A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and a record that ranks high on our Difficulty of Reproduction Scale.
Super transparent and hi-res with no attendant sacrifice in low end or fullness, this is about as tonally balanced as Graceland gets. The top end is more delicate and extended, which was not true for most of the copies we played.
There’s a much more pleasant smoothness here, standing in sharp contrast to the typically grainy, spitty copy, with more weight down low and more presence to Simon’s vocals.
We listen to piles of pressings of Graceland regularly. We know the range of sound on the album, what constitutes good, better and best, and we know precisely what qualities the premier copy must have in order to win one of our shootouts.
Above all the thing Graceland has going for it sonically is CLARITY. It has many other good qualities as well: It can be open and spacious, tonally correct, with punchy, tight bass and present, breathy vocals.
The better copies have all these qualities to some degree, but the one quality a good copy must have is clarity, because that’s what’s especially good about the sound of the record.
Without clarity the music doesn’t work. The shortest definition of a Hot Stamper is that it’s the pressing where the music works. You can be sure that any Hot Stamper copy on our site has at least that going for it. (more…)