The best copies must have one key ingredient that we’ve discovered is absolutely essential if this groundbreaking New Wave album is to come to life — a huge, spacious soundstage.
Some copies are huge; others, not so much. The effect of these size differentials is ENORMOUS. The power of the music ramps up like crazy — how could this recording possibly be this BIG and POWERFUL? How did it achieve this kind of scale? You may need twenty copies to find one like this, which begs the question: why don’t the other 19 sound the way this one does? The sound we heard has to be on the master tape in some sense, doesn’t it? Mastering clearly contributes to the sound, but can it really be a factor of this magnitude? (more…)
An outstanding copy of The Cars’ New Wave Classic, boasting solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
We guarantee this is some of the best sound you’ll ever hear on ANY Cars album – Roy Thomas Baker’s production makes this one jump out of the speakers like few recordings we’ve heard (and not many of them are from 1979, that’s for damn sure)
An underrated album by the band – we consider it a Must Own, along with their brilliant debut, two records that belong in any audiophile’s Rock and Pop collection
4 1/2 stars: “As it stands, it may be one of the best second albums ever made, full of great songs, inspired performances, and sporting a still-perfect sound. If this had been the Cars’ debut album, people might consider it a classic. Coming after The Cars, it has to be rated a little lower, but not by much.”
This outstanding UK copy of the band’s fifth studio album earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
“A Day at the Races is a bit tighter than its predecessor… its sleek, streamlined finish is the biggest indication that Queen has entered a new phase, where they’re globe-conquering titans instead of underdogs on the make.”
A superb copy of this T.Rex classic with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on both sides, coming in right behind our Shootout Winner
This early UK pressing is amazing, with the kind of grungy, Tubey Magical guitars that are guaranteed to blow your mind
It’s beyond difficult to find quiet copies of this title (same goes for The Slider), let alone those with this kind of sound, so any fan of Mr Bolan should snap this one up and be quick about it
5 stars: “The album that essentially kick-started the U.K. glam rock craze… it’s that sense of playfulness, combined with a raft of irresistible hooks, that keeps Electric Warrior such an infectious, invigorating listen today.”
This pressing is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.(more…)
A superb copy of the band’s third studio album with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound – reasonably quiet vinyl to this title too
Stunning Live-in-the-Studio Rock Sound that must be heard to be believed – All Right Now sounds fantastic
The recording sounds more alive than 99 out of 100 rock records we’ve played, and we’ve played the best sounding rock records ever made
Top 100 and 4 1/2 stars: “From Paul Kossoff’s exquisite and tasteful guitar work, to Paul Rodgers’ soulful vocals, this was a group that was easily worthy of the mantle worn by Cream, Blind Faith, or Derek & the Dominos.”
To find a copy that plays this quietly and sounds this good is no mean feat, but here one is!
This is one of our favorite recordings and a member of our Top 100, but it only works when you get the right pressing. This one has the big, spacious soundstage and punchy bottom end to bring it to life!(more…)
The first two Cars albums were both in The Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 at one time, with good reason: they’re superb recordings. The Cars have been in “heavy rotation” on my system since their albums came out in the late ’70s. We started doing shootouts for both right around 2006 or 2007, and they continue to be a regular feature of our Rock Hot Stamper section, not to mention some of the most fun shootouts we do in any given week.
Before then had you ever read a word in any audiophile or record collecting publication about how amazing the originals can sound? Of course not. Most of the audiophile types writing for the stereo rags wouldn’t know a good record from a hole in the ground.(more…)
This is one of our favorite recordings — a former member of our Top 100 — for one very simple reason: it’s got Big Rock Sound in spades! Drop the needle on Let’s Go and check out the sound of the big floor tom. When the drummer bangs on that thing, you will FEEL it! It’s similar to the effect of being in the room with live musicians — the difference between just hearing music and also feeling it. That’s what you get from a Hot Stamper copy.
What other New Wave band ever recorded an album with this kind of DEMONSTRATION QUALITY sound? It positively JUMPS out of the speakers. No album by Blondie, Television, The Pretenders or ANY of their comtemporaries can begin to compete with this kind of sound, with the exception of the Talking Heads’ Little Creatures. The Cars very own first album is excellent, but it doesn’t have this kind of LIFE and ENERGY. No way, no how. (more…)