Here’s your chance!
We should have said “here was your chance” since this pressing sold very quickly. Over the years most Plum and Orange pressings were disposed of on ebay for the benefit of collectors and those audiophiles who might be ill-informed enough to think that early British pressings would have the best sound for Led Zeppelin III. (This is a record we know very well.)
They do not. They can, however, sound quite good in some cases with the proper cleaning. Not Shootout Winning Good: we actually have a section for those killer copies, this one.
Not even Double Plus (A++) good, which sounds like something from the novel 1984 but is in fact a Very Good grade and guaranteed to trounce any and all copies of the album you have ever heard.
No, the best Zeppelin album we have played to date with the early label in this case earned a grade of Single Plus to Double Plus, which we describe as “[a] wonderful sounding side with many impressive qualities, notably better than a Single Plus copy. A big step up from the typical pressing.”
NOTE: We do not even offer Single Plus copies on the site anymore. Although their faults would be less obvious to anyone who went through the shootout process with the album, such faults are too bothersome to us precisely because we did go through that process.
Once you know what is right, it’s very easy to spot what is wrong. This is the foundational principle of our Hot Stampers. Hot Stampers are not simply good sounding records. They are records that have gone through a shootout.
It is also our story with regard to most of the Heavy Vinyl pressings we have played over the last twenty five years, the worst of which can be found here. We see very little evidence that we got any of that wrong.
OUR RECENT HOT STAMPER COMMENTARY FOR THE EARLY LABEL A5/B5 UK PRESSING
- You’ll find very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this vintage PLUM and ORANGE (A5/B5) Atlantic British pressing
- This vintage UK pressing is very lively and fun — it has its problems but the you can be sure that the folks who bought this record when it was new could not have cared less (or even heard the problem on their systems)
Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitar reproduction is superb on the better copies of this recording. Simply phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard on every strum, along with richness, body and harmonic coherency that have all but disappeared from modern recordings (and especially from modern remasterings).
The guitars on this record are a true test of stereo reproduction quality. Most of the pressings of this record do not get the guitars to sound right. And when the guitars are perfection, the voices and all the other instruments tend to be right as well.
Let’s face it: they just don’t know how to make acoustic guitars sound like this anymore. You have to go back to 48 year old records like this one to find that sound.
The three Zep albums with out of this world acoustic guitars are the first album, III and Houses of the Holy. All three are currently on our Top 100 List along with II and IV. All five can be amazing sounding on the right pressings, but those pressings tend to be tough to come by in clean condition.
The guitars are every bit as rich, tubey, sweet, delicate and harmonically correct as those found on Tea For the Tillerman, Rubber Soul, Comes a Time or any of the other phenomenally good recordings we rave about on the site.
Of course, without the right pressing, you would never know that. Later copies, Classic Records copies, typical domestic and import copies — none of them are going to sound like this one. We guarantee it.
Keep in mind that we’re the guys who are all about sound, not originality.
We discussed it in our FAQ as a matter of fact:
This listing gets to the point: