Random ThoughtsThoughts and observations on issues that relate to recordings, LP pressings, and practically anything to do with playing records. If you want to collect better sounding records and hear them on better sounding equipment, many of the commentaries contained herein should be of interest.
The Best Sounding Record on the Site?
On any given day a Super Hot side one (or better) of The Original Soundtrack might be the best sounding record on the site.
"On any given day" being a day when we don't have a hot German copy of Dark Side of the Moon to offer, or a killer Eagles first album, or a top copy of the self-titled BS&T, or an RL Zep II, or a White Hot Teaser and the Firecat. Most days we don't have such records on the site, and on those days this 10cc album is a recording Tour De Force that would be bigger, bolder, more dynamic, and simply more powerful than any other record we could throw against it.
A Distinction With a Clear Difference
The stereo, the listening room, our cleaning technologies and who knows what else are all undergoing constant changes. This means that we may have played a better pressing in the past but couldn't hear it sound as good as it would now. The regular improvements we make in all areas of playback make sonic comparisons over time all but impossible.
You Know What's Shocking About a Record Like This?
What's shocking about a record like this is the fact that the instruments you hear behind and to the side of Dionne Warwick are REAL instruments, and for the most part they are not really being processed much, they are simply being recorded. How many times do you hear a pop album with sound like that? Rarely in our case, and we play them by the hundreds.
Sage Advice from Calvin Coolidge
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”Calvin Coolidge
If you substitute "finding Hot Stamper pressings" for the words "the human race" you will surely appreciate the point of this commentary.
Music Does the Driving
1967 Elektra Tape Vs Vinyl - Where's the Tubey Magic?
A Good Reason to Get into Audio
This is one of the records that convinced me that I needed to actively pursue audio as an enthusiast, that I had to devote the time, energy and money into improving my system so that I could play records like this louder and clearer. I had such inexpressibly deep feelings while listening to this album that I felt compelled to do everything in my power to get it to sound its best.
Decca Vs. London
But Harry is, not atypically, rather misinformed about the catalog number and country of manufacture. He exclusively admits the Decca pressing to his list, and that is clearly contrary to our experience in general as well as our findings for this shootout . The best Decca pressing we played rated no better than a B+ for either side. That’s five -- count them, five -- sonic grades lower than the A Triple Plus sides of our best London copy.
Tubes Vs. Transistors
Until you get your stereo, room and ears working, collecting good sounding records is all but impossible. You will very likely waste a fortune on "collectible records", the kind with Collector Value and very little else. These are in fact the very opposite of Hot Stampers: All their value is tied up in their Music and Sound -- which is where we think it should be.
It's easy to be a collector; you just collect stuff. To get your stereo and room to sound good, and to know the difference when they do, that is very, very hard. I've been at it for thirty-five years and I still work at it and try to learn new things every day. I know there's a long way to go.
Good, Bad and Otherwise
But it’s just not true. And that’s good news for you, Dear (Record Loving Audiophile) Reader.
Why Not? They Keep Getting Better!