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The Doobie Brothers Discography and Bio

  (Item #: alldoobiebrothers) 



The Doobie Brothers (1971)
Toulouse Street (1972)
The Captain and Me (1973)
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974)
Stampede (1975)
Takin’ It to the Streets (1976)
Livin’ on the Fault Line (1977)
Minute by Minute (1978)
One Step Closer (1980)
Farewell Tour (1983)
More Doobie Brothers


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Fleetwood Mac Discography

  (Item #: allfleetwoodmac) 



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


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Super Hot Stamper

Gregg Allman
Laid Back

  (Item #: allmalaidb_1812_1902) 

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


  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans' album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals on side two, this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Recorded in the same year as the Brothers and Sisters album, this solo debut release is a beautiful amalgam of R&B, folk, and gospel sounds, with the best singing on any of Gregg Allman's solo releases."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Gregg Allman
Laid Back

  (Item #: allmalaidb_1901_1903) 

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


  • An astounding Triple Triple (A+++) copy that blew away every other pressing in our recent shootout
  • We were surprised at how well recorded the album is, dramatically better than the Allmans album from the same year, Brothers and Sisters
  • Full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals - this is the sound we love at Better Records
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Recorded in the same year as the Brothers and Sisters album, this solo debut release is a beautiful amalgam of R&B, folk, and gospel sounds, with the best singing on any of Gregg Allman's solo releases."
See all of our Allman Brothers albums in stock


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Gregg Allman - Laid Back

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: allmalaidb_2017) 



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

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

More Allman Brothers


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Sergio Mendes Discography

  (Item #: allsergiomendes) 



1966 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
1967 Equinox
1967 Look Around
1968 Fool on the Hill
1969 Crystal Illusions
1969 Ye-Me-Le
1970 Stillness
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Super Hot Stamper

Ambrosia
Ambrosia

  (Item #: ambroambro_1904) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Spectacular Prog Rock sound explodes on this copy of the band's phenomenally well-recorded debut album, mixed by none other than Alan Parsons
  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER throughout, this copy has the sound we were looking for - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big Whomp Factor here - the bottom end is huge and punchy on this copy, like nothing you've heard
  • A Better Records All-Time Favorite & Top 100 Demo Disc: " Its songs skillfully blend strong melodic hooks and smooth vocal harmonies with music of an almost symphonic density."
See all of our Ambrosia albums in stock


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Ambrosia

The First Four Plus Copy We'd Ever Heard, Going All the Way Back to 2008

  (Item #: ambroambro_2008) 



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

This White Hot Stamper original LP goes BEYOND DEMO DISC sound. What that means exactly I’m not sure, but I know it when I hear it, and this record has THAT SOUND. Side one of this copy has ENERGY and LIFE we have never heard before.

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Ambrosia - Ambrosia

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ambroambro_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.

Here's another INSANELY GOOD pressing of my all-time favorite album, which is every bit as good sonically as it is musically! Side two in particular (A+++, As Good As It Gets!) has DEMO DISC quality sound with the kind of SONIC ENERGY that not one out of a hundred titles can lay claim to.

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Ambrosia - Ambrosia

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: ambroambro_obsess) 



AMBROSIA is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it. It's also part of our extensive Listening in Depth series. There is no question that this band, their producers and their engineers sweated every detail of this remarkable recording. They went the distance. In the end they brought in Alan Parsons to mix it, and Doug Sax to master it. The result is a masterpiece, an album that stands above all others.
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Ambrosia - One Eighty

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: ambrooneei_2013) 



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

This is smooth, rich ANALOG at its best, easy on the ears as we like to say.

This is clearly the poppier side of Ambrosia, containing as it does two of their highest-charting mainstream hits, Biggest Part of Me (#3) and You're the Only Woman (#13). I myself of course prefer the proggy first two albums, falling as they do into the broad category of Art Rock where my favorite albums by Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Supertramp, 10cc, later-period Beatles, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Traffic and so many others from the last forty-plus years can be found.

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Ambrosia - One Eighty

A Little Soft Rock Never Hurt Anybody, Right?

  (Item #: ambrooneei_soft_rock) 



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

One Eighty has an excellent mix of rock songs and softer pop ballads. The last track, Biggest Part Of Me, no matter how many times you may have heard it on the radio is an exceptionally well-produced (designed?) piece of songcraft that will tug at anyone's heartstrings, anyone who has a heart that is (if I may quote the title of the best song Burt Bacharach ever wrote). On a big audiophile system it should be both powerful and emotional.

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America - America

Listening for Harmonically Correct Acoustic Guitars

  (Item #: ameriameri_listen) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

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

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

See all of our America albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

America
America's Greatest Hits

  (Item #: amerihisto_1809_1903) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding copy of America's 1975 release with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Both sides have amazing clarity and presence, which is especially noticeable on the vocals
  • THE BIG SOUND on both sides lets this Greatest Hits compilation hold its own against the originals
  • "An essential collection for fans who like their '70s folk with a pop sheen, loads of hooks, and top-drawer arrangements."
More America / More Hippie Folk Rock


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America - History: America’s Greatest Hits

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: amerihisto_2008) 



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

THE BIG SOUND on both sides lets this Greatest Hits compilation hold its own against the originals. Side One has amazing CLARITY and PRESENCE, which is especially noticeable on the vocals. Side Two has plenty of bottom end that drives these songs with energy and life. Listen for the bells on 'Tin Man'; they have the correct transients and harmonics. You never quite get back all of the tubey magic of the originals, but the detail and richness are enough to make you fall in love with this high quality George Martin (re) production.

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America - Homecoming

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: amerihomec_2009) 



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

This Warner Bros. Green Label Pressing is THE NEW HOMECOMING KING! The tubey analog magic of this recording is ABSOLUTELY OFF THE CHARTS. The mindblowing presence and immediacy of this copy will put the lovely voices and sweetly strummed guitars of this band right in front of you. They don't make records that sound like this anymore.

More America


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The Ames Brothers with Esquivel - Hello Amigos

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: amesbhello_2014) 



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

This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. This is vintage analog at its best, so rich and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to "improve" upon it.

This recording is the very definition of The Sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, nor will any CD ever be able to capture what is in the grooves of this pressing.

1960 - It Was a Very Good Year


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
The Essential Louis Armstrong

  (Item #: armstessen_1812) 

Our Price: $59.99

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


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Louis Armstrong - The Essential Louis Armstrong

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: armstessen_2017) 



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

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

More Louis Armstrong


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two excellent sides each rating a solid Double Plus (A++), this vintage stereo pressing was one of the better copies in our most recent shootout
  • Both sides here are incredibly big, full-bodied, clean and clear with lots of deep punchy bass
  • We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one
  • "One of the best things about this configuration is the sound of the Duke’s piano - an underrated pianist, he seldom recorded in such an intimate context."
More Louis Armstrong / More Duke Ellington


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Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Reunion

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: armstgreat_2017) 



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

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

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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1810_1901) 

Our Price: $129.99

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


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White Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

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


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

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: armstivego_2009) 



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

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

I have no idea what I would think of their version these days -- well, to be honest I do have some idea of what I would think of it -- but their version is at least good enough to make the case that Russell Garcia's orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong's sublime skills interpreting The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven.

More Louis Armstrong


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

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: armstivego_classic_records) 



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


Sonic Grade: B (probably)

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

More Louis Armstrong


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Super Hot Stamper

The Association
Insight Out

  (Item #: associnsig_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - Windy and Never My Love are simply amazing here - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The Tubey Magical sound, the lively, tight playing by The Wrecking Crew, not to mention some killer Chart Topping '60s pop, make this THE Association record to own
  • With this copy the Sound of the Sixties will fill your room like never before - wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with layers upon layers of depth
  • "The harmonies and choruses are among the most beautifully textured singing in a rock outfit this side of the Beach Boys."
See all of our Association albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Average White Band
Average White Band

  (Item #: averaavera_1802) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound from beginning to end on this AWB album, clearly their masterpiece
  • There's not a weak track on the album - if you've forgotten how good this music, here is your chance to get reaquainted
  • "AWB embraced soul and funk with so much conviction that it was clear this was anything but an "average" white band." - Allmusic 4 1/2 Stars
See all of our Soul and R&B albums in stock


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Burt Bacharach - Casino Royale

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bachacasin_2008) 



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

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

See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Burt Bacharach
Reach Out

  (Item #: bachareach_1810) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • This copy had extension high and low and dynamic power that greatly impressed us
  • Tons of hits - The Look Of Love, Message To Michael, Alfie, What The World Needs Now, I Say A Little Prayer and more
  • Engineering by Phil Ramone (Casino Royale) and Henry Lewy (Sergio Mendes, Joni Mitchell) each doing their own tracks - compare and contrast for yourself
See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Burt Bacharach - Reach Out

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bachareach_wtlf) 



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

What to listen for? Brightness, Blare, Lifelessness, Smear.

We played a good-sized stack of these recently, but not many of them sounded like this one. The majority of copies had a tendency to be bright, which is MURDER when the horns start blaring at the levels we like to play our records at.

In addition there are plenty of copies out there that lack energy, while others suffer from transient smearing, clearly audible on the brass.

See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Bad Company - Straight Shooter

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: badcostrai_2009) 



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

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

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White Hot Stamper

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904) 

Our Price: $349.99

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

Badfinger
Straight Up

  (Item #: badfistrai_1904_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

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

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: badfistrai_2010) 



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

This relatively quiet WHITE HOT STAMPER Straight Up is KILLER, with a A++ side one and an A+++ side two -- you can't do much better than that! Side two has Master Tape Sound, the kind that we like to call AGAIG -- As Good As It Gets. Both sides have the kind of PRESENCE in the midrange that most copies can't begin to compete with. The sound here just JUMPS out of the speakers, which is exactly what the best copies of the album are supposed to (but rarely) do. For fans of the band -- and Power Pop in general -- this is the Straight Up you have been waiting for!

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Badfinger - Straight Up

What to Listen For

  (Item #: badfistrai_wtlf) 



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

The best sides have the kind of PRESENCE in the midrange that most copies can't begin to reproduce. The sound on the right pressings just JUMPS out of the speakers, which is exactly what the best copies are supposed to (but rarely) do.

This is Power Pop, plain and simple. The basics are what count: punchy drums, grungy guitars, present vocals, clear but full bass lines -- just the meat and potatoes of rock, no fancy sauces.

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Joan Baez - 5

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: baez_5_2015) 



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

Natural, unprocessed, clear, breathy vocal reproduction is the key to any Joan Baez album, and this side two will clearly demonstrate just how well-recorded Joan's voice (and guitar) were by the Vanguard engineering team. We heard immediately that this side one was excellent. We had no idea the sound could get as good as it is on side two. It takes the sound and music to an entirely new level.

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Joan Baez - Joan

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joan_2014) 



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

In 1967 Vanguard still knew how to record pure, rich, sweet, Tubey Magical analog. Some of these tracks are amazing sounding. Once a year we run across a clean stereo copy of this album. (With such complex arrangements we don't feel the mono could do the album justice. You may feel otherwise.)

This pressing appears to be the original stereo label, although with so many Vanguard labels -- dozens by my count -- this could easily be an early reissue. The paste-on rough cardboard back is a good sign of its age.

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Joan Baez - Joan Baez

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: baez_joanb_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1960.

This former member of the TAS list is the kind of recording that has everything going for it: Golden Age equipment in a live acoustic with a simple arrangement for voice and guitar (or two).

The purity and complete freedom from distortion allow the listener to imagine himself, to borrow a phrase, in the Living Presence of the performer. With a record this good it takes no effort whatsoever to suspend disbelief and imagine Joan and her guitar directly in front of you, a command performance if you will.

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Anita Baker - Rapture

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: bakerraptu_2011) 



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

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

See all of our Soul and R&B albums in stock


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Chet Baker - She Was Too Good To Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: bakershewa_2017) 



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

We guarantee you have never heard this album -- or any later Chet Baker album -- sound as good as this one does.

There's so much life in these grooves. The sound jumps out of the speakers right into your lap. This kind of warm, rich, Tubey Magical analog sound is gone forever. You have to go back to 1974 to find it!

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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1810_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99

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


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Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Very good Hot Stamper sound is found on both sides of this essential album, on reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • With rich meaty guitars and smooth silky vocals, this is a Band second album that does this music proud
  • 5 stars: "The Band, the group's second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort... The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal..."
See all of our albums by The Band in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Northern Lights - Southern Cross

  (Item #: band_north_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • These sides are bigger, more natural, warmer and more solid than most of the others we played
  • This is The Band's undiscovered gem, containing the most powerful tearjerker they ever wrote: "It Makes No Difference"
  • 4 stars: "...the Band's finest since their self-titled sophomore effort ... "Acadian Driftwood" stands out as one of Robertson's finest compositions, the equal to anything else the Band ever recorded."
See all of the music of The Band in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Rock Of Ages

  (Item #: band_rocko_1902_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

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


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The Band - Rock Of Ages

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: band_rocko_2009) 



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

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

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

More of The Band


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie & Joe Williams
Memories Ad-Lib

  (Item #: basiememor_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

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

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

  (Item #: beachpetso_1805_1903) 

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


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


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1902_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

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

The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night

  (Item #: beatlahard_1804_1812) 

Our Price: $39.99

  • 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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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1811) 

Our Price: $49.99

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

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

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


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1904) 

Our Price: $79.99

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

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: beatlforsa_2009) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND ON SIDE ONE! We feel Beatles For Sale is a criminally underappreciated album, and a killer copy like this will show you exactly why. The startling presence and immediacy allow the emotional qualities of these lovely songs to really come through. The clarity of the vocals is going to blow you away. No matter what copy you’ve been listening to, I’m completely confident that this one will slaughter it. We play a ton of these every year, but there’s a good reason you don’t see too many of them hit the site -- most of them bore us to tears.

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The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlforsa_depth) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of For Sale. We note that Words of Love is a tough track to get right:

There are some lively, jangly guitars behind the smooth voices. Many copies seem to sacrifice one for the other, leaving you with either irritating guitars or dull voices. The better copies get them both right.

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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $39.99

  • 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."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1811_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this UK pressing is bringing out the best qualities Let It Be's sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • There's no studio wizardry, no heavy-handed mastering, no phony EQ - here is some of the most realistic, natural Beatles sound you can get
  • Copies like this one make good on the promise that Let It Be captures the greatest rock band of all time playing and singing their hearts out
  • "The album is on the whole underrated... it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever."
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The Beatles - Let It Be

John's Really Digging a Pony. Are You?

  (Item #: beatlletit_dig_a_pony) 



What blew our minds about the Shootout Winning side one we played recently was how outrageously big, open and transparent it was on the song Dig a Pony. As the song started up the studio space seemed to expand in every direction, creating more height, width and depth than we'd ever experienced with this song before.

But there is no studio space; the song was recorded on Apple's rooftop. The "space" has to be some combination of "air" from the live event and artificial reverb added live or later during mixing. Whatever it is, the copies with more resolution and transparency show you a lot more of "it" than run-of-the-mill pressings do (including the new Heavy Vinyl, which is so airless and compressed we gave it a grade of F and banished it to our Shame Hall).

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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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

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

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_2) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • Incredible Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sound or very close to it from beginning to end, this copy is guaranteed to blow your mind - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A stunning German copy with some of the best Beatles sound money can buy - superb work from Ken Scott here
  • Demo Quality Sound for I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby You're A Rich Man and more
  • You won't believe how powerful the sound is - it's big, rich, open and lively beyond any expectations you may have had
  • A longtime Top 100 album and Psych Masterpiece that knocks us out every time we do the shootout for it
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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.

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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 - Rubber Soul

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_2007) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We just finished a huge shootout for this record -- British, German, and domestic pressings -- and this Parlophone British import pressing is THE ALL-TIME CHAMPION FOR BOTH SIDES! No other copy came close.

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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.)
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Hot Stamper (Quiet)

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_1904) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • An excellent copy with solid Hot Stamper sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • With all the Tubey Magic of a fresh tape and top quality mastering, this is clearly the best way to hear Sgt. Pepper
  • Most pressings - especially the new ones - have a mere fraction of the richness, smoothness, transparency, space and energy of this LP
  • A Top 100 Title - "It's possible to argue that there are better Beatles albums, yet no album is as historically important as this."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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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."

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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
With The Beatles

  (Item #: beatlwitht_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An incredible sounding copy, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Superb space and immediacy, rich and (relatively) smooth and oh-so-Tubey-Magical lead and harmony vocals - this is exactly the right sound for With The Beatles
  • So many great songs: All My Loving, Please Mr. Postman, Til There Was You, You've Really Got A Hold On Me, Devil In Her Heart... fourteen in all
  • "It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators."
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
With The Beatles

  (Item #: beatlwitht_1901_2) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy is guaranteed to blow the doors off any other With the Beatles you've heard - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Good space and vocal immediacy, relatively rich and smooth, and much more Tubey Magical than most - this is a good way to go for the second Beatles album
  • So many great songs: All My Loving, Please Mr. Postman, Til There Was You, You've Really Got A Hold On Me, Devil In Her Heart... fourteen in all
  • 5 stars: "It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators."
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Bee Gees et al. - Saturday Night Fever

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: beegesatur_2016) 



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

This copy of the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack has truly killer sound throughout, and that ain't no jive talkin'! We collected a bunch of these and put them through the shootout process and were delighted to find out that some of the material on here can sound wonderful on the best pressings.

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Super Hot Stamper

Harry Belafonte
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall

  (Item #: belafbelaf_1901_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • 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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Harry Belafonte - Belafonte at Carnegie Hall

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: belafbelaf_2006) 



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

Harry Pearson brought this record to the attention of audiophiles with his TAS list a long time ago, and rightfully so: it's an amazing recording.

We happen to love the music too, which makes it one of the most recommendable records we have ever offered. If you can find a better combination of demo disc sound, with music worth the hassle and expense of reproducing it properly, more power to you. We sure can't.

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Harry Belafonte - Belafonte... Live!

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: belafbelaf_live_2011) 



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

White Hot Stampers on sides one and three! This copy also has an A++ side two and an A+ side four, so there's a ton of good sound on this fun concert LP. This album features Harry performing on all four sides, but also includes music from some of the guests he brought along to perform with him at the early '70s shows in Toronto from which these performances are taken. The first three sides are all KILLER -- you get real-life immediacy, excellent clarity, breathtaking transparency and boatloads of tubey magic!

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Harry Belafonte - Jump Up Calypso

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: belafjumpu_2012) 



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

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this Living Stereo pressing that should easily beat your DCC version -- or your money back! We played a big stack of these recently and are happy to report that the best copies deliver that old-school RCA tubey magic that brings out the best in Belafonte's music. The sound here is big, lively, rich and full. Only the better copies like this one really brought out the FUN in the music, an essential quality for this material.

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Super Hot Stamper (with Issues)

Harry Belafonte
Sings The Blues

  (Item #: belafsings_1901_issues) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • 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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Harry Belafonte - Sings The Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: belafsings_2016) 



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

If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy may be just the record for you.

Naturally the vocals have to be the main focus on a Harry Belafonte record. He should sound rich and tubey, yet clear, breathy and transparent. To qualify as a Hot Stamper the pressings we offer must be highly resolving, not crude and ambience-challenged the way so many modern LPs seem to be. You should be able to hear every element of the recording, with the voice and instruments surrounded by the natural space of the studios in which the recording was made.

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Jesse Belvin - Mr. Easy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: belvimreas_2016) 



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

Zero distortion. zero smear, huge amounts of space and breathy rich vocals - what's not to like? Marty Paich and Art Pepper lend a hand, and with Al Schmitt behind the board the sound is 1960 Living Stereo Tubey Magic at its finest.

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Tony Bennett - Alone Together

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bennealone_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame from 1960.

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES for this Six-Eye pressing, including a near-White Hot A++ to A+++ side two! This album has Bennett singing a collection of ballads, and when you hear it with this kind of transparency and immediacy it REALLY works. He's one of our favorite singers, so it's a real treat to find a copy with this kind of sound.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bennett & Evans
The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

  (Item #: benneevans_1901_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A wonderful original pressing of this classic collaboration: Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • This album, one of our best Hot Stamper pressings, ranks near the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings
  • Waltz for Debby is the best thing here. You want to hear the Bennett-Evans Magic? Go right to that track
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "One of the best albums of either's career."
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The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

The Best Male Vocal Recording of the Era

  (Item #: benneevans_1975) 



This album, when heard on the best Hot Stamper pressings, ranks right up at the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings from any era. Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

For a Popular/Jazz Vocal album produced in 1975, or, to be honest, the entire decade of the Seventies, we can think of no other that's its sonic equal.

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Bennett & Evans - The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: benneevans_2011) 



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

I would have to say that this album, when heard on the best Hot Stamper pressings, would rank up at the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings. If you like sophisticated vocal jazz I don’t think you can do much better than this record, especially when it sounds like this. Tony Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

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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.

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Super Hot Stamper

Tony Bennett
For Once In My Life

  (Item #: benneforon_1804_1812) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This vintage pressing gives Tony the sound he deserves, with excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both of these early stereo sides
  • Amazing vocal reproduction courtesy of the brilliant engineering of Frank Laico at his favorite studio (and ours), Columbia 30th Street studios
  • We are not big soundstage guys here at Better Records, but we can't deny the appeal of the space to be found on a record as good as this
See all of our Tony Bennett albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Tony Bennett
I Left My Heart In San Francisco

  (Item #: benneileft_1903_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This copy of Tony Bennett's 1962 classic has outstanding sound with a rating of Double Plus (A++) or BETTER on both sides
  • Tubey Magical like you will not believe - this killer copy is as about as huge and as real as it gets
  • Brilliant engineering by Frank Laico at his favorite recording digs (and ours), Columbia 30th Street studios
  • 5 Stars and the winner of two Grammy Awards in 1962 including Record of the Year (not bad!)
See all of our Tony Bennett albums in stock


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Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: benneileft_2015) 



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

Everything that's good about All Tube Vocal Recordings from the '50s and '60s is precisely what's good about the sound of this record.

The huge studio the music was recorded in is captured faithfully here. The height, width and depth of the staging here are extraordinary. We are not big soundstage guys here at Better Records, but we can't deny the appeal of the space to be found on a record as good as this.

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Mastering I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Tubes, Sure, But Are They Any Good?

  (Item #: benneileft_reissues) 



We played a few decent sounding reissues from the '70s that may eventually make it to the site. Again and again my notes made it clear that those pressings could have used more tubes in the mastering chain.

On this record, like so many others you may have read about on the site, the right amount of TUBEY MAGIC -- and by that we mean a very healthy amount -- makes all the difference. Now keep in mind that we are talking about 1962 tubes, not the stuff that engineers are using today to make "tube-mastered" records. Modern pressings barely hint at the Tubey Magical sound of a record like this, if our experience with hundreds of them serves as a guide.

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Super Hot Stamper

Tony Bennett
The Movie Song Album

  (Item #: bennemovie_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Tony Bennett's 1966 album of movie songs arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this superb pressing is full-bodied and lively, with the kind of Tubey Magic Columbia still knew how to get on analog tape
  • Musical Director Johnny Mandel partnered with Neal Hefti and Quincy Jones, arranging and conducting their own compositions, including "Girl Talk," from Harlow, and "Emily," from The Americanization of Emily
  • Some of the songs that Bennett could hardly have sung any better are "Days Of Wine And Roses," "The Shadow Of Your Smile" and "The Second Time Around," the last two previously recorded by Frank Sinatra, and we leave it to you to judge who comes off better
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George Benson - Other Side of Abbey Road

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: bensoother_2013) 



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

An A++ side one backed with an A+++ side two! We just shot out a bunch of these and this copy finished way ahead of the pack. George Benson and a top-notch backing crew (Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Ray Baretto, Freddie Hubbard and many more) knock these jazzy Abbey Road covers out of the park, and Rudy Van Gelder did a great job putting it to tape. Of course not every pressing sounds good, but the best copies like this one are killer!

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Super Hot Stamper

George Benson
White Rabbit

  (Item #: bensowhite_1902_1904) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Open and transparent with wonderfully full-bodied guitars, solid punchy bass and huge amounts of energy
  • Superb engineering by Rudy Van Gelder - features jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, and more
  • "In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins." -- Allmusic, 4 stars
See all of our George Benson albums in stock


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Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story Soundtrack

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: bernswests_2014) 



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

This minty CBS Masterworks reissue LP may have been pressed in the '70s but it sure doesn't sound like it. In fact it sounds about as TUBEY MAGICAL as a record from the '60s would.

If you prize richness, sweetness and correct tonality you will no doubt find this record satisfying. It's got that beautiful Columbia sound that we love here at Better Records.

More of the music of (or music conducted or performed by) Leonard Bernstein


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Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bernswests_2015) 



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

SUPERB sound can be found on these two Columbia stereo pressings of the Broadway Cast recording. This is a huge, spacious, natural, exciting All-Tube Golden Age recording that impressed us no end here at Better Records.

We heard an amazing sounding copy many years ago, and the only reason we haven't done the shootout since then is that we just couldn't find enough clean copies with which to do it. To be clear, we're not talking quiet vinyl, we're talking about not beat-to-death, not all-scractched-up vinyl. People loved this music and they played the hell out of it.

More of the music of (or music conducted or performed by) Leonard Bernstein


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Super Hot Stamper

Big Brother & The Holding Company
Self-Titled

  (Item #: bigbrbigbr_1811_1902) 

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


  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout
  • Forget the Mainstream originals and the Columbia reissues - the solid, rich, Tubey Magical sound here is only found on these copies with these stampers
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout - they didn't press them any quieter in our experience
  • A tough record to find with audiophile quality sound and clean vinyl, two reasons you rarely can find it on the site
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White Hot Stamper

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Free For All

  (Item #: blakefreef_1903) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Insanely good sound throughout for this Blue Note New York label pressing with both sides earning shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound
  • This LP was simply bigger, richer and clearer, with more Tubey Magic, less smear and distortion, and on and on down the list
  • A Van Gelder recording from 1964 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and this pressing delivers that qualitiy like no other copy you've heard - we guarantee it
  • "Free for All is a high point in drummer Art Blakey's enormous catalog. This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Free For All

  (Item #: blakefreef_1903_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Superb sound throughout for this Blue Note pressing with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER
  • The overall sound here is super big, full-bodied and dynamic with plenty of extension on both ends
  • A Van Gelder recording from 1964 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy
  • "Free for All is a high point in drummer Art Blakey's enormous catalog. This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass."
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Super Hot Stamper

Blondie
Autoamerican

  (Item #: blondautoa_1812_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A superb sounding copy of this KILLER New Wave Pop record with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • The overall sound here is super clean, clear and full-bodied with plenty of energy
  • Pretty darn quiet throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "... they continued to expand their stylistic range, with greater success, at least on certain tracks, than they had on Eat to the Beat." - All Music
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White Hot Stamper

Blondie
Autoamerican

  (Item #: blondautoa_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • DEMO DISC Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this poppy New Waver - The Tide Is High sounds amazing here
  • This one was doing it all -- cleaner, clearer, more full-bodied, more energy, and the list goes on
  • Mostly quiet vinyl throughout with one issue - we've dropped the price considerably
  • "... they continued to expand their stylistic range, with greater success, at least on certain tracks, than they had on Eat to the Beat."
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Blondie - Autoamerican

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: blondautoa_2009) 



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

DEMO DISC SOUND on this A+++ Hot Stamper Side One! This is one KILLER New Wave Pop Record. All the Blondie magic you could ever want is in these grooves! The truly POWERFUL sound of this Power Pop Band really comes through on this Bad Boy, or should we say Bad Girl? Whatever. This was the Hands Down Hot Stamper Winner of our latest shootout. Man, we had a ball with this one.

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Super Hot Stamper

Blondie
Eat To The Beat

  (Item #: blondeatto_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

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

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bloodblood_2016) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

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

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

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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.]

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Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills - Super Session

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: bloomsuper_2012) 



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

Possibly the BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD! Neither side suffered from the problems we heard on copy after copy: bright, gritty, spitty, edgy, harsh, upper-midrangy vocals. The Red Labels tend to be worse in this respect, but plenty of original 360 pressings have that sound too. Let's face it: If the vocals are wrong this album pretty much falls apart. Here's a copy that gets the midrange right, along with most everything else, and that puts it way ahead of the pack.

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