Top Engineers – Bill Porter

Chet Atkins – Mister Guitar – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

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

This RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL as it gets. It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn’t know how to not make a Living Stereo record with shockingly good sound. Practically anything the guy touches is GOLD!

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These records are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us through his TAS Super Disc List some of the other amazing sounding Chet Atkins records, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this recording, especially on this copy, is very special indeed. I would rank it right at the top with the best Bill Porter / Chet Atkins records we have ever heard.

The All Music Guide gives Mister Guitar 4 1/2 Stars! They rate no Chet Atkins record higher by the way. (The User Rating is even better, Five Stars.)

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Note how the record has that Bill Porter extra dB or two of bottom end — his signature sound.

There is a misprint on the cover. The last track on side two is listed as Concerto In C Minor (Rachmaninoff) but the song on the record is actually Piano Concerto In B Flat Minor (Tchaikovsky).

 

Chet Atkins – Mister Guitar – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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This RARE Minty looking RCA Living Stereo LP is as TUBEY MAGICAL AS IT GETS. It seems like Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Everything the guy touches is GOLD! Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here. Note how the record has that Bill Porter extra dB or two of bottom end — his signature sound.

The vinyl plays about Mint Minus Minus, a little bit better on side one, which is par for the course on these old RCA pressings.

Most copies we’ve played are smeary with tubby bass, but this one sounds just right! (more…)

Chet Atkins / Chet Atkins in Hollywood – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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

DEMO DISC SOUND! Exceptionally quiet and ususually clean for a record of its age! TAS List of course, and full of Living Stereo Magic. You can feel the cool air of the studio the minute the needle hits the groove!

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this copy is very special indeed. (more…)

Chet Atkins – The Other Chet Atkins

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

It seems as though Bill Porter just doesn’t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Everything the guy touches is GOLD! Need a refresher course in tubey magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These records are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — it’s all here.

I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Pearson for pointing out to us with his TAS List what a great record this is, although I’m pretty sure anybody playing this album would have no trouble telling after a minute or two that this recording is very special indeed. (more…)

Chet Atkins – Travelin’ – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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

This original White Dog Black Label RCA pressing may not say Living Stereo on the label, but it sure has the kind of Living Stereo sound we audiophiles have come to love. It’s got the sound of RCA’s Nashville studios and Bill Porter’s engineering all over it, not to mention the kind of 1963 Tubey Magical Analog that would be long gone by the time the decade came to an end.

Along with George Harrison, who wrote the liner notes for Chet Atkins Picks on The Beatles, we’re proud to call ourselves Chet Atkins fans. (more…)

Chet Atkins – Christmas with Chet Atkins – Our Shootout Winner from 2006

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Christmas with Chet Atkins 

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

This is a very nice looking RCA reissue LP with DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! I can’t believe how good this late reissue sounds! It may not have all the tubey magic of the best originals, but it does have the tubey magic that Bill Porter recorded and that the RCA engineers managed to transfer accurately to this LP. I can tell you I’ll never pass up another one of these. Without a doubt this has to be the best sounding Christmas record we have for sale.

Sleigh Ride sounds amazing, but, as you can see in the reviews for his other classic recordings, most everything sounds amazing on these Bill Porter engineered Chet Atkins records! (more…)

Chet Atkins – Caribbean Guitar

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

This RCA Living Stereo LP has an A++ side two! It’s rich, warm and sweet with great transparency and clear transients — if it had just a bit more top it would be right up with the very best copies. Side one is not quite up to the same standards, and is very noisy. The vinyl plays about Mint Minus Minus on side two, but its a rare copy that plays any quieter.

Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List of Super Discs.

This is one of Chet Atkins’ best albums. Sonically it’s right up there with The Other Chet Atkins and the Hollywood album. It seems like Bill Porter just doesn”t know how not to make an amazing sounding Living Stereo recording. Everything the guy touches is GOLD! (more…)

Roy Orbison – Sings Lonely and Blue on Classic Records Heavy Vinyl

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Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked. 

Can’t recommend this one. It’s too bright. The DCC LP of Orbison’s material is dramatically better [assuming you want a Heavy Vinyl pressing. I doubt I would care for the sound of it now but back in the day we recommended it].

I’ve had some discussions with some audiophiles who liked this album, and I’m frankly surprised that people find this kind of sound pleasing, but if you’re one of those people who likes bright records, this should do the trick! 

 

The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison

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The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison

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  • These killer pressings boast stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one and excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on the other three sides 
  • The phenomenally talented Bill Porter recorded many of Orbison’s classic songs from the early ’60s that are found on this compilation
  • All four sides here sound the way you want them to, with richness, space and Tubey Magic to die for
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… no one conveys pain and longing more sublimely or succinctly than Roy Orbison. But his songs are also masterpieces of production: so technically precise that his deceptively simple tunes and lush melodies flow even more smoothly behind his desperate baritone croon and quivering falsetto.”

For us audiophiles, both the sound and the music found here are positively enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good ’60s All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy may be just the album for you. (more…)

Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits – Mono? Original? None of the Above?

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  • You’ll find oustanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides of this Monument stereo pressing
  • The phenomenally talented Bill Porter recorded many of Orbison’s classic songs from the early ’60s that are found on this compilation
  • Only a copy this good shows you how phenominal these timeless songs can sound – rich, open, clear, solid and musical
  • Among monster hits, like “Crying,” “Only the Lonely,” and “Running Scared,” this album includes new releases “Love Star” and “Evergreen” as well

If you think that buying original pressings of an album like this one is the way to find the best sound, you are sorely mistaken. The originals and most reissues on the Monument label are mostly dreadful sounding.

The monos sound bad and the originals sound bad, which means that all the conventional wisdom of record collectors and audiophiles alike has failed to produce the desired result: a good sounding pressing of the album. What’s a mother to do?  (more…)