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Super Hot Stamper - The Grateful Dead - From The Mars Hotel

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

Super Hot Stamper

The Grateful Dead
From The Mars Hotel

Regular price
$99.99
Regular price
Sale price
$99.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades
  • This vintage pressing has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s surely missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the 50+ year old tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from those tapes)
  • "From the Mars Hotel, while not a classic, represents one of their better studio albums... highly recommended for fans..." - All Music
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NOTE: Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in clean shape. Most of them will have at least some ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. Some will have cut corners. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG, and it will probably be VG+. If you are picky about your covers please let us know in advance so that we can be sure we have a nice enough cover for you.

We finally pulled together enough of these for a shootout -- the Deadhead motto is We Are Everywhere and it certainly seems they are still in record stores snatching up clean copies of the band's best records! This is one of the better '70s Dead albums and also one of the best sounding ones, I'd call it a step up over Wake Of The Flood and Blues For Allah in terms of both music and sonics. Not too many copies deliver like this one does, however -- many of them we played could have put us to sleep!

Deadheads, I'm sure you know by now how rarely we find great sounding Dead records and how quickly they tend to fly outta here!

What amazing sides such as these 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 1974
  • 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.

What We Listen For on From The Mars Hotel

  • 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.

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 originals.

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

U.S. Blues
China Doll
Unbroken Chain
Loose Lucy

Side Two

Scarlet Begonias
Pride of Cucamonga
Money Money
Ship of Fools

AMG Review

The Grateful Dead made their reputation on the road with their live shows, and they always struggled to capture that magic in the studio. From the Mars Hotel, while not a classic, represents one of their better studio albums. Jerry Garcia sounds engaged throughout and takes the vocal reigns for most of the songs on the album -- although he's not the most gifted vocalist, he proves himself able and versatile.

This album is highly recommended for fans, but casual listeners should start with American Beauty or Workingman's Dead.