I made the mistake of buying both Back in Black and Sticky Fingers on CD for my car, and both are a disaster — no bass, no rock weight, with boosted upper mids, no doubt a misguided attempt to provide “clarity”. I couldn’t get three songs into either of them. If this is what the digital lovers of the world think those albums actually sound like, they are living in some kind of parallel universe.
The best pressings on vinyl sound nothing like them. In fact the best pressings sound so good they are on our Top 100. Rest assured that you don’t get to be on our Top 100 with anemic, upper midrangy sound.
“Do they like music? Or are they in love with equipment?”
The excellent BBC Archive account on Twitter has unearthed an audio gem.
A 1959 film called ‘Hi-Fi-Fo-Fum’ purports to reveal the burgeoning audiophile scene, with more than a little tongue-in-cheek humour for good measure.
“There is a man in Wimbledon who will go on adding to his equipment until he can hear the sigh of the conductor as the piccolo misses its entry,” says the introduction. He sounds like our kind of man.
“Is it a religion or a disease? An American psychiatrist calls it ‘audiophilia'”, reveals the voiceover, as men – and it’s largely men – shuffle in and out of hi-fi shops before rushing home for earnest listening sessions. It was ever thus.
“Do they like music? Or are they in love with equipment?”, wonders our narrator, as one excited punter buys a new tweeter for “6 pound 4 pence”.
And while much has changed – you don’t see many shops with individual listening booths nowadays – much has stayed the same. “A dream of perfection… of machines more sensitive than the ears they play to”, reminds us that arguments about audio frequencies that the human ear can’t hear are nothing new.
The video also shows the early music critic. “With a dozen different recordings of every work, how do we find the best?” wonders the voiceover. “Rely on the critic, nothing escapes him,” comes the reply.
His verdict? “Comparisons are odious but inevitable…” Well, quite.
Wah! Nobody seems to want to play with me.
Could it be that the folks on the Hoffman forum have a poor grasp of the effort, time and money it takes to find Hot Stampers and, having committed to neither the effort, the time or the money, find that they have nothing of any value to contribute to this list? Not one other record? Not even one?
Thank god it doesn’t keep them from criticizing those of us who have found them by the thousands!
By the way, we know the record well. The Pink Label original is by far the best pressing in our experience. No copy we have ever heard on the label promoted by this poster would qualify as much of a Hot Stamper in our world, although of course n0t having heard his copy we can’t say it’s not fabulous. It’s just not very likely to be fabulous.
Here is our commentary on the album:
Traffic – Best Of Traffic
A mono copy of Deja Vu (which no doubt sounds terrible; I had one once) went for $1200 on ebay recently!
Oh, but it’s an auction so I guess that makes it all right. The seller didn’t set the price, the market did.
But the market sets our prices too. We can’t sell a record for more than what the customer is willing to pay for it. What exactly is the difference?
Man, I sure would love to get $4k+ for one of our killer Hot Stamper pressings of Please Please Me. I guarantee our copy sounds a whole lot better. And the music is the same, right? So what did you get for your additional three thousand dollars?
A nice record to put on the shelf.
Which you could get from us for three thousand dollars less!
The Beatles first album, sounding better than you ever imagined it could, which you may, at any time and as often as you like, enjoy for the rest of your life, safe in the knowledge that no other version of it, on any other media, including media not yet invented, will ever equal its stunning fidelity.
Check out our Wired Article. I will have a few comment to add down the road as well.
WHERE DO YOU GET THESE PRICES.!!!!!!!! Talk about overcharging customers…..
I’ve been collecting vinyl for over 35 years… Have Never seen such ridiculous pricing…!!
Even from Elusive Disc.!!!
What a joke.!!!!
Yes, we admit it, we are more expensive than Elusive Disc. But their records don’t sound good. Shouldn’t that count for something?
(No, that’s not him pictured above.)
Martin Barre’s Guitar Wizardry
Clarity and resolution are the key to getting the most out of this album. The subtle harmonics of the gently strummed acoustic guitar at the opening of My God. The air in Anderson’s flute throughout the album. The snap to Dammond’s snare. And how about all the fuzz on Barre’s fuzzed out guitar on the song Aqualung? Sure, there’s guitar fuzz on the typical pressing but there’s SO MUCH MORE on the truly elite copies. When you hear it right, the sound of that guitar makes you really sit up and take notice of how amazing Barre’s solos are. (The guy is criminally underrated as both an innovator and technically accomplished guitarist.) The distortion is perfection and so is the playing.
Highlights from an Interview with Premiere Guitar in 2011