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White Hot Stamper

Steely Dan
Aja

  (Item #: steelaja_2006) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • A STUNNING copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - you won't believe how BIG and BOLD the sound is!
  • Punchy, full and smooth, with the kind of rhythmic energy that brings out the jazzy funk in the music, here is the sound you always wanted Aja to have
  • A Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album and a true Demo Disc on an exceptional pressing like this
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records ... a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest. "
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Steely Dan - Aja

Cisco Debunked

  (Item #: steelaja_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing from Cisco / Impex.

I’ve had the opportunity to play our Hot Stampers against the Cisco for friends on more than one occasion. The problem is, the more you listen to the Cisco pressing, the worse it sounds. We wanted to like it, but the more we played it, the more we realized just how wrong it was in too many important ways.

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Steely Dan - Aja

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: steelaja__mobile_fidelity) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

More Mofi Bashing, But Boy Does The MOFI Deserve It.

I remember back in the ’70s when I thought this album sounded pretty good on my plain old ABC original. Then I got a copy of the Mobile Fidelity pressing and I thought it sounded even better. Side two of the MOFI had bass that was only hinted at on my domestic copy.

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Steely Dan - Aja

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: steelaja_2007) 



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

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for -- AJA HOT STAMPERS! Believe me, they don’t get hotter than these. From the first note of Black Cow, you get presence like you’ve never heard -- the sound positively JUMPS out at you! This is the most spacious, transparent, DYNAMIC copy of Aja we've EVER heard -- a DEMO DISC in the truest sense of the word.

We had the chance to go back and do a final round shootout for all the best copies, and this one was BY FAR the most DYNAMIC and PRESENT of them all. Bernie turned off ALL the compression for this bad boy. The ENERGY of the ensemble playing here was simply in a league of its own.

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Steely Dan - Aja

That Kind of Money Damn Well Better Buy You Amazing Sound!

  (Item #: steelaja__testimonial_) 



This letter of the week comes from one of our long time customers, Gary, who was blown away by the sound of our Aja and Fragile Hot Stampers.

Dropping you a line to tell you that these two albums have four of the greatest sounding sides of music I have experienced.

Last week, when the Thursday mailer came out, I happened to be listening to The Yes Album, your hot stamper. I am astounded every time I play that record. I had no choice but to grab your Fragile HS. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on Aja as well, after shooting out the 4 or 5 copies I have. (I have an older HS of yours, but have misplaced it, or it was in the “good but not great” range).

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Steely Dan - Aja

Listening in Depth

(with Free Cisco Debunking Tool)

  (Item #: steelaja_depth) 



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

Our track commentary for the song Home at Last makes it easy to spot an obvious problem with Cisco's remastered Aja: This is the toughest song to get right on side two. Nine out of ten copies have grainy, irritating vocals; the deep bass is often missing too. Home at Last is just plain unpleasant as a rule, which is why it's such a great test track.

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Steely Dan's Aja and Fremer’s Folly

A New Customer Joins in the Fun

  (Item #: steelaja__letter) 



One of our newest Hot Stamper Converts wrote to tell us of his amusement at the inability of certain Golden Ears to recognize and understand how dramatically different seemingly identical records can sound. Please to enjoy Ed’s letter.

It’s amusing that even Golden Ears who have the attention of large readerships can miss and misunderstand so much. You don’t have to understand the technical why of the variability of LPs to appreciate just how profound the audible differences can be from stamper to stamper. Even in acknowledging that differences are present, they do not seem to appreciate the extreme degree of the variation in sound among LPs from different stampers.

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Steely Dan's Aja

Letters, Testimonials and Commentaries

  (Item #: steelaja__overview) 



There are a number of Letters, Testimonials and Commentaries associated with Aja which may be of interest to you. Scroll past the copies currently for sale to read more about Aja, a record we have been playing regularly for more than 35 years (ouch, that makes me feel even older than I already feel).

It's SHOCKING how good this recording can sound when you get a good copy. We could literally spend hours describing what sets the best copies apart from the very good ones, but we've already gone overboard enough with our track commentary, so we will try to keep some of this brief. Although our enthusiasm for this album is out of control, we'll try to keep a lid on it as best we can.

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Why Spend Money on a Top Quality Turntable if You're Going to Play Mediocre Records?

  (Item #: bad180) 



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

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


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