DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND on both sides of this AMAZING Hot Stamper! This Limited Edition Sheffield Lab Direct Disc recording has some of the best sound we have ever heard for this title. The sound doesn’t get any better than this, with CLARITY and that JUMP OUT OF THE SPEAKERS quality we desire from a Hot Stamper.
We just finished a big shootout of this album [in 2009!] and this Flower label pressing was the undisputed champion. Many copies of this album tend to sound a bit thin and somewhat bright. On this copy, the sound is rich, full, and tonally correct from top to bottom. The horns sound especially wonderful.
What do Hot Stampers give you for this album? It’s very simple. Most copies of this album are slightly thin and slightly bright. They give the impression of being very clear and clean, but some of the louder brass passages start to get strained and blarey. This copy is rich and full. The sound is balanced from top to bottom. You can play it all the way through without fatigue.
Trumpets, trombones, tubas, tamborines, big bass, drums — everything has the true tonality and the vibrancy of the real thing. The reason this record was such a big hit in its day because the recording engineers were able to capture that sound better than anybody else around. That’s also the reason this is a Must Own record today — the sound holds up!
Just listen to that amazing brass choir on Oh Lord, I’m On My Way. It just doesn’t get any better than that. If ever there was a Demo Disc, this is one!
But Most Copies Don’t Sound Like This
The typical pressing of this album leaves much to be desired; take our word for it — we found out the hard way. After playing quite a few copies, we discovered that it was the exceptional LP that had the sound we imagined this record should have, and not the average one.
I used to think the Tower label copies were not as good — that the later pressings were pressed better. Now I know that it doesn’t matter what era the pressing is from: the tonal balance is the key to the best sound.
Good Music On An Audiophile LP, How About That?!
Side One has all of the texture and transients you could ever want to hear from this title. The bass is big and full-bodied and the drums have all of the energy and presence we love. Again, the CLARITY and clean sound of all the instruments is OFF THE CHARTS! The beggining of That Certain Feeling is so warm and smooth it makes the hard, typical copy sound like crap.
When we dropped the needle on You Are The Sunshine Of My Life we knew we had a Side Two that was something special. Immediately, we heard more LIFE and ENERGY than we had never heard before. It was so spacious and transparent we felt as if we were in the studio; which is the point of listening to recording like this. Isn’t it? The bass is PUNCHY and full. The saxophone solo on ‘Sunshine’ is so breathy and textured and you can hear the keys clacking as he does his trills. If you have another copy listen for different sax solo performances to see if you have a different take.
A Round Of Applause For Sheffield
As I’m sure you’ve read on the site, time has not been good to the sound of the typical Mobile Fidelity record. We may have been impressed back in the day, but now it’s clear their mastering approach was disastrous for most of the titles they did.
Sheffield, in this period anyway, turns out to have made some truly amazing sounding records, this one in particular, as well as the other two Mayorga titles. The Grusin has a few problems, and after that their catalog is hit and miss. But the early days at Sheffield produced some wonderful, wonderful albums.