One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I bought the Sticky you suggested (seemed like a dare). Like I said, I have several pressings, including the horrible MFSL. This sounds better than all of them, by far. My sense is that it’s a tough album, deliberately a bit muddy and smeared and inconsistent from track to track, which made the quest even more appealing. This one is great; involving, NOT smeared, 3D — most of all it invites me in, instead of saying “OK, this may be a bit cloudy, but try to enjoy anyway.”
I’m on my 5th listen. And Catch Bull at Four is also seriously good. Such an underrated album. I’ll be back, inasmuch as most of my other vinyl sounds flaccid compared to these.
Thanks for your letter. You are spot on with your observation about the sound being deliberately muddy.
A lot of the smearing you reference is from uncleaned or improperly cleaned vinyl. Once we got our cleaning regimen dialed in, a lot of the smear we used to hear so often on old records stopped being a problem.
3-Dimensionality also greatly improves with clean, fully restored vinyl. A lot of old records just sound like old records until you learn how to clean them right.