A superb Demo Disc Quality pressing – all four sides earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades
Buzzing helicopters, ringing telephones, clicking typewriters and so on happen RIGHT THERE in the room with you
James Guthrie labored mightily to make this one as big, bold and immersive as any Prog Rock recording we know of, and succeeded brilliantly
Rock & Pop Top 100 – “A triumph of production…” and indisputable proof that analog in 1979 could still be absolutely amazing
Pink Floyd tends to be an amazingly well-recorded band, and this album is certainly no exception. If you’ve taken home one of our Hot Stampers for Dark Side of the Moon, Meddle, or Wish You Were Here, then you certainly know what we’re talking about. Big grungy electric guitars, crystal clear vocals, HUGE punchy drums, earth-shaking bass and TONS of ambience are the hallmarks of any Pink Floyd Hot Stamper.(more…)
An erstwhile customer sent us an email a while back asking this question: “What is the FULL stamper matrix for this record… all the way around the dead wax?”
I replied that we never give out stamper numbers for the records we sell. The only way to find out the stampers for our records is to buy them. And while we’re on the subject, you might enjoy reading this commentary I wrote a while back pointing out how misleading the matrix numbers can be:The Book of Hot Stampers.
He then countered with this bit of information:
Well, ok. I don’t understand the logic, but it’s your show.
Floyd stampers are probably the most uniquely well documented stampers on [a site that no longer exists] that they’re pretty much common knowledge. If I understand your logic, a first pressing may not be a “Hot Stamper” while a 3rd, 4th or 5th might be. Just a function of the stars aligning when that record is pressed. So what’s the diff?
I would think this would be pretty obvious. If we say pressing X is the best, this is information that you cannot get anywhere else, certainly not on the site you sent us a link to. The day that such a site tells you which stampers sound the best is the day that such a site will have any value to those who are not collecting for the sake of collecting, but actually want to find pressings with the best sound to play. (more…)
This Harvest Green Lable British Import pressing has a side one that goes FAR beyond anything we’ve ever heard for this album. We had no choice but to award this side one the very rare A with FOUR plusesA++++. We’ve never given any side of any other Pink Floyd record such a high grade, so you can be sure that you’ve never heard them sound this amazing!
We’ve been buying up every clean copy we can find with good stampers since we found our last White Hot Meddle back in March. Unfortunately, most of them left us a bit cold. Most copies just don’t have the kind of magic that we know is on the tape. Beyond that, many of them are too noisy to sell — even the minty looking ones.
The Best Side One Ever
Side one here is OFF THE CHARTS, OUT OF THIS WORLD, DEMO DISC QUALITY. Everything you’ve ever wanted in a Pink Floyd album is here in generous quantities — transparency, breathy vocals, HUGE bass, warmth, richness, ambience, and depth to the soundfield. A copy like this allows you to hear INTO the music in a way that would never be possible with a lesser pressing. The presence and immediacy are staggering, and the bass is going to blow your mind. There’s TONS of life and energy, and the highs are silky beyond belief. This is tubey magical analog at its best, folks — it’s an A++++ side without doubt.(more…)
Same problems as the MoFi Thick As a Brick: The MoFi is super-TRANSPARENT and OPEN, and the top end will be lush and extended. If you prize clarity, this is the one!
But if you prize clarity at the expense of everything else, you are seriously missing the boat on Meddle (and of course Thick As A Brick too). The MoFi is all mids and highs with almost nothing going on below.
This is a rock record, but without bass and dynamics the MoFi pressing can’t rock, so what exactly is it good for?
Dan, our letter writer, is a new convert to the world of Hot Stampers. Although his system is modest by his own admission, the sound he was able to conjure up in his living room was “…a revelation…” A good Dark Side can have that effect on you.
Hi Tom, I received this DSOTM yesterday…
First I played the 180gm 25th anniversary release, so I listened to the first side. While it didn’t necessarily ‘grab’ me, I sat through and listened, with the assumption that I really needed to get a feel for this to do a somewhat critical A/B listening experience.
Then I put this Hot Stamper on.
From the very beginning, I heard vocals I never heard before, in my 12 years of listening to this album. There was such a dramatically engaging ‘dreamlike’ flow to the music, that I have never experienced before! The soundstage was so 3-dimensional, the speakers disappeared, and moment after moment, I completely forgot I was sitting in my living room!
NEVER would I have thought a single record could make this kind of difference… it was TRULY one of those rare experiences – a revelation, of recreating an actual concert in one’s listening room.
While my system is quite modest by most accounts, this is a new chapter in the music playback book, to hear/ listen to something that is so lifelike, everything else disappears.
Let me tell you, it is no walk in the park to find a copy of The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking that sounds as good as this one and plays as quietly. Those of you who like Floyd’s The Final Cut will probably get a lot out of the album.(more…)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the album, Pink Floyd managed to record one of the most amazing sounding records in the history of rock music. The song Wish You Were Here starts out with radio noise and other sound effects, then suddenly an acoustic guitar appears, floating in the middle of your living room between the speakers, clear as a bell and as real as you have ever heard. It’s obviously an “effect,” but for us audiophiles it’s pure ear candy.
In-Depth Track Commentary
Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-5
Right from the dynamic intro you can tell this is going to be a wild ride. David Gilmour’s haunting guitar line that comes cutting from out of the abyss should be warm with tons of room for his phasers to do their phasing.
After the band comes in and the vocals begin (listen for the man chuckling in the left channel) you should pay attention to the balance of the mix. Most copies tend to be very midrangy which can make the guitars aggressive and harsh, often times taking emphasis away from the vocals. The good copies have lots of transparency and allow everything to sit in their respectively places. This is probably most noticeable during the saxophone solo.
The tenor that starts off this section needs to be breathy, full-bodied, and sitting delicately in the center of your speakers. It does NOT need be be honky and hard sounding without any top extension. As the solo slowly crescendos, notice the guitar line spread across the soundstage that actually bookends the saxophone. The more dynamic copies really let you hear the intricacy and delicacy of his picking that foreshadows the time signature shift about to come.(more…)
Many if not most audiophiles are still under the misapprehension that Mobile Fidelity, with their strict ’quality control’, managed to eliminate pressing variations of the kind we discuss endlessly on the site.
Such is simply not the case, and it’s child’s play to demonstrate how false this way of thinking is, assuming you have these four things: good cleaning fluids and a machine, multiple copies of the same record, a reasonably revealing stereo, and two working ears. With all four the reality of pressing variations for ALL pressings is both obvious and incontrovertible.
The discussion below of a Hot Stamper Pair of Dark Sides may shed light on some of the issues involved. (more…)