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Duran Duran - Self-Titled - Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

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

Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Duran Duran
Self-Titled

Regular price
$249.99
Regular price
Sale price
$249.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus*

  • Solid Double Plus (A++) sound brings the band's debut LP to life on this original British import - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This pressing is huge, spacious and rich, with prodigious amounts of bass, guaranteed to sound better than any other copy you've heard
  • Both of these sides have energy and presence that positively jumps out of the speakers, two of the qualities that we prize most highly in our Hot Stampers, and two of things among many that Heavy Vinyl does so poorly
  • 4 stars: "Duran Duran's eponymous debut artfully coalesced the sonic and stylistic elements of the burgeoning new romantic movement they were soon to spearhead: pumping synths, glossy production, and seemingly impossible haircuts."

More Duran Duran / More New Wave

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*NOTE: On side 2, there is an audible swoosh that plays 7 times lightly at the start of track 1, "Night Boat."

This vintage UK import 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 Duran Duran's Debut Album 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 1981
  • 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.

Pop and Rock Shootouts

What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record -- any Pop or Rock record -- should be judged?

Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.

When we can get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.

Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.

Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.

It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.

The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.

What We're Listening For On Duran Duran

  • 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.
  • 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.

Problem Areas To Watch For - "Planet Earth"

We noted with interest -- and more than a little disappoinment -- that the sound of this track was consistently compressed and veiled compared to the rest of the album. Such are the vagaries of the world of vinyl, alas. When a sonic anomoly such as this comes along, we like to file it under the heading "A Price Must Be Paid." And when a Hot Stamper pressing can get as much right as this one can, it's a price definitely worth paying.

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

  • Girls On Film
  • Planet Earth
  • Anyone Out There
  • To The Shore
  • Careless Memories

Side Two

  • Night Boat
  • Sound Of Thunder
  • Friends Of Mine
  • Tel Aviv

AMG 4 Star Review

Duran Duran's eponymous debut artfully coalesced the sonic and stylistic elements of the burgeoning new romantic movement they were soon to spearhead: pumping synths, glossy production, and seemingly impossible haircuts. Ultra-smart singles like "Girls on Film" and "Planet Earth" became instant smash hits both in the U.K. and America, and other fine pop gems such as "Anyone Out There" and "Careless Memories" rounded out the album's stellar first side.

Side two was a far more experimental and revealing affair, with primary songwriter Nick Rhodes leading the band through atmospheric mood-pieces like "Night Boat," "Sound of Thunder," and the instrumental "Tel Aviv," all of which are particularly reminiscent of mid-era Roxy Music (clearly one of Duran's biggest influences). The band's groundbreaking music videos would do the rest, securing them a unique standing as forerunners of the first MTV generation and cementing their status as one of the decade's most successful pop music icons.