With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this 360 label stereo copy was one of the better pressings we played in our recent shootout – it’s on quiet vinyl too
These early sides are incredibly tubey – rich, full-bodied and warm – yet clear, lively and dynamic
This copy demonstrates the big-as-life Fred Plaut Columbia Sound at its best – better even than Time Out(!)
“Brubeck treats the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth tunes in corresponding meters, to particular effect on the 7/4 hoedown of “Unsquare Dance,” the 8/8 barrelhouse changes of “Bru’s Boogie Woogie” and the engaging dissonances of his 9/8 mood piece “Blue Shadows in the Street.””
Time Further Out is consistently more varied and, dare we say, more musically interesting than Time Out.
If you want to hear big drums in a big room these Brubeck recordings will show you that sound better than practically any record we know of. These vintage recordings are full-bodied, spacious, three-dimensional, rich, sweet and warm in the best tradition of an All Tube Analog recording.
If you have full-range speakers, some of the qualities you may recognize in the sound of the piano are WEIGHT and WARMTH. The piano is not hard, brittle or tinkly. Instead the best copies show you a wonderfully full-bodied, warm, rich, smooth piano, one which sounds remarkably like the ones we’ve all heard countless times in piano bars and restaurants.(more…)
You’ll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this classic Ferry album from 1985
This copy was super big, full and lively with plenty of presence and bottom end weight
On this record, bigger bass and punchier drums make all the difference in the world
“Instead of ragged rock explosions, emotional extremes, and all that made his ’70s work so compelling in and out of Roxy, Ferry here is the suave, debonair if secretly moody and melancholic lover, with music to match…”
Excellent sound and quiet vinyl on both sides! If you’ve spent any time with this album, you will be blown away by how great both sides of this copy sound.
Key Listening Test
The song Valentine, the second track on side two, is a key test for that side. Note how processed Ferry’s vocals are; on the best copies they will sound somewhat bright. The test is the background singers; they should sound tonally correct and silky sweet. If Ferry sounds correct, they will sound dull, and so will the rest of the side. That processed sound on his vocal is on the tape. Trying to “fix” it will ruin everything.(more…)
A famous resident of the TAS list, this album mixes beautiful music with lovely, solid piano tone, the best of both worlds for audiophiles. A friend of mine tells me that Kamiya plays this piece exactly the way Horowitz did, and that’s probably a good thing. Good luck finding a Horowitz recording that sounds like this.
You will have a hard time finding a better recording of solo piano than this. It’s one of the all time great Direct-to-Disc recordings.
A Hall of Shame pressing. After playing a killer Hot Stamper pressing of the album a few years back we wrote the following:
If you own the Nautilus Half-Speed, a record we actually liked years ago even when we had long since forsworn those kinds of pressings, you are really in for a treat. THIS is what the band sounds like in the REAL world, not the phony audiophile world that so many seem to get stuck in.
Just listen to how punchy the drums are, a perfect example of what proper mastering does well and Half-Speed mastering does poorly. When you listen to a top quality Hot Stamper pressing you feel that you are hearing this music EXACTLY the way Little Feat wanted it to be heard. I just don’t get that vibe from the half-speed. It sounds like someone messed with it, and of course someone did. That’s how they get those audiophile records to sound the way they do. For some reason some audiophiles like their records to sound pretty and lifeless with blurry bass. That is not our sound here at Better Records.
Hi Roller Time Loves a Hero Rocket in My Pocket Day at the Dog Races
Old Folks’ Boogie Red Steamliner New Delhi Freight Train Keepin’ up With the Joneses Missin’ You
The Direct Disk Labs half-speed here is thick, compressed and lifeless, though fairly rich. You could do worse I suppose, but too much of the life of the music will be lost when playing their poorly remastered pressing. Did they have a good British tape to work with? It doesn’t sound like it.
If anyone still thinks that this pressing is anything but a bad joke played on the audiophile public — so sucked out in the midrange, bass-shy and compressed to death — that person has a way to go in this hobby. A very long way. You can hear how bad it sounds from another room.
But wait a minute. I liked the MoFi just fine when it came out. I guess I had a way to go in this hobby too. That was back in the early ’80s. I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in the last thirty five plus years. I’m pretty sure we can offer you a better record now.(more…)
We can describe the sound in two words: ridiculously bright. Honestly, what more need be said?
Over the years we have done many Led Zeppelin shootouts, often including the Classic Heavy Vinyl Pressings for comparison purposes. After all, these Classic LPs are what many — perhaps most — audiophiles consider superior to other pressings.
We sure don’t, but everybody else seems to. You will find very few critics of the Classic Zep LPs outside of those who write for this very website, and even we used to recommend three of the Zep titles on Classic: Led Zeppelin I, IV and Presence.
Wrong on all counts.
Since then we’ve made it a point to create debunking commentaries for some of the Classic Zeps, a public service of Better Records. We don’t actually like any of them now, although the first album is still by far the best of the bunch.
Insanely good sound throughout with both sides earning shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
These sides are doing it all right — richer, fuller, better bass, more Tubey Magic, and the list goes on!
“The high points are very high — “Busted,” his hit reworking of a composition by country songwriter Harlan Howard, is jazzy and tough, and one of his best early-’60s singles…” – All Music
What the best sides of this Rhythm and Blues album from 1963 have to offer is not hard to hear:
The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl import pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1963
Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
Natural tonality in the midrange — with the guitars and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now
Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Busted Where Can I Go? Born To Be Blue That Lucky Old Sun Ol’ Man River
In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down) A Stranger In Town Ol’ Man Time Over The Rainbow You’ll Never Walk Alone
AMG 4 Star Review
Although it was a big commercial success, reaching number two on the LP charts, this record would typify the erratic nature of much of Charles’ ’60s output. It’s too eclectic for its own good, really, encompassing pop standards, lowdown blues, Mel Tormé songs, and after-hours ballads. The high points are very high — “Busted,” his hit reworking of a composition by country songwriter Harlan Howard, is jazzy and tough, and one of his best early-’60s singles, and the low points are pretty low, especially when he adds the backup vocals of the Jack Halloran Singers to “Over the Rainbow” and “Ol’ Man River.” A number of the remaining cuts are pretty respectable, like the tight big band arrangement of “Ol’ Man Time” and the ominously urbane “Where Can I Go?
An outstanding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides – the sound is huge and powerful
Plenty of Prog Rock Power is on display here – Eddie Offord’s engineering is Hard To Fault throughout
A Top 100 Album and the band’s best sounding record – quiet too, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
“It was the addition of Steve Howe’s guitar pyrotechnics that finally allowed Yes to find their true identity. The Yes Album is a giant leap forward.”
At its best, this album is a Big Speaker Prog-Rock opus with tremendous power and dynamic range, but it takes a special pressing like this one to really bring it to life.
These guys — and by that I mean this particular iteration of the band, the actual players that were involved in the making of this album — came together for the first time and created the sound of Yes on this very album, rather aptly titled when you think about it.
With the amazing EDDIE OFFORD at the board, as well as the best batch of songs ever to appear on a single Yes album, they produced both their sonic and musical masterpiece — good news for audiophiles with Big Speakers!(more…)