If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out the interview Wired conducted with me a few years back.
If you have some time on your hands, maybe too much time on your hands, go to the comments section and read the 300 plus postings that can be found there, the writers of which seem to be offended by the very idea of Hot Stampers. They also decry the obvious shortcomings of analog vinyl itself, as well as the ridiculously expensive equipment some credulous, misguided audiophiles use to play it, as if you didn’t know already!
Here is one that I found to be especially interesting from a psychological perspective:
Bad, mismatched system setup. Customer base probably has the same. Also evaluation process is questionable. Uses a mediocre solid state amp and looks for “tubey magic” because of some misplaced concept of “accuracy” as I discussed before.
Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff out there, and it does give the stereo industry as a whole a bad name. I have heard some pretty crappy, expensive setups in my day.
I was listening to Phoebe Snow’s “Second Childhood” on my best system last night. Boy, I love my new turntable!
The only problem I have with my evaluations is that I never heard his records. My comments are probably correct, but it would be interesting to audition a few of his “golden” albums just to confirm he hasn’t really found anything. The reason I am confident that he probably does not have anything is because virtually every repressing I’ve heard is better than the original. Claiming otherwise hurts his credibility.
There is one sentence in the paragraphs above that should raise a giant red flag and help you to appreciate how reliable John’s analysis of our stereo and methods might turn out to be. If you didn’t catch it the first time through, give it another shot. Okay, here goes:
The reason I am confident that he probably does not have anything is because virtually every repressing I’ve heard is better than the original.
That’s so strange! Virtually every repressing I’ve heard is worse than the original. What gives?
If I may paraphrase our writer: the reason I am confident that he probably does not know anything about records or audio is that he thinks repressings are always better than vintage pressings. We’ve critically auditioned tens of thousands of records, including many hundreds of repressings, admittedly on our “bad, mismatched system setup,” and I guess we must have gotten it all wrong over the 34 years we’ve been in the audiophile record business. The shame of it all!
Obviously, John knows he does not need to try one of our Hot Stampers. You can see him talking himself into the wisdom of doing nothing with each succeeding paragraph. It’s so easy for him to be right by pretending to know something he can’t possibly know.
And if he did ever order one, and had at least a halfway decent stereo to play it on, it would turn his world upside down so fast it would make his head hurt, and the possibility of that happening would be very, very upsetting. It makes no sense for John to risk such an outcome.
Even if our records were as cheap as the ones he is buying, it would not justify the psychological damage that would result. He would basically have to start his collection over again, as this good customer did. A few hundred others just like him have done the same, and they’re the ones that will be keeping us in business for years to come. To paraphrase another famous saying, “They’ve heard the future, and it works!
Better for John to follow the path he is on. It’s working for him. Why would he want to rock his own boat? (more…)