Hot Stampers (Better Records) - One more question...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Victor Martell, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yello

    Well - know that the subject hasn't come up in a while, so apologies for the deceased equine - and it's pretty controversial... I also see that the various threads on it are closed, not sure if the reason is that they are old or precisely because of the controversy - however I just learned something about hot stampers and I just HAVE to ask.

    Now, I do not own a Hot Stamper from better records - BUT, talking to a local record store owner who knows Tom and has seen what he sells, I just found out that he scratches off matrix numbers from the Hot Stampers he sells - now, assuming that is true - and I am not saying that is wrong or right, but it does answer the biggest question I had about the Better Records Hot Stampers...

    Which is, what happens when you take, let's say a $200 copy of "Rumours" (available as of now) you just bought from Better Records, plug in its matrix number on Discogs and come up with a fair market value of $8 - $75 ?

    ( and that is for the first pressing, my search results right now)

    Guess the answer is that you are not supposed to do that... So that brings up my question - what is being provided here - a product or a service?

    The fact that that $200 record might have a $8 - $75 fair market value, to me, suggests that what is provided is a service; in that case, scratching off that matrix number should no be done - the value is provided by finding THAT record - not only that, if the Hot Stampers concept is valid, another copy of that record with that matrix number might not be as good....

    However, scratching that matrix number suggests to me that it is seen as a product, protected by trade secrets, etc. The problem to me is that it is product with a resale value that is nowhere near the price paid... I know records are not investments, for the most part, BUT I believe that the situation confirms it is definitely a service, given that the fair market assigns no additional value to that Hot Stamper copy...

    So, question to the group is it a service and should it be only evaluated and treated as that?

    (if so , that puts the controversy to rest, right? - it is a service, if you want it, you pay, right? - or not? :D )

    v
     
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  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    I own three “better records”. Got them around 7 years ago...I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

    No matrix numbers scratched out on these lps. While Tom and crew do seek out matrix numbers, that’s not the most important aspect of their business. What they do, for the most part, is listen to any records and find the best sound. So it’s got nothing to do with what a record costs on Discogs, as you suggest.

    And yes, those three records are in the league of A+ sounding lps in my collection.
     
  3. Former Lee Warmer

    Former Lee Warmer Emotional Rescue

    Location:
    NoBoCoMO
    I should start 'Bestest Records - Hotter Stampers'...
     
  4. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Can anyone else confirm this?
     
  5. Zapruder

    Zapruder Just zis guy, you know?

    Location:
    Ames, IA
    Seriously, this is huge if true.
     
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  6. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    A new low, and worth having another thread opened just for that discovery if true.
     
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  7. TeleCaster

    TeleCaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    Best to avoid Better Records - Hot Stampers, its a scam.
     
  8. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I personally don't think there is anything hidden about Better Records providing a service for find these "Hot Stampers." I don't own any of them and I don't really see myself ever buying one. But as long as they stand by their guarantee of no questions asked, I think what they do is fine. I don't have money to throw away. If I did I might actually buy one of there records. I can read car magazines and find out how great a Ferrari is. Great. It's really fast. I'm sure is is actually great. But I'm not blowing my retirement fund to find out first hand.
     
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  9. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I didn’t think matrix numbers even mattered as I thought part of their deal is that records with matching numbers can have wildly differing sound depending on when they were pressed.
     
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  10. Zapruder

    Zapruder Just zis guy, you know?

    Location:
    Ames, IA
    It's almost as if these claims, even if true, are negligible!
     
  11. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    They matter if they've been scratched out.
     
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  12. Anton888

    Anton888 Well-Known Member

    Matrix numbers do not matter. They buy 50, 60 or more albums of one title and then do a shootout to find the best sounding pressing.
     
  13. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes - I would love confirmation too - my record store owner friend told me this - his store has been around for a long time, I trust him - so I believe him.

    BUT to me, most important is the implications (if true) of what is THIS then, a service or a product. And again, not saying it is right or wrong - it is just a piece of information that in a sense, allows me to understand the whole thing - because to me it is fascinating that Better Records exists and that is a viable business - that is all

    v
     
  14. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Yes, but he ignores imports if I am correct. Or he did for a long while. Even when it's a known that the UK or German is the kitty's meow. The reason he ignored imports is that he only wants cheaply found copies, so his profits stay sky high.
     
  15. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    And that is the gist of it - if the Hot Stamper concept holds - that is exactly expected. And again if the idea/concept is sound, you are 100% correct. Then why hide them? Again, if it doesn't matter regarding sound quality, it matters when it comes to hiding fair market value - so again, I would have to qualify Better Records as a service.

    AGAIN, I just think is fascinating.

    v
     
  16. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    The best sounding pressings, you forgot the s. They milk all those copies for all that they can get out of them. They do not just grab the best one. It goes on and on.
     
  17. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Nobody said he is a liar, your friend could be mistaken. Why jump to a conclusion?
     
  18. Zapruder

    Zapruder Just zis guy, you know?

    Location:
    Ames, IA
    Defacing records matters a pretty huge deal to me, thanks. Try to stay on topic.
     
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  19. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    This thread is being driven off the tracks early. And by the op yet.
     
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  20. druboogie

    druboogie Maverick Stacker

    Location:
    New Jersey
    The matrix numbers have to matter, wouldnt they tell you which stampers are the first run made from the mother lacquer? If thats the case its a good reason to hide them. Although who is going to listen to 100 copies to find the ones that sound better? I know guys here listen to two or three, but 100? Im sure Tom has equipment to find the nuances in the recording (or at least I hope he does). Scratch off those numbers, he doesnt need competition. I wonder if anyone is trying to fake it.

    I know we cant tell which number a pressing is, however many thousand a stamper cycle is. Id never be able to hear if my vinyl was one of the first 50 pressed or the 5000th press. Thats where the service allegedly is.
     
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  21. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Not me! My point is different - not trying to attack Better Records - even if it might seem like it - It is the idea that this records cost so much more over fair market value, that I find interesting. I am starting to realize is that my point is that Better Records is most likely a service - IF it was advertised like that, much of the controversy would be moot.

    PLUS,they could do other things that might help with the credibility issue - like, for example, an upgrade SERVICE :D - that is, once you bought that $200 Rumours, one might think, "is this the best copy possible" - maybe you could get an upgrade service - for a fraction of the price, you can could pay them to find a better copy, then you send back yours (and of course, it has to be accepted by Better Records, but given their clientele, that should be no issue); if accepted, you get the new copy and voila! a better, hotter stamper... and a market opportunity! Upgrade your Hot Stamper!

    I think defining it that way would also help against the critics.

    v
     
  22. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    You mean have them admit that their first choice couple be topped? They don't like admitting that they were ever off on a record.
     
  23. ANALOGUE OR DEATH

    ANALOGUE OR DEATH Forum Resident

    Location:
    HULL ENGLAND
    Here's my two penny worth.

    Whilst I am perfectly willing to accept the premise that 2 of more copies of the same record with identical matrix stamps,pressed at the same plant and even in the same batch,can at any given time,and listened to on a given set up,sound either 'different ' ' slightly better' or even 'significantly better' than the other,for me there are too many other variables in the mid that would stop me shelling out £150 or so for a very common record,even if I could afford to.

    Who is doing the listening,and are they listening for the same things I am?

    What are they doing their listening on,and would I like that gear?

    From what I know about this outfit they do most tests using headphones.I'm not a can fan myself.

    Finally I think we all have experienced those times when our HiFi sounds better on some days than others.
     
  24. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Man this is interesting - last post before bouncing out for a bit - well - that is the thing - a service has terms and yes, If I was providing that service, I would say that this is the best copy at the moment using best effort, it might not be bestest, but these are terms, etc...

    v
     
  25. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    And that's exactly what I mean by saying the numbers don't matter in relation to records with identical matrix numbers. I didn't mean DIFFERENT numbers don't matter.
     
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