- With two INSANELY GOOD Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, this early (original?) Capitol pressing is without a doubt the best sounding pressing we have ever played
- This copy gets the midrange perfectly, and since that is where The Beach Boys’ voices are, that puts it ahead of everything else we heard
- What’s shocking to those of us who have played The Beach Boys records by the bucketful is how RICH and OPEN the best pressings of this album are
- You will have an awfully hard time finding another Beach Boys album that sounds as good as this one, and you may just find that it simply can’t be done
- 4 stars: “This mix of favorites and originals makes this a balanced holiday album that should please both Beach Boys admirers and those unfamiliar with the group
Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate solid, palpable, and real Beach Boys singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
This vintage Capitol pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album Have to Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1964
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We’re Listening For On The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Here’s what one of our good customers had to say about a Hot Stamper copy he purchased a while back:
I just had to write in appreciation of a killer Beach Boys pressing I bought from you last year. It’s so funny to me because it’s the Beach Boys Christmas Album, which is the kind of thing I’m sure audiophiles tend to dismiss. But wow, the sound of the vocals on this thing are just incredible! So much presence and texture in them; and this from a mid 70s pressing in stereo! I only wish I could find more sound like this for the Beach Boys, especially from Pet Sounds, but that presents a completely different set of problems I’m sure. Anyway, I was completely impressed by the A+ sound on these sides. I can only imagine what the White Hot Stamper holds in its grooves.
Little Saint Nick
The Man With All The Toys
Merry Christmas, Baby
Frosty The Snowman
We Three Kings Of Orient Are
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Auld Lang Syne
AMG 4 Star Review
Beach Boys’ Christmas Album features the Beach Boys performing a variety of holiday favorites. Most of the featured songs are well-known, some of the more popular being “Frosty the Snowman,” “White Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” among others. Furthermore, there are four songs composed by the Beach Boys — “Little Saint Nick,” “Man With All the Toys,” “Santa’s Beard,” and “Merry Christmas, Baby” — which begin the album. This mix of favorites and originals makes this a balanced holiday album that should please both Beach Boys admirers and those unfamiliar with the group.