Your best recorded album?

Your avatar is an obvious frontrunner. Familiar, well recorded/mastered music is safe for testing gear but lately I'm thinking that some poorer recordings shouldn't be ruled out in a listening demo. Tracks that are very musically engaging with a great performance yet lack something sonically. If the test gear can find something in those then you're onto something grand. While you can't put lipstick on a pig, quality gear should not render marginal SQ recordings you enjoy unlistenable.

Oh Javi A great question. Here's a few from me:-

Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Sessions

Talk Talk - Colour of Spring

Shelby Lynne - Just a little Lovin'

David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive

I always think the recording and mastering engineer never get the credit they deserve compared with the producer.

I tend to agree with Joerand, I use very familiar tracks across a variety of genres, and eras and varying mastering and recording techniques. For me a good system has got make the sound come alive.. and you do get accustomed to greater clarity and insight and take it for granted.

For example, alas my Hugo has had to be rturned to Chord for repair under warranty.. so I have been using my NDX DAC out instead. Good though the NDX is, I find it lacking in the insight, clarity and analogue naturalness no matter what the quality of the recording.. the result is a sound that feels false and relatively uninspiring. Yes there is the PRaT, nice tonal balance  and stereo imaging, but these are Hifi things.. It doesn't communicate to me in the way I have become accustomed to with familiar tracks and so they sound artificial and false by this standard ... so I am not that bothered in immersive listening from any of my digital sources until the DAC is repaired.

I have been quite suprised by the extent this has affected my listening.

Simon

 

 

joerand posted:

Your avatar is an obvious frontrunner. Familiar, well recorded/mastered music is safe for testing gear but lately I'm thinking that some poorer recordings shouldn't be ruled out in a listening demo. Tracks that are very musically engaging with a great performance yet lack something sonically. If the test gear can find something in those then you're onto something grand. While you can't put lipstick on a pig, quality gear should not render marginal SQ recordings you enjoy unlistenable.

I agree. Although I also use an unfamiliar track to avoid preconceptions and to try to prevent existing preferences influence the decision. 

Simon, what was the issue with your Hugo? I am expecting mine back from Chord this week after 2 months (I am in Australia). Unit would not turn on even when connected to mains, returned to interstate retailer who returned to importer and then back to UK. Am yet to be advised of root cause of problem.

 

Apologies Javi for hijacking your post.

 

Harry

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan -The Sky is Crying -  pressed on 200g vinyl at 45rpm - excellent combination make this sound tremendous to me. Heard a band play Little Wing at a party a weeks ago, really good but could have done without the bit of swing they added, but mostly missed Stevies humming amp, so evident on the above recording. 

I am completely agree with "Amused to Death"... in fact its dynamic range is huge. I used to consume all my music on CD but now with tydal am I discovering the loudness was and diferences between several remastered versions.

It will be a good idea to realease albums also in "no loudness" version for audiophiles, i.e. "pub version" and "home version" :-)

...Javi

Kevin-W posted:

The SQ of some of the pop and jazz records coming out of the studios of Columbia/CBS and RCA in the 1950s and 1960s was staggering. These are three of the best-recorded records I possess:

The best version of Blues in Orbit I have heard is the MFSL disc (luckily I have 2 copies). Band in the living room experience.

I would also highly recommend the MFSL Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul. I suppose if I sat down and thought about making up a list then there would be a lot of recommendations but those two spring to mind.

Pushed to pick one album, Nightfly would get my vote.

Pushed to choose an artist Deep Purple.

I wouldn't need pushing to choose an engineer, Martin Birch. (Until I just looked at his list of credits, I didn't realise he engineered Argus, one of my goto, test albums.)

Fleetwood Mac

Deep Purple

Wishbone Ash

Rainbow

Whitesnake

Black Sabbath

Blue Öyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Other artists

ewemon posted:
Kevin-W posted:

The SQ of some of the pop and jazz records coming out of the studios of Columbia/CBS and RCA in the 1950s and 1960s was staggering. These are three of the best-recorded records I possess:

 

 

The best version of Blues in Orbit I have heard is the MFSL disc (luckily I have 2 copies). Band in the living room experience.

I would also highly recommend the MFSL Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul. I suppose if I sat down and thought about making up a list then there would be a lot of recommendations but those two spring to mind.

The Analog Productions Blues In Orbit vinyl is even better IMO (I've heard the SACD is very good as well). It's a fantastically well-recorded session - even the bog standard Columbia CD (with extra tracks) is excellent.

Kevin-W posted:
ewemon posted:
Kevin-W posted:

The SQ of some of the pop and jazz records coming out of the studios of Columbia/CBS and RCA in the 1950s and 1960s was staggering. These are three of the best-recorded records I possess:

 

 

The best version of Blues in Orbit I have heard is the MFSL disc (luckily I have 2 copies). Band in the living room experience.

I would also highly recommend the MFSL Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul. I suppose if I sat down and thought about making up a list then there would be a lot of recommendations but those two spring to mind.

The Analog Productions Blues In Orbit vinyl is even better IMO (I've heard the SACD is very good as well). It's a fantastically well-recorded session - even the bog standard Columbia CD (with extra tracks) is excellent.

Never heard the Analogue Productions vinyl set Kevin.

Kevin-W posted:
ewemon posted:
Kevin-W posted:

The SQ of some of the pop and jazz records coming out of the studios of Columbia/CBS and RCA in the 1950s and 1960s was staggering. These are three of the best-recorded records I possess:

 

 

The best version of Blues in Orbit I have heard is the MFSL disc (luckily I have 2 copies). Band in the living room experience.

I would also highly recommend the MFSL Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul. I suppose if I sat down and thought about making up a list then there would be a lot of recommendations but those two spring to mind.

The Analog Productions Blues In Orbit vinyl is even better IMO (I've heard the SACD is very good as well). It's a fantastically well-recorded session - even the bog standard Columbia CD (with extra tracks) is excellent.

I have a rip of the SACD and indeed it's very good. But I have no comparison.  The MFSL cd is very expensive, used

Javi A. posted:

It will be a good idea to realease albums also in "no loudness" version for audiophiles, i.e. "pub version" and "home version" :-)

I get your point about loudness, although for digital albums we already have hi-res, CD, and MP3

Mudcrutch ,Tom Petty's alternate band, released their first LP in 2008 (an all analog recording) with an included "audiophile CD". The CD came with an explanation that it had an extended dynamic range and would have to be played louder to achieve the volume of most CDs - a round about way of saying it wasn't loudness mastered. Unfortunately such endeavors are few and far between.

I don't have the remastered 'Amused To Death', merely the original CD. Have to agree with others here that it's probably the best recorded/mastered album in my collection. In terms of imaging and an all encompassing holographic soundstage it has a staggering height, width and depth. Some images sound as if they are coming from behind, others from the room next door.

Harry Bennett posted:

Simon, what was the issue with your Hugo? I am expecting mine back from Chord this week after 2 months (I am in Australia). Unit would not turn on even when connected to mains, returned to interstate retailer who returned to importer and then back to UK. Am yet to be advised of root cause of problem.

 

Apologies Javi for hijacking your post.

 

Harry

 

Hi, I think its internal power regulator has failed. it just sat there with a rapid blinking white light.

Really enjoying some of these recommendations.

Though Roger Waters really isn't my bag (I dont think!) , I will give Amused to Death a good blast as it seems to come highly recommended for recording quality and from what I previewed of it last night, I can see why.

The Duke Ellington and Melody Gardot albums are total class, even though I hadn't heard them before now, and the great recording quality is a complete bonus.

From my side, probably this one is the best I have, the 192/24 version, though Im sure the vinyl would be equally amazing:

and one from the leftfield, a relative newcomer to my collection, Judas Priest's first album, really great recording quality, well worth a go, and nothing like their later stuff:-

The other albums making up my Top 5 of best recorded albums would be:-

Led Zeppelin I

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Fatoumata Diawara - Fatou

all of which I just cant stop listening to!

 

When testing, I refer to both my favourites, and some of my least favourites (in SQ terms), but a few of the best recorded / mixed albums in my view are....

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

Ann Bisson - Blue Mind

Melody Gardot - My One and Only Thrill (Better than Currency of Man in SQ terms IMO)

Tori Amos - Under the Pink

Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

The Unthanks - Last

Neil Cowley Trio - The Face of Mount Molehill

They're some of my favourites musically too, so if a system doesn't impress me with these, I'm not interested in it.

 

ewemon posted:
Kevin-W posted:

The SQ of some of the pop and jazz records coming out of the studios of Columbia/CBS and RCA in the 1950s and 1960s was staggering. These are three of the best-recorded records I possess:

The best version of Blues in Orbit I have heard is the MFSL disc (luckily I have 2 copies). Band in the living room experience.

I would also highly recommend the MFSL Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul. I suppose if I sat down and thought about making up a list then there would be a lot of recommendations but those two spring to mind.

I've got so many that I wouldn't know where to start but those three would definitely make the list.

However I don't necessarily listen to perfect recordings when evaluating gear. There more for when I want to remind myself that my system ain't that bad.

Javi A. posted:

If "amused to death" is so nice in "only" 44.1kHz-16 bits... what about the HDtracks version at 192-24!??

I am thinking on buying it seriously.

...Javi

The HD version is distinctly inferior sound quality to the CD version - I have the CD version ripped with dbpoweramp, and as one of my initial forays into HD bought the 192-96 version and was immediately quite disappointed. From others' reported comments to the same effect, it appears to be another case of bad remastering..

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