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White Hot Stamper

Burt Bacharach
Reach Out

  (Item #: bachareach_1912) 


  • A KILLER copy of Reach Out, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • This copy was super full-bodied and dynamic with real weight down low, nice bite to the brass, tons of energy and a lot of Tubey Magic.
  • 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
  • "[Reach Out] present[s] Bacharach's vision of his work at its most straightforward, and it is enjoyable on its own terms, as a snapshot of his own sensibilities at that time."
See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Martin Denny - Primitiva  (Item #: dennyprimi_super) 


  • Side one is Super Hot and so 3-D - the sound is clearly live in a very big room
  • Side two is better than Super Hot, with percussion that is beautifully captured on 1958 tape
  • Side one is exceptionally quiet at Mint Minus for an original Black Label Stereo pressing
  • Transistory? Not on your life. There is nothing but Tubey Magical richness and sweetness
See all of our Martin Denny albums in stock


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Martin Denny - Primitiva  (Item #: dennyprimi_2010) 


  • Side one is Super Hot and so 3-D - the sound is clearly live in a very big room
  • Side two is better than Super Hot, with percussion that is beautifully captured on 1958 tape
  • Side one is exceptionally quiet at Mint Minus for an original Black Label Stereo pressing
  • Transistory? Not on your life. There is nothing but Tubey Magical richness and sweetness
See all of our Martin Denny albums in stock


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Andrew Gold - What's Wrong With This Picture?

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: gold_whats_2015) 



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

The best copies of Gold's sophomore release are incredibly rich, sweet and Tubey Magical. They also have tons of deep punchy bass and wonderfully breathy vocals.

If you own many Asylum records, you know this title is yet another example of classic Asylum Analog. Think of the sound of the Eagles first album and you won't be far off.

More Andrew Gold


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Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story (Broadway Cast)

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bernswests_broadway_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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Martin Denny - Exotica

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: dennyexotica_2011) 



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

This second label very quiet Liberty Stereo LP has at least Super Hot Stamper EXOTIC SOUND on both sides, with a side two that may be White Hot. It's hard to know for sure whether side two can get any better than this -- it's pretty darn amazing, some of the most Magically Delicious sound we played in our recent shootout.

Recorded in 1958, you can imagine there is a healthy amount of Tubey Magical richness and sweetness, although this second label copy seems to be cut a bit more cleanly and correctly than some of the first label Denny records we auditioned. The tonality is dead on the money, a quality that the most tubey recordings rarely exhibit; they can easily get overly lush and appear murky.


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Martin Denny - Exotica: Vol. 2

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: dennyexoti_2014) 



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

This Liberty '60s Label Stereo LP has Hot Stamper EXOTIC SOUND on both sides. The cover says it's The Ultimate in Transistorized Stereophonic Hi-Fidelity Sound, but I hear an awful lot of Tubey Magical richness and sweetness. The tonality is actually right on the money, a quality that the heavily tubey recordings rarely exhibit: they can easily get overly lush and turn murky.

More Exotica


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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgella_swings_brightly_2017) 



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

The sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a record this good! The space is HUGE and the sound so rich.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

More Ella Fitzgerald


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The Doors - Morrison Hotel

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: doorsmorri_2018) 



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

Rich, big and full-bodied, with clarity and energy to spare, this is the way you want to hear the Doors' Bluesy Rock. Roadhouse Blues, Waiting For The Sun and Maggie McGill are KILLER on this pressing - all you Doors fans are gonna flip. Circus Magazine praised it as "possibly the best album yet from the Doors" and "Good hard, evil rock, and one of the best albums released this decade."

More by The Doors


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Neil Young - Comes A Time

Our Shootout Winning Copy from 2019

  (Item #: youngcomes_2019) 



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

Here's a copy of Comes A Time that actually delivers the kind of Tubey Analog Magic you get from the good pressings of his earlier albums.

This superb Demo Disc has been overlooked by the audiophile press for thirty years. The best sounding Neil Young records -- just look in our Hot Stamper listings to find them -- have Demo Disc sound to beat the band. I defy anyone to play me a better sounding record than Zuma or Gold Rush. Analog doesn't get any more magical.

More Comes a Time / More Neil Young


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Yes - The Yes Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: yes__yesal_2018) 



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.

Since this is Yes's Masterpiece, not to mention their most well-recorded album, that makes it pretty much a Must Own for anyone who loves their groundbreaking and enormously influential approach to the Extended Form.

More Yes Album / More Yes


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Ten Years After - A Space In Time

Big Production Recordings Need Big Speakers

  (Item #: tenyeaspac_stereo_love) 



A Space in Time is just one of the recordings that made me pursue Big Stereo Systems driving Big Speakers, right from my earliest days in audio. You need large dynamic drivers with plenty of piston area - the kind that can move a lot of air - in order to bring the power of the music to life.

For that you need big drivers in big cabinets, the kind I've been listening to for more than forty five years. (My last small speaker was given the boot around 1974 or so.) To tell you the truth, the Big Sound is the only sound that I enjoy. Nothing less does it for me.

More Ten Years After


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Martin Denny - Exotic Percussion

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: dennyexoti_2011) 



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

This Liberty stereo LP has A++ DEMO DISC SOUND on side one, mated to a pretty darn good side two. The sound is very three-dimensional and has a wonderfully extended top end on this copy. The music just JUMPS out of the speakers. Soundstaging and depth are both superb.

Side two is not quite as open and transparent as side one but we still rate it an A+ for sound; it's far far better than the average copy of this record you can find, if you can find a clean one at all. Fans of TUBEY MAGIC, Golden Age Exotica or Bang, Baa-room & Harp should find much to like here.

More Martin Denny


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Martin Denny - A Taste of Honey

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: dennyatast_2010) 



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

This early stereo Liberty label pressing has BETTER than Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, earning a sonic grade of A++ to A+++. This is not just another exercise in Bachelor Pad Exotica; there is some fun, swingin' jazz here. The pianist -- whoever he is, he's uncredited along with the rest of the band -- has real jazz chops and sympathetic sidemen to play with.

The music is indeed excellent but the real thrill of course is to hear the richness and sweetness of a 1962 Tubey Magical pressing such as this one. Folks, as you well know, they don't make 'em like they used to.

More Martin Denny


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The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

A Forgotten Rock and Pop Classic

  (Item #: beatlforsa_forgotten) 



The Beatles' Forgotten Rock and Pop Classic.

We had a lot of fun reading The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, which details the band's studio history from 1962 - 1970. In the book, George Martin mentions that he felt this album was a rush job and that he has trouble listening to it to this day. As much respect as we have for The Fifth Beatle, we couldn't disagree more. For Sale is simply wonderful.

As we played copy after copy for our shootout, the more enjoyable these 14 Folk Rock songs became. Repeated listening to track after track only enhanced our appreciation. And as is always the case, stumbling upon the Shootout Winning copy was a thrill that allowed us to hear more in the music than we ever thought possible.

More Beatles For Sale


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Christopher Cross - Christopher Cross

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: crosschris_2019) 



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

A KILLER Shootout Winning copy! A+++ on both sides - this is As Good As It Gets for this Monster Album from 1979. This pressing is clearly fuller, bigger, more lively and more Tubey Magical than any other copy we played, and squarely in the best tradition of late-'70s pop productions. This one swept the Grammy awards, with great songs including Sailing, Ride Like The Wind and Never Be The Same - Michael McDonald's gorgeous harmonies are the icing on the cake.

More Christopher Cross


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Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

We Loved This Copy So Much in 2005 We Asked $200 for It

  (Item #: youngafter_2005_) 



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

This is the story of how we discovered our very first killer copy of After the Gold Rush. What a thrill it was to finally hear the album sound so amazing, this after hearing so many mediocre copies over the years. It's records like this that made us eventually put 100% of our resources into finding records that sound like this one -- or better!

This is the way we heard After the Gold Rush in 2005. Embarrassingly, we liked it so much we compared it to the best DCC records we were selling back then, ouch!

More After the Gold Rush


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Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: rolliletit_2018) 



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

This is, IMHO, the second or third best record the Stones ever made. (Sticky Fingers is Number One, and either this or Beggar's Banquet comes in a strong second.) With this pressing we can now hear the power and the beauty of this superb recording.

Love In Vain on a copy like this is one of the best sounding Rolling Stones songs of all time. In previous listings I've mentioned how good this song sounds -- thanks to Glyn Johns, of course -- but on these amazing Hot Stamper copies it is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

More Rolling Stones


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Julie London - Lonely Girl

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: londolonel_2017) 



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

A Knockout recording of female vocal with guitar: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side, seriously good Double Plus (A++) on the second. Julie is in the room with you - intimate, breathy and Tubey Magical like practically nothing you've ever heard. For late night listening this is surely one of the best Sultry Female Vocal recordings ever made - you won't believe how real the sound is.

More Julie London


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Julie London - Julie

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: londojulie_2016) 



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

Stunning Julie London sound! We are constantly picking up Julie London records, whatever we can find, in the hopes that we'll stumble upon one that sounds like this. Usually we aren't so lucky, but man is this one something! If you love jazzy female vocal records, you're going to flip out over this pressing.

More Julie London


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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What to Listen For

  (Item #: londojulie_is_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

On side one listen to how rich the bottom end is on Barney Kessel's guitar. The Tubey Magic on this side is off the charts. Some copies can be dry, but that is clearly not a problem on this one. The naturalness of the presentation puts this album right at the top of best sounding female vocal albums of all time.

More Julie London


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Julie London - Julie Is Her Name

What a Record!

  (Item #: londojulie_is_2016) 



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

We award this copy's side one our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a given recording to a level we've never experienced before and had no idea could even exist. We estimate that about one per cent of the Hot Stamper pressings we come across in our shootouts earn this grade. You can't get much more rare than that.

More Julie London


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Duke Ellington - Ellington Indigos

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: ellinindig_2018) 



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

This 6-Eye Stereo pressing blew us away with its superbly well recorded romantic big band jazz, of which Ellington was a master. Both sides of this pressing are huge, rich, tubey and clear. This is absolutely the right sound for this music. A near-perfect demonstration of just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be - no modern record can hold a candle to a pressing as good as this one. If you like your jazz ballads performed with deep feeling, by a road-tested group of virtuoso players, this record is for you.

More Duke Ellington


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Spooky Tooth - It’s All About

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: spookitsal_2008) 



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

This lovely Island Sunray British Import LP has some of the BEST SOUND I’ve ever heard for this band. Glyn Johns has done it again! Side one is amazing -- super sweet and spacious, OVERFLOWING with tubey magic. If you love trippy pop as much as we do here at Better Records -- think Dark Side of the Moon, Taking Tiger Mountain, Ambrosia, Magical Mystery Tour, Thick As A Brick and the like -- you may find this one right up your alley.

The sound by Glyn Johns absolutely blew us away; not many records in the last thirty years have been recorded this well.

More Spooky Tooth


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Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: ledzehouse_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

We can describe the sound in two words: ridiculously bright. Honestly, what more need be said?

Over the years we have done many Led Zeppelin shootouts, often including the Classic Heavy Vinyl Pressings for comparison purposes. After all, these Classic LPs are what many -- perhaps most -- audiophiles consider superior to other pressings.

More Houses of the Holy


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Rossini / Overtures / Maag / PCO

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rossiovert_2013) 



The London and Decca original pressings are the best, right?

Not in our experience. We think that's just another Record Myth.

This Stereo Treasury pressing of Maag's 1958 recording is shockingly good in many ways. It sure doesn't sound like a budget reissue. If anything it sounds more original than the originals we played against it!

More of the music of Ottorino Rossini (1879-1936)


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King Crimson - Lizard

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: kingclizar_2018) 



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

  • Incredible sound throughout with both sides of this copy winning our recent shootout and in the process earning our top grade of Triple Plus (A+++). Every bit the sonic equal of the first album, if you colorful Big Production Jazzy Prog Rock (with mellotron!) is your thing you can't go wrong here.
    More King Crimson


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  • Martin Denny - Quiet Village

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: dennyquiet_2010) 



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

    This Superb sounding Hot Stamper copy of Quiet Village has a lot in common with the other Bachelor Pad / Exotica titles we've listed over the years, albums by the likes of Esquivel, Dick Schory, Edmundo Ros, Arthur Lyman and others.

    But c'mon, nobody really buys these records for the music (although the music is thoroughly enchanting). It's all about the Tubey Magical Stereoscopic presentation, the wacky 3-D sound effects (of real birds and otherwise) and the heavily percussive arrangements. In all of these areas and more this record does not disappoint.

    More Martin Denny


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    Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: ellinmaste_2018) 



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

    We've known about this wonderful album for decades, since first got hold of a red label copy from the '70s. Although not in the league with the best 6 eye pressings, even that late reissue had enough Columbia magic left in its grooves to impress the hell out of me.

    And the fact that a jazz album recorded in 1950 was still in print more than twenty years later is testament to the lasting power of Ellington's music. As Kenny Burrell would say, "Ellington Is Forever."

    More Duke Ellington


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    Roy Orbison - The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: orbisallti_2018) 



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

    The depth, the spaciousness, the richness -- this one has it all. It seems as though Bill Porter just does not know how to not make an amazing recording, whether for Monument or Living Stereo. Everything the guy touches is GOLD! Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality -- everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

    More Roy Orbison


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    Sarah Vaughan - Dreamy

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: vaughdream_2018) 



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

    The original release for Dreamy is on Roulette, a label we have often found to have problems in the sound department (not to mention notoriously bad vinyl). The originals we've played over the years have much too much honk and hardness in the midrange to be taken seriously, at least by us anyway, and certainly not at these prices. When we stumbled upon these good Emus reissues, the skies opened up and the sun shone down upon Sarah's wonderful 1960 album of ballads as it had never done before.

    More Sarah Vaughan


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    Elton John - Madman Across The Water

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: john_madma_2016) 



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

    Shockingly good sound, the best sound for any copy that has ever made it to the site. This Madman is guaranteed to blow your mind. It certainly blew ours.

    A ridiculously tough album to find with the right sound and reasonably quiet surfaces -- which is why we never have them on the site.

    More Elton John


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    Dean Martin - Dream With Dean

    Watch Out for Hard and Honky Vocals

      (Item #: martidream_wtlf) 



    Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

    Dream with Dean is great for finding any traces of "honk" in your midrange. Getting Deano's baritone to sound tubey and rich, to get the sound that Bing Crosby could get just by opening his mouth, is not all that easy on some systems, mine included. Correctly set VTA is critical in this regard, but pretty much everything must be working at its best for Dean to sound as intimate and natural as we know he can on the best pressings.

    More Dean Martin


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    Elvis Presley - Fun In Acapulco

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: preslfunin_2015) 



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

    Finding clean real Elvis records -- not those crappy compilations and vault-leftovers, but real Elvis albums from his golden period when he was the true King of Pop (sorry Michael) -- has never been a walk in the park. We do the best we can.

    Fortunately there are some reissues from the '60s and '70s that have the potential for excellent sound. This is clearly one of them. The originals we see are a lost cause; they're practically always scratched and full of groove damage. We'd be lucky to find a clean one every five or ten years nowadays.

    More Elvis Presley


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    Dave Brubeck - Countdown - Time In Outer Space

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: brubecount_2016) 



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

    Clean and Clear, Yet Rich and Sweet. This copy managed to find the perfect balance of these attributes. You want that rare copy that keeps what is good about a Tubey Magical analog recording from The Golden Age of Jazz while managing to avoid the pitfalls so common to them: smear, lack of top end extension, opacity and blubber. To be sure, the fault is not with the recording (I guess; again, not having heard the master tape) but with the typically mediocre pressing.

    More Dave Brubeck


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    Arthur Lyman - Taboo: The Exotic Sounds of Arthur Lyman

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: lymantaboo_2013) 



    This out-of-this-world WHITE HOT Stamper side two of Taboo blew our minds with its uncanny three-dimensional recreation of space. It's so transparent and boundless you'll feel like you are standing right on the stage with these guys and their birds! If you're an audiophile, both the sound and the music are crazy fun. If you want to demonstrate just how good 1959 All Tube Analog sound can be, this is the record that can do it, maybe better than any other.
    More Exotica


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    Arthur Lyman - Bwana A

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: lymanbwana_2011) 



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

    White Hot Stamper sound, with a big stage, Tubey Magic and correct tonality from top to bottom. There's plenty going on at the extreme top - the rare copy that has it all!

    Everywhere else the sound is tonally and timbrally Right On The Money. It's very lively, with tight, clear bass. Listen to how open the sound is. That sound is just not to be found on popular albums anymore.

    More Exotica


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    The Everly Brothers - The Golden Hits of...

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: everlgolde_2018) 



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

    Our original Gold Label stereo LP here has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s no doubt missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 50+ year old tapes. As good as that pressing may be, we guarantee that this one is dramatically more REAL SOUNDING. It gives you the sense that Phil and Don are right in the room with you.

    More Everly Brothers


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    Luiz Bonfa - Softly...

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: bonfasoftl_2017) 



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

    There is a wonderful array of percussion on this record, so the top end of any pressing should ideally be extended, clear and sweet. Some pressings of Softly... have no real top end, which is the reason we have to do shootouts -- to find the copies that are actually mastered and pressed right, not just the ones that should have been because they have the right stampers or are on the right label.

    On this record there's plenty of information above 12K I would guess -- all those delicate percussion instruments ring so sweetly, the highs have to be extending way up there.

    See more recordings with especially Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars


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    Gershwin / An American In Paris & Rhapsody In Blue

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: gershrhaps_6091_2015) 



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

    I’ve always loved these performances, but the shrill Columbia sound has been hard to get past. So many copies suffer from upper-midrangy, glary, hard sound and blary brass. I've come to accept that this is nothing more nor less than the "Columbia Sound," and as a consequence I rarely put much effort into surveying their prodigious catalog these days.

    I won't say all that's changed; it really hasn't. The vast majority of Columbia classical pressings are still going to sound as awful as they have in the past.

    More of the music of George Gershwin


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    Morton Gould and His Orchestra - Love Walked In

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: gouldlovew_2011) 



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

    This Super Hot Stamper (or better!) Living Stereo Shaded Dog pressing has SUPERB TUBEY MAGICAL Golden Age sound the likes of which you will not believe. (If you've bought some of our best Hot Stamper Living Stereo recordings then you will have no trouble believing it I'm sure.)

    Side two displays some of the richest, most three-dimensional orchestral sound we have heard in quite some time. The fifth track is especially notable for a pizzicato arrangement that makes it a DEMO DISC track to beat them all. Plucked strings simply do not sound any better!

    See more of our most Tubey Magical recordings


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    Lou Reed - Transformer

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: reed_trans_2017) 



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

    Transformer is an absolute tour de force of '70s Glam Rock / Classic Rock / Alternative Rock. You've got Lou Reed teamed up with David Bowie (in the producer's chair!), Mick Ronson, Herbie Flowers and Klaus Voorman, and on top of that the album was recorded at Trident and mixed by the great Ken Scott.

    More Lou Reed / More David Bowie


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    The Everly Brothers - The Very Best of the Everly Brothers

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: everlveryb_2014) 



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

    This compilation contains some real Warners recordings (from after 1960, when they signed with the label) mixed with some re-recordings of their best classic Cadence material, to make an album with as many hits and great songs as a single album can hold.

    In stereo, on the original WB Gold Label, with really quiet vinyl -- this is the one!

    More Everly Brothers


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    Perez Prado - Pops and Prado

    A Killer Bob Simpson Recording

      (Item #: pradopopsa_2016) 



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

    A wonderful copy with a White Hot Stamper side two - unbelievably Tubey Magical and spacious. Side one was Super Hot and maybe a bit better - the top is extended, and the reverb is positively luscious. This is vintage analog at its best -- the magic really comes through on this pressing. Credit for the Demo Disc sound of this one must go to the amazing Bob Simpson, working in glorious Webster Hall.

    BOB SIMPSON won the Grammy for engineering Belafonte at Carnegie Hall you may recall.



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    Elvis Presley - It Happened At The World's Fair

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: preslithap_2017) 



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

    This pressing has the glorious sound of 1963 in its grooves. It has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.

    More Elvis Presley


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    Johnny Mathis - Heavenly

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: mathiheave_2017) 



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

    This copy had all the Tubey Magical richness of the best coupled with the hardest thing to find on an old Columbia record: top end extension. Natural vocal reproduction is the sine qua non of a Johnny Mathis album - this pressing showed us just how good Columbia was back in 1959.

    More Johnny Mathis


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    Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: electnewwo_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

    As a result of Jeff Lynne's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production approach, it will be the rare copy that provides enough transparency and resolution to bring out all the elements in these incredibly dense mixes, strings included. But when you find a copy that does, what a THRILL it is. This is the band's MASTERPIECE in my humble opinion. For audiophiles ELO on LP doesn't get any better.

    More Electric Light Orchestra


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    Frank Zappa - Weasels Ripped My Flesh

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: zappawease_2013) 



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

    TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Nothing else in our shootout could touch this copy. The sound is incredibly BIG and BOLD throughout with shocking clarity, amazing presence, and wonderful transparency.

    If you’re not already a Zappa fan, be warned that experimental song structures, feedback, dirty lyrics, avant garde jazz freakouts and gas mask solos (yes, you read that right) all figure into the mix here. I don’t know of anyone else who could shape that all into one amazing, fairly cohesive LP except for Zappa.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps

    Just How Good Is a Second Tier Neil Young Album?

      (Item #: youngrustn_wtlf) 



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

    AMG raves about this album, giving it 5 big stars. (For those of you keeping score at home, that's half a star MORE than they gave Harvest.) We like the album just fine, but I doubt we would want to go quite that far. Sure, these are great songs, but give us After The Gold Rush, Zuma or Harvest (all Top 100 titles, Hot Stampers of which are sometimes in stock) over this one any day.

    Still, a second tier Neil Young album (by our standards) usually will beat a first tier album from just about anybody else making records in 1979.

    More Neil Young


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    Bob and Ray - Throw a Stereo Spectacular

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: bobanthrow_2010) 



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

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

    More Living Stereo


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    The Pentangle - The Pentangle

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: pentapentangle_2016) 



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

    This is an honest-to-goodness Demo Disc. When for a (thankfully) brief time back in the '70s I was selling audio equipment, the song "Pentangling" was a favorite demo cut to play in the store. The sound of the string bass and snare drum are amazingly natural; I don't know of any other pop album from the era that presents the vibrant timbre of those two instruments better.

    More Pentangle


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    Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Reunion (1963)

    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.

    More Louis Armstrong / More Duke Ellington


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    David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name...

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: crosbifico_2016) 



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

    BEYOND TRIPLE TRIPLE! This Top Copy had a side one that blew us away enough to earn FOUR Pluses!

    Here it is, folks... a TRUE ROCK DEMO DISC! A White Hot Stamper copy such as this will show you why we've long considered it one of the All Time Top Ten Rock Albums for Sound and Music. You will not believe how Tubey Magical and three-dimensional this album can be when you have a pressing with this kind of sound. The harmonic complexity and extension on the acoustic guitars are absolutely stunning!

    More David Crosby


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    Big Brother & The Holding Company

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: bigbrbigbr_2016) 



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

    This album has got that trippy '60s San Francisco sound, no doubt about it. Those of you who are familiar with Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow or the early Grateful Dead albums know what I'm talking about. Like you might expect from this mixture of blues and psychedelic rock, the sound can be a bit raw. That's surely the way the band wanted you to hear it, and this copy gives you, more than anything else, the right sound for this music.

    More Janis Joplin


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    Steeleye Span - All Around My Hat

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: steelallar_2013) 



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

    The best copy to ever hit the site! It ain't easy to find clean British pressings of this one, which is why it's taken us so long to get a copy like this up on the site. We played a good sized stack of these recently and only a couple did the job well enough to be considered Hot Stampers. This one is a big step up, with way less of the thick / murky / veiled sound that plagues many copies.

    See all of our Folk albums in stock


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    Cat Stevens - Catch Bull At Four

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: stevecatch_2016) 



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

    If you're familiar with what the best Hot Stamper pressings of Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat or Mona Bone Jakon can sound like -- amazing is the word that comes to mind -- then you should easily be able to imagine how good this killer copy of Catch Bull at Four sounds.

    All the ingredients for a Classic Cat Stevens album were in place for this release which came out in 1972, about a year after Teaser and the Firecat. His brilliant guitar player Alun Davies is still in the band, and Paul Samwell-Smith is still producing as brilliantly as ever.

    More Catch Bull at Four


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    The Doors - The Doors

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: doorsdoors_wtlf) 



    What to Listen For? you ask?

    ENERGY and RAW POWER. Few audiophiles have any idea how well recorded this album is, simply because most pressings don't do a very good job of encoding the life of the master tape onto the vinyl of the day, regardless of whether that day is in 1967 or 2017.

    The first Doors album is without a doubt the punchiest, liveliest, most powerful recording in the entire Doors catalog.

    More by The Doors


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    Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: zappahotra_2012) 



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

    It takes us YEARS to find copies that sound like this. Bernie’s version for Classic beats a lot of copies out there, but it can’t hold a candle to this one!

    I've been listening to Hot Rats since I was in high school. It's still remarkably fresh and original, even now. This is not music for the faint of heart. Audiophiles who prefer a steady diet of Patricia Barber and her like will find little of interest here. But for those of you who want to explore something completely original and a bit "out there," this should be right up your alley -- and be sure to check out Waka Jawaka too.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Marty Robbins - Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: robbigunfi_2014) 



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

    TWO SUPERB TRIPLE PLUS SIDES, with the kind of '50's Tubey Magical Analog Sound that's been lost to the world of recorded music for decades -- decades I tell you! Nobody can manage to get a recording to sound like this anymore and it seems as if no one can even remaster a recording like this anymore, if our direct experience with scores of such albums counts as any sort of evidence.

    More Marty Robbins


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    Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back!

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: preslelvis_is_back_2015) 



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

    What a great Elvis album. Fever is the killer jam on the first side and the material throughout is of very high quality.

    Finding clean real Elvis records -- not those crappy compilations and vault-leftovers, but real Elvis albums from his golden period when he was the true King of Pop (sorry Michael) -- has never been a walk in the park. We do the best we can.

    More Elvis Presley


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    Jimi Hendrix - Rainbow Bridge

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: hendrrainb_2009) 



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

    THE NEW ALL-TIME CHAMPION FOR SIDE ONE! We played over a dozen copies this week, split evenly between domestics and Brit imports -- and this bad boy absolutely MURDERED the competition.

    Drop the needle on Dolly Dagger or Pali Gap and prepare to be floored! You won’t believe the big-time presence, the mindblowing energy, or the massive WHOMP factor! This copy has the tightest bass we’ve ever heard for this album, plus an unbelievable amount of Tubey Magic.

    More Jimi Hendrix


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    Rozsa / Music From the Film Ben Hur

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: rozsabenhu_2010) 



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

    This TAS List Super Hot Stamper pressing of one of the greatest and most famous Orchestral Blockbuster Soundtracks ever recorded more than lives up to our expectations for Decca Phase 4. This is Phase 4 done RIGHT.

    As with all the best Herrmann releases, the huge size and scope you hear is the sound of orchestral music recorded in glorious ANALOG!

    See all of our Phase 4 albums in stock


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    Rick Nelson - Garden Party

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: nelsogarde_2010) 



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

    UNBELIEVABLE TUBEY ANALOG MAGIC on this very fun Rick Nelson album. Who woulda thunk it? We went through a big stack of these and couldn’t believe the wonderful DEMO QUALITY sound we heard on the best copies. It’s PURE AUDIOPHILE GOLD!

    If you like the sound of albums engineered by Stephen Barncard (think Deja Vu, American Beauty and Tarkio for starters) then you are going to find much to like about the sound of this one. The country-tinged opening track, complete with pedal steel guitar, sounds amazing on a copy like this.


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    Traffic - Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: traffshoot_2015) 



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

    Import versus domestic? You would be hard pressed to find better sound than on the best of these DOMESTIC pressings, and that includes Low Spark of High Heeled Boys!

    We just finished a huge shootout for this album and didn't find a copy that could hold a candle to this one in the huge stack we played. This may not be the best Traffic album ever, but on a copy that sounds this good it's very enjoyable and certainly an impressive sonic spectacular.

    See all of our Traffic albums in stock


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    Which Album by The Who Has the Best Sound?

    We Think It's Tommy

      (Item #: who__tommy_sounds_best) 



    I don't know of another Who album with such consistently good sound -- song to song, not copy to copy, of course. Just about every song on here can sound wonderful on the right pressing. If you're lucky enough to get a Hot Stamper copy, you're going to be blown away by the Tubey Magical Guitars, the rock-solid bottom end, the jumpin'-out-of-the-speakers presence and dynamics, and the silky vocals and top end. Usually the best we can give you for The Who is "Big and Rockin," but on Tommy, we can give you '60s analog magic like you will rarely hear in the decades to follow.

    Acoustic guitar reproduction is key to this recording, and on the best copies the harmonic coherency, the richness, the body and the phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard in every strum.

    More Tommy


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    Brewer & Shipley - Weeds

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: breweweeds_2017) 



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

    It took two copies on two different labels to give you BETTER than Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the two sides of this 2-pack. These sides were beyond anything we had ever heard, with weight and Tubey Magic to put other records to shame. On the best copies the midrange is amazingly relaxed and natural, yet completely clear and present. This Bay Area Hippie Folk Rock has much in common with classic albums like Workingman's Dead and CSN's first.

    See all of our Brewer & Shipley albums in stock


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    The Beatles - Help

    Germans Versus Brits

      (Item #: beatlhelp_2011) 



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

    We've heard some excellent German pressings before, but this time [circa 2011] nothing could match up to our best Brit copies. What the best British copies have is more of the TUBEY MAGIC that can typically be heard on early pressings, due no doubt to the fact that they are mastered with tube equipment.

    More Help


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    David Bowie - Space Oddity

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: bowiespace_2014) 



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

    One of the reasons the song "Space Oddity" sounds so amazing is that it was produced by none other than Gus Dudgeon, the man behind all the best Elton John records. It has Paul Buckmaster doing the string arrangements as well. His work on Elton's self-titled album is awe-inspiring; we know of none better.

    More David Bowie


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    Donovan - The Hurdy Gurdy Man

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: donovhurdy_2013) 



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

    The 1968 sound here is GLORIOUS — rich, sweet, Tubey Magical and very, very Analog.

    Side one is where you will find The Hurdy Gurdy Man and it is crazy good sounding here. No wonder: Hurdy Gurdy was engineered by Eddie Kramer and produced by none other than John Paul Jones.

    More Donovan / More Hippie Folk Rock


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    Art Pepper + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: peppemoder_yellow_2008) 



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

    Oh Yeah! This Contemporary Yellow Label LP DESTROYED the competition in our big shootout this week, rating ABOVE A++ on BOTH SIDES. We didn’t hear better sound for either side on any other copy we played. Drop the needle on any track and prepare yourself to be BLOWN AWAY! The sound is full-bodied and energetic with tight bass, breathy brass, and lots of ambience.

    More Art Pepper


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    David Bowie - Pin-Ups

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: bowiepinup_2009) 



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

    We just finished our biggest-ever shootout for this fun Bowie album and this one was DRAMATICALLY better than most other copies. We played copies from all over the world -- England, Germany, France, Canada, and the good ol' USA -- and heard all kinds of bad sound. This one is no Demo Disc (I don't there's a copy in the world that would fit that description) but it's a HUGE step up over just about anything else you could expect to find. The sound is lively, natural, and smooth with all the tubey magic you could ask for.

    More David Bowie


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    Cat Stevens - Mona Bone Jakon

    Notes from an Early Shootout (2007)

      (Item #: stevemonab_2007) 



    This album is one of Cat's top four titles both musically and sonically. Tea and Teaser are in a league of their own, but this album and Catch Bull At Four are close behind. The music is WONDERFUL -- the best tracks (including I Wish I Wish and I Think I See The Light) rank right up there with anything from his catalog. Sonically, it's not an epic recording on the scale of Tea or Teaser [WRONG] but with Paul Samwell-Smith at the helm you can be sure it's an excellent sounding album -- on the right pressing.

    More Mona Bone Jakon


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    Martin Denny - The Versatile Martin Denny

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: dennyversa_2009) 



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

    This early stereo Liberty label pressing has BETTER than Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, earning a sonic grade of A++ to A+++. This is not just another exercise in Bachelor Pad Exotica; there is some fun, swingin' jazz here. Martin Denny on piano has real jazz chops and sympathetic sidemen to play with.

    More Martin Denny


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    Henry Mancini - Charade

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: mancichara_2013) 



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

    This Living Stereo RCA LP has TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES, giving you a healthy dose of the Living Stereo Tubey Magic we love here at Better Records. As is usually the case with Mancini's records, some tracks sound far better than others. Charade is a particularly good sounding song on side two, with superb reproduction of both female and male voices, rich and sweet in the best tradition of RCA from the Golden Age. More good stuff on side two? Drop the needle on Latin Snowfall to hear exactly what I’m talking about.

    More Henry Mancini


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    Ray Charles - All Time Great Country & Western Hits

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: charlallti_2011) 



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

    EXCELLENT SOUND and mostly quiet vinyl throughout, the big highlights being an A++ side three and an A+++ side four! We finally found enough copies of this album to do another proper shootout, and this one was one of the very best. Drop the needle on side four to find out just how amazing Ray Charles can sound on vinyl when you've got a killer pressing. The vocals are silky and breathy with natural texture and amazing presence. You will not believe how much tubey magic you get on this side!

    More Ray Charles


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    Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: electnewwo_2008) 



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

    Even though I am not the world's biggest ELO fan, I am a HUGE fan of this album, which is why I’m so happy to have finally found one with AMAZING SOUND, on both sides! The British originals are the only ones that can convey the sweet TUBEY MAGIC of the British Master Tapes. The string tone on the average domestic copy is shrill and smeary; too little of the critically important texture remains after the master tapes have been dubbed and the copies sent to America for mastering.

    More ELO


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    June Christy - The Misty Miss Christy

    Our Shootout Winner from 2006

      (Item #: chrismisty_2006) 



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

    This very nice looking Capitol LP has SUPERB SOUND. It’s RICH, SWEET and full of TUBEY MAGIC. It could use a bit more top end but other than that it’s hard to imagine June sounding much better than she does here.

    More June Christy


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    The Hi-Lo's - All Over The Place

    Reviewed in 2014

      (Item #: hilosallov_2014) 



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

    Side two is nearly White Hot, with rich, natural vocal reproduction. This is the glorious sound of Columbia's All Tube chain in 1960. Marty Paich (the genius) is back conducting the orchestra for this set of standards.

    More Popular Vocals


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    Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

    Listening in Depth

      (Item #: zappahotra_depth) 



    Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

    One quality that the best copies always have, and the Classic reissue has none of, is Tubey Magic. The Classic is clean, and at first that seems like a neat trick since the originals tend to be a bit murky and congested. But it's clean like a CD is clean, in all the wrong ways. This is analog? You could've fooled me.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    The Not So "Golden Age" of RCA, Mercury, London and more

      (Item #: rca_golden_age) 



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

    We ran into a number of copies of this title that had what we like to call that "Old Record" sound, which is surprisingly common on even the most revered Golden Age labels, RCA included.

    No top, no real bottom, congested climaxes and an overall shrillness to the sound -- we've played Living Stereos by the dozens that have these shortcomings and many more. Some audiophiles may be impressed by the average Shaded Dog pressing, but I can assure you that we here at Better Records are decidedly not of that persuasion. Something in the range of ten to fifteen per cent of the major label Golden Age recordings we play will eventually make it to the site. The vast majority just don't sound all that good to us.


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    Peggy Lee - Guitars Ala Lee

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: lee_guita_2016) 



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

    Full-bodied sound, open and spacious, bursting with life and energy -- these are the hallmarks of our Truly Hot Stampers. If your stereo is cookin' these days this copy of Guitars Ala Lee will be an unparalleled Sonic Treat.

    We guarantee that no heavy vinyl pressing, of this or any other album, has the kind of analog magic found here.

    More Peggy Lee


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    Chet Atkins / Chet Atkins in Hollywood

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: atkininhol_2008) 



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

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

    More Chet Atkins


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    Chet Atkins - Chet Atkins In Hollywood

    Our Shootout Winner from 2007

      (Item #: atkininhol_2007) 



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

    This Minty looking RCA Victor LP has an AMAZING SIDE TWO backed with a great side one. Side two is full of the tubey magic that’s missing from the Classic Records version and it has a wonderfully extended top end. Side one lacks some of the top end extension found on side two but the first track has that tubey Nashville sound that we love here at Better Records. The rest of the side is pretty damn good as well.

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

    More Chet Atkins


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    Chet Atkins - Mister Guitar

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: atkinmiste_2009) 



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

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

    More Chet Atkins


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    Chet Atkins - Mister Guitar

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: atkinmiste_2011) 



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


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    Liszt, Khatchaturian et al. / Fiedler / BPO

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: lisztliebe_2546_2015) 



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

    Breathtaking 1961 Living Stereo sound on side two - huge, open and Tubey Magical as all get out. Living Stereo Hot Stampers mean the hall is huge, the strings rich and sweetly textured. Vaughan Williams' arrangement of Fantasia On "Greensleeves" is especially lovely here. Fiedler and his Boston Pops play these 8 shorter pieces with great gusto and skill.

    See more recordings conducted by Arthur Fiedler


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    Bread - On The Waters

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: breadonthe_2012) 



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

    Hot Stampers have finally been discovered for the most consistent and BEST SOUNDING of the Bread albums (not counting the Best of Bread compilation, one of our long time favorites here at Better Records, but a compilation nevertheless). This is the record that put their heavily Beatles-inflected Pure Pop on the map, and at the top of the charts with their Number One hit single Make It With You.

    More Pure Pop for Now People


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    XTC - English Settlement

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: xtc__engli_wtlf_2017) 



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

    For Big Production Rock Albums like English Settlement there are some obvious problem areas that are often heard on at least one or two sides of practically any copy of this four sided album.

    With so many heavily-produced instruments crammed into the soundfield, if the overall sound is at all veiled, recessed or smeared -- problems common to 90+% of the records we play in our shootouts -- the mix quickly becomes opaque, forcing the listener to work too hard to separate out the elements of interest.

    A Big Speaker Record if ever there was one.


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    The Hi-Lo’s - And All That Jazz

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: hilosandal_2012) 



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

    This Columbia Six-Eye LP has TWO STUNNING SIDES, easily the best we heard in our entire shootout! This is a superb recording, and a copy like this is a true Demo Disc. The vocals are perfection, and every instrument sounds correct and REAL here, with the transparency and clarity to put you right there with the players.

    More Pop & Jazz Vocal LPs


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    Edmundo Ros - Ros On Broadway

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: ros__onbro_2009) 



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

    Edmundo Ros and his orchestra don't command much respect these days from the general record buying public. As for audiophiles, it's doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. But we at Better Records are going to change that, starting with this very record, because it's one of the best sounding records we have ever heard. Stampers just do not get any HOTTER than these!

    From the perspective of a level playing field, I cannot think of a single rock record that sounds as BIG and DYNAMIC, nor one that is as spacious and clear, as is the side two of this London Blueback. As good as the best German pressings of Dark Side of the Moon may be, shockingly good in fact, this recording is clearly more exciting and lifelike, with instrumental timbres that are uncannily accurate.


      more Info











    Edmundo Ros - Latin Hits I Missed

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: ros__latin_2011) 



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

    It's unfortunate that Edmundo Ros and his orchestra command so little respect these days from the general record buying public. As for audiophiles, it's doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. We at Better Records are doing our best to change all that, continuing with this, the second Ros title we've managed to find with amazing sound and music since the first one went up in 2013. It's one of the liveliest, best sounding Phase 4 titles we have heard in quite a while. Stampers simply do not get much hotter than these.

    More Phase 4


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    Dave Brubeck - Bossa Nova USA

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: brubebossa_2015) 



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

    Who knew? Not us and not anybody else it seems. We are not aware that any of the audiophile cognoscenti have ever taken this recording seriously, but that just goes to show how uninformed -- or perhaps more likely underinformed -- they've always been.

    Gems such as this sit undiscovered even after thousands of pages of audiophile record reviews have been written. Then, along come a handful of guys in Thousand Oaks, California many years later, 52 to be exact, and reveal to the world a heretofore all but unknown yet nonetheless amazing Brubeck record.

    See all of our Dave Brubeck albums in stock


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    After the Gold Rush Hot Stampers

    People Just Love 'Em

      (Item #: youngafter_letters) 



    From time to time our customers like to tell us just how much they are enjoying our Hot Stamper pressings, and we here at Better Records love to read the LETTERS they write. We've reprinted a few below.

    An excerpt: "I don't always agree with everyone else on which record pressings sound best, but this record knocked my socks off."

    After the Gold Rush


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    Marty Robbins - Hawaii's Calling Me

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: robbihawai_2015) 



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

    Hearing this kind of Tubey Magical, tonally correct, rich, sweet, spacious sound is nothing less than a THRILL. The Analog sound of this pressing makes a mockery of even the most advanced digital playback systems, including the ones that haven't been invented yet. I'd love to play this for Neil Young so he can see what he's up against. Good Luck, Neil, you're going to need it.

    More Marty Robbins


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    Renaissance - Renaissance

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: renairenai_2012) 



    Prog fans take note: this is one AMAZING sounding recording.

    And why shouldn't it be? It's engineered by ANDY JOHNS (Led Zeppelin II and many more) and produced by Paul Samwell-Smith (Cat Stevens!), so its audiophile credentials are more than in order. Some of the best recordings we have ever heard involved one of these guys, and on this one you get them both. That's almost too much production talent for one album.

    More Prog Rock


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    Chopin and Delibes / Les Sylphides / Maag / PCO

    Reviewed in 2005

      (Item #: chopilessy_2005) 



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

    A dynamic and excellent pressing. This record has lovely string tone. Lots of tubey magic. Not one of the rarest Londons, but certainly one of the most enjoyable.

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

    More of the music of Frederic Chopin


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    Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills

    Our Shootout Winner from 2008

      (Item #: stillsteph_2008) 



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

    TWO YEARS LATER, Stephen Stills Hot Stampers are BACK! We’ve had an unbelievably hard time finding copies of this album that lived up to our expectations, prompting much of my crew to argue that it just could not be done. Folks, today is the day where the Doubting Thomases of Better Records are proven WRONG. We didn’t find copies that sounded just as good as I remembered -- no, we found copies that went BEYOND what I had hoped for. To the CSN(Y) fans who visit our site, and I know there are lots of you, prepare to be BLOWN AWAY. You are going to freak out over this record!

    More Stephen Stills


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    Led Zeppelin III

    Proof that Jimmy Page Was a Brilliant Producer

      (Item #: ledze3_page) 



    The startling resolution and transparency found on the best copies of Zep III let you hear every element in the huge soundfield that Jimmy Page designed for his recordings. They allow you to appreciate every carefully placed instrument and the remarkable sonic detail to be discovered as each track unfolds.

    The size, space, energy and clarity of the hottest Hot Stamper copies are surely what make possible a more profound appreciation of the singular effort that went into these recordings. Along with the kind of Master Tape Sound found on the best pressings comes a deeper appreciation of the remarkable skills of one of rock's true production geniuses, Jimmy Page.

    More Led Zeppelin


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    James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

    Our Shootout Winner for 2008

      (Item #: taylosweet_2008) 



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

    It took three days, sixty seven copies, and multiple rounds, but SWEET BABY JAMES HOT STAMPERS ARE BACK! Both sides of this bad boy are DEMO QUALITY and ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. Add in the fact that the vinyl is unusually quiet, and you’ve got one heck of a copy here!

    More James Taylor


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    John Klemmer - Straight from the Heart

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: klemmstrai_2010) 



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

    This White Hot Stamper Nautilus Direct-to-Disc recording is an AMAZING Demo Disc, and what’s more, it’s actually REAL JAZZ -- a remarkably unusual combination in the Audiophile World, in my experience anyway. This copy takes the sound of this recording -- and the music along with it -- to another level. YOU WON'T BELIEVE how good this record sounds.

    More John Klemmer


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