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"White hot" stampers

Discussion in 'Look Around: Sergio Mendes/Brazilian Music Forum' started by Harry, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    There's a site out there called Better Records that apparently listens to scores of used records in hopes of finding what they term "white hot stampers", that is, a pressing that has audiophile qualities that they claim is far beyond the normal.

    They have a bunch of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 titles at ridiculous prices like $250, but I thought it was interesting to at least read their descriptions:


    They also list a copy of Herb's GOING PLACES.

    Mike B. - You need that $299 copy of STILLNESS! :)

  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Yeah, a lot of us that collect vinyl realize his business is a sham. The fact that he ranked a Brasil '66 Foursider as sounding good was immediately suspicious to me. The CD is a transfer of the LP master for Foursider and it is one of the worst sounding A&M CDs I have ever heard in my life.

    Anyone out there can collect records via the matrix inscribed in the runout grooves. Better Records' approach simply gives the lazy a way to waste their money on something they could have found for $5 and some diligent searching at their local record stores.

    His opinion changes with the weather....or as some put it, it changes based on whatever he has in stock. One version may be good, but his $500 "hot stamper" version beats that when it's available.
  3. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good term to label White Label Promo Copy pressings!

    -- Dave
  4. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    It is Bull Shiite. Most A&M pressings are at least good. Unless White Label Promo, most are consistently excellent in the era of the label we like best.
    Rudy likes this.
  5. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    Bet my $2.99 copy of "Look Around" on West German A&M/DGG and my $.99 Herb Alpert Presents are just as hot stampers as Tom Port's if not better. Foursider is inferior sounding due to being from higher generation tape sources, after all it is a compilation. Shiite also comes in Horse, Cow, Bull, Camel, Elephant, and other delicious flavors. Tom Port is the factory making it.
  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Well I probably don't qualify for it, considering I don't have "a well-designed, properly treated listening room." :D
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin


    One should always have a well-designed, properly treated listening room! I know I do. I only use the best grade of particle board on top of the cinder blocks that I use for my equipment shelves. The threadbare berber carpeting is that final touch that brings out the dust mites inner details of the recordings. And when I get some extra money, I'm going to upgrade the pennies taped to my headshell, replacing them with nickels. :thumbsup:

    Oh, and I have to drink that special Kool-Aid... :wink:
  8. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Well I actually DO have a great listening room.....it's pictured in my avatar. We have a killer sound system here....it'll rock your world, believe me. But, a cinema sound system is a pretty different animal from a good home system. I can play CDs through it of course, but since that "channel" is designed for pre-show music the volume is dialed WAY back.

    I do most of my music listening in my vehicle, because even if I did have a listening room at home I'd never have any time to enjoy it!
  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Man, I think I told you a few years ago I'd love to bring a couple of DVDs or BDs over to the theater and have our own "film fest". :D

    I've lucked out in this current house: my listening room is the family room in the rear of the house, sized 14x15 ft. and with a cement floor. (Carpeted, of course.) It's still a little bright as there is not much on the walls. I just need more room for media storage and, quite frankly, I'd like to get rid of the aging furniture and replace the etagéres with some IKEA shelving units. That and finally get an LED flat screen so the video games look better. :D
  10. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    Rudy, Hope you get your upgraded wishes in furniture. I need record shelves in Athens, a heavier plinth for the SP-25, better furniture for the Stereo, and a cleaning machine (a Nitty Gritty economy model here is OK).
  11. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    The Expedit shelves from IKEA are favorites for vinyl; I have a feeling they were designed by a Swedish record collector. :D They come in a lot of different configurations and are very sturdy. Not that expensive either. I think the 4x2 size is only $69 now. I'd love to do a whole wall in Expedit components since they could be purchased a little at a time and be easily reconfigured.
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  12. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    What I would like is a place to keep my stereo components in! I have a wheeled rack from the 1980's w/ its own dust cover for my record player & below it is a shelf for my Pioneer Cambridge CD!

    Then below that is a nice space for CD's & '45's!

    What's missing is room for my receiver, which is on a shelf next to this unit ('cause it's sooooo durn wide!)...

    I would love to put a pic' o' my stereo set-up here, too :help: !

    -- Dave
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Drop the photos onto a page at http://min.us and paste them in as links here. :thumbsup: They even give a preformatted forum link IIRC.

    It's pretty easy to create an account there as well...I have a couple different ones for specific uses.

    We could actually post a "system photos" thread over in Off-Topic if that would help. At least it would only be visible to members only (vs. the entire Internet).
  14. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Just joined! (Yeh, let's have it!) :D

    -- Dave
  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    For sure--Foursider on CD likely just used the LP master, as I doubt A&M would have wasted time on recompiling the disc from original sources. It's evident from even a cursory listen to that CD: the weak (one might say dulled) sound and abundance of tape hiss indicate that it's made from something a couple of generations away from the original.

    Someone once said, and it's true: whatever sounds best to Better Records is whatever is in stock on their shelf that particular day. Reading the hyperbole (and remember, "hype" is part of hyperbole :wink: ), I get the same feeling I get when I read one of those get-rich-quick schemes: lots of "myths" debunked, a lot of flowery language, and if I send them a lot of money, it will cure all of my woes.

    The whole tone of the site, if you look at it in depth, revolves around one premise: "I am right, and everyone else that listens to vinyl is wrong." (They're not listening correctly, their equipment is bad, their equipment is not setup correctly, etc.; IOW, I'm right and the entire world is wrong.) And it's served with a steaming man-sized side dish of trashing Michael Fremer (poor Mikey just ignores him :laugh: ), trashing all of the audiophile reissue labels, trashing all 180 gram and audiophile pressings (with a distinct emphasis on Mobile Fidelity), and trashing anything and everything else that is a direct competitor to their livelihood, or any other person that does not agree with them.

    I find I do not respect anyone whose sole means of describing their product resorts to putting down others while making wildly enthusiastic claims. There are also enough factual errors on the site that it blows whatever little credibility they could muster. And those "letters" all look suspiciously written in the exact same writing style (which, not surprisingly, resembles the writing style of all the hyperbole describing the products). I get done looking at that site and I feel so.....dirty. :laugh:

    Or to put this rant another way: I ain't drinkin' the KoolAid. :D
    Bobberman and KentTeffeteller like this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I should mention that the drivel on his site to try and sell those records reminds me of the DAK catalog, which needed entire pages full of BS to sell product. And as Michael Fremer put it, the LPs at Better Records aren't the best sounding records on the planet--they are one person's opinion of what makes that record sound good.

    For @Mike Blakesley, I did see a sealed copy of Stillness somewhere, but it was a bit pricey. $20-ish, I think. I hope it's not an uber super mega ultra white hot stamper, or you'd pay 20x as much for it. :D
  17. ..you HAVEN'T *heard* "Stillness"...until you've heard(!):
    The 7 1/2ips reel of OR-4284 played through an (over)rebuilt-and-tweaked (to Class A) TANDBERG amp running renovated A.R. 3a speakers (with cloth-surround 12" woofers from 1968) and the volume cranked to "12:00" :)
  18. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I just checked this so called "Hot Stamper" list and i agree it is a big load of Hype putting it mildly. I have all these titles and more on cd and and i know they are far better sounding than these "Ripoffs" i cannot ever justify spending over $200 on a recording regardless of format. That being said if i went on a shopping spree and got a big bunch of proper cds or vinyl for that much money ( and much better quality) then that's a whole different situation.
  19. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    If I ever spent $200 on a single recording, it would have to be a true rarity, something where maybe only a dozen copies still exists in the known universe.
    Bobberman likes this.
  20. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    When almost no TJB was available on CD, I sold my sealed copy of the original A&M CD of Whipped Cream for $149 on GEMM. I wonder if that guy is pissed today since it's now been released twice more on CD, plus vinyl, picture disk, box set, download, HDTracks, etc.
  21. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    There have been a lot of "rare" CDs that sold for a lot of money about a decade ago. But the bottom has fallen out of the market. Rare CDs that would have fetched $50 probably get $20-$25 now. There is still an elevated market in some places where prices run higher than average, but for the most part the rarities aren't worth what they used to be. I wish I could remember how much I sold the Toshiba "black triangle" Abbey Road for ($50? $150?). I paid about $25 for it in the mid 80s. A couple of early Japan imports I sold for quite a few bucks a decade ago (like any in the Columbia/CBS 35DP series).

    SACDs though will still fetch a premium, mainly due to limited production runs, especially a few from Japan.

    But no, none of these are dirt-common items like the "white hot stampers"... :wink:
  22. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    You never know But considering its the original A&M first edition CD he may not be upset at all i have that same CD in pristine condition and still sounds fabulous after all since A&M has long past ceased Releasing Herb alpert CDs for obvious reasons known to us all. Those Early Cds still have some worthwhile Value to them and well worth holding on to.
    Harry likes this.

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