The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

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Spannko
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The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by Spannko »

Here’s an excellent resource which aims to subjectively evaluate some of the best albums ever recorded. I’ve listened to about 6 of their recommendations and have found them all to be excellent. As a rule, they don’t like modern remasters, 180g vinyl, half speed masters, 45rpm albums etc, thinking that they’re not only worse than older versions, they’re practically unlistenable!

https://ontherecord.co/
matthias
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by matthias »

Thanks Spannko,
some nice music suggestions even for Spotify :-)
Last edited by matthias on 2023-07-26 08:20, edited 1 time in total.
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springwood64
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by springwood64 »

Thanks for posting! Within 10 minutes of browsing I find myself playing Beatles For Sale, singing along and completely failing to pay attention to the playback quality.
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by beck »

springwood64 wrote: 2023-07-25 19:24 Thanks for posting! Within 10 minutes of browsing I find myself playing Beatles For Sale, singing along and completely failing to pay attention to the playback quality.
I know that feeling! :-)
Playing cd’s…………
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by ThomasOK »

Despite their cool name I'd be a little wary of the Skeptikal Audiophile. I would agree that pressings do certainly vary in musical quality and that many, if not most, rereleases are substandard - even the expensive ones. However, this seems to now be the home page for Better Records, a site that I have been aware of and has been around for quite some time. They get a bunch of pressings and listen to them picking out the ones they feel are the "Hot Stampers" and sell them for lots of money. You'll note that most of the descriptions are more about sound qualities (punchy bass and their favorite "tubey goodness") rather than about the musical quality. They also claim that the equipment you use is only maybe 20% or less of the sound with the setup being most of it. Obviously we all know that setup is crucial but if you don't start out with really good equipment you are fighting a losing battle. Also in their setup they are big on room treatments, isolation platforms, specific record cleaning regimens and other tweaks. I do note that they have graduated to a VPI turntable (if it is a graduation) from the Technics 1200 they used to rely on. But they also have a special platter or two, carbon fiber mat, etc.

One of the people at work with a Klimax LP12 bought one of his "Hot Stampers" and found it to be OK but nothing special and he is one who has often bought multiple pressings looking for the best ones. I listened to it and felt the same way. If you check the prices you will find them to be among the highest for the type of pressing they are selling. I note that their "White Hot Stamper" of "In the Court of the Crimson King" is listed at $999.99! While a UK first pressing is certainly the way to go, and some first pressings are likely better than others, that is a whole lot of money to pay for what they think is best. I'm just saying I would take the actual record quality ratings with a major grain of salt.
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by lejonklou »

Thanks for that Thomas!
Spannko
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by Spannko »

I think you raise an important point there Thomas. I’ve listened to more of their recommendations and some of them do seem to be a bit “HiFi’y” or “impressive” sounding. However, some of the recommendations do seem to be ok, so as with all personal recommendations, it’s probably best just to use them as a guide for further exploration. Overall, I find it a really interesting resource which, when combined with Spotify, aids in the process of panning for those little musical nuggets!
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Re: The Skeptical Audiophile - In Search of Better Records

Post by springwood64 »

.. or for inspiring you to dig into your own collection. I ended up spending the evening with my Beatles LPs and my youngest.

Some of the rather sycophantic cover notes for Beatles For Sale (by Derek Taylor) seem to have stood the test of time - nearly 60 years later: "The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today. For the magic of the Beatles is, I suspect, timeless and ageless."

Looks like he was not wrong.
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