we did for Carole King’s Tapestry album we took shots at both the CBS Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile pressing and the Classic Heavy Vinyl Audiophile pressing, noting that both fell far short of the standard set by the Hot Stamper copies we'd discovered. This finding (and scores of others just like it) prompted us to promulgate the following axiom of audiophile record collecting, which we are calling...
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Super Hot Stamper

The B-52's
The B-52's

  (Item #: b-52sb-52s_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $79.00 (You save $20.99 / 21%)


  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one and a side two that's close to it, this vintage pressing has plenty of analog magic in its grooves
  • Tubey Magic in 1979? Somehow they managed to pull it off. So dynamic too. What a recording!
  • A New Wave Classic and 5 stars in the All Music Guide: "These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture... was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture... a hell of a good time."
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The B-52s - The B-52s

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: b-52sb-52s_2013) 



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

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES for this amazingly well-recorded album! We think some of you will bo shocked at just how good the sound can be. And you may or may not be surprised at just how FUN the music is! It's sure to be a future member of our Rock and Pop Top 100. (UPDATE: It has officially made the list.)

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JS Bach / The Goldberg Variations / Glenn Gould

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: bach_goldb_2011) 



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

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

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

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JS Bach / Glenn Gould Plays Bach / Gould

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: bach_parti_2012) 



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

This 3 LP set on the early White Arrows 360 Label has three sides that earned sonic grades of Super Hot or better, with two sides being White Hot and pretty darn amazing for an old Columbia pressing (Columbia being an egregiously bad label when it comes to the sound of their classical records).

This set is highly regarded in classical circles and does not sit in the used record bins for cheap, even in reissue form, which limits our ability to find them and try them. On top of that there are six sides to play for every copy, so if is very unlikely we will be able to find a better copy for you down the road than this one anytime soon. The surfaces are about Mint Minus Minus, not bad for a solo piano record but not exactly quiet either.


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JS Bach / Sonatas & Partitas For Solo Violin / Martzy

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: bach_sonat_2012) 



This Minty British "Sitting Angel" pressing has Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, reproducing accurately the sound of a solo violin in what sounds to us like a fairly lively and resonant rehearsal hall. Perhaps accurately is not the right word, since obviously none of us have ever set foot in whatever room the music was recorded in. "Realistic" might be a better choice in that regard, since the sound is believable for what we would expect that room might have contributed to the sound we hear on the pressing in hand.

Interestingly, the sound on side two is a tad better than side one -- the violin is more present and warm, the room less resonant (in a good way).

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JS Bach / Virgil Fox -The Fox Touch, Volume 1

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: bach_thefo_fame) 



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

[This review was written in 2010. Since then I have played copies of these Crystal Clear organ recordings and been much less impressed. The ambience is a fraction of what it should be, and the reason I know that is that the vintage organ recordings I play have dramatically more size and space than these audiophile pressings do. Live and Learn.]

Are we changing our tune about Audiophile records? Not in the least; we love the ones that sound right. The fact that so few of them do is not our fault.

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Burt Bacharach - Casino Royale

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bachacasin_2008) 



TWO STUNNING SIDES! With sound like this, I now understand why this has been such a highly regarded long-term resident of the TAS Superdisc List. A copy like this IS a TRUE SUPERDISC -- but the average copy of this album is anything but. Who could take such harsh, grainy, thin, veiled, compressed sound seriously? What was Harry smokin’?

I can honestly and truthfully say that until we discovered the Hot Stampers for this album, I never thought this record deserved the praise Harry heaped upon it. Now I do. I once was blind but now I see, or something like that. And by the way, does his copy sound as good as this one? I would bet money right now that this monster is clearly the better pressing.

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Burt Bacharach - Casino Royale

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: bachacasin_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: D

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

Casino Royale under the sway of Bernie's penchant for bright, gritty, ambience-challenged sound? Not such a good match. There is no reissue, and there will never be a reissue, that will sound as good as a good original. (And I hope it would go without saying that most copies cannot begin to do what a real Hot Stamper original can.)

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Why Own a Turntable if You're Going to Play Mediocrities Like These?

  (Item #: bad180) 



This commentary was posted in 2007 and amended later with the statement that we would no longer be ordering new heavy vinyl titles starting in 2010. By 2011 we had eliminated them completely from our site. If you bought any Heavy Vinyl pressing from us, ever, now is the time to get rid of it and hear what a Hot Stamper can do for your musical enjoyment.

Three of the Top Five sellers this week (8/22/07) at Acoustic Sounds are records we found hard to like: Aja, Aqualung and Blue. Can you really defend the expense and hassle of analog LP playback with records that sound as mediocre as this Rhino pressing of Blue?


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Super Hot Stamper

Bad Company
Bad Company

  (Item #: badcobadco_1905) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • An outstanding copy of Bad Co's '70s classic debut with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it throughout
  • Both sides have wonderful sound - huge, present, punchy, lively, and Tubey Magical
  • A member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100, and a Must Own Classic Rock title from 1974
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Bad Company's 1974 self-titled release stands as one of the most important and accomplished debut hard rock albums from the '70s ... it was one of the most successful steps in the continuing evolution of rock & roll."
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Bad Company - Bad Company

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: badcobadco_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and a recording that comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

MONSTROUS MASTER TAPE SOUND! The sound was JUMPING out of the speakers and filling the room.

Sometimes a copy is just BIGGER than the others - it's somehow physically wider and taller than other pressings, how we haven't a clue -- and that's exactly what this copy had more of than any other: SIZE. If you've never heard a rock record like this -- and knowing how rare they are it's more than possible -- you are in for a treat here.

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Bad Company - Run With The Pack

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: badcorunwi_2013) 



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

SUPERB SOUND on Hot Stamper 2-pack! This is not an easy album to find with audiophile sound, and since our best sides were less impressive on their flipsides, we paired up these two copies to give you incredible sound for the album from first note to last.

Side two of the second record is the real deal, with BIG, RICH and ROCKIN' White Hot Stamper sound. Side one of the first record is nearly as good (A++ to A+++), boasting exceptional transparency, excellent balance and something we didn't hear on most copies: ENERGY.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bad Company
Straight Shooter

  (Item #: badcostrai_1901_1) 

Our Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $69.00 (You save $30.99 / 31%)


  • An outstanding copy of Straight Shooter, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you're playing this one good and loud you'll feel like you're in the room with the boys as they kick out the jams
  • Take it from us, it is not easy to find a copy that's right, with size, clarity, balance and energy
  • 4 stars: "Vocalist and songwriter Paul Rodgers wrote two acoustic-based rock ballads that would live on forever in the annals of great rock history: 'Shooting Star' and the Grammy-winning 'Feel Like Makin' Love.'"
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Bad Company - Straight Shooter

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: badcostrai_2009) 



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.

We just finished a shootout for this hard-rockin’ album, our first since way back in January of ’08, and what we were hearing this time around BLEW OUR MINDS. This record got a whole lot better over the course of the last twenty months or so. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the drum sound on this record is the most present, punchy and realistic I have ever heard on a record.

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Straight Shooting with Bad Company

Check Out the Punch in the Snare

  (Item #: badcostrai_snare) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

In late 2009 we had just finished a shootout for this hard-rockin’ album, our first since January of ’08, and what we were hearing this time around BLEW OUR MINDS. This record got a whole lot better over the course of the last twenty months or so. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the drum sound on this record is the right up there with the most present, punchy and realistic I have ever heard on record.

I saw a friend’s band play recently in a small club and remember thinking how amazingly punchy the snare sounded (the sound coming from the live instrument itself and the club’s speakers) and this record has that kind of drum sound!.

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White Hot Stamper

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A KILLER copy with stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Rich, clear and lively, with 3-D studio space, this is the band's Masterpiece sounding right
  • On the best copies - like this one - the music just JUMPS out of the speakers
  • 4 1/2 stars: "There's absolutely no filler... everybody is in top form. "Baby Blue" is textbook power-pop — irresistibly catchy fuzz riffs and sighing melodies — and with its Harrison-esque slide guitars, "Day After Day" is so gorgeous it practically aches. This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed."
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Super Hot Stamper

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A KILLER copy with Double Plus sound (A++) or BETTER on both sides - if you choose to own only one Badfinger album, make it this one
  • Clean, clear and dynamic with real studio space and transparency, this is the way to hear the band's masterpiece - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • The sound here just JUMPS out of the speakers, which is exactly what the best copies of the album are supposed to (but rarely) do
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed."
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Super Hot Stamper

Chet Baker
Chet

  (Item #: bakerchet_1810_1902) 

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


  • With Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides and fairly quiet vinyl, this is one of the better copies from our most recent shootout
  • This wonderful album of ballads has Mile Davis' rhythm section supporting Chet and other greats such as Kenny Burrell and Bill Evans
  • These guys are playing live in the studio and, on a copy that sounds this clear, you can really feel their presence on every track
  • "...this Riverside issue captures the gifted but troubled trumpeter at his best. It might even qualify as Baker's most satisfying and representative recording."
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Anita Baker - Giving You The Best That I Got

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bakergivin_2013) 



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

This White Hot Stamper Anita Baker LP has an AMAZING A+++ SIDE TWO and a great A+ - A++ side one, both very quiet, giving you excellent sound for this '80s soul classic! We remembered this as a good recording and were still surprised with how good the best copies sounded. All Music Guide gave it four out of five stars, calling it "far superior to most of 1988's uninspired R&B releases."

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Super Hot Stamper

Anita Baker
Rapture

  (Item #: bakerraptu_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This quiet-storm classic earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER for sound on both sides and plays on exceptionally quiet vinyl to boot
  • Rapture is one of the best sounding recordings from the era - with all due respect to Whitney Houston, if I could only have one album of '80s soulful female vocals, it would have to be this one
  • Key to the sound is richness and Tubey Magic, along with strong midrange presence, and on this Super Hot Stamper you get all three
  • 5 stars: "Rapture gave Baker one moving hit after another, including "Sweet Love," "Caught up in the Rapture," "Same Ole Love," and "No One in This World."
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Anita Baker - Rapture

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: bakerraptu_2011) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES! We just finished a HUGE shootout for this '80s R & B classic and found a ton of god-awful pressings and a small group of winners. When this album sounds bad, it can be PAINFUL. So many copies have harsh, grainy highs and hard, edgy vocals -- qualities that completely ruin the mood of this music. When I play a Cream record, it can be a little raw and still rock my world, but an Anita Baker record's gotta be smooth and sweet, and most of them aren't even close. This one gives you the RIGHT sound for this kind of music -- rich, warm and natural with lovely immediacy to the vocals.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1905) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With superb Double Plus (A++) sonic grades or BETTER on both sides, this is a great sounding copy of an absolutely essential album
  • Big bass, rich meaty guitars and smooth silky vocals make this a Band album like you have never heard before.
  • Not only is the sound superb, but both sides here play Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as we can find them
  • 5 stars: "The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal..."
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The Band - Moondog Matinee

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: band_moond_2017) 



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

Some great music is to be found here, and quite respectable sound on the "hotter" copies. ’Ain’t Got No Home’ and ’A Change Is Gonna Come’ are two personal favorites of the ten tracks here.

Both sides are tonally balanced from top to bottom, with more energy and space than others. The bass is huge, the brass rich, the all analog sound smooth and natural. It's no demo disc; it just sounds bigger, clearer, and more right than the other sides we played.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Northern Lights - Southern Cross

  (Item #: band_north_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • These sides are bigger, more natural, warmer and more solid than most of the others we played
  • This is The Band's undiscovered gem, containing the most powerful tearjerker they ever wrote: "It Makes No Difference"
  • 4 stars: "...the Band's finest since their self-titled sophomore effort ... "Acadian Driftwood" stands out as one of Robertson's finest compositions, the equal to anything else the Band ever recorded."
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The Band Album You Don't Know

Northern Lights - Southern Cross

  (Item #: band_north_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and one of their four essential albums (the others being Music from Big Pink, the Self-Titled second and Rock of Ages).

This is the UNDISCOVERED GEM in the Band catalog. Allmusic is right on the money when they call this the best Band album since their self-titled second release. I positively LOVE this music, having practically worn out my copy soon after the album was released in 1975.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Rock Of Ages

  (Item #: band_rocko_1902_1905) 

Our Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $249.00 (You save $50.99 / 17%)


  • Superb sound throughout with all four sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The best copies are surprisingly TRANSPARENT -- just listen to all the "room" around the vocals on these four sides
  • A classic double live album with a consistently well-arranged and energetically performed set of songs
  • 4 stars" "It could be argued that it captured the spirit of the Band at the time in a way none of their other albums do."
  • One of the few copies from our shootout that had no marks that play, a rarity for this title!
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The Band - Rock Of Ages

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: band_rocko_2009) 



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

White Hot Stampers for side two -- WOW! Check out the track listing for that side: Stage Fright / The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down / Across the Great Divide / This Wheel’s on Fire / Rag Mama Rag

Pretty hard to beat that batch of Band songs; practically every one is a classic. And considering how difficult it is to get a good sounding copy of the albums those songs are taken from, this double album is a great way to go if you love The Band. The performances are uniformly excellent, and the live horn section adds a lot to the fun and energy of the music.

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The Band - Rock Of Ages

Turn Up Your Volume, Now It Rocks!

  (Item #: band_rocko_volume) 



Yet another record that really comes to life when you Turn Up Your Volume.

Most copies of this album do not have a boosted bottom or top, which means that at normal listening levels -- depending on how you define that term -- they can sound pretty flat. This is one album that needs to be turned up, obviously not to the levels of a live rock concert, but up about as loud as you can until you can get the bass and the highs to come out. We found ourselves adding more and more level in order to get the sound to come to life, and it was playing pretty loud before the sound was right.

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Bartok / Piano Concerto No. 3 / Kertesz / Katchen

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: bartopiano_6487_2009) 



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

This Super Rare original London pressing has EXCELLENT SOUND and lovely music. The piano is especially well recorded, with the orchestra exhibiting the patented lovely, rich, rossiny string tone, with tons of depth and spaciousness to the sound. This is the first copy of the album I have run into, and my first exposure to the Bartok Piano Concerto, which is actually wonderful.

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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This unusually strong copy of an exceptionally well-recorded classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, 88 Basie Street has got it going on
  • With 18 pieces in the studio this is a real powerhouse - the sound is rich, powerful, dynamic and HUGE
  • 4 stars: "One of Basie's final albums, the very appealing title cut seems to sum up his career, a lightly swinging groove with a strong melody. Two small-group performances with guest Joe Pass on guitar add variety to a particularly strong set."
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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Big Band

  (Item #: basiebasie_1904) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An insanely good copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Both sides are incredibly rich, lively and clear - musically and sonically this is one of the best Basie Big Band records!
  • Guaranteed to be dramatically livelier and more dynamic than any Basie title you've heard
  • Lots of tight, deep, note-like bass and mostly correct timbre for the brass throughout
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Big Band

  (Item #: basiebasie_1904_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Both sides are super big and full-bodied with a lovely bottom end - musically and sonically this is one of the best Basie Big Band records!
  • Guaranteed to be dramatically livelier and more dynamic than any Basie title you've heard
  • Lots of tight, deep, note-like bass and mostly correct timbre for the brass throughout
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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • The first copy to hit the site in years and boy does it have STUNNING sound -- Triple Plus (A+++) from start to finish; super quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides are incredibly big. rich and Tubey Magical with a lovely bottom end -- a great way to hear this classic jazz
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements." - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905_1) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish; super quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides are super rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a lovely bottom end -- a great way to hear this classic jazz
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements." - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Chairman of the Board

  (Item #: basiechair_1904) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of Chairman Of The Board, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget the honky, hard-sounding Roulette originals, and of course the second-rate Classic Records pressing - this reissue is the way to go
  • From first note to last, this copy is big, clear, rich and lively, with huge amounts of space around the band
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This 1958 date for Roulette was a rare chance for the orchestra to perform on its own, and listeners to hear how powerful the band could be when its concentration was undiverted... The record is admittedly heavy on the blues, but it's a brassy, powerful vision of the blues... A dynamic date, it shows the "new testament" edition of Basie's orchestra in top form."
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie & Joe Williams
Memories Ad-Lib

  (Item #: basiememor_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb vintage stereo pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last and fairly quiet vinyl
  • This is one of the few Joe Williams records we've been able to find with audiophile sound and surfaces - it's taken us years to get even one shootout going, but it produced this great copy, so we think it was worth it!
  • "Williams' vocals seem effortless throughout the date... highlights include the easygoing swinger "The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)" and a foot-tapping "Honeysuckle Rose."
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Count Basie & Oscar Peterson - The Timekeepers

Analogue Productions Doubted

  (Item #: basietimek_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: Probably Bad, But Who Knows?

Analogue Productions remastered this longtime favorite of ours, The Timekeepers, on 45 RPM vinyl. Considering their dismal track record -- an unbroken string of failures, scoring not a single winner with which I am familiar -- I'm guessing the Hot Stamper we offered here would have blown the doors off their version as well as any other Basie album they will ever do on vinyl.

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Count Basie & Oscar Peterson - Yessir, That’s My Baby

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: basieyessi_2012) 



Side two of this wonderful Basie Peterson record has nearly White Hot Stamper Demo Disc sound -- jazz records don't get a whole lot bigger, clearer or more full-bodied. Man, that is the sound of glorious ANALOG. A++ to A+++ is our conservative grade. It might be worth the full Three Pluses but we just can't find enough copies to know if this side could get any better. There is not a single critical comment of any kind in the notes, so that ought to tell you that you are in for a real sonic treat with this side two.
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

  (Item #: beachpetso_1805_1903) 

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


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

The Beach Boys
Surfin' U.S.A.

  (Item #: beachsurfi_1802_1905-) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • A superb copy of this Beach Boys classic from 1963 - this one earned Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER for sound on both sides
  • Very few surf records offer the kind of realistic, lifelike sound you get from this pressing, on both sides
  • The sound is big, open, rich and full, with the performers front and center (as well as left and right)
  • "... the album as a whole is the best they would make, prior to the late '60s..." - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1902_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A wonderful copy of The Beatles' last and arguably greatest album, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Here's an Abbey Road that's big, rich, sweet and present, with strong energy, wonderfully breathy vocals and huge guitars
  • A copy this good might just give you a new appreciation for one of the Greatest Rock Albums of All Time
  • Allmusic 5 Stars, a permanent member of the Better Records Top 100, and a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1903) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • This UK '70s pressing has a stunning Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with a superb Double Plus (A++) side two
  • As Good As It Gets sound for classic tracks such as Come Together, Something, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Oh! Darling and I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  • Audiophile sonics like these will surely give you a new appreciation for one of the Greatest Beatles Albums of All Time
  • Abbey Road is a permanent member of the Better Records Top 100, and a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1903_) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With seriously good grades of Double Plus (A++) on both sides, this copy is bursting with Fab Four energy and enthusiasm, exceptionally quiet vinyl too - this one plays a true Mint Minus!
  • Drop the needle on I’ll Cry Instead, If I Fell or Things We Said Today to hear some real early Beatles Vocal Magic
  • This one gets the heart of the music right - the singing - and that's what makes The Beatles FUN to listen to
  • 100% Lennon-McCartney originals: "Decades after its original release, its punchy blend of propulsive rhythms, jangly guitars, and infectious, singalong melodies is remarkably fresh." AMG 5 Stars (of course)
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1904) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • With Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout, we guarantee you've never heard A Hard Day's Night sound remotely as good as it does here
  • On top of that this vintage UK pressing plays on relatively quiet vinyl - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • Both sides are big, spacious and absolutely jumping out of the speakers, with relatively rich, smooth sound
  • This one gets the heart of the music right - the lad's voices - and that's what makes The Beatles FUN to listen to
  • 100% Lennon-McCartney originals: "Decades after its original release, its punchy blend of propulsive rhythms, jangly guitars, and infectious, singalong melodies is remarkably fresh." 5 Stars
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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1811) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • This British Parlophone copy is guaranteed to give you an entirely new appreciation for the band's fourth album
  • An underrated album that sounds much better than most audiophiles think it does - better music too
  • "...the group were starting to take in new influences; in this case, they were adding folk music into the mix thanks to their new-found friendship with Bob Dylan. Dylan's reflection in Lennon's work was nearly immediate, thanks to tunes like "No Reply", "I'm a Loser", "Baby's In Black" and "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"."
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Off the charts sound for the band's classic fourth album; Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, Double Plus (A++) on the first - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Superb energy and presence - the band is RIGHT THERE and full of the LIFE the best Beatles pressings always have
  • An underrated Beatles album - Allmusic gives it Five Big Stars and we like it every bit as much as they do
  • I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Rock And Roll Music, I'll Follow The Sun. Eight Days A Week, Words Of Love, Every Little Thing, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, What You're Doing and 4 more - 14 tracks in all (!)
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1904_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • There's superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER to be found on both sides of The Fab Four's very well recorded fourth album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Especially rich and spacious, this is the album that moves away from the mostly midrangy sound of A Hard Day's Night and With the Beatles
  • A criminally underrated album by the Fab Four - Allmusic gives it Five Big Stars and we like it every bit as much as they do
  • I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Rock And Roll Music, I'll Follow The Sun. Eight Days A Week, Words Of Love, Every Little Thing, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, What You're Doing and 4 more - 14 tracks in all (!)
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • 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
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