Acoustic Sounds
Elephant UHQR
By: Michael Fremer

August 25th, 2023


Editor's Choice

The White Stripes' "Elephant" Gets a UHQR cut at Sterling Sound, Nashville, and Tracking Angle Was There For the Cut

party atmosphere in Ryan Smith's mastering suite

Acoustic Sounds just announced the forthcoming UHQR release of The White Stripes' 2002 double LP "Elephant". The lacquers were cut more than a year ago on June, 22nd, 2022. By chance I happened to be in Nashville moderating panels for Making Vinyl, Nashville and visiting United Record Pressing, Nashville Record Pressing, Welcome to 1979 and Nashville Record Productions.

When Chad Kassem told me that Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound was cutting lacquers on the 22nd for a UHQR release of The White Stripes' "Elephant" I asked if I could be there for the cut. Of course he said "yes", as long as I didn't tell anyone about the project, and I didn't. This was just as Covid restrictions were being lifted and everyone felt safe in the same room with a group of other people.

Also in attendance, among others, was Third Man's Ben Blackwell, RTI's Don MacInnes, RTI's plating guru Dorin Sauerbier, and a multi-camera video crew there to document the cut of the iconic White Stripes album.

Everyone was in a great mood and the conversation was party-like and filled with great anecdotes you're sure to enjoy. Then, towards the end, Ryan finally rolls the tape, but only to preview, not to cut. So when you see the tape not wrapped around the preview head rollers, it's not because anyone "cheated". The cut was AAA all the way and the double record set should sound better than it's ever before sounded. The record will be coming soon, but for now there's this video and one below it just delivered by Acoustic Sounds


  • 2023-08-25 02:15:23 PM

    Tim wrote:

    Yes Chad!

    This is what Ive been ranting about (in ever corner of the internet) - lets get some more of these "more recent" Gems pressed in UHQR ( and alike )

    There is a large gap in the market for 20 to 50 year olds that are craving audiophile releases from the 80s, 90s and 2000s (to the extend analogue or quality digital masters are available).

    More of this PLEASE.

    • 2023-08-25 02:19:54 PM

      Tim wrote:


      • 2023-08-27 12:03:30 PM

        Tim Ware wrote:

        This comments section badly needs the ability to edit one’s posts, even if it’s just a 30 minute window as with the Steve Hoffman forums. It would be a much better user experience.

  • 2023-08-25 02:18:49 PM

    Tim wrote:

    Also Chad, (if youre reading), I ordered this straight away when the announcement came AND I threw in the new Coltrane UHQR too (which I otherwise wouldnt have bitten the bullet on by itself)..

    Doing releases like this encourage me to buy more... Im sure there are others like it.

    Keep it up.

  • 2023-08-25 04:09:33 PM

    freejazz00 wrote:

    I believe Third Man released earlier this year a 20th anniversary package of this lp as part of the Vault series (#55) from the original tapes. I believe there are lots of differences between the original and Vault issue, the biggest being the Vault reissue is a mono mix. There are other differences, I believe, like a DVD and a book, etc. I'm curious how the sound quality will be different between the issues.

    • 2023-08-25 04:56:51 PM

      Tomato Sandwich wrote:

      They also released a stereo version.

      • 2023-08-25 05:05:30 PM

        Tomato Sandwich wrote:

        Double lp package from Third Man. Of course for an extra $100 you can get the dowel box and liner notes. Maybe Mikey will delete this post, too.

        • 2023-08-25 10:56:27 PM

          Michael Fremer wrote:

          I’ve never deleted any posts

        • 2023-08-26 07:38:11 AM

          Georges wrote:

          Stop making malicious insinuations about one of the audio giants, especially about censorship! We are not on stereophile, audio "science" review or the shforum which banish everything ! There's freedom of speech here!

    • 2023-08-25 05:12:25 PM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      vault edition was a new mono remix. not sure if AAA or not. it was interesting, decent overall but i prefer the original stereo mix. great package though as usual.

      • 2023-08-29 07:41:02 PM

        freejazz00 wrote:

        I pulled out my copy (I moved and everything is in boxes so finding any particular lp requires great effort) and the notes imply all analog, although not specifying AAA. Listening again I find the mix quite dark and opaque. I hope the UHQR sounds better. I have a few other Vault pressings - I should listen to those again to hear if they are as dark. I hope not...!

  • 2023-08-26 05:28:56 AM

    PeterPani wrote:

    And I count my pennies! It will be published on tape, too!!

  • 2023-08-26 05:52:51 AM

    Jonti Davies wrote:

    Saw them in Osaka 20 years ago when they played a set that was 80% Elephant, including "Seven Nation Army" several years prior to its being co-opted (denuded?) as the go-to sports stadium celebratory riff. Indelible euphoria shared with 2,000 Osakans.

  • 2023-08-27 01:07:26 PM

    Jeff D wrote:

    Love that he's a vinyl advocate but I never really enjoyed his music much, carry on!