More of the Music of King Crimson
Hot Stamper Pressings of Progressive Rock Albums Available Now
Sonic Grade: B
The MoFi pressing shown here is surely one of their best.
Unfortunately, these days we have little tolerance for the dynamic compression, overall lifelessness and wonky bass heard on practically every record they ever remastered. Including this one.
One of the reasons your MoFi might not sound wrong to you is that it isn’t really “wrong.” It’s doing most things right, and it will probably beat most of what you can find to throw at it. A quick survey:
If you have the Atlantic pressing, from any era, you have never begun to hear this record at its best. It was cleary mastered from copy tapes, which is where its dubby sound comes from.
UK Polydor reissue? Passable, not really worth the labor to put them in a shootout just to have them earn mediocre grades.
The same can be said for some of the earliest UK Pink Label Island pressings.
None of them has ever won a shootout and probably none ever will. As a rule, we don’t buy them, for two related reasons:
- They are quite expensive in clean condition, and
- Their sound quality does not justify paying the premium price sellers typically ask.
We leave them to the record collectors who like to collect originals.
We and our customers are audiophiles. We like to collect records with good sound.
If we have our heads on straight, we don’t care what pressing we buy as long as it’s the one with the best sound. (Of course, not everybody agrees with us about that, but enough of you out there do, such that our business is sure to proper in the years to come.)
Back to the MoFi
It’s lacking some important qualities, and a listen to one of our Hot Stampers will allow you to hear exactly what you’re not getting when you play an audiophile pressing, any audiophile pressing, even one as good as MoFi’s.
Side by side the comparison will surely be striking. How much energy, size, power and passion is missing from the record you own?
There’s only one way to find out, and it’s by playing a better copy of the album. (more…)