Turning Skeptics into Believers, One Hot Stamper at a Time

Important Lessons We Learned from Record Experiments

More on the Subject of Hot Stamper Pricing

About 15 years ago we received a letter from a fellow on our email list who found our prices for vinyl curious, as he considered vinyl a bygone technology. [You may have noticed that It has since made quite a comeback.]

Bygone technology? Can’t say I agree with that assessment. It sure would be nice to demonstrate for him how much better records sound than the supposedly superior technologies that have — for most people, perhaps even for this gentleman — replaced them.

Wait, there is a way! A Hot Stamper, 100% Guaranteed to Satisfy or Your Money Back. One click is all it takes. Which is pretty much what I said in my reply to his letter below.


I receive your HTML email regularly. Along with the curious prices of your offerings, I occasionally wonder about the opinions expressed in your e-missives. A Roman senator once said that all mortal things are ‘only perfect in death.’ Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust aside: vinyl (of which I own a considerable library) is merely a bygone technology at this point in time. The opinions expressed on your website rarely credit the writer. Whose words are these? And why should I accept the opinions of someone who only stands to profit from their fanaticism?

Bruce R. 

Bruce, most of us write the commentary, there are five of us fanatics here. (Six if you count our record cleaning person, but I’m not sure how fanatical she is, so let’s go with five.) [There are ten of us now as of May of 2019.] Please keep in mind one very important thing: it matters not a whit what we say about a record, it only matters what you hear on your stereo when you play it. If for any reason you are not happy, we give you all your money back.

(Some number of times a year this actually happens and we really do pay up. If we didn’t your credit card provider would make us refund your money anyway, but that’s hardly the point. It’s our written policy; there’s no fine print — that’s not how we run our business — so we pay. The same record, sold to the very next customer, has never in the history of Better Records ever been returned. Hey, we can find you good records, but we sure can’t fix your stereo for you, know what I mean?)

There’s a great deal of commentary on the site about how easy it is to verify the truth of what we say about pressing variations, and the nice thing about it is that you can actually run the tests using records you already own. A good start is to play side one of any record against side two, and of course the best test if to play two different copies of the same record against each other. If your stereo is even halfway decent, the differences should be pronounced.

You don’t have to take our word for it. Unlike audio reviewers, we actually have something to back up our claims: the record we send you. If you find us to be in error, you get your money back, no two ways about it. This is what makes us unique and successful in the record business — we actually can send you the record that’s as good as we say it is. Would love to have you try one. Like we say, you have nothing to lose.

Hey, I’m a skeptic myself and proud of it. But I know good sound when I hear it. I’ve found it’s best to let my ears guide me in this hobby. If some piece of expensive audio gear sounds good, then it sounds good, whether I like the price or not. I may not be able to afford it — hell, I can’t afford the records I sell either — but that has nothing to do with the fact that it sounds good. Most expensive audio gear doesn’t sound good, but some of it does, and there is no point denying it.

Same goes for our records. They sound amazing. Like you, I wish they were cheaper, but that doesn’t change the fact that they really do sound amazing. If you would let us prove it to you, we would love to be given the opportunity to do so. Even though it happens all the time, we can’t really take credit for turning skeptics into believers. The records do that for us.

Best, TP 

Further Reading