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Jellyfish - Bellybutton

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: jellybelly_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.

One of the very best copies we've ever heard! Both sides earned top honors in our shootout, with side one even surpassing our reference copy to earn a "Four Plus" A++++ grade. It goes far beyond anything we've heard before.

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Jellyfish - Bellybutton (Import w/ Bonus Live E.P.)

Dubby Import Pressing

  (Item #: jellybelly_debunk) 

Sonic Grade: D-

A Hall of Shame pressing.

Made from dub tapes, smeary and veiled. Not our sound!

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Jellyfish's Bellybutton and Direct Metal Mastering

How Big Is Your Sample Size?

  (Item #: jellybelly_dmm) 

The problem with the typical copy of this record is gritty, grainy, grungy sound -- not the kind that's on the master tape, the kind that's added during the mastering and pressing of the record. When that crap goes away, as it so clearly does on side one of the copy we played recently, it lets you see just how good sounding this record can be. And that means REALLY good sounding.

While during the shootout I had completely forgotten that all the domestic pressings of Bellybutton are direct metal mastered. (The import pressings are clearly made from copy tapes and are to be avoided.) It was only afterwards, when looking for stamper variations, that I noticed the DMM in the dead wax .

See more entries in our Thinking About Hot Stampers series

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Jellyfish's Bellybutton

Not a Perfect Recording, a Good One for Testing Though

  (Item #: jellybelly_test_2016) 

Now She Knows She's Wrong -- another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

I spent quite a few hours tuning up the stereo with side two of the album, specifically the song Now She Knows She's Wrong, with its glockenspiel, loudly clanging tubular bells and yelling chorus at the end.

It's exceedingly hard to get everything right at the same time: the energy, the deepest bass, the extension at the very top of the top end, the greatest transparency, just to mention a few of the main ones. There are always trade-offs, and being able to balance the trade-offs against the gains in these areas and others is a real test of your critical listening skills.

See more records that rank high up on our Difficulty of Reproduction Scale

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