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.
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. The music gave me such inexpressibly deep feelings while listening to it, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to make it 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.
The Early Pressings Are the Best, Right?
So many Parlophone copies would have you think With The Beatles is a gritty, edgy, crude recording -- especially if you made the mistake of buying an early pressing. The early pressings are consistently grittier, edgier and more crude than the later pressings we played. So much for the old canard that Original Always Equals Better. When it comes to With The Beatles it just ain't so, and it doesn't take a State-of-the-Art system or pair of golden ears to hear it.
Hot Stampers Revealed
But we are being helpful. We're being honest with you. Stamper numbers are often misleading. They're misleading in the same way that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The numbers only tell a part of the story, and more often than not they tell the wrong part of the story. No matter how much audiophiles and record collectors want them to, the numbers simply cannot tell you whether the record you have before you, the one with the "right" stampers, is actually a good pressing. Only cleaning it and putting it in a shootout with other copies can do that.
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!
We Knew It Back in 2007
Which Is More 3-DimensionalMono or Twin Track?
But is Twin Track stereo any better? Yes, when you do it the way Norman Smith did on Please Please Me.