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Beethoven / Bach / Schubert - Trios / Sinfonias / Heifetz - Super Hot Stamper

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Beethoven / Bach / Schubert
Trios / Sinfonias / Heifetz

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • An original Shaded Dog pressing of this wonderful recording of string trios and sinfonias (only the second copy to ever hit the site), here with two solid Double Plus (A++) or BETTER sides
  • It's also fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus, a grade that even our most well-cared-for vintage classical titles have trouble playing at
  • Bach's sinfonias and Schubert's Trio No. 2 take up all of this Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side two, and they are practically as good as we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • Remarkably spacious, rich and smooth - only vintage analog seems capable of reproducing all three of these qualities without sacrificing resolution, staging, imaging or presence
  • This copy showed us the balance of clarity and sweetness we were looking for in the violin, viola and cello - not many recordings from this era can do that as well as this one does
  • Heifetz is a fiery player - he is front and center, with every movement of his bow clearly audible without being hyped-up in the least

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) / More Classical Recordings Featuring the Violin

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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG

This vintage Shaded Dog pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What The Best Sides Of Beethoven and Schubert's Trios and Bach's Sinfonias Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1961
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren't veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we've heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

Learning the Record

For our shootout for this album, we had at our disposal a variety of pressings that had the potential for Hot Stamper sound. We cleaned them carefully, then unplugged everything in the house we could, warmed up the system, Talisman'd it, found the right VTA for our Triplanar arm (by ear of course) and proceeded to spend the next hour or so playing copy after copy on side one, after which we repeated the process for side two.

If you have five or more copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what's right and what's wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the other pressings do not do as well, using a few carefully chosen passages of music, it quickly becomes obvious how well a given copy can reproduce those passages. You'll hear what's better and worse -- right and wrong would be another way of putting it -- about the sound.

This approach is simplicity itself. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find a critically important passage in the music, one which most copies struggle -- or fail -- to reproduce as well as the best. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.

It may be a lot of work but it sure ain't rocket science, and we've never pretended otherwise. Just the opposite: from day one we've explained step by step precisely how to go about finding the Hot Stampers in your own collection. Not the good sounding pressings you happen to own -- those may or may not have Hot Stampers -- but the records you actually cleaned, shot out, and declared victorious.

What We're Listening For On Trios / Sinfonias

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.

Side One

  • Beethoven: Trio In D, Op. 9, No. 2
  • Allegretto
    Andante Quasi Allegretto

Side Two

  • J.S. Bach: Sinfonias
  • Sinfonia No. 4 In D Minor
    Sinfonia No. 9 In F Minor
    Sinfonia No. 3 In D

  • Schubert: Trio No. 2 In B-Flat
  • Allegro Moderato

String Trio No. 2 in D Major, Op. 9

In early 1798, when Beethoven composed his three string trios, Op. 9, he was still in the process of consolidating his reputation in Vienna. He had already made a splash in several of the city’s leading aristocratic salons as a virtuoso pianist, playing his own music and improvising. Three concerts at the Burgtheater (March 29-31, 1795) introduced him to a wider audience; at the first of these, he played his B-flat-major Piano Concerto. Building on his successes in Vienna, Beethoven began to tour during this period, visiting Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Pressburg, and Pest (before its unification with Buda) in 1796.

It was hard, though, for the young composer to escape the shadow of Mozart and Haydn. Although he had died in 1791, Mozart was more popular than ever in the 1790s. (Beethoven’s Burgtheater performance on March 30, 1795, had been of Mozart’s D-minor Piano Concerto between the acts of that composer’s opera La clemenza di Tito.) Mozart’s Divertimento, K. 563, for string trio (violin, viola, and cello) was published in 1792 and doubtless provided a model for Beethoven’s trios. Haydn – with whom Beethoven had studied for at least a year after arriving in Vienna in November 1792 – was still very much alive. Many commentators have pointed to Haydn’s achievements in his symphonies and string quartets as inhibiting and delaying Beethoven’s forays into those genres, certainly a viable explanation for the younger composer’s focus on the piano sonata and other types of chamber music, such as the string trio, during the 1790s.

The second trio from the Op. 9 set is in four movements, a layout it shares with Haydn’s quartets and symphonies. The violin dominates the trio, and the part may have been intended for Ignaz Schuppanzigh, a gifted player who collaborated frequently with Beethoven. The opening allegretto is marked by a strongly lyrical impulse in the writing for the violinist, but the incessant accompaniment lends the movement a restless atmosphere. The second movement, with its flowing 6/8 rhythm and its minor mode, has the feeling of an arcane dance. A lively minuet reminds the listener that Beethoven would soon abandon this courtly dance in favor of the more vigorous scherzo. In the rondo finale, Beethoven assigns the main theme to the cello, but the violin claims it by the end.



[A] collection of fifteen short keyboard compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), which are three-part contrapuntal pieces. (The 15 complementing works known as Inventions are two-part contrapuntal pieces.)

Bach titled the collection of Inventions and Sinfonias:

Forthright instruction, wherewith lovers of the clavier, especially those desirous of learning, are shown in a clear way not only 1) to learn to play two voices clearly, but also after further progress 2) to deal correctly and well with three obbligato parts, moreover at the same time to obtain not only good ideas, but also to carry them out well, but most of all to achieve a cantabile style of playing, and thereby to acquire a strong foretaste of composition.