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Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA)

A Few Moments of Experimentation Can Really Pay Off

  (Item #: paganvioli_vta) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically adjust your VTA.

Experimenting with the VTA for this record we found a precise point where it all came together, far beyond whatever expectations we might have had at the time, which revealed a violin floating between the speakers, an effect that as audiophiles we appreciate for the magic trick that it is.

See more recordings of the violin in stock


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Hot Stamper

John Lee Hooker
The Healer

  (Item #: hookeheale_1404) 


See more of our Blues albums in stock


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Tchaikovsky / Piano Concerto #1 / Richter / Karajan

Another Audio Myth Exploded

  (Item #: tchaipiano_myth) 



The original Large Tulip early pressings are the best on this record, right?

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth, as explained in the commentary for our recent Hot Stamper 2-pack. That pair of pressings was all the proof we required to back up our contention that either label can be the best on this classic DG recording. Original is better? Again, not so much. Original can be better fits more with our experience.

See more of our classical piano and organ recordings in stock


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Paganini / Violin Concertos 1 & 2

Fenn Music Debunked

  (Item #: paganvioli_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

Not long ago we managed to get hold of the Heavy Vinyl pressing from Fenn Music in Germany. A well known record dealer on the web (you may recognize the style) had this to say about it:

Stunning Reissue Of EMI ASD 440 Recorded In Stereo In 1961. This Recording Featuring The Royal Philharmonic Conducted By Alberto Erede Provides Convincing Proof, If Any Were Needed, That Menuhin Was One Of The Great Violinists Of The 20th Century.
See all pressings of Paganini's music in stock


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Sibelius / Finlandia / Mackerras

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sibelfinla_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

Classic Records, as expected, ruined this album. Their version is dramatically more smeared and low-rez than this pressing, with almost none of the sweetness, richness and ambience that the best RCA pressings have in such abundance. In fact their pressing is just plain awful, like most of the classical recordings they remastered, and should be avoided at any price.

See all pressings of Sibelius' music in stock


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Sibelius, Liszt, Dukas et al. / Bernard Herrmann Conducts

London Phase 4 Debunked

  (Item #: sibelberna_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

While preparing for a Finlandia shootout recently we happened to drop the needle on this album, which is a 1977 Phase 4 recording made in Kingsway Hall and engineered by Arthur Lilley, some of which are known to be excellent. We could hardly believe how bad it sounded. The multi-miking is the worst I have ever heard! We like lots of Phase 4 recordings -- especially those of Bernard Herrmann -- but this is definitely not one of them.

See all Bernard Herrmann albums in stock


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The Fantasy Worlds of BH and HP

Decca Vs. London

  (Item #: herrmfanta_decca) 



There’s a reason this record is on the TAS List of Super Discs -- if any LP should be called a Super Disc, this one should. (With Phase Four sound you might even call it a Super-Duper-Disc.)

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.

See all Bernard Herrmann albums in stock


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Holst - The Planets

Testing with Mars and Saturn

  (Item #: holstplane_emi_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of The Planets.

Mars on the first side and Saturn on the second present serious challenges for any vinyl pressings you may own.

See all pressings of Holst's music in stock


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Setup Discs, Part Two

Dialing in the Anti-Skate

  (Item #: setup_antiskate) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

This is a superb Demonstration disc, but it is also an excellent Test disc. The sound of the best copies is rich, full-bodied, incredibly spacious, and exceptionally extended up top. There is a prodigious amount of musical information spread across the soundstage, much of it difficult to reproduce. Musicians are banging on so many different percussive devices (often at the back of the stage, exactly where they should be) that getting each one's sonic character to clearly come through is a challenge -- and when you've met it, a thrill.

If you've done your homework with VTA, Azimuth, Anti-Skate and Tracking Weight, this is the record that will make clear just how much you've accomplished.

More pressings of Bizet's music in stock.

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Venice - Solti

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: varioovert_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

Classic Records remastered LSC 2313 (VICS 1119) and even the people that like the sound of Heavy Vinyl complain about it, so you can imagine what we think. What a piece of garbage. Smeary and shrill, it gives no indication of the beauty that is on the tape.

See all pressings of this album in stock


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Debussy - Iberia (Images Pour Orchestra)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: debusiberi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

The Classic of LSC 2222 is all but unlistenable on a high-resolution system. The opacity, transient smear and loss of harmonic information found on their pressing drives us right up the wall. Who can stand that sound? All the way back in 1994, long before we had anything like the system we do now, we were disparaging the "Classic Records Sound" in our catalogs. With each passing year -- 18 and counting -- we like it less.

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The Music of Leonard Bernstein

Hot Stampers Revealed

  (Item #: bernsmusic_stampers) 



Looking to pick up a Hot Stamper locally on your own? Easy -- all the best Decca and London copies (British only of course) are 1L on both sides. I suppose it's only fair to point out that all the worst copies are 1L on both sides, the reason being that all the copies are 1L on both sides, regardless of how they sound. And here you thought we were actually trying to be helpful.

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.

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Witches’ Brew on Classic Records

Is This Really An Audiophile Record?

  (Item #: variowitch_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

I've long held that the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl remaster (scandalously it's on the TAS List of Super Discs) is nothing less than a crime against music lovers and audiophiles of every stripe. Boosting the bass and highs and adding transistory harshness is the last thing in the world Witches' Brew needed.

At the risk of insulting some of you out there, if you think the Classic Records version of this album sounds good, your system must be very dull and bass shy, or you must like really hi-fi-ish sound.

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Moussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: mousspictu_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

The shrillness, the hardness, the sourness, the loss of texture to the strings, the phony boosted deep bass -- this is the kind of sound that makes my skin crawl. After a minute or two I’ve had it. And the performance is dreadful as well.

HP put this on his TAS List? Yes he did!

See all Pictures at an Exhibition


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Grieg / Peer Gynt / Fjeldstad / LSO

Speakers Corner Reviewed

  (Item #: griegpeerg_2012_reviewed) 



Sonic Grade: C+

The Fjeldstad has long been one of our favorite performances of Peer Gynt here at Better Records.

This record is handy for VTA setup as well, a subject discussed below in our listing from 2010.

See all pressings of this music in stock


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Reiner (LSC 2241)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: tchai1812o_2241_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

HP put the Shaded Dog pressing (the only way it comes; there is no RCA reissue to my knowledge) on his TAS List of Super Discs, and with good reason: it's wonderful!

But for some reason he also put the Classic Records Heavy Vinyl reissue on the list, and that record's not even passable, let alone wonderful. It's far too lean and modern sounding, and no original Living Stereo record would ever sound that way, thank goodness.

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Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tale of Tsar Saltan

Speakers Corner Debunked

  (Item #: rimsktaleo_speakers_corner_0512) 



Sonic Grade: C

We cracked open the Speakers Corner pressing shown here in order to see how it would fare up against a pair of wonderful sounding Londons we were in the process of shooting out a while ago. Here's what we heard in our head to head comparison.

The soundstage, never much of a concern to us at here at Better Records but nevertheless instructive in this case, shrinks roughly 25% with the new pressing; depth and ambience are reduced about the same amount. But what really bothered me was this: The sound was just so VAGUE.

See all the music of Rimsky-Korsakov in stock


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Brahms / Violin Concerto / Heifetz / Reiner (LSC 1903)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: brahmvioli_1903_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

The Classic reissue of LSC 1903 is a disaster: shrill, smeary and unmusical.

The best Heifetz records on Classic were, if memory serves, LSC 2734 (Glazunov), LSC 2603 (Bruch) and LSC 2769 (Rozsa). They aren't nearly as offensive as the others. If you can pick one up for ten or twenty bucks, you might get your money's worth depending, I suppose, on how critically you listen to your classical records. The CDs are better for all I know. That's probably the first place to go, considering Classic's generally poor track record.

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The Who Who’s Next

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: who__whosn_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: B-

At one time we did not recommend this record but now we do! Without going into the sordid details, let''s just say this record sounds pretty good. The acoustic guitars are especially sweet and silky for a modern reissue. The sound is better than most of the pressings of Who's Next I've ever played. Clearly this is is one of the better Classic Records rock records. (It's the only Who record they've done that we carried. The others are awful.)


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The Who - The Who Sell Out

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: who__whose_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame Pressing

Not our idea of good sound. The only Classic Who record we ever carried was Who's Next, which is actually pretty good -- we gave it a B. (I suspect it would earn a much lower grade now; we had lower standards for Heavy Vinyl back then.)

We have quite extensive commentary on the Classic pressing of Tommy that discusses its sound relative to the other versions we've played.

See all albums by The Who in stock


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Stravinsky / The Firebird / Dorati

Classic Records 45 RPM Debunked

  (Item #: stravfireb_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

A customer alerted me to a review Wayne Garcia wrote about various VPI platters and the rim drive, and this is what I wrote back to him:

Steve, after starting to read Wayne's take on the platters, I came across this:

That mind-blowing epiphany that I hadn't quite reached with the Rim Drive/Super Platter happened within seconds after I lowered the stylus onto the "Infernal Dance" episode of Stravinsky's Firebird (45 rpm single-sided Classic Records reissue of the incomparable Dorati/LSO Mercury Living Presence recording). That is one of my half-dozen or so favorite orchestral recordings, and I have played it countless times.


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Muddy Waters Folk Singer

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: waterfolks_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C+

Kills that muddy MOFI, which I must confess I used to like. Things have changed, that's for sure. The MOFI is thick and fat sounding, with much less transparency than this Classic.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Neil Young - Greatest Hits

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: younggreat_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

MF loved it, we of course hated it, so what else is new? If you think this record sounds good, one thing is certain: you don't own many good sounding Neil Young records! You might not own any, but don't feel bad; not many audiophiles do, if the experience of my audiophile friends is any guide.

See all of our Neil Young albums in stock


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Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: rimskscheh_classic_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

During our recent testing of the TT Weights turntable products, the record I played again and again -- close to a hundred times over the course of two days -- was a wonderful White Dog pressing of LSC 2446. The sound was glorious, some of the best reproduction of large orchestra I have ever heard.

See all the music of Rimsky-Korsakov in stock


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Classic Records

First Three Classical Releases
Debunked

  (Item #: classic_180_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Hall of Shame Pressings, Every One

I’m reminded of the nonsense I read in TAS and elsewhere in the mid-’90s regarding the reputed superiority of the Classic Records Living Stereo reissues. After playing their first three titles: 1806, 1817 and 2222 (if memory serves), I could find no resemblance between the reviews I read and the actual sound of the records I played. The sound was, in a word, awful. To this day I consider them to be the Single Worst Reissue Series in the History of the World.


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Holst / British Band Classics Vol. 1 / Fennell

  (Item #: holstbriti_50088_0611) 



A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.

This RARE Super Hot Stamper Mercury Mono original pressing has the kind of BIG, LIVELY, tonally correct sound that not one out of fifty mono records we play can lay claim to. If more mono records sounded like this one I wouldn't be so down on mono all the time.

But they don't. Most mono records sound SMALL. When you have big speakers, set far apart and far from the back wall, in a pretty good sized room, small is just not the sound you want to hear! Especially when it comes to classical music. I want a front row seat, and this record is a first class ticket to one.

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Columbia Classical LPs

So Many Are So Bad -- How Can This Be?

  (Item #: columbia_c) 



Columbia classical recordings have a tendency to be shrill, upper-midrangy, glary and hard sounding. The upper mids are usually nasally and pinched; the strings and brass will screech and blare at you in the worst way. If Columbia's goal was to drive the audiophile classical music lover screaming from the room, most of the time they succeeded brilliantly. Occasionally they fail. When they do we call those pressings Hot Stampers.


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Brahms, Handel, Chopin - Lincoln Mayorga, Pianist

Reverse Your Polarity!

  (Item #: mayorbrahm_65704) 



This IMMACULATE Sheffield Direct-to-Disc LP with Very Little Sign Of Play (VLSOP) is one of the best Sheffields. Lincoln Mayorga is an accomplished classical pianist: this is arguably his best work. (I had a chance to see him perform at a recital of Chopin's works early in 2010 and he played superbly -- for close to two hours without the aid of sheet music I might add.)

You might want to try reversing the phase when playing this LP; it definitely helps the sound, a subject we discuss below.

See all of our Direct to Disc recordings in stock


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Gershwin/ Concerto in F/ Boston Pops (LSC 2586)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: gershconce_2586_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

I must say Classic did a passable job with this one. The two things that separate the good originals from the reissue are in some ways related. Classic, as is their wont, boosted the upper midrange, and that, coupled with their transistory mastering equipment, makes the strings brighter, grainier and yet somehow lacking in texture and sheen compared to the originals. Once you recognize that quality in the sound of a record it's hard to ignore, and I hear it on every Classic Record I play.


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Jimi Hendrix Axis: Bold As Love

Classic Records Mono Debunked

  (Item #: hendraxis_classic_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D-

A Hall of Shame Pressing

One of the worst things those guys at Classic ever did. Flat and dry with no tubey magic whatsoever. It positively screams "REISSUE."

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Lalo / Symphonie Espagnole / Hendl (LSC 2456)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: lalo_symph_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

The Classic Records Heavy Vinyl pressing is a good example of exactly what NOT to do with a recording such as this. Their version is intolerably aggressive. Who in his right mind can listen to a record that sounds like that? You better have some VERY dull or muffled speakers. In a system with properly working tweeters this record would be all but unlistenable.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Massenet - Le Cid Ballet Music

Klavier Debunked

  (Item #: masselecid_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

This hi-fi-ish Doug Sax/ Acoustic Sounds rebutchering of the Fremaux on Klavier is insufferable. Back in the day audiophiles in droves bought them from all the major mail order audiophile record dealers (you know who I'm talking about), apparently not noticing the overblown bass and spark-spark-sparkling top end. (Perhaps the same audiophiles who think that Mobile Fidelity makes good sounding records?)

If your system needs boosted bass and highs try this Klavier pressing. Better yet, fix your stereo so you won't need phony audiophile records like this one to make it sound good!

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Beethoven / Violin Concerto in D / Heifetz

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: beethvioli_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

I had an amazing White Dog a few years back that sounded SUPERB. It was alive and musical in a way that the Shaded Dogs rarely ever are. The Classic pressing of this album does not present the listener with the sound of a real, wood instrument bowed by horsehair in physical space. It is an airless fraud, a cheap fake reproduction that's incapable of fooling anyone with two good ears, a properly set up stereo and a decent collection of Golden Age violin concertos.

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Burt Bacharach Casino Royale

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: bachacasin_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

Casino Royale under the sway of Bernie's penchant for bright, gritty, ambience-challenged sound? Not such a good match. There is no reissue, and there will never be a reissue, that will sound as good as a good original. (And I hope it would go without saying that most copies cannot begin to do what a real Hot Stamper original can.)

See all pressings of Casino Royale in stock


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Setup Discs, Part One

Start with a Large Scale Orchestral Recording

  (Item #: lisztpc12_setup) 



Classical music is unquestionably the ultimate test for proper turntable/arm/cartridge setup. The Liszt recording you see pictured is a superb choice for adjusting tracking weight, VTA, azimuth and the like. One of the reasons $10,000+ front ends exist is to play large scale, complex, difficult to reproduce music such as Liszt’s two piano concertos properly. You don’t need to spend that kind of money to play the record, but if you do, it may very well be the record that shows you what your tens of thousands of dollars buys you. It has been my experience that cheap tables more often than not collapse completely under the weight of a mighty record such as this.
See more pressings of Liszt's music in stock


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Frank Zappa Hot Rats

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: zappahotra_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

As for the Classic here, we have only one question: This is analog? You could’ve fooled me. And somebody’s been messing around with the sound of the drums on the new version -- a certain Mr. Frank Zappa no doubt. He really did the album a disservice.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Stephen Stills Manassas

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: stillmanas_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame Pressing

The Classic pressing was a disaster. Can you imagine ADDING the kind of grungy gritty sound that Bernie is famous for to a recording with those problems already? It was a match made in hell. Back in the day when I was selling lots of Classic Heavy Vinyl (the horror, the horror), that was one of the titles I refused to have anything to do with. That and Stephen Stills’ first album -- both were awful.

Lots of rave reviews for them in the audiophile press at the time though. I guess nothing ever really changes, does it? Sat through a Sundazed record lately? Tried to? Well, there you go.

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VTA Adjustment with Crosby Stills and Nash
Using the Classic Heavy Vinyl LP

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_vta_200) 



This listing contains commentary about VTA adjustment for 200 gram vinyl, using the CSN track Helplessly Hoping.


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Moussorgsky The Power of the Orchestra

Chesky Debunked

  (Item #: mousspower_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame Pressing

So lifeless, compressed and thin. It’s clean and transparent, I’ll give it that, which is no doubt why so many audiophiles have been fooled into thinking it actually sounds better than the original. But of course there is no original; there are thousands of them, and they all sound different.

The Hot Stamper commentary below is for a pair of records that proves our case in the clearest possible way. We sold a two pack of Hot Stamper pressings, one with a good side one and one with a good side two. Why? Because the other sides were terrible! If you have a bad original, perhaps the Chesky will be better. Our advice is not to own a bad original, or this poorly-mastered Chesky reissue, but instead we advise that you make the effort to find a good original, or two or three, as many as it takes to get two good sides.

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Chabrier / Espana and more / Paray

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: chabrespan_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

I much prefer Ansermet’s performances on London to those of Paray on Mercury. I know of none better. The famous Classic pressing of the Mercury is a grainy, gritty, shrill piece of crap.

See all pressings of this album in stock


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Roy Orbison Sings Lonely and Blue

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: orbissings_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

Can’t recommend this one. It’s too bright. The DCC LP of Orbison’s material is dramatically better. I’ve had some discussions with some audiophiles who liked this album, and I’m frankly surprised that people find this kind of sound pleasing, but if you’re one of those people who likes bright records, this should do the trick!

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Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: burremidni_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Pretty flat and lifeless. You would never understand why audiophiles rave about this recording by listening to the Classic Records pressing.

We played it up against our best, and as expected it was nothing to write home about. Since Rudy has remastered and ruined practically all the Blue Note CDs by now, you will have your work cut out for you if you want to find a good sounding version of Midnight Blue. This sure ain’t one.

Of course we would be more than happy to get you an amazing sounding copy -- it’s what we do -- but the price will be five to ten times (or more) what the Classic costs. In our opinion it’s money well spent, as you will see in our review below.

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Peter Gabriel on Classic Records

Some People Have No Business Reviewing Records

  (Item #: gabripeter_reviewer) 



This commentary was written after a review I spotted online prompted me to crack open one of the Classic Records 200 gram Peter Gabriel titles and play it. Let’s just say the results were not too pleasing to the ear. Bernie Grundman had worked his "magic" again and as usual I was at a loss to understand how anyone could find his mastering an improvement over the plain old pressings in any way.
See all of our Peter Gabriel albums in stock


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Peter Gabriel

Classic Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: gabri_classic_debunk) 



Sonic Grades: C to D

The first five albums on Classic Records Heavy Vinyl vary from a grade of D (So, Security) to C at best (the first album, only because it’s so hard to find any copy of that album that sounds good). All of them should be avoided, the Genesis titles Classic remastered too.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.


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Simon and Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: simonbridg_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: B

Not Bad, But Hot Stampers Rule

What do the best copies give you? They’re the ones with textured strings in the orchestral arrangements. The string tone on the average copy is hard and steely. (The Classic 200 gram pressing suffers from a case of slightly steely strings. Play it yourself and see.) When the strings are blasting away at the end of the title song, you want to be able to hear the texture without the strings sounding shrill and edgy. This is no mean feat, for the record or the stereo.

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Classic Records Has an Epiphany

UHQRs Actually DO Sound Good!

  (Item #: hobson_1) 



Mike Hobson finally figured out why his pressings often don't sound good and/or are noisy. We'll let him explain it. If you want the whole story (which goes on for days) you can find it on the Classic Records web site. While you're there, remember the sound.

One day, while out for a run, I had an epiphany and rushed home to dig out a JVC pressing from the 1980's pressed for Herb Belkin's Mobile Fidelity. The Mobile Fidelity UHQR pressings were always revered as sounding better than the standard weight pressings from JVC – but why I thought? To find out, I cut a UHQR pressing in half and guess what I found? First, it weighed 195 grams and IT WAS A FLAT PROFILE! I cut a 120g JVC pressing in half and found that it had the conventional profile that, with small variations, seems to be a record industry standard and is convex in it's [sic] profile – NOT FLAT.

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Azimuth, VTA, Anti-Skate and Tracking Weight

We Got to Live Together

  (Item #: Azimuth) 



With a shout out to my man Sly!

In this listing you can find commentary and advice about tonearm azimuth adjustment, Ansermet’s recordings, Speakers Corner 180g pressings, and more.

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Crosby Stills & Nash Crosby Stills & Nash

A Classic Records Winner

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: B

Nice enough I suppose, but where’s the Midrange Magic?

The Classic 180g version was a revelation when it came out years ago. Bernie actually cut it pretty darn right. However, his mastering chain cannot compete with the one used on the best original pressings.

The evidence for this is overwhelming. There simply is no Bernie-Grundman-cut record that is the equal of the best pressings not cut on his current chain that I have heard over the years. (His old cutting system, the one that cut Stardust and Blue and much of the Contemporary catalog, was KILLER. Wonder what happened to it?)

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Dave Brubeck Time Out

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: brubetimeo_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C

The last time we did a shootout for this record, way back in October of 2007, we took the opportunity to play the Classic Records 200 gram pressing. Maybe we got a bad one, who knows, but that record did not sound remotely as good as the real thing (6 eye or 360, both can be quite good). The piano sounded thin and hard, which was quite unexpected given the fact that we used to consider the Classic LP one of their few winners and actually recommended it.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Long time customers know that I have been raving about this album for more than a dozen years -- ever since I first heard it, in fact. I consider it the finest female vocal album in the history of the world. I could go on for pages about this music. Suffice to say this is a record that belongs in every human being’s record collection. Just not the Classic Records pressing of it.

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