Hot Stampers sound better than other records — at the least plenty of folks who’ve tried them sure think they do — but do they have actual “collector” value?
Not really. On the surface they look just like any other pressing, so their market value as authentic and sometimes pricey Hot Stampers cannot be established or verified in any meaningful way.
The value of a Hot Stamper pressing is almost purely subjective: they exist only to provide listening pleasure to their owner. Yes, a Pink Label Island pressing of In the Court of the Crimson King is worth big bucks, but is it worth the $850 we charged recently if you were to try and resell it? Probably not.
I understand why a record collector would be confused by this notion of subjective and limited value. Collecting records is often more about buying, selling and owning various kinds of records more than anything else.
For many it’s not primarily about playing or even listening to music. (I’ve actually met record collectors who didn’t even own a turntable!)
Some people see records as an investment. We do not. We think audiophile-oriented music lovers should pursue good sounding records for the purpose of playing them and enjoying them, understanding that the better their records sound, the more enjoyable they will be.
Collecting records primarily to build a record collection that can be sold at a profit in the future should be the last thing on anyone’s mind.
Get Good Sound, Then Good Records
It’s easy to be a collector; you just collect stuff. To get your stereo and room to sound good, and know the difference when they do, that is very very hard. I’ve been at it for forty-five years and I still work at it and try to learn new things every day. I know there’s a long way to go. Until you get your stereo, room and ears working, collecting good sounding records is all but impossible. You will very likely waste a fortune on “collector records:” the kind with Collector Value and very little else.
Collectible records are the opposite of the records we offer. All of the value of our Hot Stamper pressings is tied up in their Music and Sound, which is where we think it should be.
Many of the basic questions concerning Hot Stampers, including our grading system, 2-packs, coupons, the mailing list, as well as more general ordering and payment information, can be found in our original Frequently Asked Questions section.
We think sitting down to listen to a Hot Stamper pressing is the best way to appreciate its superior sound, in the same way that hearing a vintage LP played on a top Hi-Fidelity system is the best way to appreciate the superiority of analog.
Short of getting you to try one of our records — 100% guaranteed, no questions asked — we hope the above comments will spur you to action. And if the record doesn’t stand up to our claims for it in your opinion, send it back and we will return all your money.
FURTHER READING ON RECORD COLLECTING