The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- A superb British import pressing with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish - just shy of our Shootout Winner
- The open, spacious soundstage, full-bodied tonality and Tubey Magic here are obvious for all to hear - huge, punchy, lively and rockin' throughout
- This Hot Stamper is far more natural than any other pressing you've heard - we guarantee it
- "Certainly a quantum leap from the organic R&B impressionism of the band's early LPs and the gripping short stories of Making Movies, Love Over Gold is an ambitious, sometimes difficult record that is exhilarating in its successes and, at the very least, fascinating in its indulgences." - Rolling Stone
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*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 30 moderate pops at the beginning of Track 1, Telegraph Road. A bad mark, that, maybe just drop the needle a minute or so into the side and avoid the pops altogether.
These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" meaning relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
This modern album (from 1982, which makes it 39 years old, but that's modern in our world) can sound surprisingly good on the right pressing. On most copies, the highs are slightly grainy and can be harsh, not exactly the kind of sound that inspires you to turn your system up good and loud and really get involved in the music. I'm happy to report that both sides here have no such problem - they rock and they sound great loud.
We pick up every clean copy we see of this album, domestic or import, because we know from experience just how good the best pressings can sound. What do the best copies have? REAL dynamics for one. And with those dynamics, you need rock-solid bass. Otherwise, the loud portions simply become irritating.
What the Best Sides of Love Over Gold 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 even as late as 1982
- 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 space of the studio
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.
Speaking of Transparency
If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in their presence in the studio, this is the record for you. If you exclusively play modern repressings of original 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 new records do not, practically not ever.
What is lost in these newly remastered recordings? Lots of things, but the most obvious and bothersome is TRANSPARENCY.
Modern records are just so damn opaque. We can't stand that sound. It drives us crazy. Important musical information -- the kind we hear on even second-rate regular pressings -- is simply nowhere to be found. That audiophiles as a group -- including those that pass themselves off as champions of analog in the audio press -- do not notice these failings does not speak well for either their equipment or their critical listening skills.
It is our contention that no one alive today is capable of making records that sound as good as the vintage ones we sell.
Once you hear this Hot Stamper pressing, those 180-gram records you own may never sound quite right to you again. They sure don't sound right to us, but we are in the enviable position of being able to play the best properly-cleaned vintage pressings (reissues included) side by side with the newer ones.
This allows the faults of the current reissues to become much more recognizable, to the point of actually being quite obvious. When you can hear the pressings that way, head to head, there really is no comparison.
What We're Listening For on Love Over Gold
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- 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.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Virtually all of our shootout copies started no better than Mint Minus Minus for the quiet intros on either side. Good clean copies will then typically play about Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus due to the many quiet passages to be heard in this relatively dynamic music. If you cracked open a brand new copy there's a good chance it would play about that quietly.
Mint Minus Minus 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 later 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.
- Telegraph Road
- Private Investigations
- Industrial Disease
- Love Over Gold
- It Never Rains
AMG 4 Star Review
Adding a new rhythm guitarist, Dire Straits expands its sounds and ambitions on the sprawling Love Over Gold. In a sense, the album is their prog rock effort, containing only five songs, including the 14-minute opener "Telegraph Road." Since Mark Knopfler is a skilled, tasteful guitarist, he can sustain interest even throughout the languid stretches...