Top Artists – Neil Young

Letter of the Week – After the Gold Rush and Beatles For Sale

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently: 

Hey Tom, 

Just wanted to write and tell you how much I love that Neil Young After The Gold Rush White Hot Stamper I picked up last week. Really awesome. This ranks up with the best I’ve bought from you guys. The sound is incredible. Neil’s voice is right in the room. The guitar sounds real and that harmonica is super. I love when he performs just him and nobody else. I’m really stuck on Neil’s albums. The sound is just soooo good. I’m working on my system to get more out of these records. Oh yeah, I picked up one of your “Beatles for Sale” albums for $65. Really nice for the money. Those Beatle albums can really be awesome. Have to get a White Hot Stamper Beatles album someday. (more…)

Buffalo Springfield – Listening for Tubey Magic Down Low

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On even the best copies there’s a bit too much Tubey Magic in the bass I regret to say. Tubbiness and bloat were par for the course. This may explain why so many copies have rolled off bass; the engineer cut the bass because he heard how tubby it was and figured no bass is better than bad bass. 

Which is just not true. Cutting the bass leans out and “modernizes” the sound, making the voices sound thin and dry. This pretty much ruins everything on this album just the way it ruins everything in practically every modern recording I hear. Having your bass under control on the playback side isn’t easy — in fact it’s probably the hardest thing to achieve in audio — but it can be done, and with good bass control the slightly wooly bass is just part of the sound you learn to accept.

It doesn’t actually interfere much with your enjoyment of the music, mostly because all the other instruments and voices sounds so magical. (more…)

The Dynamic Energy of Neil Young and His Crazy Horse Pals – They’re LIVE in the Studio

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Another in our series of Random Thoughts and observations on recording-related issues.

Hot Stampers are all about finding those rare and very special pressings that manage to represent the master tape at its best.

Notice I did not say ACCURATELY represent the master tape, because the master tape may have faults that need to be corrected, and the only way to do that is in the mastering phase. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that fidelity to the master tape should never be, and rarely is, the goal of the mastering engineer.

Which, as a practical matter, means that flat transfers are usually a mistake.

Chesky is famous for boasting that their early remasterings of the Living Stereo catalog were flat transfers. They sure sound flat all right. If there is a more clueless bunch of audiophiles on the planet than the people running Chesky you would have a hard time proving it to me. But I digress.

Whether we like or dislike the presentation of any given recording is of course a matter of taste. When listening we constantly make judgments about the way we think the recording at any moment “ought” to sound, based on what we like or don’t like about the sound of recordings in general and how our stereos deal with them. (more…)

Letter of the Week – After The Gold Rush

After The Gold Rush

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

I just wanted to thank you for helping me own my first “White Hot Stamper.” I have had two copies of After the Gold Rush and none of them comes close to my WHS copy. I’m perfectly happy owning Hot Stampers and a few Super Hot Stampers, but this WHS is really different. To begin with, it is a quiet copy that allows you to hear and almost feel the texture of the instruments. It also has lots of energy, tight bass, big sound stage, and most of all a silky top end. 

Without exaggeration, the overall sound is like as if I have upgraded my entire system.

My biggest challenge now is, with few exceptions, all my favorite non-Hot Stamper albums need upgrading too. But with you guys around, I just have to wait till my favorite albums show up on your Hot Stampers list.

Gerardo

Buffalo Springfield – Last Time Around

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fam

It’s really shocking how good this album can sound on the right pressings. When you get hold of one and know how to clean it right, some of these pressings are a damn sight better than the vast majority of audiophiles think! And the music, of course, is CLASSIC. The best side one and the best side two in our last shootout, unfortunately, were less than impressive on their flipsides. We’ve paired them up to give you the best sound we can find for the entire album! And if you want to hear exactly what you’re paying for, just turn either copy over and prepare to be underwhelmed.

(Alternatively, of course, you could leave the playing of bad-sounding pressings to the professionals.) (more…)

Neil Young – Time Fades Away

Time Fades Away


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  • Triple Triple! Only the second Top Copy of this album to EVER hit the site
  • Both A+++ sides are big, rich and full-bodied with wonderful size and separation
  • Never released on CD, this is probably the toughest Neil album to come by
  • “Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career — like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn’t for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects.” — Allmusic, 4 stars

See all of our Neil Young albums in stock

Unlike most “live” albums this one was cut direct-to-disc with no fixes or overdubs, and on the best pressings that warts-and-all approach really pays off. There’s real openness, and the tonality on the better copies is both rich and sweet. This kind of sound has the potential to put you right in the front row. Unlike most “live” albums this one was cut direct-to-disc, with no fixes or overdubs, and on the best pressings that warts-and-all approach really pays off. There’s good weight, real openness, and the tonality on these better copies is both rich and sweet. This kind of sound can put you right in the front row. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Deja Vu and After The Gold Rush

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

Just received Deja Vu – so good. I have never ever heard the vocals sound so natural and so full of power and energy. The only similar record I have is After The Gold Rush and I got that from you guys too. I know in one sense you’re only doing your job but who the hell else does what you do? Thanks again guys for a brilliant record, a fantastic piece of history and art that I can hear whenever I want to.

Peter

 

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Letter of the Week – After The Gold Rush

After The Gold Rush

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently: 

Hey Tom,  

I just wanted to thank you for helping me own my first “White Hot Stamper.” I have had two copies of After the Gold Rush and none of them comes close to my WHS copy. I’m perfectly happy owning Hot Stampers and a few Super Hot Stampers, but this WHS is really different. To begin with, it is a quiet copy that allows you to hear and almost feel the texture of the instruments. It also has lots of energy, tight bass, big sound stage, and most of all a silky top end. Without exaggeration, the overall sound is like as if I have upgraded my entire system.

My biggest challenge now is, with few exceptions, all my favorite non-Hot Stamper albums need upgrading too. But with you guys around, I just have to wait till my favorite albums show up on your Hot Stampers list.

GG

Neil Young – After the Gold Rush – We Loved This Copy So Much in 2005 We Asked $200 for It

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This is the story of how we discovered our very first killer copy of After the Gold Rush. What a thrill it was to finally hear the album sound so amazing, this after hearing so many mediocre copies over the years. It’s records like this that made us eventually put 100% of our resources into finding records that sound like this one — or better!  

This is the way we heard After the Gold Rush in 2005. Embarrassingly, we liked it so much we compared it to the best DCC records we were selling back then, ouch! (more…)

Letter of the Week – Neil Young

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

Just to let you know my response on Neil Young records (and others) I purchased from Better Records. I just read your comment:

“Which brings up a sore subject: the Classic Records 2 LP set of the Greatest Hits on Heavy Vinyl. The song Comes a Time is on it. Do you think it sounds even remotely as good as it does here? If you do, you don’t need Better Records, you need better equipment.”

I do have that record, sent it back twice as I thought I got a mispressing in view of the terrible sound quality. No luck. Now the only purpose it serves is that the cover is on the wall — I think I can still further upgrade my equipment, but already for several years I TRULY ENJOY THE SOUND of all those Hot Stampers I got through your company. Yes they cost something but they do deliver also true joy!

Rens J.
Netherlands

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