How many engineers get their picture on the artists’ 45 sleeve? This is the only one I know of!
ROY HALEE is one of our favorite producers and recording / mixing engineers. Check out our supply of Roy Halee engineered or produced albums, along with some of our famous commentaries.
Many can be found in our Rock and Pop Top 100 List of Best Sounding Albums with the Best Music (limited to titles that we can actually find sufficient copies of with which to do our Hot Stamper shootouts).
… to find the right balance between richness, sweetness and clarity.
Take three or four Katy Lied pressings, clean them up and play just one or two of the tracks we discuss below. You won’t find any two copies that get those tracks to sound the same. We do our shootouts with dozens of copies at a time and no two sound the same to us.
This is a very tough record to reproduce — everything has to be working at its best to even begin to get this complicated music to sound the way it should. But if you’ve done your homework and your system is really cooking, you are in for the time of your Steely Dan life.
For the first time in three years, an amazing Triple Triple (A+++) copy of this excellent Wes Montgomery title
Both sides here are OUT OF THIS WORLD; this is DEMO DISC Quality Big Production Guitar-led Jazz
It’s incredibly big, bold, clear, rich and dynamic like no copy we’ve ever played
Forget the critics, this is one of Wes’s Best Albums of All Time I tell you!
This White Hot Stamper Shootout Winner has the REAL Wes Montgomery/ Creed Taylor/ Rudy Van Gelder MAGIC in its grooves. You will not believe how big, rich and full-bodied this pressing is. Since this is one of Wes’s best albums, hearing this incredible White Hot copy was a THRILL for us and we’re sure it will be as big a thrill for you too.
As Good As It Gets Sound. So natural, transparent and clear. Listen to all the space around the guitar. (On the Cisco you might hear 20% of that space. That’s Heavy Vinyl for you. What a load of crap.)
It starts off a little blurry but quickly gets amazingly good, so good nothing could touch it. This was by far the most musically exciting and involving side we played in our shootout.(more…)
An honest to goodness Top Copy, with two Triple Plus (A+++) sides and two Double Plus sides – this is about as good as it gets, folks
If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this is the pressing that can do it
Bill Halverson did a great job but you have to work your tail off to find a copy that does his brilliant engineering justice. Sad, isn’t it?
Rolling Stone raves that “Crosby, Stills. Nash, and Young are all performers of unquestionable talent, and mostly because they stay out of each others’ way, 4 Way Street must surely be their best album to date.”
If you want to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rock out live in your listening room, this copy will let you do it. It’s not easy to find good sound on even one side of this album, let alone all four!(more…)
The original grade I gave out in 2014 when last I played this remastered version as part of a shootout was “D.” I explained at the time:
Just listen to how strange Van’s voice sounds, so lean, hard and sour. That alone qualifies it for an “F”, but considering how bad most pressings of this album are, let’s be fair, if not downright generous, and call it a “D”.
I just revisited the record in a current shootout, and after giving it some thought I have decided that the right grade is in fact “F.” It cannot be any other, for reasons I discuss below.
Great sound for some the biggest hits of The Lovin’ Spoonful, a band I wouldn’t have expected to hear sound good on vinyl if I lived to be a hundred, and yet, here it is. This is one of the rare cases where, in our experience, the hits compilation sounds BETTER than the original records. Why? Who knows? We don’t pretend to have all the answers. What we do have (that no one else has, if that’s not too obvious) are the records that back up the claims we make for them.
How they came to be that way is anyone’s guess. All we know for sure is that, judging by the best copies of this album, somebody got hold of some awfully good tapes and somebody mastered them with uncanny skill to what sounds to these ears like near perfection.(more…)
I wanted to comment on the discussion as to the validity of the ‘Better Records’ business model and offerings to audiophiles. As a backgrounder, I am an electrical engineer that grew up in the 60s and 70s listening first hand to many of the classic LPs that Better Records now offers for sale. I was also a musician with perfect pitch (playing French Horn in the Symphony and keyboards in various bands), I had a killer stereo and spent a lot of time in recording studios that produced some of the top acts and albums of the era so I certainly had exposure to the best equipment and listening environments back in the day.
I went on to being a CEO of various telecom/mobile software companies and somewhat lost touch with my musical purist roots. But I had 3 boys and one of them turned out to have the same music bug I had and he has gone on to pursuing a career as a recording engineer, re-introducing me to analog vinyl LPs, pushing me to re-engage in my greatest love, which I eventually did in spades: I tossed out my electrostatics and full digital sound chain and I built a set of Altec 604 monitors driven by a 300B tube amp and a killer turntable, and I went about spending about $30,000 on 1st pressing vinyl from around the world, cleaning them with an ultrasonic platform, and I learned a great deal during that process.(more…)
If you want to hear what happens when five virtuoso instrumentalists manage to combine their talent for Jazz, Rock, Classical and Country (thanks god there aren’t any vocals) into a potent mix that defies classification and breaks all the rules, this is the one. It reminds me of Ellington’s famous line that there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. This is the kind of music you may have trouble describing, but one thing’s for sure — it’s good. In fact it’s really good.
This is the most AMAZING album the Dregs ever recorded, and now this wild amalgamation of rock, jazz, country, prog and classical music has the kind of sound I always dreamed it could have. It’s rich and smooth like good ANALOG should be. It’s also got plenty of energy and rock and roll drive, which is precisely where the famous half-speed falls apart. (more…)