- With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) or BETTER sides, you’ll have a hard time finding a copy that sounds remotely as good as this vintage Reprise pressing – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Both sides have close to the best condition grade we give out, Mint Minus – there may not be another record on the site with vinyl that quiet!
- The sound of this superb import is rich, full-bodied, lively, and warm, with solid bass and breathy, clear vocals
- There are a number of records that Eric Clapton has made over the years that are Must Own titles, and we would have no problem putting this album on that list
- Consistency has never been the man’s strong suit, but you will simply not be able to find a bad track on this live album from 1992
- 4 1/2 stars: “Unplugged is the concert and album that established the MTV program as a classy, tony showcase for artists eager to redefine themselves via reexamination of their catalogs, which is what Clapton cannily did here.”
- If you’re a Clapton fan, this unplugged album from 1992 surely belongs in your collection.
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
I just listened to the Eric Clapton Unplugged White Hot Stamper I purchased from you.
All I can say is AMAZING. I’ve been a customer of yours going back about 15 years ago. I recently changed my entire system and now all of my Better Records are sounding spectacular.
I can’t wait to hear the Crosby, Stills, Nash White Hot stamper I just purchased from you.
We could not be happier to hear that news!
The better your equipment, the better our records sound, a fact attested to by you and hundreds of our other customers. With better playback, all those Heavy Vinyl imposters get left further and further behind. Some give up on them completely.
Your letter is what progress in audio is all about. As your stereo improves, some records should get better, some should get worse. It’s the nature of the beast for those of us who constantly trying to make improvements to our playback.
Hope you like that CSN album, it’s a bitch to find a copy that sounds like the ones we sell. It’s no demo disc but it is real and correct in a way that not one out of a hundred copies are.
- Backless returns to the site with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides of this early British pressing
- Rich, smooth, clear sound throughout – listen to the grungy guitars on “Walk Out In The Rain” – that’s the way they should sound all right
- Clapton comes to life on the traditional blues “Early In The Morning” – it also has the best sound on the album
- “Backless is a seductive record, if you’re attracted to the interplay of Clapton’s dolorous voice and Marcy Levy’s raspy backup vocals, George Terry’s slide guitar and Glyn Johns’ pristine production.” – Rolling Stone
The typical pressing of Backless, much like the typical pressing of Slowhand, is just too thick, dull, compressed and veiled to be much fun. You need to turn this album up good and loud to get it to do anything.
The copies that are solid and weighty love getting loud; the copies that are thin and bright only get worse as the level goes up, a sign that they leave a lot to be desired. This is a rock album after all.
We had top quality copies on both domestic and British vinyl. Both were cut here in L.A. It makes sense that either can be good.
- Slowhand is finally back on the site, here with superb Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides of this vintage RSO pressing
- One of our favorite Clapton albums, but one that is notoriously difficult to find with top quality sound and audiophile quality playing surfaces
- With Glyn Johns behind the board, you can be sure the sound will be exceptionally rich, smooth, sweet and above all ANALOG
- 4 1/2 stars: “This is laid-back virtuosity — although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album’s eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as one of Eric Clapton’s best albums.”
- Fresh Cream returns to the site with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this UK reissue
- The band’s debut album has much better sound than most of those that followed – it’s surprisingly Tubey Magical, with tons of studio space and lovely vocal presence
- If all you know is the DCC pressing, or any other Heavy Vinyl pressing, you are in for quite a treat with this Hot Stamper import (here is our review)
- 4 1/2 Stars: “Fresh Cream represents so many different firsts, it’s difficult to keep count. Cream, of course, was the first supergroup, but their first album not only gave birth to the power trio, it also was instrumental in the birth of heavy metal and the birth of jam rock…”
- If you’re a fan of the band, this title from 1966 is clearly one of their best, and one of their best sounding
We recently finished a shootout for this band’s hard-rockin’ debut album and were once again delighted to hear how good this music can sound when you get a pressing that sounds as good as this one does. Nothing the band did in the studio was as well-recorded as their first album.
- Both sides of this vintage UK copy were giving us the big and bold sound we were looking for, earning outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades – fairly quiet vinyl too
- You aren’t going to believe how hard this copy rocks, with all the WHOMP and ENERGY you never knew was there
- Classics like “Strange Brew,” “Sunshine Of Your Love” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses” make this Cream album a Must Own
- 4 1/2 stars: “…the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time.”
- It’s hard to conceive of any list of the Best Rock and Pop Albums of 1967 that would not have this record on it
This superb copy has the kind of smooth, analog sound you need for this music — warm, rich, smooth, and pretty much free of the nasty grain that gets in the way on most pressings. There’s good extension up top, and the bottom end is meaty and well-defined.
The lesson we’ve learned over the years is that when the extremes are properly transferred to the vinyl, the middle will take care of itself. Since the extremes seem to be the hardest thing to get right, at least on this record, that might explain why so many copies don’t really sound the way they should.
One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:
Just got the Fresh Cream and Grateful Dead albums….cranked up the rig and they sound WONDERFUL…..no surprise but LOTS of satisfaction! Thanks for your sale to enable this “poor” retired audiophile access to great sound….
Thanks for being such a unique person to have discovered what the audio world never really knew or appreciated or admitted to…and for making it available to others….
Thanks for your letter.
- This vintage pressing boasts outstanding sound from start to finish
- Balanced, musical and full-bodied throughout – this pressing is a big step up from many of the other copies we played
- Bigger and bolder, with more bass, more energy, and more of that “you-are-there-immediacy” of ANALOG that set the best vintage pressings apart from reissues, CDs, and whatever else you care to name
- The sound and music here are very similar to 461 Ocean Boulevard, so if you’re a fan of that title, you’ll probably find much to like here
It is tough to find copies of There’s One In Every Crowd that aren’t murky, overly smooth and/or lifeless. If you’re a fan of this music and want to hear it come to life, this copy can do it. (more…)
- A superb import copy with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
- Forget the commonly dry-sounding domestic copies – the pressings mastered in Germany and the UK were the only ones good enough for us to put in a shootout
- Rich, lively, spacious – the right pressings are surprisingly good-sounding for a recording from 1989
- The big hit was “Pretending,” but “Bad Love” (both went to Number One) won the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal
- 4 1/2 stars: “… a laid-back and thoroughly engaging display of Clapton’s virtuosity. On the whole, it’s the best studio album he’s released since Slowhand.”
- This vintage UK pressing boasts incredible Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish, just shy of our Shootout Winner – fairly quiet vinyl too
- Big and full-bodied with exceptionally breathy vocals, strong rhythmic energy and virtually none of the smear that plagues so many copies
- As good as the best domestic pressings can be, these British LPs simply capture quite a bit more of the 461 Midrange Magic than they do
- 4 1/2 stars: “…the pop concessions on the album don’t detract from the rootsy origins of the material, whether it’s Johnny Otis’ ‘Willie and the Hand Jive,’ the traditional blues ‘Motherless Children,’ Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ or Clapton’s emotional original ‘Let It Grow.'”
- If you’re a Clapton fan, and what audiophile wouldn’t be?, this return to form released in 1974 is clearly a Must Own, a title it shares with two of his other top albums: Unplugged and Just One Night.
- His debut solo album is a longtime personal favorite, but I’m not sure it would quite make the cut for our Core Rock Collection
Tom Dowd recorded this album at Criteria in Miami, where Layla was recorded. I’d say the sound here is substantially better than what you typically get on that album, keeping in mind the sonic variations from track to track on Layla, which can be fairly dramatic.