Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition
Classic Records Debunked
Sonic Grade: F
The shrillness, the hardness, the sourness, the loss of texture to the strings, the phony boosted deep bass — this is the kind of sound that makes my skin crawl. After a minute or two I’ve had it. And the performance is dreadful as well.
HP put this on his TAS List? Yes he did!
What do you get with Hot Stampers compared to the Classic Heavy Vinyl reissue? Dramatically more warmth, sweetness, delicacy, transparency, space, energy, size, naturalness (no boost on the top end or the bottom, a common failing of anything on Classic); in other words, the kind of difference you almost ALWAYS get comparing the best vintage pressings with their modern remastered counterparts, in our experience anyway.
Now if you’re a Classic Records fan, and you like that brighter, more detailed, more aggressive sound, our Hot Stampers are probably not for you. We don’t like that sound and we don’t like most Classic Records. They may be clean and clear but where is the RCA LIVING STEREO Magic that made people swoon over these recordings in the first place? Bernie manages to clean that sound right off the record, and that’s just not our idea of hi-fidelity.
While we’re on the subject, this is in fact our idea of Hi-Fidelity.
Our Hot Stamper Classical Pressings will be dramatically more transparent, open, clear and just plain REAL sounding than practically any record Classic Records ever made, if only because these are all the areas in which heavy vinyl pressings tend to fall short in in our experience. This review of the remastered Tale of Tsar Saltan from Speakers Corner lays out our criticisms in greater detail.
Check out our Better Records Hall of Fame for Orchestral Music.
We have a section for all the Classical Records we’ve reviewed on the site to date.
We also have a section for all the Heavy Vinyl Classical Records we’ve reviewed on the site.
We also have a number of Commentaries specifically addressing issues we’ve encountered when playing classical recordings.