Letter of the Week – “The stereo is immersive and big. The mono is palpable and solid.”

Hot Stamper Pressings of Ella Fitzgerald’s Albums Available Now

Ella Fitzgerald Albums We’ve Reviewed

Mono or Stereo? On This Album, Both Can Be Good

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

No two copies of a record sound the same. To put an even finer point on it, not even two White Hot Stampers sound the same.

I’ve been delightfully going back and forth between the stereo and mono white hots of Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie and taking great interest (and pleasure… and some frustration…) with how different they sound.

The stereo is immersive and big. The mono is palpable and solid. I prefer the band on the stereo, but the mono puts Ella in the room with me. Since this album is all about Ella, I’ll be returning the stereo.

Thank you for the chance to hear both versions. Your generous return policy is helping me build a collection of records I really love.

Aaron

Aaron,

Thanks for your letter.

It is indeed interesting to take two top copies of the album — we call them White Hot Stamper pressings — and play them against each other. In this case it is even more interesting because you were able to compare the best sounding Mono pressing with the best sounding Stereo pressing, something, by the way, we would do in the course of every shootout for this album.

We’ve written about the album extensively, and you can find our commentaries using the link below:

Reviews and Commentaries for Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie.

As for your preference for the mono, we can’t disagree with you about the sound. We used to prefer the mono ourselves. Lately we prefer the stereo. This is probably something that would be both system-dependent and listener-dependent. To each his own.

Either way, mono or stereo, when you play one of our White Hot Stamper pressings, you are hearing the greatest female vocal recording of all time with better sound than you would have ever thought possible.

At least that’s the way we feel about it.


FURTHER READING

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Important Lessons We Learned from Record Experiments 

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