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Super Hot Stamper

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin IV

  (Item #: ) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • An outstanding Hard Rockin' Zep IV with excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • This copy is dramatically fuller and smoother than most, making it possible to get the volume up good and high where it belongs
  • Black Dog, Rock & Roll, Stairway, When the Levee Breaks and the rest - all sound better than you've ever heard them, guaranteed
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "Zeppelin fuse their majestic hard rock with a mystical, rural English folk that gives the record an epic scope."
See all of our Led Zeppelin albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

  (Item #: addermercy_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $30.99 / 24%)


  • This outstanding 2-pack boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this 1965 release
  • One of the man's most enjoyable albums - the sound is bigger and livelier and above all balanced, avoiding many of the problems we heard on the originals
  • Joe Zawinul (Weather Report) wrote the title song, which became a big hit for Adderley (and later The Buckinghams), and he plays on the album
  • 5 Stars: "Adderley's irrepressible exuberance was a major part of his popularity, and no document captures that quality as well -- or with such tremendous musical rewards -- as Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."
See all of our Cannonball Adderley albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Somethin' Else

  (Item #: addersomet_1803_1904) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound throughout with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A triumph for Rudy Van Gelder, a Top Blue Note title, and as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball
  • The best copies of this album set a standard that practically no other jazz record we're aware of can meet
  • 5 stars: "Both horn players are at their peak of lyrical invention, crafting gorgeous, flowing blues lines."
  • "...signs of Milesian influence are the calm, conversational delivery of the title track and the newfound lyricism in Adderley’s playing that followed from his nightly experience at the trumpeter’s side."
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Airto - Fingers

High Frequency Extension Is Key to the Best Pressings

  (Item #: airtofinge_wtlf) 



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

The best copies have the highs that are missing from so many of the CTI originals. When you play them against most copies there is an extension to the top end that you won't hear elsewhere. Since this album is heavy on percussion, that difference is critical. The HARMONICS of the percussion are critically important to the music. When they go missing it's as if the music seems to slow down, a strange effect but a fairly common one with rhythmically dense arrangements such as these.

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Albeniz / Suite Espanola / De Burgos

What to Listen For

  (Item #: albensuite_wtlf) 



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

Wow, is this record ever DYNAMIC! I would put it in the top 2 or 3 percent of the most dynamic recordings we have played over the course of the last twenty five years. It also has tons of DEPTH. The brass is at the far back of the stage, just exactly where they would be placed in the concert hall, which greatly adds to the realism of the recording.

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz


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The Monty Alexander 7 - Jamento

What to Listen For - Percussion and Piano

  (Item #: alexajamen_wtlf) 



Another in our series of What to Listen For.

Clear piano notes, first and foremost. Any smear or loss of speed (a problem with hi-fi equipment since the beginning of time) detracts from the fun.

Next, the tonality of the best copies is rich and solid; accept nothing less.

And, finally, the proper reproduction of the percussion instruments is critically important to the energy and drive of the music. The better you hear them -- without losing the weight and richness of the piano -- the more you will enjoy your copy of the record.

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Super Hot Stamper

Mose Allison
Mose Alive!

  (Item #: allismosea_1808_1902) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • An outstanding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or very close to it on both sides
  • Both sides are rich, full and tonally right on the money with a nice extended top end
  • Pretty darn quiet -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout, these are tough to find in this shape!
  • "Allison was one of the finest songwriters in blues of the 20th and early 21st centuries." - All Music Bio
See all of our Mose Allison albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Ambrosia
Ambrosia

  (Item #: ambroambro_1904) 

Our Price: $179.99

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


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
The Essential Louis Armstrong

  (Item #: armstessen_1812) 

Our Price: $59.99

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


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Louis Armstrong - The Essential Louis Armstrong

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: armstessen_2017) 



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

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

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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

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


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Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Reunion

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: armstgreat_2017) 



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

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

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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1810_1901) 

Our Price: $129.99

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


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White Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong
I've Got The World On A String

  (Item #: armstivego_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

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


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Super Hot Stamper

The Association
Insight Out

  (Item #: associnsig_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

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


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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!

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Super Hot Stamper

Burt Bacharach
Reach Out

  (Item #: bachareach_1810) 

Our Price: $49.99

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


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Burt Bacharach - Reach Out

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bachareach_wtlf) 



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

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

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

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

See all of our Burt Bacharach albums in stock


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Badfinger - Straight Up

What to Listen For

  (Item #: badfistrai_wtlf) 



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

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

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

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Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Playboys

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bakerplayb_2015) 



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

Side one is White Hot, side two nearly so, and both contain swingin' West Coast Jazz from 1956. These 1983 reissues on Boplicity are dynamic and lively, perfectly suited to the energy of the music. The 1956 All Tube mono recording here has this Hot/Cool jazz sounding the way it should.

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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Band
The Band

  (Item #: band_band_1810_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99

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


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The Band - The Band

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: band_band_depth_) 



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

The best copies have no trace of phony sound from top to bottom. They're raw and real in a way that makes most pop records sound processed and wrong. Our best Hot Stampers have plenty of the qualities we look for in The Band. Energy, presence, transparency, Tubey Magic... you name it -- you will find it there. The biggest strength of this recording is its wonderful, natural midrange. And tons of bass.

More from The Band


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Super Hot Stamper

The Band
Rock Of Ages

  (Item #: band_rocko_1902_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

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

Turn Up Your Volume, Now It Rocks!

  (Item #: band_rocko_volume) 



Yet another record that really comes to life when you Turn Up Your Volume.

Most copies of this album do not have a boosted bottom or top, which means that at normal listening levels -- depending on how you define that term -- they can sound pretty flat. This is one album that needs to be turned up, obviously not to the levels of a live rock concert, but up about as loud as you can until you can get the bass and the highs to come out. We found ourselves adding more and more level in order to get the sound to come to life, and it was playing pretty loud before the sound was right.

See all of our The Band albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1904) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This unusually strong copy of an exceptionally well-recorded classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, 88 Basie Street has got it going on
  • With 18 pieces in the studio this is a real powerhouse - the sound is rich, powerful, dynamic and HUGE
  • 4 stars: "One of Basie's final albums, the very appealing title cut seems to sum up his career, a lightly swinging groove with a strong melody. Two small-group performances with guest Joe Pass on guitar add variety to a particularly strong set."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Count Basie - 88 Basie Street

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: basie88bas_2011) 



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

A White Hot Stamper 2-pack giving you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides of this killer Basie album!

This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on! With 18 pieces in the studio this album can be a real powerhouse -- if you have the right copy -- and this two-pack with White Hot Stamper sound for each side shows you just how lively and dynamic this music can be. It's got Demo Disc qualities, no doubt about it.

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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Big Band

  (Item #: basiebasie_1904) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An insanely good copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Both sides are incredibly rich, lively and clear - musically and sonically this is one of the best Basie Big Band records!
  • Guaranteed to be dramatically livelier and more dynamic than any Basie title you've heard
  • Lots of tight, deep, note-like bass and mostly correct timbre for the brass throughout
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Count Basie - Basie Big Band

The Glorious Sound of Triple Flutes

  (Item #: basiebasie_wtlf) 



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

Check out the triple flutes on the first track on side two - on a copy like this you will hear some shockingly Tubey Magical, breathy, sweet, natural flutes. And there are three of them! Even large classical orchestras rarely have three flutes. The sound is to die for.

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Basie Big Band - Farmers Market Barbecue

First Among Equals, or The Best Pablo Ever?

  (Item #: basiefarme_first) 



Musically FMB is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way. This should not be surprising: many of his recordings for Pablo in the '70s and early '80s display the talents of The Count and his band of veterans at their best.

Sonically it's another story. Based on our recent shootout for this title, in comparison to the other Basie titles we've done lately we would have to say that FMB is the best Basie big band title we've ever played. Since so many Basie big band recordings are so good, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves; after all, we haven't done shootouts for all of his Pablo large group recordings. To be safe we'll just call this one First Among Equals.

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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie & Joe Williams
Memories Ad-Lib

  (Item #: basiememor_1812_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

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


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
On My Way & Shoutin' Again

  (Item #: basieonmyw_1902) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Incredible shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish
  • Both sides here are super clean, clear, lively and present with a nice bottom end and tons of space around the players
  • "A solid and worthwhile album that has been out of print for far too long, this will be a welcome addition to any Basie lover's collection, and comes highly recommended to anyone even mildly interested in excellent large-ensemble mainstream jazz." - All Music
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1902_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

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


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Abbey Road

  (Item #: beatlabbey_1903) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • This UK '70s pressing has a stunning Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with a superb Double Plus (A++) side two
  • As Good As It Gets sound for classic tracks such as Come Together, Something, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Oh! Darling and I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  • Audiophile sonics like these will surely give you a new appreciation for one of the Greatest Beatles Albums of All Time
  • Abbey Road is a permanent member of the Better Records Top 100, and a Desert Island Disc if there ever was one
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The Beatles - Abbey Road

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlabbey_depth) 



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

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

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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlahard_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series with plenty of advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of A Hard Day's Night.

On If I Fell, the Beatles vocals should sound warm, sweet, and clear. If they do, at the very least you have a contender, and possibly a winner. Not many pressings are going to bring out all the subtle qualities of both Paul and John's leads, as well as the wonderful harmonies they created so effortlessly (or at least seemed to).

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The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night

It's (Almost) All About the Midrange

  (Item #: beatlahard_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of A Hard Day's Night.

This music has a HUGE amount of upper midrange and high frequency information. (Just note how present the tambourines are in the mixes.) If the record isn't cut properly, or pressed properly for that matter, the sound can REALLY be unpleasant.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
A Collection of Beatles Oldies

  (Item #: beatlcolle_1903_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides or BETTER, this copy was one of the better British pressings we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • An excellent source for many of the Beatles' greatest hits up to 1966 - with 8 songs per side you are geting a lot for your money with this one
  • Several tracks, including "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out" and "Paperback Writer" were given their first stereo mixes for this very album
  • Surprisingly good sound for From Me to You, We Can Work It Out, Yesterday, I Feel Fine, and the list goes on
See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1810_1812) 

Our Price: $99.99

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


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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1811) 

Our Price: $59.99

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


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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Beatles For Sale

  (Item #: beatlforsa_1901_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

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


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The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlforsa_depth) 



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

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

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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.

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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $39.99

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


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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Let It Be

  (Item #: beatlletit_1811_1903) 

Our Price: $149.99

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


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The Beatles - Let It Be

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlletit_wtlf) 



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

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

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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

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

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour

  (Item #: beatlmagic_1901_2) 

Our Price: $599.99

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

Listening In Depth

  (Item #: beatlmagic_depth) 



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

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

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The Beatles - Please Please Me

What to Listen For

  (Item #: beatlpleas_wtlf_2014) 



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

The Beatles' first album is a recording overflowing with sonic qualities prized by audiophiles and music lovers alike: Tubey Magic, energy, immediacy, richness, breathy vocals; in short, all the stuff you will never hear -- or not hear to the same extent -- on anything but the best vintage analog vinyl LPs.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Revolver

  (Item #: beatlrevol_1810_1902) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • An outstanding UK pressing with two very strong sides, earning Double Plus (A++) grades for sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This copy of The Beatles' landmark Psych album from 1966 will show you richness, energy, clarity and bottom end weight you had no idea was even possible on Revolver
  • Guaranteed to beat any original, the Heavy Vinyl (mono or stereo), the Half-Speed - you name it, this copy will beat it
  • 5 Stars and 14 glorious tracks including Taxman; Eleanor Rigby; Good Day Sunshine; Got To Get You Into My Life, Tomorrow Never Knows (!) and more
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Revolver

  (Item #: beatlrevol_1903x_) 

Our Price: $399.99
Sale Price: $349.00 (You save $50.99 / 13%)


  • A stunning copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on side one, Double Plus (A++) on side two - Eleanor Rigby will blow your mind - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Here is the space, energy, presence clarity and massive bottom end you had no idea were even possible on Revolver
  • 14 amazing tracks including Taxman; Eleanor Rigby; Here, There and Everywhere; Yellow Submarine; Good Day Sunshine; Got To Get You Into My Life and Tomorrow Never Knows (!)
  • "Even after Sgt. Pepper, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album and it's still as emulated as it was upon its original release."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding vintage UK pressing earned seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides - lovely quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee you've never heard Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man and Michelle sound better - and that's just side one!
  • A Better Records Rock & Pop Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Must Own Folk Rock Masterpiece
  • "The lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1902) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • You'll find insanely good Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from first note to last on this UK pressing, just barely beat out by our recent shootout winner - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee you've never heard Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man and Michelle sound better - and that's just side one
  • A Better Records Rock & Pop Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Must Own Folk Rock Masterpiece
  • "The lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds."
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1903) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Stunning sound for this White Hot 2-pack - Triple Plus (A+++) on side two, and Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) on side one
  • The sound is wonderful - big, lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness you never expected
  • Norweigan Wood and In My Life sound superb here, along with the rest of the great songs, 14 in all
  • Pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl - both of the good sides play Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • A Better Records Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Masterpiece of mid-'60s Folk Rock
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White Hot Stamper

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_1904) 

Our Price: $599.99

  • This stunning copy boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound here is PHENOMENAL -- big, bold, lively and powerful with the kind of dynamics that bring out the best in this music
  • Norweigan Wood and In My Life sound superb here, along with the rest of these wonderful Beatles classics, 14 in all
  • A Better Records Top 100 Title, 5 Stars on Allmusic, and a Masterpiece of mid-'60s Folk Rock
  • "The lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds."
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The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_depth) 



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

The Beatles
The White Album

  (Item #: beatlwhite_1901) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • You'll find crazy good sound throughout this British pressing, with sides one, two and four coming in just shy of our Shootout Winner at Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This copy of the Beatles' double album masterpiece is going to thrill and delight the lucky person who snags it
  • Some of the most powerful and immersive Beatles sound you will ever hear - we guarantee you will be KNOCKED OUT
  • "If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday - with the publication of the new Beatles double LP - should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making..." Right On!
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Super Hot Stamper

The Beatles
The White Album

  (Item #: beatlwhite_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This British pressing earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on all four sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the most powerful and immersive Beatles sound you will ever hear - we guarantee you have never heard the album sound as good as this copy does
  • "If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday - with the publication of the new Beatles double LP - should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making..." Right On!
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The Beatles - The White Album

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: beatlwhite_depth) 



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

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

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Hot Stamper

The Beatles
With The Beatles

  (Item #: beatlwitht_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $39.99

  • Hot Stamper sound on both sides - guaranteed to beat any Heavy Vinyl or Half-Speed Mastered pressing you may have
  • Looking for the best sound? Try Till There Was You on side one and You Really Got A Hold On Me on the flipside
  • So many great songs: All My Loving, Roll over Beethoven, Money (That's What I Want), Devil In Her Heart...
  • "A sequel of the highest order - one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth. While it may share several similarities with its predecessor - there is an equal ratio of covers-to-originals, a familiar blend of girl group, Motown, R&B, pop, and rock... With the Beatles is a better record that not only rocks harder, it's considerably more sophisticated...
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White Hot Stamper

Jeff Beck
Truth

  (Item #: beck_truth_1811_1904) 

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


  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one, this copy is practically as good as it gets
  • Easily - and by a wide margin - the best sounding record Jeff Beck ever made - thanks Ken Scott!
  • This pressing embodies the Big Rock Sound, the kind we go crazy for here at Better Records
  • Really fun music - it's a blast to hear Rod Stewart fronting such a heavy rock band
  • AMG 5 Stars "...almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums."
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Super Hot Stamper

Jeff Beck
Wired

  (Item #: beck_wired_1802_1810) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • An excellent copy of Jeff Beck's third solo effort with Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big and full with a punchy bottom end and driving jazz/rock energy, here are the elements critical to the best sounding copies
  • Wired, the sequel to the hugely successful Blow by Blow, was produced by Sir George Martin and mixed by Geoff Emerick
  • "Within a two-year span, the twin towers Blow by Blow and Wired set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock's most compelling guitarists is in top form."
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Beethoven / ’Kreutzer’ Sonata

Putting Your System to the (Violin and Piano) Test

  (Item #: beethkreut_2577_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating this kind of recording.

Do you want a recording that is going to put your system to the test? Well this is that record! That violin is REAL. As you compare equipment or tweak your system, you will hear the sound of that violin change and it should be obvious when it gets better and when it gets worse.

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Beethoven / Concerto No. 3 / Hendl / Graffman

Reviewed in 2014

  (Item #: beethpiano_2396_2014) 



This rare RCA Shaded Dog has SUPERB SOUND as well as a top performance. Super Hot Stampers for both sides means that this pressing has the real Living Stereo magic in spades. Unlike most of the RCA concerto recordings (Rubinstein's come immediately to mind in this regard), the brilliant soloist featured here is not overly spotlighted, hence the more credible "concert hall" sound. The piano is part of the orchestra, allowing all the contributions of the musicians to be heard clearly, with each of the orchestral sections laid out beautifully across an especially huge and deep Orchestra Hall stage.
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Beethoven / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: beethvioli_1992_2017) 



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

The reproduction of the violin here is superb -- harmonically rich, natural, clean, clear, resolving. What sets the truly killer pressings apart is the depth, width and three-dimensional quality of the sound, as well as the fact that they become less congested in the louder passages and don't get shrill or blary. The best copies display a Tubey Magical richness -- especially evident in the basses and celli -- that is to die for.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


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Super Hot Stamper

Tony Bennett
For Once In My Life

  (Item #: benneforon_1804_1812) 

Our Price: $99.99

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

Tony Bennett & Count Basie
Strike Up The Band

  (Item #: bennestrik_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on this Emus pressing of Count Basie and Tony Bennett's 1959 classic collaboration
  • The originals we have played are uniformly horrible sounding compared to these wonderful reissues - the tonality here is Right On The Money
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... the pairing between Bennett and Basie remains impressive. The band raves through tunes like "With Plenty Of Money And You," and Bennett matches them, drawing strength from the bravura arrangements, while band and singer achieve a knowing tenderness on "Growing Pains." This is an album well worth owning..."
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Super Hot Stamper

George Benson
Tell It Like It Is

  (Item #: bensotelli_1803) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, this is an excellent copy of this Benson album from 1969
  • We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does here, or your money back
  • Allmusic loves Benson's playing here, noting his "...often brilliantly tasty guitar fills and brief solos in many styles and three reverb-heavy vocals."
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Super Hot Stamper

Big Brother & The Holding Company
Self-Titled

  (Item #: bigbrbigbr_1811_1902) 

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


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

This Is Why You Must Do Shootouts

  (Item #: bizetcarme_wtlf) 



Ricci’s playing of the Bizet-Sarasate Carmen Fantasie is OUT OF THIS WORLD. There is no greater performance on record in my opinion, and few works that have as much Audiophile Appeal. Which is why I've had a copy of this record in my own collection for about fifteen years marked "My Demo Disc". But this copy KILLED it. How could that be?

It just goes to show: No matter how good a particular copy of a record may sound to you, when you clean and play enough of them you will almost always find one that's better, and often surprisingly better. Shootouts are the only way to find these kinds of records. Nothing else works.

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White Hot Stamper

Blood, Sweat & Tears
Child is Father to the Man

  (Item #: bloodchild_1904) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Absolutely amazing sound throughout, with both sides earning our highest sonic grade of Triple Plus (A+++) or close to it
  • This copy will show you just how big, full-bodied, lively and POWERFUL this music can be on the right pressing
  • Not many records on this site are harder to find with top quality sound and reasonably quiet surfaces
  • "Child Is Father to the Man is keyboard player/singer/arranger Al Kooper's finest work, an album on which he moves the folk-blues-rock amalgamation of the Blues Project into even wider pastures... One of the great albums of the eclectic post-Sgt. Pepper era of the late '60s." - 5 stars
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Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child is Father to the Man

What to Listen For

  (Item #: bloodchild_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 first Blood Sweat and Tears album.

Have you ever played the first BS&T album? The average copy is a headache-inducing MESS. It will never be a Demo Disc, but that certainly doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable.

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White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Aladdin Sane

  (Item #: bowiealadd_1901) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An insanely good copy of this Bowie classic, with shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second
  • The Tubey Magical midrange of a classic Ken Scott recording is really something to hear on this vintage UK pressing
  • Plenty of Bowie Classics: Watch That Man; Aladdin Sane; Panic in Detroit; Cracked Actor; The Jean Genie; Lady Grinning Soul and more (!)
  • This UK import copy - forget the dubby domestic LPs - is exceptionally quiet as well
  • Bowie encyclopedist Nicholas Pegg describes it as "one of the most urgent, compelling and essential" of his releases."
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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Diamond Dogs

  (Item #: bowiediamo_1811) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - this UK pressing will show you a Diamond Dogs you had no idea existed, yet here it is
  • One of the better copies from our most recent shootout (especially on the first side) - the sound is big, full, lively and spacious with hard-rockin' energy to spare
  • It's ridiculously tough to find even passable sound for this album - we guarantee you'll be blown away by this pressing
  • Great songs including the title track, Rebel Rebel, 1984, Sweet Thing, Big Brother, Rock & Roll With Me and more
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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Hunky Dory

  (Item #: bowiehunky_1904_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This UK pressing of Bowie's pre-Ziggy Folk Rock masterpiece earned outstanding Double (A++) grades for sound
  • The best tracks on the album are Demonstration Quality - Oh You Pretty Things is a KNOCKOUT here
  • Rich, spacious and sweet, with a HUGE soundstage - drop the needle on Changes and listen to how dynamic it is
  • 5 stars: "On the surface, such a wide range of styles and sounds would make an album incoherent, but Bowie's improved songwriting and determined sense of style instead made Hunky Dory a touchstone for reinterpreting pop's traditions into fresh, postmodern pop music."
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Super Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Young Americans

  (Item #: bowieyoung_1808_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound for Bowie's one and only Soul album with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We think you'll agree this is a surprisingly well recorded, especially when you have a copy that sounds as good as this one - it's big and solid with punchy bass and real immediacy
  • This is the record that turned me on to David Sanborn, whose sax work here is nothing short of a revelation
  • One of our favorites by Bowie, with so many killer tracks: Young Americans, Fascination, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Across the Universe and, of course, Fame
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White Hot Stamper

David Bowie
Young Americans

  (Item #: bowieyoung_1810_1903) 

Our Price: $349.99
Sale Price: $299.00 (You save $50.99 / 15%)


  • One of the better copies of Bowie's soul album to hit the site this year - incredible Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two and excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on one
  • This vintage pressing is simply bigger and fuller than the competition, with massive amounts of energy and rich punchy bass
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl too - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout - they don't come any quieter
  • One of our favorites by The Man, with so many killer tracks: Young Americans, Win, Fascination, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Across the Universe and, of course, Fame
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Thinking About the Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars

of Bread and Cat Stevens

  (Item #: breadmanna_thoughts) 



In many ways this recording is state-of-the-art. Listening to the Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitars on the best copies brings back memories of my first encounter with an original Pink Label Tea for the Tillerman. Rich, sweet, full-bodied, effortlessly dynamic-- that sound knocked me out twenty-odd years ago, and here it is again.

Of course I've always been a sucker for this kind of well-crafted pop. If you are too then a Hot Stamper copy of Manna will no doubt become a treasured demo disc in your home as well.

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Bread and Elektra Analog

A Double-Edged Sword that Cuts Both Ways (Uh, Don't They All?)

  (Item #: breadmanna_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Bread.

Manna has the clear signature of Elektra from the late '60s and early '70s. It's unmistakably ANALOG, but that double-edged sword cuts both ways. Richness and Tubey Magic (the kind you had in your old '70s stereo equipment) often comes at the expense of transparency, clarity, speed and transient information (the things your '70s equipment probably had more trouble with).

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The Bloated Cello Sound Some Audiophiles Seem to Love

  (Item #: brittsonat_cello) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate any and all cello recordings you may own.

On this pressing we were a bit surprised by how unusually natural the cello sounded -- more like the real instrument and less like the typical recording of it.


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Jackson Browne - Jackson Browne

What to Listen For

  (Item #: brownjacks_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Jackson Browne's first (and best) album.

The real trick with this album is in striking the right balance between richness and presence. A White Hot Stamper from years back made me change my mind about this recording. I used to think it was dull, but I was wrong. I used to think that even the best copies of this recording sounded rolled off on the top end. I no longer believe that to be true. On the best pressings the top end is correct for this music.

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Jackson Browne - Late for the Sky

This Kind of Clarity Quickly Wears Out Its Welcome

  (Item #: brownlatef_wtlf) 



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

It's not easy to find copies that get the tonal balance right the way the best copies do. Most err in one of two ways -- either they're rich, full and a little veiled, or they're clear and transparent, but leaned-out and boosted.

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Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1802) 

Our Price: $34.99

  • Jackson Browne's breakthrough massive commercial hit album boasts very good Hot Stamper sound on this early pressing, from first note to last
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • "Teaming with Bruce Springsteen's producer, Jon Landau, Browne himself clearly sought to up the ante with more epic settings, while Landau worked on pumping up the star's vocal attack."
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Super Hot Stamper

Jackson Browne
The Pretender

  (Item #: brownprete_1806_1812) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides make this a Pretender that will rock with the best of them
  • One of the all time great rock / pop Demo Discs -- the best copies are so rich and full-bodied they make most rock records sound positively anemic
  • Five Stars in Rolling Stone, one of their Top 500 Albums, and a true classic from 1976
  • Without a doubt the best sounding record Jackson Browne ever made - this is the pressing that backs up everything we say and more
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Dave Brubeck Trio Featuring Gerry Mulligan - Compadres

What to Listen For - The Audience

  (Item #: brubecompa_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, or any live album for that matter.

As is the case with most live albums, the sound of the crowd tells you a lot about the recording, and on this copy the crowd sounded exceptionally clear and natural.

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Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Further Out

What to Listen For

  (Item #: brubetimef_wtlf) 



The best copies such as this one demonstrate the big-as-life Fred Plaut Columbia Sound at its best (better than even Time Out in our opinion). These vintage recordings are full-bodied, spacious, three-dimensional, rich, sweet and warm in the best tradition of an All Tube Analog recording. If you want to hear big drums in a big room these Brubeck recordings will show you that sound better than practically any record we know of. The Engineering tab below has much more on that subject.
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Buckingham Nicks - Buckingham Nicks

Watch Out for Too Fat and Too Rich

  (Item #: buckibucki_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 biggest problem with this record is sound that gets too fat and too rich. There has to be transparency to the sound that lets us listen into the studio. When Stevie is singing, almost always double-tracked by the way, Lindsay is often doing harmony vocals well behind her, double-tracked as well.

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Buffalo Springfield - Again

Extracting the Midrange Magic

  (Item #: buffaagain_wtlf) 



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

So many copies of this album sound so bad and play so poorly that most audiophiles have by now written it off as a lost cause. But we didn't. We kept at it, and our main motivation was the music.

Extracting the midrange magic from a album like this should be the goal of every right-thinking audiophile. Who cares what's on the TAS Super Disc List? I want to play the music that I love, not because it sounds good, but because I love it. And if the only way to find good sounding copies of typically poorly-mastered, beat-to-death records such as this one is to go through a big pile of them, well then, I guess that's what we'll have to do.

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Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

Listening for Tubey Magic Down Low

  (Item #: buffalastt_wtlf) 



On even the best copies there's a bit too much Tubey Magic in the bass I regret to say. Tubbiness and bloat were par for the course. This may explain why so many copies have rolled off bass; the engineer cut the bass because he heard how tubby it was and figured no bass is better than bad bass.

Which is just not true. Cutting the bass leans out and "modernizes" the sound, making the voices sound thin and dry. This pretty much ruins everything on this album just the way it ruins everything in practically every modern recording I hear. Having your bass under control on the playback side isn't easy -- in fact it's probably the hardest thing to achieve in audio -- but it can be done, and with good bass control the slightly wooly bass is just part of the sound you learn to accept.

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White Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
Blues — The Common Ground

  (Item #: burreblues_1811_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Stunning sound for this original Verve LP with a Triple Plus (A+++) grade on the second side and a Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • This is an exceptionally well-recorded album, with Burrell's small jazz guitar group aided by Don Sebesky's superb orchestral arrangements
  • "Blues - The Common Ground finds Burrell backed by lots of brass and wind instruments for most of the album, hardly his usual setting. But his guitar successfully weaves in and out of songs... blending with the band and creating a pleasant balance".
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Super Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
Blues — The Common Ground

  (Item #: burreblues_1812_1904) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides of this original Verve pressing
  • The sound is wonderful -- big, lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness that only these good early pressings can show you
  • "Blues - The Common Ground finds Burrell backed by lots of brass and wind instruments for most of the album, hardly his usual setting. But his guitar successfully weaves in and out of songs... blending with the band and creating a pleasant balance". - All Music
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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Ballad of Easy Rider

  (Item #: byrdsballa_1712_1810) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
  • We're always blown away at just how much further the Top Copies like this one take the music -- a dramatic difference!
  • Both sides are rich and full with plenty of Tubey Magic and lovely present vocals
  • "Ballad of Easy Rider was the album where the new lineup really hit its stride." 4 stars
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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Mr. Tambourine Man

  (Item #: byrdsmrtam_1809_1901) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • An exceptionally good sounding copy, earning Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Lively, balanced and vibrant, with a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical richness these recordings need in order to work
  • Listen to how breathy Jim (later Roger) McGuinn's vocals are - his vocals are key to the better sounding Byrds records
  • 5 Stars: "One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock ... nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat."
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The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man

What to Listen For

  (Item #: byrdsmrtam_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.

Want to hear what the best copies of Mr. Tambourine Man can do? Play Chimes of Freedom, one of the best sounding tracks on side two, if not THE best. Listen to how breathy Jim (later Roger) McGuinn's vocals are. Byrds records almost never sound like that.

I Knew I’d Want You is another one that sounds amazingly Tubey Magical on the best pressings.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Byrds
Turn! Turn! Turn!

  (Item #: byrdsturnt_1808_1903) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides - this is the right sound for a Byrds album from 1965 - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Rich, clear and present, with much less harmonic distortion - you will have a hard time finding a copy as good as this one
  • One of the better sounding Byrds recordings, with a number of their best songs, including the title track
  • 4 1/2 stars: "...more Bob Dylan covers were included, as well, and "Satisfied Mind" was their first foray into country-rock, a direction they would explore in much greater depth throughout the rest of the '60s."
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The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn!

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: byrdsturnt_2011) 



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

This Columbia 360 label pressing has AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES and the vinyl is about as quiet as any of these 360 Label pressings can be found!

It took us a long time, but we pulled together enough clean copies for a big shootout, and these two great sides were head and shoulders above the competition. The sound is natural, lifelike and realistic with serious immediacy and plenty of rock and roll energy.

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Super Hot Stamper

Canned Heat
Canned Heat

  (Item #: cannecanne_1806_1901) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $30.99 / 24%)


  • This outstanding original pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound, and the vinyl is about as quiet as we can find it
  • The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with rich, Tubey Magical vocals that are only found on these good vintage pressings
  • These "authentic renderings" of blues covers include classics such as Muddy Waters' Rollin' and Tumblin' and Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom
  • 4 stars: "This debut was issued shortly after their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival... While decidedly more obscure to the casual listener, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones "Story of My Life" is both a high point on this recording, as well as one of the fiercest renditions ever committed to tape."
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White Hot Stamper

Canned Heat
Canned Heat

  (Item #: cannecanne_1901_1903) 

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


  • A stunning sounding original copy: Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side, Double Plus (A++) on the second
  • The sound is present, lively and tonally correct, with rich, Tubey Magical vocals that are only found on these good vintage pressings
  • These "authentic renderings" of blues covers include classics such as Muddy Waters' Rollin' and Tumblin' and Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom
  • 4 stars: "This debut was issued shortly after their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival... While decidedly more obscure to the casual listener, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones "Story of My Life" is both a high point on this recording, as well as one of the fiercest renditions ever committed to tape."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Cars
Candy-O

  (Item #: cars_candy_1810_1901) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $89.00 (You save $40.99 / 32%)


  • A killer copy of The Cars' New Wave Classic, boasting outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best sound you'll ever hear on Candy-O -- big, punchy, dynamic, clear and lively
  • A great lineup of songs with Demo Disc sound quality, thanks to Roy Thomas Baker's production and engineering chops
  • AMG raves it's "... the rare follow-up to a classic debut... it may be one of the best second albums ever made, full of great songs, inspired performances, and sporting a still-perfect sound."
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The Cars - Candy-O

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: cars_candy_depth) 



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

This is one of our favorite recordings -- a former member of our Top 100 -- for one very simple reason: it's got Big Rock Sound in spades! Drop the needle on Let's Go and check out the sound of the big floor tom. When the drummer bangs on that thing, you will FEEL it! It's similar to the effect of being in the room with live musicians -- the difference between just hearing music and also feeling it. That's what you get from a Hot Stamper copy.

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