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Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love

Classic Records Mono Debunked

  (Item #: hendraxis_classic_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

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

See all of our Jimi Hendrix albums in stock


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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

Classic Records Reviewed and Recommended

  (Item #: ledzeI_classic) 



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's albums


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Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: nash_songs_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

I've listened to Nash's first solo outing countless times over the last thirty years, even more than Crosby, Stills and Nash's first album. As I was listening to the Classic pressing I recall thinking "Wow, I don't remember that sound being there; this version is so much better I can hear things I never heard before!" Well, owners of this album (all five of you) will certainly hear things you never heard before, because some of the tracks on this album have been remixed and some of the instruments re-recorded! How about them apples!

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Graham Nash's albums


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Classic Pop Vocal

  (Item #: BR_popvocal) 


Classic Pop Vocal albums

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Led Zeppelin - II

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: ledzeII_classic_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

An absolute DISASTER -- ridiculously bright, ridiculously crude, in short, a completely unlistenable piece of garbage.

Over the years we have done many Led Zeppelin shootouts, often including the Classic Heavy Vinyl Pressings as a "reference". After all, the Classic pressings are considered by many -- if not most -- audiophiles as superior to other pressings. What could be sadder?

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

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Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tale of Tsar Saltan

Speakers Corner Debunked

  (Item #: rimsktaleo_speakerscorner) 



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 more of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov in stock


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Five Star Classics

  (Item #: BR_fivestar) 


Hot Stamper copies of album that received Allmusic's top 5 Star rating

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Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: jethraqual_classic_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

By the time the guitars at the end of the title track fade out you will be ready to take your heavy vinyl Classic and ceremoniously drop it in a trashcan. (Actually, the best use for it is to demonstrate to your skeptical audiophile friends that no heavy vinyl pressing can begin to compete with a Hot Stamper from Better Records. Not in a million years.)

See all of our Jethro Tull albums in stock


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Table / Arm / Cartridge Set-up Advice

  (Item #: set-up) 



Click here for advice on how to go about adjusting tracking weight, VTA, azimuth and the like.

This link will take you to more advice for improving the sound of your playback.



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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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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 more commentaries as well as our in-stock pressings of Sibelius' music


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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 of our 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 more commentaries as well as our in-stock pressings of Holst's music


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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 of our Living Stereo albums 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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Sibelius / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sibelvioli_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked. Classic did this title on heavy vinyl in the '90s, which is only fitting since it is one of the better Heifetz recordings. As expected, their version was awful, as bad as LSC 1903, 1992, 2129 and others too numerous to list.

It's both aggessive and lacking in texture at the same time, the worst of both worlds. Bernie's cutting system is what I would call Low Resolution -- the harmonics and subtleties of the sound simply disappear. If you have the Classic, do your own shootout. We guarantee any Hot Stamper pressing will murder theirs.

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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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Prokofiev / Symphonies No. 1 ('Classical') & 7 / Previn / LSO

  (Item #: prokosym1_emi_0213) 



This White Hot Stamper pressing (on BOTH sides!) contains one of my favorite performances of the Classical Symphony, and it also carries the distinction of having the best combination of sonics and performance that we have ever heard on vinyl. (There is a recording by Previn and the LA Phil from 1986 with a performance To Die For; unfortunately it comes with the kind of mid-'80s tear-your-head-off-digital shrillness that makes the CD medium the worn out joke we analog lovers know it to be.)

The First Symphony happens to be one of my favorite classical works of all time, right up there with The Planets and Pictures at an Exhibition. I wouldn't want to go to a desert island without all three.

This WHS pressing has exceptional transparency and dynamics, allowing the energy and precision of the performance to shine through. Truly a sublime recording that belongs in any music collection, whether you're a fan of classical music or not.

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Bach / Sonatas & Partitas For Solo Violin / Martzy

  (Item #: bach_sonat_1012) 



This Minty British "Sitting Angel" pressing has Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, reproducing accurately the sound of a solo violin in what sounds to us like a fairly lively and resonant rehearsal hall. Perhaps accurately is not the right word, since obviously none of us have ever set foot in whatever room the music was recorded in. "Realistic" might be a better choice in that regard, since the sound is believable for what we would expect that room might have contributed to the sound we hear on the pressing in hand.

Interestingly, the sound on side two is a tad better than side one -- the violin is more present and warm, the room less resonant (in a good way).

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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 set-up as well, a subject discussed below in our listing from 2010.

See all pressings of Peer Gynt 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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Matthew Sweet - 100% Fun

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sweet100pe_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked. Our Zoo label pressing MURDERED the Classic heavy vinyl reissue. It’s no contest. This is not the easiest record to reproduce, but if you have a big dynamic system, it will really ROCK.

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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.)

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock albums by The Who


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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.)

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock albums by The Who


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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).
See more commentaries as well as our in-stock pressings of Stravinsky's music


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


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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.

In 2009 or 2010, during our 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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Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: ledzehouse_classic_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

We can describe the sound in two words: ridiculously bright. Honestly, what more need be said?

Over the years we have done many Led Zeppelin shootouts, often including the Classic Heavy Vinyl Pressings for comparison purposes. After all, these Classic LPs are what many -- perhaps most -- audiophiles consider superior to other pressings.

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


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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.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock pressings of Holst's music


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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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Bach/ The Goldberg Variations/ Glenn Gould

  (Item #: bach_goldb_0311) 



Interesting record. The first side sounds about like what one would expect from an old Columbia six-eye mono piano recording -- not bad but not particularly good either, with a tonally correct but rather small and distant piano in the middle of a big room.

Imagine our surprise and delight when we flipped the record over and heard a shockingly ROBUST, CLEAR and PRESENT piano, sounding pretty much -- if one were to close one's eyes -- like a real piano in a practice hall. We call it at least Super Hot Stamper sound. Without more copies to compare it to, this may be for all practical purposes As Good As It Gets (AGAIG).

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Bach / Mozart - Two Violin Concerto Masterpieces

  (Item #: bach_conce_1129_0211) 



This original plum label Victrola pressing has SUPERB sound on both sides. The Bach piece is a rich tapestry of strings spread across the stage and clearly separated left to right. There's not much depth but that seems of little consequence; all the instruments are heard in their proper space and location. The tonality is right on the money throughout.

The Mozart concerto starts out sounding a bit opaque, but about an inch or so into the side it opens up wonderfully, with sweet, spacious, natural sound from there on out. Jaime Laredo plays both works superbly, and the Living Stereo quality sound brings his playing to life in a way that few recordings can.

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Bach/ Organ Music Volume 2/ Weinrich (LSC 2649)

  (Item #: bach_organ_2649_0111) 



This is an exceptionally quiet Shaded Dog pressing with SUPERB SOUND on side one. The organ is so big and relaxed sounding you can't help but forget you are in your listening room, not a church.


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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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Bach / Suites for Solo Cello 2 + 5 / Starker (SR90370)

  (Item #: bach_suite_0910) 



EXCELLENT CELLO REPRODUCTION and MOSTLY QUIET VINYL on side one, where you get Bach's entire Suite No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello. Side two has excellent sound as well but since the vinyl is noisy we are basing our price here solely on the first side. Take this one at a bargain price and hear how wonderful solo cello can sound when recorded and mastered for maximum effect, live in your listening room! The sound of Starker's cello here is HUMONGOUS -- it'll fill up your room, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling! It's also tonally correct from top to bottom, a quality we heard on NONE of the new Mercury heavy vinyl reissues. The cutting is super low distortion on this later label copy as well. This copy will show you in short order why these Starker Mercury records are so highly prized.


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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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Set-up 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 set-up. 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. You don’t need to spend that kind of money to play this record, but if you choose to, it would surely be the kind of record that can show you the sound your tens of thousands of dollars has paid for.

See more pressings of Liszt's music in stock


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