We’ve recently begun to include an info sheet with our Hot Stamper pressings which describes a few simple steps you can take to get better results with our records in your home.
Since these tips really apply to all records and not just our Hot Stampers, we figured we’d outline them here and add a few additional thoughts.
Warm up your stereo for at least a half hour before doing any critical listening. A full hour is even better. Make sure you have the volume raised; the speaker drivers need to be moving actively so as to loosen them up and get them in the mood to sound their best.
All Hot Stamper pressings have been thoroughly cleaned by us and there is no need to clean them again, at least not for quite a while. (After a dozen or so plays it might be a good time to think about another cleaning, especially if fingerprints or dust are visible or audible. When in doubt clean the record.)
Since many of the record cleaning fluids on the market today actually make records lose fidelity, we encourage you to clean your records only with the one fluid we recommend: The Walker Enzyme Cleaning system.
If you must clean our Hot Stamper pressings with a fluid we do not recommend, our advice would be to listen carefully to the record before recleaning, then again after cleaning, to make sure there is no loss of sound quality. If there is a loss of fidelity we would then strongly advise you to switch to the Walker fluids.
Records that have been properly cleaned actually sound even better after a few plays. After a good cleaning, playing the record helps plow more grunge out of the grooves and also helps the stylus tip to seat itself deeper into the center of the groove.
Every Hot Stamper pressing sold by us has been played through at least once on both sides. Another play or two (or three or four) on your part will help the record sound even better.
Turn off, or better yet, UNPLUG as many electrical devices as you can (appliances, microwaves, air conditioning, lights, etc.) to feed your stereo the best electricity available to you.
We cannot stress this too strongly.
Start with a Familiar Recording
Start your listening session with a record you are familiar with to ensure your stereo is performing at a high level. We all have bad stereo days. There’s no sense in judging a record — especially if it’s a new Hot Stamper pressing — on a system that’s not performing up to par.