The Dark Side of the Moon A2 / B2 (First Pressing - Solid Blue Triangle)
This rare first pressing of this iconic LP is in immaculate condition and a full audio grading is detailed below. In short the audio plays with stunning Near Mint quality (Mint in the majority of the sections) and I have listened to every second of this stunning record in order to provide a comprehensive grading. The vinyl itself is in pristine condition. It comes complete with the original 'midnight blue' cover and both the posters and the stickers.
It is worth noting that this solid blue A2/B2 pressing only has two stamper letters making it one of the earlier ones to have been pressed. There are some one stampers out there but not that many!
SHVL 804 // A-2 / B-2 // TO 3 & LR 1
Play tested on my Pro-Ject Essential III Turntable // B & W 684 SpeakersThe audio on Side One is Near Mint
The audio on Side Two is Near Mint
The gatefold cover is Ex+
The labels are Near Mint
The original poly-lined inner is Near Mint-
The posters and stickers are Near Mint
The vinyl is absolutely pristine and I have never seen a cleaner version. It is immaculate for such a rare pressing especially when you consider how much these were played in the early 70s. It is just so obvious that it has been so lovingly well cared for down the decades and in all honesty it looks like new. There are no obvious hairlines whatsoever and I looked under a strong bright light to see if I could spot any imperfections. There are none! It goes without saying there are no scratches and whilst there is some spindle wear on each side the previous owner most definitely loved his vinyl and handled it very carefully whilst taking it in and out of the sleeve. Even the run out grooves remain beautifully clean which is a rarity. Needless to say it retains a beautiful glossy sheen and the sheer visual quality of this stunning vinyl would be impossible to improve upon. In all my years I have never seen (or heard) a better A2/B2 pressing.
Side One starts with almost no static, the playback is incredible. The heartbeat comes through loud and clear and in all honesty this is one of the best intros I have heard on any pressing let alone an A2/B2 one. 'Speak To Me' plays as new the quality is that good. 'Breathe' has 3/4 dust ticks but are not worth mentioning really as they are so much in the background, I am just 100% complete in my grading. There is no crackle at all and no clicks, pops etc and the clarity and sonic quality is just immaculate. 'On The Run' is just mind-blowing! This is the best version I have heard in many a year. Even when turned up loud there is no distortion and on the quiet 'running man' ending there is no background noise whatsoever. 'Time' has the faintest of intermittent static prior to the vocals but is in no way intrusive. Once the vocals do start the clarity is again outstanding. During the guitar solo there is just a touch of distortion perhaps on the higher level but it is minimal. 'Breathe Reprise' has a handful of dust ticks but no worse and is another superb listen and easily qualifies as Near Mint. What can I say about 'The Great Gig In The Sky'? It is absolutely stunning! Without doubt the best I have heard and knocks spots off later pressings/recent reissues. The quiet piano intro is incredible and has no dust ticks/static at all and plays as Mint it is that good and even during the louder middle section there is no distortion. I did hear a few mega light static sounds during this section but you will get this even on new vinyl. The quiet ending is again sublime, there are just not enough superlatives for this record! There is practically no interference which is an amazing rarity when you consider how quiet it is and how old the vinyl is. With the volume on loud I heard maybe 3/4 of the lightest of dust ticks imaginable but in all honesty the depth of the sound and the clarity is just of the highest standard possible.
'Money' continues the quality and plays without fault. The depth of the bass really comes through on the A2/B2 pressings and is no exception here. Many copies also had a skip pressed into the grooves but fortunately is not on this one. Shock horror I heard one click during the 'Us And Them' intro! I played it 3/4 times as sometimes it can disappear with repeated plays but it did not. The remainder of the track plays with what can only be described as near Mint quality. I go on about clarity but there is no better way to describe it. The clarity is just perfect and there is no crackle, no distortion, no nothing. Perhaps a tiny hint of static here and there but again is so much in the background as to be totally negligible. 'Any Colour You Like' plays to the same standard and the stunning quality once again shines through. 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse' end this classic LP with nigh on perfect audio. The latter plays with the least amount of distortion I have ever heard and even the ultra quiet heartbeat ending plays with only 2/3 dust ticks. An impeccable ending to an incredible sounding solid blue first press.
In summary this is without doubt the best A2/B2 first pressing I have ever had the pleasure in listening to. That is not a sales technique just my honest opinion. A bold claim but it practically plays as new such is the stunning quality. The odd light static sound but there is no crackle whatsoever and only one discernible click across the entire playback. This is a final upgrade archive copy if ever there was one and will not disappoint the genuine Floyd collector. I honestly think some sellers would grade this classic vinyl as Mint- but I will err on the side of caution and grade it as Near Mint. A true museum copy that deserves a good home!
The original G & L 'midnight blue' gatefold is in wonderful condition with only minor shelf wear and has obviously been superbly well looked after. It is one of the cleanest I have seen in a long time. The top edge of the front cover has a very small amount of rubbing but the remaining three edges remain beautifully clean as does the spine. The two right hand corners have some minor rubbing but the top and bottom of the spine is still relatively free of wear. The front cover is remarkably free of marks etc and only has a couple of very thin white lines running down the bottom half of the right hand edge. There is also a very small area of 'whiting' on the top right corner. The inside of the gatefold is in exemplary condition and only has two areas of 'whiting' of any note and the back cover is in superb shape. It isn't quite perfect but for one of the rare 'midnight blue' covers it is nonetheless in great condition and even the opening edge is very clean and appears only lightly handled.
Poly-lined inner sleeve
The original die-cut black poly-lined inner sleeve with the patent number and 'Made in Great Britain' in silver text is in excellent condition with no splits or tears. There is just a little creasing, no other wear.
They both remain in a superb, clean condition with no marking or writing, just some spindle wear.
The posters and stickersThe posters are in stunning condition and have no rips or tears, only very light creasing. The two stickers are also in great shape and have 'FasPrint Removable' and 'Crack Back Patented' printed on the reverse. They neither have any marks or creasing.SHVL 804 // A-2 / B-2 // TO 3 & LR 1
Play tested on my Pro-Ject Essential III Turntable // B & W 684 Speakers
Any questions please feel free to ask
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