Decca and London Hot Stamper Pressings Available Now
More Recordings conducted by Zubin Mehta
This London UK pressing from 1967 has excellent sound on both sides. Some of what we’ve always liked about Decca/London from the period (mid- to late-’60s, in this case 1967) can be heard on this pressing: transparency; the texture on the strings; the natural timbre of the instruments.
These London pressings are quite hard to find in our experience. The music is wonderful throughout, perhaps the reason that so few of these have found their way to the record bins here in L.A.
Here Mehta is conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, not to be confused with the recordings he made in Los Angeles with the L.A. Philharmonic in Royce Hall.
A Word about Mehta and the L.A. Phil
Unlike many audiophiles and the reviewers who write for them, we have never been impressed by the recordings Zubin Mehta made with the L.A. Philharmonic.
In a review of another Mehta recording, we noted:
They almost always suffer from exactly the same problems that we heard on this album. We had about five copies on hand in preparation for a shootout, some of which I had noted seemed to sound fine, but once we listened more critically we started to hear the problems that eventually caused us to abandon the shootout and give away the stock to our good customers for free.
The exceptionally rare copy of Mehta’s Planets can sound good, but 90% of them do not — just don’t make the mistake of telling that to the average audiophile who owns one. Harry told him it was the best, he paid good money for it, and until someone tells him different it had better be “the one Planets to own.”
We see one of our roles here at Better Records as being the guys who actually will “tell you different,” and, more importantly, can back up our opinions with the records that support our case.
This is an Older Classical/Orchestral Review
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we started developing in the early 2000s and have since turned into a veritable science.
We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)
We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.