Making Mistakes and Other Advice from Better Records

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Advice on Making More Mistakes

Record shootouts are the fastest and easiest way to hone your listening skills. We believe that the only way to really learn about records is to gather a big pile of them together, clean them up and listen to them one by one, as critically as you can.

Wise men and women throughout the ages have commented on the value of making mistakes. Here is one of our favorite quotes on the subject.

“Making a different mistake every day is not only acceptable, it is the definition of progress.”
~Robert Brault

If you have twenty copies of Bridge of Sighs, and most of them are British, you are definitely going to find a Hot Stamper pressing or two, assuming you clean them right and listen to them critically.

Keep in mind that having British pressings in your shootout is absolutely crucial to your success, because those are the only ones that ever win our shootouts, for obvious reasons: they’re made from the master tapes.

The domestic pressings are made from dubs, and yes, I suppose you could shootout twenty of those, but you would only be trying to find the best second-rate pressing of the album out of your twenty, since practically any British pressing will beat even the best domestic pressing.

Records that are made from sub-generation tapes, dubbed from the masters, tend to have what we like to call “dubby sound.” They will usually be too smooth, veiled, small, smeary, opaque, congested, flat, lifeless and recessed.

Most of the above shortcomings are the ones we regularly hear on the Modern Heavy Vinyl Pressing. We suspect that many of them are made from copy tapes –some digital, some analog — but whether they are or aren’t is immaterial.

The bulk of them simply do not sound very good when compared to the vintage pressings we offer.

Further Reading

Hot Stamper Customer Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Important Lessons We Learned from Record Experiments 

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