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We Was Wrong

Audio Commentary  >  Start Here  >  We Was Wrong

We Was Wrong
A section dedicated to the records we think we got wrong.

Say what?
You want to run that by me again?

It’s not really a problem for us: We see no need to cover up our mistakes. The process of learning involves recognizing and correcting previous errors. Approached scientifically, all knowledge — in any field, not just record collecting and music reproduction — is incomplete, imperfect, and must be considered provisional. What’s true today may very well be proven false tomorrow.

We’re so used to the conventional wisdom being wrong, and having our own previous findings overturned by new ones, that we gladly go out of our way in listing after listing to point out just how wrong we were. (And of course why we think we are correct now.)

A common misperception among those visiting the site is that we think we know it all. We don’t. We learn something new about records with every shootout. Each time we go back and play a 180 gram or half-speed mastered LP we used to like (or dislike), we gain a better understanding of its true nature. (The bulk of those "audiophile" pressings seem to get worse and worse over time, but that’s another story for another day.)

Record cleaning gets better, front ends get better, electronics get better, tweaks get better — everything in your audio system should be improving on a regular basis, allowing you to more correctly identify the strengths and weaknesses of every record you play. (I almost forgot: your ears get better too!) If that’s not happening, you’re not doing it right.

We don’t really have the resources to put all the records we were wrong about into this section, so this must be considered a mere taste of that much larger pool.


Keep in mind that the only way you can never be wrong about your records is simply to avoid playing them.

If you have better equipment than you did, say, five years ago, try playing some of your MoFi’s, 180 gram LPs, Japanese pressings, 45 RPM remasters and the like. You might be in for quite a shock.


It’s all good — until the needle hits the groove. Then you might find yourself in need of actual Better Records, not the ones you thought were better. (To that end we have a fairly large section devoted to
Debunking the Pseudo-Audiophile LP that contains a great deal more title-specific information along these same lines.)


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Cream - Disraeli Gears

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: creamdisra_wrong) 
by Atco LP



Our latest shootout for Cream's classic second album provided proof positive that We Was Wrong when we said:

No reissue we've ever played sounded especially good and none likely ever will.

Ah, but some do! We would love to tell you exactly what to look for so that you can go find one for yourself, but that's bad for business as I'm sure you can see. Let's just say there will be at least one later reissue of the album with very good grades coming soon to a site near you.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Clapton's and Cream's albums


  more Info











Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

Classic Records Reviewed and Recommended

  (Item #: ledzeI_classic) 
by Classic Records Heavy Vinyl



Sonic Grade: B

Another Classic Records Heavy Vinyl LP reviewed.

Considering how bad (or at best mediocre) the average copy of the first Zep album sounds, let's give credit where credit is due and say that Bernie's remastered version on Heavy Vinyl is darn good (assuming you get a good one, something of course that neither I nor you should assume).

It's without a doubt the best of all the Classic Zeppelin titles, most of which were none too pleasing to the ear.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Led Zeppelin albums


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Supertramp - Crime of the Century on MoFi

We Was Wrong - It Can Sound Great

  (Item #: supercrime_wrong) 



This MoFi Crime of the Century has two superb sounding sides. I have to admit I was DEAD WRONG about MoFi’s Crime of the Century -- on this pressing, anyway. But I can tell you that this is one of the few I have ever played that sounded right to me.

It's not that MoFi couldn't cut a record that's tonally correct. It's just that most of they time they didn't. This time they did.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Supertramp albums


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Little Feat - Time Loves A Hero

Nautilus Debunked

  (Item #: littltimel_debunk) 
by Nautilus Audiophile Pressing



Sonic Grade: D

Another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

We played a Hot Stamper pressing against a Nautilus Half-Speed and it was not even close. Just listen to how punchy the drums are on the best domestic copies, a perfect example of what proper mastering does right and Half-Speed mastering does wrong. When you listen to the Hot Stamper pressing, you feel that you are hearing this music EXACTLY the way the band wanted it to be heard.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Little Feat's albums


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Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: mann_bache_mofi_debunk) 
by Mobile Fidelity



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

I had never actually played the LP when I reviewed the MoFi CD (my bad, apologies to all), noting that the CD sounded great and that I expected the vinyl to be even better. Was I ever wrong, sorry! The vinyl has a bad case of sucked-out half-speed MoFi mids. It’s far too polite and lifeless to be taken seriously.

The comments about the music of course still apply -- it's brilliant -- but I recommend the Gold or regular CD over this audiophile Heavy Vinyl pressing.

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Yes - Fragile

British Band, British Pressing... Right?

  (Item #: yes__fragi_myth) 



Not Really. It’s just another Record Myth.

Some of you may remember that back in the '90s (and even into the 2000s, gulp) we preferred the sound on the British original pressings for the most famous Yes albums, Fragile among them.

There's no way around it, folks: We Was Wrong. While the Brit copies can have some very nice qualities, they just can't compete with the best domestic pressings of Fragile.

See all of our Yes albums in stock


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Cat Stevens - Mona Bone Jakon

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: stevemonab_wrong) 
by A&M LP



When we said this album was not the sonic equal of Teaser and the Firecat or Tea for the Tillerman, boy, We Was Wrong and then some. Read all about it in this White Hot Stamper copy review below.

It’s been about a year since we last found Hot Stampers of this album, and having made a number of improvements to the stereo over that time, I'm here to report that this album got a WHOLE LOT BETTER, better than I ever imagined it could get. Mona Bone Jakon now ranks as a DEMO DISC of the highest order, every bit the equal of Teaser and Tea.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Cat Stevens' albums


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Cat Stevens Catch Bull

Wow, I Mis-Remember It Sounding Much Better on Import...

  (Item #: stevecatch_memory) 



We recently came across a White Hot MIND-BOGGLING copy of this album, the best sounding one we’d ever played. Or was it? We noted in our listing:

To be fair to the other Hot Stamper copies we’ve listed in the past, this copy may be no better than a White Hot Stamper from 2007 or 2008. Our stereo undergoes constant improvements; we just made a major one, so the playing field is far from level and comparisons from years back are highly suspect, a subject we’ve discussed at length in previous commentaries. Memory in audio is demonstrably unreliable if not downright worthless.
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Cat Stevens' albums


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Blind Faith Blind Faith

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: blindblind_debunk) 
by Mobile Fidelity



Sonic Grade: C-

Our latest shootout this time around (07/09) left us with a fairly large serving of egg on our face concerning the commentary we had written for the MoFi pressing of Blind Faith, a textbook example of We Was Wrong.

It’s rich and sweet with SHOCKINGLY GOOD SOUND. MFSL did a masterful job with this one, I’d put it in the top 10 MOFIs of all-time!
I regret to say none of that is true. It has many of the same problems as the later Japanese pressed MoFis like Thick As A Brick and Meddle which we discuss in more detail below.

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The Doors - The Doors

Rating the DCC LP

  (Item #: doorsdoors_dcc) 



Sonic Grade: B

We used to like the Doors First album on DCC back when it came out in the late '90s; it sure beat the MoFi and every other pressing I had around, including the original gold label Elektra pressings. But much water has gone under that bridge. There have been countless audio revolutions, the improved record cleaning technologies we tout at every turn. Without them old records just sound like old records, and the DCC pressing will be better.

But with them, and lots of other changes, the right original stomps all over the DCC.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The Doors' albums


  more Info











Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: steveteafo_wrong) 



A blast from the past from 2006.

I have to admit that I was dead wrong when I said that the best copies of this album were the Brown Label A&M pressings. I see now how I made this error. We played four pink label copies and our best A&M LP is only better than three of them.

But it sure isn't better than this one! I've heard a good dozen or so Pink Labels and this is the first one that ever blew my mind. I thought I knew this record, but this copy changes everything.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Tea for the Tillerman


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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu on MoFi

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: crosbdejav_wrong) 



Hot Stamper Sound on the MoFi pressing of Deja Vu, can it be possible? I have NEVER heard the MoFi sound this good, not even close. This just KILLS the other copies I’ve heard. I wrote a scathing review of their badly mastered pressing which you can read below, and I still stand behind every word, because this copy is not your average MoFi. The average one still sucks. What we are selling here is a FLUKE. Here is the story from our Hot Stamper shootout we just did.
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's albums


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Elton John - Elton John

We Was Wrong -- Twice Over!

  (Item #: john_eltonwrong) 



A classic case of We Was Wrong. Scroll down to read what we learned from our recent shootout. To illustrate how the game is played, we’ve copied some of the previous commentary into this listing to show the change in our understanding from 2004 to today.

Folks, if you’re looking for Classic Rock that appeals to sophisticated adults thirty plus years after it was first made, this is the album for you.

See all albums by Elton John in stock


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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

180g Rhino LP Debunked

  (Item #: costemyaim_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

I’m embarrassed to say we used to like the Rhino Heavy Vinyl version, and in our defense let me tell you why: it was (for the most part) tonally correct, fairly low distortion, and had tight punchy bass.

Boy, was we wrong. Now it sounds positively CRUDE and UNPLEASANT next to the real thing -- if by "the real thing" you mean an honest to goodness Hot Stamper copy. The average copy of this record is aggressive and unpleasant. The British pressings are mud. You either have to work very hard to find a good one (which means buying, cleaning and playing lots and lots of them), or you have to luck into a good one by accident.

See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Fleetwood Mac - Future Games

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: fleetfutur_wrong) 



As recently as October of 2005 we had Future Games all Wrong. Here is the very listing for what we believed at the time to be the best sounding version: The British Original. Hey, to be fair, it’s not bad, just far from the best.
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Fleetwood Mac's albums


  more Info











Led Zeppelin - II

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: ledzeII___wrong) 



This is a classic We Was Wrong listing from 2006.

I used to sell the German Import reissues years ago. At the time I thought they we’re pretty good, but then the Japanese AMJY Series came out and I thought those we’re the best.

Boy was I wrong. Those JPN pressings, I realise now, are bright as hell. Surprisingly the German pressing sounds more or less right. It's tonally correct, which is more than you can say for 9 out of 10 Led Zep II's.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Led Zeppelin albums


  more Info











Led Zeppelin - In Through The Out Door

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: ledzeinthr_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A classic case of We Was Wrong. After finishing our first shootout for this album in August of 2007, our faces were sure red. We used to think the Classic version was pretty decent, but the best originals SLAUGHTER it! We had never done a shootout for this album before that. We didn’t feel up to the challenge, because the typical pressing tends to be miserable -- gritty, grainy, hard sounding, congested mids, dull, and so on.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Led Zeppelin albums


  more Info











Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

We Was Wrong!

  (Item #: youngevery_wrong) 



Below you will see our old Hot Stamper commentary from 2004 as part of the discussion of EKTIN in an older shootout (9-08), comments which we now renounce, disown, reject, repudiate and disavow with extreme prejudice. Huh? Here's part of our mea culpa.

Our latest shootout this time around left us with a fairly large serving of egg on our face concerning the commentary we had written for our previous shootout, a textbook example of We Was Wrong. We rarely try to make excuses for our mistakes, but give us a break, that last shootout was more than four years ago (September 2004)!

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Neil Young's albums


  more Info











Santana - Santana

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: santasanta_debunked) 
by Mobile Fidelity



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Santana is a record we admit to having liked a bit when it first came out. Since then we have changed our minds. As embarrassing as it may be, clearly We Was Wrong.

It’s just too damn compressed and lifeless. The Whomp Factor on this pressing is Zero. Since whomp is critical to the sound of Santana’s music, it’s Game Over for us. The review below is exactly what we wrote at the time the record came in. We tried to like it, but it’s clear to us now that we tried to like it too hard. Please accept our apologies.

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The Beatles - Abbey Road

We Was Wrong -- The MoFi Can Sound Great!

  (Item #: beatlabbeywrong) 
by Mobile Fidelity



This Minty MoFi is the Killer MFSL Abbey Road of All Time. We’ve never done a shootout like this in the history of Better Records. Picture it: five Mobile Fidelity copies of Abbey Road, ostensibly identical limited editions, pressed on premium virgin vinyl in Japan. Longtime readers of the site will not be surprised to learn that they all sound different, and in very different ways.

Why is this shootout a first? Simple: we never had five open copies in stock at any one time. Having done a big shootout for the Brit copies in January (2007), we knew how good this album could sound. How would the MoFi stack up to the best Brits? We decided to find out.


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The Doobie Brothers - The Captain and Me

Nautilus Debunked

  (Item #: doobicapta_debunk) 
by Nautilus Audiophile Pressing



Sonic Grade: D

Another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked and another We Was Wrong listing to boot.

We actually recommended the Nautilus Half-Speed in the old days, but the last time we played one (mid-2007) the sound was Pure Audiophile BS -- compressed to death and totally whomp-free. The average domestic copy is terrible too, but that’s no excuse now is it? Not to worry. One of these days we will put some Hot Stampers on the site, and they will ROCK!

See all of our Doobie Brothers albums in stock


  more Info











The Doors - Waiting For The Sun

Rating the DCC LP

  (Item #: doorswaiti_debunk) 
by DCC



Sonic Grade: B-

We used to like the DCC pressing of this Doors album. Now... not so much. It's a classic case of We Was Wrong.

Keep in mind that the only way you can never be wrong about your records is simply to avoid playing them. If you have better equipment than you did, say, five years ago, try playing some of your MoFi’s, 180 gram LPs, Japanese pressings, 45 RPM remasters and the like. You might be in for quite a shock.

Read the commentary below to see why we think we were wrong about the DCC pressing of Waiting For The Sun.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The Doors' albums


  more Info




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