Top Engineers – Mack

Billy Squier – Don’t Say No

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  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side two and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one, this copy will be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • HUGE Rock Sound — the guitars and drums are positively jumping out of the speakers with dynamic energy, presented on a stage that’s exceptionally wide and tall — which means the two monster hits In The Dark and The Stroke both rock like crazy, with more bottom and top end extension than practically any of the other copies we played
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Billy Squier truly arrived with 1981’s Don’t Say No… The album is a near-perfect example of early-’80s melodic hard rock… as far as studio albums are concerned, Don’t Say No is undoubtedly his best.”

There’s a reason this album sounds big and lively. It was produced by Reinhold Mack (“& Billy” according to the liner notes), Mack being the man who produced a truly amazing sounding Queen album, The Game. If you’ve ever heard a serious Hot Stamper of that album, you know what we’re talking about when we say it delivers the Big Rock Sound we love here at Better Records. Turn it up and rock out! (more…)

Queen – The Game

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  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to last
  • Some of the best sound Queen achieved in the studio, thanks to talented engineer Rienhold Mack
  • Plenty of hits here, including Another One Bites The Dust and Crazy Little Thing Called Love, which both sound amazing on this Super Hot Stamper
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… the striking difference with this album is that it finds Queen turning decidedly, decisively pop, and it’s a grand, state-of-the-art circa 1980 pop album that still stands as one of the band’s most enjoyable records.”

Throughout this copy, you get solid bass, Tubey Magic, breathy vocals and BIG BOLD sound.

Compared to most of the copies we played, these sides have more energy, bigger bass and even more present and breathy vocals. This is without a doubt some of the best sound we have ever heard for Queen, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The quality of bass on this record is often superb. The best copies were Demo Discs in that regard.) You have probably never heard Queen sound this good. 

Take it from us, the guys who play nothing but vintage vinyl all day: not many Queen records sound as good as The Game. (more…)

Queen – Hot Space

More Queen

More Hot Space

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  • With Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy of Hot Space took top honors in our recent shootout
  • The best pressings – like this one – have plenty of bass and are smoother and fuller than the rest
  • Disco, funk, rhythm and blues, dance and pop music all found their way onto this 1982 release -the monster hit Under Pressure with none other than Mr. David Bowie closes out side two
  • “Hot Space is an essential cog for Queen completists… [it] has invention and ideas to spare.”

Queen albums in general are notoriously hard to find good sound for, and Queen albums from 1982 are probably even harder.

We’re guessing this album’s appeal is probably limited to fans of the band, but for those of you who want something different, or to hear Under Pressure sound good, we offer Hot Space with White Hot Stamper sound. (more…)

Queen – The Game – What to Listen For

More Queen

More The Game

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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.

The best sounding side ones were rarely as good as the best sounding side twos.

Even the good side ones tended to have a trace of harmonic distortion and compression that is simply nowhere to be found on the good side twos. How and why this is we have no idea. Since every copy had the same sonic issues we discounted it in our grading. Only the better copies bring the hits on side one to life and give them the size and power we know they can have.  (more…)