The story of our latest shootout is what real Progress in Audio is all about.
Back in the early ’70s this was actually the album that first introduced me to honest-to-goodness “audiophile” sound.
I was at my local stereo store listening to speakers one day, and the salesman made a comment that the speakers we were listening to (the old Infinity Monitors with the Walsh tweeter) sounded “boxy”. I confessed to him that I didn’t actually know what that meant or what it would sound like if it weren’t boxy.
So he hooked up a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10s and put Sinatra at the Sands on. I was amazed at how the sound just floated in the room, free from the speakers, presenting an image that was as wide and deep as the showroom we were in. That speaker may have many flaws, but boxiness is definitely not one of them.
This description is pretty close to what I thought I heard all those years ago
The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Turn it up and Frank is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. Very few records out there offer the kind of realistic, lifelike sound you get from this pressing.
This vintage stereo LP also has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the later reissues. As good as some of them can be, this one is dramatically more real sounding. It gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is right in front of you.
He’s no longer a recording — he’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. His voice is so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.
Or so I thought at the time.
AMG Rave Review
In many ways, Sinatra at the Sands is the definitive portrait of Frank Sinatra in the ’60s. Recorded in April of 1966, At the Sands is the first commercially released live Frank Sinatra album, recorded at a relaxed Las Vegas club show. For these dates at the Sands, Sinatra worked with Count Basie and his orchestra, which was conducted by Quincy Jones.
Like any of his concerts, the material was fairly predictable, with his standard show numbers punctuated by some nice surprises. Throughout the show, Sinatra is in fine voice, turning in a particularly affecting version of “Angel Eyes.” He is also in fine humor, constantly joking with the audience and the band, as well as delivering an entertaining, if rambling, monologue halfway through the album. Some of the humor has dated poorly, appearing insensitive, but that sentiment cannot be applied to the music.
Basie and the orchestra are swinging and dynamic, inspiring a textured, dramatic, and thoroughly enjoyable performance from Sinatra.
…along these lines can be found below.
This listing: Advances in Playback Technology — More Than Blind Faith might be helpful.
You can find your very own Hot Stamper pressings by using the techniques we lay out in Hot Stamper Shootouts — The Four Pillars of Success.
We have 300+ Audio Exercises you can try at home for fun and profit.
We have a section for Audio Advice of all kinds.
And finally we’ll throw in this old warhorse discussing How to Become an Expert Listener, subtitled Hard Work and Challenges Can Really Pay Off.
Because in audio, much like the rest of life, hard work and challenges really do pay off.
Come Fly With Me
I’ve Got a Crush on You
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
The Shadow of Your Smile
Street of Dreams
One for My Baby (And One More for the…
Fly Me to the Moon
One of the best tracks on the album. It can have SUPERB sound!
One O’Clock Jump
The Tea Break
You Make Me Feel So Young
All of Me
The September of My Years
Another high point and one of the best reasons to own this album. This is a much better performance than the famous studio version which was such a big hit in its day.
Luck Be a Lady
Get Me to the Church on Time
It Was a Very Good Year
Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
Where or When
My Kind of Town
A Few Last Words
My Kind of Town (Reprise)