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the best audiophile albums
Old 6th September 2005
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh
Our recordings are made with only 2 to 4 microphones and no cables longer than 20 feet. The resulting sound has startling, "in-the-room" clarity, brilliance, spaciousness and dynamics.[/I]
I was pretty bummed on my last session that the studio ran me through their patchbay. I was hoping to keep it more like the above scenario. I must say it still sounds pretty good, but I look forward to recording with less mics, no patchbay, etc...

Well, I have done a few live stereo recordings. When the musicians hear them, they say "Damn that sounds good! Why am I bothering with all this multitrack crap!"

Anyway, thanks for the link. I'll check 'em out.
Old 6th September 2005
  #32
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Slick
Third Sister Lovers, Big Star
Third is a great album, but I have trouble seeing it as 'audiophile.' I mean, it's also got that stoner rock reverb all over it.

There redo of "Femme Fatale" on there is pure brilliance, though -- Steve Cropper doing all those tasty guitar fills...
Old 26th December 2007
  #33
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by absolutkj View Post
So I'm looking to get a few cds or records to add to my already massive collection and I'm wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I'm looking for any jazz or classical albums with superior sound quality (whether it be the engineering, remastering, or most importantly the musicians).
Any Sheffield Labs albums.
King James Version etc.....
It does not get any better IMHO
Old 26th December 2007
  #34
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Possibly a bit dense musically, but Frank Zappa's Yellow Shark is a beautifully done CD. (yeah, Ali Askin!)
It's about as good as digital can get in my opinion.
Frank's guys recorded it on SONY DASh machines and they mix ed it.
I am not sure about mastering.
Frank probebly did the mastering himself.
I need to look.

I also have a CD of both Varese (do we have a trend here?) and Honneger on the Vanguard Classics label.
It is the Utah Symphony Orchestra performing Varese's "Ameriques," "Nocturnal" and "Ecuatorial." The Honneger piece is "Pacifica 231."

The source recording was done on an Ampex 351 1/2" deck.
There are A LOT of dynamics in this music, but the noise floor is astoundingly far down for analog tube equipment.

Both CDs are a bit dense if 20th century orchestral music isn't your deal, but they are both about as ood as it gets.
At least Honneger's "Pacifica 231" is an orchestral piece that emulates a steam locomotive. It's a pretty amazing work of orchestration and fairly easy to wrap your mind around for the 6:03 ride.
There is an Isao Tomita version of this that is quite spectacular as well.
Old 26th December 2007
  #35
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This is a really interesting thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Heh.
OTOH, there are other kinds of music that are so processed that, while they may well be fun to listen to on a good stereo, they often don't offer much of a challenge.
Could you elaborate on this thought? What do you mean by "challenge," the recording process or listening or both? What kinds of music (era or specific artists or style or ___) would you group in this category?
Old 26th December 2007
  #36
Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker - I've Got The Music In Me.

Sheffield Labs...Not jazz, but very good R&B/Soul stuff. This is the best sounding record I've ever heard. Direct-to-disc stuff. I'm not sure of the CD, never having heard it, but the vinyl is absolutely incredible. The brass sections are so in your face, you would swear they're playing in the same room. I know at one point, my buddy who runs a vintage vinyl store had a copy for $8...it was tempting, but I was broke in college.
Old 26th December 2007
  #37
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videoteque's Avatar
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Muddy Water's Folk Singer

Arne Domnerus' Jazz at the Pawnshop

A favorite of mine: Robert Miles + Trilok Gurtu Miles_Gurtu
Old 26th December 2007
  #38
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santibanks's Avatar
imaginary day dvd-audio from the pat metheny group. Still one of the best things I heared in life. Very expressive, very intense, very emotional and sonically it sounds HUGE to me.

too bad thats the only title thats audiophile from his entire work. Even the new stuff and re-masters are just released on cd...
Old 26th December 2007
  #40
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Almost anything from Jan Erik Kongshaug off KKV (Kirkelig Kulturverksted. Especially "Svarta Björn" with Kari Bremnes.) Used in Scandinavia as a high-end stereo test record. Not jazz - but not really not jazz. The man is awesome.

KKV.no - Kirkelig Kulturverksted & Kultukirken Jakob
Old 26th December 2007
  #41
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Diana Krall
Old 26th December 2007
  #42
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Diana Krall
DEFINITELY Al Schmitt! (Diana Krall etc.)
Old 26th December 2007
  #43
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I do think the notion of what an audiophile recording really IS involves some subjective personal taste issues. That being said, I will give another nod to the Ry Cooder/V. Bhatt disc previously mentioned. I have several discs on that Water Lily Acoustics label and they do sound great. Contrary to a lot of the "audiophile" branded labels, the music is actually really cool too...

I was listening to a Gillian Welch record this weekend, 'Soul Journey' and will have to say this pretty much qualifies as audiophile in my book. Sonically sublime...nearly flawless record..IMHO. The CIMP label, specializing in modern jazz, is dedicated to the audiophile cause as well if I remember right - and releases some pretty interesting music as well. Their catalog is full of a lot of very experimental, forward thinking stuff...Dominic Duval, Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jemeel Moondoc, Evan Parker...names like these.
Old 26th December 2007
  #44
This old thread?

I mentioned Rudy Van Gelder's stellar work last year.


A few months back someone asked me about examples of amazing pop recording quality (I think it was because I hadn't been properly impressed with the string pads on In Rainbows) and I just happened to have been listening to some early 60s and 70s Nilsson.

Take a listen to the recording and production quality of stuff like "One", or the similarly named but quite different "Without Her" (recorded in the mid-60s for his first album when Harry was a complete unknown) and "Without You" (recorded with a huge orchestral sound)-- some really amazing work.
Old 26th December 2007
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narco View Post
audiophile = well mastered jazz it would seem
Here's a couple:

Pat Metheny Group - American Garage

Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays - As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

the live album "Travels" is very good as well, terrific sounding for a live album, actually.

I have all the foregoing on very high-quality vinyl I bought new back in the 80's and have only sparingly listened to (put it all on tape the first play and shelved the vinyl); now when I go back to listen to the records, they are so freakin' lively sounding. The depth and space and the recording quality are really nice, and put the listener right there "in the garage" with the band. The "Wichita" album is a bit more spaced out, but "American Garage" is definitely worth checking out in the context of the original post.
Old 26th December 2007
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narco View Post
audiophile = well mastered jazz it would seem
call me crazy, but try Prince's "under the cherry moon", particularly the title track. moving beyond the (over)use of reversed-gated reverbs on most of the drums on the album, it's quite a pleasing recording.

there's a non-album B-side (of the "Mountains" single) called "Alexa de Paris" which is a big, jazzy instrumental (featuring Sheila E. on the kit) that's worth checking out, although it rather swims in (non-gated) reverb sheen; them's the 80's for you, I suppose.
Old 26th December 2007
  #47
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santibanks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vixapphire View Post
Here's a couple:
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays - As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

the live album "Travels" is very good as well, terrific sounding for a live album, actually.
Im not sure about the guitar sound in September 15th (though its one of my favourite songs. I love those metheny/mays duets). Sounds a bit unreal to me (close miked, artificial reverbs on it)

But travles especially is a very good sounding live album with a lot of details and a great selection of songs from that time (and tour) with are you going with me, phase dance, wichita and song for bilbao beeing highlites.
Also funny that a huge bulk of songs on travles where never recorded in the studio (travels, bilbao, straight on red, goodbye, farmer's trust, extradition)

Of course, the newest (well already a few years old) album from the PMG is very good sounding too (the way up).
And the remaster from his solo album Secret Story is very highly recommended too. The string sections sound fab !
Old 26th December 2007
  #48
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 

recently I found my old Toto Tambu CD and to me it still sounds fantastic. So:

Tambu by Toto
Old 26th December 2007
  #49
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Johann Christian Bach: Symphonies & Concertos by the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin is an amazing CD. Obviously the recording technology is not responsible for the breathtaking performances, but it is responsible for the pristine clarity and perfect balance.

Plus, I totally agree with Videoteque's recommendation of the Dark Side of the Moon. After all these years I'm still amazed at the technical precision of this recording.
Old 26th December 2007
  #50
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Old 27th December 2007
  #51
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1. Decade of Steely Dan

2. Dave Brubeck - Take Five

3. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

4. Patsy Cline - The Definitive Collection

5. Bob Marley - Legend, Exodus, Rastaman Vibration: Deluxe Edition
Old 27th December 2007
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
1. Decade of Steely Dan

2. Dave Brubeck - Take Five

3. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

4. Patsy Cline - The Definitive Collection

5. Bob Marley - Legend, Exodus, Rastaman Vibration: Deluxe Edition
Sorry but Steely Dan is excluded from this thread. heh Not really, but somebody on the first page did say "and please don't say Steely Dan".

I love Bob Marley, and those are good sounding discs, but I don't think of them as audiophile. I could be wrong however... they sound light years better than most reggae. Lots of reggae is done on a budget and seems to suffer in sound quality... but I still love old Culture, Wailing Souls, Gladiators, Twinkle Brothers, Ethiopians, etc... gotta have that 15 ips tape head bump.

Also to the person who listed those Pat Metheny albums...yep, those are great. Also check out "The Road To You", which is a very good sounding live Pat Metheny Group disc. Travels has that dark ECM sound to me. That performance of "Are You Going With Me" is magical. I saw him play it live once, but not like that.

If you like the ECM sound, check out a disc by Egberto Gismonti called "Danca Das Cabecas", at least I think that's what it's called. I've got it here somewhere. Really spacey atmospheric 10-string nylon guitars, pan flutes, Nano Vasconcelos on percussion, really tasty.

Typically these days though, recordings that are considered audiophile are less dark and more "in your face" than the ECM stuff. It's all a matter of taste really. I personally don't think there's one particular sound that can be called audiophile to the exclusion of other sounds. For example, the JVC XRCD stuff sounds totally different than the Mapleshade recordings, etc..
Old 27th December 2007
  #53
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for some reason, i get the feeling that those old ECM records may be best heard on a gargantuan pair of those "magnaplanar" speakers that are about 4' x 10' and an inch thick. i don't quite know why i feel that way, but it would make for a nice experiment.
Old 27th December 2007
  #54
jho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
1. Decade of Steely Dan

2. Dave Brubeck - Take Five

3. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

4. Patsy Cline - The Definitive Collection

5. Bob Marley - Legend, Exodus, Rastaman Vibration: Deluxe Edition
(referencing the original poster...)

mmm.. now THATS some kind of tasty jazz or classical !!
Old 27th December 2007
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
The first of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' is one of my favorite records of all time. Live to 2 track. Sounds absolutely lovely.
I've never heard that record. I've heard that Maybelle Carter and Chet Atkins play on that record. That's enough for me. Gotta pick it up sometime.....
Old 27th December 2007
  #56
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FireMoon's Avatar
Blue Nile ...Hats

Joe Jackson..Body and soul... recorded in a Masonic Temple..

Bob James ..Ivory Coast

Gustav Mahler Symphony no 2, Dame Janet Baker, Arleen Auger CBSO Simon Rattle on EMI...
Old 27th December 2007
  #57
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I've been consistently impressed by the discs I've heard coming out on the Penta-Tone label. They are surround-sound hybrid SACDs that also sound great in stereo (Redbook 16/44.1). The discs I've heard have been recorded by the company Polyhymnia (check their website for some very interesting gearslut-worthy descriptions of their custom mic pres and modified mics). Their recording of Julia Fischer playing Bach solo violin works is currently my favorite representation of the instrument.
I also like Telarc a lot (check out their recording of Debussy orchestral works with Cincinnati), and I'll give another nod to Rudy van Gelder!
Old 27th December 2007
  #58
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Peter Gabriel ' So ' album I refer to a lot.

Quote:
Diana Krall
Brilliant stuff !!
Old 27th December 2007
  #59
Old 27th December 2007
  #60
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There's a tremendous resource on the web regarding audiophile recordings and I'm amazed I'm the first to mention it in this thread. Stereophile Magazine runs a feature a couple times a year called "Records To Die For." They poll their contributors and editors (all of whom are audiophiles) for their favorite recordings along with a short review of each one and publish the results. I've subscribed to Stereophile for over 20 years and it's one of the reasons I keep getting the magazine. It's got quite a few classical recommendations besides jazz, rock, and pop.

Records To Die For

I'm not at home right now but I'll mention a few of my favorites in the jazz realm that have excellent sound and excellent performances:

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Live In Paris
The absolute best sounding live recording in my collection of several thousand CDs. On a good stereo you are with her in the room and it feels like you could walk on stage and touch her and the other musicians. Almost eerie.

Sonny Rollins - Way Out West
An audiophile jazz standard, particularly on vinyl.

Janis Siegel - At Home
Modern recorded sound, very focused, punchy, and 3 dimensional. She's one of the singers from Manhatten Transfer.

Great Jazz Trio - At The Village Vanguard
Have you ever heard a bad Tony Williams record?

Showdown - Collins, Copeland, Cray
I know you said jazz but I'm fudging here a little on the blues. This is a fantastic blues set and it is a reference for professional yet not overproduced blues recording technique. Alligator is an example of how to run a great indie label.

That's a few but the Stereophile site is a treasure trove of recommendations. It will take care of your CD budget for quite a while.
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