The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus*
- With two Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy of Flamenco Fever is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
- The sound is breathtakingly real - you are there in the club with the flamenco guitarist, his drummer, and a trio of stomping, clapping dancers
- This is a Direct to Disc Demo Disc like nothing you've heard - when you turn up the volume on this bad boy the natural acoustic space in the room becomes huge and palpable
- If you have the power to drive big speakers, the dynamics and bass transients of this copy might just rock your world, literally
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*NOTE: On side two, a noticeable mark on the first track starts to play lightly to moderately about 30-45 seconds into the side, continuing through the guitar intro. Once the stomping starts, the vinyl is quiet.
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" being 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 is an INCREDIBLY RARE very nice looking M&K Realtime Direct-to-Disc LP that plays about as quietly as they ever do and has truly DEMO DISC sound.
The sound is breathtakingly real. Years ago I dropped the needle on this record without paying attention to the volume level and when the dancers started pounding the floor, one of my woofers blew out! This record is about as dynamic as they come and has the kind of solid bass that few recordings that I'm aware of can lay claim to.h3>What the best sides of Flamenco Fever 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 1978
- 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.
Location, Location, Location
As an interesting side note, this album was recorded on location. The other M&K Direct to Disc record that I like was also recorded on location. Most of the M&K Direct to Discs were recorded in the showroom of the stereo store that Miller and Kreisel owned, which, like any showroom, was carpeted and draped. This is why almost all their records sound "dead". This was their intention, of course. They wanted the sound to be "live" in your living room. I prefer to hear the kind of ambience that would be found in a real location, and so I have never been much of a fan of their label.
This record, however, gives you both that Direct Disc immediacy and freedom from distortion, as well as the live ambience of the location -- the best of both worlds.
For those who own the M&K Super Sampler, the track from this album is a pale shadow of the real thing you will hear on this very pressing. The tracks from Fatha and For Duke are decent enough, but they really blew it with Flamence Fever.
What We're Listening for on Flamenco Fever
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The dancers and musicians 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.
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.
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