Top Artists – Grant Green

Stanley Turrentine – Rough ‘N Tumble

  • Boasting INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from first note to last, we guarantee you’ve never heard this kind of life and energy on any other Stanley Turrentine album – remarkably quiet vinyl too
  • It’s rare for us to find New York label stereo pressings in audiophile playing condition, but here’s a killer one, and it simply takes the recording (and the music) to another level
  • This session boasts all the top players: Blue Mitchell, Pepper Adams, McCoy Tyner, Grant Green, Bob Cranshaw, and Mickey Roker and more
  • “…the star of the show is Turrentine, and his warmth and playing make this a necessity, especially for fans ’60s pre-funk Blue Note jazz.”
  • If you’re a fan of Stanley’s, this title from 1966 is clearly one of his best, and one of his best sounding

This vintage Blue Note stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.


Grant Green on Music Matters – Tizzy Cymbals and a Bright Snare Drum, That’s Your Idea of Audiophile Sound?

Hot Stamper Blue Note Albums Available Now

Hot Stamper Jazz Recordings Featuring the Guitar

An Audiophile Hall of Shame pressing and a Heavy Vinyl Disaster if there ever was one (and oh yes, the audiophile world is drowning in them).

After discovering Hot Stampers and the mind-blowing sound they deliver, a new customer generously sent me a few of his favorite Heavy Vinyl pressings to audition, records that he considered the best of the modern reissues that he owns.

He admitted that most of what he has on Heavy Vinyl is not very good, and now that he can clearly hear what he has been missing, having heard some of our best Hot Stamper jazz pressings, he is going to be putting them up on Ebay and selling them to anyone foolish enough to throw their money away on this kind of vinyl junk.

We say more power to him.  That money can be used to buy records that actually are good sounding, not just supposed to be good sounding because they were custom manufactured with the utmost care and marketed at high prices to soi-disant audiophiles.

Audiophile records are a scam. They always have been and they always will be.

I haven’t listened to a copy of this album in a very long time, but I know a good sounding jazz record when I hear one, having critically auditioned more than a thousand over the course of the 33 years I have been in business. (To be clear, we only sold verified good sounding records starting in 2004.)

I knew pretty early on in the session that this was not a good sounding jazz record.  Five minutes was all it took, but I probably wasted another ten making sure the sound was as hopeless as it initially seemed.

For those of you who might have trouble reading my handwriting, my notes say:

Bass is sloppy and fat.

The bass is boosted and badly lacks definition. It constantly calls attention to itself. It is the kind of sloppy bass that cannot be found on any RVG recording, none that I have ever heard anyway, and I’ve heard them by the hundreds.

You no doubt know about the boosted bass on the remastered Beatles albums. It’s that sound. Irritating in the extreme, and just plain wrong.

Reserved. Playing through a curtain.

Very few Heavy Vinyl records these days do not sound veiled and reserved in the midrange.

To get a better sense of the effect, throw a medium weight blanket over your speakers. Voila! Your thin vinyl now weighs 180 grams!

No space.

Typical of Heavy Vinyl. The studio space and ambience found on the better vintage pressings, the kind we play all day long, is GONE.

RTI pressings are serial offenders in this regard.  We find them uniformly insufferable.

No transients.

Not the sound of the instruments that RVG is famous for.  No leading edges to any instrument anywhere.

Somebody screwed them up in the mastering. Bad cutting equipment? Bad EQ? Both? What else could it be?


Of course it is. Nothing sounds right and it’s all just so dead.

I would be very surprised if the CD was not dramatically better sounding in practically every way, and far more fun to listen to.

Snare is hot when played loud like a bad OJC

We’ve auditioned close to a hundred OJC titles over the years. We sell quite a few of them, but of course we only sell the ones that sound good. We are in the good sounding records business. And some of them are hard to beat.

But lots of them have a phony, boosted top end, easily heard as tizzy, sizzly, gritty, phony cymbals and too-hot snare drums.

This record has that phony sound.

We would never sell any record that sounds this bad. It is a complete and utter disgrace and an affront to vinyl loving audiophiles around the world.

If this record sounds right to you, one thing I can say without fear of contradiction: you have a lot of work to do on your stereo system.

Pass/Fail? Yes, this is one of those records. As wrong as wrong can be.

You can thank Kevin Gray and Ron Rambach for this mess, and hopefully, once you have played a sample of their work, you will know to steer clear of anything associated with these two.


Grant Green – Green Is Beautiful

Hot Stamper Blue Note Albums Available Now

  • Green Is Beautiful finally arrives on the site, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A copy like this is a real audiophile treat – here is the punchy, clear, natural and lively sound you want for Green Is Beautiful
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they’re making – the Tubey Magic, size and rock and roll energy of this very special vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
  • Rudy Van Gelder was masterful at this kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic, energetic sound
  • “Green Is Beautiful is still explicitly commercial and accessible to non-jazz audiences, and (purist objections notwithstanding) that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”


Sonny Red – Images

  • A STUNNING copy of Sonny Red’s 1962 release with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from top to bottom – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Tubey Magical Analog – the sound is open, spacious and transparent, with a huge three-dimensional soundfield
  • If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1962 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy will do the trick, thanks to the superb engineering skills of Ray Fowler


Herbie Hancock – My Point of View

TWO KILLER SIDES, dramatically better sounding than the other copies we played it against. Both sides here are incredible — rich and warm with a huge bottom end and lots of space around the instruments. About as quiet as they come, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout.

We’ve been saving up copies of this album for years in hopes we could find a top copy to put on the site; we were pleasantly surprised to find one this good on an early label with decent vinyl.

This is a great album, with a killer lineup that includes Grant Green, Donald Byrd, Tony Williams, Hank Mobley and more. If you’re a fan of Herbie’s debut album Takin’ Off, you’ll find much to like here. The typical pressing leaves much to be desired though — many copies we’ve played sounded a bit hollow and flat. Hot Stamper copies give you richer, fuller sound and more energy, qualities that really help this music shine. (more…)

Lee Morgan / Search For The New Land – Reviewed in 2008

This QUIET, hard-to-find Blue Note Blue Label LP has EXCELLENT SOUND AND MUSIC!

It’s transparent, open and spacious with deep, tight bass. The piano has nice weight to it and the trumpet has the right amount of bite.

The lineup here is excellent, including Grant Green, Herbie Hancock, Billy Higgins, Wayne Shorter, and Reginald Workman.

This is an Older Jazz Review.

Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we developed in the early 2000s and have since turned into a fine art.

We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)

We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.

Currently, 99% (or more!) of the records we sell are cleaned, then auditioned under rigorously controlled conditions, up against a number of other pressings. We award them sonic grades, and then condition check them for surface noise.

As you may imagine, this approach requires a great deal of time, effort and skill, which is why we currently have a highly trained staff of about ten. No individual or business without the aid of such a committed group could possibly dig as deep into the sound of records as we have, and it is unlikely that anyone besides us could ever come along to do the kind of work we do.

The term “Hot Stampers” gets thrown around a lot these days, but to us it means only one thing: a record that has been through the shootout process and found to be of exceptionally high quality.

Not just a good sounding record. A record that was played in a shootout and did well.

The result of our labor is the scores of jazz titles seen here, every one of which is unique and guaranteed to be the best sounding copy of the album you have ever heard or you get your money back.

Further Reading