Top Artists – Jethro Tull

The Best Sounding Jethro Tull Album Is Thick As a Brick

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Thick As A Brick is surely the BEST SOUNDING ALBUM Jethro Tull ever recorded. Allow us to make the case.

  • The better copies are shockingly dynamic. At about the three minute mark the band joins in the fun and really starts rocking.
  • Set your volume for as loud as your system can play that section. The rest of the music, including the very quietest parts, will then play correctly for all of side one. For side two the same volume setting should be fine.
  • The recording can have exceptionally solid, deep punchy bass (just check out Barrie “Barriemore” Barlow’s drumming, especially his kick and floor toms. The guy is on fire).
  • The midrange is usually transparent and the top end sweet and extended on the better pressings.
  • The recording was made in 1972, so there’s still plenty of Tubey Magic to be heard on the acoustic guitars and flutes.
  • The best copies can be as huge, wide and tall as any rock record you’ve ever heard, with sound that comes jumping out of your speakers right into your listening room.
  • Unlike practically any album recorded during the ’80s or later, the overall tonal balance, as well as the timbre of virtually every instrument in the soundfield is exceedingly correct.

That kind of accuracy practically disappeared from records about thirty years ago, which explains why so many of the LPs we offer as Hot Stampers were produced in the ’70s. That’s when many of the highest fidelity recordings were made. In truth this very record is a superlative example of the sound the best producers, engineers, and studios were able to capture on analog tape during that time.
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Jethro Tull – Aqualung – One of the Worst Releases on DCC (and That’s Saying Something!)

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Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another DCC LP debunked.

As bad as the MoFi is, the DCC is even worse. Murky and bloated, to my ear it does almost nothing right, not on vinyl anyway. I’ll bet you the DCC Gold CD is better, and it’s certainly nothing to write home about. 

Our Hot Stamper commentary below sorts out the DCC, the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl pressing and the MoFi Half-Speed Mastered LP, as well as British and domestic originals. (more…)

Why Own a Turntable if You’re Going to Play Mediocrities Like These?

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This commentary was posted in 2007 and amended later with the statement that we would no longer be ordering new heavy vinyl titles starting in 2010. By 2011 we had eliminated them completely from our site. If you bought any Heavy Vinyl pressing from us, ever, now is the time to get rid of it and hear what a Hot Stamper can do for your musical enjoyment. 


Three of the Top Five sellers this week (8/22/07) at Acoustic Sounds are records we found hard to like: AjaAqualung and Blue. Can you really defend the expense and hassle of analog LP playback with records that sound as mediocre as this Rhino pressing of Blue? 

Why own a turntable if you’re going to play records like these? I have boxes of CDs that sound more musically involving and I don’t even bother to play those. Why would I take the time to throw on some 180 gram record that sounds worse than a good CD? (more…)

Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick – Ruthless When It Comes to Accuracy

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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 the album.

From 2009 to 2010 this was our single go-to record for testing and tweaking the system.

Although we now use an amazing copy of Bob and Ray (the big band version of The Song of the Volga Boatmen located therein has to be the toughest test we know of bar none), we could easily go back to using TAAB. It’s absolutely ruthless when it comes to the slightest hint of artificiality in the sound of the system.

Since the biggest problem every audiophile is always fighting is artificiality (and, more often than not, losing, if I may be that cynical about most audiophile systems, our customers’ systems excluded of course).

TAAB is one of the best recordings one could ever find to test and tune with. We have a whole section for these kinds of recordings under the heading Home Audio Exercises in the Further Reading section under the tab Learn More at the top of every page.

The Best Sounding Tull

Thick As A Brick is surely the BEST SOUNDING ALBUM Jethro Tull ever recorded. Allow us to make the case.

Since the biggest problem every audiophile is always fighting is artificiality (and, more often than not, losing, if I may be that cynical about most audiophile systems, our customers’ systems excluded of course).

TAAB is one of the best recordings one could ever find to test and tune with. We have a whole section for these kinds of recordings under the heading Home Audio Exercises in the Further Reading section under the tab Learn More at the top of every page. (more…)

Jethro Tull – Stand Up – Notes from 2006

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Stand Up (2006)

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

This Island Pink Label Original British pressing has ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SOUND! We mention that there was a Sunray pressing that may have been even better, but I didn’t have this copy in hand to compare the Sunray to, so I can’t be sure that pressing was any better. This one sounds as good as any I’ve ever heard.  (more…)

Jethro Tull’s Stand Up – Listening in Depth

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More Stand Up

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises

It’s very common for pressings of Stand Up to lack bass or highs, and more often than not they lack both. The bass-shy ones tend to be more transparent and open sounding — of course, that’s the sound you get when you take out the bass. (90 plus percent of all the audiophile stereos I’ve ever heard were bass shy, no doubt for precisely that reason: less bass equals more detail, more openness and more transparency. Go to any stereo store or audiophile show and notice how bright the sound is.) 

Just what good is a British Classic Rock Record that lacks bass? It won’t rock, and if it don’t rock, who needs it? You might as well be playing the CD. (more…)

Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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Thick As A Brick

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

This A++++ Beyond White Hot Stamper copy of Thick As A Brick has the best side one we have ever heard! This copy is operating at A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL.

Side one has HUGE, room-filling, hi-definition sound, with levels of Tubey Magic one would simply never expect to hear coming from a run-of-the-mill domestic Reprise pressing such as this. But here they are; there’s no denying the transparency, size and rock and roll energy of this mind-boggling side one. It’s truly a Demo Disc of the highest order.

We cannot avoid awarding freakishly good sound such as this our rule-breaking Four Plus grade, limited to those rarefied pressings that take the sound of familiar records beyond what we’ve heard before. (more…)

Jethro Tull – This Was

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This Was

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

Guaranteed to MURDER any Pink Label Island original you have ever heard – these are the Hot Stampers. 

Folks, this is the best copy we are going to have on the site for a very long time. It took years and hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get this shootout going and this killer copy is the result. (more…)

Jethro Tull – Aqualung – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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Aqualung

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

OH YEAH! This Original Domestic Aqualung has TWO STUNNING SIDES that will MURDER the British Originals and make mincemeat out of any reissue! Folks, for hard rockin’, tubey magical, psychedelic ’60s analog, it just does not get much better than this album. Here’s a knockout copy that will bring the power of Aqualung to life right there in your living room. Side one rates A+++ and side two rates A++; both easily defeated our best Import pressings, including a handful of sides with 1U, 2U, and 3U stampers — the kind that go for big dollars on eBay no matter what they sound like.  (more…)

Jethro Tull – Benefit – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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Benefit

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

This WONDERFUL original Island Chrysalis Brit LP has AMAZING SOUND! This is the BEST sounding copy we’ve ever heard, better than any of the other Island imports! A Triple Plus AGAIG sound on side one and nearly as good on side two. Quiet too! (more…)