Better Records vs MoFi

I’ve read about Better Records on the site. They listen to endless copies of records & separate out the amazing sounding pressings. I can understand because of many variables, some sound better than others. But, can a great sounding regular pressing sound better than a half speed master? Doesn’t a HSM have more music data on it?

I don’t want to go down a rabbit hole. If the BR premise holds up then there are certainly better pressings of Dark Side of the Moon etc. I’m not concerned with that. I’m also not interested in cost or “X sucks, I’d never buy one.”


Good one (The Band) wolf_garcia. Even the original pressing is pretty good (I have a U.S. and a U.K.), as is the MoFi. The 45RPM format allowed Robert Ludwig (mastering) and Chris Bellman (lacquer cutting) to maximize the potential of the simple recordings John Simon made back in 1969. Plus the album is one of the greatest Rock ’n’ Roll records ever made (imo of course).

Though LP pressings are too variable copy-to-copy to say definitively, @minkwelder’s praise for an original Capitol pressing of Music From Big Pink surprised me. It is well known that the original mix and mastering severely rolled off the bass frequencies contained in the master tapes, greatly emasculating Rick Danko’s Fender bass and Levon Helm’s Gretsch kick drum. That’s true no matter how "hot" your pressing is. Another problem with original Capitol pressings is the vinyl they were using: some of the noisiest of the time (late-60’s). For some reason MFBP is generally noisier than is the brown album.

I hope @minkwelder knows MoFi did two versions of MFBP. The first (MFSL 1-039) is not good, though the vinyl is excellent (JVC’s Super Vinyl). The second (1-346, pressed at RTI)) is better. He mentions half-speed mastering, which leads me to believe it was 1-039 he heard. It was mastered at half-speed, 1-346 wasn’t. Again, a fantastic album of music, though to some people less accessible than the brown album.

By the way ya'll, the boxset containing all The Band albums on LP was pressed at QRP (Quality Record Pressing), the manufacturing arm of Analogue Productions. The box is a great value.

I'm really tempted to try comparing one from BR against one of my original pressings that I find to be exceptional.  Gonna need to keep an eye open for one that would be a good comparison.  Mostly just for curiosity's sake.

If you do, it will destroy whatever you thought was a good pressing. De. Stroy. 


I bought my MFSL copy of MFBP back in the mid-80's so it was definitely the 1-039 version. Not being very knowledgeable about MFSL, I thought all of their stuff was half-speed mastered.

The copy I got from Better Records is an EMI/Capitol (ST 2955), made in UK. I didn't find much info about it.

Now ya got me going on that box set. I'll probably have to get that one!

So I just ordered "Heart - Dog and Butterfly - Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)".

Can't wait to compare it to my original copy that I purchased new when it first came out.