Frames of Reference, Carefully Conducted Shootouts and Critical Listening

More Lessons Learned from Record Experiments

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The sound we were hearing on this copy during a recent shootout was both rich and sweet, with easily recognized, unerringly correct timbres for all seven of the instruments heard in the work. The legendary 1959 Decca Tree microphone setup had worked its magic once again. And, as good as it was, we were surprised to discover that side two was actually even better! The sound was more spacious and more transparent. We asked ourselves, how is this even possible? Hard to believe but side two had the sound that was TRULY Hard To Fault.

Faults in Focus

This is precisely what careful shootouts and critical listening are all about.

If you like Heavy Vinyl, what exactly is your frame of reference? How many good early pressings could you possibly own, and how were they cleaned?

Without the best pressings around to compare, Heavy Vinyl can sound fine. It’s only when you have something better that its faults come into focus.

We, of course, have something much, much better, and we like to call them Hot Stampers!

Moon and Gray

The famous Moon and Gray London/Decca guide raves about this title, scoring it for music and sound at 9 each. I don’t always agree with their estimates — knowing that they could not possibly have the number of copies necessary to definitively judge the vast majority of titles they’ve written about, how would I? — but here I would agree completely.

A nearly flawless recording with a performance to match.

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