Top Artists – The Doors

The Doors – Strange Days – Rhino and DCC Reviewed

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Sonic Grade: DCC: B / Rhino: C

It’s not easy for us to find copies of Strange Days that outperform the DCC, but our best Hot Stampers beat it handily. We also put our original copies up against the 180g version from the Doors Box Set and it was an absolute bloodbath. We understand that a well-known reviewer likes the sound of those Doors pressings (along with just about every heavy vinyl reissue that hits his table) but we here at Better Records prefer to set higher standards. We think you deserve better, and at these prices the record better deliver a world of sound that the heavy vinyl pressing only hints at. And it does. (more…)

The Doors – Morrison Hotel – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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

Rich, big and full-bodied, with clarity and energy to spare, this is the way you want to hear the Doors’ Bluesy Rock. Roadhouse Blues, Waiting For The Sun and Maggie McGill are KILLER on this pressing – all you Doors fans are gonna flip. Circus Magazine praised it as “possibly the best album yet from the Doors” and “Good hard, evil rock, and one of the best albums released this decade.”

Too many pressings aren’t rich and full-bodied enough to allow Jim Morrison to sound right. He’s The Lizard King, not The Frog Prince for crying out loud. When he doesn’t sound big, powerful, and borderline scary, what’s the point?

Not to worry. On these two sides, he sounds AMAZING. Just listen to him screaming his head off on Roadhouse Blues and projecting the power of his rich baritone on Blue Sunday. Nobody did it any better. (more…)

The Doors – The Doors – Rating the DCC LP

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The Doors – The Doors

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Sonic Grade: B

We used to like the Doors First album on DCC back when it came out in the late ’90s; it sure beat the MoFi and every other pressing I had around, including the original gold label Elektra pressings. But much water has gone under that bridge. There have been countless audio revolutions, as well as the improved record cleaning technologies we tout at every turn. Without them old records just sound like old records, and the DCC pressing will be better. 

But with them, and lots of other changes, the right original stomps all over the DCC.

Hey, We Was Wrong, and we’re not too proud to admit it. If you have the DCC and want to know what you’re missing, a Hot Stamper is the ticket.

It will cost you a fair bit more than the DCC, but the difference in sound should more than justify the difference in price if this is an album that is important to you.  (more…)

The Doors – L.A. Woman – Rhino Heavy Vinyl Reviewed

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Sonic Grade: B

The pressing we auditioned from the Doors Box Set was surprisingly good. It’s rich and smooth with an extended top end — tonally correct in other words — and there’s lots of bass. This is all to the good. For the thirty bucks you might pay for it you’re getting a very good record, assuming yours sounds like ours, something we should really not be assuming, but we do it anyway as there is no other way to write about records other than to describe the sound of the ones we actually have on hand to play.

What it clearly lacks compared to the best originals is, first and foremost, vocal immediacy. There’s a veil that Jim Morrison is singing through, an effect which has a tendency to become more bothersome with time, as these sorts of frustrating shortcomings have a habit of doing.

A bit blurry, a bit smeary, somewhat lacking in air and space, on the plus side it has good energy and better bass than most of the copies we played. All in all we would probably give it a “B.” You could do a helluva lot worse. All the ’70s and ’80s reissues of this album we’ve ever played were just awful, especially those with the date inscribed in the dead wax. (more…)

Letter of the Week – L.A. Woman

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

Hi Tom,

I must confess, that like most audiophiles, I was not a believer in Hot Stampers. I thought my DCC Compact Classic and my 180 gram Box Set was the best. Boy was I dead wrong! I have been buying Hot Stampers from you on a regular basis for the past two months. They truly allow me to hear what was intended in the recording studio and, man, is it breathtaking. I received the Doors – LA Woman a couple of days ago and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think a record could be this realistic.

I couldn’t believe the amount of information I was hearing coming out of the groove of this LP — the biggest, most realistic staging and largest acoustic space I have ever heard in my life. The highs were sweet and extended, the midrange was as natural as a midrange could ever be, and the bass was tight and rich with incredible weight down to the lowest region. Transparency and resolution on this LP are simply out of this world. I’m so blown away with this Hot Stamper that I think it’s a bargain at $500.00.

I truly believe you really have to experience a Hot Stamper, especially one like this, to see why I’m losing my mind. I’m slowly but surely replacing all of my favorite records with your Hot Stamper versions. Thank you for this masterpiece!

Naz


L.A. Woman

The Doors – Strange Days – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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

This is THE BEST SOUNDING COPY OF STRANGE DAYS to EVER hit the site! We’ve only found one or two copies that were in the same league as this one, and they went directly into the hands of our best longtime customers who had been waiting patiently for a killer pressing. Side one rated between A++ and A+++ and side two earned top A+++ honors. 

Both sides are MAGICAL, dramatically better than the vast majority of copies we come across. The sound is rich, warm, clean, clear and amazingly transparent. The vocals sound JUST RIGHT. You would have to have a ton of copies at your disposal to have any chance of finding one that had even one side that sounds as good as BOTH sides sound here. This one is a MONSTER. (more…)

The Doors – The Doors – Rhino / Universal Heavy Vinyl Debunked

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Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

What a mess. Imagine listening to this album with a two inch thick velvet curtain placed over your speakers — that’s the sound of this remastered record! How bad does a stereo have to be in order to disguise the fact that this is one of the worst Classic Rock reissues in the history of the world? I don’t know and I sure don’t want to find out.

Letter of the Week – Soft Parade

Soft Parade

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

Hey Tom,   

Tom, I have not listened to the other two yet, but I had to shoot you a quick email about the Doors Soft Parade. It is totally killer!

It’s for records like this that we pour money into high performance audio systems! Bravo! Never heard the Doors sound like this before!

It’s hard to describe that pressing. It has everything you could want in a vinyl LP. Huge wide and deep soundstage, Jim’s voice and each instrument in its own 3D place in the soundstage, phenominal tonal balance over the entire range of the music, great texture of voice and instruments, real here-with-you presence and the decay of notes is for real. Yeah, you’re right, this one has the magic.

Ed M.