Top Artists – Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash at San Quentin – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

xxxxx

 

This Columbia 360 Label pressing has TWO WONDERFUL SIDES and quiet vinyl. We just finished a big shootout for this great album and this copy was a MAJOR step up from most of them we played, particularly on side two. It’s of course not the world’s greatest recording (San Quentin is not quite Olympic Studios) but on a Hot Stamper copy the sound can actually be very good.

Most copies we’ve played are just too full of grit and grain to enjoy. Other problems we’ve run into are loose bass, smear, weak top ends, and a lack of presence. We’ve been picking these up for a while now, but only a few of them sound good enough to really get into.

The best copies, like this one, give you proper tonal balance, presence and fullness to Johnny’s voice, and enough tubey magic to combat the grit and grain.

Side one is super clean and clear with good presence and energy. There’s nice depth to the soundfield, putting the female background vocalists in the back and The Man In Black right up front. The overall sound is tonally correct from top to bottom.

Side two is INCREDIBLE — tubey magical with excellent presence and superb transparency. It’s also smooth, rich and full with more energy than we heard elsewhere. The drums sound just right.

We had a blast listening to this one, and Cash’s banter between the songs is practically as good as the music itself! You’ll have a hard time finding another copy that lets you enjoy the music without the sound getting in the way. (more…)

Johnny Cash / Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

xxxxx

Two great sides on quiet vinyl! We’ve been trying to find good copies of this fun album for ages, but it wasn’t until recently that we heard this music sound right. Most copies are just too thin and edgy with lots of strain and hardness on the vocals. This one is richer, smoother and sweeter, with lots of body and excellent transparency. It ain’t easy to find great sounding Johnny Cash records, but this copy had the sound we were looking for.

Cash’s vocals sound Right On The Money here — present, full and natural with virtually none of the hardness, strain and edge you get on the typical copy. (more…)

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline

xxxxx

  • With Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and Double Plus (A++) on the second, this copy has the real Nashville Skyline magic – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • We guarantee that Bob’s duet with Johnny Cash on this Shootout Winning Triple Plus side one (Girl from the North Country) will blow your mind, or your money back  
  • “Lay Lady Lay,” “To Be Alone With You,” “I Threw It All Away,” “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” are true country-rock standards
  • 5 stars: “It’s a warm, friendly album, particularly since Bob Dylan is singing in a previously unheard gentle croon — the sound of his voice is so different it may be disarming upon first listen, but it suits the songs.”

(more…)

Johnny Cash – The Christmas Spirit

xxxxx

  • A KILLER sounding Triple Plus (A+++) side two backed with a superb Double Plus (A++) side one
  • Both of these sides are rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a solid bottom end and a lovely musical quality that’s missing from most copies
  • “Released in 1963, The Christmas Spirit was Johnny Cash’s first full-length holiday-themed album. Featured were four original songs by Cash, along with eight covers including takes of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Silent Night,” “Blue Christmas,” and others. This is a solidly enjoyable entry from Cash, and a must-have for die-hard aficionados of the country icon.” 

(more…)

Johnny Cash – Blood, Sweat and Tears

xxxxx

  • A stunning copy of Cash’s 1963 release, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from top to bottom – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are just about AS Good As It Gets — full-bodied, Tubey Magical and super present with plenty of extension on both ends
  • “The delivery is plain, simple, and never overly sentimental, but the thing that makes the record really work is the fact that the album consists almost entirely of first-rate material, without much of the unintentionally corny history lessons that weigh down most of Johnny Cash’s Americana records.”

This vintage Columbia 360 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 legendary Man in Black, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Letter of the Week – “Listening to the copies I purchased from you felt like I had never heard them before. Absolutely incredible.”

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

Hey Tom, 

BTW, given my age, I have probably heard Carole King’s Tapestry and Blood Sweat & Tears – BST a hundred or more times each. Listening to the copies I purchased from you felt like I had never heard them before. Absolutely incredible. Thank you. (more…)

Johnny Cash – The Sound of Johnny Cash

xxxxx
xxxxx

  • KILLER sound from start to finish with both sides earning Nearly Triple Plus (A+++) grades, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • Big, rich, tubey and open, this is some of the best sound Columbia achieved for its country records in the ’60s
  • The vocal presence and freedom from coloration will put a very real sounding Johnny Cash front and center in your listening room
  • “What is interesting about this album, though, is that it doesn’t just remind us of the sound of Johnny’s past, instead it points the way forward to the future, even serving as a template for his ultimate Man in Black persona.”

(more…)

Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, et al. – Greatest C&W Hits Vol 4 – Reviewed in 2012

xxxxx

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

WOW! (Or should that be OMG?) This Columbia 360 original pressing has AMAZING DEMO DISC sound on many of its twelve tracks, tracks by some of the biggest names in country at the time. To hear Jimmy Dean sing Big Bad John or Marty Robbins’ do Devil Woman with this kind of Tubey Magical, tonally correct, rich, sweet, spacious sound is nothing less than a THRILL. The Analog sound of this pressing makes a mockery of even the most advanced digital playback systems, including the ones that haven’t been invented yet. I’d love to play this for Neil Young so he can see what he’s up against! Good Luck, Neil, you’re going to need it.

The sound on both sides is White Hot, practically faultless I might even go so far as to say.

The first three tracks on side one are AGAIG — As Good As It Gets! After that I stopped playing side one; the next three may be as good, may not be, but what I heard on those first three was clearly WHITE HOT STAMPER SOUND! (more…)