*All About Hot Stampers and Better Records

Reintroducing Ourselves

Welcome To Better Records

No two copies of a record sound the same. That’s the undeniable reality of the analog LP, as well as the driving force that turned a hobby into a full-fledged livelihood for our staff of six.

Many people find the ideas (and the prices!) on this website shocking. Frankly, they would be shocking to us too if we weren’t hearing such dramatic differences in the sound quality of the large numbers of copies we play every day.

Our staff devotes its time to finding, cleaning and playing as many pressings of an album as we can get our hands on. We take only the best sounding copies – we call them “Hot Stampers” – and make them available exclusively to those who appreciate (and can afford) the ultimate in analog sound.

We’re unique in that we’re the only record dealers who base the price of their records on the quality of their sound. Although we’ve been finding Hot Stamper pressings for close to thirty years, it has only become the main focus of our business in the last decade or so.

It began simply enough as a personal quest to find better sounding records for our own collections. As more audiophiles have come to recognize just how impressive a Hot Stamper can be compared with any other pressing, we’ve evolved to keep up with the demand. Our staff now concentrates all its efforts into finding these exceptional copies. We are proud to have established ourselves as the team with both the resources and expertise to carry out this intensely specialized, time-consuming work.

We offer a 100% Money Back, No Questions Asked Guarantee on every record we sell. If you are not completely satisfied with a Hot Stamper for any reason, send it back within 30 days for a full refund. That’s how confident we are in the records we offer. Our return rate? Somewhere in the low single digits.

The links below should help you get acquainted with our site. We know it can be a bit overwhelming so please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about what we do and how we do it.

We encourage you to sign up for our weekly mailer, where you’ll find our best sounding new arrivals each week as well as special offers and exclusive discounts.

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Dire Straits – Dire Straits – Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2011

More Dire Straits

Dire Straits – Dire Straits

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

The best side one we’ve ever heard, so freakishly impressive that we awarded it the rare A++++ (Four Plus) grade! On top of that, side two earned an A++ grade and the vinyl plays unusually quietly — solid Mint Minus throughout. This is probably the best Dire Straits album (certainly our favorite) and definitely their best sounding album; on a copy like this one it has the power to BLOW YOUR MIND. Water Of Love, Down To The Waterline and Six Blade Knife are all STUNNING on this pressing.  (more…)

Oliver Nelson’s Big Band – Live From Los Angeles

More Oliver Nelson

More Live From Los Angeles

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  • An incredible sounding copy and the first to ever hit the site; Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side, Double Plus (A++) on the second
  • If you love the swinging sounds of Oliver Nelson’s Big Band arrangements behind Jimmy Smith, Frank Sinatra, Monk and others, you can’t go wrong here
  • Fairly quiet throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • “Here’s a driving high flying record from start to finish. It’s jazz at it’s exciting best as Nelson’s arranging conducting and zippy sax work lead real quality playing…” – Billboard 

What do we love about these vintage pressings? The timbre of every instrument is Hi-Fi in the best sense of the word. The unique sound of every instrument is reproduced with remarkable fidelity. That’s what we at Better Records mean by “Hi-Fi,” not the kind of Audiophile Phony BS Sound that passes for Hi-Fidelity these days. There’s no boosted top, there’s no bloated bottom, there’s no sucked-out midrange.

This is Hi-Fidelity for those who recognize The Real Thing when they hear it. I’m pretty sure our customers do, and whoever picks this record up is guaranteed to get a real kick out of it. (more…)

Reintroducing Ourselves

Welcome To Better Records

No two copies of a record sound the same. That’s the undeniable reality of the analog LP, as well as the driving force that turned a hobby into a full-fledged livelihood for our staff of six.

Many people find the ideas (and the prices!) on this website shocking. Frankly, they would be shocking to us too if we weren’t hearing such dramatic differences in the sound quality of the large numbers of copies we play every day.

Our staff devotes its time to finding, cleaning and playing as many pressings of an album as we can get our hands on. We take only the best sounding copies – we call them “Hot Stampers” – and make them available exclusively to those who appreciate (and can afford) the ultimate in analog sound.

We’re unique in that we’re the only record dealers who base the price of their records on the quality of their sound. Although we’ve been finding Hot Stamper pressings for close to thirty years, it has only become the main focus of our business in the last decade or so.

It began simply enough as a personal quest to find better sounding records for our own collections. As more audiophiles have come to recognize just how impressive a Hot Stamper can be compared with any other pressing, we’ve evolved to keep up with the demand. Our staff now concentrates all its efforts into finding these exceptional copies. We are proud to have established ourselves as the team with both the resources and expertise to carry out this intensely specialized, time-consuming work.

We offer a 100% Money Back, No Questions Asked Guarantee on every record we sell. If you are not completely satisfied with a Hot Stamper for any reason, send it back within 30 days for a full refund. That’s how confident we are in the records we offer. Our return rate? Somewhere in the low single digits.

The links below should help you get acquainted with our site. We know it can be a bit overwhelming so please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about what we do and how we do it.

We encourage you to sign up for our weekly mailer, where you’ll find our best sounding new arrivals each week as well as special offers and exclusive discounts.

 

Thanks for checking out our site and we look forward to helping you on the journey to amazing analog sound. You can either browse our selection of Hot Stampers or continue learning more about what we do with the links below.

(more…)

Forum Fact or Fiction? Ready. Set. Type!

More Hot Stampers

More Forum Fact or Fiction?

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Some Forum posters at audiokarma.org were raking us over the coals a while back, questioning the legitimacy of our so-called “hot stampers”. If you have an hour or two to kill check it out. 

The first entry in the thread is from 2009. The headline reads “Hot Stampers….Anyone own any?”

Even though they were calling us every name in the book I found their comments to be so fascinating and entertaining as to be positively addicting; I couldn’t stop myself from going back over and over again to see what new foolishness might have been added since my last visit. (more…)

Wired Investigates the World of Hot Stampers

Check out our Wired Article.

If you have time, go to the comments section and read the 300 plus postings of how ridiculous the very idea of Hot Stampers is, along with analog vinyl and expensive audiophile playback equipment of course, as if you didn’t know already!

Straight Answers to Your Questions – Are Hot Stampers Just Original Pressings?

We think sitting down to listen to a Hot Stamper pressing is the best way to appreciate its superior sound, in the same way that hearing a vintage LP played back on a top quality system is the best way to appreciate the superiority of analog. Short of getting you to try one of our records — 100% guaranteed, no questions asked — we hope these comments will be of value.

Are Hot Stampers just original pressings?

They certainly can be, but quite often are not, which of course comes as a surprise to no one who works here. Reissues come out on top in our record shootouts fairly regularly. Yes, most of the time the original will beat the reissue, but most of the time is far from always, and since we have to play a big pile of copies anyway (and always with the person doing the sound grading kept in the dark about the pressing on the turntable), why not just evaluate both the originals and the reissues at the same time, and do so strictly on the merits? (more…)

Carlos Montoya – From St. Lous to Seville

Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:

Forgotten Jazz Classics

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Carlos Montoya – From St. Lous to Seville

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Ed Begley is the engineer here and he knocked this one out of the park. What an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Need a refresher course in tubey magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? This record is overflowing with it. Rich, clear, natural, sweet, overflowing with space and ambience, absolutely correct tonality — it’s all here. (more…)

Reintroducing Ourselves

Welcome To Better Records

No two copies of a record sound the same. That’s the undeniable reality of the analog LP, as well as the driving force that turned a hobby into a full-fledged livelihood for our staff of six.

Many people find the ideas (and the prices!) on this website shocking. Frankly, they would be shocking to us too if we weren’t hearing such dramatic differences in the sound quality of the large numbers of copies we play every day.

Our staff devotes its time to finding, cleaning and playing as many pressings of an album as we can get our hands on. We take only the best sounding copies – we call them “Hot Stampers” – and make them available exclusively to those who appreciate (and can afford) the ultimate in analog sound.

We’re unique in that we’re the only record dealers who base the price of their records on the quality of their sound. Although we’ve been finding Hot Stamper pressings for close to thirty years, it has only become the main focus of our business in the last decade or so.

It began simply enough as a personal quest to find better sounding records for our own collections. As more audiophiles have come to recognize just how impressive a Hot Stamper can be compared with any other pressing, we’ve evolved to keep up with the demand. Our staff now concentrates all its efforts into finding these exceptional copies. We are proud to have established ourselves as the team with both the resources and expertise to carry out this intensely specialized, time-consuming work.

We offer a 100% Money Back, No Questions Asked Guarantee on every record we sell. If you are not completely satisfied with a Hot Stamper for any reason, send it back within 30 days for a full refund. That’s how confident we are in the records we offer. Our return rate? Somewhere in the low single digits.

The links below should help you get acquainted with our site. We know it can be a bit overwhelming so please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about what we do and how we do it.

We encourage you to sign up for our weekly mailer, where you’ll find our best sounding new arrivals each week as well as special offers and exclusive discounts.

 

Thanks for checking out our site and we look forward to helping you on the journey to amazing analog sound. You can either browse our selection of Hot Stampers or continue learning more about what we do with the links below.