Who knew? Not us and not anybody else it seems. We are not aware that any of the audiophile cognoscenti have ever taken this recording seriously, but that just goes to show how uninformed — or perhaps more likely underinformed — they’ve always been.
Gems such as this sit undiscovered even after thousands of pages of audiophile record reviews have been written. Then, along come a handful of guys in Thousand Oaks, California many years later, 52 to be exact, and reveal to the world a heretofore all but unknown yet nonetheless amazing Brubeck record.
And they back up everything they say with actual records that sound as good as they say they will.(more…)
They’re about as quiet as vintage LPs ever are. Some surface noise is always going to be audible on an old record. We believe we sell the quietest vintage pressings in the world, but they are certainly not silent. Lately we’ve been adding this text to our listings to clarify our position on surface noise:
Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any original pressing will play, and since only the right originals have any hope of sounding amazing on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
After a lengthy shootout hiatus we proudly present the best side two of this album to hit the site since 2013
Out Of This World sound on side two, where it earned a Four Plus sonic grade for its MINDBLOWING orchestral power
Side one earned a seriously good grade of Double Plus (A++) – it’s rich, clear and dynamic, with weighty brass
A TAS List Super Disc, with a performance by Previn and the LSO that’s as spectacular as the sound
This copy has some condition issues – those of you looking for a quiet copy will have to wait for the next shootout in 2018 or thereabouts
This copy has a side two that is so off the charts we ended up giving it Four Pluses. A Four Plus copy has to meet a standard higher than our regular top grade, and we define that standard as “better than we ever imagined any copy could ever sound.”(more…)
Let me ask you one question. If so many of the current labels making 180 gram reissues are using the real master tapes — the real two-track stereo masters, not dubs, not cutting masters, not high-resolution digital copies, but the real thing — then why do so many of their records sound so bad?
If you’re honest you’ll say “I Don’t Know…” because, and here I want you to trust me on this, you don’t know. I don’t know either. Nobody does.
Records are mysterious. Their mysteries are many and deep. If you don’t know that you clearly haven’t spent much time with them, or don’t have a very revealing stereo, or don’t listen critically, or something else, god knows what. They’re mysterious; that’s just a fact. (more…)
Very bad sound! So blary! Terrible performance too.
Never liked the performance. The sound can be quiet good however.
Somewhat slow and ponderous – there are better performances with excellent sound.
These are just some of the recordings of the music of Mussorgsky that we’ve auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place on our site, in your collection, and may even belong in a Hall of Shame.
For its debut on the site, we present this amazing sounding British original pressing, with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one (the Rod Stewart side)
Side two (the Elton John produced side) was outstanding as well, earning a Double Plus (A++) for its rich, tubey sound
No wonder side one sounds like the best of Rod Stewart & The Faces’ early-’70s albums – Mike Bobak engineered them
“The backing band on Stewart’s side include fellow Face and future Rolling Stone, Ron Wood, on electric guitar and acoustic guitarist Sam Mitchell, who appeared on many of Stewart’s early-’70s solo albums.”
Here’s how this shootout got started.
A few years ago while I was working on the site I had music on youtube playing. The song “Flying” came on from the It Ain’t Easy album, and when the chorus came in I could not believe how big, rich and powerful it sounded — this, on computer speakers!(more…)
TWO SUPERB SIDES on this Killer White Hot Stamper pressing of Brian Eno’s MASTERPIECE — one of my All Time Favorite Albums, a real Demo Disc of twisted pop. This British Sunray original pressing takes the sound to a level BEYOND all others. This copy has deep, punchy bass that exceeded my wildest expectations, energy like I couldn’t believe, and a wonderful smoothness that you just don’t get on most copies. (more…)
A killer copy hasn’t hit the site in a while, but here’s one with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) Demo Disc sound on both sides
Boogie Woogie Waltz was one of the most mindblowing tracks found on any album from 1973
The sound is huge, spacious, lively, transparent and punchy – this is jazz fusion that really rocks
” It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the “Boogie Woogie Waltz” and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers.” 4 stars
The top end is fully extended here in a way that most copies barely hints at, and the overall sound is amazingly transparent and three-dimensional. The brass is full and rich, the percussion lively and present, and the bass is weighty and defined. All the stuff we look for on a Classic Weather Report album is here.
Note especially that the energy is excellent, and both sides are also very high-rez; the echo trails from all the studio reverb go on for days.
Better Than Heavy Weather?
This is our favorite Weather Report album here at Better Records. Heavy Weather is arguably a more ambitious and more accomplished piece of work. But Sweetnighter is so original and rhythmically compelling that we find ourselves enjoying it more. I don’t know of any other album on the planet like it. We only know of two Must-Own Weather Report albums, this one and Heavy Weather. They both belong in your collection if you’re a fan of jazz fusion.(more…)
When you sit down to play ten or twelve copies of an album, one right after the other, patterns in the sound are going to emerge from that experience, patterns which would be very likely to pass unnoticed when playing one copy against another or two over the course of the twenty or thirty minutes it would take to do it.
In the case of this album, the pattern we perceived was simply this: About one or two out of that dozen or so will have punchy, solid, rich, deep bass. (There is a huge amount of bass on the recording so recognizing those special copies is not the least bit difficult if you have a full-range speaker and a properly treated room.) (more…)
No two copies of a record sound the same. That’s the undeniable reality of the analog LP, as well as the driving force that turned a hobby into a full-fledged livelihood for our staff of six.
Many people find the ideas (and the prices!) on this website shocking. Frankly, they would be shocking to us too if we weren’t hearing such dramatic differences in the sound quality of the large numbers of copies we play every day.
Our staff devotes its time to finding, cleaning and playing as many pressings of an album as we can get our hands on. We take only the best sounding copies – we call them “Hot Stampers” – and make them available exclusively to those who appreciate (and can afford) the ultimate in analog sound.
We’re unique in that we’re the only record dealers who base the price of their records on the quality of their sound. Although we’ve been finding Hot Stamper pressings for close to thirty years, it has only become the main focus of our business in the last decade or so.
It began simply enough as a personal quest to find better sounding records for our own collections. As more audiophiles have come to recognize just how impressive a Hot Stamper can be compared with any other pressing, we’ve evolved to keep up with the demand. Our staff now concentrates all its efforts into finding these exceptional copies. We are proud to have established ourselves as the team with both the resources and expertise to carry out this intensely specialized, time-consuming work.
We offer a 100% Money Back, No Questions Asked Guarantee on every record we sell. If you are not completely satisfied with a Hot Stamper for any reason, send it back within 30 days for a full refund. That’s how confident we are in the records we offer. Our return rate? Somewhere in the low single digits.
The links below should help you get acquainted with our site. We know it can be a bit overwhelming so please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about what we do and how we do it.
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Thanks for checking out our site and we look forward to helping you on the journey to amazing analog sound. You can either browse our selection of Hot Stampers or continue learning more about what we do with the links below.