Dan, our letter writer, is a new convert to the world of Hot Stampers. Although his system is modest by his own admission, the sound he was able to conjure up in his living room was “…a revelation…” A good Dark Side can have that effect on you.
I received this DSOTM yesterday…
First I played the 180gm 25th anniversary release, so I listened to the first side. While it didn’t necessarily ‘grab’ me, I sat through and listened, with the assumption that I really needed to get a feel for this to do a somewhat critical A/B listening experience.
Then I put this Hot Stamper on.
From the very beginning, I heard vocals I never heard before, in my 12 years of listening to this album. There was such a dramatically engaging ‘dreamlike’ flow to the music, that I have never experienced before! The soundstage was so 3-dimensional, the speakers disappeared, and moment after moment, I completely forgot I was sitting in my living room!
NEVER would I have thought a single record could make this kind of difference… it was TRULY one of those rare experiences – a revelation, of recreating an actual concert in one’s listening room.
While my system is quite modest by most accounts, this is a new chapter in the music playback book, to hear/ listen to something that is so lifelike, everything else disappears.
I look forward to enjoying this for a lifetime.
Dan started out by emailing me about having some records cleaned, especially a copy of the Dark Side on Heavy Vinyl remastered for the 25th Anniversary of its release, by Doug Sax with the assistance of Kevin Gray (basically just using Kevin’s mastering chain).
My less-than-artful reply:
Dan, this is not a good sounding record. Cleaning it won’t help it much. Boosted top, zero ambience, it’s a dog on most levels.
My excuse for being curt? Simply this: Who has time to waste talking about a bad sounding record? The world is full of them. Their shortcomings are obvious to anyone with even a halfway-decent stereo. (Apparently such stereos are in shorter supply than one would think.) But everything is relative; the Heavy Vinyl beat Dan’s SACD, so he naturally concluded that it must be pretty good, since SACD is widely considered the latest and greatest digital software around.
But we here at Better Records think all this digital foolishness is a load of crap, a dead end. The reason we think that is that we have access to amazing sounding pressings of records like Dark Side, and they have the kind of sound no CD or digital media of any kind has — in our experience — ever had. We call them – you guessed it — Hot Stampers.
When Dan asked if we had a Hot Stamper that would blow his mind and blow that Heavy Vinyl version right out of the water, I said “Hell Yeah!”
The rest is history I guess. (more…)