Sonic Grade: F
After discovering Hot Stampers and the mind-blowing sound they deliver, a new customer generously sent me a few of his favorite Heavy Vinyl pressings to audition, records that he considered the best of the modern reissues that he owns.
He admitted that most of what he has on Heavy Vinyl is not very good, and now that he can clearly hear what he has been missing, having heard some of our best Hot Stamper jazz pressings, he is going to be putting them up on Ebay and selling them to anyone foolish enough to throw their money away on this kind of vinyl junk.
We say more power to him. That money can be used to buy records that actually are good sounding, not just supposed to be good sounding because they were custom manufactured with the utmost care and marketed at high prices to soi-disant audiophiles.
Audiophile records are a scam. They always have been and they always will be.
I haven’t listened to a copy of this album in a very long time, but I know a good sounding jazz record when I hear one, having critically auditioned more than a thousand over the course of the 33 years I have been in business. (To be clear, we only sold verified good sounding records starting in 2004.)
I knew pretty early on in the session that this was not a good sounding jazz record. Five minutes was all it took, but I probably wasted another ten making sure the sound was as hopeless as it originally seemed.
For those of you who might have trouble reading my handwriting, my notes say:
Bass is sloppy and fat.
The bass is boosted and badly lacks definition. It constantly calls attention to itself. It is the kind of sloppy bass that cannot be found on any RVG recording, none that I have ever heard anyway, and I’ve heard them by the hundreds.
You no doubt know about the boosted bass on the remastered Beatles albums. It’s that sound. Irritating in the extreme, and just plain wrong.
Reserved. Playing through a curtain.
Very few Heavy Vinyl records these days do not sound veiled and reserved in the midrange.
To get a better sense of the effect, throw a medium weight blanket over your speakers. Voila! Your thin vinyl now weighs 180 grams!