This Decca Phase 4 record from 1962 has Demo Disc sound of a sort on side one. Super Hot sonics, coupled with the Super Phase 4 “jumping out of the speakers” recording techniques that were employed, mean that this is one LIVELY record!
The pianos can get to be a bit much, but when they are under control, the huge stage and the effect of all the percussion that jumps out of the soundfield is really quite something to behold.
Zero smear on this side too, which is what makes it work — the blunting of all those transients would quickly ruin the fun.
Which is what happens on side two; the smear and hardness of the typical Phase 4 pressing are evident and do spoil all the fun.
Try tracks 1, 2, 4 and 6 – talk about immediacy and explosive dynamics.
This is an Older Review.
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we developed in the early 2000s and have since turned into a fine art.
We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)
We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.
Currently, 99% (or more!) of the records we sell are cleaned, then auditioned under rigorously controlled conditions, up against a number of other pressings. We award them sonic grades, and then condition check them for surface noise.
As you may imagine, this approach requires a great deal of time, effort and skill, which is why we currently have a highly trained staff of about ten. No individual or business without the aid of such a committed group could possibly dig as deep into the sound of records as we have, and it is unlikely that anyone besides us could ever come along to do the kind of work we do.
The term “Hot Stampers” gets thrown around a lot these days, but to us it means only one thing: a record that has been through the shootout process and found to be of exceptionally high quality.