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Herbie Hancock - Takin’ Off

A Cisco Record We Recommend

  (Item #: hancotakin_cisco) 



Sonic Grade: B-

The sound is SUPERB overall, with correct tonal balance and plenty of life. I was WAY TOO HARD on this album when it first came in. It’s playing right now and really swinging!

I just learned the secret to getting this one to sound right, and I am happy to share it with you. TURN IT UP!. When you get some volume going, the musicians really come to life on this album. It may sound crazy, but you need to play this one as loud as you would play your average rock record.

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Nirvana - Nevermind

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: nirvanever_2019) 



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.

An incredible sounding record, especially on a White Hot Stamper such as this (which is why this copy sold for $849!). I might even go so far as to say it's better than practically anything recorded during the entire decade of the '90s. Man, when you've heard this record at its best, there is NOTHING like it. For the true Rock and Roll Audiophile Connoisseur, the man who will settle for nothing but the very best, we humbly offer this Nevermind Verified Hot Stamper, the ultimate head-banging experience.

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Nirvana - Nevermind

Stretching Back to 2001

  (Item #: nirvanever_2008) 



DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND on side two! It’s got the big, uber-punchy, hard rockin’ attitude we demand from a Nevermind Hot Stamper. Side one is no slouch either folks, with A++ sound! Only one other copy had better sound for side one -- THIS ONE ROCKS!

Side two on this Nevermind has MASTER TAPE SOUND. We found the most amazing clarity and transparency on this copy. You will find the sound so rich and full-bodied that at times you'd swear it was tube mastered! Check out the presence to the vocals on side one. The WHOMP factor is out of control all over this pressing.

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The Who - Live at Leeds

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: who__livea_rocks_harder) 



The best copies of Live at Leeds just plain ROCK HARDER than other copies. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top.

But what really sets them apart is their tremendous energy. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies of Live at Leeds like few records you have ever heard. When we find that kind of power and energy on a record, all other things being equal, we know their stampers are White Hot.

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Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

What to Listen For

  (Item #: john_goodb_choruses) 



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

The richness, sweetness and freedom from artificiality is most obvious where you often hear it on a Pop Rock Big Production like GYBR: in the loudest, densest, most climactic choruses.

We set the playback volume so that the loudest parts of the record are as huge and powerful as they can possibly become without crossing the line into distortion or congestion.

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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.

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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.

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Yes - Close To The Edge

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: yes__close_2018) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that are exceptionally Difficult to Reproduce.

TWO AMAZING SIDES rating Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it! It's not easy to find great sound for this album, but this copy really gets it right. You get plenty of rich Tubey Magic, AND plenty of space and clarity. This is truly one of the best copies we have played in a very long time.

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War - Deliver The Word

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: war__deliv_2019) 



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

WONDERFUL JAZZ / FUNK / SOUL SOUND from start to finish! We just finished our first big shootout for this fun album -- the All Music Guide calls it "a magical ride with plenty of surprises to keep the listener on his or her toes" and we couldn't agree more! This copy gives you punchy bass, airy flutes, hard-hitting percussion and loads of Tubey Magic. Most copies we played had too much hardness, edge, and honk, but this one is smooth, sweet and rich.

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Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive

What to Listen For

  (Item #: frampframpton_comes_wtlf) 



Another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

What to listen for? Dynamic, soaring guitar solos!

On the best copies the guitar solos are the loudest parts of some songs, which, as everyone who's ever been to a rock concert knows, is exactly what happens in live rock music.

Not many live albums are mixed to allow the guitar solos to rock the way these do. Since Frampton is one of my favorite players, hearing his solos get loud on this album is nothing less than a thrill.

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Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: frampframpton_comes_2015) 



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

What a monster -- this White Hot Stamper Frampton Comes Alive boasts KILLER A+++ sound on sides one, two, and four and very strong A++ sound on side three! If you're looking for a top-shelf pressing of THE iconic Classic Rock Double Live Album, don't let this one pass you by. If you grew up with this album it's going to be a thrill to hear this copy rockin' on a big audiophile system.

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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: bowieletsd_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

With Let's Dance the name of the game is ENERGY, and boy does this copy have it! Both sides have the deep, punchy bass and sweet, extended highs that Bowie's music needs to come ALIVE. With that big bass and smooth top end this is one record you can turn up GOOD and LOUD without fear of fatique. On a big pair of dynamic speakers you will really get your money's worth from the best Hot Stamper pressings.

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Lincoln Mayorga and Distinguished Colleagues

Implore You to Turn Up Your Volume

  (Item #: mayor_volume_1_loud) 



S9 is hands down the best example of a recording that truly comes to life when you Turn Up Your Volume.

There's not much ambience to be found in their somewhat dead sounding studio, and very little high frequency boost to any instrument in the soundfield, which means at moderate levels this record sounds flat and lifeless. (You could say it has that in common with most Heavy Vinyl pressings these days, if you wanted to take a cheap shot at those records, which, to be honest, I don't mind doing. They suck; why pretend otherwise?)

See all of our Direct to Disc recordings in stock


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Blondie - Eat To The Beat

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: blondeatto_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.

This is Mike Chapman's Big Beat Sonic Masterpiece -- yes, the sound is actually bigger and better than the sound on Parallel Lines -- akin to the debuts of The Knack and The Cars, and every bit as huge and punchy as either.

Eat to the Beat lives and dies by its energy, its bass and above all by its transient snap.

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Van Halen - Van Halen

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: vanhavanha_2014) 



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 recently took the time to shoot out a bunch of original pressings of Van Halen's debut. I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise to most of you that the average copy is, well, quite average sounding. Not bad, just mediocre. Not rockin' all that hard and not all that much fun. You know the kind of record I'm talkin' about.

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Little Feat - Hoy-Hoy

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: littlhoyho_depth) 



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

The recording quality of many of these songs is OUT OF THIS WORLD, as good as any rock record I can think of. Although Waiting For Columbus is arguably the best sounding live rock 'n roll album ever made, some of the tracks on this album are every bit as good or BETTER. (And the promo EP is practically in a league of its own for sound!)

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: crosbsofar_depth) 



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

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

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The Pretenders - Pretenders II

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: pretepreteII_2017) 



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.

This original British pressing 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.

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Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy

Our First Shootout Winner, 2008

  (Item #: eno__takin_2008) 



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.

This British Sunray original pressing takes the sound to a level BEYOND all others. This copy has deep, punchy bass that exceeded my wildest expectations. I've been playing this record for thirty years and I've never heard a bottom end like this before. Side one here rates an A+++ -- Master Tape Sound, As Good As It Gets (AGAIG).

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Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: emerspictu_2009) 



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

This Minty looking original Island British Import LP has some of the best sound we have ever heard for this album. This copy KILLED a bunch of other Brit imports we played it against. It wasn't even close. This pressing was so much more TRANSPARENT -- you could hear into the crowd in a way that no other copy managed to let you do. When the band started playing the sound was much more clear and present than the other Brit copies we played.

Great live sound thanks to EDDIE OFFORD.

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Eagles - The Long Run

What to Listen For

  (Item #: eaglelongr_wtlf) 



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

Want to know if you have a good side one on your copy? Here's an easy test. Timothy B Schmit's vocal on I Can't Tell You Why rarely sounds right. Most of the time he's muffled, pretty far back in the soundstage, and the booth he's in has practically no ambience. On the good copies he's not exactly jumping out of the speakers, but he's clear, focussed, and his voice is breathy and full of emotional subtleties that make the song the heartbreaking powerhouse it is.

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Eagles - The Long Run

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: eaglelongr_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.

This copy had sound we never would have expected to hear on this record. Believe me, not too many sound like this one! Most copies have a smeary, veiled, stuck-in-the-speaker quality that makes for some painful listening. Cardboard drums. Non-existent ambience. No energy. The average copy of this album just sits on the turntable with nothing to say.

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Fleetwood Mac - Mystery To Me

Whomp Factor on "Why"

  (Item #: fleetmyste_wtlf) 



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

There is an amazing bass drum on this album that plays on selective tracks, most notably the song "Why", and it will shake the foundation and knock your knick-knacks right off their shelves if you've got the woofers (and the room) to play it right. I was using this record to demo my system in the mid-'70s. I had a pair of Fulton Js and they could really pump out the low end this record needs.

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King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: kingcinthe_2017) 



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

Over the last five years or so we have been prepping for this shootout by buying and trying lots of different pressings. Right from the start we could hear that no domestic pressing was, or was likely to ever be, remotely competitive with the best Brits.

Most later reissues -- domestic or import -- were as flat and lifeless as a cassette, although we admit that some were clearly better than others.

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Queen - The Game

What to Listen For

  (Item #: queengame_wtlf) 



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

The best sounding side ones were rarely as good as the best sounding side twos.

Even the good side ones tended to have a trace of harmonic distortion and compression that is simply nowhere to be found on the good side twos. How and why this is we have no idea. Since every copy had the same sonic issues we discounted it in our grading. Only the better copies bring the hits on side one to life and give them the size and power we know they can have.

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Queen - The Game

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: queengame_2011) 



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

Two SUPERB SIDES with side one beating all comers to achieve White Hot Stamper status! Throughout this copy you get solid bass, tubey magic, breathy vocals and BIG BOLD sound!

But watch out: this side one kicks it up to a whole 'nother level, with BIGGER energy, BIGGER bass and even more PRESENT and breathy vocals from Mr. Mercury. This is without a doubt some of the best sound we have ever heard for Queen, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: jethrstand_obsess) 



STAND UP 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 JETHRO TULL albums.


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Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

Huge, Powerful Live Rock Sound

  (Item #: hendrjimih_2012) 



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.

This live album, taken from concerts recorded from 1968 to 1970, is wonderful sounding on the best tracks. If you're in the market for live Hendrix on a Hot Stamper, you'll be hard pressed to do any better. The bass on this recording is huge, which is exactly what this kind of music needs most. At the levels we were playing this album it was really rockin'.

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The Who - Who’s Next

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: who__whosn_obsess) 



WHO'S NEXT 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.

Who Albums with Hot Stampers

Who Albums We've Reviewed



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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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War - Why Can’t We Be Friends

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: war__whyca_2007) 



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

This is a United Artists LP with DEMO DISC SOUND on BOTH sides. If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS, with jump-out-of-the-speakers direct-to-disc sound quality, this is the album for you. Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here -- punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. (Got subs? A concrete foundation under your listening room? Low Rider is a cinch to blow your mind!)

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Eagles - One Of These Nights

Soaring Guitar Solos and Huge Choruses

  (Item #: eagleoneof_wtlf) 



What to Listen For you ask?

That's easy: Soaring Guitar Solos and Huge Choruses.

If you have an exceptionally good sounding copy of the album, One Of These Nights is the kind of record that can really come alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

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James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: taylomudsl_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Mud Slide Slim has some of Taylor's strongest material: You've Got a Friend; You Can Close Your Eyes; Hey Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox, and one of his best and most underrated, Love Has Brought Me Around. If you've got a top copy of the album, this song, the leadoff on side one, can really rock. It's yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

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Bonnie Raitt - Sweet Forgiveness

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: raittsweet_2010) 



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

This White Hot Stamper side one had the kind of sound that just JUMPS out of the speakers! This side one had more of everything: more size and weight. more separation, more ambience, more vocal dynamics, more presence, more bottom end (which is unusual in that most copies of this album tends to be bass shy); in short, more LIFE. This copy, more than any other we played, showed us just how good the master tapes must be.

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Santana / Santana

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: santasant1_obsess) 



SANTANA 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.

Santana Albums with Hot Stampers

Santana Albums We've Reviewed



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Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: thompshoot_obsess) 



SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

I've seen Richard Thompson on a number of occasions over the years, and as loud as my stereo will play, which is pretty darn loud, I've never been able to make his guitar solos 20 dB louder than everything else, because they're simply not on the record that way. That's why live music can't be reproduced faithfully in the home: the dynamic contrasts are much too great for the typical listener, or his stereo.

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Weather Report - Heavy Weather

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: weathheavy_2011) 



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

TWO AMAZING SIDES ON QUIET VINYL, including an A+++ side one! The sound was positively jumping out of the speakers and dynamic as all get out. The grit, grain and grunge of the typical pressing was nowhere to be found on EITHER side of this copy, and that alone puts it in a very special league. Drop the needle on either side and get ready for some of the most dynamic, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling jam-packed sound ever committed to vinyl.

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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 Pretenders - Learning to Crawl

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: pretelearn_2013) 



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

This copy has real rock and roll energy in its grooves, a quality which earned it serious points here at Better Records. With Robbie McIntosh having joined the band, this is first and foremost a ROCK GUITAR record; his jangly, grungy riffs drive every song.

Think of Middle of the Road -- everything that's good about this band on this album is there in the song: it's uptempo, with a driving beat and guitars well up in the mix. Only the best pressings convey the energy and enthusiasm of the band while avoiding the grunge, flatness and hardness that make the typical pressing all but unlistenable at loud volumes.

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Caldera - Carnavalito!

Turn Up the Volume

  (Item #: caldeskyis_loud_2014) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Carnavalito is a track that really comes ALIVE when you Crank Up the Volume. I played it FULL BLAST on two different occasions for audiophile friends of mine just to show them what happens when a Big Speaker Stereo meets a Large Scale Recording with absolutely AMAZING audiophile quality sound -- BIG and BOLD, wall to wall and then some!

It’s my favorite track not only for the album as a whole but for the band’s entire recorded output. It just doesn’t get any better than this if you have the system for it.

See all pressings of Sky Islands in stock


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Led Zeppelin - Coda

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ledzecode_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.

TWO GREAT SIDES and QUIET VINYL on this Swan Song pressing, one of the few good sounding copies we've ever played. We just sat down with the dozen-plus copies of Coda that made it through our preliminary round and only found a few that were worth writing home around. Most copies are too dry, grainy, and/or dull to get excited about, but this one is a MONSTER.

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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!

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Love - Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: love_love_2008) 



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

You'd never know it from those dull Sundazed reissues, but the right pressings of Love's albums are full of Tubey Magic! With Bruce Botnick at the controls you can expect a meaty bottom end and BIG rock sound, and this recording really delivers on both counts, and this copy captures all of the magic. Big speaker guys (like yours truly) are going to get a LOT out of this copy.

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Muddy Waters - Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: watermuddy_2013) 



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.

If you've got the system to play a record like this (the bigger the better), you can have Muddy Waters perform live in your listening room -- eyes closed of course, you won't be able to see him, but you sure will be able to hear him, and in shockingly realistic sound.

It's shocking how well recorded Muddy's later albums are. Who knew?

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: crosbdejav_obsess) 



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

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

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Deep Purple - In Rock

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: deeppinroc_2016) 



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

The best pressings give you exactly what you want from this brand of straight ahead rock and roll: presence in the vocals; solid, note-like bass; big punchy drums, and the kind of live-in-the-studio energetic, clean and clear sound. (AC/DC is another band with that kind of live studio sound. With big speakers and the power to drive them YOU ARE THERE.)

See all of our Deep Purple albums in stock


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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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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: ledze2_2017) 



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

This pressing just knocked us out from beginning to end -- this is the Zep II sound you want.

At least 80% of the copies we buy these days -- for many hundreds of dollars each I might add -- go right back to the seller. The biggest problem we run into besides obvious scratches that play and worn out grooves is easy to spot: just play the song Thank You at the end of side one. Most of the time there is inner groove damage so bad that the track becomes virtually unlistenable.

See all of our Led Zeppelin albums in stock


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Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: youngevery_2008) 



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.

This original Two Tone Super Hot Stamper pressing had condition issues -- they all do don't you know -- but it also had KILLER Neil Young LIVE ROCK Sound. The best tracks have that Live-in-the-Studio quality, with minimal processing and maximum ENERGY. (Our commentary about Zuma to the left gets more heavily into the subject.) Suffice to say we love that sound.

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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis?

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: supercrisi_obsess) 



CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? 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 our other SUPERTRAMP albums.


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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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Jethro Tull - Stand Up

Notes from 2009

  (Item #: jethrstand_2009) 



A distinguished member of our Better Records Hall of Fame.

Our last shootout for Stand Up was over a year ago, early in 2008. By some good fortune we have been able to find a number of fairly clean early British pressings, with both Pink and Sunray labels, as well as some very good sounding domestics. (Yes, they are out there. Few and far between and probably not the ones you would think to buy but out there nonetheless. Buy enough of them and clean them right and you will find some too.)

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Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights

A Four Men with Beards Heavy Vinyl Winner

  (Item #: thompshoot_heavy_vinyl) 



Sonic Grade: B

Hey, this is a surprisingly good sounding pressing! Our Hot Stampers are clearly bigger and more lively, but for a Heavy Vinyl reissue this pressing is quite respectable.

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

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The Who - Quadrophenia

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: who__quadr_2012) 



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.

This may be the best sounding copy to ever hit the site - White Hot on 3 sides, and nearly White on the 4th! The sound is so BIG, rich, and powerful it will surely make you rethink the recording itself. When the sound is this immersive your experience of the music becomes breathtakingly REAL. One of the True Must Own Classics by the band.

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Supertramp - Breakfast In America

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: superbreak_2009) 



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

TWO KILLER SIDES ON THIS ROCKIN’ LATE ’70s CLASSIC! I am not at all ashamed to say that we LOVE this album here at Better Records, and a copy like this will certainly help show you why. Side one has incredible A+++ Master Tape Sound and side two is just a plus behind. Drop the needle on Gone Hollywood or The Logical Song to hear how powerful this music can sound when you have the right pressing.

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Led Zeppelin - III

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: ledze3_2008) 



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

It is INCREDIBLY difficult to find knockout copies of Zep III -- of the dozen-plus copies we auditioned, this British Import Plum & Orange pressing was the only one with two superb sides, with an AGAIG A+++ side two and a side one that's just half a step behind at A++ - A+++. Folks, when I tell you that it is no mean feat to find a decent copy of this album, I am not joking around.

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Led Zeppelin - IV

With This Copy You Better Be Ready to Rock

  (Item #: ledze4_2012) 



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 did a massive shootout in 2012 for Zep's beloved fourth album and this British pressing earned a nearly perfect score with some of the BIGGEST, BOLDEST, HARDEST Rockin' sound we have ever heard on the album. Without a doubt this is the best sounding IV side two we've ever played, with the biggest bottom of them all.

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Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: stewaevery_2016) 



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.

A knockout Top Copy, with a side one so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied and open with excellent clarity -- you will be FLOORED.

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Gerry Rafferty - City To City

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: raffecityt_2012) 



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

This Gerry Rafferty White Hot Stamper LP has THE BEST SIDE ONE WE'VE EVER HEARD. So good in fact that we had to go above and beyond our usual top grade of three pluses and award this amazing copy a huge A++++! It's guaranteed to put to shame any UK import you may have. Since those are the only pressings with any hope of sounding good, it simply means that we are very confident in the sound of this copy.

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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: ledze1_2014) 



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.

It's hard to imagine any copy beating this one! The vinyl is Mint Minus throughout, and the sound is INSANELY GOOD! The chances of finding these surfaces with this sound -- we'll let you do the math. If you're a fan of this album - and who isn't - this is the copy you want. Side one blew our minds and earned a grade of A++++!

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Eagles - One Of These Nights

Our 4 Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: eagleoneof_2017) 



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

This 2-pack contains the best side one we've ever heard! The sound is bigger, richer, tubier and livelier than we even thought possible. Side one was so amazing, such an obvious step up over every side of every other copy, we felt it deserved to be awarded our Four Plus (A++++) grade.

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Laurindo Almeida - Virtuoso Guitar

An Awesome Direct to Disc Copy

  (Item #: almeivirtu_2011) 



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

Virtuoso Guitar is yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This White Hot Crystal Clear 45 RPM Direct-to-Disc fulfills the promise of both the direct to disc recording medium AND the 45 RPM cutting speed so much in vogue these days. We had a big pile of these pressings to play through. When we came upon this one halfway through our shootout, it was so big, so clear, so dynamic, so energetic, so extended on the top and bottom, we almost could not believe what we were hearing especially compared to the others copies we played.


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Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners

Greatest "Copy" Ever

  (Item #: nash_songs_2015) 



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

WHOA! We've paired up two FOUR PLUS sides to create this stunning 2-pack with mindblowing Demo Quality sound for the whole album. These A++++ sides will show you just how amazing it can sound: super full-bodied, rich, warm and natural.

Please note that we award this very special grade so rarely that we don't even have a graphic to represent it in our sonic grade box. The scale usually only goes to three pluses, but these two sides went up to four!

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Little Feat - Hoy-Hoy

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: littlhoyho_2011) 



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

This Warner Brothers Double LP is one of the all time TOP Little Feat albums and a longtime personal favorite. Three out of the four sides here are White Hot, as good as it gets -- A+++, and the fourth is just a half plus behind at A++1/2. It's been a very long time since a double album made it to our site with grades like these -- 11 1/2 pluses out of 12!

And side three was so good I noted that it might as well be A++++ -- no other side of the ten copies we played could touch it, not even the three other ones here. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (Live) is a real Demo Disc Quality track.

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Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: ledzehouse_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.

A TRULY STUNNING COPY of this classic album! Both sides here are rich, warm and full-bodied with tons of energy and presence. It just doesn't get much better than this, folks! We gave side two a Four Plus grade -- note that we don't even have a graphic for that! -- and side one was also very strong.

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Dire Straits - Dire Straits

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: diresdires_2011) 



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

The best side one we've ever heard, so freakishly impressive that we awarded it the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade! On top of that, side two earned an A++ grade and the vinyl plays unusually quietly -- solid Mint Minus throughout. This is probably the best Dire Straits album (certainly our favorite) and definitely their best sounding album; on a copy like this one it has the power to BLOW YOUR MIND. Water Of Love, Down To The Waterline and Six Blade Knife are all STUNNING on this pressing.

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Chicago and The Hottest Stampers

Are You a Thrillseeker Too?

  (Item #: chicachica7_thrill) 



When it comes to sound, I'm a Thrillseeker. I want to hear it LOUDER and BETTER, with more ENERGY and EXCITEMENT, and the reason I spent so many hundreds, even thousands, of hours working on my stereo is that that kind of sound doesn't happen by accident. You have to work your ass off to get it. And spend a lot of money. And dig through a lot of dusty record bins buying LPs until you find one that sounds the way you want it to.

I don't play records to drink wine and smoke cigars. I play records to ROCK. Whether the music is rock, jazz or classical, I want to feel the power of the music just as you would feel it at the live event. To me that means big speakers and loud levels. We played Chicago VII as loud as we could...

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Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority

Our Shootout Winner for 2008

  (Item #: chicachica1_2008) 



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.

This is the BEST SOUNDING CHICAGO RECORD we have EVER heard, and that includes not just this first album, but ANY Chicago album. This is the kind of album that most audiophiles would be sorely tempted to give up on. Who can blame them?

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Jellyfish - Bellybutton

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: jellybelly_2012) 



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.

One of the very best copies we've ever heard! Both sides earned top honors in our shootout, with side one even surpassing our reference copy to earn a "Four Plus" A++++ grade. It goes far beyond anything we've heard before.

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Santana - Inner Secrets

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: santainner_2011) 



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.

The sound went so far beyond our expectations, so far beyond even the White Hot Stamper pressing we discovered in this shootout, that we had to throw on another plus if the grading was to make any sense at all.

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Michael Jackson - Off The Wall

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: jacksoffth_2016) 



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

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING SOUND for this White Hot Stamper pressing!

Side two cannot be beat, and side one is not far behind. Both have the BIG M.J. SOUND that jumps from the speakers and fills the room. We've never a copy that was so full of ANALOG MAGIC!

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Fleetwood Mac - Mystery To Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: fleetmyste_2011) 



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 it is, folks -- the best sounding copy of Mystery To Me to ever hit our site. This copy positively DOES IT ALL -- it's super open and spacious with tons of energy and incredible presence. The bottom end is just KILLER and there's dramatically more richness and fullness than you get on most copies out there.

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David Bowie - Let’s Dance

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bowieletsd_2008) 



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

This Let’s Dance may look like an ordinary record, but it sure doesn’t sound like one. The sound is OUT OF THIS WORLD! You’re looking at THE Big Beat Demo Disc of All Time. What the Hot Stamper copy of Back in Black was to Super-Fidelity HARD Rock, this White Hot Stamper of Let’s Dance is to Super-Fidelity FUNKY Rock. In other words, this is the FREAKISHLY HOT STAMPER copy that gives you As Good As It Gets, Demo Disc, Mind Altering Sound.

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David Bowie - David Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bowiedavid_2010) 



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

The best copies have Live Rock and Roll Energy like you will not believe. The band is ON FIRE. These are the A List players of the day and they gell like a band that's been together for years. The sonic treats include multiple horn players (David Sanborn KILLS on almost every track, and the baritone sax and oboe are rendered beautifully ) and multiple percussionists, all-male chorus background vocals, the seering fuzzed-out guitar leads of Earl Slick, piano and Mellotron by Mike Garson, the amazing Herbie Flowers on bass -- the list goes on.

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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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Bad Company - Bad Company

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: badcobadco_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and a recording that comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

MONSTROUS MASTER TAPE SOUND! The sound was JUMPING out of the speakers and filling the room.

Sometimes a copy is just BIGGER than the others - it's somehow physically wider and taller than other pressings, how we haven't a clue -- and that's exactly what this copy had more of than any other: SIZE. If you've never heard a rock record like this -- and knowing how rare they are it's more than possible -- you are in for a treat here.

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Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: nilssschmi_2011) 



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

TWO WONDERFUL SIDES, capable of delivering the Nilsson Schmilsson GENIUS in a way few copies out there can! We’re just wild about Harry ’round these parts, but it’s unbelievably difficult to find copies of his albums that sound any good. Beyond that, most of the Nilsson records out there in used record land are noisy, thanks to that super-high-quality RCA Dynaflex vinyl. (Your sarcasm detector should be going off like crazy right about now.)

Ah, but here’s a Nilsson Schmilsson that’s dramatically more audiophile-friendly than other copies.

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Cream - Goodbye

Some of the Best Live Rock Sound Ever Recorded

  (Item #: creamgoodb_2016) 



When you get a good side one of Goodbye you'll hear exactly why we are calling it one of the Best Sounding Live Rock Albums of all time.

Goodbye has the Big Rock Sound that we go crazy for here at Better Records. The top copies just plain ROCK HARDER than all the others. Yes, they're bigger. Yes, they have more weight and whomp down low. Yes, they are smoother and more natural up top. But what really sets them apart is the tremendous Energy they contain in their grooves. The music EXPLODES out of the speakers and comes to life on the best copies like practically nothing you have ever heard.

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Ian Matthews - Stealin' Home

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: matthsteal_2012) 



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

Stealin' Home has long been a Folkie-Pop favorite of mine, mostly on the strength of the consistently smart songwriting, polished production and audiophile sound quality. But really, to be truthful, what I found attractive right from the start was Iain Matthews's especially clear, sweet tenor -- that's the hook that drew me to the album. Only later would I be pleasantly surprised to find that the recorded sound was wonderful; that the production was equal to the best major label Rock and Pop around (a comparison to The Doobie Brothers would not be a stretch); and, with repeated listening, it was clear that the level of songwriting was high indeed (an a capella rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's You've Got to Be Carefully Taught, which opens side two, can't help but raise your averages).


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Santana - Abraxas

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: santaabrax_2011) 



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.

SABOR! This White Hot Stamper Abraxas has a KILLER A++ to A+++ SIDE ONE and a KNOCKOUT A+++ SIDE TWO! Just about everyone out there knows how good this music was, but I bet you didn’t know it could sound like this. The sound of the drums and percussion on this copy is OUT OF THE STRATOSPHERE.

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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: steelpretz_2011) 



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.

This BEYOND White Hot side one (A++++) has nothing less than MASTER TAPE SOUND. Our Four Plus ranking is rare enough, but in this case it has the added benefit of conferring upon this very pressing the status of the BEST SOUNDING STEELY DAN RECORDING we have ever heard.

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Toto - IV

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: toto_iv_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.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this is one of the BEST SIDE TWOS WE’VE EVER HEARD! Africa sounds HUGE on this copy. With a soundfield this BIG and 3-D, it’s easy to see how this copy rated so high. Side one is no slouch either, rating A double plus for having a PUNCHY bottom end, and tons of rock energy. Big speaker sound all the way.

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Eagles - Hotel California

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: eaglehotel_2011) 



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

TWO SUPERB SIDES -- super transparent, super hi-rez, with tons of energy and tubey magic! We just finished a mega-shootout for this title, dropping the needle on more than a dozen copies, and this bad boy earned Best In Show. Side two earned our top A+++ grade while side one was just half a plus behind. Most copies out there won't come even close to this one on EITHER side.

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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: ledze2_loud) 



It's official: we're inaugurating a Top Ten Best Sounding Rock / Pop Album List, and the first member to be inducted is none other than our old favorite, Led Zeppelin II.

It's also yet another in a very long line of records that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume. We're convinced Zep II has to be the hardest rocking album of all time. The best copies -- often with the same stampers as the not-as-good copies by the way -- have a LIFE and a POWER to them that simply cannot be found on other records.

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The Doors - The Soft Parade

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: doorssoftp_2007) 



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.

This incredibly rare, exceptionally quiet Elektra Gold Label LP sounds AMAZING, As Good As It Gets (AGAIG)! The sound is BIG, RICH, and FULL-BODIED, exactly the way it should be. As good as the Hot Stamper Big Red E Label copies can be, and that's very good indeed, the right first pressing is still The King. It just can't be beat.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu

Our Four Plus Side Two from 2016

  (Item #: crosbdejav_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame

We award this copy's side two our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea could even exist. We estimate that less than 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.

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David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: bowiealadd_2008) 



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

THE BIG BOWIE SOUND for this wonderful follow-up to Ziggy Stardust! We just finished shooting out a number of imports and domestic pressings of this album, and this British Orange Label pressing was THE KING -- on both sides! This one’s got the kind of "meat on the bones" sound that takes these great glam-rock songs to a whole new level! You won't believe how dynamic the sound is!

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Santana - Santana (III)

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: santasant3_2012) 



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.

TWO AMAZING DEMO QUALITY SIDES! If you want to bring the funky sound of Latin percussion to life in your living room, this is the ticket! We just finished a big Santana (3) shootout and this copy was the big winner with A+++ sound on BOTH SIDES. This is the most TUBEY MAGICAL Santana recording I have ever heard, and at its best is competitive with Abraxas for the title of Greatest Santana Recording!

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Eagles - On The Border

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: eagleonthe_2008) 



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

TWO STUNNING SIDES on this British SYL pressing. You Never Cry Like A Lover and The Best Of My Love have SUPERB Glyn Johns Demo Disc Sound. The LIFE and ENERGY of this copy are going to knock you out of your seat! Most copies left us with a headache, but this one had us begging for more!

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Humble Pie - Performance - Rockin' The Fillmore

None Rocks Harder

  (Item #: humblperfo_2015) 



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

One of the best -- if not THE best -- rock concert albums we have ever heard. Can you imagine if Frampton Comes Alive sounded like this? If you want to hear some smokin’ Peter Frampton guitar work from the days when he was with Humble Pie this album captures that sound better than any of their studio releases, and far better than Comes Alive on even the best copies.

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Heart - Dreamboat Annie

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: heartdream_2012) 



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

MASTER TAPE SOUND and QUIET VINYL on BOTH SIDES! If you're an audiophile who loves classic rock, you just haven't lived until you've heard Magic Man and Crazy On You on a Hot Stamper pressing, and they don't get ANY hotter than this copy! We play dozens upon dozens of these every year, and based on that experience this Hot Stamper will be virtually unbeatable for EITHER side.

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10cc - The Original Soundtrack

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: tenccorigi_2009) 



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

WHAT A RECORD! Both sides are lively, energetic, super transparent and full of ambience. There’s more depth to the soundfield, more WHOMP to the bottom end and more texture to the instruments than you’re going to hear elsewhere. The bottom end is KILLER with some seriously meaty, well-defined bass. The drums sound AMAZING -- just listen to all that THWACK to the snare. The overall sound is BIG, BOLD, LIVELY, DYNAMIC, and POWERFUL -- in other words, As Good As It Gets!

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The Who - Live at Leeds

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: who__livea_2013) 



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.

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Get ready to rock out, as this is one of the BEST SOUNDING live albums ever recorded. Young Man Blues on a copy such as this has drums that are so solid, punchy and present they positively put to shame the drum sound on 99 out of 100 rock records you've ever played. Keith Moon lives on!

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Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: youngrustn_2010) 



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

A great (A++) side one backed with an AMAZING (A+++) side two, this is without a doubt one of the very best sounding copies of Rust Never Sleeps we have ever had the privilege of playing here at Better Records. Side two simply cannot be beat. Drop the needle on Powderfinger to hear the Crazy Horse sound at its best -- the raging guitars, the big meaty bottom end, and the kind of immediacy that puts Neil Young and his band of misfits right in your listening room.

Tubey Magic in 1979? Yes, analog was still alive and well then -- both sides of this copy prove it. The disastrously synthesized '80s were on their way but thankfully they hadn't gotten here yet.

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The Who - Who’s Next

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: who__whosn_2010) 



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

TWO AMAZING sides on QUIET vinyl -- a stunning A+++ Off the Charts, Hard To Beat, Shootout Winning side two mated to a superb A++ to A+++ side one! This week we sat down for an all day MASSIVE shootout for Who’s Next, a true Glyn Johns Classic and undeniably one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

This Decca Colorband Original pressing BLEW OUR MINDS with phenomenal sound from start to finish -- check out the BIG, BOLD, Rock ’em Sock ’em bottom end energy! No other pressing we played had this kind of POWER down below. If you’re ready to really rock out with The Who, this White Hot Stamper is your ticket to ride.

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James Taylor - JT

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: taylojt_2007) 



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.

SUPERB SOUND FROM START TO FINISH! Both sides have MASTER TAPE SOUND. With six plusses between the two sides it sure doesn’t get much better than this copy!

And don't think we're kidding about turning up your volume and rockin' out to songs like Honey Don't Leave L.A. and I Was Only Telling a Lie. Those are real rock songs and they show that old JT can rock with the best of them when he wants to.

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Boston - Boston

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bostobosto_2010) 



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

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

More Boston


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Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: manzadiamo_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.

This White Hot Stamper English Import has the BIGGEST, BOLDEST SOUND we have ever heard for this album! If this copy doesn't wake up your stereo nothing ever will.

Like its brother, 801 Live, this album is an amazing SONIC BLOCKBUSTER, with sound that positively leaps out of the speakers.

More Phil Manzanera and Roxy Music


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Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child is Father to the Man

Our 2011 Shootout Winner for Side One

  (Item #: bloodchild_2011) 



A QUIET White Hot Stamper on side one for BS and T’s debut, one of my favorite albums of all time. Why do we so rarely list amazing copies of this album? Let me ask you this: have you played one recently? The average copy of this record is a sonic MESS. Even the best copies have problems.

We present here a FREAKISHLY GOOD SOUNDING SIDE ONE. This copy blew the doors off the competition, earning our highest grade of A Triple Plus and giving us a whole new appreciation for what this record can really sound like! Who knew? The brass has power on this copy like we almost never hear for this album. The bass was bigger and bolder than any other; finally, here is the kind of rock sound we are always looking for on the album but is so elusive.

More Blood, Sweat & Tears


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Led Zeppelin - Presence

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: ledzeprese_2012) 



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.

A STUNNING side two (where Nobody's Fault But Mine can be found, one of the best Zep rockers of all time and the best reason to own this album), with MASSIVE room-filling size and rock ENERGY like you will not believe. How did they manage to get such rock and roll power into these grooves, the way they did on Zep II and IV? We can't even imagine, but it's there all right.

More Led Zeppelin


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