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White Hot Stamper

Yes
Fragile

  (Item #: yes__fragi_2005) 

Our Price: $549.99

  • Astonishing Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides - Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround will blow your mind
  • Superb clarity, ZERO smear, astonishing transparency thanks to Eddie Offord's superb engineering
  • AMG 5 stars, our Top 100, and the second of the band's three Must Own Prog Rock Masterpieces*
  • "Fragile was Yes' breakthrough album... it also marked the point where all of the elements of the music (and more) that would define their success for more than a decade fell into place fully formed."
See all of our Yes albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Yes
Close To The Edge

  (Item #: yes__close_2004) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An amazing copy of this Prog Blockbuster, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides
  • An incredibly complex recording, with huge organs, light-speed changes and an abundance of multi-tracked parts
  • A recording that will push even the highest quality, most heavily tweaked stereo to its limits - if you can play this record good and loud, you can play anything
  • 5 stars: "Close to the Edge represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years. In 1972, Close to the Edge was a flawless masterpiece."
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White Hot Stamper

Isaac Hayes
Chocolate Chip

  (Item #: hayeschoco_2002) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • Hayes' 1975 release finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Smoother, more musical, with more top end extension and more weight down below, this is the way to hear Isaac Hayes in his prime
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful album from 1975, this is a great way to go
  • "A fine mid-'70s album on which Isaac Hayes adapted to the disco era. His productions were already ideal for dance floors, and he now updated his charts to include some stomping segments with horns and layered beats, while maintaining his soulful vocals on both up-tempo tunes and ballads."
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Super Hot Stamper

Isaac Hayes
Shaft

  (Item #: hayesshaft_2004_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Shaft is back, and here's one of the best we played, boasting Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides - reasonably quiet vinyl for Stax in 1971 too
  • It took us years to find enough copies with good sound and quiet vinyl to do a shootout, and this fine pressing is the result of all that digging, cleaning and evaluating
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Isaac Hayes was undoubtedly one of the era's most accomplished soul artists, having helped elevate Stax to its esteemed status... And with "Theme from Shaft," he delivered an anthem just as ambitious and revered as the film itself, a song that has only grown more treasured over the years, after having been an enormously popular hit at the time of its release."
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White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Yes
The Yes Album

  (Item #: yes__yesal_2001_03ex) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A Big As Life copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides - I've Seen All Good People is mindblowing on this side one
  • You haven't begun to hear the power and size of Yes's brilliant third album until you've played one of our Shootout Winning early domestic pressings
  • A Top 100 Album and the band's best sounding record if you ask us (although Fragile can sound absolutely amazing too, just not as smooth and rich)
  • "Organist Tony Kaye, guitarist Steve Howe and bass player Chris Squire play as though of one mind, complementing each other's work as a knowledgeable band should."
More Yes Album / More Yes


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Willie Nelson
Yesterday's Wine

  (Item #: nelsoyeste_1907_10) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A KILLER sounding copy with both sides earning nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Incredibly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a big bottom end and wonderfully present vocals
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "Yesterday's Wine should also take its rightful place among his best-loved works... "Family Bible," "Me and Paul," and the title track are all particularly fine examples of Nelson's songcraft. As a whole, Yesterday's Wine provides further insight into the development of his art during this prolific period." - All Music
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Phineas Newborn, Jr.
A World of Piano!

  (Item #: newboaworl_2002_5) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Newborn's first album for Contemporary makes its Hot Stamper debut with killer Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish, coming in just shy of our Shootout Winner - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of the most musically impressive jazz piano recordings we've played in years - Newborn's improvisational skills are operating at the very highest level
  • The team of Ray DuNann and Howard Holzer insure that everything you want in an Audiophile Quality piano trio recording is here
  • 5 stars: "Phineas Newborn's Contemporary debut (he would record six albums over a 15-year period for the label) was made just before physical problems began to interrupt his career.... He performs five jazz standards and three obscurities by jazz composers on this superb recital..."
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Super Hot Stamper

Larry Coryell
Spaces

  (Item #: coryespace_2003_) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Larry Coryell makes his Hot Stamper debut with this outstanding copy of Spaces, boasting solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Just as rich, lively and clear, with plenty of space for this exceptional ensemble to occupy as you would expect from a vintage Vanguard recording (1970)
  • Features jazz greats John McLaughlin on guitar, Chick Corea on electric piano, Miroslav Vitouš on bass, and Billy Cobham on drums
  • 4 stars: "This album features the pioneer fusion guitarist Larry Coryell with quite an all-star group... contains some lyricism often lacking in fusion of the mid-'70s... a stimulating album worth searching for."
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Super Hot Stamper

Various Artists
Woodstock (3 LPs)

  (Item #: variowoods_2005) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Woodstock returns to this site, this time with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to on all six sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you've heard, and that's especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • "As potent a musical time capsule as ever existed, it captures the three-day, 1969 concert event that united close to half a million members of what came to be known as the 'Woodstock Generation'. It topped the Billboard Charts for four weeks and sold two million copies."
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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
Close To The Edge

  (Item #: yes__close_2001_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Two killer earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades - these early pressings are the only ones that can make any sense of this challenging music
  • An incredibly complex recording, with huge organs, light-speed changes and an abundance of multi-tracked parts
  • And the other good news is that the vinyl on this copy is exceptionally quiet for this title - on the low side of Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as we can find them
  • 5 stars: "Close to the Edge comprised just three tracks, the epic "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru," plus a side-long title track that represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years."
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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
Time And A Word

  (Item #: yes__timea_1910_12) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last on this killer UK pressing of Time And A Word - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best High Production Value rock music of the '60s and '70s, thanks to the band and a Mr Eddie Offord
  • If you've ever heard one of our Yes Album Hot Stampers, you'll know what to expect here - huge and powerful sound
  • "If Yes‘ debut was a prelude to their glory years as a band, Time and a Word sees them making a bold first step into the realm of prospective greatness."
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie & Oscar Peterson
Yessir, That’s My Baby

  (Item #: basieyessi_1907_01) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Both sides of this wonderful Basie/Peterson record boast outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Jazz records don't get a whole lot bigger, clearer or more full-bodied - man, this is the glorious sound of ANALOG
  • "The two pianists (backed by bassist John Heard and drummer Louis Bellson) play five standards and three blues with predictable swing, finding much more in common with each other than one might have originally suspected."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Count Basie & Oscar Peterson - Yessir, That’s My Baby

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: basieyessi_2012) 



Side two of this wonderful Basie Peterson record has nearly White Hot Stamper Demo Disc sound -- jazz records don't get a whole lot bigger, clearer or more full-bodied. Man, that is the sound of glorious ANALOG. A++ to A+++ is our conservative grade. It might be worth the full Three Pluses but we just can't find enough copies to know if this side could get any better. There is not a single critical comment of any kind in the notes, so that ought to tell you that you are in for a real sonic treat with this side two.
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Everything But the Beer / Fiedler Conducts a Boston Pops Concert

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: varioevery_6082_2012) 



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

This VERY RARE 2 LP Shaded Dog pressing has Super Hot Stamper sound. Much of what's good about Golden Age recordings is heard here, with side one for example having the sound of a HUGE hall and that Three-Dimensional quality that the best vintage recordings are able to convey so well.

We constantly knock Heavy Vinyl here at Better Records for the simple reason that we play vintage recordings such as this by the score every month and can hear what they do so well. Unfortunately the huge hall and the 3-D soundstaging they effortlessly reproduce cannot be found on any Heavy Vinyl pressing we know of.

See more recordings conducted by Arthur Fiedler


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John Coltrane - Lush Life

DCC and OJC Reviewed

  (Item #: coltrlushl_dcc) 



Sonic Grade: B or so (DCC)
Sonic Grade: C or so (OJC)

The DCC heavy vinyl pressing is a nice record; I remember liking it back in the day. I'm guessing it's a bit better than the '80s OJC, which is, like most OJC pressings, typically thin and hard. Neither one of them can hold a candle to the pressings we offer on the site. If for some reason we could not find copies of the album that substantially beat the sound of either of these two remastered LPs, we simply would not have anything to offer, since neither of these versions could be considered Hot Stampers. Nice records, sure, but Hot Stampers? Not a chance.

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John Coltrane - Lush Life

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrlushl_2016) 



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

We've been searching for years trying to find just what kind of Lush Life pressing -- what era, what label, what stampers, mono or stereo, import or domestic -- had the potential for good sound.

No, scratch that. We should have said excellent sound. Exceptional sound. We've played plenty of copies that sounded pretty good, even very good, but exceptional? A pressing of that caliber had eluded us -- until 2016.

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The Yes Album

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

  (Item #: yes__yesal_letter) 



This letter of the week comes from one of our long time customers, Gary, who was blown away by the sound of our Aja, Yes Album and Fragile Hot Stampers. We agreed, noting that it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE for records to sound like the ones we sent him!

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

Last week, when the Thursday mailer came out, I happened to be listening to The Yes Album, your hot stamper. I am astounded every time I play that record. I had no choice but to grab your Fragile HS. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on Aja as well, after shooting out the 4 or 5 copies I have.

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Yes - Close To The Edge

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: yes__close_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.

The toughest nut to crack in the entire Yes catalog! We’ve been trying for years to bring you Hot Stamper copies of this one, but it is hasn't been easy. Here’s the copy that proved to us just how much this album can cook if your stereo is up to it and you’ve got the right pressing.

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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.

More Close to the Edge


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Yes - Close To The Edge

A MoFi Winner (?)

  (Item #: yes__close_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: Side One: B to B+ / Side Two: C

A few years back we wrote the commentary you see below. We can't say if we would still agree with the sentiments expressed, so take what you read with a grain of salt, and remember that no two records sound the same. If your copy is better or worse on either side it will not come as a surprise to us here at Better Records!

More Close to the Edge / More Yes


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Yes - Fragile

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: yes__fragi_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.

MASTER TAPE SOUND! We doubt you’ve heard too many rock records that sound as AMAZING as this one. It’s dynamic, punchy and powerful, with the kind of super-low distortion sound that lets you really crank the levels, the louder the BETTER! How many Yes records will let you do that? THIS ONE WILL! That's what you get for your $750 -- the kind of sound that will blow your mind.

More Yes


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Yes - Fragile

... I Didn’t Know Yes LPs Could Sound Like This ...

  (Item #: yes__fragi_testimonial) 



Our good customer Franklin wrote us a nice letter to let us us how much he loved his Fragile Hot Stamper. He''s so right: that was one AMAZING sounding record!

Just listened to the Yes album Fragile. FANTASTIC!!!!! I didn't know Yes LPs could sound like this. Any Yes LPs I've ever heard were harsh sounding and after a couple of minutes my ears would start to hurt. Thanks!

Regards,
Franklin

See all of our Yes albums in stock


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Yes - Fragile

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: yes__fragi_obsess) 



FRAGILE 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. Below you can find a letter one of our good customers wrote about his Hot Stamper pressing.

This link will take you to all of our other YES albums.


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Yes - Fragile

British Band, British Pressing... Right?

  (Item #: yes__fragi_myth) 



Not Really. It’s just another Record Myth.

Some of you may remember that back in the '90s (and even into the 2000s, gulp) we preferred the sound on the British original pressings for the most famous Yes albums, Fragile among them.

There's no way around it, folks: We Was Wrong. While the Brit copies can have some very nice qualities, they just can't compete with the best domestic pressings of Fragile.

More Yes / More Fragile


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Yes - Fragile

Analogue Productions LP Reviewed

  (Item #: yes__fragi_ap) 



Sonic Grade: C

The Analogue Productions 180g reissue shown here is mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Grey, two guys I respect, but the results of their latest collaboration leave much to be desired. The overall sound is lean. This is especially noticeable on the too thin-sounding guitars and vocals. Believe me, it's no fun to play a Yes album with thin guitars and vocals.

More Yes


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Yes - Fragile

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: yes__fragi_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 Fragile.

EDDIE OFFORD took charge of Yes's engineering with Time and a Word (1970) and we are very lucky that he did. Although his masterpiece is surely ELP's first album, both The Yes Album and Fragile are so well recorded they clearly belong at the top of any list of All Time Great Sounding Rock Albums.

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Yes - Fragile

Roundabout Vs. South Side of the Sky

  (Item #: yes__fragi_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 Fragile.

This shootout taught us that track one is not as well recorded as the rest of side one. On copy after copy, and there were well over a dozen, it was the other big track on side one, South Side of the Sky, that had consistently better sound. You really hear it in the choruses, where the voices are so full-bodied, powerful, rich and energetic on that fourth track, and less of all of these qualities on the first.

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Yes - The Yes Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: yes__yesal_2018) 



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

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

More Yes Album / More Yes


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Yes - The Yes Album

Rhino 180g Debunked

  (Item #: yes__yesal_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing. The worst version ever? Could be! That notorious hack Ron McMaster strikes again.

Rhino Records has really made a mockery of the analog medium. Rhino bills their releases as pressed on "180 gram High Performance Vinyl." However, if they are using performance to refer to sound quality, we take issue with their use of the word.

More Yes Album / More Yes


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Yes - The Yes Album

What We Learned from Our Shootout in 2007

  (Item #: yes__yesal_wrong) 



Some of our oldest customers may remember that we used to prefer the British Originals for this album back in the '90s. There's no other way to say it, folks: We Was Wrong.

While the Brit copies can have some nice qualities, they just can't compete with the very best domestic pressings. No British Original we played rated above a solid A for either side. Based on what we heard in our shootout, we feel VERY confident that the master tapes for this album are in America. There is NO WAY this record is not cut from the master tape. Dubs just don't sound like this.

More Yes Album / More Yes


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Yes, We're Getting Awfully Close To The Edge

Are Your Planets Aligned?

  (Item #: yes__close_planets) 



A word of caution: Even our Hottest Stamper copies can sound problematical unless your system is firing on all cylinders. Your electricity has got to be cooking, you've got to be using the right room treatments, and ideally you should be using a demagnetizer such as the Talisman on the record itself, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.

This is a record that's going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you're up to the challenge. If you don't mind putting in a little hard work, here's a record that will reward you many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process.

More Close to the Edge


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Yes

  (Item #: _yes) 


Yes albums in stock

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