Jeff Beck – Wired

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  • An excellent copy of Jeff Beck’s third solo effort with Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big and full with a punchy bottom end and driving jazz/rock energy, here are the elements critical to the best sounding copies
  • Wired, the sequel to the hugely successful Blow by Blow, was produced by Sir George Martin and mixed by Geoff Emerick
  • “Within a two-year span, the twin towers Blow by Blow and Wired set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock’s most compelling guitarists is in top form.”

Copies with the most bass, the richest lower midrange and the most extension up top (to keep the upper midrange from becoming too hard and shrill) did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record. We know, we heard them all. We’re glad to report this copy was doing just about everything right, hence the high Hot Stamper grades.

What excellent sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1976
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments (and effects!) having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is of course the only way to hear all of the above

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Less grit – smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on Wired.

A bigger presentation – more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.

More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way Jeff Beck wanted it to.

Present, breathy vocals. A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.

Good top end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and details of the recording including the studio ambience.

Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven’t played a pile of these yourself, balance is not that easy to find.

Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.

Most of the copies we played lacked bass and richness. As a rule most were a bit hard and shrill. The recording itself seems to have these kinds of problems, so those pressings with the fewest issues that still have energy and presence did the best in our shootout.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Led Boots
Come Dancing
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Head For Backstage Pass

Side Two

Blue Wind
Sophie
Play With Me
Love Is Green

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Released in 1976, Jeff Beck’s Wired contains some of the best jazz-rock fusion of the period. Wired is generally more muscular, albeit less-unique than its predecessor, Blow by Blow. Joining keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Richard Bailey, and producer George Martin from the Blow by Blow sessions are drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Wilbur Bascomb, and keyboardist Jan Hammer.

Within a two-year span, the twin towers Blow by Blow and Wired set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock’s most compelling guitarists is in top form.

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