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

Just got shipping notification, so now the story can be told! 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, 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 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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I realized, my mistake.

I thought that the person who would buy Some Girls might also have Emotional Rescue laying somewhere around. Emotional Rescue was the actual White Hot Stamper in question here. I know, not your usual "audiophile dream material", which I hope makes it even more relevant for real world situation.
I think if it’s being sold as a Hot Stamper A+++ then it should deliver what Better Records is advertising, and it may do that for people who are regular buyers of Hot Stampers. For those who don’t think it does, it can be returned for a refund. If you loaned it to mc, he would probably report that it kept him glued to his seat and that it sounded so good he played it four times over.

I agree with your point that most of the Stones’ recordings are not known for their audiophile quality sound. So again it’s a matter of personal taste.

On another forum, some people dream of a crisp, clear sounding Exile On Main Street while others say that would ruin the record, that the low-fi sound is the artists’ intent.

I think we just need to allow everyone their personal preference and not try to impose ours on others. Stating our preference is fine. We can’t debate much without doing that, but showing a little respect for other opinions doesn’t hurt.
Thanks Glupson for that nice, detailed, balanced review.

That is about as close as I’ve ever heard Glupson gush about anything hifi! So that record must have been totally awesome!

HE even cleaned the old copies for God’s sake. Well done!

Seriously though, I have ER CD and record. Haven’t spun the record in ages. THE CD is ripped to my library. A favorite track of mine is "She’s So Cold" which frankly sounds great for a recording of its kind and to me is just the Stone’s at their purest rocking/disco-y best! Awesome!

Take note SIr Glupson. This is how to gush on a high end audio site properly! Proper restraint and fairness may get you nowhere.

Also worth noting that mixes can be different on different releases of an album. CD or vinyl. So comparing two copies from two different releases, say one domestic and one foreign, may not necessarily be apples/apples in terms of comparing merely the physical quality of the record as opposed to the mastering that went into the recorded source material.

IS ER available on new vinyl? Probably digitally remastered if so. That versus a "white hot stamper" would be an interesting comparison. I’d wager old geezers would prefer the old copy and young whippersnappers the new one.

It may be that the German pressing is also a Hot Stamper and that the two records glupson ruled out immediately are what everyone else is listening to.

glupson, would you go out and pick up another 20 copies to test that theorem?
Personally, I have yet to shell out $30 bucks for any new vinyl release. So I’m not likely to shell out even more for an old one. But that is just me. I wish all my records could be magically and instantly converted to CD res FLAC and streamed. I’d still keep the records but perhaps never play one again.

Does that make me a bad audiophile?