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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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White Hot Stamper

The Allman Brothers
Eat A Peach

  (Item #: allmaeatap_1906) 

Our Price: $499.99

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


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The Allman Brothers - Eat a Peach

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: allmaeatap_2008) 



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

THE ALLMAN’S MASTERPIECE CONQUERED AT LAST! I don’t think you could find a more tubey magical Southern Rock record than this! We just shot out a huge stack of these double LPs, no mean feat, and this Original Capricorn pressing manhandled the competition, rating A++ or better on ALL FOUR SIDES. Not only that, but the vinyl plays mostly Mint Minus throughout -- exceptionally quiet for an old Allman Brothers record.

More Allman Brothers


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Audiophilia 101

What Kind of Audio Fool Was I?

  (Item #: audiophile101) 



Today’s audiophile seems to be making the same mistakes I was making as a budding audiophile more than thirty years ago. Heavy Viny, the 45 RPM 2 LP pressing, the Half-Speed Limited Edition -- aren’t these all just the latest audiophile fads, each with a track record progressively more dismal than the next?
See more commentaries on Record Collecting


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The Band - Music From Big Pink

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: band_music_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

In 2012 the new MoFi put out another remastered Big Pink. Since their track record at this point is, to be honest, abysmal, we have not felt the need to audition it.

It's very possible, even likely, that they restored some of the bass that's missing from the originals. But bad half-speed mastered bass -- poorly defined, never deep and never punchy -- is that the kind of bass that would even be desirable?

More by The Band


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The Band - Music From Big Pink

Thoughts on MoFi's Midrange Suckout

  (Item #: band_music_mofi_midrange_suckout) 



I was a big Mobile Fidelity fan in 1982 when they released this album, which, for some strange reason, I knew practically nothing about. I was 15 when the second album came out and I played that album all the time, but the first album had eluded me. How it managed to do that I cannot understand, not at this late date anyway. A major malfunction on my part to be sure.

At some point in the early '90s I got hold of an early British pressing of the album. Comparing it to my MoFi I was shocked to hear the singers in the band so present and clear. Having only played MoFi's remastered LP I had never heard them sound like that. The MoFi had them standing ten feet back; the Brit put them front and center. There was no question in my mind which presentation was right.

More by The Band


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • The first copy to hit the site in years and boy does our Shootout Winner here have STUNNING sound - it earned Triple Plus (A+++) grades from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If all you've ever heard is the Roulette original (or the wacky MoFi, or whatever current Heavy Vinyl pressing is being made, this LP is guaranteed to be a REVELATION
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958, and in this All Tube Recording you get every bit of the magic they made in the studio
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements. Hefti had been one of the main architects of the new Basie sound of the '50s... "Cute" (heard here in its initial recording) became a standard."
More Count Basie


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905c) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - super quiet vinyl too!
  • If all you've ever heard is the Roulette original (or the wacky MoFi, or whatever current Heavy Vinyl pressing is being made, this LP is guaranteed to knock your socks off
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958, and in this All Tube Recording you get every bit of the magic they made in the studio
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements. Hefti had been one of the main architects of the new Basie sound of the '50s... "Cute" (heard here in its initial recording) became a standard."
More Count Basie / More Neal Hefti


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The Beach Boys - Surfer Girl

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beachsurfe_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

I played the MoFi pressing of this record many years ago, some time back in the early '90s if memory serves, and at the time I could hardly believe that the good people of MoFi would release a record that was so ridiculously SPITTY. The sibilance is positively out of control, the result of their wacky cutting system and phony EQ.

But then I remembered that there has never been a title produced by these people with sound so bad that they would have cancelled its release,

More Beach Boys


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The Beatles - Abbey Road

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlabbey_depth) 



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

Those of you who follow the site (or do your own shootouts) know that it’s much tougher to find great copies of Abbey Road than it is for MMT or Please Please Me. Most of the copies we’ve played just aren’t good enough to put on the site. For whatever reasons -- probably because this recording is so complicated and required so many tracks -- Abbey Road is arguably the toughest nut to crack in the Beatles' catalog.

More Abbey Road


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The Beatles - Abbey Road

A Fun and Easy Test: MoFi Versus Apple

  (Item #: beatlabbey_mofi_test) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

There is a relatively simple test you can use to find out if you have a good Mobile Fidelity pressing of Abbey Road. Yes, as shocking as it may seem, they actually do exist, we've played them, but they are few and far between (and never as good as the best Brits).

More Abbey Road


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The Beatles - Abbey Road

We Was Wrong -- The MoFi Can Sound Great!

  (Item #: beatlabbey_mofi_wrong) 



This Minty MoFi is the Killer MFSL Abbey Road of All Time. We’ve never done a shootout like this in the history of Better Records. Picture it: five Mobile Fidelity copies of Abbey Road, ostensibly identical limited editions, pressed on premium virgin vinyl in Japan. Longtime readers of the site will not be surprised to learn that they all sound different, and in very different ways.

Why is this shootout a first? Simple: we never had five open copies in stock at any one time. Having done a big shootout for the Brit copies in January (2007), we knew how good this album could sound. How would the MoFi stack up to the best Brits? We decided to find out.

More Abbey Road


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1804_1812) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • Both sides of this '70s UK pressing earned very good Hot Stamper grades and play reasonably quietly
  • Play I’ll Cry Instead, If I Fell or Things We Said Today to hear some real early Beatles Vocal Magic
  • Compare it to your MoFi pressing or the new Heavy Vinyl and you will quickly see why those LPs bore us to tears
  • 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
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • 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
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1907_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish, this copy is bursting with Fab Four energy and enthusiasm
  • Both sides here are big, full and lively and get the heart of the music, the singing, right; dead quiet too -- 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
  • 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 (of course)
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Fab Four on Parlophone

The Original Beatles Pressings Are the Best, Right?

  (Item #: beatles_myth) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

Back in 2005 we compared the MFSL pressing of Help to a British Parlophone LP and were -- mistakenly, as you may have already surmised -- impressed by the MoFi.

More of The Beatles


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • You'll find very good sound on this Hot Stamper UK pressing of Let It Be from start to finish - quiet vinyl too
  • A late-period album with real rock 'n' roll power - we love the "live-in-the-studio" rockers like I’ve Got a Feeling
  • If all you have is the Heavy Vinyl pressing or the MoFi, you will not believe how good this album can sound on a real UK Parlophone such as this one
  • AMG: "...it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
More Beatles / More Let It Be


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The Beatles - Let It Be

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlletit_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B or B-

Although I haven't played my copy in quite a while -- it might have been as far back as 2007 or 2008 if memory serves -- I recall that it struck me as one of their better titles.

All things considered, it's actually pretty good, assuming your copy sounds like mine (an assumption we really can't make of course -- no two records sound the same -- but for the purposes of this review we're going to assume it anyway). I would give it a "B" or "B-". It can't hold a candle to the real thing, but at least MoFi didn't ruin it like they did with so many of the other Beatles albums.

More on Let It Be


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The Beatles - Let It Be

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlletit_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about the business of critically evaluating copies of Let It Be.

This is the first time we've discussed individual tracks on the album. Our recent shootout, in which we discovered a mind-boggling, rule-breaking side one, motivated us to sit down and explain what the best copies should do on each side of the album for the tracks we test with. Better late than never I suppose.

More on Let It Be


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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlmagic_depth) 



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

We discuss in detail what we're listening for and what the best copies seem to do so well that the run-of-the-mill copies simply do not. If you own a copy of the German MMT plays yours and listen for what we're listening for. It's all laid out in the track commentary.

More Magical Mystery Tour


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The Beatles - Past Masters Volumes 1 & 2

Digital Remastering at its Worst

  (Item #: beatlpastm_2010) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

The '90s import pressings of this album are bright and aggressive and very digital sounding, but if you want better sounding versions of these songs you're gonna have to buy a lot of albums to find them.

All the songs that aren't on the original 13 British albums, so for those of you with the MOFI Beatles box, this gives you all the tracks you don't have.


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: beatlpleas_2007) 



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

We shot out over two dozen copies of Please Please Me -- German, British, and American pressings of various vintages. The best German copies such as this one stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. However, we did manage to find some wonderful Brit and domestic copies which will be making it to the site very soon.

More Please Please Me


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlpleas_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Half Speed reviewed.

By the way, if you own the MoFi LP, do yourself a favor and buy one of our Hot Stamper pressings. (Actually any good British import pressing will do.) What's the first thing you will notice other than correct tonality, better bass and a lot more "life" overall?

No spit! As we've commented elsewhere, because of the wacky cutting system they used, MoFis are full of sibilance.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: beatlpleas_obsess) 



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

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

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


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The Beatles - Revolver

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: beatlrevol_2012) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND on BOTH sides of this British White Hot Stamper LP! Having played scores of copies over the years, this is As Good As It Gets as far as we know. Want to be blown away by Beatles sound you never imagined you would ever have the chance to experience for yourself? Drop the needle on Taxman on this very side one -- that's your ticket to ride, baby! We were blown away and we guarantee you will be too.

More Revolver


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What We Listen For:

The Spirit and Enthusiasm of the Musicians

  (Item #: beatlrevol_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

This discussion, brought about by a Hot Stamper shootout we conducted for Revolver many years ago (2007!), touches on many issues near and dear to us here at Better Records: pressing variations, system upgrades, dead wax secrets, and the quality we prize most in a recording: LIFE, or, if you prefer, ENERGY.

More Revolver


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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy (or our copy) of Rubber Soul. (If you have the MoFi pressing please click on the Track Listing tab below to read about its most glaring shortcoming.)
More Rubber Soul


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The Beatles Heavy Vinyl Sgt. Pepper’s

Well, I Guess If You Don't Know Any Better...

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_180_debunk_2015) 



Sonic Grade: D

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

You might agree with some reviewers that EMI's engineers did a pretty good job with the new Pepper. In the March 2013 issue of Stereophile Art Dudley weighed in, finding little to fault on this title but being less impressed with most of the others in the new box set. His reference disc? The MoFi UHQR! Oh, and he also has some old mono pressings and a domestic Let It Be. Now there's a man who knows his Beatles. Fanatical? Who wouldn't be? We're talkin' The Beatles for Chrissake.

More Sgt. Pepper


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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

UHQR Debunked

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

We charge hundreds of dollars for a Hot Stamper Sgt. Pepper, which is a lot to pay for a record. But consider this: the MoFi UHQR typically sells for more than the price we charge and doesn’t sound as good.

Of course the people that buy UHQRs would never find themselves in a position to recognize how much better one of our Hot Stampers sounds in a head to head shootout with their precious and oh-so-collectible UHQR. They assume that they’ve already purchased the Ultimate Pressing and see no need to try another.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Mobile Fidelity's Limited Edition Pressings

Bad Audiophile Thinking on My Part, Circa '82

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_limited) 



Many audiophiles are still operating under the misapprehension that Mobile Fidelity, what with their strict "quality control," managed to eliminate pressing variations of the kind we discuss endlessly on the site.

This is simply not the case, and it's child's play to demonstrate how false this way of thinking is, assuming you have these four things: good cleaning fluids and a machine, multiple copies of the same record, a reasonably revealing stereo, and two working ears (I guess that's actually five things, my bad). With all five the reality of pressing variations for ALL pressings is both obvious and incontrovertible.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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MoFi Mastering Variations

Will the Real Sgt. Pepper Please Stand Up?

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_mofi) 



This can be a pretty good sounding MoFi when it’s mastered by the right guy.

Say what? Yes, dear reader, this album was mastered by two different engineers at Mobile Fidelity, and one of them did a much better job than the other.

This copy, which is far more rare by the way, has the better mastering -- much less top end boost was added. As an aside, I used to like the other version better, but as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I realize that this pressing is superior, being noticeably less phony sounding, more like a good Parlophone and less like the typical Mobile Fidelity album.

More Sgt. Pepper


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The Beatles - The White Album

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlwhite_depth) 



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

It's exceedingly difficult to find audiophile quality sound on The White Album. The Beatles were breaking apart, often recording independently of each other, with their own favorite engineers as enablers, and George Martin nowhere to be found most of the time. They were also experimenting more and more with sound itself, which resulted in wonderful songs and interesting effects. However, these new approaches and added complexity often result in a loss of sonic "purity."

More of The White Album


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The Beatles - The White Album

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beatlwhite_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

The last time I played the MoFi I could not believe how ridiculously phony and compressed it was. And to think I used to like their version when it came out back in the '80s!

Take Yer Blues. The MFSL pressing positively wreaks havoc with all the added bass and top end The Beatles put on this track. The MoFi version is already too bright, and has sloppy bass to start with, so the result on this track is way too much BAD bass and way too much BAD spitty 10k-boosted treble, unlike the good imports, which have way too much GOOD bass and treble.

More of The White Album


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: beatlwitht_2008) 



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

Here’s a BIG one for you Beatles nuts... the first A+++ / A+++ copy of With The Beatles to ever make it to the site!

MASTER TAPE SOUND AND QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! This is one of the toughest Beatles albums to get to sound right, as long-time readers of our site surely know. That's why we haven't listed a Hot Stamper for this album since late 2006 -- we just can't find them!

More With the Beatles


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlwitht_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C+


Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The Mobile Fidelity pressing of this album has so many problems it would take an hour to describe them all. Suffice it to say, it’s thinner and brighter, with voices that are grittier and grainier. The overall effect is the sinking feeling that you are listening to a cheap reissue and not the real thing. Don’t the Beatles sound better than this? To be fair, some tracks are okay, others a disaster.

More With the Beatles


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Beethoven - Symphony #9 - Solti

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beethsym9_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Bright phony string tone, MoFi's trademark sound for classical recordings. Anyone who has ever attended a concert knows that strings in real life simply do not sound anything like they do on these MoFi records.

The London pressing of this recording is no great shakes either; any pressing should be avoided.

More music by Ludwig van Beethoven


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Bennett & Evans - The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: benneevans_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

That weird boost around 10k that Stan Ricker liked to add to practically every record he mastered wreaks havoc on the sound of Tony Bennett's voice. I would be very surprised if the current in-print CD doesn't sound more tonally natural, and for us audiophile record lovers - not lovers of audiophile records, but guys who love records with audiophile sound - that's simply another nail in the coffin for one of the most laughably inept remastering labels in the history of that sad enterprise.

More Tony Bennett


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George Benson - Breezin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: bensobreez_2016) 



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

Excellent sound for George Benson's 1976 classic Breezin'! This copy should blow the doors off your old copy or any MoFi pressing -- guaranteed. It's got all the elements this smooth masterpiece needs to come to life today, almost 40 years later if you can believe it. There's tons of energy, strong presence, excellent bass and a huge soundfield with real depth. You can hear right into the music, something just not possible on most copies out there.

See all of our George Benson albums in stock


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George Benson - Breezin’

Hot Stamper MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: bensobreez_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Another MoFi reviewed, and surprisingly this one isn't awful.

It has an excellent side two backed with a pretty good side one. Side two has excellent bass -- for a MoFi -- and lots of energy -- for a MoFi. It’s slightly smooth but overall it’s very musical. The best domestic copies are going to eat its lunch, but try to find one that sounds good. Most of them are awful.

This MoFi copy, though lacking in many ways, is MUCH BETTER sounding than the other MoFi copies we played it against, which were muddy and compressed.

More George Benson


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White Hot Stamper

Blind Faith
Blind Faith

  (Item #: blindblind_1908_) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • With two INCREDIBLE sides each rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or very close to it, this copy was the best we played in our recent shootout
  • This is no audiophile "made-from-the-master-tape" snake oil, this is the real thing from the UK - you'll hear the difference right from the get go
  • Can't Find My Way Home sounds superb here - we guarantee you've never heard it sound better - quiet vinyl too
  • "As much a follow-up to Traffic's self-titled second album as it is to Cream's final output, it merges the soulful blues of the former with the heavy riffing and outsized song lengths of the latter for a very compelling sound unique to this band." - All Music
More Eric Clapton


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Blind Faith - Blind Faith

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: blindblind_2010) 



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

This early British pressing SLAUGHTERED all the other pressings we played it against! It's the Blind Faith you’ve been waiting for: Tubey Magical, Transparent, full of Life and Energy -- dear friends, it’s all here! And the vinyl is some of the quietest we've ever heard for this album.

Sick of buying one harsh, thin, distorted, murky LP after another in a vain attempt to find a copy that reminds you of why you LOVED this record so much when it came out back in 1969?

More Blind Faith


 
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Blind Faith - Blind Faith

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: blindblind_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

Our latest shootout this time around (07/09) left us with a fairly large serving of egg on our face concerning the commentary we had written for the MoFi pressing of Blind Faith, a textbook example of We Was Wrong.

It’s rich and sweet with SHOCKINGLY GOOD SOUND. MFSL did a masterful job with this one, I’d put it in the top 10 MOFIs of all-time!
I regret to say none of that is true.
More Blind Faith


 
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Blondie - Parallel Lines

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: blondparal_2016) 



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

Can this kind of music get any better? This album is a MASTERPIECE of Pure Pop, ranking right up there with The Cars first album. I can't think of many albums from the era with the perfect blend of writing, production and musicianship Blondie achieved with Parallel Lines.

More Blondie


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Blondie - Parallel Lines

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: blondparal_debunk) 



Audiophile Versions of This Album Suck (The Life Right Out of the Music)

As previously noted, the MoFi, one of those Jack Hunt turgid muckfests (check out City to City #058 for the ulitimate in murky MOFI sound), is incapable of conveying anything resembling the kind of clear, radio-friendly pop rock sound that Chris Thomas and the band were aiming for. The recording has copious amounts of Analog Richness and Fullness to start with. Adding more is not an improvement; in fact it’s positively ruinous.

More Blondie


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Blood Sweat and Tears

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: bloodblood_debunk) 



Sonic Grade - MoFi: C

We found a Hot Stamper copy for one of our best customers a while back and he wrote an incisive commentary which may be of interest to you. To see the results of his comparison between the Direct Disc Labs Half-Speed, the MOFI Anadisq, his original domestic pressing, and the Hot Stamper he bought from us, check out his letter.

1/13

[I want to thank Roger Lawry for his extensive commentary on the BS&T’s second album. His critical listening skills are obviously quite well developed, especially since he agrees with me about what is the best sounding BS&T -- the one I sold him! I will be adding some caveats in places to clarify a few issues, but basically Roger's assessment is right on the money. I added the underlining below for emphasis.]

More Blood, Sweat & Tears


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Bloomfield / Kooper / Stills - Super Session

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: bloomsuper_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: B

Another MoFi LP reviewed.

Super Session is one of the best-sounding MoFi pressings. The midrange sounds wonderful -- silky sweet and transparent. Not having been cut by Stan Ricker, the top end doesn't have that SR/2 boost. Overall it's a very nice sounding record, and the music just can't be beat.

More Super Session


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Borodin, Glinka & Mussorgsky / Romantic Russia / Solti

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: borodroman_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

A well-known reviewer has many kind things to say about this pressing, but we think it sounds like a hi-fi-ish version of a '70s London, which means it's opaque and the strings are badly lacking in Tubey Magic. The bass is like jello on the MoFi, unlike the real London which has fairly decent bass.

More orchestral music conducted by Georg Solti


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Boston - Boston

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bostobosto_2010) 



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.

MASTER TAPE SOUND! We just finished another big Boston shootout; stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but most copies are pretty darn mediocre. If you want to deal with grainy highs, hooded mids, leaned-out bass and on overall lack of enthusiasm on the part of the band, I suppose that’s your prerogative, but this music is a heckuva lot more fun when it sounds like it does on this White Hot Stamper!

More Boston


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Letter of the Week

Boston MoFi = Crappy Soggy French Fries!

  (Item #: bostobosto_letter) 




This week’s letter comes from Ed, another satisfied and enthusiastic Hot Stamper fan. Apparently one of our Killer LPs made him want to take his MoFi pressing and turn the damn thing into a frisbee. When you hear what MoFi did to Boston you might want to toss their version out the window yourself. That pressing is bunk! We have a whole section of records like that that we've debunked to date, and if we had the time we could put hundreds more in it.
More Boston


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Boston - Boston

MoFi Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: bostobosto_mfsl_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

The MoFi Anadisc has the same problems that plague the whole series: turgid, thick, blobby, murky, mucky sound. A real slogfest. Audiophile trash of the worst kind. People still pay money for this kind of bad sound? Yes they do! Go to ebay and see the high prices these records are fetching. (This is equal parts shocking and disgusting.)

More Boston


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Boston Hot Stamper Testimonial

Shooting Out the Big Three

  (Item #: bostobosto_testimonial) 



This week’s letter comes from our good customer Roger, who did a little shootout of his own among three very different sounding pressings: two Half-Speeds, one by MoFi and one by CBS, probably the two most popular pressings among audiophiles, and our very own Hot Stamper LP. Here are his findings. Keep in mind that Roger bought a copy priced at $125, half the price of the best copy in our shootout.
More Boston


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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: bowieletsd_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

The MoFi pressing is decent, probably better than the average domestic copy I suppose, but c’mon, this album is about punchy bass and drums. Since when does any half-speed mastered LP have punchy bass and drums? Blurry blobby bloated bass and drums is more like it. Compressed too.

More David Bowie


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David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: bowieziggy_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

The MoFi pressing is decent, probably better than the average domestic copy I suppose. The colorations and the limitations of their cutting system make it painful for me to listen to though, especially the sloppy bass. Compressed too. You can do worse but you sure can do a lot better.)

MoFi did two of the greatest Bowie albums of all time, Ziggy and Let's Dance, and neither one can hold a candle to the real thing. If you want to settle for a pretty poor imitation of either or both of those albums, stick with your MoFi. If you want to hear the kind of Demo Disc sound that Bowie's records are capable of, try a Hot Stamper.

More Ziggy Stardust


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1806_1905) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound AND exceptionally quiet vinyl on both sides make this a Pretender that will rock with the best of them
  • This vintage pressing is well balanced, yet big and lively, with such wonderful clarity in the mids and highs as well as deep punchy bass and a big open and spacious soundfield
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • Without a doubt the best sounding record Jackson Browne ever made - this is the pressing that backs up everything we say and more
See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This outstanding pressing of JB's fourth studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • One of the all time great rock / pop Demo Discs -- the best copies are so rich and full-bodied they make most rock records sound positively anemic
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • Without a doubt the best sounding record Jackson Browne ever made - this is the pressing that backs up everything we say and more
See all of our Jackson Browne albums in stock


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Jackson Browne - The Pretender

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: brownprete_2015) 



Amazing A++++ (Four Plus) sound, so good we rated it beyond our usual top grade of Triple Plus. Without a doubt it's the best sounding Jackson Browne record ever made, and this copy backs up everything we say and more.

Side one was super transparent, with breathy, present vocals. What really blew us away on this one is the sheer size and openness of the soundfield. We were so impressed that we went beyond our usual top grade of A+++, something we rarely do. But when a copy like this comes along and sets a new standard for an album's sonic potential, there's nothing else we CAN do!

More Jackson Browne


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Charlie Byrd - Byrd at the Gate

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: byrd_byrda_2011) 



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

This is a nice Early Riverside pressing with excellent sound! It's also a title Mobile Fidelity ruined, and having just played this record, I can see why. First of all, the guitar and the drums are tonally right on the money. Mobile Fidelity of course brightened up both and the results are a phony sounding guitar and a phony sounding drum kit, with tizzy cymbals. (The Wes Montgomery MOFI title has many of the same faults, but it's not quite as bad as this one.)

More Charlie Byrd


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Charlie Byrd - Byrd at the Gate

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: byrd_byrda_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

This is a title Mobile Fidelity ruined, and having just played an early Riverside LP I can see how their mastering approach was -- as is so often the case -- misguided to say the least.

First off, the guitar and the drums on the original are tonally right on the money. They sound like bass and drums should. They sound, in a word, correct. Mobile Fidelity felt it necessary to brighten up both and the results are a phony sounding guitar and phony sounding drums, with tizzy cymbals thrown in for good measure.

More Charlie Byrd


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The Cars

Here's the Big Rock Sound We Love

  (Item #: cars_overview) 



The first two Cars albums were both in The Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 at one time, with good reason: they're superb recordings. The Cars have been in "heavy rotation" on my system since their albums came out in the late '70s. We started doing shootouts for both right around 2006 or 2007, and they continue to be a regular feature of our Rock Hot Stamper section, not to mention some of the most fun shootouts we do in any given week.

Before then had you ever read a word in any audiophile or record collecting publication about how amazing the originals can sound? Of course not. Most of the audiophile types writing for the stereo rags wouldn't know a good record from a hole in the ground.

More of The Cars


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Chicago Transit Authority on MoFi

Or Is It The Glade Spray Mist Septet?

  (Item #: chicachica1_letter) 



Our good customer Roger wrote to tell us of his Chicago shootout which included the MoFi, some later pressings and our Hot Stamper. Here is his story.

HI Tom

Got a chance to listen to your Chicago Transit Authority hot stamper and compare it to regular US and MFSL pressings. It has been a while since I last listened to this recording, but I listened to a lot of Chicago; Blood, Sweat, and Tears; and The Ides of March when I was in high school and college. I loved this music back then, as short-lived as it was, unfortunately.

More Chicago


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White Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Slowhand

  (Item #: claptslowh_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Stunning sound throughout for one of our favorite Clapton records with each side rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it
  • With Glyn Johns behind the board, rest assured the sound will be suitably rich, smooth, sweet and above all ANALOG
  • Includes Cocaine, Wonderful Tonight, Lay Down Sally and May You Never - all with crazy good sound
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This is laid-back virtuosity -- although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album's eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as one of Eric Clapton's best albums."
See all of our Eric Clapton albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Eric Clapton
Slowhand

  (Item #: claptslowh_1905) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding copy of Clapton's 1977 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • One of our favorite Clapton albums - this one is notoriously difficult to find good sound quality and reasonably quiet surfaces
  • With Glyn Johns behind the board, rest assured the sound will be suitably rich, smooth, sweet and above all ANALOG
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This is laid-back virtuosity -- although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album's eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as one of Eric Clapton's best albums."
See all of our Eric Clapton albums in stock


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Eric Clapton - Slowhand

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: claptslowh_2012) 



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

Great sound for one of our favorite Clapton albums! There are some excellent songs here, including Cocaine, Wonderful Tonight, and Lay Down Sally. As you may know, it is notoriously difficult to find good sound quality for this album. The typical pressing is just too dull and veiled to enjoy.

More Eric Clapton


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Ry Cooder - Jazz

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: coodejazz_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

As you probably know, the MoFi of Jazz goes for big bucks nowadays -- $500 and up. Is it worth it?

Are you kidding? It’s a nice record as far as it goes, but it suffers from the same shortcomings as just about every Mobile Fidelity pressing we take the time to play these days (with some obvious exceptions of course). We have a test pressing, and knowing that the MoFi is the standard against which many audiophiles would prefer to judge our Hot Stampers, we listened to it first before going about our comparison test.

More Ry Cooder


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Ry Cooder - Jazz

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: coodejazz_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: D

As you probably know, the MoFi of Jazz goes for big bucks nowadays -- $500 and up. Is it worth it?

Are you kidding? It’s a nice record as far as it goes, but it suffers from the same shortcomings as just about every Mobile Fidelity pressing we take the time to play these days (with some obvious exceptions of course). We have a test pressing, and knowing that the MoFi is the standard against which many audiophiles would prefer to judge our Hot Stampers, we listened to it first before going about our comparison test.

More Ry Cooder


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Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Punch The Clock

  (Item #: costepunch_1803_1902) 

Our Price: $59.99

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


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Elvis Costello - Punch The Clock

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: costepunch_2008) 



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

The bottom end is as punchy, well-defined and powerful as they come. There's plenty of low-end on this record; regrettably most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can't tell you how much you're missing when the bass isn't right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.) When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn't swing the way it's supposed to.

More Elvis Costello


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What We Listen For on Elvis Costello's Trust

The Bass Is (Almost) All

  (Item #: costetrust_listen) 



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

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

More Elvis Costello


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White Hot Stamper

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cosmo's Factory

  (Item #: creedcosmo_1902_1907) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second - it doesn't get much better than this
  • The sound is incredibly present and punchy with great clarity, excellent bass, freedom from grain and real swamp rockin' energy
  • So many great songs: Run Through the Jungle, Lookin' Out My Back Door, Who'll Stop the Rain, etc.
  • A 5 star album and arguably the best record the band ever made: "...an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams..."
More Cosmo's Factory / More Creedence


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Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: creedcosmo_2015) 



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

Clean copies of the album are rare enough as it is; good sounding clean copies are as rare for this title as for practically any we offer.

Fortunately we've made some strides of late finding the "right' pressings for this band, and with better cleaning technologies we are finding that the better copies such as this one are sounding the way we want our Creedence records to sound.

More Creedence Clearwater


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Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo’s Factory

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: creedcosmo_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D-

Years ago a customer sent me his copy of the Analogue Productions LP (mastered by Hoffman and Gray) in order to carry out a little shootout I had planned among the five copies I could pull together: two MoFi's, the Fantasy ORC reissue, a blue label original, the AP, and another reissue.

Let’s just say there were no real winners, but there sure were some losers.

More Creedence Clearwater Revival


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Detail on Crosby Stills and Nash’s First Album

Holy Grail or Audio Trap?

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_detail) 



Detail may be the Holy Grail to most audiophiles, but detail can be a trap we all too easily fall into if we are not careful. Tonal balance is the key. Without it no judgments about detail have any real value.

One example: As good as the Classic Heavy Vinyl pressing is, the guitar at the opening of Helplessly Hoping tells you everything you need to know about what’s missing. The guitar on the Hot Stamper domestic copies has a transparency that cannot be found on Classic’s version. The Classic gets the tonal balance right, but their guitar doesn’t have the subtlety and harmonic resolution of the real thing.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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VTA Adjustment on Crosby Stills and Nash

Using the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl LP (2005)

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta_200) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment for 200 gram vinyl, using the CSN track Helplessly Hoping.

Helplessly Hoping is a wonderful song with plenty of energy in the midrange and upper midrange area which is difficult to get right. Just today (4/25/05) I was playing around with VTA, having recently installed a new Dynavector DV-20x on my playgrading table (a real sweetheart, by the way), and this song showed me EXACTLY how to get the VTA right.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills and Nash
Daylight Again

  (Item #: crosbdayli_1905) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This outstanding copy of Daylight Again (the last good record these guys would ever make) earned solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades - relatively quiet vinyl too
  • This is the embodiment of the Classic CSN sound we love - rich, full-bodied, warm, punchy, dynamic and clear
  • Steven Barncard, one of our favorite recording engineers, no doubt deserves most of the credit
  • Allmusic on Wasted on the Way and Southern Cross: "Both were extracted as singles and became among the best-known tracks not only on Daylight Again, but also in the post-'60s CSN canon."
See all of our Crosby, Stills and Nash albums in stock


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

A Tale of Two MoFi Pressings

  (Item #: crosbdejav_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F (or not!)

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Just for fun about 10 years ago I pulled out a MoFi pressing of Deja Vu I had laying around. I hadn't played their version in a long time. I could have gone a lot longer without playing it, because what I heard was pretty disappointing. Playing their record confirmed all my prejudices. The highs sizzled and spit. The heart of the midrange was recessed and sour.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: crosbdejav_obsess) 



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

For their second album, Crosby, Stills and Nash added Neil Young to their roster and proceeded to record what we consider to be one of the Ten Best Sounding Rock Records of all time.

More Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Latest Developments

  (Item #: crosbdejav_wrong_2016) 



There are two areas in which we would like to amend some of the previous comments we've made about Deja Vu. The first has to do with early pressings. Many years ago we wrote the following:

As we noted in previous commentary, the originals are uniformly awful. Want some inside info on stampers to avoid, free of charge? C and D are pretty bad news most of the time.

Although that's still true -- Deja Vu is a very difficult album to find with good sound no matter what stampers you have -- we now know that there are very good sounding copies, Shootout Winning copies in fact, with early stampers.

More on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 Masterpiece, Deja Vu


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Super Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_1904) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this outstanding copy of So Far - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this superb pressing is full-bodied and lively, with solid and present vocals, as well as vocal dynamics that are hard to find on most rock records
  • The two exclusive tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both sound fantastic here
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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White Hot Stamper

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
So Far

  (Item #: crosbsofar_1906_1908) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • This stunning copy offers insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Huge, rich and energetic, this pressing brings the gorgeous harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to life like nothing you have ever heard
  • The two exclusive tracks, Ohio and Find the Cost of Freedom, are amazingly well recorded - both have Demo Disc sound here
  • If you've made the mistake of buying any Heavy Vinyl pressing containing any of these songs, this record will show you just exactly what you've been missing
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbsofar_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with advice on what to listen for as you critically evaluate your copy of So Far.

For example, on Find the Cost of Freedom the best copies have DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. You could say everything that needs to be said about the beauty of analog with this one track alone. It's not even two minutes long, but it's two really wonderful minutes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the height of their powers. The voices should sound as sweet and as silky as any CSN three part (four part?) harmony you have ever heard. This song rivals Helplessly Hoping for vocal blend.

More So Far


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VTA Adjustment

Helplessly Hoping to Get It Right

  (Item #: crosbsofar_wtlf) 



This listing from 2005 (!) contains commentary about Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) adjustment using the track Helplessly Hoping from a Hot Stamper pressing of CSN’s So Far.
More So Far / More CSN&Y


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The Crusaders - Chain Reaction

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: crusachain_2009) 



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

ANOTHER MoFi BITES THE DUST! This original ABC Blue Thumb has A++ SIDES; it absolutely destroyed the Mobile Fidelity pressing and most of a big stack of standard copies. Let’s be honest, the MoFi is far better sounding than the average domestic pressing. The average domestic pressing sucks. Why do you think it’s taken us this long to put up these Hot Stampers? The properly mastered copies are just not out there, folks. You can find copies of this album in just about every used record bin, but most of them don’t sound anything like this!

More Soul, R&B and Blues


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The Crusaders - Chain Reaction

MoFi Hot Stamper

  (Item #: crusachain_mofi) 



This is a Minty looking Mobile Fidelity LP with VERY GOOD SOUND. We just did a mini shootout and this copy killed the competition. Obviously it won’t sound as good as one of our regular Hot Stampers but they go for quite a bit more money. Depending on what you listen for, this MoFi should be quite a bit better than yer average domestic pressing.
More Soul, R&B and Blues


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Super Hot Stamper

Neil Diamond
Hot August Night

  (Item #: diamohotau_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding original pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The superb presence and energy here have the power to bring the definitive Neil Diamond concert performance right into your very own listening room
  • If you own the MoFi, this copy will show you how they screwed up the sound of Neil's voice - nothing new there, right?
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This is the ultimate Neil Diamond record. Not necessarily the best - he's at his most appealing crafting in the studio - but certainly the ultimate, capturing all the kitsch and glitz of Neil Diamond, the showman."
See all of our Neil Diamond albums in stock


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The Doobie Brothers - Takin’ It To The Streets

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: doobitakin_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: B

Another MoFi LP reviewed.

This is an IMMACULATE Mobile Fidelity LP with Virtually No Sign Of Play (VNSOP) and EXCELLENT SOUND. I'm surprised how good this copy is. The mids and highs are pretty close to Right On The Money (ROTM). The bass is not as deep and well defined as it should be, but that's the fault of Half-Speed mastering, not MOFI. One of their best titles! And quite rare to boot!

More Doobie Brothers


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White Hot Stamper

The Doobie Brothers
Toulouse Street

  (Item #: doobitoulo_1901_1906) 

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


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


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Super Hot Stamper

The Doobie Brothers
Toulouse Street

  (Item #: doobitoulo_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $119.99

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


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The Doobie Brothers - Toulouse Street

Templeman, Barncard and Landee Work Their Magic

  (Item #: doobitoulo_wtlf) 



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


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The Doobie Brothers

The Vices of Limited Production

  (Item #: doobiwhatw_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The best of this kind of mainstream radio-friendly pop rock has stood the test of time very well. One listen and we think you'll agree: this is fun music that belongs in your collection. IF... IF you get hold of a good pressing, and in our experience this mass-produced stuff leaves a lot to be desired most of the time.

Actually that's not really fair; the specialty audiophile limited edition pressings of most records are even worse sounding, so the production numbers really don't have much to do with the final product, now do they?

More Doobie Brothers


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The Doors - The Doors

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: doorsdoors_2007) 



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

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

More by The Doors


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The Doors - The Doors

Rating the DCC LP

  (Item #: doorsdoors_dcc) 



Sonic Grade: B

We used to like the Doors First album on DCC back when it came out in the late '90s; it sure beat the MoFi and every other pressing I had around, including the original gold label Elektra pressings. But much water has gone under that bridge. There have been countless audio revolutions, the improved record cleaning technologies we tout at every turn. Without them old records just sound like old records, and the DCC pressing will be better.

But with them, and lots of other changes, the right original stomps all over the DCC.

More by The Doors


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The Doors - The Doors

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: doorsdoors_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

If anyone still thinks that pressing is anything but a bad joke played on the audiophile public -- so sucked out in the midrange, bass-shy and compressed to death -- that person has a way to go in this hobby. A very long way. You can hear how bad it sounds from another room.

But wait a minute. I liked the MoFi just fine when it came out. I guess I had a way to go in this hobby too. That was back in the early ’80s. I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in the last twenty five plus years. I’m pretty sure we can offer you a better record now.

See more of The Doors' albums


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The Doors - L.A. Woman

German Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: doorslawom_debunk_2014) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

There is [was; it’s out of print now] a German 180 gram pressing of L.A. Woman which is [was] so bad, I am calling this commentary The Audiophile Apocalypse. The fact that some audiophiles and audiophile reviewers appear to like this pressing is a sign that, to me at least, The End Is Near, or May Be.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Doors
Waiting For the Sun

  (Item #: doorswaiti_1905) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Two outstanding sides for this superbly recorded Doors album, with strong Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with Morrison's rich vocals well reproduced and especially Tubey Magical
  • It's tough (not to mention expensive) to find these early Gold Label pressings with this kind of sound and reasonably quiet vinyl
  • A Top 100 Title - "Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore were never more lucid... This was a band at its most dexterous, creative, and musically diverse ..."
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White Hot Stamper

The Doors
Waiting For the Sun

  (Item #: doorswaiti_1906) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Two insanely good sides for this superbly recorded Doors album, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with Morrison's rich vocals well reproduced and especially Tubey Magical
  • It's tough (not to mention expensive) to find these early Gold Label pressings with this kind of sound and vinyl that's scratch free
  • A Top 100 Title - "Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore were never more lucid... This was a band at its most dexterous, creative, and musically diverse ..."
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The Doors - Waiting For The Sun

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: doorswaiti_2008) 



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

It's been over a year, but Waiting For The Sun Hot Stampers are BACK! It's exceedingly difficult to find a good sounding, reasonably quiet Gold Label copy of this album, let alone enough copies to put together a proper shootout. It wasn't easy, but a copy like this makes all the trouble worthwhile. Side one is a tubey magical A++, and side two is As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) at A+++.

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The Doors - Waiting For The Sun

Rating the DCC LP

  (Item #: doorswaiti_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: B-

We used to like the DCC pressing of this Doors album. Now... not so much. It's a classic case of We Was Wrong.

Keep in mind that the only way you can never be wrong about your records is simply to avoid playing them. If you have better equipment than you did, say, five years ago, try playing some of your MoFi’s, 180 gram LPs, Japanese pressings, 45 RPM remasters and the like. You might be in for quite a shock.

Read the commentary below to see why we think we were wrong about the DCC pressing of Waiting For The Sun.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bob Dylan
The Times They Are A-Changin'

  (Item #: dylantimes_1808_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Oustanding sound throughout on this 360 stereo pressing, with each side rating a solid Double Plus (A++)
  • The key to this stark recording - just Bob and his acoustic guitar and harmonica - is correct tonality, presence and intimacy, and here you get a good helping of all three
  • If you've played other copies of the album - on MoFi, Sundazed or Columbia LP, on the CD, on whatever - the Tubey Magic of the midrange of this pressing is going to blow your mind.
  • His classic 3rd LP (1964) - all original and often groundbreaking material
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Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2009 in Mono

  (Item #: dylantimes_2009) 



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

This 360 Label Original Columbia Mono LP, complete with the rare lyric sheet, has two LOVELY sounding sides that rate A++ or better. I was actually a big fan of the Sundazed Mono, but this has more of that Tubey Magic, richness, and overall naturalness that you find on old records, qualities that seem to be sorely lacking on even the best 180 gram remasterings. MoFi also did this record and ruined it in the process (shocker!).

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Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

Our Shootout Winner from 2016 in Mono

  (Item #: dylantimes_2016) 



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

This amazing Mono pressing is the first Triple Triple copy to ever hit the site! Both A+++ sides are incredibly rich and warm, with dynamics and smoothness to the harmonica you almost never hear. As impressive as the best stereo copies can be, the mono version is our preferred mix for the album.

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