Letter of the Week – Tapestry, Sergio Mendes, Led Zeppelin and Katy Lied

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

Listening to my very first Hot Stamper purchase was by far the most significant event in my life as an audiophile. I discovered the Better Records website way back in 2007, but being a hardcore skeptic I didn’t purchase anything until almost two years later. Although I agreed with the premise that different pressings have varying degrees of sound quality, I simply could not believe that any record could sound so much better to justify the prices. Frankly, I thought that the buyers of these records were folks with more money than sense.

What finally drove me to purchase my first Hot Stamper was my attempt to find a decent copy of Carole King’s Tapestry album. I had decided to try the Better Records approach and gathered half a dozen copies, as well as the Classic heavy vinyl reissue that I had read good things about. Talk about an exercise in futility. Despite a thorough cleaning with Disc Doctor, no copy sounded significantly better than any of the others. However, Better Records just happened have a 1+ copy of Tapestry on sale for $75 at the time, so I decided to take the plunge and buy it, even though I still thought the price was outrageous.

What followed next absolutely stunned and amazed me. Although I was prepared to shoot out the Hot Stamper against my own copies, I knew within the first minute of play that it would be totally unnecessary. The Hot Stamper sounded like a completely different recording. I cannot stress this enough. Everything sounded much, much more lifelike and REAL, as if I was listening to the performance inside the recording studio, instead of sitting outside hearing it through the walls. Of particular note was the fact that I could hear the personality in Ms. King’s voice, with all the attendant subtle inflections and timbre; she sounded like a real person, not just a recording of one. The $75 price was suddenly transformed into a real bargain, and the skeptic in me died completely.

Since that time I have purchased well over a hundred Hot Stampers, everything from Sergio Mendes to Led Zeppelin, ranging from 1+ to 3+, including a 4+ copy of Katy Lied (killer sound, let me tell you). Every single one has allowed me to repeat the experience I had when I first played that copy of Tapestry. I have also upgraded more than a dozen copies and was again blown away each time by how much better the sound gets on a 2+ or 3+ copy. Despite having done many equipment changes while moving up the high-end food chain, nothing has given me a bigger thrill than listening to a Hot Stamper for the first time. In fact, my equipment upgrading has gone rather slowly because each new Hot Stamper makes my system sound as though I had upgraded everything.

I have found that what really separates the Hot Stampers from other records in my collection is volume. The Hot Stamper copies consistently sound better when volume is increased: more detail and musical depth is revealed, allowing one to become totally immersed in the sound. In fact, I listen to these records with my eyes closed because it’s so easy to believe I’m at a live performance. The exact opposite occurs when I crank up one of my average records. The problems inherent in the pressing force me to turn that sucker down before my ears start bleeding. I can crank my Hot Stampers up and not experience any ear strain or pain at all, just pure audio bliss.

All of which, as far as I’m concerned, makes Hot Stampers absolutely essential for any high-end system. But I truly did not know just how bad most of my records sounded until I heard what a Hot Stamper had to offer. This includes all of my MOFI, Nautilus and other reissues, every one of which was trounced by the Hot Stamper I bought to replace it. With these Hot Stampers I now have a gold standard by which to measure all my other recordings.

I have waited till now to write my very first testimonial for the simple reason that I wanted to get mine (most of them, anyway) before encouraging the buying competition to get theirs. Because, let’s face it, every Hot Stamper sold is one less copy available from an already limited supply. And when it comes to providing high-end source material for high-end systems, Better Records is the ONLY game in town.

Anthony L.

 

More Tapestry

More Sergio Mendes

More Led Zeppelin

More Katy Lied