The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- You'll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this vintage London pressing of this surprisingly well-recorded Stones album from 1968
- The long lost Tubey Magic of these early pressings has them sounding better than we ever thought possible with the audio equipment of the day
- This is exactly the way you want Beggars Banquet to sound and it sure doesn't take a pair of golden ears to hear it
- One of a select group of Rolling Stones Must Own titles we prize above all others - Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed round out the trio
- 5 stars: "Basic rock & roll was not forgotten, however: 'Street Fighting Man'... was one of their most innovative singles, and 'Sympathy for the Devil'... was an image-defining epic."
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Good pressings are certainly not easy to come by -- this kind of rich, full-bodied, musical sound is the exception, not the rule. And there's actual space and extension up top as well, something you certainly won't hear on most of the vinyl that's been pressed over the 55 years since this album was released.
What sets the better copies apart from the pack is a fuller, richer tonal balance, which is achieved mostly by having plenty of bass and less upper midrange. Those are the copies that sound tonally correct to us, and you should have no trouble appreciating the difference.
This vintage London 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 Beggar's Banquet 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 1968
- 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're Listening For On Beggars Banquet
Less grit -- smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on any Stones album, including this one.
A bigger presentation -- more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.
More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way Glyn Johns wanted it to.
Present, breathy vocals. A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.
Good top-end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and details of the recording including the studio ambience.
Last but not least, balance. All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven't played a pile of these yourself, balance is not that easy to find.
Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.
Tubey Magical Acoustic Guitar reproduction is superb on the better copies of this recording. Simply phenomenal amounts of Tubey Magic can be heard on every strum, along with richness, body and harmonic coherency that have all but disappeared from modern recordings (and especially from modern remasterings).
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 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.
Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed represent the peak of The Rolling Stones output. It would be hard to imagine three better records produced consecutively by any rock band from this or any other era with the exception of The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. (Steely Dan of course, but it's hard to call them a rock band.)
If you want to read more about those titles, the blog is the place to go, since they can rarely be found for sale on the site these days.
A Tough Record to Play
Beggars Banquet is a Difficult Record to Reproduce. Do not attempt to play it using anything other than the highest quality equipment.
Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies -- the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound -- can have problems. Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you've got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.
This is a record that's going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you're up to the challenge. If you don't mind putting in a little hard work, here's a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area many audiophiles neglect).
A Must Own Rock Record
This record should be part of any serious Rock Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Sympathy for the Devil
- No Expectations
- Dear Doctor
- Parachute Woman
- Jig-saw Puzzle
- Street Fighting Man
- Prodigal Son
- Stray Cat Blues
- Factory Girl
- Salt of the Earth
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
The Stones forsook psychedelic experimentation to return to their blues roots on this celebrated album, which was immediately acclaimed as one of their landmark achievements. A strong acoustic Delta blues flavor colors much of the material, particularly "Salt of the Earth" and "No Expectations," which features some beautiful slide guitar work. Basic rock & roll was not forgotten, however: "Street Fighting Man"... was one of their most innovative singles, and "Sympathy for the Devil"... was an image-defining epic.