This review and commentary was written in 2011. It still holds up though — wouldn’t change a thing.
Presenting a first for Better Records: a White Hot Stamper copy of this CORRECTLY remastered version of LSC 1901, which just happens to be a recording from the earliest days of stereo, 1955! It’s guaranteed to KILL any and all original Shaded Dogs, as well as the more common reissues; White Dogs, Red Seals, Victrolas, Classic Heavy Vinyl, you name it, this pressing will beat the pants off of it and in the process show you precisely what is wrong with each and every one of them.
Over the past twenty years we’ve played hundreds of early RCAs and we have sure never heard one sound like this, with so much richness, Tubey Magic, LIFE and CLARITY.
Where is the cutter head distortion, congestion and frequency limiting that ruins so many of the early pressings?
Mostly — I’m tempted to say completely — gone. We’ve played at least three Shaded Dogs of LSC 1901 since 2011 and all three were AWFUL.
The size and scope of this recording is enormous, with the orchestral sections clearly staged wide and deep. Where is the old tube smear and compression and opacity? It must not be on the tape, because I hear no trace of it.
This copy is cut clean, its dynamics intact, which just goes to show how much better the master tape must be than we’ve been led to believe by the original Shady Dogs and the hacks at Classic Records.
The lower strings are especially textured and rich. That’s the Living Stereo sound we love!
This was by far one of the most natural sounding classical recordings we’ve played in months. Not many classical White Hot stampers come our way, and fewer still make it to the site. We hope whoever buys this record has a large classical collection so that he can see why we think this pressing belongs in the rarefied stratosphere of the All Time Greats.
It’s been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, but I remember it as none-too-impressive, playing into my natural prejudice against early Living Stereo recordings and Classic Records themselves.
But RCA managed to cut this record amazingly well decades after the tape was first recorded, not for audiophiles, but for music lovers. Maybe that’s the secret.
Records For Audiophiles, Not Audiophile Records
Of course it is. Records made for audiophiles are rarely any good, so rarely that we are shocked when such a record is even halfway decent. After playing so many bad records for so many years it’s practically a truism here at Better Records.
A record like this is the perfect example of why we pay no attention whatsoever to the bona fides of the disc, but instead make our judgments strictly on the merits of the pressing at hand.
This approach has opened up a world of sound that the typical audiophile — one who believes the hype associated with the typical audiophile pressing — will never be able to experience.