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The Beatles Heavy Rubber Soul

Finally, MF and Better Records Agree on Something

  (Item #: beatlrubbe_180) 

We are so excited to tell you about the first of the Heavy Vinyl Beatles remasters we've played! As we cycle through our regular Hot Stamper shootouts for The Beatles' albums we will be of course be reviewing more of them*. I specifically chose this one to start with, having spent a great deal of time over the last year testing the best vinyl pressings against three different CD versions of Rubber Soul.

The short version of our review of the new Rubber Soul vinyl would simply point out that it's awful, and, unsurprisingly, it's awful in most of the ways that practically all modern Heavy Vinyl records are: it's opaque, airless, energyless and just a drag.

See all pressings of Rubber Soul in stock

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The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: rollistickdebunk) 

Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

The MoFi pressing of this album is a joke. It’s so compressed, lifeless, and lacking in bottom end that it would hardly interfere with even the most polite conversation at a wine tasting . I consider it one of the worst sounding versions ot the album ever made. It’s an Audiophile Record in the worst sense of the word.

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1A, or Is 1B Better?

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

  (Item #: simonparsl_fremer) 

Before we go any further, I have a question: Why are we guessing?

I received an email recently from a customer who had gone to great pains to do his own shootout for a record; in the end he came up short, with not a lot to show for his time and effort. It had this bit tucked in toward the end:

Some of [Better Records'] Hot Stampers are very dear in price and most often due to the fact that there are so few copies in near mint condition. I hate to think of all the great Hot Stampers that have ended up in piles on the floor night after night with beer, Coke, and seeds being ground into them.
See all pressings of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

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The Band The Band

Capitol Records Debunked

  (Item #: band_band_debunk) 

Sonic Grade: D

Flat, compressed, no top end, no Tubey Magic, this is Ron McMaster’s work at its worst, helped along by the fact that he does not have the original master tape or even a copy of it to work with, but instead the new remix that was made a few years back because the original tape had been lost. And somehow MF likes it!

When you see that little RM in the dead wax of one of these new Heavy Vinyl reissues, you should get the sinking feeling that you’ve probably just flushed your money down the toilet. There ought to be a warning label on the jacket: Mastered by Ron McMaster. (On some records there is! I saw one not long ago with his mastering credit right on the front of the jacket.)

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TAS List Thoughts

Heavy Vinyl Super Discs

Not So Super After All

  (Item #: tas_0) 

This entry links up a few of the commentaries I wrote as I went back through the Classic catalog, comparing their pressings to both originals and reissues. We take shots at Classic Records, TAS, Michael Fremer, Chesky, and Analogue Productions, all reproduced below.

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The Beatles Heavy Vinyl Sgt. Pepper’s

Well, I Guess If You Don't Know Any Better...

  (Item #: beatlsgtpe_180) 

You might agree with MF that EMI's engineers did a pretty good job with the new Pepper. (Art Dudley weighed in in the March 2013 issue of Stereophile as well, finding little to fault on this title but being quite a bit less impressed with most of the others in the new box set. His reference disc? The MoFi UHQR! Oh, and he also has some old mono pressings and a domestic Let It Be. Now there's a guy who knows his Beatles!)
See all of our Beatles albums in stock

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