Top Artists – Van Halen

Van Halen – Van Halen

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Van Halen – Van Halen

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  • This outstanding copy of the band’s debut album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are smooth, rich and Tubey Magical, with soaring guitars and huge choruses that really get loud 
  • One of the most powerful rock recordings of its day (if you get one that sounds like this)
  • 5 stars: “They sound vital, surprising, and ultimately fun — and really revolutionary, because no other band rocked like this before Van Halen, and it’s still a giddy thrill to hear them discover a new way to rock on this stellar, seminal debut.”

Turn up your nose if you like, but this music is widely considered classic rock by now. I’m not going to pretend it’s on a level with After The Gold Rush or Zep II, but this album does exactly what it’s trying to do — it really ROCKS. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Van Halen

Van Halen

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

Hey Tom,  

I just got a super hot stamper Van Halen and immediately got out my DCC version – which is a record I’ve had no complaints about – compared to most of the heavy vinyl remaster crap – but, oh man, what a difference. Huge sound – really alive – the way you remember this sound should be like – I saw these boys when they first hit – one of my first rock concerts. Thanks again – this was money well spent – and on this one, I can even ebay away the DCC and more than break even (I almost feel guilty about that!).

Richard

Hi Richard,

Isn’t it funny how a record that doesn’t sound “bad” in any way — the DCC – falls so far short of what it really should have sounded like? How will the audiophile record collectors of the world, and I used to be one, ever get better sound when they already think they have it? (more…)

Van Halen on DCC – Not My Idea of Good Sound

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Sonic Grade: D

Hall of Shame pressing and another DCC LP debunked.

As I recall it isn’t very good — thick and dull and closed-in; in other words, boring — but I played it quite a while ago. If your copy sounds better, more power to you, but I bet it doesn’t. Any copy we sell is guaranteed to blow the doors off of it — as well as any other pressing you own — or your money back.

Go ahead and turn up your nose if you like, but this music is widely considered classic rock by now. I’m not going to pretend it’s on a level with After The Gold Rush or Zep II, but this album does exactly what it’s trying to do — it really ROCKS.

Donn Landee

Credit DONN LANDEE (and Ted Templeman too) with the rich, smooth, oh-so-analog sound of the best copies. He’s recorded many of our favorite albums here at Better Records. (more…)

Van Halen – What to Listen For

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Van Halen’s debut album.

Most copies just do not have the kind of weight to the bottom and lower mids that this music needs to work. Put simply, if your Van Halen LP doesn’t rock, then what exactly is the point of playing it?

The other qualities to look for on the best pressings are, firstly, space — the best pressings are huge and three-dimensional, with large, lively, exceptionally dynamic choruses.

The copies with the most resolving power are easy to spot — they display plenty of lovely analog reverb trailing the guitars and vocals. (more…)