Better Record’s Record Collecting Axiom Number Two

More Entries in Our Critical Thinking Series

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In an old commentary for a shootout we did for Carole King’s Tapestry album we took shots at both the CBS Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile pressing and the Classic Heavy Vinyl Audiophile pressing, noting that both fell far short of the standard set by the Hot Stamper copies we’d discovered over the years. This finding (and scores of others just like it) prompted us to promulgate the following axioms of audiophile record collecting.

Axiom Number One can be found here.

Which leads us to Better Records Record Collecting Axiom Number Two

No two records sound the same.

If that weren’t true we’d be out of business. It is in fact the very foundation of our business. We wrote a commentary with that idea firmly in mind under the heading Identical Stampers + New Vinyl = Different Sound?, which goes into that subject in more detail.

And it’s equally true for Half-Speeds — they’re records, right? — so we have a few entries in our We Was Wrong. section about those rare copies that actually have sounded good to us over the years.

For example, the chances of there being exceptionally good sounding CBS Half-Speed Mastered pressings of Tapestry may be vanishingly small, but we can’t say the number is zero. There could be some, but considering how bad the idea of Half-Speed Mastering is, would they have much chance of beating our Hot Stampers? As a practical matter I would have to say the chances are zero.

They can’t beat the best originals, properly cleaned. They can beat uncleaned originals and reissues. There might be some copies that sound better than the mediocre Classic Records pressing, which is tonally fine but suffers from the basic issues most of Bernie Grundman’s remastered records suffer from


FURTHER READING

New to the Blog? Start Here

Hot Stamper Customer Reviews

Basic Concepts and Realities Explained

Record Collecting for Audiophiles – A Guide to the Fundamentals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Key Tracks for Critical Listening 

Making Audio Progress 

We Was Wrong

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