Better Records White Hot Stampers: Now the Story Can Be Told!


Just got shipping notification, so now the story can be told!

  Better-Records.com is a small, incredibly valuable yet little known company run out of Thousand Oaks, CA by Tom Port. The business started out many years ago when Tom Port noticed no two records sound quite the same. Evidently Tom is a sound quality fanatic on a scale maybe even higher than mine, and he started getting together with some of his audio buds doing shoot-outs in a friendly competition to see who has the best sounding copy.   

Over time this evolved into Better-Records.com, where the best of the best of these shoot-outs can be bought by regular guys like me who live for the sound, but just don't have the time or the drive to go through all the work of finding these rare gems.

The difference in quality between your average pressing and a White Hot Stamper is truly incredible. If you don't have the system or the ears of course you may never notice. If you do though then nothing else comes even close.   

Tom will say things like only one in twenty copies is Hot Stamper worthy. This doesn't even come close to conveying the magnitude. Last night for example, wife and I were listening to our White Hot Stamper of Tchaikovsky 1812. Then we played another White Hot Tchaikovsky. Then we played the Tchaikovsky tracks from my copy of Clair deLune.  

Without hearing a White Hot you would think Clair de Lune is about as good as it gets. After two sides of Tom's wonders it was flat, dull, mid-fi. Not even in the same ball park. And yet this is quite honestly a very good record. How many of these he has to clean, play, and compare to find the rare few magical sounding copies, I don't even know!  

Copies of Hot Stamper quality being so hard to find means of course they are not always available. This is not like going to the record store. There are not 50 copies of Year of the Cat just sitting around. Most of the time there are no copies at all. When there are, they get snapped up fast. Especially the popular titles. Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Tom Petty Southern Accents, whole bunch of em like this get sold pretty fast even in spite of the astronomically outrageous prices they command. Then again, since people pay - and fast - maybe not so outrageous after all.   

So I spent months looking, hoping for Year of the Cat to show up. When it did, YES! Click on it and.... Sorry, this copy is SOLD! What the...? It was only up a day! If that!  

Well now this puts me in a bit of a spot. Because, see, besides loving music and being obsessed with sound quality, I'm also enthusiastic about sharing this with others. With most things, no problem. Eric makes an endless supply of Tekton Moabs. Talking up Tekton or Townshend or whatever has no effect on my ability to get mine. With Better-records.com however the supply is so limited the last thing I need is more competition. Bit of a bind.   

Even so, can't keep my big mouth shut. Been telling everyone how great these are. One day someone buys one based on my recommendation, Tom finds out, next thing you know I'm a Good Customer. What does that mean? Well is there anything you're looking for? Year of the Cat. That's a hard one. Tell me about it. Might take a while. Take all the time you need. Just get me one. Please. Okay.  

That was months ago. Other day, hey we're doing a shoot-out. No guarantees but should be able to find you one. So for the last few days I was all Are we there yet? Are we there yet? And now finally, like I said, shipped!  

So now I have my Grail, and the story can be told. Got a nice little collection of Hot Stampers, and will be adding more, but this for me is The One. Might not be for you, but that is the beauty of it all. Many of us have that one special record we love. If you do too, and you want to hear it like listening to the master tape, this is the way to go.
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Showing 6 responses by tablejockey

"I have a minty promo copy of Some Girls. Rock on !!!"

Is it the banned cover-Lucy,Marilyn,Raquel....or plain 
Finding a "White Hot Stamper" isn't rocket science.

You just need to buy 20 or so copies of Aja or whatever and listen.
That's what stamper guy and his crew do-find every  AA1006 and cross your fingers.
https://www.discogs.com/Steely-Dan-Aja/release/368605
That's what your $400 is paying for- hassle and time sorting thru the mess.

Something I REALLY want, I will go thru 3-4 max to find my personal "stamper". They're at least the same pile of junk stamper guy sends his scouts buying from my neighborhood store.

I only wish I had the vision 20 years ago to offer such a service. Stamper guy has developed a niche, along with his writing skills hyping up an album. Some of it is a little goofy but it must be working.

If I had a top notch 50k+ setup, I would throw down on a couple of classics.
"Another one, Sinatra-Basie, is also on the way."

Great album. The 2nd collaboration is another to look out for-"It might as well be swing"  Lots of good ol male chauvinist references in that period of popular music.

I have both the stereo/mono press of these albums. The mono press is the one to own. Excellent "Sinatra is in the room" sonics, even without a proper mono cart.

Looked at the Sinatra offerings......Yikes! Goodwill White Hots @$300!
I will lay out that kind of dough for a real deal R&R stamper, but not my parents music!
Message to stamper guy if he reads these forums.
You're probably seeing a bump in you're business due to this thread.

Send a "WHITE HOT STAMPER" to the milliercarbon-gratis.

I was thinking.....if someone tried  to undercut the business-(1/2 the cost of typical), could you break even at minimum? With the amount of copies of "Hotel California" and "Aja" you need to buy up,  all related operating cost(Ecommerce,shipping etc) you will be......BROKE!

Writing skills will also need to be honed, because he's learned "selling the sizzle". 

  "$1100 used, cost of two white hot stampers."

A filtered search reveals most of the current WHS are actually under $400 or so. Bargain-maybe 3-4!!

$500 WHS-
https://better-records.com/products/simonparsl_2102?_pos=320&_sid=5489088ef&_ss=r

https://better-records.com/products/emersemers_2012?_pos=378&_sid=5489088ef&_ss=r

LP your friends will say..."YOU PAID WHAT, FOR THAT?!!
https://better-records.com/products/ledzeledze4_2101-1?_pos=382&_sid=5489088ef&_ss=r
I'm a Zep head, but  a LZ IV......? Maybe a Brit LZ1? Which probably would be listed at $8-1K!!! If I graduate to a Techdas, I'm on it!!

Good stuff in the WHS category. 
https://better-records.com/search?q=white+hot

I have two Love LP's. Both quite good and pedigreed. De Capo and Forever Changes
To think they are potentially $7-$1K is mind-blowing!

Guess I'll just keep bin diving in the 3 for $10's.

"Now if you ever bring up anything by Jethro Tull you might not hear the end of it"

A nice period press of Aqualung that HASN’T seen better days than being stacked 4 high on a cheap all in one is a very tough to find.

I went thru 4 to get to my personal "stamper."