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White Hot Stamper

Charles Mingus
Tijuana Moods

  (Item #: mingutijua_1807_1907) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • This stunning sounding original copy has amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - it's guaranteed to blow your mind
  • The sound here is vintage Living Stereo at its best - big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
  • These Black Label originals can rarely be found any quieter than this one - it plays Mint Minus Minus for the most part
  • 5 stars: "Mingus at the time said that this was his greatest recording, and it certainly ranks near the top."
See all of our Charles Mingus albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Julian Bream
The Art of Julian Bream

  (Item #: breamartof_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • You'll find stunning sound on this vintage RCA Living Stereo pressing, with both sides winning our recent shootout and earning Triple Plus (A+++) grades for their superb sonics
  • These sides are wonderfully full-bodied and natural, using State-of-the-Art All Tube Living Stereo recording technology that was so advanced in 1960 it could transport a living, breathing Julian Bream directly from his studio into your listening room, 59 years later (!)
  • The set list comprises mainly baroque arrangements for classical guitar, including an especially lovely version of Ravel's 'Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte'
See all of our Classical albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Rosemary Clooney
Rosie Solves The Swingin' Riddle!

  (Item #: cloonsolve_1908) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An outstanding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first
  • These sides are rich, sweet and Tubey Magical with wonderfully breathy vocals and lots of space around all of the players
  • "The pair made the most of their first collaboration, devising a program of 12 standards that combined Riddle's pugnacious yet intricate arrangements with Clooney's warm, grand vocals to create a swing record with feeling... Vocalist fits together with orchestra like hand in glove..." - All Music
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White Hot Stamper

Shorty Rogers
The Swingin' Nutcracker

  (Item #: rogerswing_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Insanely good Living Stereo sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades and playing reasonably quietly
  • Al Schmitt handled the engineering duties, brilliantly, with Shorty and dozens of his West Coast Pals contributing to the dates, the likes of Conte Candoli, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Harold Land, Richie Kamuca and more
  • "The most remarkable aspect about the score is how boldly it re-imagines the original. The Swingin' Nutcracker is contemporary from an American perspective without patronizing the European original." - Marc Meyers, Jazz Wax
See all of our Shorty Rogers albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins
Sonny Meets Hawk

  (Item #: rollisonny_1903_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy is practically as good as it gets
  • Exceptionally big, rich and Tubey Magical, here is the natural tonality that's a hallmark of Living Stereo in 1963
  • Amazing music from two saxophone masters on one of the most exciting jazz records we've heard in some time
  • 4 stars: "Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins each virtually defined the tenor saxophone for his respective generation. To hear the two of them interacting freely is a deliciously exciting experience. Hawkins is able to cut loose like never before. "
More Coleman Hawkins / More Sonny Rollins


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White Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
The Standard Sonny Rollins

  (Item #: rollistand_1901_1905) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • The Standard Sonny Rollins finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with killer Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • Once again the brilliant engineering of Ray Hall for RCA conveys the vitality of live music for these sessions (which were undoubtedly recorded live)
  • Includes superstars like Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, and Bob Cranshaw, who've lent their talents to some of the greatest jazz recordings of all time
  • Allmusic user rating: 4 stars - "Like The Sound Of Sonny some eight years ago, here’s another classic standard album from The Saxophone Colossus that will remain as bright and timeless as ever."
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Julian Bream
The Art of Julian Bream

  (Item #: breamartof_1907_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find superb sound on this vintage RCA Living Stereo pressing, with both sides earning Solid Double Plus (A++) grades for their superb sonics
  • These sides are wonderfully full-bodied and natural, using State-of-the-Art All Tube Living Stereo recording technology that was so advanced in 1960 it could transport a living, breathing Julian Bream directly from his studio into your listening room, 59 years later (!)
  • The set list comprises mainly baroque arrangements for classical guitar, including an especially lovely version of Ravel's 'Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte'
See all of our Classical albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan
Two Of A Mind

  (Item #: desmotwoof_1901_1906_1908) 

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


  • A superb sounding vintage Living stereo pressing, this one earned Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides
  • If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1962 All Tube Analog sound can be, this is the record that can do it
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Desmond and Mulligan always made for a perfect team during their infrequent collaborations. Both of the saxophonists had immediately distinctive light tones, strong wits, and the ability to improvise melodically. ... the interplay between Desmond and Mulligan is consistently delightful."
More Desmond / More Mulligan


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins
Sonny Meets Hawk

  (Item #: rollisonny_1811_1907) 

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


  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two and a side one that's close to it, this copy is going to be tough to beat
  • Exceptionally big, rich and Tubey Magical, here is the natural tonality that's a hallmark of Living Stereo in 1963
  • Amazing music from two saxophone masters on one of the most exciting jazz records we've heard in some time
  • 4 stars: "Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins each virtually defined the tenor saxophone for his respective generation. To hear the two of them interacting freely is a deliciously exciting experience. Hawkins is able to cut loose like never before. "
More Coleman Hawkins / More Sonny Rollins


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Now's The Time

  (Item #: rollinowst_1902_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or better throughout - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Ray Hall once again engineered brilliantly for RCA - the Tubey Magical richness and dynamic energy of the sessions are here captured with audiophile quality sound
  • Forget the Classic Records reissue from the '90s and whatever Heavy Vinyl they're making now - it sure won't sound like this!
  • Features performances by Rollins with Herbie Hancock, Thad Jones, Ron Carter, Bob Cranshaw and Roy McCurdy on several bebop tunes
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
The Standard Sonny Rollins

  (Item #: rollistand_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This superb original stereo pressing of The Standard Sonny Rollins from 1965 boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Once again the brilliant engineering of Ray Hall for RCA conveys the vitality of live music for these sessions (which were undoubtedly recorded live)
  • Includes superstars like Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, and Bob Cranshaw, who've lent their talents to some of the greatest jazz recordings of all time
  • Allmusic user rating: 4 stars - "Like The Sound Of Sonny some eight years ago, here’s another classic standard album from The Saxophone Colossus that will remain as bright and timeless as ever."
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Ames Brothers
The Blend and the Beat

  (Item #: amesbblend_1904_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning a solid Double Plus (A++) for sound or BETTER - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • With Tubey Magical Stereoscopic presentation like you will not believe, this copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience
  • If you're looking to demonstrate just how good the All Tube Analog Recording Chain was that created the magic of Living Stereo for RCA in 1960, this killer pressing might just be the record that can do it
See all of our Exotica records in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Harry Belafonte
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall

  (Item #: belafbelaf_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This Living Stereo pressing has Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on sides one and three, and superb Double Plus (A++) sound on sides two and four
  • You'll hear a very large group of musicians bring their wonderful energy to this music, all backing Harry live on stage in real time and in ANALOG
  • HP made his reputation bringing this kind of live-in-your-listening-room record to the attention of the audiophile public, and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude
  • 5 stars: "The granddaddy of all live albums, this double-LP set captures the excitement of a Harry Belafonte concert at the height of his popularity."
See all of our Harry Belafonte albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Perry Como
The Songs I Love

  (Item #: como_songs_1904_1908_) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • KILLER sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • The overall sound here is incredibly big, rich and Tubey Magical with wonderfully sweet and breathy vocals, thanks to the brilliant engineering of Bob Simpson
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • " The leadoff track, "The Songs I Love," sets the tone for everything that follows, and, not surprisingly, it turns out that pop standards are the songs Como loves. The Songs I Love was a commercially successful album aimed at fans of The Perry Como Show, to whom it is recommended." - All Music
See all of our Perry Como albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Harry Belafonte
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall

  (Item #: belafbelaf_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This White Dog stereo (not Living Stereo) pressing has superb Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it on all four sides
  • You'll hear a very large group of musicians bring their wonderful energy to this music, all backing Harry live on stage in real time and in ANALOG
  • HP made his reputation bringing this kind of live-in-your-listening-room record to the attention of the audiophile public, and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude
  • 5 stars: "The granddaddy of all live albums, this double-LP set captures the excitement of a Harry Belafonte concert at the height of his popularity."
See all of our Harry Belafonte albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond
Desmond Blue

  (Item #: desmodesmo_1903_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Paul Desmond's phenomenal 1962 release finally arrives on the site, boasting outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This is vintage Sixties Living Stereo at its best - big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
  • A "highly innovative and meticulously crafted work," this collection is brimming with delightful jazz classics, including "My Funny Valentine," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "Body and Soul"
  • 4 stars: "... lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond."
See all of our Paul Desmond albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Dick Schory
Music To Break Any Mood

  (Item #: schormusic_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Both sides here earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades, making this one of the better copies from our recent shootout - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • This is the successor to Bang Baaroom - it's music in the same percussive style, the major difference being the addition of a giant gong which the producers justifiably take great pride in
  • THIS is the sound of Living Stereo Tubey Magic, circa 1960 - no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record
  • "Dick Schory's second major outing for RCA is more self-assured, from the preposterous jacket art and liner notes to more upbeat tunes... Schory's musical ideas are always fresher than those of Bobby Christian and Mike Simpson, who helped on the previous album. All but two tracks are good to great."
More Exotica


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Super Hot Stamper

Gary Burton
Who Is Gary Burton?

  (Item #: burtowhois_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Burton's sophomore release finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This is vintage 1963 Living Stereo sound at its best - big, rich, relaxed, tonally correct and full of Tubey Magic - thanks Ray Hall!
  • In this stellar septet, Burton includes veteran musicians Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Joe Morello, as well as Tommy Flanagan
  • 4 stars: "The playlist is anything but predictable... Although Burton is obviously a very confident soloist, he feels no need to hog the spotlight (a common mistake by young jazz musicians in later decades), as he is happy to step back and let the veterans take center stage."
See all of our Gary Burton albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Shorty Rogers
The Swingin' Nutcracker

  (Item #: rogerswing_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades and playing about as quietly as any Living Stereo record from 1960 ever will
  • Al Schmitt handled the engineering duties, brilliantly, with Shorty and dozens of his West Coast Pals contributing to the dates, the likes of Conte Candoli, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Harold Land, Richie Kamuca and more
  • "The most remarkable aspect about the score is how boldly it re-imagines the original. The Swingin' Nutcracker is contemporary from an American perspective without patronizing the European original." - Marc Meyers, Jazz Wax
See all of our Shorty Rogers albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Chet Atkins
Our Man In Nashville

  (Item #: atkinourma_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl on both sides of this Chet Atkins title from 1963 - just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • We've known this was a great sounding record for a very long time, and now we have the copy to prove it
  • Bill Porter working in his custom Nashville studio sure knew a Tubey Magical Living Stereo recording should sound like
  • "Chester remains his usual unclassifiable self, dealing out the country picking, smooth easy listening guitar, jazz, and even some very mild rock & roll on this session, with some overdubbed strings discreetly decorating a few tracks."
See all of our Chet Atkins albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Presley
It Happened At The World's Fair

  (Item #: preslithap_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An insanely good sounding copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side, Double Plus (A++) on the second
  • If you want to know just how rich, spacious, natural and Tubey Magical an Elvis record can sound, here's your chance to find out
  • Fairly quiet vinyl throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus - it's unlikely any early pressing would ever play as well
  • Elvis's early albums are rarely in audiophile playing condition, so finding these later pressings with such good sound has been a real ear opener
See all of our Elvis Presley albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Charles Mingus
Tijuana Moods

  (Item #: mingutijua_1903_1906) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Two outstanding sides each rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - guaranteed to smoke any copy you have ever heard
  • This is vintage Sixties Living Stereo at its best - big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
  • These Black Label originals can rarely be found with audiophile quality surfaces - this copy has no marks that play but the vinyl is a bit noisier than we would have liked
  • 5 stars: "Mingus at the time said that this was his greatest recording, and it certainly ranks near the top. The passionate playing, exciting ensembles, and high-quality compositions make this a real gem, and it represents one of Charles Mingus' finest hours. "
See all of our Charles Mingus albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Perry Como
The Songs I Love

  (Item #: como_songs_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER
  • The overall sound here is super big, rich and spacious with wonderfully sweet and breathy vocals
  • " The leadoff track, "The Songs I Love," sets the tone for everything that follows, and, not surprisingly, it turns out that pop standards are the songs Como loves. The Songs I Love was a commercially successful album aimed at fans of The Perry Como Show, to whom it is recommended." - All Music
See all of our Perry Como albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
The Bridge

  (Item #: rollibridg_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • This killer Living Stereo pressing is wonderfully Tubey Magical, full-bodied and solid, with note-like, clear bass
  • The brilliant Ray Hall engineered this Demo Disc quality recording using nothing but tubes back in 1962, and it's glorious to hear that sound in 2019 on modern hi-rez equipment
  • 4 1/2 stars: " Rollins explores four standards (including "Without a Song" and "God Bless the Child") plus two fiery originals (highlighted by the title cut). The interplay between Rollins and Hall is consistently impressive, making this a near-classic and a very successful comeback."
More Sonny Rollins


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Super Hot Stamper

Della Reese
Della

  (Item #: reesedella_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it on both sides of this wonderful copy of Della
  • The sound here is clean, clear, open and lively with a lovely musical quality that's missing from most of what we played
  • Plays quiet throughout for an RCA Living Stereo pressing from 1960 - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "Recorded in 1959, this excellent album finds Reese backed by an orchestra that Neal Hefti arranged and conducted."
See all of our Della Reese albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (with Issues)

Harry Belafonte
Sings The Blues

  (Item #: belafsings_1901_1906) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • An outstanding Living Stereo pressing of Belafonte's 1958 release, with solid Doulbe Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Belafonte Sings the Blues is surely one of the most amazing Male Vocal Albums we've ever played - the sound is breathtakingly real
  • This copy is guaranteed to have the authentic 1958 All Tube Analog sound that no reissue will ever be able to reproduce
  • A criminally underrated album - Harry Belafonte's performance and the brilliant sound the RCA engineers were able to capture are both first rate throughout
See all of our Harry Belafonte albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Presley
Something For Everybody

  (Item #: preslsomet_1902) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • This outstanding copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from beginning to end
  • If you want to know just how rich, spacious, natural and Tubey Magical even a reissue Elvis record can sound, here's your chance to find out
  • Recorded partly in Nashville by the brilliant Bill Porter, and with the Jordanaires singing backup, what's not to like?
  • "...his voice is better than ever, and this is reflected in the arrangements, most of which are closer in spirit to the finely crafted pop symphonies of Roy Orbison than they are to any of Presley's earlier work." --Allmusic
See all of our Presley albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan
Two Of A Mind

  (Item #: desmotwoof_1803_1805) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • A superb sounding vintage Living stereo pressing, this one earned Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1962 All Tube Analog can sound, this is the record that will do it
  • There are serious condition issues on the first track of side one, so the price has been reduced significantly
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Desmond and Mulligan always made for a perfect team during their infrequent collaborations. Both of the saxophonists had immediately distinctive light tones, strong wits, and the ability to improvise melodically. ... the interplay between Desmond and Mulligan is consistently delightful."
More Desmond / More Mulligan


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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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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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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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Ballet Favorites / Ansermet (VICS-1066)

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: varioballe_2011) 



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

This RCA Plum Label Victorla has an AMAZING SOUNDING side one -- it's unbelievably spacious and three-dimensional with depth that goes on for DAYS.

Side one earned its two pluses with the kind of spacious, rich, sweet sound you've come to expect from Super Hot Stampers. Note the correct sounding tape hiss -- a dead giveaway that the highs are going to be correct. (Funny tape hiss is the hallmark of Classic Records and Mobile Fidelity, a dead giveaway that their highs will be phony and boosted.)

See more music conducted by Ernst Ansermet


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Beethoven & Kodaly / Serenade & Duo / Heifetz, Piatigorsky

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beethseren_2550_2013) 



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

This wonderfully quiet (for the most part) Shaded Dog pressing has EXCEPTIONALLY good sound for side two, which is where the Kodaly Duo for Violin and Cello can be found. Rarely have I heard these two instruments sound better than they do here. With a sonic grade of A++ to A+++, you can be sure the sound is right up there with the best of the classical recordings we have to offer.

The Beethoven on side one has many good qualities as well, but the acoustic in which it is performed is not nearly as good as that of this side two.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven - Symphony #6 / Monteux

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: beethsym6_2316_2005) 



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

1S/ 6S Immaculate looking RCA Shaded Dog.

This is a lovely sounding record, with a smooth, natural top end, the opposite of a hi-fi spectacular. Some may find it dull, but it's actually correct.

Monteux has a wonderful feel for this symphony. His Beethoven in general is actually quite good. This music belongs in any serious collection. String tone is everything in the Pastoral, and Living Stereo gives you the string tone rarely found elsewhere.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / ’Kreutzer’ Sonata

Putting Your System to the (Violin and Piano) Test

  (Item #: beethkreut_2577_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating this kind of recording.

Do you want a recording that is going to put your system to the test? Well this is that record! That violin is REAL. As you compare equipment or tweak your system, you will hear the sound of that violin change and it should be obvious when it gets better and when it gets worse.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / Concerto No. 3 / Hendl / Graffman

Reviewed in 2014

  (Item #: beethpiano_2396_2014) 



This rare RCA Shaded Dog has SUPERB SOUND as well as a top performance. Super Hot Stampers for both sides means that this pressing has the real Living Stereo magic in spades. Unlike most of the RCA concerto recordings (Rubinstein's come immediately to mind in this regard), the brilliant soloist featured here is not overly spotlighted, hence the more credible "concert hall" sound. The piano is part of the orchestra, allowing all the contributions of the musicians to be heard clearly, with each of the orchestral sections laid out beautifully across an especially huge and deep Orchestra Hall stage.
More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / Concerto No. 4 / Rubinstein / Krips

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: beethconce_2123_2011) 



This Super Hot Stamper pressing has superb RCA Living Stereo sound, with an exceptionally clear, solid, tonally correct piano.

We recently did a major shootout for all of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, pulling pressings from the three major Golden Age labels -- RCA, London, Mercury -- and this Fourth came out near the top of the heap. Most pressings of Rubinstein's Beethoven concertos simply do not have this kind of open, big and bold sound. Side one earned a grade of A++ and side two was actually a bit better at A++ to A+++. That makes this a very special piano recording indeed.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / Haydn / The Heifetz - Piatigorsky Concerts

  (Item #: beethheife_2770_2010) 



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

This is a lovely sounding Red Seal pressing of cello and violin, with smooth, natural, tonally correct sound and correctly sized instruments, something you don't much on recordings of Heifetz, which tend to have huge violins and small orchestras. In these chamber works perhaps the engineers had an easier time of getting it right. The sound is transparent, spacious and three-dimensional in the best Living Stereo tradition.

If you love the sound of the violin and cello, played by virtuosos of the highest order, this is the record for you!

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / Kreutzer & Spring Sonatas / Rubinstein

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: beethkreut_2377_2010) 



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

This Red Seal may be a reissue, but the sound is absolutely STUNNING on side two. The immediacy of the violin was simply in a league of its own, leaving all others in the dust. Add to that some of the sweetest, richest, most "rosiny" violin tone we've had the good fortune to hear, tonality that is as close to perfection as imaginable, and you have yourself one helluva great sounding work for piano and violin. The performances are extraordinary as well, as you might imagine from the likes of Szeryng and Rubinstein.

More recordings featuring the violin


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Beethoven / Piano Concerto No.1 / Richter / Munch

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: beethpiano_2544_2012) 



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

As you may know, this is a ridiculously difficult Shaded Dog to find in clean condition. Its companion, the Brahms disc with Richter (LSC 2466), is ten times more common and not half as good.

This pressing has the real Living Stereo magic in spades, but unlike most of the RCA concerto recordings, Richter, the brilliant soloist featured here, is not overly spotlighted, hence the much more natural "concert hall" sound.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / Quartet in C-Sharp Minor / Julliard String Quartet

  (Item #: beethquart_LSC2626_2013) 



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

This RCA White Dog pressing contains what many consider to be Beethoven's greatest string quartet, with SUPERB better than Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides, each of which rated grades of A++ to A+++. The reason we held back on the full Three Plus White Hot Stamper designation is simple: each side had slightly more of a fairly important quality that the other side lacked. When you play this record at home see if you don't agree with us that this is an AMAZING sounding chamber music record, with minor, albeit recognizable and appreciable, differences in its strengths on each side.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / Symphony #4 / Monteux

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: beethsymph4_2011) 



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

BOTH sides of this early Plum Label Victrola pressing earned a Super Hot Stamper sonic grade, with the kind of string tone only found on the best of the Living Stereo releases and other top quality Golden Age recordings. Here is the kind of sound that Classic Records could not ignore, even though it was only ever made available as part of RCA's budget reissue series, Victrola. Don't let its budget status fool you -- this pressing puts to shame most of what came out on the full price Living Stereo label.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / Symphony #7 / Reiner

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: beethsymph7_2011) 



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

This somewhat rare and fairly quiet White Dog pressing has lovely vintage Golden Age sound from 1958, comparable to the sound you hear on many early Londons and RCAs from that era.

On both sides the famous Living Stereo soundstage is wide and deep as usual.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / Symphony 6 ’Pastoral’ / Monteux

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: beethsymph6_1070_2012) 



Both sides of this Plum Victrola have better than Hot Stamper sound (A+ to A++), on this lovely sounding Living Stereo recording from 1959. The top end is smooth and natural, the opposite of a hi-fi spectacular. Some may find it dull, but it's actually correct -- live music doesn't really have the top end that orchestral recordings usually do.

Monteux has a wonderful feel for this symphony. His Beethoven in general is actually quite good. String tone is everything in the Pastoral, and here the Living Stereo engineers give you the rich, resonant strings rarely found on other labels.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / The Five Beethoven Concertos / Rubinstein

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: beethfiveb_6702_2011) 



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

This original Shaded Dog Five Disc Box Set (LSC 6902) contains all five of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, with sound that's predictably all over the map, from White Hot to Not-So-Hot and every grade in between. Yes folks, we actually listened to every one of these sides in a shootout with other RCA, London and Mercury pressings of the same music.

The best sound in the set was clearly the Third Piano Concerto, which had sides that were Super Hot and White Hot.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: beethvioli_1992_2011) 



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

This White Dog Living Stereo pressing has SUPERB sound on side one. It's alive and immediate in a way that the Shaded Dogs almost never are. Listen to the violin! Again, the Classic pressing of this recording does not present the listener with the sound of a real, wood instrument bowed by horsehair in physical space. This copy does.

The White Dog pressing we are offering here is not as rich as the better Shaded Dog pressings we played in our shootout but in some ways the brighter, more forward presentation actually works to its advantage.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: beethvioli_1992_2017) 



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

The reproduction of the violin here is superb -- harmonically rich, natural, clean, clear, resolving. What sets the truly killer pressings apart is the depth, width and three-dimensional quality of the sound, as well as the fact that they become less congested in the louder passages and don't get shrill or blary. The best copies display a Tubey Magical richness -- especially evident in the basses and celli -- that is to die for.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven, Bach, Schubert / Heifetz, Primrose, Piatigorsky

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: beethtrios_2563_2013) 



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

This Red Seal pressing of the famous 1961 recording (LSC 2563) has SUBLIME White Hot Stamper sound for one of the works contained herein, the Schubert. It's so rich and sweet you may have a hard time believing it's on a Red Seal LP. The originals we've played over the years sure never sounded like this! Perhaps it's the thin vinyl that contributed to the shockingly good sound. Maybe, just maybe, RCA was right to start pressing thinner records in the '70s. If they can sound this good, we should all be for it.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Beethoven, Bach, Schubert / Trios / Heifetz, Primrose, Piatigorsky

On the Red Seal Label?

  (Item #: beethtrios_reissue) 



So often when we do these shootouts involving original pressings up against their reissue counterparts, it's the reissues that sound rich, warm and tubey, and the originals that sound dry and boxy. If you haven't noticed that in your own critical listening, play this record against any shaded dog that you own and see which one is more Tubey Magical.

If you have your VTA set right, you might be shocked to find it's this one. Don't get us wrong; lots of these later RCA pressings are awful: thin, often with no top end at all. Flat transfers perhaps? Who is to say?

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Beethoven/ ’Kreutzer’ Sonata & Bach/ Concerto... / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: beethkreut_2577_2009) 



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

This beautiful 1S/1S first pressing in excellent condition has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND -- on both sides!

This is the kind of record on which the RCA reputation is based. They're not kidding -- this is truly LIVING STEREO SOUND at its best.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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Beethoven/ Quartets in F Minor & F Major 25 Julliard

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: beethquart_2632) 



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

Red Seal. This string quartet sounds like it''s in your living room. Has that immediacy that Mercury is famous for. Many of RCA''s chamber recordings are excellent and unfortunately for us record lovers they are quite rare.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Berlioz / Symphonie Fantastique / Monteux / Vienna Phil

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: berlisymph_2362_2014) 



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

Gorgeous Golden Age Tubey Magical strings, lovely hall acoustics. The size and power of a large orchestra in Living Stereo sound. One of our favorite performances of Berlioz's masterwork.

More of the music of Hector Berlioz


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Bizet / Carmen / Gould

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: bizetcarme_2437_2006) 



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

DEMO QUALITY SOUND, if what you're demonstrating is the three dimensional quality of Living Stereo recordings. Amazing depth and width can be heard on this record. And the music is sublime.

I confess I somewhat misjudged this title. Yes, the opening is compressed, which led me to think that the entire record was compressed, but that's not true. In some ways it's quite dynamic. The quiet portions are very quiet; in a couple of places there are just horns playing off in the deep distance, followed by some flutes, and they sound very natural, just as you would hear them in a concert hall.

More of the music of Georges Bizet (1838-1875)


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Bob and Ray - Throw a Stereo Spectacular

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bobanthrow_2010) 



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

It's been nearly two years but the waiting is over -- we've found another copy of the famous Bob and Ray on Living Stereo with DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! Without a doubt this is the best sound I have ever heard for side one of this album. The sound here is so amazing I'm willing to go out on a limb and make the following recklessly bold statement. Buck Dance on this pressing has the most extended, natural and harmonically correct high frequencies I have ever heard from my speakers (or anyone else's for that matter).

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Borodin / Symphony No. 2 - Martinon

  (Item #: borodsym2_rca) 



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

This Minty looking RCA Living Stereo LP has AMAZING SOUND. It''s everything a Living Stereo record should be -- warm and rich with lots of depth and silky highs. The lower strings on this record are hands down some of the best I've ever heard. They're so rich and textured. Out of all the Decca recorded RCAs I've had the pleasure (or misfortune as the case may be!) of listening to, this is definitely one of the top dogs.

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Brahms / Concerto for Violin and Cello - Heifetz / Piatigorsky (LDS 2513)

  (Item #: brahmvioli_2513) 



This nice looking RCA Soria pressing plays about Mint Minus, pretty quiet for a Shaded Dog era pressing.

The orchestra is its typical shrill self. The cello and violin sound wonderful most of the time. When they really get going the sound can be a bit much. At moderate volumes the record is very enjoyable.

This is a famous recording for having distortion and congestion in the louder orchestral passages. There is no such thing as a copy of this record that doesn't have that problem. You listen to this record for the wonderul interplay between Heifetz and Piatigorsky and not much else.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)


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Brahms / Piano Concerto No. 2 / Gilels / Reiner

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: brahmpiano2_2010) 



This is one of the pressings we’ve discovered with Reversed Polarity.

This Very Nice Plum Label Victrola has excellent sound -- sweet and spacious -- but only if you reverse your absolute phase. The vinyl is quiet and, most importantly, this is arguably the greatest performance of all time. The LSC might be a tad better overall; they're so darn rare it's hard to know.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms


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Brahms / Sonata #3 in F Minor / Rubinstein

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: brahmsonat_2459_2011) 



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

This exceptionally rare Shaded Dog pressing has AMAZING sound on side one, A+++, with side two rating a nearly as good sonic grade of A++. I can't recall the last time I played a solo piano recording that was this transparent and lively. It's shockingly realistic; this is what a piano sounds like in performance.

Well, almost. Rubinstein's recordings never manage to convey all the weight of a real concert grand piano -- as if any home stereo could anyway -- but this recording is still relatively full-bodied. What it is more than anything else is REAL sounding. You will quickly forget that you are listening to a record at all.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms


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Brahms / Sonata in D Minor / Laredo

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: brahmsonat_2414_2007) 



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

DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND for this incredibly rare Living Stereo violin record.

This is the first copy I've ever seen. Side one, the Brahms Sonata, has very good sound and is played beautifully. When I dropped the needle on side two I went "Wow!"

More of the music of Johannes Brahms


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Brahms / Sonatas #2 & 3 / Rubinstein and Szeryng

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: brahmsonat_2619_2010) 



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

3S/ 4S RCA Shaded Dog. The sound is actually quite decent when you INVERT the ABSOLUTE PHASE. If you cannot or will not do that, this record will not sound good -- it's somewhat hard and bright. It will never be a Top Shaded Dog but it is a good one with the absolute phase inverted.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)


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Brahms / Trio & Beethoven / Sonata for Horn and Piano

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: brahmtrioi_2420_2013) 



This is an exceptionally good sounding chamber record on the RCA White Dog label, especially on side two, which earned a sonic grade of A++ to A+++. Side two has the Beethoven work for horn and piano, and it sounds about as real and natural as a chamber recording can. Side one is not quite up to the same sonic standards, but is quite good nevertheless, earning a very respectable grade of A+ to A++.

This title is so rare I had literally never seen one in my 25+ years as a dealer in audiophile-oriented recordings. The other bit of good news is that the vinyl is unusually quiet, playing as it does mostly Mint Minus. How many early RCA pressings can make such a claim? No more than five per cent I would think, if that.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Brahms / Violin Concerto / Szeryng / Monteux

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: brahmvioli_2281_2007) 



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

DEMO QUALITY SOUND!.

One of the most amazing violin concerto records I have ever heard! Makes most of the Heifetz records pale in comparison. The performance is sublime as well.

More of the music of Johannes Brahms


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Brahms Violin Concerto

Is the 1s Pressing Always the Best?

  (Item #: brahmvioli_1903_myth) 



This early Shaded Dog pressing of a 1958 recording has surprisingly good Super Hot stamper sound on side two. On the second side the sound opens up and is very sweet, with the violin becoming much more present and clear. The whole of side two is transparent with an extended top. Usually the earliest Living Stereo titles suffer from a lack of top end extension, but not this one.

Maybe the 1S is that way. For some reason audiophiles tend to think that the earliest cuttings are the best, but that's just another Record Myth in our experience, easily refuted if you've played hundreds of these Living Stereo pressings and noted which stampers sound the best and which do not.

More recordings featuring the violin


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Britten - Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Ozawa

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: brittyoung_2009) 



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

The sound of this White Hot Stamper side two is SUPER TRANSPARENT -- you can hear all the way to the back of the hall and then some! There’s so much ambience on this pressing it forced us to reevaluate the other copies in light of the sound we were discovering here.

As if that wasn’t enought, it had energy and immediacy we simply did not expect to hear. The sound is big and bold during the loud passages, but sweet and delicate when, for example, the woodwinds are spotlighted in the composition. It’s the best sounding Young Person’s Guide I have ever heard.


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Bruch & Mozart / Violin Concertos / Laredo - Mitchell

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bruchvioli_fame) 



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

Superb sound. The violin is wonderful on both sides. The Mozart is absolutely gorgeous; the best I''ve ever heard it.

The orchestra on the Bruch side gets a little congested in the louder passages, which is typical for records of this era.

Laredo plays these pieces beautifully. The Bruch is an especially romantic work and his violin sings sweetly and with deep emotion throughout. The Mozart is more spritely and he plays it with the light touch it requires. You will have a hard time finding a better violin concerto record. This ranks with the best of them.

More of the music of Max Bruch


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Bruch - Mozart / Violin Concertos / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: bruchconce_2011) 



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

Both sides of this Shaded Dog pressing of Heifetz and the New Symphony Orchestra of London have sound that earned the quite respectable sonic grades of A+ to A++.

Side one is tonally correct and lively, but suffers from a bit of the all-too-common tube smear, no doubt from the mastering chains and record presses that were in use at the time. (Most modern mastering chains and record presses are, to our ears, even worse, so this is not to denigrate the engineers at RCA in any way. It's simply to say that with Tubey Magic you often get tubey smear.)

More of the music of Max Bruch


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Bruch / Scottish Fantasy / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bruchscott_2603_2012) 



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

WHITE HOT Stamper sound for the Bruch side of this original RCA Shaded Dog, one of the best Heifetz concerto titles of all time. (I'm trying to think of a Heifetz title that sounds better and coming up blank.)

This was our shootout winner on side two, beating all comers, earning our highest grade, the full Three Pluses (our blue ribbon, gold medal, and best in show all wrapped into one). The sound is nothing short of DEMO DISC QUALITY.

More of the music of Max Bruch


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Byrd et al. / An Evening Of Elizabethan Music / Bream

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: byrd_eveni_2011) 



This lovely RCA Living Stereo Soria Pressing (LDS 2656) has reasonably quiet vinyl and EXCELLENT SOUND on side one. (It's a little ticky but find me a Soria pressing that isn't.)

Side one is so transparent you feel as though you are truly in the presence of the musicians. (Try that with any, and I do mean any, heavy vinyl pressing on the planet. Veiled and opaque, none of them can transport you like a properly recorded and mastered vintage LP can.)

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Carlos Montoya - From St. Lous to Seville

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: montofroms_2015) 



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

Ed Begley is the engineer here and he knocked this one out of the park. What an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Need a refresher course in tubey magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? This record is overflowing with it. Rich, clear, natural, sweet, overflowing with space and ambience, absolutely correct tonality -- it's all here.

The Rhythm Accompaniment is made up of three top players from New York. Sally Montoya noted at the time: "Carlos just recorded the first Flamenco jazz record for Victor, with Osie Johnson and Milt Hinton and Barry Galbraith on electric guitar. A most relaxed and informal session. The other musicians said it was unique in their experience."


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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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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.

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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.

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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.)

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Chet Atkins - Mister Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: atkinmiste_2009) 



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

This RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL as it gets. It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn't know how to not make a Living Stereo record with shockingly good sound. Practically anything the guy touches is GOLD!

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Chet Atkins - Mister Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: atkinmiste_2011) 



This RARE Minty looking RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL AS IT GETS. It seems like Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Everything the guy touches is GOLD! Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality -- everything that we listen for in a great record is here. Note how the record has that Bill Porter extra dB or two of bottom end -- his signature sound.
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Chet Atkins - The Other Chet Atkins

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: atkinother_2015) 



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

A stunning Double Plus (A++) side one backed with a Triple Plus (A+++) side two. Rich and tubey with clarity and punch. Chet plays all acoustic on this amazing Living Stereo recording from 1960. Bill Porter All Tube engineering and a TAS Super Disc.

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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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Chet Atkins - Workshop

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: atkinworks_2010) 



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

DEMO QUALITY SOUND! That is, if what you're demonstrating is Living Stereo magic at its best. Certainly this is no sonic blockbuster. It's not trying to be. It's just more of that rich, sweet Bill Porter tubey magic from Nashville. Has there ever been a CD that sounds like this? If there is, I sure haven't heard it.

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Chet Atkins / Caribbean Guitar

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: atkincarib_2011) 



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

This RCA Living Stereo LP has an A++ side two! It's rich, warm and sweet with great transparency and clear transients -- if it had just a bit more top it would be right up with the very best copies. Side one is not quite up to the same standards, and is very noisy. The vinyl plays about Mint Minus Minus on side two, but its a rare copy that plays any quieter.

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

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Chet Atkins / Chet Atkins in Hollywood

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: atkininhol_2008) 



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

DEMO DISC SOUND! Exceptionally quiet and ususually clean for a record of its age! TAS List of course, and full of Living Stereo Magic. You can feel the cool air of the studio the minute the needle hits the groove!

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Chopin / Concerto No. 1 / Rubinstein / Skrowaczewski

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: chopiconce_2575_2012) 



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

You'll find Super Hot Stamper sound on side one of this minty and rare Shaded Dog pressing, with more space and more hall than most of Rubinstein's recordings on RCA -- this is a closer approximation of live music than we expected, and in that sense a pleasant surprise. The strings have lovely Living Stereo texture as well. There is of course no shortage of Tubey Magic (and a bit too much of it on side two.)

A reviewer on Amazon mentioned that this performance shows Rubinstein's deep understanding of the work, having played it for forty years. On that basis alone it should stand the test of time.

More of the music of Frederic Chopin


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Chopin / The Chopin Scherzos / Rubinstein

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: chopischer_2368_2012) 



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

This is an original RCA Living Stereo (LSC 2368) Shaded Dog from 1960 with EXCELLENT SOUND. Side one was at least A++; without more copies it would be hard to know if it could get much better, and clean copies of a title like this do not come our way very often. These solo piano showpieces are performed with consumate skill and deep feeling by the legendary Arthur Rubinstein.

The strengths of this particular LP are not hard to hear: reasonably good vinyl and super-transparent mids and highs. Like most of Rubinstein's records on RCA, there is not enough weight to the piano, but at least on this pressing the smear, compression and congestion common to practically every original is nowhere to be found.

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Chopin / The Chopin Scherzos / Rubinstein

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: chopichopi_2368_2008) 



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

This is an RCA Living Stereo reissue LP with EXCELLENT SOUND. The strengths of this particular LP are not hard to hear: super quiet vinyl, which no original would have, and super transparent mids and highs, again something that no original (in our experience) has ever had.

Like most of Rubinstein's records on RCA, there is no real weight to the piano, but at least on this pressing the smear and noise common to practically every original is GONE!

Lovely music too.


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Chopin / The Mazurkas / Rubinstein / 3 LP Box Set

Reviewed in 2004

  (Item #: chopimazur_6177_2004) 



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

There’s some wonderful music and wonderful sound in here. The stamper should be the same with better vinyl. Side 2, Cuts 3, 4 & 5 are gorgeous! This music has so much soul, and shows Rubinstein at his greatest. Brailowsky on Columbia is also fabulous. You can't go wrong with either one. A beautiful set that belongs in your collection. Chopin's music is sublime, as anyone who saw The Pianist knows full well.

I had the opportunity to hear Lincoln Mayorga himself perform these works from memory in a church not far from here. I am no expert on these works but I thought he played them about as well as they could be played.

More of the music of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)


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Chopin, Rachmaninoff et al. / Richter

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: chopiricht_2611_2011) 



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

This collection of WONDERFUL solo piano works, here performed by one of our favorite pianists. Sviatoslav Richter, has SUPERB Living Stereo sound, earning a Super Hot Stamper sonic grade on side one. On this White Dog original pressing the piano is present and clear, with no smear whatsoever. Although the sound is big and rich, without more weight to the piano -- the kind you rarely hear outside of a live event -- we could not award the full Three Pluses. In practically every other way the sound was Hard To Fault (HTF).

More of the music of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)


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Copland / Billy the Kid / Morton Gould

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: coplabilly_2011) 



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

Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides, with side one so energetic and exciting it would easily qualify as a Demo Disc. This title is almost impossible to find in anything but beat up condition. Records like these got played over and over and few survived the ten grams of stylus pressure and mis-aligned cartridges of the day.

More of the music of Aaron Copland (1900-1990)


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Debussy & Ravel / String Quartet - Julliard String Quartet

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: debusquart_2413_2005) 



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

Near Mint SUPER RARE Demonstration Copy Shaded Dog of this Debussy and Ravel string quartet recording.

I haven't seen a clean one of these in probably close to ten years. This record looks like it has been played very little.

The sound is also very natural. Not bright or close miked -- much more the way it would actually be heard in a smaller more intimate setting.

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Debussy - La Mer - Munch

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: debuslamer_1041_2011) 



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

This late label Victrola pressing (VICS 1041) has EXCEPTIONALLY rich and sweet sound and a superb performance from Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony.

The richness of the strings, a signature sound for RCA in the Living Stereo era, is displayed here beautifully for fans of the classical Golden Age. It's practically impossible to hear that kind of string sound on any recording made in the last thirty years. It may be a lost art but as long as we have these wonderful pressings and the turntables to play them it is an art that will never be lost to us.

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Debussy / Clair de Lune / Agoult

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: debusclair_2326_2011) 



A distinguished member of our Better Records Hall of Fame.

This Shaded Dog LP has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND, if what you're demonstrating is not a Hi-Fi spectacular, but rather a sublime presentation of a truly sweet and natural string section of an orchestra, presented here on analog disc created more than fifty years ago.

More of the music of Claude Debussy


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Debussy / Iberia - Reiner

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: debusiberi_2222_2005) 



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

This is a wonderful sounding Shaded Dog pressing. Side two is especially dynamic.

This has long been considered one of the Living Stereo triumphs. The spaciousness and tonal correctness is legendary.

This copy does not have the prodigious bass of some that I've heard. The Classic reissue has plenty of deep bass, but it's shrill and hard and altogether unpleasant, so the better bass comes at a steep price.

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Debussy / Images Pour Orchestre / Munch

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: debusimage_2282_2006) 



A Living Stereo record from the Golden Age of Classical Recordings, in this case 1960.

DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! Iberia on side two sounds exceptionally good. It's also a better performace than the famous Reiner. Munch understands this music perfectly.

This recording has an extremely open, extended top end. If you can add a few dB around 50 cycles, you will have the best of both worlds.

More of the music of Claude Debussy


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Debussy / La Mer / Reiner

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: debuslamer_2462_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame from 1961.

1S RCA Shaded Dog. This is an exceptionally good sounding copy, full of that RCA Living Stereo magic. Excellent performance from Reiner as well. On a work like La Mer the timbre of the instruments is critical to the enjoyment of the piece, as they often play solo and in small groupings. This record captures those qualities perfectly.

This record also includes Strauss' Don Juan, which never sounds good on this title and is best left unplayed.

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Delibes / Sylvia and Coppelia / Rignold

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: delibsylvi_2008) 



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

DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. This record was thoroughly enjoyed by its previous owner and I know why: it's great! This title is also extremely rare for some reason. One of the top five Vics. Look for a clean one; you won't be disappointed.

[This is a very old commentary so take it for what it's worth.]

More of the music of Leo Delibes (1836-1891)


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Dick Schory - Music for Bang, Baa-room and Harp

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: schorbangb_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

What to listen for you ask? Top end, plain and simple. It's the RARE copy that really has the incredible extension of the side two we heard recently. The space, the clarity, the harmonic complexity -- perhaps one out of ten copies will show you a side two like that.

The highs are so good on this record you can use it as a setup tool. Adjust your VTA, tracking weight and the like for the most natural and clear top end, then check for all the other qualities you want to hear. You may just find yourself operating on a higher sonic plane than you ever thought possible.

See all of our Dick Schory albums in stock


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Dick Schory - Music for Bang, Baa-room and Harp

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: schorbangb_2016) 



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

This one is absolutely As Good As It Gets on side one. It's a real treat to hear such a crazy assortment of percussion instruments with this kind of amazingly clear, high-resolution sound! It's just bigger, richer and clearer than any side we can remember playing.

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Dick Schory - Music To Break Any Mood

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: schormusic_2125_2019) 



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

This is the successor to Bang Baaroom, and as you can imagine it's music in the same percussive style, the major difference here being the addition of a giant gong which the producers justifiably take great pride in. This title is also at least 5 times as rare as LSP 1866; I haven't seen one of these in years!

Features standards Caravan, Fascinating Rhythm and Stranger In Paradise, among others.

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Dick Schory - The Happy Hits

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: schorhappy_2013) 


Side One - A++. This side is full and rich yet clear. Listen to that crazy banjo on track two; that's not an easy instrument to get to sound right, but the RCA engineers pull it off. The brass is a bit "hot" at times so we took off one plus. For all we know this is as good as it gets.

Side Two - A++, not quite as warm as side one, but more lively and really jumpin'. The last track is truly Demo Disc quality. The bottom and top are extended and the sound is rich in the best possible sense of the word. Superb sound and plenty of fun, wacky music!

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Dvorak / Cello Concerto - Munch / Boston

Hard to Recommend in Living Stereo

  (Item #: dvoracello_22490_test) 



I have never heard a copy of this record sound better than decent. This title is very unlikely to have the wonderful sound of the best Living Stereo pressings that you can find on our site, each of which has been carefully evaluated to the highest standards.

If you can get one for cheap, go for it. Otherwise I would pass.

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak


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Dvorak / Symphony #2 / Monteux (LSC 2489)

Hard to Recommend in Living Stereo

  (Item #: dvorasym2_2489) 



We've definitely never liked any pressing of this album, from Shaded Dogs to '60s Red Seals and everything in between.

Your copy is very unlikely to have the wonderful sound of the best Living Stereo pressings that you can find on our site, each of which has been carefully evaluated to the highest standards. Of course we would be foolish to judge a record we have never played, so perhaps your copy is killer. We can't say it isn't, although the odds, in our opinion, are against you.

If you see one for cheap, go for it. Otherwise you should probably take our advice and give it a pass.

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak


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Dvorak/ Symphony No. 7 / Monteux/ LSO

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: dvorasym7_vics_2010) 



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

This fairly quiet (M-) Plum Label Victrola has LOVELY, SPACIOUS, tonally correct sound. Monteux and LSO are wonderful here, so this one gets a top recommendation from Better Records.

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak


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