Another entry in a series we like to call The Big Picture.
It’s amazing how many records that used to sound bad — or least problematical — now sound pretty darn good. The blog is full of commentaries about them. Here’s a good one.
Every one of them is proof that comments about recordings are of limited value.
The recordings don’t change.
Our ability to find, clean and play the pressings made from them does, and that’s what the Hot Stamper Revolution is all about.
You have a choice. You can choose to take the standard audiophile approach, which is to buy the record that is supposed to be the best pressing and consider the case closed.
You did the right thing, you played by the rules. You bought the pressing you were told to buy, the one you read the reviews about, the one on the list, the one they said was made from the master tape, the one supposedly pressed on the best vinyl, and on and on.
Cross that title off and move on to the next, right?
When — sometimes if but usually when — the sound of the record doesn’t live up to the hype surrounding it, you merely accept the fact that the recording itself must be at fault.
Prepare to allot a fair amount of time to complaining about such an unfortunate state of affairs. “If only they had recorded the album better…” you say to yourself as you toddle off to bed, ending your listening session prematurely, fatigued and frustrated with a record that — for some reason — doesn’t sound as good as you remember.
We did it too, more times than I care to admit.
Try It Our Way
Or you can adopt our approach and hear those very same albums sound dramatically better than you ever thought possible. Better than you remember. It happens all the time here at Better Records and it can happen at your house too. Just follow the yellow brick– uh, scratch that, just follow these four steps.
Our approach has the added benefit of freeing up time that would normally be spent bitching about the bad sound of most recordings. This in turn makes more time available for pleasurable listening to the Hot Stamper pressing you discovered on your own or the one we found for you. (It’s the same process whether you do it yourself or we do it for you.)
You also probably won’t feel the need to go on silly audiophile forums to argue the merits of this or that pressing. You will already own the pressing that settles the argument.
Keep in mind that your pressing only settles the argument for you — nobody else will believe it.
And why should they? They have never heard your copy. It would take quite a leap of faith on their part to believe that your copy sounds so much better than the one they own, when the one they own looks just like the one you own. It might even have the same catalog number, the same label, maybe even the same stampers.
But this is precisely what Hot Stampers are all about. Records may look the same but they most assuredly do not sound the same.
It may be a dead horse, but we see no reason to stop beating it: “Explaining doesn’t work. Only hearing works.”
We Can Only Do So Much
Unfortunately most of what is important in audio you have to learn to do for yourself.
We can find you the best sounding pressings; that’s the easy part. Figuring out how to play them, and learning how to listen to them, well, that’s a fair bit harder. That part takes a lifetime, at least.
This hobby is supposed to be fun. If you’ve been in it for any length of time you know that sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. But if you enjoy doing it at least some of the time, and you devote the proper resources to it — time and money — you will no doubt derive much more pleasure from it, especially if you use our approach.
It has worked for us and it can work for you.
This is what the Revolutionary Changes in Audio link explains. If you haven’t taken advantage of all the newest technologies that make LP playback dramatically better than it was ten or twenty years ago, Zep IV most likely won’t sound the way you wished it would.
It didn’t sound the way I wished it would for about the first 40 years I played it, 1971 to 2012, because it wasn’t until 2012 that we finally broke through.
Trust me, there’s a world of sound lurking in the grooves of the best Zep IV’s that simply cannot be revealed without Walker cleaning fluids, the Talisman, Aurios, Hallographs, top quality front ends, big speakers and all the rest.
Our playback system is designed to play records like Zep IV with all the size, weight and power of the real thing.
We live for this kind of Big Rock Sound here at Better Records. We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to play records like this with Maximum Fidelity, secure in the knowledge that a system that can play Zep IV right is one that can play practically any record.