A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.
This original Plum and Tan Atco label Hot Stamper pressing has TWO AMAZING SIDES and fairly quiet vinyl. A Double Plus (A++) Sound and Mint Minus vinyl makes the copy the Black Swan of this shootout, that’s for sure.
You have never heard a better pressing of what many consider to be Buffalo Springfield’s Masterpiece, Buffalo Springfield Again. We guarantee this copy will blow your mind or your money back! Only one side of one copy had better sound, and that one was noticeably noisier, so we crowning this one King of the Buffalo Springfield Again Shootout for 2007.
This album, like all of Buffalo Springfield’s recordings, has always been a tough nut to crack. We’ve never even attempted a shootout for the first album or Last Time Around, although I do know Hot Stampers for both. Watch for them in the coming months. [Since done, multiple times.]
So many copies of Again sound so bad and play so noisy that most audiophile record lovers probably had written it off many years ago as a lost cause.
Quiet Vinyl? Uh…, Not So Much
Even with all the latest cleaning techniques, including our $6500 record cleaning machine, most copies of this record do not make the Mint Minus cutoff. Parts of the album will be noisier, and even Mint Minus Minus is tough. Some of our expensive Hot Stamper pressings even have sections in the EX++ range, but the sound so good we are charging good money for them anyway. Like an original Cream or Doors record, quiet vinyl is not in the cards.
All Things Considered
Within the limitations of the recording, there are still copies that are surprisingly DYNAMIC and TRANSPARENT. Listen to all that space around the guitars and voices — who knew it was there?
Listen also especially to the vocal harmonies — you can separate out all the parts much more clearly on these Hot Stamper pressings. You can really hear precisely who’s in there and what part they are playing in the vocal arrangement. I can’t remember ever hearing it sound so clear. The best copies really let you hear into the music.
The bass is also much better defined and note-like. On most copies the sound is lean, and what little bass there is sounds like a smeary blob underneath the vocals. With the better pressings you can follow every note, which is important if for no other reason than the fact that many of the arrangements are fairly simple, so losing the sound of one instrument is losing a lot of what the song has to offer.
Midrange Magic? Check.
Extracting all the midrange magic from a legendary album and Desert Island Disc like this should be the goal of every right-thinking audiophile. Who cares what’s on the TAS Superdisc List? I want to play the music that I love, not because it sounds good, but because I love it. And if the only way to find good sounding clean copies of typically poorly-mastered, beat-to-death records like this is to go through a big pile of them, well then, I guess that’s what we will have to do. The last Hot Stamper listing for this album went up in April of 2006. Here it is almost a year and a half later and we finally have enough good clean copies to shoot out. (You folks who don’t live in big cities with lots of used record stores are really out of luck when it comes to albums like these. I must look at twenty for every one I buy.)