More Albums that Lack Top Quality Sound on Even the Best Pressings
We would be foolish to make claims for “audiophile quality” sound on Springsteen’s albums — they are what they are. The simple claim we make for our Hot Stampers is that the best of them sound as good as the album can sound, and we back that up with a 100% Money Back guarantee.
It’s tough to find great sounding copies of this album — or any Springsteen album for that matter — but we played one not long ago that was a HUGE step up, with the kind of clarity and fullness that most copies have in short supply.
Take it from us, it is the rare pressing that manages to get rid of the harshness and congestion that plague so many copies.
When you hear a copy sound relatively rich and sweet, the minor shortcomings of the recording no longer seem to interfere as much with your enjoyment of the music. Like a properly tweaked stereo, a good record lets you forget all that audio stuff and just listen to the music as music. We here at Better Records — like our customers — think that’s what it’s all about.
And we know that only the top copies will let you do that, something that not everyone in the audiophile community fully appreciates to this day. We’re doing what we can to change that way of thinking, but progress is, as you may well imagine, slow.
What To Listen For
The best copies have superb extension up top, which allows the grit and edge on the vocals to almost entirely disappear.
Some of it is there on the tape for a reason. That’s partly the sound Springsteen was going for, this is after all a Bob Clearmountain mix.
But bad mastering and pressing adds plenty of grit to the average copy, enough to ruin it in fact.
This record is good for testing the qualities you see below, and here are some others that do the same.
- More Records that Are Good for Testing Grit and Grain
- More Records that Are Good for Testing Harshness and Shrillness
- More Records that Are Good for Testing Midrange Congestion
If You’re Bored, Move On
If you’re bored by the first chorus of the title song, that’s a very bad sign, and that was exactly our experience with many of the pressings that hit the table. When we threw a killer one on, things changed considerably. Bruce was really screaming, the drums were really pounding, and before we knew it we were really rockin’ out and enjoying the music.
Not many copies have a full, solid lower midrange. When you hear the album this way, without the edgy, thin sound that plagues most pressings, it really works wonders for the music.
The vocals and instruments are more real, and the improved low end lets the whole thing rock.
A Tough Record to Play
Springsteen albums rank high on our Difficulty of Reproduction Scale. Do not attempt to play them using anything other than the highest quality equipment.
Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies — the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound — can have problems . Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you’ve got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.
This is a record that’s going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you’re up to the challenge. If you don’t mind putting in a little hard work, here’s a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area most audiophiles neglect).