[This listing is from more than ten years ago. Please to enjoy!]
We ran across a website years ago that confirmed our worst prejudices regarding Audiophiles and their apparent desire to rely on gurus such as Harry Pearson to tell them which records sound good and which don’t.
This flies in the face of everything we stand for here at Better Records.
- Since no two records sound the same, a list of so-called Super Discs is practically meaningless. “Practically meaningless” hits the nail right on the head as far as we are concerned. Picture yourself standing in your local record store with a record in your hands, one you happen to know is on the TAS List. This knowledge makes the record slightly more likely to sound better than any other record you might have randomly picked up in the store. Insignificantly, trivially more likely. In other words, as a practical matter, no more likely. Why is this? Three reasons: one, many Super Discs are not on the TAS List; two, some of the records on the TAS List are not deserving of Super Disc status; and most importantly, three, most pressings of titles on the TAS List don’t sound good — only the right ones do.
- But that’s not even the point. Ask yourself this: Why on earth would anyone want to collect the records on The TAS List, when most of these records contain music that appeals to a very small circle of people outside of Harry and his friends? The purpose of having an audiophile quality music system is that it allows you to hear your favorite music sound better than it would otherwise sound. It’s not for playing someone else’s favorite records; it’s for playing your favorite records.
This is why we do our Hot Stamper shootouts for records nobody in his right mind would think of doing. Toto IV? Zuma? Toulouse Street? You’ve got to be kidding.
No, we’re not. We love those albums. We sincerely want to find great sounding copies of them for those of our customers who love them too. It’s as simple as that.
Nobody else on the planet seems capable (or interested) in doing the kind of work it takes to find superior pressings of these albums, so if we don’t do it, who will? Nobody, that’s who.
But I digress. The website we ran across is no longer active.
Had you gone there back in the day, the page you would have seen first is a list of Marty’s Audiophile Vinyl Collection, which he introduces this way:
I have been a reader of The Absolute Sound since issue 33, (1982) one of the great journeys of my life. (I still have those old issues.) I was always an avid follower of the “Super disc list” that Harry Pearson had put together, a “Holy scripture” that I followed in earnest. I have amassed many of those titles knowing full well that I would be rewarded by sonic treats they lay ahead.
Thanks Harry !!
Holy scripture? Sonic treats? I think I just threw up in my mouth.
What followed was the TAS List, in all its vainglory, with Marty’s links to the copies he has been “fortunate” enough to acquire.
Just for fun you might have wanted to click on the Rock & Pop section. Here you would have found some of the worst sounding audiophile pressings ever made.
Mobile Fidelity Magical Mystery Tour?
Abbey Road and Rubber Soul on Japanese vinyl?
This is some real garbage.
The more I browsed the more I had the feeling that my head was about to explode. Records like these positively disgust me. They pretend to be audiophile records, when in fact they universally sound phony and wrong. They fool audiophiles easily enough, that’s pretty clear, but any music lover would recognize their junky qualities in a heartbeat. (more…)