We Get Letters

Letter of the Week – Bridge Over Troubled Water Needs Big Speakers to Play Right

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Reviews and Commentaries for Bridge Over Troubled Water

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

That latest S&G album — BOTW — is absofuckinglutely blowing my mind tonight. Wow. Those deep horns (?) blasting at times (end of Keep the Customer Satisfied, chorus of Why Don’t You Write Me, end of The Boxer… whole thing is hopping and dancing with huge beautiful sound. Hard to sit down!!
Conrad

The weight of those horns is exactly what I was telling you about –  they cannot be reproduced until you have speakers with enough large dynamic drivers to play the weight of the brass

This is something not many audiophiles seem to understand, no matter how much we write about it.

TP


We discuss the idea of Big Speakers in this boilerplate commentary all over the site:

Let’s face it, this is a BIG SPEAKER record. It requires a pair of speakers that can move air with authority below 250 cycles and play at fairly loud levels. If you don’t own speakers that can do that, this record will never really sound the way it should.

It’s the kind of recording that caused me to pursue Big Stereo Systems driving Big Dynamic Speakers for as long as I can remember. You need a lot of piston area to bring this recording to life, and to get the size of all the instruments to match their real life counterparts.

For that you need big speakers in big cabinets, the kind I’ve been listening to for more than forty years. (My last small speaker was given the boot around 1974 or so and I have never looked back.) (more…)

Letter of the Week – Let It Be

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One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

  Hey Tom, 

I just played the shoot out winner of Let It Be which I just purchased for $700.00.

The sound is amazing and definitely reflects the description posted on the track list.

How much would it cost to hear the Beatles live today?

This pressing I believe is as close to a live performance of any Beatle album I have heard. I have really enjoyed all the albums I have purchased from your company.
With warm regards.

Ed B

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FURTHER READING

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Letter of the Week – “Talking Old Soldiers is possibly, no IS, the most holographic a vocal and piano recording that I’ve ever heard…”

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Records We Only Sell on Import Vinyl

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

Thank you VERY much for that one. Worth it’s weight in gold (last checked gold was $58.19 a gram, x 140 grams = $8,146.00) thus an absolute bargain for $750 – and have only listened to side two so far!

My god, Talking Old Soldiers is possibly, no IS, the most holographic a vocal and piano recording that I’ve ever heard, filling the room floor to ceiling and wall to wall with stunning realness right off the fresh master tape. Then into Burn Down The Mission, same thing, holy shxt! Best EVER.

More of those please and I owe you $7396.00. Lol.

All the best,
Mike S.

Letter of the Week / Sgt. Peppers – “…is an album I know very well, and thought I already had some good pressings of it.”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

I recently received my first LP from your company, and you will see from the attached photo that Sergeant Peppers is an album I know very well, and thought I already had some good pressings of it. Your copy in Super Hot Stamper takes so many layers away and opens you up to the actual recording as it was intended by The Beatles, George Emerick and George Martin. I can’t even imagine what it would sound like in White Hot, just can’t really afford them…yet)

Kind regards,
Antoine

Antoine,

That’s great news, glad you were pleased with the sound of our Hot Stamper Pepper. They do indeed remove many layers and show you the sound of the real tape. Thanks for your support and hope to be of help once demos and shows get going again.

Best, TP

Letter of the Week – The White Album “I am concerned about the pronounced warp on the A/B record.”

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More of The White Album

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

I am pleased with the great sounding albums I have purchased from your company and I have followed your advice and purchased 2 products from Walker Audio. The prelude record cleaner kit and the talisman. Today I received my latest album, the Beatles White Album ($399.99).

The sound is better than any other White album I have heard. I am concerned about the pronounced warp on the A/B record. I would think that would affect the tracking of the needle . I wonder what your feelings are about this.

With warm regards

Ed B.

Ed,

Glad you liked our White Album!

As for a pronounced warp, I’m guessing — I have no way of knowing how warped the record actually is, so guessing is the best I can do — I’m guessing we thought the warp was so slight as to not merit a mention. Many records have light warps, modern arms track them perfectly with no audible effects, and so we don’t bother to talk about them in our listings.

I’m assuming the record plays perfectly for you the way it did for us.

There should be no effect on the needle, if by effect you mean potential damage.

Hope that helps!

Best, TP

By effects I meant the tracking of the needle. The record did seem to play perfectly. Thank you for the prompt reply. I am looking forward to listening to the White Album

Ed

Letter of the Week – “A great sounding LP can make a modestly-priced system, like my own, sound like a million bucks.”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

  Hey Tom, 

Please add that one to my box and thank you for bearing me in mind! I already have what I think is a pretty good copy of this LP that I bought from a dealer in UK who finds good stuff for me and on the whole doesn’t let me down. However, he’s not in the same league as Better Records – in fact, no one is, as far as I can make out. I think I now know who are the best four LP dealers in UK but not one of them is a patch on Better Records. You guys really are the best of the best bar none.

You continue to do an excellent job of educating audiophiles as to the true essence of why they should be collecting good sounding records. If only more of the ones who do not follow Better Records could listen to what you’re saying.

The number of so-called audiophile LP’s being offered continues to proliferate but, how many of them deliver the goods? Those of us that have been enlightened know that the answer is very few. This is a sad testament to a hobby that should be rooted in sound quality but exposes most of the participants as merely being accumulators of sub-par product. How bewildering. (more…)

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! – “I haven’t felt better listening to an album in decades.”

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Hot Stamper Pressings of Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! Available Now

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

Just a quick note to thank you for the extraordinary copy of “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out.” I won’t enumerate all the remarkable qualities of the pressing since you know them well. I’ll just say that I haven’t felt better listening to an album in decades. What a remarkable experience.

By the way, since I bought this as a birthday present for my brother please let me know if another copy of equal or better quality becomes available. You know how this copy made my Londons and Japanese pressing sound. (more…)

Letter of the Week – “These Records are All Making Clear That I Need Bigger Speakers. Much Bigger. Twice The Size”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently [bold added by me]:

  Hey Tom, 

Goddamit Tom, these records are all making clear that I need bigger speakers. Much bigger. Twice the size. In a bigger room, with treatments. Your stuff makes the path forward very clear. They need the dynamics I’m sure you’re getting. I can hear what is missing.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing, since I was generally unaware of this previously, and can’t afford that level of upgrade for a while. We’re talking a few years out to buy a house (we’re in an apartment on the corner of the building over a garage, so no neighbor noise problems but the room is only 15×14.5 with average height ceilings) and some big upgrades.

Dear Sir,

You and I seem to be on the same page. The vast majority of audiophiles never get to the higher levels because of all the compromises they make in their rooms, speakers, wires and everything else. They end up with a collection of crap heavy vinyl because their systems don’t let them hear what is really going on with the best vintage pressings.

Call it a breakthrough of a sort. The long road ahead is an expensive one, but I’ve always been of the belief that the money you spend on audio — if you do it right — rewards you a hundred times over in listening pleasure, and it does so for as long as you live, many more decades at least.

These are records that need to be played loud. Until you have a bigger room and bigger speakers, they are not going to be easy to get to sound right.

I ended up building a playback studio that is 17 by 22 with a 12 foot high ceiling, a concrete slab floor and six inch thick double drywall for walls, and dedicated electrical circuits, but it took a lot of work to get it to sound right.

Oddly enough, what made the biggest difference was getting the electricity right: computers and cleaning machines on isolation transformers, stuff unplugged, stuff left plugged in that made the sound better, lights hooked up to batteries rather than plugged in to the main circuits, etc.  Night and day better that way. (More on unplugging here.)

This work is not hard for me, I’ve been doing it for decades, but you have one advantage over everyone else: you have good sounding records to test with.

You have Hot Stampers! The records are correct. If they sound wrong, it’s not their fault. They are not the problem. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Piper at the Gates of Dawn and So What

From time to time our customers like to tell us just how much they are enjoying our Hot Stamper pressings, and we here at Better Records love to read the LETTERS they write. We’ve reprinted a couple below.

Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Hey Tom,   

Fantastic sounding and super quiet pressing of this debut album by Pink Floyd!!
The sound jumped out of the speakers and into the room !!!
I never thought I would own such a copy of this psych classic !!
Thank you Tom and company !!!

John

So What

Another great hot stamper from this extraordinary company for my collection !!!
You need to try one if you are not already familiar !!
Thank you again Better Records!!

John

Thoughts on Not Having a Record Collection

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One of our good customers wrote this email to me recently:

So what I can’t get out of my mind, you have been doing this all these years, your own personal collection must be the creme de la creme. Cannot even imagine. But sure would love to hear!

Chuck,

I had a record collection for all my life until about ten years ago, at which point I asked myself what was it for? I get to hear all the best records every day!

So I put them all into shootouts, and sometimes they did well and sometimes they did not.

I sit my wife down from time to time and play her Deja Vu or Back in Black or The Wall or some other amazing pressing we’ve just listened to — Aqualung would have worked too — and I always tell her, this record may be gone next week so this is it, listen to it now or forever hold your peace.

Most audiophiles never have that experience but it’s really the only way I listen to music anymore, on the best pressings in the world.

I play lots of classical music these days, really a thrill to hear on a big, heavily-tweaked, high-resolution system. The recreation of the concert hall space and ambience can sometimes be jaw-dropping. We had to stop going to the Santa Barbara symphony because the sound was so much better in my listening room. I can’t compete with Disney Hall but it takes two hours to get there and good tickets are $300-500 each, tough to make the commitment at those prices.

Best, TP